Happy Things

Hi friends! I missed you! I know I was only away for less than a week, but I’ve been way less present to blogging the last 6 weeks as I’ve been way more present to my summer job and soaking up the amazing people I only get to see a few weeks out of the year, but now I’m back home (wahhh, it’s hot) and ready to reunite with my kitchen and you lovely people! So to jump back in, I wanted to share with you some happy things I came home to.

1. A jar of this deliciousness. While I was away, NuttZo sent me a jar of their crunchy chocolate flavor to try, and it is absolutely amazing. One of the first things I did when I got home was open it up, and it is drippy, crunchy, just the right amount of sweet, and totally addictive. I already have to monitor myself to make sure I don’t go through the entire jar in two days. It includes peanuts, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and hazelnuts. It is better than any chocolate nut spread that I have ever tasted, and I am obsessed with the crunchiness. I must find a way to recreate in my kitchen!


2. A super sweet card from Heather about my upcoming speaking engagement at the Healthy Living Summit! I am beyond excited to be speaking, and really looking forward to meeting some of my favorite people from around the internet. Because that’s a totally normal thing to look forward to, right?

3. These faces. ‘Nuff said.

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Also finally having the sound of puppy nails on the tile again! I missed that!

4. A RUNNER HUSBAND!!! Without a doubt the happiest thing that happened while I was away is that Steve started the couch to 5k program! He’s on week 5, and hasn’t missed a beat since he started. I am unbelievably proud, and it means I need to get my butt in gear with some swim lessons so I can actually announce some exciting future plans. ;)



Isn’t she beaaaauuutiful? She needs a new seat because this one is, um, not working for me, but she is everything I dreamed she would be. Also,  road bikes are super sensitive to your movements. No more off in la la land while I ride my bike for me. I actually have to pay attention now. Crap.

6. I was in the Arizona Republic today along with one of my besties! Check it out!

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7. The months of February, March and April, I ran zero miles. In May I ran 24, in June I ran 38, and in July I ran 56. I was feeling a little down on myself that I still haven’t run longer than 5 miles and I am supposed to run a marathon in November, but I know Coach Susan is, like, a billion times smarter than me, and I know she has a plan, but seeing the numbers build up and actually being able to see my progress really lifted my spirits. Slowly, but surely I will get back to where I was last November and December, and really I have my whole life to get faster, so what’s the rush?

8. I really love my bed and my couch. I’m glad to be back to “real life”. Still totally missing Portland and my girls up there, but happy to be in my home with my kitchen and my Kitchenaid and my Vitamix. ;)

Disclosure: The NuttZo was sent to me to review for blog purposes. All opinions are my own.

Weekend Ramblings

1. I am 90% sure I haven’t told you this already (if I’m wrong, I’m sorry and it won’t be the last time it happens…), but I am thrilled to announce I will be speaking at Healthy Living Summit with my fellow D&D host Nicole on video content! I am over the moon. I applied thinking it was a long shot, and I was shocked when I found out we were chosen! It’s going to be my first blogging conference, and I am stoked. Are you going? You should be!

2. So you know how cilantro and goat cheese are my favorite foods? Well, the other day, I tried to make a cilantro goat cheese pesto. It was disgusting. I kept trying to add and change things, but it was just gross, and the texture was, like…butter. Not in a good way. Ew. I can’t even explain it. Then I tried to make rosemary pesto which was also a horrific failure. I guess I should have just made this.

3. I’m on a break from teaching right now, so I’ve been home a lot more which makes Winston super happy. Clementine couldn’t care less, but Winston follows my every step. Every single day when I’ve gotten out of the shower, he’s been laying on the tile in front of the door waiting for me. Then he gets excited and acts like we haven’t seen each other in years. I wonder what it’s like to be a dog.

4. I made a press page! I don’t have any idea if I did it “right”. In fact, I had no idea what I was doing, so I looked at Sally’s and Nicole’s. I figured they did it right. Also, do people really keep track of all of their features and things like that? Am I just super disorganized?? It was cool to see a list of the things I’ve done and the places that thought I was cool enough to share. Seriously, every time someone shares one of my recipes, whether it’s a big publication or an other blogger, it makes my heart so happy. I never actually thought anyone would read this thing.

