2012 in Running

PR to kick 2012 off the right way!



We don’t stop running for snow.


Staying warm on ridiculously cold days.

A shiny new PR for half marathon #6!


Half marathon #7 and helping friends reach their goals!


MIT summer/fall session


Training runs moved due to heavy summer storms



Half marathon #8 used as a training run


Ridiculously hot and humid runs


Half Marathon #9 – Air Force and a new PR!


Half marathon #10 for me, #3 for Melissa (and a PR for her as well!)


We don’t stop running in the “off season”, it just gets a little more fun! 


MIT/Fleet Feet Ugly Sweater Scavenger Hunt


Santa and his sleigh



Snow may slow us down, but it won’t stop us!


“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Glad I have so many amazing running friends to share my crazy obsessions with! I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in 2013!

The New Year and Last Menu Plan of 2012

Today is December 30, 2012.  Only 2 more days until the new year.  Many people choose this time for new beginnings, whether it be a new diet, new workout plan or home organization schedule.  Often times it is only a few weeks before the frustration sets in because things aren’t going the way we envisioned them going.  A dear friend shared this on her Facebook page the other day and it really resonated with me.

There’s nothing to begin, you are already doing it. There’s no new year, new you. You are good enough, worth enough, loved enough just as you are. Treat yourself like it.

Each new year I come up with resolutions.  New ways I am going to do this or that.  The more I look back at how I approached each new year in the past, the more I realize that I wasn’t being fair to myself.  It was as if I was telling myself that what I had been doing wasn’t enough (good enough, whatever enough).  It doesn’t matter what the specific thing was – diet, exercise, keeping the house clean and organized, whatever.  Placing unrealistic expectations on my shoulders each January 1st may have felt exhilarating the first few days or weeks, but those feelings of newness and exhilaration soon faded to feelings of inadequacy and failure.

I will not be treating myself like that this year.  Nope.  I deserve better.

I will trust my body, my mind and my soul to lead me down the right path.  I will do what feels right.


Saturday runs in the snow with friends


Special times with family


Menu Plan

Sunday – Italian grilled chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli and salad

Monday – Take-Out – New Year’s Eve

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Baked Ziti and salad

Thursday – Inside out burgers, steak fries, zucchini and salad

Friday – Mom’s here for birthday celebration

Saturday – Date Night!

Week in Review

Gluten-Free Rolo Pretzel Delights

Gluten-Free at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Review: Annie’s Microwavable Mac & Cheese

Review: MacroBar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip <—-One of my favorite new-to-me bars!

Review: Crunchmaster Cheezy and Grammy Crisps <—-Inexpensive, kid-friendly gluten-free crackers!

How do you spend your snow days?  We make cookies!

Have you checked out the Diva Coupon Book yet? <—Discount code included in post!

How do you feel about resolutions?

Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

What are you looking forward to most in 2013?

Snow Cookie Day

Snow.  The weather forecast yesterday was sucky all around.  High winds along with freezing rain and sleet were the sounds I woke up to as they cruelly knocked at my bedroom window.  I had planned on running 5 miles before the storm hit, but that plan was scrapped when I took the puppy out and nearly fell on my butt.  This is what we were left with after the storm hit.


This was obviously taken after the plows came through.  I sure hope the roads are better out there today! 

The best thing I could think of to fill some time on a snowy day was a batch of warm cookies.  I grabbed a box of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and added my own twist – peanut butter chips!


I thought the aroma of fresh-baked cookies would wake the family up, but I was wrong – not even warm cookies can compete with a warm, toasty bed on a freezing cold snow day!  No worries, that left more for me!


Cookies aren’t just good for enjoying fresh out of the oven, but for building cookie towers!


I really like the addition of the peanut butter chips to these cookies!  The cookies really seemed to hold their shape, better than they do without the additional chips.  I love the subtle flavor of the peanut butter combined with chocolate – heaven!  If you want to give this a try, follow these simple instructions:

1.  Beat egg and butter together in a large mixing bowl. 

2.  Add cookie mix and peanut butter chips in and beat until dough is formed.  The dough will be stiff.

3.  Drop dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  (I like to use my Oxo Cookie Scoop)

4.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350. 

