So I saw this survey on Running the Windy City and I loved it!  I don’t think I’ve ever done a survey but this seemed like a fun one to save for a rainy day or weekend away!  Although I wasn’t exactly tagged under T, I thought I”d pretend like I was…ha ha!  I hope you enjoy learning a little more about me while I am down in St. Louis for a Girl’s Weekend!


A.  Attached or Single?


I think you guys know the answer to this one.  The BOY and I have been dating 7 years last month!





B. Best Friend?


We met in bowling day was BFF at first sight!





C. Cake or Pie?



Shamless plug…Even though I’m a cake girl, I do LOVE this Sweet Potato Pie.



D. Day of Choice?


Is there anything better than Sunday Funday?  Especially in the fall when it begins with a morning yoga class, followed by crockpot chili, and Bear’s football!



E. Essential Item?




My Camera.  I hate to miss a sunset and between my phone and two cameras, I always have something available to capture any beautiful site.



F. Favorite Color?





G. Gummy Bears or Worms?


They are the only worms that I will touch!  But I am really more of a Swedish fish girl : )



H. Hometown?


Born in NY, but raised in Arlington Hts., IL



I. Favorite Indulgence?


Spa treatments!!!




And, frozen yogurt…especially the kind that you weigh yourself and can fill extra high with toppings!



J. January or July?


Neither and both!



K. Kids?


When I grow up!  For now, I get my fair share at my job and loving on my friend’s adorable kiddos.



L. Life Isn’t Complete Without?


My family and friends!





M. Marriage Date?


Not my own…trust me, you’ll be the first to know : )



N. Number of Brothers/Sisters?


I’ve got one younger brother.





O. Oranges or Apples?


Oh, I love both!  But ripe apples in the fall are the BEST!



P. Phobias?


I hate spiders and have a crazy fear of scuba diving.


Q. Quotes?


Obviously, I’m a huge fan of ‘Do What You Love, Love What You Do.’


R. Reason to Smile?


Every day!  The kids at work make me smile.  They say the funniest (and most inappropriate) things and do some incredible stuff!



S. Season of Choice?


FALL!  I love everything about it!





T. Tag People…


Tag ya’ll are it!!!



U. Unknown Fact About Me…


Well I feel that I’ve shared a lot recently, so it was tough to come up with something new.

I HATE touching sponges!



V. Vegetable?


The sweet potato for sure.  Not just because of the above mentioned pie.  I love it in EVERYTHING!



W. Worst Habit?


Recently, it’s been letting Cooper fall asleep with me.  But I am also a pimple picker.  Is that TMI?






X. Xray or Ultrasound?

I’m not sure if this is asking which I prefer because neither have been very positive for me in the past.  I’ll have to go Xray though. I’ve had plenty since I’ve broken at least 5 bones.



Y. Your Favorite Food?


Does fro yo count?  What about popcorn?  I eat a lot of popcorn!  As a meal, I love a beautiful piece of fish (glazed salmon or sea bass) with sweet potatoes, and asparagus or broccoli.  Plus a glass of wine.



Z. Zodiac Sign?

I’m a Virgo…in sooo many ways!



Leave a comment and answer some questions! 

Do you like to do surveys?  This is a fun one to try!

As a Nominee…

I promise to bring you a random, interesting, and entertaining post. 

But I can’t move on without thanking the wonderful Kayla for this Leibster nod!  Thanks Girl!!!




11 Random Facts About Me


1. I have a scar in the middle of my forehead from when I had the chicken pox in 5th grade.

2. I spend more money on running shoes than I do on heels.  I’m not sure that I even own any heels.  Ok, maybe one pair for weddings.

3. I am slightly superstition, so you will see me avoiding ladders and knocking on wood.

4. I took 4 AP classes in high school and graduated with highest honors.

5. I used to hate my middle name, but now I use it in my email address.

6. Growing up, my favorite food was my dad’s chicken parmesan.  I also love his matzo ball soup!

7. I drink way to much bubbly for my own good.

8. I remember when the original Nintendo came out, but I never had one.

9. I still sleep with a teddy bear (and my boyfriend and last night our kitten).

10. I hate public speaking!

11. Even though I race for fun, I still get crazy nervous and anxious before every race.



Questions from Kalya


What is your favorite childhood memory?

Oh my gosh…there are so many to choose from!  I think driving down to Florida, spending 24 hours with my parents and brother in the car playing games, singing, eating, and causing trouble on our way to visit my grandparents in Florida.  We used to go every winter break and then out east for spring break.



