Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!
It's already the last Friday in May and I feel like the month flew by!!
Onward to June and glorious summer :)

Here is what I am loving this week...

1.  THIS awesome book on cocktails that my friend Melissa had at her Memorial day party last Sunday! I love that the book is divided into sections by season and she made us a wonderful cocktail from the Spring section. YUM. Everything in this book looks awesome and who doesn't want a fun cocktail this summer?

2.  THIS super cute cotton sarong. Cause don't you love something pretty to wrap around your waist when you get up from your pool side lounge chair?
You're welcome! :)

3. THIS walnut cutting board is handcrafted by the the husband of an incredible husband/wife catering team. She makes incredible desserts (including the most beautiful, unique wedding cakes) and he makes beautiful wooden kitchen accessories. Their blog is so awesome, so click on it right now and be in for a treat!  They are based in LA and I love supporting local small businesses!

4.  THIS runner is awesome and once you read the article, you'll realize that hard work and determination will take you wherever you want to go!

5. Cause don't you need a colorful new wetsuit (and it comes in a darker color if you prefer) to start off the summer season?
I thought so! 

Do you have a favorite summertime cocktail?

I love a great glass of sangria or a mojito!

Where do you normally buy kitchen supplies?

Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma and I love going to Target for great inexpensive basics!

How many miles are you running this weekend?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why I miss running

It's been 170 days since my last run.
170 days.
One Seven Zero.
I have not run one step in 2015.
As the days go by and I reflect on all of these months, I feel a lot of emotion:
Relief, sadness, frustration, gratefulness and hopefulness are just a few.
I have roughly 50 more days until I can run again. It'll be a slow process - my therapist says he'll start with me jumping on a trampoline, and gradually we'll get to running. First 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on.

Some days, I feel patient and I know I have to keep looking forward, keep doing my exercises and focus on the big picture.

Some days, I can't help but jump forward to when I earnestly start training again and attack my goals that I have put on the back burner for so long.
I feel like a caged tiger...
Let's do this already!!!

Some people play golf, others play tennis...
I. Run.
Don't get me wrong, I like other activities and I really want to work on my tennis game (!) and I'd like to be a much stronger swimmer. I even want to kick butt on the bike - but running is my passion.
Almost 6 months of not running has been hard. In the beginning, cross training kept me in shape and somewhat satisfied. I really enjoyed aqua jogging and I always feel good after a hard bike session. 
But I miss my trails, I miss the sunshine and fresh air. I miss seeing other runners on the road and nodding or smiling at them.
I miss my running friends! We are all so busy, running is pretty much the only way we stay in touch.
I miss feeling sweat pour down my face.
I miss the way it makes me feel. Endorphins are amazing!!
I miss being IN SHAPE. I haven't done any real exercise since the end of March.
I'm keeping it real. 

I feel the softness of my muscles, the extra jiggle in certain places, the extra fullness in my face. 
I don't believe in diets, so although I have cut back on food, at the end of the day I'm inputting (of course! I love food!) plenty and outputting - zero.
I don't mean to sound vain. I am not feeling vain, I just feel like something big is missing, ya know?
I know, I know - I'll be running soon enough and everything will be fine eventually. That's what people tell me. I just have a few ants in my pants!
I can't wait to have the relief of that first real run...

I can't wait to lace up my running shoes and actually run in them and not just try them on for a few minutes :)
I can't wait to move my legs again.
I can't wait to breathe hard from a good run.
I can't wait to actually blog about the experience of a run!
I can't wait to race again.

I'm almost there. I just have to keep happiness in my heart and keep smelling the flowers...

I believe that everything that happens in our lives, happens for a reason. I believe in God and I trust him...

I've been given wonderful friends - friends who have sent so many healthy meals to us these last five weeks since my knee surgery. Friends who have helped me make the right medical decisions and really care about me, and understand how important running is to me.
I've also been given an awesome family. 

So even through the sometimes lonely roads...

I believe.
I believe in hard work...

I love being a Mom and I love my kids so very much...

...But I miss having one thing for me.
I. Run.
And I haven't run my best marathon yet. Nope, not by a long shot.
It's gonna take lots of hard work and focus to get back what I gained and so much more.
But you know what?

I'm more than ready!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Recap - Memorial Day edition!

