And the Winner is…

Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions and share your stories!  It was such a JOY to read all of your comments.  Without further ado, the winner for the first ever Luv What You Do Amazon Giveaway is…



Drum Roll Please…




Number 12!

Rebecca Says:


“Happy blogger-versary! I love that you are always so positive in your posts…you never complain and you always seem like you are cooking things that make other people’s days brighter! I started blogging because I wanted to write and connect with other people- it’s been so fun “meeting” blogger friends, like you :) enjoy your last day in FL”



Rebecca, I will email you to get all of your information and send out your gift card ASAP. 

Happy Shopping!

30 years of Good Stuff

In honor of my 30th birthday, I wanted to share some of my exciting adventures and accomplishments.  Obviously, the deck is stacked towards this past decade (thanks to the invention of the digital camera), but the photos are half the fun!  I loved looking back on all of these opportunities, and I can’t wait to add 30 more years of ‘Good Stuff’ to the list!


Exploring the Country









Backpacking through Australia with my Bro









And Skydiving into Sugarcane



Riding 2 Days of RAGBRAI with my Mom (she did the whole week)



Earning my Doctorate



Moving to Memphis for my First Job





Fun-Filled Family Vacations









Summers at Overnight Camp with my BFF





Cruising with the BOY







Road Races and Triathlons

Kelley and Jen Post Race








Making Lifelong Friends


One Goal!

Yes, I stole the slogan from the Blackhawks!




It’s time to check in with August.  Already? I can’t believe it!

This month was exciting, exhausting, emotional and truly just flew by.


August Recap

1. Increase distance runs for marathon prep

        -Let’s just say that I have a ways to go here…like 26.2 miles!  I have gotten in a few midrange runs in, but 10 miles max!

2. Complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

        -Done and Done!  I rocked this race and loved every moment of it.  Read my race recap and check out some pictures!

3. Continue to find time for yoga and meditation.

        -I am failing here (and trust me I could have used it this month).

4. Cook new recipes with seasonal produce.

        -This was a fun goal to accomplish.  Check out CSA dinners HERE and HERE and my fresh fruit salsa HERE.


Now on to September…

I have ONE GOAL (hence the title) for this month…TRAIN, TRAIN, and TRAIN!!!  It is time to get serious about the marathon, so from now until October 9th, there will be limited HFCS, alcohol, soda, and processed sugars and maximum time spent pounding the pavement in my running shoes (and of course sleeping and soaking in a hot tub)!  Wish me luck!

First Day of School

Although the BOY wouldn’t let me cook him breakfast on his first day of law school, he did agree to let me take a picture of him.  This has been a tradition in my family since we were young. We have hundreds of photos of my brother and I beginning kindergarten, high school, college, etc.  In each picture, there are the changing clothes and hairstyles and backpacks filled to the rim with school supplies (initially crayons and markers and eventually large text books).  These pictures share that look of excitement with a hint of nervousness anticipating what the next year will hold. Lucky for you, many of these pictures are in photo albums before the days of digital or this would be quite a long post.


Growing up, I hated posing for pictures on the driveway and then having my mom follow me to the bus stop with the camera. I’m sure I even made that quite clear a few times. But now looking back, these are fun memories to have and to share. I can visualize many of these pictures when I can’t remember the actual day. Like junior year when I turned 16 on the first day of school and drove the minivan with my mom in the passenger seat. I think I was wearing a red tank top over a white t-shirt and jean shorts.  And somewhere is the picture of my first day of grad school clinicals.  We had just gotten back from a family vacation.  I was exhausted but felt so professional in my pressed khakis and pink button up shirt.

One of my favorite pictures is of my friend Jenny and I (with my brother hanging in the background) on the first day of kindergarten.  I had this bright pink dress and a fuzzy yellow animal on my arm that was apparently a watch. 



I had a few minutes at my parents yesterday so I went looking for these pictures.  For time’s sake, I snapped photos of these old pictures, so the quality isn’t great, but you get the picture.  This is the first day of kindergarten, which also happened to be my 5th birthday. I can’t believe that it was almost 25 years ago!






Even more fun is that Jenny and I are still friends all these years later!  I also found these first day of school pictures, which I think are from 1st or 2nd grade…usually you can tell by the hairstyle and I was apparently growing out my bangs.  I know that the bangs made a reappearance at some point again in junior high though.




I even carried on the tradition when my brother and I traveled to Australia.  After two weeks of fun and traveling together, he was headed off to begin classes.  I took this picture of him on his first day before I headed to the airport for the long flight home.  



I have always been a huge picture person. I have thousands saved in albums throughout our house (and some stored in my parents basement) along with all the recent digital pictures take up space on my computer.  These pictures capture tons of happy memories, like birthdays and graduations, and exciting times shared with family and friends.  But there is nothing like that picture of the first day of school, whether you are a child starting kindergarten or an almost 30 year old heading off to catch the train for your first day of law school.

IMG_4429   IMG_4431

After all of those years of complaints on the drive and at the bus stop, I owe my P’s a big ‘I’m Sorry!’

Thanks for starting a fun tradition that will carry on with generations to come!

What I Did Today

What I should have been doing today…

Stuffing myself into a wet suit and practicing my open water swimming before tomorrow’s triathlon!


Bigfoot Triathlon 2010


What I actually did today…



Renewed my passport with a much better picture than the last one. 

(Check it out…hair still straight from yesterday)


Bumped in to my mom in the parking lot of the Whole Foods during the

‘Back to School’ event (small world!).

IMG_4131 IMG_4132


Had some samples in the parking lot, then enjoyed an impromptu lunch and shopping with my mom at the WF!




