Monday, August 31, 2015

Running Again Feels Awesome + Vivaiodays Review

Happy Monday friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! It totally hit me that we have one week left of summer vacation and then my kiddos are off to school. I really can't believe how quickly the summer flew by.
My two girls are going to Kindergarten and preschool and my son is off to third grade! I had a huge moment of sadness today that my babies are really growing up. It's surreal. 
Also, I wanted to share that my running is progressing nicely and it is one of the highlights of my day. On Sunday I decided to get back into the pool for aqua jogging! Alternating between the bike and running in the pool + running everyday, the goal is to build back my cardiovascular fitness gently and safely.

I will give you the complete run down tomorrow, but today I wanted to talk about a company called Vivaiodays. Vivaiodays is a company based in Santa Monica, which is already a win in my book as I love supporting local companies! The wonderful thing about Vivaiodays (pronounced vee-vi-o. It means "nursery" in Italian) is that they believe in protecting our planet and making a difference for your family and families around the world. Here is their mission statement:

We stand by our business principles

Invest less in packaging (it's a waste for humanity!)
If packaging is inevitable, then make it re-usable, fun, educational
Invest more, in the quality of products, sustainability, and Educate Africa Program
Invest less in advertising and marketing and more in word of mouth
Invest more in consumer happiness. A happy customer is the best advertisement
Be transparent

 When I was given the opportunity to try a few of their products, I was super excited to give them a test drive. :)

Vivaiodays sent me 5 items to try. The first four items are from their body collection. I choose the Relax collection, because as a busy Mom - I am always in need of relaxation! :)

Everything was perfectly matched to use together as a complete bath (or shower) ensemble. 
I decided a wonderful soak in the bathtub was right up my alley! First I ran a nice warm bath and then I added the Relax bath salts from Erbaviva.
When I opened the bottle, the smell was incredible. The bath salts contain the essential oils of lavendar, rose and neroli. Neroli is an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree (source).  The oils combined together made a lovely scent and I couldn't wait to dive into the bath! The texture of the salts were tiny, fine grains that dissolved easily into the water. Another use for the salts, is that they are gentle enough to use as a body scrub! You simply combine the salts with the Relax body oil from the same company. I love that there were multiple uses for the salts and my bath was absolute heaven.

Also, it was nice to see that almost all of the ingredients were organic and I loved that it contained sunflower oil and vitamin E. I am huge fan of vitamin E on the skin...

Next, I was ready to use the body wash and lotion and it did not disappoint!

The Relax body wash lathered up so easily, which meant I didn't have to use a lot. The wonderful smell immediately relaxed me and I could have stayed in the bath all day!
Afterwards, I used the Relax body lotion which was also a treat. The lotion went on very easily and was extremely moisturizing. Bonus = my entire bathroom smelled like a slice of heaven! 

The last item I tried was the jasmine orange lip balm. I really love this lip balm and I have been using it every day! I even included it in my Friday Favorites this week!
The balm makes your lips super soft and moisturized (perfect for runners),  PLUS the smell is awesome!!

Okay, I am really jazzed to share with you the last item Vivaiodays sent me. Or I should say, BROUGHT me. They were so sweet to personally deliver everything to my house since I live in Santa Monica!
So, check out this awesome yoga mat...

Isn't it so pretty?! I love the color and the texture. As you can see, I have been using it a lot! For yoga and for my physical therapy exercises...

Here is one last awesome fact about Vivaiodays:

When you shop at Vivaiodays, they will assign you to a child in Africa to help support that child's education! For every $10 you spend on their site, $1 pays for a day of school education, meal and healthcare for your Vivaio Child. 
How amazing is that?!!!

So ---> go check out their site and happy shopping!!

Disclaimer: I was given these five items for a review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a bath or shower person?

