new blog address!

13 Feb

it’s time for a move…

change your links to


snow day! (again)

13 Feb

I really am a New England girl at heart. I was born here, I lived here for most of elementary school…and then I was uprooted to go live 3000 miles away in the middle of the desert. I came back for college and never left. That means at this point, I’ve spent just about 3/4 of my life in the Boston metro area, and I love it here.

There is always, however, a point in February where it’s like…. enough already.

It’s been snowing for weeks. And icy. And nasty. This is all OK when we get a snow day – I LOVE snow days – but when we don’t it’s quite frankly a pain in my ass. Today we got hit with the latest storm, and it was only forecast to be a few inches in the Boston area, and quickly switch to rain around noon. It just started sleeting (looks frozen!) within the last hour.

The college where I teach Tuesday/Thursday did not cancel class today, but I made arrangements and canceled mine – I didn’t want my commuter students driving in it, since anywhere outside of 95 was supposed to get far more snow – and they decided to close school at 2:10, right when my class would have ended. Now I feel more like I made the right decision, as I watch Twitter scroll by and see people post about the horrendous roads and traffic.

If I had gone to teach, I would have been angry. Now I’m just… sick of snow as related to my marathon training. I was supposed to do my long run today, but I’m not running in the sleet, and I’m not driving to the gym, either. Now I’ll do it… early tomorrow, if the weather is better? Or Sunday? (Saturday I get to try a class at Flywheel, which I am psyched about, but it does mess with my training schedule when it WON’T STOP SNOWING.) Other than the running factor, I don’t mind too much except for walking in ice (too clumsy for ANY of that – I walked the Giz this morning and we both almost ate it several times). I’ve actually lived in a place where there aren’t extreme differences between seasons, and I prefer this – nothing is sweeter than perfect summer days in New England.

It does hurt a little to look at the weather at my mom’s in Fountain Hills, Arizona and see this, though….


For the sake of comparison, here’s ours…


Also, apparently Fountain Hills is hosting the International UFO Conference this weekend? guess I really should go visit in February.

Marathon Monday 02.10.14

10 Feb

You guys. I am so tired. 

See, here’s the thing. I know lots of us are always tired, and we all work all the time, and do other things, and I get it… but I’m not usually like this. I was described in high school as being a “ball of enthusiasm and energy” and it’s true, generally, I have approximately 45x more energy than your average person.

But now? I’m tired. And starving. Marathon training is taking a lot out of me.*

Last week we had a winter storm on Wednesday, when I was planning on doing my long run. I didn’t want to drive to the gym in the snow so I decided to run outside, which was really fun!


Less fun? After that, my hamstring started to hurt. It hurt more throughout the day on Thursday, kind of a lot by Thursday night and Friday, and I started to panic. I rolled the crap out of it and it felt 100% better on Saturday, so I went to the gym to run on the treadmill and do my long run… I made it 4 miles before it started to hurt and I called it a day.

That means my mileage last week? 7 miles. Yikes. Not exactly what I was hoping for… 

I’m hoping that will just serve as my “step-back week” and this week I’ll be back, but right now I’m too tired to go check. Gym in the morning. We’ll see how it goes!

Anyone have any advice for me on how to deal with all this tired, other than a lot of coffee? :)

* also tired because there’s been a lot going on OTHER than running. More on that later. Nothing bad!


I’m running the 2014 Boston Marathon on Team BIDMC, raising money for the annual fund at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I’d love your support! You can see my official fundraising page here, check out the long sleeved shirts or tank tops I designed, or if you’re local even come to the big fundraiser! Unsure of what to donate? How about $10, because this week is week #10 of training?

Be Healthier in 2014 – Vega One #OneChange Initiative

25 Jan

disclaimer: I was sent a free Vega One pack to try out for this blog post (but to be totally honest, I had already bought the same thing at Whole Foods to try, so I jumped at the chance!) as a SweatPink Ambassador. All opinions are my own. 

Since the start of 2014, the biggest thing on my mind has been running this year’s Boston Marathon. It’s a huge goal and it’s something I’m thinking about constantly throughout the day. One of the biggest changes I am trying to make is eating better and drinking more water -getting in the miles is a big part of it, but you have to eat well too.

