Massages Necessary


Whoo! Except for the recipe for Bethy’s cupcakes, I am finally caught up on blogging from my crazy weekend! I started this morning with a run around the lake–the one with the duckies–with Kara. I’ve felt pretty motivated to work on speed in these shorter runs lately, so check this out!!!

Hiiiiii YA! I felt pretty fantastic about that, aaaaannnndddd you may ask “What was your time on your last lap?” Or maybe I just want you to ask because it was 8:41!!! We had all negative splits and our first mile was the only one averaging above 10:00. Not sure if I’ll be able to make that happen again any time soon, but I’m glad it happened today!!

After our run, we hit up Sprouts because apparently my skeptic attitude about chia seeds has done a 180 and all the sudden I couldn’t imagine being out. Weird. Also, my amazing friend John told me that Sprouts had them $2 a lb cheaper than Whole Foods! Sweeeeeet!

Clearly, I have a problem. Look what else I found while I was there!

Same calories as a bagel thin, but they are thick and fluffy! And they have tons of protein and fiber! Score!

Then I grabbed an iced coffee and came home to the breakfast I’d been dreaming about for like 3 days since I used the last of my PB & Co cinnamon raisin swirl–oats in a jar!

After breakfast, I had an appt for a massage! I have a hard time making appts like this for myself because I get stressed out making time, but it was much needed. I’ve been experiencing pain in my right hip and left heel since my long run on Saturday, and I also get serious tension head aches usually at least twice a week. Turns out, the massage therapist agrees and I am a hot mess. She gave me some new stretches for my achilles tendons, worked the crap out of my neck and enlightened me as to why my right hip was probably bugging me–Uneven sidewalks! She suggested I switch up which sides of the street I’m running on and try going the opposite way around the lake to even things out. Apparently, my neck, right hip, calves and heels are kind of a hot mess. Oy. I will definitely be going back and trying to take more time to give my body the thank you it deserves for carrying me all those miles!

When I came home, I decided to try my new bagels out for lunch. Toasted, topped with sliced tomato and reduced fat muenster cheese then stuck it under the burner broiler until the cheese was melty. Delicious.

Now I’m off to my really annoying 2 hours of work (couldn’t I just have the ENTIRE day off??? Pleasssseee??) and then celebrating Halloween with Steve, Jason, Hermano and the puppies. I have an amazing surprise for you tomorrow. I’ll give you a hint: it involves really cute puppies looking extra cute in funny costumes. πŸ˜‰

Skinnified Pumpkin Pie French Toast


When I saw Nicole’s recipe for pumpkin pie french toast, I wiped the drool from my mouth and began day dreaming about how I would make it myself. With all the plans and business happening in my life, I’ve been eating out a LOT. I used to love going out to eat, but let me tell you, after this weekend I am really pretty sick of it. I just want the time to make the food I want to make in my own kitchen, and have someone else clean up after me. Is that too much to ask?! πŸ˜‰ I have tons of recipes doggy eared and book marked that I am just waiting to try out. Now, ask me by the end of December and I will tell you “Uuugghhh, I’m so tired of cooking and baking and hosting. Just take me to Chipotle!” Balance right? Unfortunately my balance is like weeks of one thing followed by months of an other. Haven’t quite put them together…yet.

Anyway, Sunday morning I actually had the time, after laying in bed for a spectacular hour watching Grey’s Anatomy–I NEVER lay in bed in the morning–I’m always busy busy, must get up and be productive, but it was seriously the most amazing hour!–to make a real breakfast! Hooray!! I knew I had to give this French toast a try! Hit up Nicole’s page to find this original recipe and so many more amazing ones!

