Motivation Monday

Since this is official countdown to the Nike Women’s Half Marathon week I thought a message from Nike would be appropriate motivation. 

message from nike running

Category: Running

Oops I Did it Again and a Saturday Survey

Okay so I made ONE more “Clean Out the Pantry” meal yesterday for lunch. I know I said I couldn’t pull off a third, but after my Cuban inspired bowl, and curry bowl I realized I had the “fixin’s” for an easy pasta bowl.

clean out the pantry

Clean Out the Pantry Pasta Bowl

 This was a really basic and less creative one than my last 2 but came out delicious nonetheless. It was rainy and gloomy all day here so a warm and filling lunch hit the spot. This was the easiest of all with frozen turkey meatballs simmered in a jar of tomato sauce. Then I tossed that with some penne and shredded some fresh parm on top. BOOM. Problem solved, next problem. If I wanted to make this more of a complete meal I would have added a yummy salad on the side buuuut I didn’t so too bad. 

Okay I’m officially tapped out, time to get my butt to Publix finally!

Saturday Survey

On another note, I found a fun “20 Questions” style survey on Hillary’s blog, Nutrition Nut on the Run and I thought it would make a perfect easy Saturday post. 

1. What brings you the most joy? spending a relaxing day with my favorite husband and kitties at home, girls days with my mom 

2. What are your vices? Real Housewives of (fill in the blank), popcorn & brownies, morning Starbucks coffee, signing up for races haha


3. What is on your nightstand? Aedan’s cat bed (not sure how it ended up there, but he gets to sleep near us but still have his own space so it works) a crate full of books, glasses, iPhone charger and usually tumbler of water

2 cats in one cat bed

Remember when Sophie was so small that she and Aedan could share a catbed?

4. Do you have a secret talent? I am apparently really good at winning things!

5. What is your greatest indulgence? race entry fees, Kate Spade things

kate spade saturday weekender bag

My most recent Kate Spade addition.

6. What should every woman try at least once in her life? take yourself out on a date and do anything you want with yourself

7. What makes you laugh? Ryan, my cats, my friend Aline, Pandora’s Stand up Comedy station 

8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I absolutely hated running growing up

9. What is on your bucket list? Europe, publish a book, NWHM, buy my dream house

10. What is on your feet right now? nothing! 

11. How did you make your first dollar? probably chores around the house as a kid

12. What superstition do you believe in? I’m not really superstitious but I’m not in love with the 666 in my DL#

13. What items in your closet do you wear the most? Loft jeans & jean shorts in the summer

14. What is the best gift you have ever received? my engagement ring :-)

engagement ring and champagne

15. What is on your liquor shelf? We have a little bar area we created with decanters of vodka, tequila and rum we basically never use, some pretty mixers, and a few bottles of wine. Mostly we have pretty classes and knick knacks

home bar with chalkboard

16. What is on your kitchen counter? Keurig & regular coffee-maker, toaster oven, place to dry dishes…I need a Kitchen Aid stand mixer one of these days!! preferably in a shade of light blue pleaseee

17. What would you never leave home without? iPhone

18. What movie has the greatest ending? Psycho has a pretty great ending the first time you see it

19. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? I have no idea…can I just invite Leonardo DiCaprio so we can spend some quality time together ;-)

20. What is one thing you wish you had known when you were younger? Don’t be afraid to take less traditional paths to happiness and success!

Pick one of the questions and answer in the comments for me- or answer the questions in your own blog post and link so I can go read ‘em!

Category: Fun

NWHM Blogger Brunch Sponsor Thank You!!

nwhm blogger brunch

Category: Fun

Simply Art Blogger Night and a GIVEAWAY

Last week I had an awesome opportunity to attend my first local blogger event with the Tampa Bay Bloggers!

Simply Art studio in Oldsmar invited us to visit their studio and take a painting class. Nichole from Casa de Crews organized everything and it was a really fun night. 

We painted Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which is a personal favorite for me.

simply art studios

Here’s the sample painting we were trying to replicate.

