Monday, April 21, 2014

Last Day in Philly!

Well despite having to head back to CT, we decided to get in some last minute sightseeing.

We found a great parking spot and set off on foot.  We ran up the Rocky steps, posed with the Rocky Statue.  We did take a sneak peek in the art museum too :)

One of the hidden treasures in Philly is the rover walk.  It's a beautiful area by the water where people relax, picnic and fly kites.  There were a ton of runners, bikers, and even people on roller blades.

We walked down to Boat House Row where there were lots of crew boats out and about.  We climbed the area that had been blasted out and used to serve as the power station.

It was beautiful day and the sun was shining.  A great way to experience Philly and to relax and just walk and enjoy.  We were sad to leave, but we will be back for sure!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Philly Day Three

Today was another beautiful day in Philly!  We did some nontraditional sight seeing.  We started the day at Wawa (Again).  Their egg sandwiches are addicting.  Also, their iced tea lemonade is becoming a problem for me :)

Our first stop was the Eastern State Penitentiary.  It's an old prison-the first in the US and it because the model for many more to come.  It looks like a British castle and the methodology behind it was fascinating.  It changed a lot over time.  It was originally a place where all inmates were in strict solitary.  However, as the years passed, they were allowed to socialize, watch TV and even do things like cut hair at the barber shop.

Al Capone's prison cell.  He was allowed some liberties.
One of the main corridors where prisoners were held.
The prison held Al Capone for a while too.  It's down right creepy, dark, damp and cold.  The walls are in disrepair.  However, it is preserved so you can see it in it's original state.  Matt was able to procure a photographer's pass so he could use his tripod and take photos.  There are even photographer events all over the prison.  (They also have a Halloween night event!)

Afterwards we walked around and saw the area.  It was adorable with lots of dogs walking and upscale restaurants.  We ate at a place called Urban Saloon and it was a modern and sophisticated version of an old west saloon (swinging doors and all!).  I had a peanut butter, bacon veggie burger.  It's as awesome as it sounds.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day Two in Philly

So on our next day on Philly we were moving a tad bit slower due to M having a REALLY LONG day taking photos at the semi finals.  We decided to spend the day exploring.  We love just walking around the city, seeing the sights, taking in the people and stopping where we want.

We took this picture at the park….kind of like Philly's Central Park. It was a warm sunny day and it was hard to leave to head back to the hotel!

So Peanut Chews are a Philly "thing".  We were going to hunt some down while we were here. However, our hotel had some minis.  They are SO good!  Chocolate, caramel and peanuts.  Great combo.  I ate too many :)

The pretzel is popular in Philly because it was once a German populated place.  Many spoke German and since pretzels were very popular in Germany, they too made the trek across the ocean.  These little gems were in our hotel in the afternoon.  They too, were awesome!  

We are lunch at the Reading Market. It's an amazing place, filled with food vendors of both ready to eat items and produce, fish, and other local goods. It's reminiscent of an old fashioned market.  It's busy, loud and so colorful.  We found an amazing and authentic Cajun place!  I had gumbo and it was fabulous.  I haven't had gumbo this good or authentic since I left New Orleans.  And believe me, I've tried!

Matt was all smiles while we ate our cajun lunch.  It was amazing!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Philadelphia Day One

So I travel for business at least a few times a year.  Usually M tags along with me and we get some sightseeing done.  He helps me prepare for presentations and supports me as I go.

This trip, HE is the one conducting business. He's taking photos of the Frozen Four-the national college hockey tournament.  I'm so proud he has earned a spot and can take part.  I'm also thrilled because I get to tag along and sightsee in Philadelphia!

I'll first say that I packed all kinds of running gear in hopes to get in some runs while M was off taking photos.  However, the hotel is on a semi highway, 6 lanes wides so I'll be working out in the gym AND I packed a MP3 yoga class and my mat.