5. This video. I can’t stop watching it. I may even love it as much as Beauty and the Beat? I always drag my heels about watching youtube videos that people tell me are funny, because most of them….aren’t. But this. Just watch it. Actually, watch like the first minute of Taylor Swift’s 22 video, then watch it. You’re welcome.

6. Last weekend I played Rockband at Nicole’s house. The only song I actually knew the words to? Wannabe. I sang the crap out of that song. I got a 95% which in case you didn’t know is a solid A. Except, did you know they say “slam your body down and wind it all around”? I’ve been singing “slam your body down and party all around” since about 1996.

7. I really hate that stupid eagle pose in yoga. BTW, I love yoga now. Like, actually love, and I want to do a real post explaining my change in tune, but right now I just want to complain about stupid eagle pose because I SUCK at it. The only good thing about it is getting to go into star pose after. That one’s fun. Also, I’m working on my headstands. I can get to it, but then it’s so hard to get my legs in the air. I tried today and they made it up for about .5 seconds. HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO STAY???

8. I recently (I know so late to the party) started watching Dexter. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. Like, I can’t go to sleep because I want to watch “just 1 more” episode. About 7 times. I’m really into anything psychological, and I have a huge fascination with mental illness (freak?) and all of the psychology of a serial killer, and the backstory along with ideas of why we become “what we are” is totally up my alley. I’m only at the beginning of season 2, so if you give me any spoilers, I swear our friendship will be over. I’m already too good at guessing and I hate it.

9. I spent all this time cleaning out my office so that I could actually use it to do work from home, but I can’t seem to make myself work anywhere other than my couch, standing at the kitchen counter (weirdo…not comfortable) or my dining room table. I think it’s the idea of a smaller room getting me down? I don’t know. I’m a freak.

10. Please tell me I’m not the only one with powdered sugar all over my DLSR? This is a common issue, right? My photographer husband doesn’t seem to find it common. Or cute. Or endearing. Or amusing.

11. I discovered the countdown app. I’d been meaning to get it for a while, but now I think I may have a problem…



What’s on your mind? Tell me awesome things.

Weekend Ramblings

1. About a month ago, I ran out of conditioner, so I went to Target to buy more. Well, about a week later, I realized that my hair felt kinda funky. I checked out my “conditioner” that actually turned out to be shampoo in a different bottle color. I then continued to have no conditioner for an other 2-3 which is how long it took me to remember to go to Target and buy some. I never seem to have a problem remembering to buy chocolate…

2. This morning I went to the grocery store at 10am and left with candy canes, fat free half and half, chocolate syrup, and a big bottle of Whiskey. It was a successful trip.

3.  I just discovered podcasts. I don’t know how that’s possible, but in 24 hours I’ve downloaded approximately 15 Jillian Michaels podcasts, and I made Steve listen to them in the car with me. He was not impressed.

4. My friend Nicole introduced me to gizoogle. It’s pretty much the most amazing website that has ever existed. Here are a few of the best exerpts from my bog:

  • I gotz a fundraisin goal of $5,000 ta support Chizzlez fo’ Lil Pimps AZ. Chizzlez fo’ Lil Pimps provides game n’ fitnizz opportunitizzles fo’ underprivileged youth. If yo ass wanna ta donate, please git on over
  • My fuckin name is Ari. I be just a other ho whoz ass pimped a bona fo’ hustlin ta balizzle up mah bona fo’ baked phats. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Somewhere along tha way I lost 75 lbs n’ discovered tha thug I wanna be.
  • Yo Ass don’t have ta run ta be fit. Yo Ass just have ta find dat muthafuckin thang dat yo ass ludd, tha muthafuckin thang dat fills yo ass wit accomplishment, n’ motivates you, n’ do dat shit. I found hustlin. Da muthafuckin thang I thought I hated da most thugged-out fo’ realz. And it turns out, I kind of ludd dat shit.
  • I had always heard bout gangstas whoz ass ran marathons. It seemed so impossible ta mah crazy ass yo, but ever since I done cooked up tha decision ta git gamey, it had been dis trip up in tha back of mah mind. I decided dat I needed ta do some shiznit fo’ me.

Last night we put in Bank of America which was referred to as Bank of Tha Ghetto. It’s now provided me hours of entertainment. To participate in the awesomeness, you just put any website into the search bar and click “gizoogle this shiznit”.