My bro and I in Florida!


Most embarrassing moment?

My first kiss…I’m not sharing any more : )


What is your favorite way to relax/unwind?

When I can afford it, a massage.  But I love a yoga class or eating dinner outside with a glass of wine at sunset.  Ahhh!


If you won the lotto, what would be your first purchase?

It would either be an amazing downtown (Chicago) condo or a trip to the Polynesian Islands.


What feature/quality do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

Their smile!


Are you an early bird or night owl?

I’d prefer to be a night owl (ask my college roommates), but life has made me an early bird.


What is more difficult for you; eating healthy or working out?

Eating healthy!  Have you seen all of the dessert recipes on this blog?!  I love to stay active, but I also love me some fro yo and dark chocolate.




What is one thing you have on your bucket list?

Since I’ve already been skydiving in Australia and this summer, I traveled to Israel, I’d have to say a half Ironman.


What quality do you appreciate the most in a good friend?

Honesty and humor.


What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Earning my DPT and moving by myself to Tennessee for my first job.




What do you think is the greatest invention?

The airplane.  I LOVE to travel!



11 Questions for you, my Friends

1. What position do you sleep in?

2. Who is the most influential person in your life?

3. What is your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?

4. What is the last thing that you read?  Was it paper or electronic copy?

5. What are your Labor Day plans?

6. Who is our celeb crush?

7. Do you like taking pictures?  What is your favorite thing to photograph?

8. Do you have any bad habits?

9. What was your favorite childhood television show?

10. What is the hardest thing you’ve done?

11. Did you have braces as a kid? For how long?



Now It’s Your Turn

I’m nominating you all for the Liebster Award!


Here are the rules:

-Acknowledge the blogger who nominated them

-Share 11 random facts about themselves

-Answer the 11 questions given to them

-Nominate 11 new bloggers

-Ask 11 new questions

-Notify the 11 bloggers about their nominations


Tell me something interesting about yourself or answer any or all of the questions!

A Guest Post…From Mom

When I knew I was heading out of town for 2 weeks, I asked one of the best writers (and a new blogger) to write a guest post for me.  The night before I left I received two.  After listening to me chat blog for ~2 years, my mom decided to start one of her own.  She is one incredible writer sharing fiction, old stories, and life lessons every day at her site Just Fuffy

Note: I did not give her any suggestions or guidelines…perhaps I should have : )


A Guest Post…From Mom

DD (Darling Daughter) has left town… left the country… and is having a bucket list experience…  it is one of those amazing have to be in the right place at the right time, couldn’t plan for, meant to be experiences.


DS (darling Son) went on a similar trip about 6 years ago, so I sort of know what DD is doing… and there is a link where photos will be published… I’ll be checking it everyday…!


Many of you know DD through this blog, you know she is quite the baker and healthy cooker.  You know that she is quite the athlete, trying new things, training and committed to exercise.




Here are a few things you may have figured out, or may not know about DD…

.She loves clothes… lots of clothes, all kinds of clothes and owns many clothes.

.She loves a sale and enjoys finding fun clothes on sale.  She will pay full price for a ‘special’ piece.

.She also loves shoes…  see above.

.She loves her friends and family.. deeply and with a good heart.

.She is generous, going out of her way always for others.

.She is emotional.. if you have heard DD wail, really wail, you know what I am talking about.

.that doesn’t happen very often…. !!!

.She loves to talk, and to listen.

.She is practical, runs her life on Quicken and mostly keeps to a budget.

.She is loyal.

.She has a strength of character and a maturity beyond her years.

.She is funny.

.She eats the food she buys, she does not waste food.

.She is built like her mother and grandmother…. Sigh.

.She is a storyteller….




And there will be stories to tell when she returns…. I , for one, can’t wait!  I miss her!!!!

The Bucket List {6 Months In}

Since we’re half way done with 2013 (how do these things happen?), I thought it would only be appropriate to check back in with my 2013 Bucket List.  Even though I am countries away, thanks to modern technology, I can still share my update.



Restore Balance

Eat Clean (You can read about this in greater detail in my New Year post)

Practice Yoga More Consistently

Keep Meal Planning

Create/Join a Book Club (and read more!)


So the first two items (eating clean and doing yoga) have been inconsistent and schedule dependent. I think that with my schedule change, I will be able to continue to prioritize these things when I return from my trip!


We are definitely meal planning!  And although I am reading, there is no book club YET!






