Tuesdays on the Run: Walking and Running

It was another cold and snowy week here in CLE, which meant I decided to stay inside for most of the week and stay on the treadmill and stick to running/walking on Monday through Friday. I’m so so slow these days and my runs are pretty much walking with a few minutes of running, but I’m still happy to be able to start my days like this at nearly 31 weeks pregnant.

Here’s a look at one of my runs from last week-

See? So slow and slower than I’ve ever been! I know I should feel grateful to still be running – and I do – but I am starting to feel discouraged about my involvement in the Cleveland Marathon. It’s less than 10 weeks away, and I’m supposed to be doing the 5k/10k. At this rate, I won’t be finished with the race until the next day!

Are you seeking a fun race to do in May? As an ambassador, I have a 10% discount code if you are interested in registering for ANY of the Cleveland Marathon events. Use MCCLE10 when registering herehttps://www.clevelandmarathon.com/runners-info/registration.aspx. You can register for the Kids’ Run, 1 mile, 5k, 8k, 10k, half OR full marathon!

Some questions for you:

  • How slow is a “run”? I’m not really sure I can consider these runs anymore!
  • What’s your next race?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!


Weekends With a Toddler When You’re Pregnant

Okay, so the title of this post is misleading. Weekends with a toddler when you’re pregnant are pretty much just regular weekends with a toddler. Sure, I’d like to be resting more (and I’m starting to feel the third trimester fatigue coming in!), but with a toddler, you can’t help but run around. And as tiring as it is, it’s fun entertaining them, too!

The weekend included:

Some Mexican food and TV to kick off Friday night. We are way behind in Walking Dead, so we had to watch an episode of that.

Saturday was a busy day! It included a birthday party at the aquarium, which FW loved. He loves fish and enjoyed seeing them and turtles swimming around.

And then it was time to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. I don’t have any pictures from the parade because I was busy getting our car battery jumped because our car was dead (whoops), so instead, here’s a photo of me and my coworkers looking festive.

For dinner, we opted for pizza. It was a toss up between pizza and reubens but I couldn’t figure out how to get us takeout ruebens and I love pizza so pizza won. And I’m Italian (and 0% Irish) so there’s that.

And then bath time 🙂

Sunday the day started off with pancakes, followed by some house cleaning. B made the pancakes and honestly did most of the cleaning, too.

I was hosting our Ladies Craft Beer Society meeting! We actually had a beer sponsor – Brew Dog, a beer based in Scotland, but just opened a brewery in Columbus, Ohio, sent us some of their Pink IPA to try out. In honor of International Women’s Day, they rebranded their Punk IPA to be called “Pink IPA” and are donating 20% (the pay gap in he UK) of all proceeds towards organizations that work towards women and fight inequality. Pretty cool, huh? They happen to be a client of my agency (but not my client), and that’s how they heard about our club.

The theme of our monthly meeting was homemade body wash. I was seeking a craft that was easy (I’m not the most skilled crafter), something that could be done if I had FW in my lap, and also useful. I haven’t used the body wash yet, but I’m hoping it turns out okay! Here is the recap of the meeting that I shared on the LCBS blog: https://theladiescraftbeersociety.com/2018/03/19/lcbs-notes-homemade-body-wash.

All you need to make your own body wash! Plus a few essential oils to add additional benefits plus scent

To prep for the meeting, I bought all the supplies a few days in advance, and even made my body wash ahead of time – I figured it’d be easier if I could show people what the finished product looked like and if I didn’t have to craft during the meeting (and could instead focus on hosting! and FW).

I also made some Buckeyes, buffalo chicken dip, and put together this sweet and salty cheese, fruit and treat board (inspired by Two Peas in a Pod).