5.  Cool and enjoy!

I love the simplicity of using a boxed gluten-free mix and adding a twist to make it my own.  I would love to add walnuts and dried cranberries the next time I make these!  Not only does that sound divine, but it will ensure the kids will stay away from my cookies.  Did I just say that out loud?

What is your favorite snowy day activity?  Do you dress up boxed baking mixes? 

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Christmas Week Menu Plan – 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!  Wow, Christmas sure is sneaking up on us, huh?  I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I think I am ready!  WHAT?!  I wrapped all of the gifts yesterday and today I just need to focus on baking some cookies and dessert and making Catholic Potatoes to take to our Christmas Eve celebration at my in-laws house. 


This ornament is from my Grandmother.  She gives all of the women in the family a new Precious Moments ornament each Christmas and this is the one she sent this year. 

Monday aka Christmas Eve – Dinner at in-laws – will include Catholic Potatoes

Tuesday aka Christmas – Dinner at Dad’s house – Turkey dinner with all of the fixings

Wednesday – Tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Thursday – Spaghetti with marinara and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Week in Review

Don’t forget to enter to win one of 10 Zinio digital magazine subscriptions!  Only one more day!!

Gluten-Free Resolutions

Gluten Freely Store Closing Sale

New Planet Beer Enters Kentucky and Ohio

Review: KIND Nuts & Spices Bar


Have a great Holiday!!

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Gluten-Free Tasting–Earth Fare Columbus

If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area, make time today to head over to Earth Fare on Gemini Parkway (Polaris) for a very special gluten-free tasting.


From the Earth Fare Columbus Facebook Page:

We are so excited for our FREE, Gluten Free tasting event today! 11-3. Lots of yummy samples. Gluten Free presentation in the cafe at noon. Santa from 1-3 with organic GF candy canes. Get pumped for the holidays with us!!!:)

Use this time to stock up on stocking stuffers or gluten-free groceries, wine and gluten-free beer for your holiday meals!  If you have been procrastinating taking the kids to see Santa (I am known to do this), you can even check that off of your list at Earth Fare!

Are you done shopping for the holidays?  What about your holiday meals?  I have a few last minute items to pick up. 

Don’t forget to enter to win one of 10 Zinio digital magazine subscriptions!

Review: Barista Prima K-Cups

Good morning!  We are still here this morning, so the world must not be ending and it is time to get moving to complete all of those holiday tasks left undone.  I don’t know about you, but I will be needing all kinds of coffee to help power me through the next few days.  Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast is my coffee of choice this holiday season. 


Barista Prima Coffeehouse coffee, the deep dark brew for the passionate coffee lover, recommends the following coffee intake levels to get you through the hectic holiday season!

  • Keep that holiday cheer going strong = 1 cup of coffee each morning
  • String the lights on the tree = 1 cup of coffee
  • Figure out what to get your Secret Santa = 1.5 cup of coffee
  • Power through the afternoon slump to make it to your office Christmas party = 2 cups of coffee
  • Brave the crowds at the shopping mall = 3 cups of coffee

*Note, no scientific evidence supports this data.

Barista Prima Coffeehouse® K-Cup® packs are an exclusive collection of the world’s finest Arabica coffees, roasted in the tradition of Europe’s most celebrated coffee houses. Designed for the passionate coffee lover, the Barista Prima Coffeehouse darker, richer blends feature:

  • Bold and complex flavors
  • One of the deepest, darkest to come from the Keurig coffee brewer

Available in four delicious varieties:

  • Colombia           
  • House Blend
  • Italian Roast
  • French Roast

After being on a flavored coffee kick for the past few months, it was nice to take a break from that to enjoy this smooth, dark, rich coffee experience.

This robust, heavy-bodied cup with its ripe fruit and berry notes epitomizes the time-honored Italian tradition of dark-roasted coffee house brews.

