Thinking Out Loud: Summer Edition

I have so many random things on my mind that I think it’s the PERFECT time for a Thinking Out Loud post. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but here are a few things I’ve been thinking about:

Home Renovations …

B and I (or should I say B) are knee deep in some serious updates/renovations. I hope to have more to show soon, but he just tore down a ceiling (and wallpaper) in the dining room and then put one back up. I’ve never looked at ceilings so much as I have the past week or so. And now they’re all I notice!

Shopping …

I’m feeling in a serious fashion funk and I need want some new clothes. Ever since I went to the Saks blogger brunch/fashion show, I’ve been really wanting to get some new clothing items. BUT with the aforementioned home reno, I know I should be saving money. Le sigh. Still, it’s Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and here are some items I’m admiring (from afar):

This Bootie

This sweater

And while we’re at it, these non-Nordstrom items have been calling my name:

From J Crew

From Loft

Running (or NOT Running) …

I hurt my piriformis a few weeks ago and haven’t run since. That’s right, I’m going on 2+ weeks with NO runs. This is the longest I haven’t run since giving birth a year ago and I do NOT like it. I’m going a little stir crazy! Sorry in advance to anyone I snap at …

How I feel…

Cooking …

Now that FW is one, I’m trying really hard to find some foods he will eat. He is a picky eater has a refined pallet, and it’s getting hard to find foods that he, me and B will all eat. Oh, and FW has low iron and doesn’t like meat so I’m trying to find things with iron and/or protein. Some of the newest things I’ve tried:

Spicy Chickpea Burgers (without the spice for FW) >> I liked them as did B, but FW wasn’t a fan

Spinach Banana Muffins >> We all like these!

Crockpot Spicy Peanut Chicken  (without the spice for FW) >> I liked it, B sorta liked it and FW just spit it and threw it out

Cauliflower tots >> I liked them, B didn’t try and FW may have liked them (he didn’t eat them at home but school said he did …)

So, we’re 1ish for 4 …. any tips? Food or recipe suggestions?

And that’s about all the brain randomness from me this morning. Cheers to it almost being Friday!

Some questions for you:

  • Any recipes for picky eaters? Ideally something that an adult and a one-year-old would eat? Please?
  • What’s a fashion item you want right now?
  • What’s the last home renovation/DIY thing you did?

PS – Happy birthday MOM!!! You are a great mom and wonderful grandma … ❤




TOL: Random Running Thoughts

It’s Thursday – woo woo! What a week. My brain = mush. Which is why I’m grateful today for the Thinking Out Loud linkup, where I can just share a few semi-random thoughts with you today.

Today’s edition? RUNNING.


First, shoes. What kind of shoes do you wear? I tend to wear a neutral shoe with orthotics and I am LOVING my new Saucony’s. They are so cushiony! And I think they’re cute 🙂



I have a new brightly colored running sock obsession. It just happened within the past month. I went from owning all white running socks to a bunch of fun colors. And I love it!



I am so so so excited for my new running leggings!!! I ordered these Cleveland Marathon leggings before the holidays and they finally came.  I ordered the 3/4 length, because that’s what I typically wear, but now I’m wondering if I should’ve gotten the full.



I miss running with people. My two morning running buddies no longer live near me and with the bebe it’s been hard (aka I’m lazy) to schedule runs with them on weekends, etc. This past weekend, I participated in the Cleveland Marathon kickoff run and it was SO great to run with a group of people again! I forgot how much I love it. (and check out our leggings :))



Ok this isn’t REALLY about running, but it’s related. I think I need more sleep. Scratch that. I know I do. This whole being a working mom thing with a 6-month-old baby plus trying to wake up at 5 a.m. to run thing is TIRING. I need some help in figuring out how to make it all work and how to get more sleep … or figure out how to run on significantly less than usual. Any tips? Hints?



Anyway, speaking of running, I have a giveaway going on for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon – you can win race entry to the 5k, 8k, 10k, half OR FULL! Enter here.

Thanks for Running with Spoons for hosting this great linkup and helping me get some of this out there! Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for running on little sleep?
  • Are you a fan of colorful socks or white ones?


9 Reasons Why 2016 Was Pretty Great

ringing in the new year

ringing in the new year

2016 wasn’t that bad for us.

If you are anything like me and my friends, your Facebook feed has been full of reasons why 2016 was the worst year ever and people beyond ready to welcome in 2017. I even saw this trailer for a fake horror movie about the year:

And while not everything went as hoped in 2016, I can’t complain toooooo much. Why? Well, one big reason – FW. But 2016 was a pretty good year and when I was talking with B about how the year had gone, it was easy to come up with some reasons why. Here are 9 reasons*:
1. FW was born! FW was born in June of 2016, so the year can’t be considered all bad 😉

This was taken in the hospital when we were about to take him home!