Her original recipe isn’t super unhealthy, but here are some swaps I made

  • 1/2 recipe
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk for regular (-calories)
  • More vanilla and spices (+yum)
  • Egg whites for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 sugar free maple syrup for brown sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • + protein powder (Gotta have my protein!)
  • Ezekiel bread for regular (Have you tried it? It’s a complete protein! Whatever that really means…)

Skinnified Pumpkin Pie French Toast

serves 2

  • 1/4 cupΒ  + 2 tbs (or don’t be picky and just use 1/3 cup :) ) pumpkin puree
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs (same rule applies) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • 1Β  tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 slices of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread
  • chia seeds (optional)


1. Whisk all ingredients (except bread and chia) together well.
2. Soak bread for 5-30 minutes, depending on patience/hunger.
3. Place in a sprayed nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat.
4. Sprinkle with chia seeds if desired
5. Flip when bottom is golden brown.
6. If you’re like me, drizzle any remaining soak mixture onto the bread and top with more chia seeds (Note, if you do this, you will have to flip again. It’s worth it.)
7. When both sides are finished cooking and golden brown, transfer to a plate and top with pumpkin yogurt topping.

Pumpkin Yogurt Topping

serves 1

  • 1/4 cup non fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tbs almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • If you’re like me and want to make sure you’re full for the rest of your life, you can add even more chia seeds


1. Whisk together and lay it on that toast!


Steve is less cool than me, and only tops with sf maple syrup. Good thing it’s sugar free because boy loves his syrup. I always ask if he wants some toast with his syrup. Then he just gives me a dirty look. Oh, marriage.

This French toast was A-MA-ZING!! I will make it again and again and again! Thanks Nicole for the delicious inspiration!!


More Than Half Way!!


Let me tell you, Saturday was a CRAZY day! I didn’t get to bed until almost 1am on Friday after the Fez fiasco, and I really thought my planned long run was going to be ruined because of it. But I got my butt out of bed at 5:40 and told myself I was going to make it happen. I must say, having the blog is fantastic for keeping me accountable. I tell everyone about my long runs in advance. Anyone who reads regularly expects a long run/new distance recap at this point. I am a people pleaser, so I have that extra kick when I would really rather sleep in. And the thing is, I am ALWAYS happy I did it. Always.

By the end of our first mile, I was already happy we had gone out and feeling pretty good. Then we got to mile 4 and I thought “Really?! I still have 3 miles to go?! Uuugghhhh.” But then something amazing happened! Once we hit mile 5, my attitude changed, I pumped it into gear and thought “Two miles?! Pssshhh, I’ve got this.” And I picked up my pace! Then we got to mile 6, and I got so excited about the idea of being done that I picked up my pace even more! We finished at T.C. Eggingtons in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. I am totally good with that time!

So at this point my fabulous husband took all sorts of pictures of us and celebrating completing our mileage and our delicious food. And then my fabulous husband deleted said photos because he thought he had transferred them. He hadn’t. At first I was super disappointed when I found out this morning, but then I got creative, drove to Starbucks and insisted to Kara that we do a reinactment of the moment.

“Grrrrr, you deleted our photos!”

“Wheeee, we ran 7 miles and are much less sweaty this photo shoot!”

“We are sooo hard core!!!”

“Look at our time! Pretty sweet, right?”

“And in case you didn’t realize how awesome we could be on 5 hours of sleep, check out our last mile! Why yes, that is an 8 in front of that 59!”

Unfortunately, this was the first time I felt a significant amount of pain after a long run. My right hip was really hurting and so was my left heal. Plus my achilles are always sore after. I was really worried and limping a little. I downed some meds, iced EVERYTHING and forced myself to get waist deep in the pool trying to simulate an ice bath since apparently there is no stopper for our tub. The good news is, I woke up this morning feeling totally normal! I just need to continue to be really careful and take good care of myself!

After our run and breakfast, I showered (you’re welcome), cleaned up the house and was off to sing with Jacob at Superstition Springs Mall, from which I headed directly to the theatre for Aladdin! It was definitely my fav of all of the performances. A good day to have 8 people there for me! My mom, Hank, my dad, his girlfriend Janie, my grandma, Steve, Jason, Liz and Bethany all came out to support me! And as if a great run wasn’t enough, during the Q&A the kids totally embarrassed me by answering a question (which complimented my ‘ography!) pointing me out and talking about how great I was. Totally blushed and all kinds of shy, but also I love to be told I’m wonderful πŸ˜‰

Steve got some more family pics.