I loved being able to meet some local bloggers and not feel silly taking a million pictures of everything. It was a selfie safe zone!

simply art studio

Photo from Simply Art Studio’s Facebook Page

selfie safe zone selfie safe zone

I sat at a table with Jackie from See Jackie Run, Caitlyn from Live. Sweat. Sleep. Repeat. and another Stephanie from Grow Women. It ended up being a great group because both Jackie and Caitlyn run and have fitness focused blogs. We joked we were the “rowdy table” because we kept chatting and getting behind on the directions and having fun while some of the other groups were super focused on their paintings- I think we were just the less perfectionist table! Plus we didn’t hold back on the wine :-)

simply art studio

Here’s my painting’s progression: 

simply art studio simply art studio simply art studio simply art studio simply art studio


Overall, Simply Art provided a really fun event for us. I liked their studio and they had so many different paintings you could choose. I think we all had a fabulous time!

simply art studio

simply art studios

Photo from Simply Art Studio’s Facebook Page

Guess what, the fun doesn’t end here! Simply Art wants to give a free class to a local reader! If you’re in the Tampa Bay area enter to win a class and go check out their awesome studio for yourself! Giveaway will close on April 27th. Enter using the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Category: Fun

Clean Out the Pantry part 2

You know those weeks that simultaneously feel soooo long and fly by all at the same time? This has been one of those. Tomorrow is already Thursday, which is awesome because both my hubby and I have Fri off so tomorrow is our Friday! Long weekends are my absolute FAVORITE. 

Tonight I made another “Clean out the Pantry” dinner and it was pretty delish. Monday I made a Cuban inspired dish from only pantry/freezer items and I wanted to try it again…plus we still haven’t gone grocery shopping, so there’s that. 

trader joe's curry chickenThis bowl of delish started with a box of couscous that’s been hanging around for too long. Then I cooked up my last lonely box of veggies, and this coconut curry chicken dish from Trader Joe’s (highly recommend) Halfway through I was inspired to add a little something extra and diced up the 2 sweet potatoes that have been sitting on my counter for the last couple of weeks. Those bad boys roasted up perfectly and took this dish right over the edge of YUM. 

I’ve been really digging these “throw everything in a bowl” dinners but I might be at the end of my rope. We officially have zero veggies and the only fruit is applesauce, so I think my little experiment might be at an end. 

Category: Food

Christmas Came Early & Meatless Monday

Hey hey! Posting two times in one day- who am I?! 

I came home to some exciting giveaway stuff waiting at my door! I feel like a running gear Santa. I also got in an Influenster Vox Box, and get to try some yummy new cheese. 

cat with mail

Sophie had to inspect the packages. You know, for safety.

I am getting excited as my little pile of giveaways is building up and am going to have a full suitcase. Brunch Bloggers, get ready for some awesome stuff! The highlight of today was this BOX of stuff from Bob at Redfox Wireless! And the items shown on top aren’t even the best of what’s in the box…

redfox wireless giveaway

Redfox Wireless hooked us up!!!

I’ve also received some awesome stuff from Scott James Jewelry, Sweaty Bands, a promo code for “The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World”  from Megan of Running Toward the Prize and a little somethin’ somethin’ from Running With Perseverance.

run with perseverance tank

What’s inside? Its a surprise!

Clean Out the Pantry!

On another note, we haven’t gone shopping for food in over a week. All the fresh fruits and veggies are long gone (save one lonely tomato and 2 sweet potatoes.) We’ve just been so darn busy. Plus, I have that feeling where I feel like there’s a lot of food in the house but its just random pantry and freezer stuff not the normal grab and go. I’m challenging myself to make some “Clean Out the Pantry” meals this week. I threw together an altogether amazing dish tonight out of random pantry/freezer items. 

cuban food in a bowl

Celebrating ethnic diversity one yummy meal at a time.

I made yellow rice, black beans seasoned with Cumin and leftover salsa, plantains from the freezer and a random half bag of green beans from the freezer. I cooked everything up, threw it in a bowl and BAM a really hearty, filling dinner all from pantry stuff. Not too shabby eh? 