5. On a slightly related note, if you’ve never seen this video, it is a must.

Also this video has nothing to do with gizoogle or inappropriate stereotypes, but it just makes me sosoSO happy.

Watch it. It will bring you a happiness.

6. My student secret santa made me a quote book of ridiculous things I’ve said during rehearsal, and funny things other people have said. I say the weirdest crap. Favorite quotes include “It’s okay to touch each other.” and “Touch my feet!” I don’t know why I ever tried to get someone to touch my feet, other than I’m gross and have no social skills. The book also included pictures that she drew (ummm I love this girl) and one of them was me leaning on the piano with the quote “Girl, you trippin'”. I honestly don’t know why anyone hires me to work with children. They are more mature than I am…

7. I LOST MY FIRST TOENAIL!!! Everyone thinks I’m gross, but I feel excited only. I took pictures, but decided not to post them on the blog. Sorry to disappoint…

8. MY CHRISTMAS TREE IS UP!!! And also Winston is cute.

9. Clementine is cute too…

NYC Marathon Training Week 14?

If you’re training for a marathon but don’t run a single step, does the week still count? If a tree falls in the forrest… Okay, but really. Our bodies are funny, funny creatures. Up until this week, I think I had skipped one track work out (my honeymoon) and two recovery runs (tech week, and one week with no good excuse other than I didn’t do it) in 13 weeks. I’d say I’ve been getting little marathon training gold stars. I’d give myself an A on the whole “following the training plan” thing. The whole “listening to my body” thing? Well, I certainly haven’t been failing, but I am definitely the type of person that when someone tells me to do something, I want to do it, and do it flawlessly. I’m a total people pleaser, and having a coach that I admire and respect so much makes me really want to do all my training runs and do them “right” and show Coach Susan what an exceptional little coach-ee she has in me. COACH SUSAN, I NEED GOLD STARS!!!!

Anyway, I’ve ignored aches and pains, chalking them up to being part of the training process, and while 90% of the time I would say I made the right choice every single time I went out to run, I think I have some things to learn about the rest of the whole training process, like you know, sleeping, and taking care of myself in other areas. It’s a hard to come to the realization that marathon training is about so much more than the runs. It’s about me. It’s one of the only things I have ever committed myself to that literally requires me to put myself first, which I actually think is maybe why I wanted to do it in the first place. Not that I am this amazing selfless person that only cares about others, but I often feel guilty about putting myself first.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job battling that guilt, and taking the reins in my life, but I realize  that I’m not quite there yet, and that’s okay. I’ve made time for my runs, for the part of training that someone else sees and can check me off for following instructions, but my mind and body were begging for a ditch day. In college, I called them “mental health days”, where I just called in sick to school for absolutely no reason, and went shopping. They didn’t happen all too often, but they were so necessary, and worth it. I didn’t take a mental health week, and I wouldn’t have, so my body stepped in, and forced me to take some much needed rest.

Let me back track to last Sunday. I ran with Jason in Prescott, rolled my same ankle for the billionth time, and it hurt. It hurt all day, and it was scary, so I woke up Monday and rode my bike in exchange for the easy run scheduled. Then Tuesday I woke up with what my doctor later described as “the same bacteria everyone else has right now”. Actually, that was the nurse practitioner. I feel like my doctor may have been slightly more descriptive. Anyway, I uncharacteristically listened to my body. I rested.

Clementine assisted in the resting process. She’s real good at it.

I even called out of my afternoon classes/rehearsal on Wednesday. I slept and laid around my house in the mornings instead of running while my super annoying body waited all freaking week to get it’s act together.

I did an easy bike ride on Friday with Nicole, and then today when I woke up for the first time all week feeling on the rode to not feeling like crap, I did a more challenging bike ride with Steve (where we averaged like 20 mph for a good 6 miles straight–speedy for this slow poke!!). I went out to dinner one night with some of the AZ Bloggers, and I got through the rest of my work week, but otherwise, I stayed in, ate lots of soup (some cooked by my awesome and sweet husband), and recharged.