Stopped by my favorite Store for a new heat safe pitcher for my iced tea



Battled another HUGE rain storm



Baked a fantastic loaf of bread in my breadmaker





Made a healthy and tasty pre-race dinner of carbohydrates and protein from my new Tosca Reno cookbook…the Leftover Pasta Pizza Pie (with added mushrooms)



And then sat lazily on my coach to blog about my day while catching

up on The Closer.




And now I am off to get ready for tomorrow’s race and head to bed early.

See you bright and early!


A New Addition

I woke up early yesterday intending to do a long bike ride, but the weather was not on board.  It was drizzly and gross with threats of thunder storms.  With my race one week away, I thought about all of the workouts I needed to do…an  open water swim, a BRICK, a long bike ride.  Instead, I chose to make myself some Mango Black Tea and enjoy some quiet time before the BOY woke up.


I had a totally random breakfast of leftover Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Tian from the night before with an egg.  This vegetable dish was soo yummy that I was excited to have it again.  It actually tasted great with an egg as a breakfast side!


I was tired from being up early and overall kind of BLAH.  I considered just sitting on the couch all day, but we had a trip to the city scheduled to meet the newest (and youngest) ‘Ya-Ya’ and our second golf lesson this morning that I didn’t want to miss. 


I’m not sure that I have the golfer’s look down just yet.


The lesson was fun and although I am no where near ready for the course, I think my swing is getting better and more consistent.  We also spent a little time working on our short game.  The BOY is really enjoying the golf and he has had some extra time this past week to get to the driving range for some practice wit his new clubs.  Weather permitting, we’d like to get there together this weekend.


After the lesson, we headed out to our favorite local bar for lunch.  When we got home, I knew I was supposed to go for a bike ride, but just didn’t have it in me. I debated a nap but decided that a run would be the perfect thing to clear my head and get me energized.  I have even read research to support that exercise is actually better than a cat nap when you only have an hour, so I used that as motivation to lace up my shoes and head outside.


I don’t usually run in the middle of the day (because I have a sensitive stomach AND because it is usually 100 degrees).  Luckily my stomach held up, but it was REALLY humid.  I ran for an hour ~ 7 miles at a steady pace.  I know most people run with music, but I like to use my runs to organize my thoughts, to plan, or to just zone out (depending on what I need that day).  After a busy week, I desperately needed some quiet time on the nature trail yesterday. I came home sweaty and exhausted but feeling better than I had all day…the BLAH’s were gone.  Plus I was so excited to head into the city to meet my ‘niece’!


Ok, not really my niece, but my bestest friend in the whole world had a baby girl and I was ecstatic to meet her.  Our moms are close friends (we lovingly refer to them and their crew as the Ya-Ya’s) and we have been friends for over 25 years.  Her daughter is the third generation in this family of women who share a unique and special bond.



She is absolutely beautiful and looks just like her daddy.  She has the most amazing parents and extended group of family and friends who are so excited to welcome her into the world!  I can’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon than with my best friend and her first child, a daughter. I am already anticipating the fun girly adventures the three of us will share!!!

Where did July Go?

Is it me, or is summer flying by WAY too fast?!  Even though it’s not officially August until tomorrow, I’m doing my goal ‘check-in’ today.  I know once the work week starts there will be no time for self-reflection and even less for blogging.


July Goals Round Up:

1.Meditate more-with all of our travel this month, it has been hard to get to a yoga class. I did make time for mindful breathing, but need to continue to add quiet time each week.

2. Finish Sprint Tri-DONE!  See full post HERE and HERE!  Completed the TREK Women’s Tri and LOVED it!

3. Continue to decrease consumption of HFCS, artificial sweeteners, and soda-I am drinking more hot and iced tea and less Crystal Lite every day and avoiding foods with HFCS and other white sugars.  I made it until yesterday without soda when the BOY ordered a root beer float after a round of tennis.  Since I hadn’t had soda in two months, it tasted great!

4. Eat something new each week-This has been hard with all of our traveling. I have had less time to play at the farmer’s market or in my kitchen.  I will definitely try to find new foods and the time to share them on the blog throughout the rest of summer and into fall.

5. Work on the blog-I updated some headings but still need to work on my Eating Well and Recipe sections.  Always a work in progress and never exactly where I want it, but still having fun!


Overall, an ok month in terms of goals. I have definitely been eating consciously and following my Tri exercise plan despite the busy and quick moving month of July.  I am looking forward to a more relaxed August with some quality time in the kitchen.  Fun News…it’s my turn for TREAT DAY again next week! 



New goals for August:

I’m going to keep it simple this month.

1. Increase distance runs for marathon prep.

2. Complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

3. Continue to find time for yoga and meditation.

4. Cook new recipes with seasonal produce.



What goals have you set for yourself throughout the year?  What accomplishment are you most proud of this year?

Weather.Com I hate You!

Ok really…It’s 8:30 AM…I am getting ready to head out on my morning bike ride.  I had heard it was going to be a HOT day (close to 95 degrees).  Sadly, I didn’t get out as early as I had wanted, but I am all dressed and ready to go.  I head out to the garage to prep my bike and the sky is looking a little dark.  I come back inside to check the computer which looks like this…

9 am

78° F



10 am

80° F



11 am

83° F



12 pm

85° F



I figure that I have  a few hours before the rain starts, but decide to stay in the neighborhood in case it starts early.  I head back out to the garage to discover…that it is raining!!!  Seriously,…how could you miss that?!


The joys of cooking on Sunday…Monday leftovers.  I heated up my breakfast grains with applesauce and added blueberries and some more cinnamon.  They were very tasty and filling!  They gave me the energy I needed to get through my spin class, which was an endurance ride this morning.  Dinner is left over stuffed peppers…with the goat cheese this time.  So good!