Bethy’s birthday celebration followed pretty much immediately. Let me just say, this weekend I have consumed about a week’s worth of iced coffee,Β  but it has been so worth it. I’m tired and a little cranky, and I forget what free time actually feels like, but I love my life. My husband, my family, my friends, my career, my puppies. All of it. Hope you all are feeling as lucky as I am this evening :)

Best Friends


October 30th is one of my favorite days of the year. Why, you ask? My very best friend Bethany was born! I have a few friends that fall under best friend status, but I only have one Bethany. We’ve been friends for about 12 years. She has been there with me through all of my crazy times. She was there when I first experienced true loss. We experienced it together and because of her, I was able to get through it. She understands me in a way no one else in this world (not even Steve) does. We have watched each other grow up, change, evolve and become newer, better versions of ourselves. We have lived across the country, we have lived together, we have had fights ending in tears, and we have laughed harder than I ever knew I could laugh together. She is my rock. My person (for you fellow Grey’s Anatomy lovers). We get each other, and with Bethany I can always just be myself. I never have to pretend or put on a happy face or pretend I’m not excited about something nerdy. I can’t imagine my life without her.

Last night, we went out to celebrate! We started at Valle Luna where apparently the “tall” beer is the size of your head!


There was food. It was okay. Nothing special in my opinion. Well, Jason’s pollo fundido that went in the deep fryer and was then smothered in cheese was pretty delicious, but nothing else that I tasted had me all that impressed. But we sat outside next to the lake with the ducks that Kara and I often run at, which was lovely.

After dinner, we returned to mi casa for present opening, cupcakes and games!

I’m not a good person to share cards with, I took up all the space.

Bethy had been looking for a grey purse, but hadn’t found anything she liked, and she never splurges on nice things for herself, so Steve, Jason, and I pitched in together to get her this super cute grey Coach purse, with just a little color pop!

She loved it!! I was so happy! I LOVE gift giving!!!!

On the way home, we had stopped at Whole Foods for more beer. I definitely did not need more beer and in my tipsiness ended up spending $15 on Larabars and Mojo bars. Whoops. I was done with alcohol for the night πŸ˜‰ The rest of the group got a few beers to try. Some we knew would be a success

However, some–Le Freak–were an utter failure. Bethany exclaimed “Le Freak sucks!!!” Jason made this face.

The puppies were very excited about all the extra attention company brought them.

“GET AWAY!!!!!! Aunt Bethany is paying attention to ME!!”

“Look, I’m cute, love me.”

“I love you new friend Liz! Please stay here forever. Mom says you might move to AZ. Please make it be true!!!!!!”

We ate NOT Skinnified Tres Leches cupcakes. Not everyone likes their birthday food skinnified, so I try to oblige πŸ˜‰

And we played board games, laughed, and acted a little like children.


Thank you, Bernie for giving birth to the most amazing friend I have ever known and giving us reason to celebrate!


Skinnified Sunday: Marble Cupcakes


Here is part two in my catch up from all the amazingness that has been happening that I haven’t had time to post about! For Mona’s birthday, she requested marble cupcakes. I found a fabulous recipe at How Sweet Eats that originally came from Martha Stewart. Steve and I woke up at 6:30 so we could bake and photograph before he left for work. While we worked on our food, the puppies also worked on theirs

After Clementine inhaled her food as if we had never fed her before (that’s why there’s a can in her food bowl–to slow her down), she spent her time working on her cuteness

Which I’m pretty sure she has down pat

My Swaps:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour for regular flour (+protein, +fiber)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk for milk (-calories)
  • Reduced fat buttermilk for heavy cream (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)
  • Organic cane sugar/Splenda combo for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Unsweetened applesauce for butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat)