Improve Fitness

Half Marathon PRI had a speedy start to the year with a 1:49:46 half marathon PR

Another Olympic Tri

Chicago Marathon (Sub 4:00 please)

Do a Century Bike Ride


I’m not sure if I will have time for another Olympic Triathlon, but I did love competing in my first Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.  Marathon training will return soon!



Make a Change

Write! (maybe even take a writing class)

VolunteerWe had a great time supporting St. Jude at this event!

Take a Professional Risk-I’ve made a huge change to my work schedule and started some new opportunities

Self Host the BlogI have my own website, so that’s something.  Now my big blog goal is get my recipe page up to date!






Other Things Worth Mentioning for January-June 2013

Soaking up some vitamin N (that means nature)

4th Annual Bike the Drive

Starting the Five For Friday Series

Celebrating 101 with Grandpa Al

Trying CrossFit

Obsessing Over Banana Bread

Exploring Sarasota





How are you doing with your 2013 goals and bucket list?

Two Ingredient Pancakes [Take II]

I owe you a sincere apology this morning.  It seems that during my quiet Saturday night in eating Mediterranean with the BOY and watching Indiana Basketball while also updating some old blog posts (mostly just adding some tags and fixing some pictures), that I overloaded your inboxes and readers with old posts. 


Yikes!  I am so sorry!  That is a lot of Jen for one morning!!!


I seem to do well with baking, but fail pretty obviously at blogging.  I hope that you possibly, maybe enjoyed seeing some old posts that you hadn’t read before or learning something new.  For those of you who use WordPress, any tips on making changes or updates without overwhelming my readers???


While you are easing into your Sunday catching up on emails, posts, and online shopping, I have no doubt that breakfast is on your mind.  I was reminded last night that I made only one attempt at Two Ingredient Pancakes, and was due for a second try.




So this morning I mashed up a banana, stirred in an egg, and made three actual pancakes with successful flipping!


IMG_1462 IMG_1464


Since the BOY and I have absolutely NO plans for the day, I decided not to rush out the door for 10am yoga.




Instead, I enjoyed a warm cup of tea with my breakfast and watched some TV with the BOY.




There is always the 11:30am yoga class to attend!

Happy Sunday!

Liebster Award

My friend Meghan over at Clean Eats Fast Feets nominated me for the Liebster Award.  And since I’ve been unplugged from the blogging world for a few days this week, I have had plenty of time to think about new and hopefully interesting things to share with you (and scan in some old photos).




A huge Thank You to Meghan who writes witty posts and leaves thoughtful comments each week that keep me motivated and smiling!  Check out her blog for all the Liebster rules!  And I should warn you…this is going to be a LONG post!



11 Facts about Me


1. My full name is Jennifer.  There were 4 Jennifer’s in my kindergarten class so we needed nicknames.  I became Jen (1 N) although I was Jenn (2 N’s) for about a week in third grade before I forgot.  Now it’s mostly Jen (or Miss Jen by my little patients).



First Day of Kindergarten (and my 5th Birthday)


2. I don’t drink coffee.  Neither does the BOY.  We don’t even have a coffee maker or coffee in our house.  This is only a big deal if you come to visit for a weekend.  In which case, remind me to pick you up some Via’s!


3. I spent 9 summers at overnight camp learning to waterski, knee board, sail, horseback ride, and make toffee over a camp fire.  I did 4 muti-day canoe trips, and I still love hiking and float trips.


4.  I have never been able to get into American Idol or Dancing with the Stars.  I do love Biggest Loser and have a history of watching Real World/Road Rules Challenge shows.  If I had to do a reality TV show, I would go on the Amazing Race.


5. I still sleep with a teddy bear.


6. I was in a sorority in college.  This year will be the 10 year anniversary of my college graduation (crazy!) and some of my closest friends, I met through my sorority. We even survived living together!


College Girls 001 College Girls 2 001


7. I love 80’s movies!  Adventures in Babysitting, Goonies, Troop Beverly Hills, Shag, and Sixteen Candles are a few of my favorites!


8. If I wasn’t working full time, I’d practice yoga daily, become a personal trainer, and write a book.


9. I already have my Pen Name figured out for my first novel.


10. I played 4 years of soccer in high school. My senior year, I ran cross country and cheered for the basketball team.


Cheerleading 001


11. I am super left brained.  I think physics is phun and can’t draw a straight line with a ruler!  My attempts at Spanish are pathetic, and I loved algebra.  In college, I tutored high schoolers in math.



Questions from Megan’s Friends


1. What is your favorite brand and style of jeans?

I like a boot cut jean…pretty basic.  But I wear a lot of skinny jeans under my boots in the winter.