Today we saw a lot of the historical part of Philadelphia-The Betsy Ross house was awesome!  It's just a tiny house where she RENTED two rooms her whole life.  She had 8 children and three husbands.  If that isn't enough to surprise you, she started sewing flags for the revolution at 24 years old!

This is a statue outside the Betsy Ross House.  It was just so adorable I had to take photos.  Everyone pets the cat as they walk by.

We also saw the Liberty Bell. It was neat to learn about it and see it up close.  M had a great time taking photos of it as well.

The historical cemetery in Philadelphia contains FIVE of the signers of the declaration of independence.  To give you an idea of the historical significance of the time, the founder of psychology as well as many commanders in the Revolution are all buried there as well.  It signifies good luck to throw a penny on Benjamin Franklin's grave to honor his saying of "A penny saved is a penny earned."

We did some walking around the city and it was a beautiful spring day.  Really the first we've had!  It was great to see the cobble stones on the on the streets and all the historical buildings.  The buildings are very narrow and made of hand crafted materials.  It's beautiful and amazing to think about what transpired there.  It's also amazing to think about the bravery of the individuals who signed our founding documents.  History was made on these streets!

The night before we came into town and hit what we were told was THE place for cheese steaks.  Now I don't even like red meat, but when in Rome.  The quintessential cheese steak has Cheese Whiz on it!  I had no idea.  Add in some onions, steak and amazingly fluffy bread and you have a great dinner.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Running with Your Dog and Kurgo

Heading out for summer fun means you need to do a little preparation and be safe with your pooch.  I was able to try out some of Kurgo's products to help you get and stay fit (and safe!) with your dog!

Their Quantum Leash is pretty awesome.  I love it because I can grab one leash and use it any way I need to.  I like to run with my dog around my waist and that's easy to do.  If I'm walking and need to be hands free for a phone or coffee, I can wear the leash cross body.  Of course you can also hand hold the leash or tether it if you're stopped at a picnic table on a hike.  The best part, is that this leash does double duty for two dogs!  The leash is soft to hold (For other dogs owners who have dogs who are high energy you know why this is important!) and bright in color so you can always find it.  Working out with your dog means better health for everyone.  If you have the right gear, it's going to be easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

If you're thirsty, your dog is too.  And while many owners bring water bottles for themselves, they often forget their pooches.  Instead of taking an extra bottle, just bring along a collapsable bowl like Kurgo's Collapse a Bowl.  It pops down so it's flat and attaches to their Quantum Leash.  This way you always have it on hand.  You can stop, let your dog drink and then collapse it again and be on your way.  It's BPA free and dishwasher safe.  I like that it is light weight and can be thrown into any bag without taking up space or adding weight.  Because it is silicone, it also sits easily and firmly on the floor of a tent or car.

Being safe means being seen.  Kurgo's Reflective Dog Vest runs on batteries and offers visibility for hundreds of feet.  Even if you decide not to use its light up feature, the reflective orange vest stands out in the woods.  Awesome for hiking, hunting or swimming, this vest helps you see your dogs and others see both of you.  (I like to use it while my dog is swimming so I can clearly see her in the water.)  It's adjustable and my dog doesn't even know she's wearing it.  It's light weight and cool and gives me peace of mind and safety.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pet Infographics

We all know how much I love my dogs.  However, there is a lot of information to learn when you are a serious pet owner.  I've search for some info graphics to share some info with you.

In particular, I want you to be aware of deaf dogs and their special needs.  Owners will often have a notification on their dog that they are deaf.  This doesn't mean they are not friendly.  It simply means they should be approached with caution.  You should never pet or talk to a dog without the owner's permission first.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Everyone reading this who is older than me is going to roll their eyes.  They will say, "you have no idea…." BUT this is my story and the world as I know it.  Life as I know It in fact :)

I'm 35.  30 wasn't a big deal for me, I never feared it.  I never worried about getting older.  And then all of a sudden I realized that I was getting older, things were changing and life would never be the same.