It was a ton of fun! Nearly everyone from LCBS showed up and made body wash. And of course, it was fun to try out the Pink IPA – it was a hit! and celebrate our femininity 🙂

What did the weekend not include? Much activity. I had a pretty active week, so I tried to take it easy this weekend due to some pregnancy things. Hopefully no more to come on that (hopefully there won’t be anything else to say!) and I’ll be able to report some activity again next week!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like IPAs? Yes! They’re some of my favorite types of beer!
  • Do you do any monthly meet ups? Like a book club or craft (beer) club?
  • Are you Irish?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved 🙂 AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (Carrots through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?

Tuesdays on the Run – Walking with a side of Running

We got in another snow storm – or two or three – this week, so that meant a whole bunch of indoor workouts for me. And at nearly 30 weeks pregnant, the treadmill has become harder and harder. Still, I got in a walk/runs and a few walks this week. Here’s how it went:

As you can see, the bump is getting bigger and bigger. And this is definitely affecting my running- the breathing is harder, my back gets sore and my piriformis acts up. I’m surprised and dismayed when I’m running at a 12 min/mile pace and my heartrate is at 150 (how high my Dr suggests I get). Still, here’s to another week of keeping moving! And hopefully staying active so I can still participate in some of the Cleveland Marathon events.

Some questions for you:

  • Does it feel like spring near you yet?
  • How often do you run on a treadmill?

Linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

A Weekend of Celebrations

This weekend – though cold and snowy – was a fun-filled weekend of celebrations. From my sister-in-law’s swearing in as a U.S. citizen to my friend Nicole’s baby shower, we had a a few fun reasons.

Friday started with the swearing in ceremony. More than 50 people were sworn in as citizens in the ceremony, including my sister-in-law, who is from Finland. It was a pretty cool ceremony to be able to see, and it was amazing to feel part of so many people’s emotional journeys.

The ceremony lasted a little over two hours, and B and I had taken the day off, so afterwards, we went out to lunch – just the two of us. We don’t get to do that often, and it was nice to have a relaxed grown up meal and drinks (or a sip for me).

We were planning on going to the movies after lunch, but we were both so full and in a semi-food coma, we decided to go for a walk instead. We visited the Towpath for a 4+ mile walk in the snow. The path was paved, so it was at least pretty.

We then spent some time reading and warming up in a coffee shop. These are all things we used to do all the time before FW, so it was nice to get out and do them once again.

Then, it was time for the first celebration- off to a bar for my sister-in-law’s celebration in honor of her new citizenship! We hung out for about an hour with FW before it was time to head out.

AND we picked up my favorite local pizza on the way!

Even FW ended up having a few bites (he is picky and hasn’t been liking pizza).

Saturday ended up being a pretty low-key, yet productive day. It included some cleaning, reading, piano playing, and baking.

baking – buckeyes!

And a quick stop to our favorite local chocolate shop for some goodies before dinner. Fun fact- chocolate covered pretzels are pretty much my FAVORITE.

For dinner, B made us homemade pasta with potatoes. I made the pesto. It came out SO good!

FW had grilled cheese – but also a peanut butter macaron for dessert! It was his first macaron and he wouldn’t put it down.

Sunday morning started with my friend Nicole’s baby shower! She’s due a little before me with her first and it was fun to celebrate with her. Isn’t she adorable?

She is also part of my Ladies Craft Beer Society – so naturally, we did a craft at her shower!

That afternoon, despite the snow and cold, the sun was out, so we got in a short walk with FW in the backpack.

And then it was time to go out to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. We went out for Italian food to celebrate.

And that was it – 3 celebrations in one weekend 🙂 Some questions for you:

  • Is it still snowy near you?
  • Do you like chocolate covered pretzels? Or what’s your favorite chocolate treat?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Friday Five: Why Do I Run?

Now that I’m nearly 30 weeks pregnant, it’s easy to forget why I run. Running has become harder and harder this time around, and I’m having a difficult time staying motivated.

Sometimes, I need to take a step back and remind myself why I run. How I got started. Where I’ve come from.