Parents ----> Have your kids started school yet?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Hi friends!
It is Saturday night and I am sitting here with a glass of wine enjoying the silence.
Utter silence.
No little people have gotten up to ask for water, ask to go to the bathroom (you don't have to ask, you can just go. Really. It's okay), or been afraid of the potential monsters that are in their room.
I could hear a pin drop.
It is absolutely magical.
Sooo, I had an awesome, awesome run today. Go check out my Instgram for details :)
You guys, I am so, so happy to be running again. It's like I got my friend back! I mean, Jerold is my best friend in the whole world, but this is different. Ya know what I mean?
Today, I started getting my rhythm back. Running didn't feel so foreign, so awkward. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was so nice. 
Okay. Anyway, I know it's Saturday night and I am just publishing my Friday Favorites, but I really think you are going to like what I am loving this week. I am featuring some articles from a few of my favorite bloggers. I am so excited about this, that I definitely have to do it more often. I mean why should I promote big retailers, when I can promote my FRIENDS (at least sometimes)?! DUH.

Without further ado, here we goooo....

1. Sue. She is so kind, funny and smart. Are you reading her blog? Well, you should. 
Check out this article she wrote the other day. #4 is SO ME. I am a major geek when it comes to watching marathons on TV. I mean, last September, I went to bed early, set my alarm for like 2 am to get up and watch the Berlin Marathon! And everyone was speaking GERMAN. It was awesome.
Anyway - read Sue's article!!

2.  Deborah is awesome. Always positive, always sweet and I love reading her blog. 
---> Go read her blog! Definitely check out her article about training her husband for his first 5K!! You can feel the love here and I am so excited to follow along on the journey!!

3.  Lindsay's blog is called Cotter Crunch. OMG. Her recipes are incredible. Her photos make you want to run to the market, buy every ingredient she recommends and make her latest dish for dinner.
Seriously - check her out. Oh, and she is a sweetheart too!
I am excited to make this awesome shrimp tacos recipe that she featured this week. Don't they look delish?!

4.  My next two favorites aren't from bloggers, but they are still pretty great. Ready?
Actually, I found out about Ebibs when I was reading Sue's article, so she gets credit for this. :)
I hadn't heard about Ebibs before. SO FUNNY. I was cracking up at every single quote. Check it out.

5. Last favorite for the night. THIS lip balm is the
Really. It is.
You know us runners have to have great lip balm when we run, right?!!
A company in Santa Monica sent this to me and I love it. I love the smell, the texture - everything.
I am doing a review of a few things they sent me coming up this week, so stay tuned.

I'm still drinking wine! I guess I should stop and go to bed, right? Hummm...
No, really I should - since I am RUNNING tomorrow! Woo hoo!!!

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend my friends! 

Be well, run fast and take chances.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back To Running = Back To Normal

Hellllo friends!
What's going on?! Happy Thursday!! 

I hope you have been having a great week of running. I am on cloud 109 because I have run every single day this week! Woo hoo!!!


I started out with one total mile on the track (I have to run only on the track for 2-3 weeks. My therapist wants me to get a little stronger before he lets me run on trails) and felt great. A little stiff, a little weak - but great!
I have now progressed to 1.5 miles total - run one lap, walk a lap etc. I felt excited about adding that extra 1/2 mile into the mix!

Work those stairs!

I also have started walking 5 sets of stadium stairs some days after running to build more endurance (advice from my therapist. As I have said before - he works me!) I was a sweaty, sore mess after this workout!

Tuesday night I was invited (by the lovely Melissa from the Valentine RD!) to come to a yoga event at the Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica. The evening consisted of an outdoor yoga class, followed by cocktails and appetizers + a Lorna Jane trunk show! Count me in! 

Awesome yoga class!

Oh so good appetizers...

Lorna Jane = yes, please!

Okay, let's talk flowers for a moment. My favorite flower? Pale pink peonies. Well, peonies aren't in season right now, but Jerold surprised me with these beauties....

Thanks honey!

I have been a planking queen lately. Gotta get that core nice and strong. Side planks have been a little harder for me, so I've been practicing a lot...

Isn't my yoga mat so cool?! Vivaio Days in Santa Monica sent it to me, along with some other awesome products. I will have a review of everything up on the blog very soon. Stay tuned!