While you can workout for hours on end, it's not practical.  I run/own three companies and I don't have a lot of free time on my hands.  I need to fit it in, when I can.  And I need to love that I'm doing.  I'll end up missing some days, there is nothing I can do about it.  Life calls and I have to answer.

On the flip slide, I also need to learn to take care of myself first.  Putting on my own oxygen mask is necessary before I can take care of everyone else better.  Once I put the dogs, clients, businesses, and household chores before myself, I start to feel "used up" and overwhelmed.  I do much better when everything comes after my self care.

And you know what?  Everything is still there when I get out of class, back from my run or off the bike.  And it all makes more sense.  It all seems easier.  I will always be hard pressed to leave the clothes unfolded before I head out the door, but that's my own cross to bear.

Can I do as much as I used to?  No, I don't have as much energy.  My asthma is worse and fitting into a size two isn't as easy as it once was.  However, I know that I am a better me now than I ever have been before.  Knowing what I need to work on, knowing what I need to do and working out as part of a whole life plan, has changed my experience with fitness.  I workout now for longevity.  I want to fit fit to live longer, take care of my body and be able to experience more life.  It's not about the pant size or the abs.

And food?  For the first time I can remember, I love it.  I eat to fuel my body and those treats I love, I let myself indulge in.  They are ok.  I'm feeling my soul.  It's okay to love food and to embrace it.  (Just not a lot of it.)

I'm sure this journey will continue for me, but in my mid 30's I have to say, I'm thrilled at where I am and pleased at the possibilities of the future.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meditation Station

I've been meditating on and off for a few years.  However, I've never given myself a dedicated space for it. I've always lived in small spaces and I've never wanted to take space away from other things just to create a spot for myself.

I have a very good friend who has been encouraging me to meditate more frequently.  That, combined with a few physical items coming into myself recently, encouraged me to create space for myself.

I cleaned off a surface where I has some household decor items and accessories and gave it a good cleaning.  I then looked around my space for things that made me happy and blissful.

The same friend who was encouraging me to meditate had sent me an adorable mini pillow for my birthday and another amazing friend has sent me a crystal ball. These were no brainers to include in my space.

I also included an amethyst stone, a mini mala (, a candle holder (and candle inside) and a Buddha head that I had received as a sample recently.  (

I also placed a chime there to ring in the start and end of my sessions.  I left some of the picture frames there to remind me of places and times I love and feel calm.  The lamp had to stay as it's a very dark corner.

I have a Zafu on the floor too :)  (

Overall, I'm happy with the space I created.  I know things will come and go from it as time goes on.  It's a little oasis in my life.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Lately I've been under a lot of stress.  I know, everyone is. However, it's even more than usual.  My instinct is to push through, tackle my lists, and be super productive.  BUT, stress is not just mentally demanding, it's physically demanding and I needed to realize that I couldn't just push through.

I started to think about something my yoga teacher says a lot, "Be kind to yourself." and what that means.  Being kind to yourself means not mentally beating yourself up over those little things you don't accomplish.  It means being ok with what you ate today and even taking a nap.

To me, being kind really means I can take a break when I need to.  It means that instead of focusing on how much I can get done, focusing on how well I take care of myself.

I think it goes back to what we value as a society.  We are always talking about how busy we are.  We don't talk about how we pamper ourselves or eat healthy.  We don't discuss things we love to do and how we fit them in.  In fact, if you tell friends or family you read a book or took a bubble bath, they often reply with something like "Must be nice."  Or "I wish I had time for that."  If we really valued healthy and wellness, we'd say, "Good for you!"

So, I'm posting this: Stop the glorification of busy!  Let it be okay to take a break.  Instead of feeling guilty, feel successful.  You've done something no one else knows how to do.  Taking care of yourself in every way possible, makes you a better you and better able to take care of others in your life.  I promise you'll be glad you did.  Be kind :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lip Scrub

I recently ran out of my favorite lip scrub.  I use it not only to deal with chapped winter lips but to take care of my skin.  My dermatologist told me to exfoliate my fave twice a week, including my lips.

