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

Our  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 Target  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 ;)


  • 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 ;) 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! ;)

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,  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 ;)