Hi friends!
I hope you are having a great Tuesday and getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend.
Yesterday, I wrote about the awesome dessert we had for our Memorial Day celebration, and you can read all about it HERE! 

We had a wonderful three day weekend. It's always nice to slow down a bit and just enjoy being together.

On Friday, I continued with my PT exercises and quad sets is one in a long list of exercises that I do 3x a day, every day...

...And I just couldn't wait till I start running in July to wear my Brooks lobster running shoes!! They feel incredible by the way!

We finally had to say goodbye to my Dad as he left at zero dark thirty on Saturday morning. After 2 1/2 weeks of being here, he had to leave and get back to his life :) We all loved every minute of having him here and can't wait to see him soon! Thanks Dad!

Saturday, I ended up getting up at zero dark thirty (as in 3 am!) to say goodbye to my Dad and then was wide awake afterwards!! I never have a problem with insomnia, so that was interesting. The good thing is that I got to see the sunrise (yay!), the bummer was I was exhausted by 10 am (boo!) 

Saturday afternoon we made homemade pizza! I love doing this with my kids, as they kinda run the show and get to cook a lot and then make their own individual pizza. We have a homemade cornmeal crust that I love to make and - it's easy!  

Sunday was a super fun day! We went to a wonderful Memorial Day party hosted by our good friends and spent the afternoon playing and having a great time.
I made a flag cake that I love to make during the summer holidays...

Our friends have an incredible pool and it was the perfect day for swimming!

SBG had no hesitation about jumping in and Jerold had a great time keeping up with her...

Josh had fun playing ping pong....

We had tons of good food (I loved this orzo salad - I had 3 servings!)...

And the kiddos kept asking about dessert, so we got right to it!

And I couldn't cut it fast enough!

Of course the adults had wine...

On Monday we stayed home and hung out together! We slept in a bit and it was pretty much a perfect day. I couldn't get enough Eskimo kisses from SBG...

Yes, I am wearing my flag shirt again! I featured this shirt in the Friday Favorites on Friday and immediately bought one. I love it and can't wait to wear it for 4th of July :)

Wishing you all a wonderful week filled with lots of running and good food!

Did you BBQ for Memorial Day? What did you have?
We had ribs, corn on the cob, and a beautiful green salad. Heaven.

What was your workout today?
I went to PT for an hour, then did my PT exercises at home X 3.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes + Spoon Shaped Cookies = Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day friends!

I just want to say how proud I am to be an American and how proud I am to live in this beautiful country. 
Land of the free, home of the brave.
Today, we remember all the brave men and women who died for our country. We truly thank and remember them today.

Yesterday, I made the above flag cake, which is so much fun for me to make during the summer holidays. My kiddos love it and it's super fun to share with a big group!
I'll have more about the cake and our fun party with friends tomorrow on the weekend recap!
But for today, I wanted to share the dessert I made for our Memorial Day dinner. It is easy, fun for kiddos and adults and you can make it for 4th of July also! 

The awesome detail about this dessert? EDIBLE SPOONS. That's right - you can eat your sundae with a spoon that you can pop right in your mouth and eat also. How cool it that?! :)
Your kiddos (and your guests!) will be jumping for joy!

The biggest part of this dessert is baking the edible spoons. The ice cream is store bought - which makes everything easy so we can enjoy more time together as a family. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to make my own ice cream and I can't believe we don't have an ice cream maker yet, so that is definitely on the must have kitchen items list.

Alright, let's start cooking!

First, you will need to sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together...

Then cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy...

Next, mix in the egg and vanilla extract...

Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together...

Shape the dough into 2 round discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour

Take the discs out of the refrigerator and cut out the spoon template...

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out the spoon shapes with a paring knife...

Place spoons on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then bake and cool...

Now for the best part... EATING! Oh my gosh - my family went NUTS for this dessert!!
I am telling you, you are going to love it, love it. You can even make the spoons days in advance, scoop the ice cream into pretty bowls and voila! Beautiful, festive, patriotic dessert!

Seriously, the tartness of the raspberry sorbet, combined with the creamy richness of the vanilla ice cream and the burst of flavor from the blueberries... it's like a happy dance in your mouth! Oh, and the spoons are super sturdy - when you are done, you can eat them (the spoons taste absolutely delightful)! Well, if you can resist waiting to pop it in your mouth! ;0

Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes with Spoon Shaped Cookies

(I found this amazing recipe from the incredible Martha Stewart!)