This was taken in the hospital when we were about to take him home!

2. I had a healthy, relatively easy pregnancy. I was pregnant for about half of 2016 and I was able to remain active, walking and running, throughout – and I am so grateful of that!


A wedding a week or so before FW was born

A morning walk the week FW was born

Screenshot 2016-06-12 14.58.46

5k race at 39 weeks pregnant

And yes, I had the same pose in all the above photos. There’s not much you can do with your arm when your belly sticks out so much!

3. B got a new job! While his commute is a little worse, he is so much happier at his new gig and I’m so proud of him for all he is accomplishing.

4. The Indians were in the World Series! No, we didn’t win. BUT I did get to go to a game in the ALDS AND Game 7 of the World Series and it was great.


5. The Cavs became NBA World Champions and B and I got to celebrate – both the night of them winning (we went out and partied with all the other Cavs fans to celebrate) and then the parade, the day before FW was born.20160619_230123(0)

6. Great travels. We kicked off the year with a trip to Mexico City (I can’t wait to go back with FW!), got in a trip to Boston for our 5 year anniversary and spent a weekend in Columbus after FW was born.

boston <3

boston ❤

Mexico City!!

Mexico City!!



7. Great friends. I felt so much love this year from so many great friends. I had a wonderful baby shower with so many of my great friends in Cleveland, had another great year part of Ladies Craft Beer Society (I love these ladies!), and even was visited by some other great friends – my BFF Jane came and visited before FW was born and Katie and Caitlin visited shortly afterwards.

Me and Cuoghi - she threw me the best shower!

Me and Cuoghi – she threw me the best shower!

some of the Ladies Craft Beer Society at my baby shower.

some of the Ladies Craft Beer Society at my baby shower.

Jane was excited to see me and touch the belly :)

Jane was excited to see me and touch the belly 🙂

girls night out with Katie and Caitlin!

girls night out with Katie and Caitlin!

8. I got to spend another year as a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador. I’m so grateful to represent the Cleveland Marathon and even though I was just about 9 months pregnant, I’m so glad I got to be part of the group again and run the 5k/10k Challenge Series.

Cari and I before the race! We both did the 10k

Cari and I before the race! We both did the 10k

with my fellow ambassadors

with my fellow ambassadors

9. We got a new car! I didn’t realize a new car could excite me so much, but I LOVE our Subaru so much. We got it over the summer and I am loving using it this winter!


I know many of us are looking forward to having 2016 behind us – and while I had a great year, I’m pretty excited to see what 2017 has in store for us! I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty eventful year.

Questions for you:

  1. What’s something good that happened to you this year?
  2. What are you looking forward to in 2017?

*yes, there are 9 reasons. Not 10. Why? Because 9 is a pretty awesome number, because I’m recovering from a sinus infection and that’s all my brain could handle and because I’m joining with the Thinking Out Loud linkup where there are NO RULES except write what’s on your mind!)

Thinking Out Loud: What I WON’T Miss About Being Pregnant

I’m due with our first child in one month. I can’t believe it  – in just over a month (or who knows when), I will have to care for another human being. It’s intimidating, and I’m by no means ready at all.

I’ve been lucky, my pregnancy has been pretty easy. Despite being high risk and having the “normal” pregnancy issues, I’ve been blessed (KNOCK ON WOOD) with a great past few months. In fact, I even made a list of the things I will miss about being pregnant- here…who does that?! BUT there are a few things I’m looking forward to about not being pregnant anymore.

Running. I know it’s not going to happen overnight (yes, I know I have to recover from giving birth) – but I can’t wait until I can go for an easy run again that’s actually easy – I don’t feel like like I have to pee the entire time, it’s not hard to breathe, my body doesn’t hurt the entire time (and then for days afterwards) and I’m not paranoid about falling. Oh, and I don’t feel super full. I’ve been trying to keep up running for nearly this entire pregnancy, and although I’m still keeping up the miles, it has NOT been easy.

I’m smiling in the first shot because I’m NOT running.


People commenting on my body: I know I said that most people are super nice and accommodating when you’re pregnant. But there are also the people who the second you become pregnant suddenly feel like your body/looks/weight is an acceptable topic of conversation. While it would never be okay to tell the person next to you in the store that they are huge and do they really need three different types of nut butter (UM YES OBVIOUSLY), for some reason, if you’re pregnant, it is perfectly acceptable. “Are you SURE you’re not due until June?” “Whoa, this baby is really happening, I guess!” “How much weight have you gained?” “Are you really going to get bigger?” “Wow, you’ve really … grown … overnight!” And these are all comments I’ve gotten from people I know. It’s funny that pregnancy makes people somehow forgot that it’s MY body and I don’t need to be reminded that I have a cantaloupe living inside of me.