I’m constantly struggling with having enough to eat with me during the day that is easily portable and easy to make/keep without having constant access to a fridge, and that’s why I was so excited to try Vega One. I was intrigued by their Nutritional Shake as an option for when I was running late in the morning, after the gym if I have to go back out, or even before getting in the car to commute home.

This year, the awesome folks at Vega One are challenging us to all make #OneChange at a time to make healthier decisions in our busy day-to-day lives.

Vega One has come up with a list of personas that describe most women, seen here –



I went back and forth, but decided that this sounded the most like me!


  • Serial Snacker: Yes, you can snack and feel good about giving in. Your stomach talks to you all day (it never shuts up!) Your bag or desk drawer is strategically stocked with a wide assortment of get-me-through-to-the-next-meal morsels. You struggle to turn down a slice of office birthday cake—hungry or not. And the 3 PM growlies can lead to pre-dinner nachos or a midnight snack over the kitchen sink.

I am pretty much always hungry, even when I’m not marathon training, and I carry a small arsenal of granola bars around, so that sounds about right!

Vega One does make a bar, but I didn’t have time to try it out just yet. I did get to try their Nutrition Shake in French Vanilla yesterday morning, though! I tried the French Vanilla flavor in my Blender Bottle mixed with just water and a spoonful of chocolate peanut butter, since I was running late.

photo (1)

Verdict: I really liked it! It didn’t taste too chalky which lots of powder mixes that I’ve tried do, and the nutrition facts look great as well. I am really excited to try it in a smoothie – this one in particular caught my eye:

Apple Pie Smoothie


3 Tbsp of Gluten-Free Oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tbsp of almond butter
1 apple, chopped
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1 ½ tsp of cinnamon
½ cup ice
1 cup almond milk or coconut milk (beverage, not canned)
½ — 1 scoop of Vega Vanilla Performance Protein

by Megan Wollenberg, Vega Product Educator, found here 

I’ll probably substitute in regular milk and possibly peanut butter if that’s what we have in the house, but that sounds amazing!

I really love the idea behind the #OneChange campaign – it really does take a bunch of small decisions to lead to a really big change. I’m definitely going to continue bringing along smoothie packs to work for something to tide me over when I’m hungry or about to commute in rush hour traffic, instead of either being hungry or heading to the vending machine and buying chips (not that I do that… right).

What are your goals for 2014? What is your #OneChange?

Marathon Monday (01.06.14) – Three ways to help!

6 Jan

Happy new year! And happy first Marathon Monday of 2014! I know this makes me sound old, but I cannot believe that it’s 2014. When did THAT happen? 

Running has been going pretty well for the past couple of weeks, as has the gym, but now I am SICK. Ugh. Coughing and gross, and now I have no voice. For amusement, imagine me trying to teach 3 hours a day for the next week with no voice. Fun times! (seriously, though… what can I do during class to take up the time while I cannot speak?)

Due to that, since there will be less running on my plate this week (though I did fall on my butt on the ice this morning… in the rain… right before my first class, WIN), I’m going to focus on ways that you can help out Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (and help me honor the memory of my dad in the process).  

1. I am hosting a virtual race!


What’s that, you ask? Well, essentially it’s a 5K that you can walk or run any time in the week before Valentine’s Day. You walk/run and get your own time and send it to me, ideally with an amusing picture or something like that, and I will send you a medal! The idea is to motivate all of us that live in areas that are cold, gloomy, snowy, icy or whatever else in the cold winter runs to get together and exercise without the airfare to make us all actually BE in one place. 

The virtual 5K is $20, and all proceeds are going to my marathon fundraiser! You can sign up here:

2. I am doing Super Bowl Squares as a 50/50 fundraiser, also to benefit the Annual Fund at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Each square is $10. 1st/2nd/3rd quarter winners get $100 each, and the final score gets $200.