I've also been posting on Periscope! In this broadcast, I am talking about my future marathon goals, a brief analysis of my last marathon and the art of negative splitting!! This broadcast is a little longer than I normally post (usually 6 min). Also, the beautiful Lisa from was the person I was answering and talking to a few times. For some reason the Periscope hearts and questions did not appear when I transferred this to You Tube.

Onward to Friday!! :)

Do you usually negative split in your races?

Have you ever had a race goal that you are still working to achieve?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Update: Work Hard And Then Work Harder

Well, hello friends!
Happy Monday, happy start to a new week. I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Here it is ---- > The moment I have been waiting for since December finally happened. Can you believe it? I went running!!!! I realize that I was so excited about running, I didn't post my Friday Favorites! I was too excited!! I will resume next week :)

Here's a quick rundown:

Friday, I visited the track that I love so much for a running in place workout. I have logged many miles on this track - mostly in the form of 800 meter repeats during marathon training. Yes, this track and I have been through a lot together and I missed it...

My kiddos had so much fun running around and racing each other. Clearly the girls weren't dressed properly :) Megan in her flip flops and Elle in her dress and sandals. And those are swim googles around her neck!


I treated them to lunch and a fun little ride...

Friday night I went to the beach for a celebration sunset (followed by champagne!)
I also found out I won an amazing giveaway from a huge group of bloggers! The prize? A Fitbit and a $300 Amazon gift card! SCORE!!! #thatsthewaytocelebrate

Saturday morning PT = a super hard exercise. Hold for 15 seconds x 10!! Plus a bunch of squats and running back and forth down the hallway. We talked a lot about form and continuing to work hard on my core, glutes and strength. 

And then, the moment I've been waiting for arrived. I really don't have words to describe my feelings. This is a day I will never forget...

How did it REALLY feel to run?  The knee was a little stiff at first. I struggled to maintain my form the first couple of laps. By the 3rd lap I felt loose and a bit more comfortable. I worked on my form a lot and picked up speed at various points. It was exhilarating!! 

The kiddos and Jerold were with me for that first run on Saturday. Then we went for ice cream to celebrate!!

Big kiddos = totally into their ice cream

Sunday morning I got up before dawn to enjoy a beautiful sunrise on the beach (I did a broadcast on Periscope too!)...

And then I was off to the track for a morning run! Day #2 of 1 mile of running (run the straight and walk the curve). I was careful to stretch before (as instructed by my therapist) and then I went for it. Another wonderful day of running!! Am I dreaming? 

I forgot to wear my Garmin! #notusedtorunning

So, that's it!! That was my super exciting weekend of entering back into the wonderful world of running. I just want to take a moment and say thank you. Thank you so much to every person that has followed along on my blog - for every kind, encouraging word and all your support. It kept me going every day and I am so thankful. I know there is so much hard work ahead of me and I know I have to ease my body back into running. I am just so happy to be at this point. SO HAPPY!!!!!

To every injured runner out there, believe me - I know how hard it is. How frustrating. Try and be patient and you will get there. Last fall, I never dreamed it would take me this long to get here. But I'm finally here. #grateful

I know this was a long post and thanks so much for reading. I can't wait to share this journey of running, training and racing (+ eating!!) with all of you.

Tell me something FUN about your weekend!

Did anyone race this weekend? Long run?

What is your favorite month of fall (September, October or November)? 
My favorite is late October and November. I love Thanksgiving!
September and October are generally our hottest months here in So. Cal, so it still feels very much like summer. Even Halloween can be hot for the kids in their costumes! 

Happiness Is Running Life!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jumping, Running And Other Cool Happenings!

Hi friends!
I am really, really excited to share what is going on with my running! I went to see my ortho surgeon today. He examined my knee and had me perform two single leg squats to test my strength.
Everything looks great! He gave me the okay to start running again!!!
I can't believe that I am writing this. I really can't believe it.
After 8 months of zero running (last run was December 8th!!) including a four month surgical journey, I can finally say that I am healed. Also, bye bye to the knee brace - woo hoo!!
I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me. I will continue to do my exercises multiple times a day and stay really focused on strengthening my quad muscles.
My doctor said I could run on the treadmill for one mile and see how I feel. If that feels good, then I can run for two miles. TWO MILES. That sounds like heaven to me.
He would like for me to try that for a bit, and then I can start running outside. I have to stay on soft surfaces in the beginning. As I feel more confident, then I can progress to running on the roads.
 I have to go back and see him in two months. After that, I am on my own!!!