Food and drink:  Yes, I said it. I miss drinking. I miss everything about it. From having a glass of red wine with a good homemade Italian meal (that may include some uncooked pepperoni to snack on), to having a few drinks with friends, to sitting on the patio with beers, to even a Bud Light Lime in the summer (#dontjudge). I miss it all.  AlsoI started a list of foods I can not WAIT to enjoy, guiltlessly. Sushi. Unpasteurized soft cheeses. A good Italian sub with all the meats and cheeses. Smoothies. Soft-serve. Kombucha. The list goes on and on. While I haven’t 100% stuck to the “do not eat” list (raw honey lover 4 life), I’ve been pretty good and I can’t wait until I have a meal with all of the above. Yes, someone please bring me some epoisses, sushi, runny eggs, kombucha and fro yo the second I am able to eat it all again.

My skin: OMG who are those people that are GLOWING when they are pregnant? It is NOT me. Unless by glowing you mean super greasy? I swear, since finding out I was pregnant, my face has returned to its puberty days – but worse. The bright side? I guess I’ve gotten better about learning how to wear makeup, something I’ve never really understood how to do before. It’s out of necessity.

Exhaustion and sleepless nights: So I’ve heard that after you have a baby you also get little sleep? So this may not go away … but I will not  miss the third trimester fatigue, which sometimes hits me around 3 p.m. (which is also when my backaches start from sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day with scoliosis AND a squash in my belly… sorry coworkers if I’m a crooked zombie at our 4 p.m. meetings) and then makes me helpless for the rest of the day (this is why I need 4 nut butters – hellllllo peanut butter and crackers for dinner!)  but then I somehow can’t get comfortable enough to sleep at night. Let’s just say by Thursday I’m pretty much useless until I get to rest up over the weekend. And yes, I’m editing this post at 2 a.m. because I am having one of those said sleepless nights, so today is going to be rough.

And in about a month, I know all be worth it (right mommas???) but some days it is just hard!

Want the other side of the story? I also wrote about what I’ll miss about being pregnant, here..

Joining up again today with the Thinking Out Loud linkup.


Thinking Out Loud: What I’ll Miss About Being Pregnant

I’m just beyond 8 months pregnant. According to various sources, my baby is anywhere between the size of a pineapple, a jicama, a squash, a papaya or even a pineapple upside down cake.

See doesn’t it look like there’s a squash in there?


According to some sources, I am having trouble sleeping, feeling mood swings, bloating, out of breath, heartburn, leg cramps and more pleasures. It’s beginning to be patio happy hour season and I’m still delegated to designated driver. And it’s finally getting nice enough to run outside, but I can barely make it a mile without having to stop and catch my breathe, hold my belly, etc.  So when a few weeks ago, while hanging out with some great new mom friends and one of them asked the others if they were missing being pregnant, it made me pause to think about it. Would I miss pregnancy?

I actually really can’t complain. I’m still enjoying being pregnant. I’m overall feeling pretty good. I’m still keeping up with running (somewhat) and can’t believe how close we are to meeting our baby! So, what are some things I will miss about being pregnant?

The kindness of strangers: Random people are so much nicer when they see a pregnant woman. People who never said hi to me before are stopping to say hi at the grocery store. Valet workers on the streets (who aren’t serving me), stop to ask me how I’m doing. While waiting to cross the street, random people smile and nod their head at me. I have no idea why, but there’s something about a pregnant person that makes people happy and kind!

The way I feel about my body: It may be hard to believe that with a giant belly and other random body changes that I feel really good about my body these days, but I do. No, I’m not looking in the mirror going “Damn girl, you look hot” on a daily basis, but I’m so impressed with my body these days that it’s empowering. Just knowing what it’s doing – growing and keeping another human being alive – is enough to make me feel proud.

New clothes: I’m lucky enough to have had 3 friends who gave birth within the past 6 months and a sister-in-law with 2 kids and therefore I have been given maternity clothes to borrow from ALL of them.This means that not only have I not had to buy more than a few maternity essentials, but also, I’ve been given a whole new temporary wardrobe. Are they all things I would buy/pick out for myself? Not at all – but that’s what makes it even more fun; I’m getting to try out new styles, looks and fashions and it’s fun!