**Note, I usually swap egg whites for whole eggs, but this time I didn’t. Not for any reason other than I didn’t want to use the extra eggs. I’m cheap. You can sub egg whites πŸ˜‰

Skinnified Mini Marble Cupcakes

yield 48 mini cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (or just plain ol’ sugar)
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 3 large eggs (or 5 egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Sift together flour, salt and baking power.
3. In a separate bowl, combine milks.
4. In an electric mixer, combine applesauce, Splenda and sugar.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
6. Beat in vanilla.
7. Add in flour mixture in 3 bathes, alternating with two additions of milk mixture (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) and beating until combined.
8. For chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl.
9. Combine cocoa and boiling water into the bowl. Stir into 1 cup of reserved batter.
10. Fill lined mini cupcake tins half way with vanilla batter.
11. Top with chocolate batter so that each tin is 3/4 full.
12. Swirl with toothpick.
13. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
14. Cool and top with chocolate frosting (recipe below)

Unfortunately, I never did get a frosted picture, but I tasted the frosting and it was pretty delicious so here’s the recipe for that too!

Skinnified Chocolate Buttercream (or as skinnified as buttercream can be):

  • 1/2 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs fat free half and half
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1. With an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add vanilla, half and half, cocoa powder and 1/2 powdered sugar.
3. Beat, then slowly add the rest of powdered sugar, scraping down sides of the bowl.
4. Top cupcakes and enjoy!

A Special Birthday and My Rant About Fez


Oh my goodness, this weekend things went from busy to crazy around here. Basically every second of every day has been scheduled and with lots of good things, but I am TIRED! Let’s start with Friday. I woke up early to do some birthday baking, then worked, then went straight to see Aladdin, then straight to Mona’s birthday dinner!

I’d been really looking forward to this night because I love Mona and I love Fez. They have pretty much the best black bean burger and sweet potato fries on the planet. So we get to Fez, and I bring in the cupcakes I had made for Mona and they said they weren’t sure if they’d be able to serve them because of health code? Ummm, okay. I bring my own desserts everywhere and have never had a problem. But the guy took them anyway and put them in the fridge.

Dinner was great and I had a super fun time with all my Starbucks friends and ate delicious food. Everything was perfect, until….

Well, let me preface by it was getting late and Kara and I had plans to be up at the butt crack of dawn the next day for our long run, so when we noticed it was 10:45, Steve and I asked for our check and we asked them to bring out the cupcakes. At this point, they refused to open them, and so I asked to just have my container back. Well, 15 minutes goes by. No check, no cupcake container. 30 minutes goes by. No check, no cupcake container. Very grumpy Ari. I was tired from the day, I knew the later we stayed, the worse my chances were of having a good run the next morning, and I turned into a little bit of a Negative Nancy. It was a good 45 minutes after we asked before we saw our check and I good hour from when we asked that we were finally able to leave. It was RIDICULOUS. I love Fez. I really love the food and because of that, I’m sure I will still go back, but I will NEVER do a birthday or special event there EVER AGAIN.

Back to the fun part, the best part of the night was definitely the company

OurΒ  only three boys were segregated on their own side of the table and didn’t make it into this shot haha.

I love these girls!

Are we smiling? Because really we’re filled with anger at our stupid waiter for cutting into our rest before long run day!

Ok, the other best part? Once we FINALLY got my cupcakes back, everyone just opened the container and ate them right there anyway! HAH! Take that bitchy Fez waiter! I didn’t get to taste one because I was exhausted and ran out, but everyone said they loved them and they were a hit! Recipe coming soon! Happy birthday Mona!! Love you!!!

Getting Started Early


Hi friends! After getting nothing legitimate accomplished at Starbucks, I ventured over to TargetΒ  to get some teaching tools AKA kids story books. That’s the fun kind of prep work–shopping at Target in the kiddie book aisle! I quickly realized that I am not the only one with the holidays on the brain

I had to force myself to refrain from buying some wrapping paper. I LOVE wrapping paper. I always want to buy the fanciest, most expensive kind. Hobby Lobby always has really good deals on it though and super cute ones which is the only reason why I didn’t come home with a “premium” roll. I also was thiiiiiiiis close to buying this baby that I’ve been eying since last year!

