Riley’s first birthday


Yesterday, I had the privilege of celebrating this cutie’s 1st birthday!

Riley 1


Remember my friend Leslie who I ran a 5K with earlier this summer? Her daughter Riley turned one on Saturday, and Leslie had the best owl-themed birthday party for her!  From these beautiful owl-shaped cookies…

Riley owls

…to Riley’s personal owl cake…

Riley single cake

…to the party favors…

Riley favors


It was all owl themed and absolutely adorable!

And, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I contributed a little something to Riley’s party celebrations as well — ice cream cakes!

Ice cream cake prep

I made five ice cream cakes for Riley’s big birthday celebrations — two vanilla, two chocolate, and one party cake! They are pretty easy (once you let the ice cream defrost) and always a big hit whenever I take them anywhere. Be on the lookout for the recipe later this week!

I’ll leave you with a final photo from Riley’s bash…how precious is her tutu?

Riley family (1)

Happy 1st birthday, Riley; I hope your next year is as fun and positive as you are!





Random Thoughts Friday


I was going to go with “Five Thoughts Friday” because really, who doesn’t love alliteration? However, I think I might have more than five thoughts, so “Random Thoughts Friday” it is. Ready? Okay, go!

  1. It’s hot. Like wake-up-at-5:30-am-to-run-and-its-already-unbearably-hot kind of hot. I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little bit next week!
  2. I’m obsessed with this song. Anyone else?
  3. I love my co-workers! I’m helping my church with our Feed the First State initiative; our goal is to collect 5,000 cans this month to help hungry Delawareans! At work today, I hosted a mini “Feed the First State Friday” and asked everyone to donate canned goods, and they came through in a big way. Yay!
    FTFS Friday
  4. I feel like Pinterest has lost its game. Anyone else with me? I know, it’s a little blasphemous but I’ve witnessed myself (and others) cutting down on the amount of time I waste on this little social network gem.
  5. If I was still pinning like crazy, I’d be pinning this, this, and this. Drool, drool, and yes, please. Anything frozen sounds fantastic right now!
  6. I just made a variation of my chocolate almond nut mini-balls, but used 3/4 c. pitted dates, 3/4 c. walnuts, 1/2 c. almonds, 2 tsp. cocoa powder, and 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut. I may have eaten more than actually made it to the freezer… #noshame
  7. I made a half marathon training plan this week since Rock N Roll Philly is only a few weeks away! “Training plan” is a very loose term; I basically just wrote out which weeks I need to do which long runs…I started with a six miler this week and am adding a mile every week up to 12 miles. I think I gave myself like a week and a half (maybe two?) of taper? It’s just really awesome to me that my “long” runs can be eight miles, considering I was doing two “short” runs a week of eight miles during marathon training. Crazy how perspectives change, right?!
  8. I haven’t talked about running/workouts much around here lately, but I promise they’re still happening! Nothing too exciting, but I’m consistently doing 5 to 6 days a week (3 days of running, 3 days of cross training; strength 4-5 x per week).
  9. I think I’m running this inaugural 10 miler in Pittsburgh with my sister this fall! It’s only $40 if you register before August 1st, and the website promises it’s a “mostly flat” course. I don’t believe it (I still remember the pain of those marathon hills), but I’m a forgiving person, so I’m gonna go for it and see just what the course is like!
  10. I’m off to dinner with my hubs, so I’ll catch you kids later!

WIAW: Zucchini edition


Ever since my dad gave me a ton of zucchini, I’ve been eating it like crazy!

You’ll see what I mean soon enough…because it’s What I Ate Wednesday time! Here are my zucchini-filled eats from last Wednesday…

I started off my day with two chocolate almond nut mini-balls before my workout followed by my “green oatmeal“…

Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

I took a break from work around 11 a.m. and enjoyed a sliced peach.


For lunch, it was time for more zucchini! I made a great roasted vegetable quinoa (with lots o’ zucchini) + a side salad with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, onion, and carrots topped with TJ’s fat-free balsamic vinagrette.


When the afternoon rolled around, I was more than ready for my snack — a healthy PB & (strawberry) bowl!


I ended up working a really late day at work, so by the time I got home around 8 p.m., I was starving! To the hunger rescue: two egg whites + mozz cheese on a whole wheat english muffin, roasted red potatoes, and sauteed asparagus. Everything came together really quickly which is exactly what I was going for!


So, there you go — a full day of eats! What’s the best thing you ate this week?

Sunday Funday!


This weekend literally flew by — don’t they all? Can’t believe that I’m heading back to work in a few short hours!

I ended up playing a lot of catch up this weekend, doing things like cleaning, grocery shopping, and tackling my inbox. It was much needed!

After church today, I headed to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods with a friend and stocked up on some favorites. (See my TJ’s staples here!)

trader joes

When I got home, I had one thing in mind: food prep!

Here’s what’s on my meal plan for the week:

Therefore, I made…

  • Avocado Black Bean Burgers (portioned them out over a bed of spinach with homemade chipotle dressing)
  • Roasted brussell sprouts (for sides)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (for sides)
  • Pepper quinoa (1/2 c. cooked quinoa + red onion + orange and red peppers)
  • Quinoa (for my chicken & chickpea dish)
  • Healthy chocolate chip cookies for the hubby (can’t wait to share this recipe!)
  • Healthy whole wheat pizza for the hubby

I also put together some puffed wheat + raw oats in bags to top greek yogurt this week. My house is now about 1,000 degrees from running my oven, but two hours of prep saves me a ton of time throughout the week, so it’s all worth it!

Do you do Sunday food prep? 

Marathon playlist


So, yes, it was over three weeks ago, but I finally put together my last post about my experience at the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon. Missed them so far? Catch them here…

I know some people run without music, but I’m not quite sure how. I’ve always run with music, and it definitely helps me get pumped up and focus on my pace. My marathon playlist was 4+ hours long, so these definitely aren’t all the songs from my playlist, but they are some of my favorites!

Marathon Playlist


What are your favorite running/workout songs? Can you run without music? 

Livin’ up the warm weather


If you’re in the mid-Atlantic like I am, chances are you’ve shed your scarf for sandals…today’s high is 83 degrees! Whoo hoo!

I’ve been taking full advantage of this warm weather, starting off with some delicious fro yo on Saturday night with friends…Fro yo from Sweet Frog
I combined chocolate, vanilla, and angel food cake fro yo and topped it with my standby favorites: strawberries, crushed waffle cones, graham crackers, and a nilla wafer. Yummy!

On Sunday, I took a two mile walk with the hubby at a (very busy!) local park…


And yesterday morning, I did an early morning six miler (at a slower pace, which felt great!) and could only think about this after mile 3…


It got me through the run! I’m not sure why I thought I needed a large, but you better bet I finished it all. I was very awake yesterday.

I’m counting down the hours until I’m done with work today…I have a coffee date planned with a friend I haven’t seen in months, and I can’t wait to soak up some sun and catch up with her!

See you tomorrow for What I Ate Wednesday!

Simple ways to love yourself everyday: Guest Post on My Food n Fitness Diaries


Hello, Level’ers!

I’m checking in mid-day quickly because I’m excited to share my guest post, which went live on My Food n Fitness Diaries today! I love reading about Miss Ashley’s healthy eats and workouts and am so honored to be sharing my thoughts in her part of the blogosphere today.

Head over to to her blog to check out my post on “Simple Ways to Love Yourself Everyday,” from treating yourself daily to getting in a kick butt 20-minute workout!

My FNF Diaries