2. What is your favorite ‘guilty’ secret pleasure TV show?

Wow…tough question.  It used to me GREEK on ABC family.  I loved it, got the BOY hooked, and now we own all the seasons on DVD.  Yes that is super embarrassing.  Now, I am totally digging Scandal but I’m not afraid to share that news with my friends.  I have watched enough episodes of Big Rich Texas, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleads, and Toddlers and Tiaras to be ashamed : )


3. If you could have one thing for free, no matter how big or small, what would you pick?

I’d love a condo (decent sized) in the city with a healthy chef and personal masseuse. 




4. Do you get dressed up even when you stay at home for the day?

Heck no!  Rocking my new flannel jammie pants right now.


5. How many blogs do you read on a daily basis?

This number has definitely grown. I probably read about 15.  There are so many amazing people out there sharing their lives that I love to check out their pictures, posts, comments, recipes, races, and travels.


6. What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Is it okay to not really have one?!  I really enjoy eating a variety and there isn’t one thing that I could eat forever. 


7. Why did you start blogging?

Well, I was beginning to discover blogs when I was searching for healthy new recipes on the internet a few years back.  I liked reading what others were doing and was looking for a creative outlet to practice my writing skills.  See fact 11 above…anything creative is a challenge for little old left brained me.  I also thought it was an easy way to share some of my recipes since people were often asking for them.


8. What do you think is worth spending good money on?

Taking care of myself!  This would include gym memberships, the right running shoes, quality produce, a massage or facial when I can spring it, yoga classes, a personal trainer, and outings with the BOY when we just need to get away!


9. Is that your natural hair color?

I haven’t been asked this question in awhile.  Yep, I am all natural and have been since I couldn’t afford highlights in grad school.  Believe it or not, I used to be blonde!


Jen and Dana Soccer 001


10. Favorite day of the week and why?

Monday!  I have Mondays off and they are usually what I call ‘Jen’s Day’.  It is relaxing, I get myself pulled together for the week, and take advantage of some quiet time at home.  Of note…the BOY doesn’t have class on Mondays this semester.  It will be interesting to see how that goes : )


11. Pets?  Do you have any and what are they?

Sadly, the BOY and I had to put his turned ‘our’ cat to sleep last February.  She was one Sassy Girl!  I think eventually we will get another furry friend but right now isn’t the best time. 



11 New Questions


1. What is your astrological sign?  Do you fit the description?

2. What is your favorite winter activity?

3. Flats or Heels?

4. Who was your first kiss?

5. If you could get rid of one form of social media, what would it be?

6. Last race you participated in?  What race are you doing next?

7. What is your favorite gift to give others?

8. If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase?

9. What is your favorite meal?  Breakfast, lunch or Dinner and Why?

10. Do your friends, family and coworkers know that you are a blogger?

11. What do you like most about blogging and what is the hardest part?



11 Bloggers

*This is always the hardest part as so many of you make a difference in my day! 


Blissful Britt

With Love Deirdre Lee

Modern Nutrition Girl

Happy Tri Girl

Pies and Plots

Snack Therapy

Runner By Default

I Heart Vegetables

Eat Move Balance

Lavender Parking Running

Sweat Sweat



Now it’s your turn…

Tell me something about yourself or answer any of the questions above!



Want to know more??? 

My Being Me page has some more random facts and stories!

Hide and Seek

For whatever reason, I am so scared to make any changes with this blog.  The main reason is because I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing when it comes to the technical stuff.  Not that I really know much about blogging in general and I basically wing it every day, but I know much, much, much less about the behind the seasons stuff.  Tips accepted!!!


So, that being said, I delayed pressing the button that would transform me (I thought) from WordPress to for at least a week.  Exciting…right?!  I’ve never had my own website before…hence the fear.  And fear is exactly what I felt when I Iinked, clicked, and totally LOST my blog for about 30 minutes.  Yikes!  Meanwhile, I went back and forth between the WordPress and GoDaddy help sites realizing I still have no idea what to do.  So, I called in for support and was told to wait 2 hours….


During which, I got started on making Chili (recipe to come) and nursed a bit of a headache.




Wii games and bubbly last night…what a way to end your week?!  I try not to vent too much about work stuff on the blog, but this week was just SO STRESSFUL that the BOY and I took Friday night to unwind with these guilty pleasures.




Which leaves me now sitting on the couch watching the DVR and sipping on lemon water.