Not wanting to go out to the mall to buy more (I know I sound horribly lazy!), I decided to see if I could make some.  I spent a lot of time online looking at different "recipes"  I decided to go off on my own with what I had in the house.

I started out with brown sugar, honey and coconut oil.  I happened to have a small packet of coconut oil ready to use for a project like this.

I got a bowl out and measured out 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  I used the back of the measuring spoon to break out the clumps and make sure it was smooth.  I then added 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  If your coconut oil is too thick, microwave it for a few seconds.  I also added one tablespoon honey.  It took a little while to come together but it created a nice consistency.

I then put it in a glass jar so I can use it in the morning.

It works great, tastes good and is dirt cheap to make. What a great present idea too!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Faux Food

This week I made two imposter meals: "mac" and cheese and Philly cheese "steaks".

The first was shockingly easy and a little too good.

Add a table spoon of flour and a dash of butter to a pan. Let it melt and start moving the flour around.  Then, add 1/4 cup milk.  Make sure it's creamy.  Then, add 1/4 cup cheese.  Melt it thoroughly and then pour it over cauliflower.  Yes, the vegetable.

I added panko bread crumbs to the top, and baked it for about 20 minutes at 350.  It was amazing.  And almost healthy.  Almost.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I imagine you could use any type of cheese.  It's close enough to mac and cheese to satisfy that craving and you get a lot of veggies in this meal.

The second meal was a new favorite for my husband.  It's made in the crockpot….chicken phillies
First of all, melt a little butter in the crockpot (olive oil would work too)
I used four boneless frozen chicken breasts
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 table spoons worcestershire sauce
A few dashes italian dressing
I used a mini food processor to chop up a green pepper and an onion
Salt and pepper to taste

I stirred this and "pulled" the chicken a few times.  When it was done, it was so moist and flavorful!  Toast some rolls, add cheese and pile the chicken on. It's amazing.  And easy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


This week I decided to challenge myself to work out six days in a row.  I considered going for seven, but realized everyone needs a rest :)

So, I attended three spin classes, and three yoga classes.  In the meantime, I got lots of sleep, ate lots of amazing healthy food, and even took a little time to take care of myself.  This is the first time in as long as I can remember I was this kind to myself.  So often, I don't have time for myself or I simply feel guilty for doing it.

I tried some amazing new recipes including beignets, crockpot chicken phillies, red lentil coconut soup, and even avocado hummus.  I've had chia drinks, aloe, vitamins, and some amazing coffee drinks :)

How do I feel at the end of the week?  Tired, happy, and inspired.  I will read in bed with a cup of coffee in the morning and relish in my day off.  However, I will also think about what I've learned this week.

First of all, I thought that my age, a little weight gain and not getting outside for workouts meant I was "losing it".  Just the opposite happened, I was still able to surprise myself, learn and challenge myself.

I also saw a different in my workouts as the week went on.  I was able to accomplish more, strive for more and at the same time, learn to let go.  There are so many days I'd attend yoga and think of it as a workout.  I'd sweat and bend and really try to do the poses the best I could.  On day six of my workouts, I thought I'd "take it easy" in class and just do what I felt like. I would use modifications when necessary.  And to my surprise, once I stopped thinking about it all so much, my body just went along with it and I was able to really find the calm in my mind.

I'll do this all again next week and I have high hopes for the weeks ahead. Spring is on the way and my spring cleaning is starting with my mind :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Super Race

I love theme races.  They are so much fun and the racers always seem to be a little happier than a traditional race.  
I recently found out about The Super Run.  You get to dress up like a super hero to run the race.  In fact, it's encouraged! 