Oh holidays, I love you. After swooning over the beginnings of the Christmas section, I left with the things I came for

But also a few extras for me :)

I came home and made myself a super weird lunch. For some reason I was craving pasta which almost never happens these days (maybe it’s my body begging me for carbs because of the extra running?) and I almost never have pasta for lunch. In fact even that idea sounds gross and heavy right now, but I REALLY wanted it so I took a small amount of whole wheat angel hair, a bunch of green beans and garlic that I roasted in the oven, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, TJ’s pre cooked lentils, salt and pepper and made a weird, but delicious and satisfying meal

It was weird. Don’t try it–you probably won’t like it. But I did, you know, cause I’m weird.

Alright, I need to get to bed. I have a busy morning tomorrow filled with baking for TWO BIRTHDAYS!!! My favorite!! Obviously, I just love to CELEBRATE!! New cupcake recipes coming your way this weekend :)

Counting Down to Thanksgiving!

Hi friends! Today I am super productive in all the wrong ways. I have SO MUCH work to do, but can’t tear myself away from Thanksgiving planning long enough to do any of it. I’m a little burnt out on work, obviously. This morning started out amazingly. I got to sleep until 7:00 which is a really nice change for me, then I resisted the urge to get up and get things done and laid in bed and snuggled with my favorite guys. Winston is so funny in the morning. He rolls around and gets all up in my business and is perfectly content staying in bed for hours if I stayed there with him. I love that dog :)

I also woke up with absolutely no work out plan since Kara and I had decided not to do spin. I REALLY wanted to take today off because my body is tiiiiired, but I know I have to take tomorrow off in order to have fresh legs for our 7 mile long run on Saturday, so I took Winnie out on a short and easy (hah yeah right, even a jog is NEVER easy for me, but I wanted to be one of those people who talks about an “easy run” for a second) jog around the neighborhood. We went 1.6 miles, and called it good. At least I got some movement today, right? Yeah, I’m being a little lazy. Maybe tomorrow if I have time I will go and do some upper body to make me feel like less of a lame-o.

After our jog, I showered and made myself a pumpkin pie smoothie and headed top Starbucks to get some “work” done. But so far all I’ve done is decide that one project cannot be done on my computer, and spend a ridiculous amount of time browsing Thanksgiving recipes. I am hoping to get my recipes together ASAP and post them before Thanksgiving, that way if anyone would like to snag one and use it, you will be able to. So far, here is the menu


  • Fresh bread (haven’t decided exactly what kind yet–suggestions?)
  • Sweet potato chips with yogurt dipping sauce
  • Deviled eggs (made by Steve’s mom, Lisa. Hers are deliccciiiooouuus.)


  • Stuffing (still haven’t found the right recipe and stuffing is my fav part!! Suggestions?)
  • Soup (butternut squash or sweet potato or pumpkin–or some combo of the 3, got any great recipes?)
  • Roasted garlic mushrooms (made them last year and LOVED them!)
  • Roasted veggies (This girl loves vegetables, so more than one veggie dish is totally acceptable! My mom is making these)
  • My mom’s famous (at least to me) mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top


  • Turkey πŸ˜‰


  • Pumpkin cheesecake (that I will modify from this recipe. If you’ve never visited Eat Better America, DO IT!!! Tons of great healthy recipes!)
  • Brownies with BUTTERMILK ICE CREAM!!! (I’ve never made ice cream, let alone tried to modify a recipe–any tips or suggestions?)