If you don’t know how it works, the easiest explanation is that is has to do with the score at the end of each quarter. The squares are a grid (10×10), with one team on the horizontal and one on the vertical. you number down the vertical 0-9 and across the top 0-9 (randomly assigned), and each square then has a number. You look at the last number in each team’s score at the end of each quarter and the person who has that square wins. So if it’s 7-0, the person who has the square that matches 7 for the team that’s winning and 0 for the team that’s losing wins the $$ for that quarter. (Or just look here:

If you want in, just let me know how many squares you’d like! It’s for a great cause and even if you don’t like football, you probably watch the SuperBowl…. I personally enjoy a) eating the food, b) watching the ads, and c) following along with the absurdity on twitter.

3. The last thing you can do is visit my official fundraising page here: to read a lot more about why I’m running, why I chose BIDMC as my charity, and more. If you donate, you get to pick a song for my marathon playlist. I have one friend so far who donated simply to make me listen to MMMBop…. yeah. Just imagine the fun!

Any other fundraising ideas for me? What song would YOU make me listen to on my marathon training runs?

snow, snow, snow

2 Jan

well, we are 2 days into 2014 and we have our first big winter storm of the year! 

I have a snow day from work today and tomorrow. Currently, I’m camped out in the apartment making soup and watching it fall outside/watching an SVU marathon inside. Lucky for me, i have a crappy cold anyway, so the timing of this worked out well! It’s unfortunate because a) I was planning on running today, and b) my accelerated winter break course started today, so now I’m going to be 2 days behind. I guess I’ll spend some of my snow day rearranging my syllabus…

By the way, they name winter storms now. This one is named Hercules. The last one was named Nemo. I swear that Disney is somehow involved in this. 


looking back at 2013

31 Dec

In some ways, I can’t believe that 2013 is over, but in other ways it feels like a very long year. I kicked it off on my honeymoon in Australia, which feels like it happened a million years ago. This was the year that some asshole brought bombs to the Boston Marathon, that I taught an INSANE 15 classes (not counting this year’s winter break) plus worked 3 other jobs, that had never ending snow last winter and so many days that it broke 90 degrees this summer that I cut off my hair.

It also had some really fun stuff, like taking that honeymoon, having our first married Valentine’s Day and first wedding anniversary, watching Wales win Six Nations Rugby, going down to DC and meeting Fenway the pup, going to Austin to see Cheryl and meet Cade, going to Sanibel with my family, watching an epic Vegas wedding officiated by Elvis with my lovely Deltas, going to Disneyland AND Disney World, going to Chicago twice… lots of travel and big good things and lots of little good things in between too (all the iced coffee, Scandal!, lake house weekends, diner breakfasts, etc.). 

Overall, 2013 was a great year. I’m thinking 2014 will be fantastic as well. Here’s hoping :)

Happy new year, everyone!

Guest Post: #Elf4Health Blog Swap with Slices of Sarah Pie!

18 Dec

Hello there! Today I have my first ever GUEST POST, courtesy of the #elf4health community. Sarah from Slices of Sarah Pie (a fellow gluten-free person!) is here to write about her expertise, happiness! :) I actually wrote a really similar post about positive psychology, and you can find it on Sarah’s page here if you’d like to see it. Brianna also put together a linkup of all of the expertise posts if you’d like to check it out!


Hi guys! My name is Sarah and I blog over at Slices of Sarah Pie. It’s my little slice of real life on the internet, where I make it very clear that I don’t have a specialty (in fact it’s part of my disclaimer!) I dabble in fitness, reading, baking, eating, running, and tea all while working my way through graduate school.

So when I saw the elf4health challenge to share your expertise I have to admit I was a little stumped. What on earth was I going to talk about? The thought actually came to me as I was filing away my papers from the semester. In my counseling class we talked a lot about resilience and optimism, focusing on how to maintain our hope while supporting the needs of clients. Though I complained about writing a paper focused on my own happiness (the last thing in the world that could make me happy at the time) it ended up being as easy as writing a post for you guys.

That’s because my expertise, at the end of the day, is happiness. I write because it makes me happy. The same reason I spend time on my yoga mat, take a bubble bath, buy a new box of tea, or snuggle with the BF.