The Super Run is a national series of events that partners with non-profit organizations to put on superhero themed events to help raise funds and awareness for their cause. We provide logistical support, site selection, volunteer management and more. We do the heavy lifting, your organization just needs one coordinator to be the primary contact for that local event and the primary recruiter of additional volunteers. That’s it! We’ll help figure out site selection, manage the processes involved and so much more. So if you’re charity is looking to raise funds and awareness through a superhero themed event, then The Super Run is here to save your day!

April 28th is National Superhero Day and to kick it off right – we’re having our inaugural Super Run® event
in Detroit, Michigan on April 26th 2014.

Race dates are being set and you can find a race near you on their locations page. 
Need a cape?  Check these out! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Food

This week I decided to get creative with recipes.  I love to cook and while I'm not a traditional "follow the recipe" person.  However, I love to plan and create amazing tasting and healthy meals for my family.

This week I created a few new favorites:

Red lentil coconut soup
This was a quick one to throw together and it cooked in the crockpot while I went to yoga and out with friends all day.

I put the following into a mini food processor:
1 onion
1 pepper (I used yellow, but red also works)
2 garlic clothes
One small "chunk" of ginger

I then added all of that to the crockpot PLUS
1 can chick peas
1 bag of red lentils (it was about 2 1/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
Squeeze of lime juice
1 can of coconut milk
7 cups of water (as it thickened I added a tad bit more)

I stirred it a few times and in a few hours it was ready to go and amazing.  It's a thick soup.  Add a little more lime if you want. Serve with pita bread or tortilla chips.

Avocado Hummus
I've been crushing on avocado lately and hummus is always a favorite.  SO, I combined them, and created my new favorite snack to go with tortilla chips or pretzel chips.

I used a food processor and threw in:
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 avocados (ripe)
1 can chick peas
lemon juice (squeeze)
2 clove garlic
1-2 tablespoons tahini
Turn it on, let it go and eat!

More are coming!  I'm inspired and since it's Lent even my husband is eating veggie only meals!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Doggie Cupcakes

So, this weekend I'm doggie sitting a total of five dogs.  Three are border collies.  Yes, it's a lot.  Yes, it's going to be crazy.  And yes, I'm willing to bribe them into goo behavior.  So today I baked some doggie cupcakes.

I've made a different version of these before but I really liked the way these came out.  I changed up some of the ingredients so they looked a little more like cupcakes.

I used a regular muffin pan and cupcake papers.  When you fill the cupcake papers, fill them higher than you would with cake mix as they don't rise.

I combined the following in my mixer:
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tea spoons baking soda
2 tea spoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy).  Make sure it's all natural!
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey or agave
2 cups shredded carrots (you can buy them shredded, but they lack moisture)

Put into cupcake papers and bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I then tucked a mini Milk Bone into the top (partially to let my family know they were doggie cupcakes).

I think they came out really cute and as the first two were devoured in seconds flat, I know they are a hit!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mini Break

With lots going on right now hubby and I decided to try to take a mini break this past weekend.  We've both had a stomach bug, been busy with work and of course with the new doggie.  Despite both working from home, we've barely been able to eat a meal together lately.

So we headed to Maine for a few days of relaxing.  Both of us were recovering so we weren't eating a lot.  Which, for a road trip, can be a good thing :)

We took our time and went to some of our favorite stores-L.L.Bean, Stonewall Kitchen and other Maine favorites.  We visited Nubble Light House and ate at some great restaurants.

Getting away, even to another cold climate, can really help with cabin fever!
At first Summit didn't know what to make of being loaded into the car with Roxy and luggage.  He settled down quickly through and snoozed the whole way.  

Summit is a great road "tripper".  Part of the reason for this trip was a trial run before we travel more this summer.  He sleeps on the go, eats well and loves to look out the window.  

At Bob's Clam shack, I always get a kids meal.  The only draw back is the tiny drink :)

Having been ill, I'd avoided coffee for the better part of a week.  However, I had to have some from one of my favorite coffee shops!