And there you have it folks, my 2012 Thanksgiving Menu! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!! November is right around the corner, and I have my unexpected day off on November 11th to get ready and also do some early holiday shopping. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!! Also, if any of you AZ peeps I know and love find yourself without a family to spend this Thanksgiving with, PLEASE let me know. My doors are open and I would NEVER want anyone to spend this holiday alone! Sharing food with people I love is the epitome of happiness for this girl :)

Rolling with the Clementine


Hi friends, did I mention I finally broke down and bought a foam roller? Did I also mention that I HATE foam rolling. It does not hurt so good. It just hurts. Buuuuttt, I do it because I don’t want to be sore, and I bought a pretty bright green one to make it more appealing. Green is my favorite color. In case you haven’t seen my wardrobe πŸ˜‰ So today after my run, I got on the foam roller to try to work out some of my super tight leg muscles and no sooner do I start rolling, than does Clementine run and start love nibbling my face. I don’t understand why she does it or what she thinks she is doing, but she ALWAYS tries to nibble on my face and my ears. I don’t know if she’s trying to play with me? It’s usually cute, but also very annoying. I’ve tried to make her stop, but apparently I have no puppy discipline her cuteness makes telling her no nearly impossible. So this was my foam rolling experience

Of course Winston wasn’t far away either.

And then I tried to switch rolling positions, but she outsmarted me.

I love that silly dachshund. She drives me nutty, but she has so much personality, and determination! She is like no other dog I’ve ever met, and as annoying as her face nibbles are, it usually just makes me smile :)

In other news, I’ve been wanting to share this review of Aladdin! Come see the show!!! It really is a great production, I feel. Friday at 7, Sat/Sun at 2 @ Greaseaint Youth Theatre. If you go Friday or Saturday, you will get the pleasure of seeing me there! πŸ˜‰

In even more news, I checked my site stats today and noticed something new, clicked on it and realized someone posted my cupcakes on pinterest!!!!! The recipe for my Skinnified Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes! I’m so excited!!! I made Steve pause the Top Chef finally so I could show him. Now I must see who wins! Routing for Sally! Have a fabulous night everyone.


Food Guilt

After pressing publish on my last post there is only one thing that has been on my mind.I try to avoid too much detail about what I refer to as “the dark ages” because…well, for a lot of reasons. I prefer to talk about where I am now, you never know who reads the blog, I’d rather talk about rainbows and sunshine :) But I feel like this is a topic that a lot of people struggle with and I always try to keep things honest.

For me, eating a donut is hard. Don’t get me wrong, the actual eating, I love or I wouldn’t do it,Β  I have a HUGE sweet tooth and I learned that completely cutting things out of my diet leads nowhere good. If I legitimately don’t want a dessert, I won’t eat one, but today I did and it tasted amazing and in the moment I didn’t worry about what anyone else was thinking about my food choices or what the scale would say tomorrow. I took my time, was cautious about my portion and enjoyed my freaking donut tastes. In fact, it wasn’t until after I posted about it that my mind started running around like a psycho.

“I can’t believe you just told the world you ate a donut.”

“Everyone is going to be judging you.”

“You’re going to get fat…er”

“You have lost control.”

Then, like an idiot, I went and weighed myself to see how much weight I had gained today since I ate the donut. Yes, I am aware that this is crazy. To prove it, the scale played mind games and showed a lower number than it did this morning. Apparently, donuts make you lose weight. Hah. Not.

I let my mind do it’s crazy thing for a little bit before forcing myself to take a shower, make a healthy lunch that my brain had been trying to convince me I was not hungry for and did not need to be eating, and get honest about one of my biggest food challenges. I experience food guilt almost every time I eat a dessert, almost any time I eat later at night (even if my last meal was at 4 and I worked until 9), and sometimes after a perfectly healthy meal just because I feel full and it scares me.

Blogging about food and the fear of judgement from others and not being “thin enough” to have any right to talk about healthy living sometimes amplifies that fear, but more often than not it is a healthy outlet for me. Every single healthy living blog I read, the blogger is not a perfect eater–there is no such thing. I’ve read about other bloggers eating donuts and ice cream and french fries. And I don’t judge them. I appreciate that they, like me, are not perfect and that they are human and that part of healthy balance includes indulgences.