I hated running pretty much all my early life. I remember doing the presidential mile test in elementary school and walking the whole thing while chatting with the other girls who felt the same way. We drove our PE teacher CRAZY.

photo of me playing softball to prove how unathletic I was. I mean check out my shoes – do I look like I can run in those? (2nd from right on first row)

In high school, I did crew and indoor track, but not competitively. I ran with both of those, but just because I had to.

B and I post-first half marathon

It wasn’t until college that I started running on my own time – for me – and then after college – to stay in shape. I started small, and did my first 5k in college. My first half marathon came after college, and well, I was hooked. I’ve done countless races since, and running has become part of who I am. So even, now, the I’m running for two and having trouble keeping up the pace, and frankly, keep my legs moving with my growing bump, I can’t help but remember WHY I run.

some GREAT ladies I met thanks to running! (they’re all Skirt Sports ambassadors!)

I run because … (5 reasons why)

  1. Running makes me sane. Even on my most stressed out days, running somehow manages to help me out. It’s my therapy.
  2. Running helps me clear my brain. It helps me think and be one with myself.
  3. Running makes me feel strong and powerful. Even on the days I don’t have good runs, I remind myself that at least I’m doing something!
  4. Running has made me friends. I love all of my Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors, whom I never would have meet without running. And all my running buddies, who have kept me motivated throughout the years.
  5. Running is something for ME. Now that I’m a mom, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to do something just for myself. Running is one of those things and it reminds me that despite all the changes that have happened to me the past few years, I’M STILL ME.

post-run hugs with FW

Questions for you:

  • Why do you run?
  • Any tips to keep on running while pregnant?


Linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Friday Five Linkup 2.0

We Bought a Fixer Upper: Bathroom Remodel

Over the summer, B and I bought our first home. We moved from our downtown Cleveland apartment into an inner-ring suburb, and the three of us moved in right at the beginning of September. Since we bought the home, we’ve done quite a few things to make it our own, including:

  • removed all the wallpaper
  • repainted every room
  • removed some carpet and tile and refined wood floors on a floor
  • put in nearly all new light fixtures, fans, etc.
  • removed some unnecessary ceiling fans
  • took down a poorly repaired ceiling and built a new one
  • installed a new concrete driveway
  • put in a new front porch

Those are just some of the things we’ve done – I’m sure there are more. B would know more since when I say “we” – it was mostly him or his family who helped out. I can’t thank them enough!

Anyway, I don’t know if we technically did buy a real fixer upper, because I don’t watch enough HGTV to know what qualifies — but I wanted to share with you some before/after images and info of one of the rooms we updated – the upstairs bathroom.

Here is what the bathroom looked like when we bought the house – sorry for the blurry photo.

We didn’t like how dark it was (I like dark paint, but typically more in the bedroom personally), and the vanity was outdated. The hot and cold water handles on the shower also kept falling off and B wasn’t a fan of them. And, believe it or not – there was  A CEILING FAN in the bathroom! (I wish that I had snapped a photo of that!)

So what did we do?

Took out the ceiling fan and then took down the whole ceiling.


Painted the bathroom. We chose the Sherwin-Williams color SW7732, lemongrass. B picked out new handles for the tub. He also built the wall up behind the shower (you can see the framing above). And, last but not least, a new vanity!


There’s a long story that goes with the vanity … long story short, we originally picked out another one but this one fits better. But let’s just say we tore the vanity out in August and didn’t have a new one in until late October …

So here’s a before and after shot that shows it still in progress. You can see the wall is built up, the ceiling is in and there’s a new light above the shower. You can also see the original old hot and cold water handles.

Annnnnnd – here’s what it looks like today, new vanity, new paint color, ceiling fan GONE, ceiling finished, new lights, new window treatment and new shower handles installed!

What do you think?

Some questions for you:

Have you ever seen a ceiling fan in a bathroom?

Have you redone a bathroom before?