(sample clothes)

never saw myself as a leggings/long shirt person. until now!

never saw myself as a leggings/long shirt person. until now!


not my dress – but love it!


i don’t do body hugging formal attire…but when pregnant…

The way friends/family cut you some slack: Don’t feel like staying out until all hours? Blame it on the pregnancy. More tired or irritable than usual? Blame it on the pregnancy. Need a late night ice cream treat? Blame it on the pregnancy. For the most part, my family and friends are being more lenient with me. I haven’t wanted to cook dinner more than once a week, and B understands. While writing this post, the dinner I’m eating is a combination of some carrots, peanut butter, pretzels and chocolate chips. Is this a regular occurrence? No … but at least B understands!


The kicks/movement: Before being pregnant I used to think that it was SO WEIRD to see or feel a pregnant woman’s belly move. It was like an alien and creeped me out. But now, I love it. I love feeling our baby move inside of me- even when it’s semi-uncomfortable. I don’t know how to explain it, but I have a strange love for this being I’ve never even met before, and feeling it move makes me only love it more.

Feeling like I can get away with odd behavior: Pregnancy brain may actually be a real thing. The other morning, before even going to work, I had nearly microwaved my wallet, washed/dried my lunch, and nearly brushed my teeth with B’s comb. It wasn’t pretty. Is it the lack of sleep? Maybe. The million things going on in my brain? Perhaps. But at least – for the most part – people have been understanding and excuse my stranger than typical behavior.


Don’t worry – I’m not going to blab all about being pregnant non-stop from now on. I’ve held off this long! I may have another post coming, however, about the things I WON’T miss about being pregnant, because face it – despite all of the above, there are some things that aren’t pretty!

Joining up again today with the Thinking Out Loud linkup.


Thinking Out Loud: 6 Months Pregnant Musings

This is the first time I’ve participated in the Thinking Out Loud linkup, and I’m pretty sure there’s no better way to join in than to talk pregnancy. Yes, sorry – my blog is becoming a baking, running, cooking, pregnancy blog. And this is a pregnancy post – so if you don’t care, please don’t read on.

As this is my first pregnancy, I’ve been very in tune to the way other people act, as well as the way I feel. And since Thinking Out Loud is the place for random thoughts (yay!), here are mine. And yes, I realize how cliche this post is going to be – but I DARE you to say so (warning: pregnancy hormones!):

Some people are extra nice to you when they find out you’re pregnant. This has happened to me several times. Case in point- I was at a hotel checking in and the lady behind the counter was pretty rude and not answering any of my questions. When she came around the counter to do something and saw my giant belly, she immediately changed her mood and started talking to me about her kids, motherhood, etc. It was as if a light has switched!

Ok maybe not THAT nice …

Some people love commenting about your belly. Like telling you when it looks bigger some days, that you’ve “really popped” and of course that they knew you were pregnant “because of the bump.” And suddenly feel free to ask about my weight. Yes, I know I look bigger some days. Yes, I feel like I’ve popped. But I also felt that way when I wasn’t pregnant (don’t we all have those bigger days?) and you likely do too – but I am NOT going to comment on your belly!

Everyday activities are just a little bit harder. I’m out of breath walking up hills. I get out of breath trying to talk too fast (which I do quite often anyway). Bending down to put on my shoes has started getting harder (and I know it’s going to get worse!). Oh, and I have pregnancy hormones which make me frustrated easily.

I’m extremely hungry and then extremely full at nearly the same time. I swear, some moments I’m ravenous and I can eat everything and anything. And I do. And then I regret it because I’m fuller than I’ve ever been and have trouble breathing because I’m so stuffed. PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one who has felt this way?

Everyone wants to know if you’re having a boy or a girl. And they’re either EXTREMELY happy you’re waiting to find out, or EXTREMELY surprised/peeved/in disbelief, etc. There really is no middle ground. People are either Team Surprise or Team OmgIcan’tBelieveYoureNotFindingOut

When you meet another pregnant person, it’s like you have your own little club and immediately bond. While pregnancy is different for everyone, there’s something amazing about meeting someone else in the same boat and knowing you immediately have something in common. It’s fun to hear how she’s feeling, how far along she is, cravings, etc. And you immediately talk as if you’re the only two in the world that have this crazy thing going on – when of course, there are millions of other people out there going through the same thing.

It’s very easy to forget I’m pregnant. Despite the bump, the tiredness, breathlessness and people’s comments, there are times I forget that I’m literally growing a human inside of me. I’ll think about grabbing a drink with friends, or the next half marathon I’m going to sign up for – and then boom – I remember. There’s a baby inside of me! And I can’t help but smile 🙂

Thanks for Running with Spoons for hosting this great linkup and helping me get some of this out there! Some questions for you:

  • Pregnant (current or former) people – what else would you add?
  • Non-pregnant people (if you’re still reading) – have you noticed you’re nicer to pregnant people sometimes? I never noticed this before I was pregnant.

And leaving you with this … because .. why not. A girl can dream!