Thanks for listening to my crazy rambles. Hopefully now you don’t think I’m a total psycho haha. If you do, well…you’re probably right on some level πŸ˜‰

Running for Donuts


Hello friends! This Wednesday started out absolutely perfectly! Well, maybe not started out, but within the first hour it got fabulous. Getting out of bed at 5:45 this morning was no picnic because I stayed up too late working on my running playlist on my ipod. I finally got out of bed, was running late and then my stupid GPS did not give me correct directions and my phone wouldn’t work and blah blah blah. But finally about 10 minutes late, I met up with Kara at Kiwanis Park. Can you believe I actually needed my GPS to drive there? For some reason, I have never actually been the driver when going and I don’t pay attention. Ever.

Kara and I started out on our run around the park and my legs felt tiiiiired. Like lead. Maybe it was my interval run Sunday, followed by Monday’s hike, followed by spin yesterday? Also, there were several small hills throughout the park and this girl is used to flat flat flat. Although our duck filled lake route has some small inclines, these were definitely steeper. Kara and I both acknowledged that today was seeming super challenging, but I gave us a little pep talk (which I needed just as much as her) and realized that we were actually making pretty decent time. I said “I have a surprise for you, but we have to rock the end of our run for you to get it!” When we finished, I showed her this amazingness

My previous (and the only time I had ever actually done 4 miles before) 4 mile time was 40:58. Almost 2 whole minutes off!!!!

And the best part, I didn’t realize until later

We ran our 4th mile in 8:57!!!!!! I don’t think I have EVER run a sub 9 min mile before!!! I almost cried. I know I will most certainly cry when I cross that half marathon finish line. I know I’ve said it over and over again, but I just never imagined that I would be able to do this. I was the kid in PE who walked at the back of the pack when we were supposed to run the mile. I told myself for so many years that I couldn’t do things. I so believe that it is all mental, and that we can do anything if we want it badly enough. I need a shirt for the race that says “I can do anything.” Nothing makes me feel better than those 4 words.

Now onto the super fun part (as much fun as wanting to do at a 9 min pace is, food is much more fun)! On our last long run, we ran by Bosa Donuts.

It smelled so freaking good that we wanted to just stop right there and get a donut before finishing our run, but we knew that if we stopped, we would never stop again that wasn’t a good idea. We did promise ourselves that eventually we would go try a donut though. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I went out for a donut.Β  We walked in and I was so overwhelmed I didn’t even know where to start.

Today is Mona’s birthday (YAY!!! Happy birthday my amazing friend!! I love you!!!) so we were bringing a box of donuts to Starbucks with us. We carefully selected 12 donuts (who has a hard time choosing 12? Apparently us) including what ended up being my favs: blueberry cake and buttermilk. It smelled so freaking amazing. Kara in all of her excitement exclaimed “We’re going to be consumed by donut air!!!!!” And we were. We left with this

So excited we could hardly contain ourselves

When we finally got to Starbucks, I got an other delicious iced coffee with sf vanilla and sf peppermint. Just like yesterday.

And when the line died down, we dug into the donut box! We wanted to sample lots of them, so we got plastic knives and went to town!

I took pretty small tastes of several of them, probably totaling about a whole donut all together. I was trying to keep it closer to half a donut. Maybe we’ll just pretend it was more like half πŸ˜‰ After we dug in, the box looked like this

Mona with her birthday (and not just any birthday–21!!!) donut

While I was there, I had an unexpected visit with an old co-worker, as well as getting to see Bekki and Amelia and one of my favorite student mom’s, Beth!! Beth has the three loveliest girls on Earth and it is no surprise because she is totally amazing herself and any time I see her, she always makes me smile! Plus I hardly ever get to see Amelia and she makes my heart happy, and Bekki I just love. Amazing morning.

I also helped Kara set up her new blog!!!! “Ranting and Running” Go check it out!!!