Now. There is more to this story. My wonderful physical therapist (he is awesome and takes good care of me!) seems to have a different plan in mind. At least he did when we talked on Tuesday. He told me that even though my doctor may clear me to start running, he might want me to wait a couple of more weeks (WHAT?!). His theory is that he wants my quad muscles to be stronger and my single leg squats to be stronger. However, he did have me begin some real jumping...

Hooray for jumping! 

I am also running in place. It looks like this: 1. Running in place for 1 minute. 3 sets
2. Running in place with high knees for 1 minute. 3 sets 
3. Running in place with butt kicks for 1 minute. 3 sets

I am super anxious and excited to go back to PT on Friday and hope that he'll let me run on the treadmill. I know I can do it. My doctor thinks I can do it. Let's do it!! :)
Of course I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

On to a couple of other fun things...

Who's going to watch the World Championships in Beijing?! Here is a calendar of all the events for your viewing  pleasure...

Who's on Periscope?! I signed up (Natrunsfar - follow me!), but haven't done a video yet! Has anyone done a video? Let me know so I can check you out! I love that Katie is doing a new topic every day for 14 days. If you don't know what to talk about, check out her blog for the list of ideas. #PeriscopeProject.
I haven't had time to record - I think I am resigned to that fact that my kids will be in the video with me :)

Alllllright! That's all I have for now. Be well. Have fun. Live wonderfully.

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Update

Hi friends!
How's it going today?
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

We had a really fun summer weekend. We laughed and played, enjoyed being together and just had a lot of fun. It was pretty simple. I worked out quite a bit with a good amount of time on the bike, core work and PT exercises + nice long power walks.
As a family, we spent wonderful time together at the beach! It was a mellow, low key weekend - I even took a long nap on Sunday. I love weekends like this!


I had time to reflect on my training and rehab. Many runners are training for fall marathons.
I'm simply excited to start running again and being able to run for the pure joy that it brings into my life. Then I'll start slowly building my base this fall, which will lead into training for the Boston Marathon in April. I am sure I will test out some shorter races, but it all will lead into running a marathon in 8 months. I know it will take a lot of hard work and dedication. I will have to work harder for this marathon than any other marathon I have ever done.

It has almost been one year since I ran my last marathon. A year ago I was in the Midwest visiting my Dad, full blown into marathon training (20 miles on the Great Miami River Trail!). Then we were off to Mexico as a family and I would be slowly beginning to taper for the big race.
This summer has been so very different. From surgery in April, not moving much, crutches for what seemed like forever, to fully walking again at the beginning of July... I feel so thankful to have a good knee and to be healthy. 
It feels so good to go on a walk! I will never take walking for granted again...

I love watching my daughter Megan. She always has the attitude that if she wants to do something...

She just does it!!

I featured Lindsey Vonn's documentary in my Friday Favorites last week. I can't even begin to tell you how moved I was. Watching this amazing athlete go through one knee surgery and then have to have a second knee surgery was unbelievable. The hard work and dedication she put into her rehab was so inspiring. I realized even more that you can do ANYTHING that you set your mind to do.
When you think you are working hard, work harder. Never stop believing in yourself.
I'm so excited for my future and to see what my body can do! Cheers to all of us for pushing ourselves and never, ever giving up.

I don't take this sunset for granted. #stunning

Tell me something fun about your weekend!!

Any exciting Labor Day plans?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Mid August is here!! Time is flying by and I am really looking forward to the weekend!

Let's get right to it and I'll share with you what I am loving this week!

1.  Gjelina is a wonderful little restaurant in Venice Beach.  Whether you are going on a date night or having dinner with friends, you will fall in love with this gem (just make reservation well in advance!!). A cookbook is coming out this fall and I know the recipes will be amazing.