I can’t wait to try the three other varieties of Barista Prima Coffeehouse coffee.  Barista Prima Coffeehouse K-Cups can be found in retail and grocery stores nationwide and also online.

How will you power through the next couple of weeks? 

*The product reviewed in this blog post was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Don’t forget to enter to win one of 10 Zinio digital magazine subscriptions

Zinio Magazine Giveaway

I love my iPad!  When they first debuted on the market I thought they were silly, but I bought one in August of 2011 and haven’t looked back!  At first I was skeptical about reading my beloved books and magazines on a digital device, but it certainly cuts down on clutter around the house and I found that I love reading on my iPad.

Zinio is the world’s largest newsstand and bookstore. With its many digital products and services, Zinio creates better ways for people to discover published content, get more of it and do more with it. Now, readers can purchase content once to be read on any screen. Zinio provides the ability to shop for, search inside, read, share and save digital content in 23 local newsstands in any country in the world. Through the ZINIO UNITY™ reading platform, readers can move seamlessly within each publication page between text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, videos and much more. Offering hundreds of thousands of the best digital titles, Zinio’s e-stores and applications are revolutionizing reading. Founded in 2001 and privately held, Zinio is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in New York, London, Paris, Barcelona and Taipei.

Zinio is offering Holiday discounts on 300 magazine titles! Some of the deals end on 12/20/2012, so make sure to check them out today!

We have 300 magazine titles available at up to 50% off our already-discounted prices.  Here are just a few sample titles: LA CUCINA ITALIANA, VEGETARIAN TIMES, FOOD ARTS, CLEAN EATING.

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS has also put out some fantastic special holiday issues at 30% off:  Food Gifts, Party Food, and even an entire issue devoted to Christmas Cookies: http://www.zinio.com/holiday2012

Not familiar with Zinio?  We have thousands of top magazines from around the world and you can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like.  Our Explore section lets you read – even without a subscription – thousands of articles from your favorite magazines and share them with friends.

Have you ever read a magazine on a digital reader?  Zinio is graciously offering 10 of my readers a subscription to a digital magazine!  They even have Gluten-Free Living! How cool is that?  All you have to do is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Continue reading

Surviving the Holidays with Udi’s Gluten-Free

The Holidays are here and the hustle and bustle have become a way of life.  As much as I like the idea of preparing everything from scratch, I must realize that I am not superwoman.  It has taken me some time to admit that I can’t do it all.  But, now that I have, it is times like this that I like to depend on Udi’s Gluten-Free products to help get me through the crazy busy times, which may include visits from unexpected guests or last minute parties.


Udi’s muffins, breads and pizza crusts keep nicely in the freezer.  They are great to keep on hand for last minute guests or functions where a gluten-free dish is needed.  The pizza crusts can be made into appetizer or dessert pizzas and then cut into bite-size squares.  The bread can be used to make a variety of sandwiches, then cut into quarters and placed on a plate for serving.  Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls are great for Christmas morning when the kids just want to get busy seeing what treats Santa left under the tree.  I like to gently heat the muffins in the microwave for a just-baked feel.

  • Double Chocolate Muffins
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Lemon Muffins
  • Cinnamon Rolls

The Udi’s line of cookies and brownies are great for plating for a Christmas Eve party or a school party for your gluten-free child.  There are several varieties:

  • Snickerdoodle – These remind me of my Mom’s recipe!
  • Oatmeal Raisin
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites

If you are really short on time, pick up a frozen Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza for a quick dinner or appetizer for a Holiday party. We really like the Pepperoni and Margherita pizzas.  Udi’s Gluten-Free products can be purchased online and in stores across the US.

Last, but not least, Udi’s Gluten-Free is “Spreading the Joy”.  Nominate your company to win an Udi’s Cookie Jar filled with an assortment of gluten-free cookies so your friends and coworkers can see that gluten-free doesn’t have to be tasteless!  Gluten-Free ROCKS! 

*The products mentioned in this blog post were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of writing this post.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

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