Sometimes we are more than willing to build our lives around the possibility of “once” that we forget we are all gifted the same 24 hours in a day to spend as we wish. We are far more willing to defer our happiness, “once I finish graduate school I’ll go on a vacation”, “once I get a job I’ll take time to volunteer again”, “once I finish this project I’ll call the friend I’ve been putting off for weeks”, not realizing that this attitude begins a cycle we could repeat until the end of time. You and I and everyone else we come into contact with has the same 24 hours a day as every other human being on this planet. The same hours as Beyoncé and Gandhi, and Oprah.


It would be easy to blame situational differences, so-called “pleasures” such as money, fame, or self fulfillment for the differences in our lives; but that’s selling ourselves short of our true responsibilities. There are plenty of unhappy millionaires, just as there are happy people in humble circumstances. Going through graduate school on a tight budget has shown me how happy I can be with a near empty bank account, despite the anxiety I sometimes feel looking at the balance.


My personal plan for mental and physical health fits within my plan for life, because I truly believe that healthy life is the only kind of life worth living. For my 24th birthday this year I created a list of 25 things I hope to accomplish before I turn 25.

Some are simple like attending a Blackhawk’s game or earning my masters degree. Others were more deeply focused, either mental or physical accomplishments designed to bring me further in touch with myself. Many of the goals designed for physical health running a 10k, yoga, learning vegan cooking, and drinking tea are inextricably linked to my mental state.


Exercise releases endorphins, which result in s a burst of happiness almost immediately. Cooking has always been a simple pleasure for me, and the ability to explore and create new meals gives me a personal sense of accomplishment. A mug of tea is a chance to unwind at the end of the day, and forces a few moments of peaceful (technology free) reflection. My goals designed with mental health as the focus moving out, writing more, and visiting friends who now live out-of-state all seem simple in comparison, but experience has shown me that these are the things that will bring me the greatest joy.

My challenge to you is to think, really think, on what makes you happy. I know it seems like a simple question, but I promise when you take the time to really focus on it it’s amazing how everything else seems to fade. I’ve chosen to share my “expertise” on living because it’s the greatest thing any of us can do.

Christmas Survey!

17 Dec

As far away as it feels, Christmas is NEXT WEEK (holy crap!) I found this Christmas Survey on Running With Spoons, so I decided to steal it (she offered it up!)

Before Christmas…

Do you send out Christmas cards?
yes, usually. we failed at that for the last few years and wound up sending them all at once! have them to send out this year – probably Thursday!

How soon do you start shopping?
I actually LOVE buying people presents, so I shop all year.

Do you have a lot of gifts to buy?
See above. I don’t have a ton but I find it really fun :) At this point I only have a couple left to get!

Do you bake cookies?
usually yes (and make candy too!) but we’ll see if I have time this year. grading has taken over my life.


Do you put up a Christmas tree?
yes! love our tree :)

If so, is it fake or real?
fake and pre-lit. so easy.

Do you like tinsel?
I do… but not at my house (it gets everywhere).

Do you use homeade or storebought ornaments?
mostly storebought now, though I want to make an ornament out of our wedding cake toppers this year.

Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
I have them ready to go in the windows (so you can see them from outside) but I haven’t done it. Again.

Do you put lights on the tree?
see “pre-lit” above.

How about popcorn and cranberries?
on the tree? no.

Is there a wreath hanging on your door?
I have all the stuff to make one this year but I haven’t had time! We’ll see if I manage to make some before Christmas 2014.

Christmas Eve…

Do you celebrate it?
love Christmas Eve! growing up our big celebration was actually Christmas Eve, but it’s calmer now.

Do you hang up your stocking?


Have you ever left cookies out for Santa?

I did as a kid, yes.


Christmas Movie?

well my all time favorite movie is Love Actually, but I don’t really think of that as a Christmas movie. It’s a tossup between The Nightmare Before Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street (the new one).

Character from any Christmas Movie?

Jack Skellington.

Christmas Song?

Oh Holy Night or Do You Hear What I Hear?