2. THIS video of Lindsey Vonn's knee injury, 2 surgeries and the crazy amount of hard work she put in to come back as a champion. Brought tears to my eyes and renewed fire in gut to keep pushing.
There was SO much I could relate to through her surgery and rehab. I hope you are as inspired as I was.

3.  There are so many places to get an amazing cupcake in Los Angeles, but THIS place is one of my favorites!! I think I need to have one this weekend...!

4. THIS dress!

5.  I started running in the Brooks Ghost 7 last fall and loved it. The Ghost 8 in this new color looks pretty awesome!! I am looking forward to trying it out soon :)

Have a terrific weekend!

Who's racing this weekend? (Good luck and have fun!)

Anyone have a long run this weekend?

What do you like to have for breakfast on the weekend?
We love making pancakes or waffles and having a leisure breakfast :)

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Peach and Mozzarella Skewers (With Basil and Lime) + Fun Summer Days!

Hi friends!
Was it super hot for you today? The weather here was so hot and it truly felt like a lazy, summer day.
Food wise, I was craving savory, crisp summer bites. I didn't want to turn on the oven and we only wanted to hang outside under a huge tree.
I have wanted to try THIS appetizer for a couple of weeks and today seemed like the perfect day to make it! It is super easy to prepare and perfect for a casual bite before dinner or dress it up as a pretty appetizer for a summer dinner party. Speaking of dinner parties, I haven't hosted one all summer! I remember the days when Jerold and I would have such wonderfully fun dinner parties filled with great friends, food and laughter. Even when we started having kids, we would still host an occasional party. I think I should get one on the calendar before summer's glow begins to fade.
Okay! Back to this delicious appetizer....

I have been on quite a peach kick this summer (check out my other peach recipes HERE and HERE!) and I don't seem to want to let it go. I still would like to make a beautiful peach cobbler sometime this month. I'll be sure and share it with you!

For this recipe, the ingredients are minimal...

Grate the zest of 1 lime...

Mix the zest with olive oil, a pinch of salt and the mozzarella balls...

Cut up one ripe peach into pieces...

Then all you have to do is assemble the skewers with the mozzarella balls, a fresh basil leaf and one piece of peach. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt + fresh cracked pepper...

Voila! Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy!

I have been power walking every day and it feels great!

There is a school close to our house that has a mini track with a large infield and playground. The kids can play and I can walk. Josh decided that he wanted to power walk with me...

Megan and Josh were able to unleash their inner Piccaso and had so much fun painting this afternoon...

I can't believe she starts kindergarten in a month!

And Elle woke up from her nap ready to go. I just can't get enough of this sweet baby girl...

Josh looked up in the sky and yelled out to get our attention to see this... (there was more to the message, but I couldn't fit it all in the frame of my camera)!

Someone went all out for a birthday message! 

After we enjoyed our peach mozzarella appetizer, I made an awesome salad as the main course. I was reading Lindsay's blog the other day (she has the best recipes!!) and this salad looked amazing. I decided to give it a try and my kiddos LOVED it. Josh couldn't stop talking about how great it was and and he ate three huge servings. Success!! Thanks Lindsay - we all loved it :)

Fig, Basil and Prosciutto Salad

I want to share that I started JUMPING on the trampoline at PT yesterday!!!! Hooray! I wasn't expecting to start jumping for another week, but my therapist felt like I was ready. I didn't get a picture but I will next time I go in. After I did a few minutes of jumping on the trampoline, I then got into a squat position and completed a series of soft jumps up and down the room. I am getting there - getting myself ready to run!  5 days till I go back to see my surgeon and we'll see what he says. 
Today I was feeling like I have lost so much fitness. I know that I will gain it back and so far it hasn't bothered me too much, but I felt it today. This has been such a journey, but I really feel like it will make me a stronger runner. I can't wait!!

Go have an awesome day!!

Do you host dinner parties often?

Have you ever seen elaborate messages written in the sky?

Happiness Is Running Life!