I also managed to celebrate Meatless Monday and realized I didn’t eat any meat today (mostly because we don’t have any, but hey I can say its for erm….environmental reasons or something….) You know your meatless dinner is a success when your husband who initially is like what?! no meat? ends dinner saying how delicious it was.

Funny side story: so anytime Ryan tries to give me any side eye about buying the expensive organic meat from the grocery section, I just threaten that Vegetarian Stephanie will come back and then he can save lots of money on meat since I won’t cook any. That usually works pretty well.

Did you make a meatless dinner today? Have you ever challenged yourself to “Clean Out the Pantry?” 

Category: Food

Motivation Monday

motivation monday

Category: Life

Taste of South Tampa

I’m trying to get my blogging in before Game of Thrones comes on at 9, so I’ll keep it quick. 

Today we went to a really cool event held in South Tampa at Hyde Park Village,  Taste of South Tampa. I won tickets from Jackie of See Jackie Run another local run blogger- I actually met Jackie on Thurs at a blogger event! 

taste of south tampa

The weather was beautiful, sunny and in the low-80′s and Ryan and I made sure to show up hungry. 

taste of south tampa


They had a TON of local restaurants, breweries, wineries and even some alcohol distilleries. 

taste of south tampa

This shows you how many places there were to try!

As soon as we got there we dug right in! My hands were full of tasty treats most of the time so I didn’t get as many pics as I’d hoped, but eh, sometimes its more about the experience.

taste of south tampa

Ryan sampling a cocktail made with locally distilled rum.

taste of south tampa

Blueberry beer- I loved the color!

taste of south tampa

Yummy mango iced tea.

taste of south tampa

Chicken & Waffle sandwich- I’m sad to report it looks a lot better than it tasted.

taste of south tampa

I can’t et over how adorable this tiny bbq sammie and milkshake were!

taste of south tampa

nom nom cake!

This event was really fun and I would definitely go next year. The prices for tickets were reasonably ($35 advance) and it was all-inclusive, so you could eat and drink samples to your heart’s content. I like this much better than other “Taste of” events I’ve been to that makes you pay for each individual sample item. 

After a really pleasant time in the sunshine, we headed home and I read and napped. Now its GoT time!

Have you ever gone to a local “Taste of” event? Did you find a lot of new restaurants to try?

Category: Food

Checking In

Hey all. I haven’t blogged for a couple of days and missed my weekly Coffee Talk because things have been crazy busy. But you know, its been good busy. My students are a month out from their exam, we’ve been reviewing after school and weekends, and it feels good to see what they’ve learned. This morning we had a donut party review sesh and the time flew- I guess we were actually having fun. Weird how hanging out with those kiddos talking about history was a fairly pleasant way to spend my morning!

I’ve also been busy planning our Blogger Brunch, which is really coming together and I am getting more and more excited about. To make it happen though, I’m communicating with a bunch of sponsors, coordinating with my co-host, keeping track of RSVP’s and social media-ing it up. I really love planning things so it doesn’t even feel like work, but nonetheless it takes up a chunk of time.


I know I have a bunch of events to tell you about (2 5k’s, a blogger painting event and something fun I’m attending tomorrow) but this glass of wine and I are more in the mood to enjoy a slow, restful evening with my husband and Harry Potter. I wanted to check in with my readers and tell you that I’m thankin’ boutcha and hope you too are enjoying your Saturday night. Be well everyone!

Category: Fun

Bedtime Blogging

I had to share a few things that made today one of the best Wednesdays in a while!

1. When I got an email about Kate Spade’s 25% off sale, I knew it would be bad news for my bank account but I couldn’t resist looking. I’d been eyeing a small Weekender bag for a while and found a pattern I loved on sale plus the 25% off- before I knew it I’d bought it, no regrets. It came in today and is the perfect size- larger than a purse but smaller than a duffle bag. This is making me even more excited for DC!

2. I painted my nails a pretty pink color for spring! Sophie loved nail time, as usual, but I think she stole my nail file…

3. Ryan and I sat down to finish my business cards a couple of weekends ago because I knew there’d be some fun blogging events coming up. I absolutely love what he came up with and today the printed cards came in!

I hope you’re having a great Wednesday! Tell me something that made you happy today.

Category: Fun