Christmas Memory?
This is a tough one. Last year I was on my honeymoon in Sydney, which was awesome but didn’t really feel like Christmas (and it POURED all day.) One year when I was little (7?) I got a dollhouse. I had REALLY wanted a dollhouse and my parents got me a really awesome wooden one, and they couldn’t wrap it so they put a sheet over it. That said, I grew up doing Christmas at my grandparents’ house outside Chicago and I loved everything about it. I just can’t pick!

Christmas Cookie?
I like baking them better than eating them. That said… I always loved those butter cookies that are dyed with food coloring red and green (anyone else make those?)

This or That…

Give or Receive?
I love buying presents! Give.

Ham or Turkey?
hmm… Ham for Christmas.

Star or Angel?

White Lights or Colored Lights?
White lights.

Blinking Lights or Still Lights?
Still! When I was in junior high and high school in Arizona there was a house next door with blinking lights on a saguaro cactus (the one with the arms) every year. It was obnoxious and I could see it from my bedroom window all.night.long.

Were you Naughty or Nice this year?

probably in the middle.


What do you want for Christmas this year?
this running medal holder, Oiselle lux layer, and money towards my crazy marathon goal. oh, and chapstick and fun socks… always.

When do you open your gifts?
I always want to open them Christmas Eve with stockings Christmas day – that’s what I grew up doing – but my husband makes me wait now.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
The dollhouse mentioned above, for sure. I mean, I’ve gotten some other amazing gifts, but that was the best.

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?

That isn’t nice! Not answering.

Do you like wrapping gifts?

HAHA, I’m somewhere in the middle on this and I’m laughing because my mom hates it so much that she’s made me do it every year since I was about 13.


Can you name all the reindeer?
clearly, yes. (note: this now makes me think of Pretty Little Liars).

Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?
not that I remember.

Do you go carolling?

Does that happen in real life?

Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?

I love to when I have the chance!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Yes, and I definitely prefer them.

Who do you celebrate Christmas with?
Depends on the year now that I’m a grownup – this year it’ll be my family, next year we’ll be home in Boston. When I was little it was almost always my mom’s family.

Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?
As a kid yes, but I am NEVER taking my kid there. I won’t ruin it for you if you don’t want to know/if I haven’t already told you.

What part of Christmas do you look most foward to?
Lights, decorations, music… I really just love Christmas!

Anyone else want to join in? Cheryl? ;)

Marathon Monday #2 (12.16.13)

16 Dec

The most exciting thing that happened this week in running-land is that my fundraising page is finally LIVE! You can see it (and learn more about why I’m running) here:

I also set up my Yankee Candle Fundraiser (need candles? you can buy them in January with a code and help me reach my fundraising goal!)

In terms of actual workouts, this week was a total fail, to be honest. I was busy working and going to holiday stuff and it just kind of fell through the cracks. (It looks better though because LAST Saturday and Sunday are on it! This is false.) This week will be better!

  • Saturday: nothing – was SUPER sore from Vinyasa + Vino and kickboxing on Friday.
  • Sunday: 7ish miles – I had 3 different devices on me – my new Fitbit (which I love and you all should get and then friend me), a Garmin, and NikePlus running on my ipod… and they all said slightly different distances. Anyone know which is best?
  • Monday: planned rest day
  • Tuesday: horrible 2 mile run on the treadmill (blah) before THE NUTCRACKER :) :) :)
  • Wednesday: mostly planned rest day (I like to pretend I’m going to the gym after my 11 hour work days but I never go)
  • Thursday: executive decision to Christmas shop before work instead of anything else, and then I was starving and ordered food and went to a Junior League holiday thing and… yeah it didn’t happen.
  • Friday/Saturday/Sunday: unplanned rest days (not helped by the storm that we got that caused it to feel like 1 degree Saturday before work and the sidewalks to be completely covered with ice on Sunday…)

One of the things that definitely wasn’t helping this week was food – I was eating like crap, so I didn’t feel like going to the gym. Next week will be better, I know it!

I also need to find a training plan…yesterday. I am leaning towards some mix of Run Less Run Faster and something else? Any ideas?


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