For the Cookies:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Sundaes:

2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
2 quarts Raspberry sorbet, softened
Blueberries, for garnish


1. To make cookies:
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until dough comes together. Shape dough into 2 discs, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to two days).

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out 1 disc of dough to just less than an inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a paring knife, cut out spoon shapes, each about 3 inches long. Get spoon template HERE.

3. Transfer to baking sheets. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. 

4. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. To make the sundaes: 
In 8 small bowls, layer 1/4 cup ice cream, 1/2 cup sorbet, and another 1/4 ice cream. Garnish each sundae with blueberries and serve with 2 or 3 cookie spoons.

Did you know that today is also National Wine Day?!

Well, of course I had to celebrate! :)

I hope you are your family had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day!

I am linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday today! Go and check out their awesome blogs for wonderful recipes and much more!!

What are your family Memorial Day traditions?

Do you cook a big meal or go to relative or friends homes?

Have you ever run a Memorial Day race?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites - Pre Summer Edition!

Yay!!! It is officially Memorial Day weekend and the KICK OFF TO SUMMER!!

I love, love summer for millions of reasons in addition to all the great food, fun entertaining, pool + beach time and lazy hot days.

Here is what I am loving this week!

1. THIS cake is my favorite dessert to celebrate the summer holidays! It is a labor of love to make, but I love making it and sharing it with my friends. It's festive, fun and patriotic!

2.  OMG. I am drooling as I type this. Lobster roll sandwiches are SO GOOD. It reminds me of a sweet memory of Jerold and I going to Maine for a dear friend's wedding reception in Kennebunkport (love that town!). We had the biggest lobsters with tons of food, drink and music. It was casual, laid back and perfect. I have been in love with New England, lobsters and lobster rolls ever since.
HERE is an awesome recipe so you can make your own! Doesn't this scream summer? :)

3. If you don't have a flag t-shirt to wear this weekend, buy one for 4th of July! This one is super cute!

4.  Coral reef dinnerware. Makes me want to throw an outdoor dinner party. Right now.

5.   A crisp white table cloth with these tea lights are perfect for a summer soiree!

Wishing you all a lovely holiday weekend!!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread + 70 Rocks!

Hi friends! How is your week coming along?
I am so excited about the long weekend!

Is has been such a fun week for our family and yesterday we celebrated my Dad's 70th birthday.
Wow! I can't believe he is 70. I feel super blessed that he was here with us on his special day.
A few quick highlights...

I realized I am NOT a professional cake decorator, but it was so fun to make and it tasted SO good. Homemade vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream icing + a million sprinkles. I got the recipe HERE!

We had a family dinner party to celebrate my Dad and he had a great time with the kiddos...

....And my kids were like "Whatever Mom. We've done our duty and posed nicely for you once. That's it!" :)

I made miso glazed salmon, steamed green beans with red bell pepper and garlic mashed potatoes.
YUM. My food picture did not come out super pretty, but trust me, it was delicious!

Okay! Now I have something yummy I'd like to share with you. The other day, I made banana chocolate chip bread! I love this bread because I substituted white sugar with honey and white flour with whole wheat flour and everyone loved it!
Let's get started!

I gathered all the ingredients...

I mixed the dry ingredients into a bowl...

Mashed the bananas

Then I added the mashed bananas, milk and cinnamon into a large bowl...

Next, I beat butter and sugar in the mixer until light and fluffy. Then I added the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition...

Stirred the banana mixture into the egg mixture...

Then I stirred the dry mixture into the wet mixture...

The last (and best!) part is stirring in the chocolate chips!

Bake for 65-70 minutes and here you go!

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
By: Natrunsfar (adapted from
Yields: 1 loaf


2 Cups Whole Wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf

2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
Stir bananas, milk and cinnamon in another bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a third bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir banana mixture into butter mixture. Stir in dry mixture until blended.
Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Favorite birthday memory?
Humm.... I'd have to say my 30th birthday. J threw a surprise party at a dance studio and all my friends were there. We had a private salsa dancing lesson then a dinner party!

Any fun Memorial Day weekend plans?
We have a fun party with friends on Sunday. Monday just hang out at home and BBQ. Wishing so much I could go to the beach, but not able to negotiate the sand yet! :)

Happiness Is Running Life!