Matt was a great sport at walking around with me, shopping and finding fun things to do.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Rhode Island Protein Shake

I've been sharing some of my favorite protein shake "recipes" with you.  I call them recipes, but I play everything by ear and really look at the constancy as I mix it up in the blender.

I call this one my Rhode Island protein shake because it uses something that is distinctly Rhode Island, coffee syrup.  For those of you who don't know, coffee syrup is a sweet syrup that flavors everything you mix it with like coffee.  In Rhode Island coffee milk is a staple.

To make this shake I combine a few ice cubes with almond milk and a scoop of hemp protein powder in the blender.  I mix it up until it looks like a milkshake.

When it's done, I add in a little Dave's Coffee syrup and mix it for another few seasons.  The protein shake is frothy and does taste like a milkshake.  I know the syrup adds some sugar and calories, but I keep it to a minimum and it tastes amazing!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter in New England

February is here and it brought with it a bad case of cabin fever for me.  So, despite the snow and ice on the ground, and the cold temperatures I decided I had to go for a run this past weekend.

I bundled up.  For those of you who live in climates where you don't have to bundle up, it's just not any fun.  Regardless of how thin, well fitted or comfy your winter running clothes are, you end up feeling like the stay puff marshmallow man and running feels a little bit off.

Then, you add Yak Trax to your shoes.  While these give you traction and peace of mind, they also make your shoes fit a little bit differently and your foot strike changes a tad.  Overall, you feel "off".

For this past weekend's run I had on fleece lined tights, a tank top, a long sleeve tech tee, a fleecy top over that and then a puffy vest. I wasn't hot.  I wore a hat and gloves too.  My trail shoes and Yak Tracks rounded out the outfit.

The sidewalks in town here are plowed so I parked at Starbucks and headed there.  However, due to an ice storm we'd had, and then repeated snow storms, much of the sidewalks were coated in a few solid inches of ice.  So, these areas were covered gingerly.  The cross walks can't be accessed due to the plow's piles of snow and the plowed portion is only about a foot wide.

So, I'm not complaining.  I love New England and I love the winter.  However, perhaps someone should invent heated sidewalks so everything melts?  I love being outside in the bright winter sun and seeing the snow sparkle.  I love the crisp air and seeing my breath.  There is a calm to running in winter you don't get any other time of the year.  And when you pass another runner, you say hello a little more excitedly as you are both braving the elements for your love of running.

The other downfall to winter running?  Asthma….if you don't have asthma…I'll describe it for you. When you breathe in cold air, especially quickly, it feels as if you can't get the air in.  Then, it feels as if you can't get the air out.  Your lungs burn as if you swallowed hot water.  Then your body tried to protect itself and you start coughing.  Overall, it's a pretty miserable experience that will drive even the best running to the dread mill for the winter months.  However, every once in a while, it's worth it to get out and see the sun and smell the fresh air.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014


I recently mentioned my cabin fever.  Yes, I have a home gym.  Yes, I work from home.  I can see the gym from my office.  This leads to entire days where I simply exist in a small area of my home.  Since getting outside isn't easy for workouts right now and due to snowstorms and flu season, I've been working from home a lot, I've been itching to get out.

Coincidentally, a new spin studio opened up in my town. The first class is free, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I used to take spin all the time at my old gym.  However, it had been a few years.  I have a spin bike here and I use the shoes that snap into the pedals, so I was comfortable with the set up etc.

The new studio was full of serious bikers who clearly bike outdoors during the rest of the year.  I was in yoga clothes but many of the students had outdoor road gear on.  I snapped into my bike and started to warm up.

The class was 50 minutes and the instructor was high energy.  It was set up like "stadium seating" so everyone had a good view.  The lights were turned way down and the music turned way up.

Through hills, internals, sprints and even an arm workout, the 50 minutes flew by.  I loved the motivational music and the large fans cooling us off.  So, I'm going to get myself a series of classes and go once or twice a week until this cold spell breaks and the snow melts.