I have to admit, it’s not easy mentally to take an entire week off this far into the training, but I am grateful that this was a cutback week anyhow, and I am not missing any of my key runs. It may not be what I would view as “ideal”, but more importantly, I feel like it’s what my body viewed as “necessary”. Bodies are smart. It’s probably best not to argue. I mean, what do I know anyway? ;)

I plan to take the start of this week slow while I’m still getting better, but I have 18 miles waiting for me on Saturday that I plan to tear up! After the week off, these legs are ready for some action!

How do you deal with illness while training? Run through it? Time off? Cry? Tell me awesome things about your training, so I know that somewhere out in the world people are having awesome runs that I can live vicariously through!!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Hello from Ashland, OR! Tons of exciting things happening right now! Yesterday, I left Phoenix for the next 7 weeks. I’m on a little bit of a vacation for the next few days visiting my friend Mandie, then teaching/directing/choreographing in Portland, then off to Maui for my (late) honeymoon. Whew. Can you imagine packing for that many things at once? It was a little ridiculous. Even Clementine thought so.

“Mom. I think you’re forgetting something. If you don’t pack me, who will run circles around your neck and nibble on your nose all summer? Huhhhh???”

It’s definitely going to be a challenge to be away from Steve for the next 6 weeks. Before I left, he took me on the best date ever. This guy. He is amazing. It started out with my first trip ever to the baking supply store!

Then dinner at Bandera.

They have the bessssst cornbread!


Baking store and bread? Clearly, he know the way to my heart. ;)

I arrived in Ashland late last night, and pretty much went straight to bed. I can’t stay with Mandie because she has a cat, but she put me up in a super cute hotel down town! It kind of reminds me of a fancier hostel. There’s a shared bathroom, but private rooms, and the rooms are super cute and homey looking.

I woke up bright and early this morning. Of course. Why would my body ever possibly let me sleep in? Actually, it wasn’t bad, though. I looked at my phone, and it read 52 degrees, and I looked outside and saw clouds, and felt a beautiful breeze. I couldn’t wait to get outside, get my workout in, and explore the city! Today is the first official day of my marathon training. I had high hopes that my body would be like “OMG marathon training!! ALL BETTER!! Run all you want, Ari!” You can call me silly, but I prefer idealistic ;)

The truth is, running still hurts. Almost immediately. But it’s okay. I had surgery less than 2 weeks ago, and as much as I would love to wear a cape and stuff, I’m not super woman. The good news is it’s so early that this won’t set me back, and the mileage is really low, so I can walk my training plan until I’m back to normal. I actually forgot how great walking can be! I walked around downtown Ashland before finding Lithia Park that Mandie had mentioned to me when we drove in last night.

This park was absolutely gorgeous!! I really wished I had brought my camera with me, and not just my phone. I will definitely have to go back before I leave. I did manage to capture a bit of it on the android, though.

This beautiful creek runs all the way through the park, and there are tons of benches, and places to sit, as well as little paths down to the water. If I lived here, I would be here every day. The road started off paved, then turned into a trail.

I just kept walking, and let myself kind of get lost in there. I had been so excited to get out this morning, I hadn’t even thought to grab my ipod, and I ended up being really glad to be out there without it, and just be with nature. I saw lots of other walkers, a few runners (jealous face), and even some people doing yoga! Everyone was super friendly. In fact, I am kind of obsessed with this town. If I never make it back to Phoenix, you know why…

I have this thing for water. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the desert.

And the coolest part? I saw DEER!!!!!

I was walking by, and I heard rustling. The next thing I knew I was 3 feet away from these deer, staring them in the face. They weren’t the least bit frightened of me. How cool!!! Speaking of, I don’t know if I ever mentioned the time Nicole and I went on a driving adventure in Tempe, and saw a zebra in someone’s back yard?

Not quite as cool as the deer, but definitely interesting, haha. Can you imagine owning a zebra? Anyway, now I’m sitting at Starbucks enjoying some hot coffee.

Ohhh, how I’ve missed you. Grande bold coffee, 2 pumps sf mocha, 1 pump sf caramel, steamed soy.

Also, I have some really exciting news! A couple of weeks ago, I finally did something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, and I applied to be a FitFluential ambassador. I never thought in a million years that I would be accepted, but last night I received an email inviting me to join the team, and I am BEYOND thrilled!!! What an amazing opportunity to be a part of a community I value so highly with other bloggers that I admire. I am a lucky gal!