I love this stuff!  And this morning, I could use the detox properties : )

About 1 hour into my waiting, I just had to see if my blog was found.


And…ready or not…here I am!  Introducing!


I know that I have been unplugged the last few days, but I have some exciting new recipes to share (once I have recovered from this tough week)!  A three day weekend will definitely help!



Do you make your own blog changes? 

Any tips for the new(ish) girl?


The Best of 2012

This post is one of my favorites because it allows me to take a look through a year’s worth of memories!


Best Tropical Vacation

8 Day Caribbean Cruise





Most Exciting Celebration

Grandpa’s 100th Birthday





Best Memorial Day Theme






Best Active Vacation

Biking Door County with my Mom





Tastiest Banana Bread

Maple Banana Bread





Coolest Shopping Experience

Lululemon Warehouse Sale





Most Fun Race

Green Lake Triathlon





Most Addicting Snack

Fig and Date Energy Bars





Favorite NYC Pictures

Under the Bridge





Best Sunday Tradition

Crockpot Chili





Most Emotional Post

Remembering Emmy





Best New Tradition

Christmas Day





Sweetest New Desert

Slutty Brownies





Longest Meal

Brunch at the Wynn, Las Vegas





Biggest Adventure

Manistee Backpacking Trip





Best Tasting Vegetarian Recipe

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas





Most Inspirational Post

Healthy Habits





Your Favorite Post

Fun with Cake Mixes





It’s wonderful to see all of the beauty, friendships, love, and adventure that we fit into only 365 days!

Read last year’s ‘Best Of’ List!



Tell me what was BEST for you in 2012?

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!

2nd Year Blogger-versary + 1st Giveaway



They say when you are on vacation you have no concept of time.  This is so true for me…especially with such a strange week (working Monday and Tuesday then off to Florida).  If it weren’t for the ‘Happy Anniversary’ message from WordPress this morning, I might have missed that today is December 23rd which is exactly 2 years since I started Luv What You Do with my first post titled First Day Jitters.


Last year, I had a lot to say on my 1 year Blogger-Versary and I’m not sure I could say it any better today!  That could be because I really want to go back outside and climb into the swimming pool hot tub.


I wasn’t really sure how to ‘celebrate’ today, but I thought that my first giveaway would be ideal for this momentous occasion.  Unlike some other bloggers, I don’t make money from blogging, so free stuff isn’t knocking at my door.  However, Brooks Running, if you happen to ready this, I love you and want to be on your TEAM.  What is waiting for me every day are the comments, encouragement, stories, questions, and smiles from YOU, my wonderful readers.  I look forward to seeing what’s going on in your world and sharing my latest shenanigans, recipes and photos.  There have been many a stressful day this year when your comment or email has literally made me laugh out loud.  For this, along with the great ideas for recipes and workouts, I am grateful!  Which is why, I’d like to give you a gift.  Sounds fun…right? 




I thought about this for awhile and really wanted to share something that ANYONE could use and enjoy.  Then, I thought of one of the most fun and versatile gifts that I’ve received.  Insert Light Bulb Here!  An Amazon Gift Card!!!


It has been a year of growth on Luv What You Do.  I faced my first attack from blog haters, and completed a complicated professional certification course.  But reading through past posts and seeing the bright colors of cookie decorations, fresh veggies, or and sunsets remind me of all the adventures lived this year.  I cannot thank you enough for your positive energy and support!  Please keep it coming!


1st Giveaway Rules as Written by Jen:

1. You must be a follower of Luv What You Do (Many of you have been with me from the beginning of this journey, so this is for you!)

2. You must leave a comment below telling me one or all of the following…

       Why did you start blogging? 

       What is your favorite thing about reading/writing a blog? 

       What is your favorite aspect or post from Luv What You Do? (if you have one…no Mom, you can’t say the author)

3. No double entries please

4. The Winner….will be picked in a scientifically fair manner in which I will tell the BOY to pick a number 1-however many entries there are (usually this is like 8 tops) and that person will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

5. The Giveaway ends on December 26, 2012 at 11:59 central time and the winner will be announced on December 27, 2012.

6. The gift card will be mailed out as soon as Amazon can get it to you!



I have no idea where this next year will take me.  I still enjoy what I am doing and the friendships formed in the blog world, so I’m hoping that Luv What You Do will continue to evolve.  First step…getting my own domain.  Any suggestions where to start?  Then, I have some updates to make to the recipe page.  Fun stuff!  For now, I will enjoy what is left of my last day in Florida before flying home tomorrow.




Season’s Greetings!