Free Always Tastes Better


Hi friends. It’s funny, today was not a crazy work day, but it’s 8:30 pm and I feel totally wiped. I started this morning by doing some upper body weights with Kara before heading into spin class. I did 2 supersets

Bicep concentration curl (15 lbs, 3 sets of 12)

3 point shoulder lift–I don’t remember the exact name, just that it was for shoulders and my trainer at the time said something about 3 point. I remember that because I smartly remakrd “Oh then I should just use 3 lb weights!” (5 lb each hand, 3 sets of 10)


Pushups (3 sets of 15)

Dips (3 sets of 15)

It looks like so little all typed out, but I have sucked big time at my strength training lately and I was feeling it! Then of course spin almost killed me. It seems like every single time I am a good little spin student and push myself to up my flat road, the next class she is telling us whatever we did last time, we need to push it up one higher. The forever student in me wants to raise my hand and ask “But excuse me, what if I raised my flat road last week? Do I raise it again already? Please hold my hand every step of the way and give me all of the answers.” Instead I gave myself a little pep talk that went something like this

“Look, quit b****ing out, and raise your flat road whether you just raised it or not! You want to look good naked!”

So apparently my new flat road is gear 11. That simultaneously sucks and is awesome. I mean I feel awesome that my flat road was 7 and now supposedly it’s 11, but let’s be honest–11 might as well be a hill!!!! It is freaking hard!! And when we go up from there?!?! At the top of the steepest hill today, the last time Linda told us to add a gear, I just looked at Kara and said “Are you Fing kidding me?!” But I love it. Every second. When sweat drips into my eyes and I feel like my legs can pedal no more, I am so happy to be there in the class and not completely suck.

After class I got an other delicious pepperminty iced coffee from The Bux. Grande iced coffee, 3 pumps SF vanilla, 1 pump SF peppermint, soy milk, light ice. Perfection. Then I came home and made some cinnamon apple oats. Steve mentioned the other day about eating one of those oatmeal packets (gross) in the cinnamon apple flavor and ever since I have had it on the brain! I used

  • 1/3 cup slow cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • gaala apple, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbs raisins
  • 1 tbs ish PB & Co cinnamon raisin swirl

I cooked it all together on the stove over medium heat, except the raisins (which I added in almost at the end) and the PB which went right on top. It was so yummmmmy,

Tonight, we had plans to go to the state fair. We were supposed to go Saturday, but things came up and our plans changed to today. Well, we drove all the way there in rush hour only to discover the fair is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Fail. Booooooo. We figured we were all together (my dad, Hermano, Steve and me) so we might as well do something and headed for dinner at True Foods. I love love love True Foods. Steve took more pictures of the crazy fam

Then asked me to pose for a picture, but I was not looking cute so I definitely was not in the mood. He made a puppy dog face so I acted like a 5 year old, stood where he told me and scowled at him. Karma. I ended up looking crazy evil in the photo!

Scarrrrrrryyyy!!! But perfect for Halloween! PS: My shirt says “Coffee makes me happy.” So fitting.

After dinner, we went to Yogurtology for some fro yo. Seriously, if you live in Phoenix, you must go there. They have the best yogurt, hands down. Get the oatmeal cookie flavor and you will not be disappointed. I got 6 oz of oatmeal cookie with about 1/2 tbs of nutella on top. Best combo ever. Except…..

They were out of spoons. I had to use a big metal topping spoon haha. But I got my yogurt for free, so I don’t mind! Free always tastes better! I would eat it with a spatula as long as I don’t have to pay! Wow–is it politically incorrect to make fun of my Jewishness on the internet? In person it always seems so harmless because every just knows I’m Jewish so I’m allowed to make fun of myself. Here it feels so taboo, like someone will get the wrong idea and think I’m an anti Semite! I love my people, and all of our quirks and stereotypes!

Now I’m watching some Biggest Loser and gonna head to bed early because I have an early training run with Kara tomorrow am! Goodnight all!