Thursday, December 25, 2014

happy holidays!

wishing all of our friends and family a happy hanukkah, a merry christmas and a fabulous 2015!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014


i've been committed to my new workout program for a couple of months now.  although it is not as much weight loss as i had hoped for, but i am seeing a definite change in my body.  overall i am stronger and i can see muscle definition that wasn't there when we started.  it is not an overnight transformation, so when i get frustrated i have to remind myself to be patient and focus on all the positive changes that are taking place. 

in addition to my workouts, i am also focusing on eating well, getting enough rest and of course drinking plenty of water.  the food part has been hard lately with the holidays, but i have been doing my best to treat myself without indulging, and come the new year, my diet will be in full effect.

this is what my daily to do list looks like:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

what if...

i love and adore my husband's free spirit and his ability to live life in the present without worrying.  i tend to be more cautious and a people pleaser.  the other night he said something that made a big impact, it was something to the effect of "it's no fun to live a life always thinking about the "what if".

he told me i should journal my thoughts and feelings through out the day so that i can be more aware and also as a way to minimize stress, by understanding how i react.

my idea of "what if" is usually based out of worry, but i am going to start to turn my thinking around to think of it as all the possibilities and opportunities. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

albie update...

just over 4 years ago, i had surgery to remove a parotid tumor.  i have to have follow up with MRI's every few years and today i got the results back!  i am all clear!  i wasn't nervous, but it is always a relief to know you are in good health. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 hot chili peppers

an oldie but goodie, one of my favs and one i have been listening to a lot lately!

red hot chili peppers, "californiacation"

Monday, December 15, 2014


every adult should have something they are interested in.  hobbies are so important to have as an outlet in our fast paced, busy lives.  they allow us to be creative, learn and are just good for the mind, body and soul.  i couldn't agree more with this quote. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

cracker toffee...

my mom has been making this for the last few years and it is such a big hit!  it is a trisha yearwood recipe from the food network, and it is easy and delicious!!!!


saltine crackers (40 crackers)
2 sticks butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

how to:

line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray, and then line up your 40 saltine crackers so that they are touching on all sides (salt side down).

in a sauce pan put your 2 sticks of butter and sugar and cook until bubbly.  pour this mixture over your saltine crackers and put in 350 degree oven to bake for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly all over.  when you take your cookie sheet out, immediately sprinkle your chocolate chips over the hot mixture.  when the chocolate chips start to melt, take a knife and spread the chocolate so it covers all areas.

put in freezer for 20-30 minutes to allow to set up.  break into pieces and enjoy!

this makes a great holiday goodie!  you can put it in mason jars or festive plastic bags.  i have even heard of using matzo crackers instead of saltines.  i particularly love the sweet and salty combination, so the next time i make this, i will be sprinkling some sea salt on top of the chocolate for some extra saltiness.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

a little bite of vermont...

one of my favorite things to do when we visit vermont is to go to the cabot store.  it is gourmet cheese shop that has all of their cheeses out to sample, and vermont is known for their delicious white cheddar cheese!  they also have other gourmet food products, and my favorite purchase last time we visited was the "sweet heat" maple syrup (infused with habanero peppers).  maple syrup is another vermont staple!

i recently discovered that our local grocery stores carry a few of the cabot varieties in the specialty cheese case.  i picked up 2 great ones; horseradish and habanero (watch out, it's spicy!)

they tend to run a little expensive for a cheddar cheese (about $8 a block), but it is worth it.  although yesterday jarad discovered that trader joes carries their "seriously sharp white cheddar cheese" for around $4.

it is a treat for me, and i think it is a little bite of home for jarad.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

DIY holiday gift idea...

this year i am hoping to convince my family to do a secret santa gift exchange and scale back on gifts.  but i also have a few small gifts to hand out to some special people, and i wanted to go the home made route.  last year my cookies didn't come out so good, and one of the people in particular is very health conscious, so i came up with an idea that is a little more figure friendly.

we all know mason jars are a new trend that won't be going away any time soon, and if you are like me, you probably have a few laying around the house.  if not, you can buy a box of dozen for around $10-$12. they make a great container for sweets, baked goods, cookie mixes, bath salts and almost anything you can think of.  i put together one that is perfect for someone who is into fitness or a health nut.

my mason jar contains the following:

3 "kind bars"
2 "simple squares" an organic snack bar in coconut flavor
2 apple and coconut fruit bars from trader joes
2 packets of emergen-c
1 cliff shot block

the entire contents of the mason jar cost around $10 - $12, making this an inexpensive, cute and useful gift for an active person on the go.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving!

wishing all my family and friends a very happy thanksgiving!  it's important to take a moment to remind ourselves all that we are grateful for! 

i am looking forward to sharing a delicous meal with family and friends and i am very excited to have my in-laws join us this year, all the way from texas.

from when jarad and i first started dating, we started a tradition of going on a hike the day before thanksgiving.  we usually get off of work early and its a good way to counter balance all those calories we will be eating later on.  this year we went to del cerro and brought the dogs for an off leash adventure. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

mexican chicken stew...

this recipe is inspired by jarad's uncle dean.  he cooked this for us one chilly night in boston and it sounded good for a lazy sunday dinner and especially since i am a bit under the weather.


32 oz container of swanson mexican tortialla soup broth
3 chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
2 small zuchinni (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 medium potato (diced)
1 cup frozen corn
1 can rotel tomatoes

how to:

in a fry pan cook your chicken until mostly done, then cube into bite sized pieces.  prep your veggies so they are all the same size.  in a dutch oven combine all ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.  you can serve with cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips.

Friday, November 21, 2014

big moves!

my husband is going through the process of making some big changes at work so that he can focus on his own company that he started last year.  i am so proud of him and for dreaming BIG! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!!!

the other night i had a sweet tooth and i felt like trying a new recipe that i found on the "tone it up"website.  it was the perfect opportunity to try out these cookies and then bring them to girls wine night the following day.


3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t almond extract
pinch of sea salt

how to:

combine all ingredients and incorporate with a mixer.  bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

power of music...

i love music, and certain songs or artists can immediately bring you back to a time in your life.  sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but either way music is powerful!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

chicken pot pie...

the weather is finally starting to cool down and it seemed like a good time to try a new recipe.  chicken pot pies seem like a great dish for chilly fall weather.


3 large chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup + 1/2 can of cream of potato soup
1/2 bag of mixed frozen veggies (carrots, peas, corn, etc.)
1/2 medium onion (sauteed)
1 package pillsbury crescent rolls
1 t. crushed garlic
1 t. thyme
salt and pepper to taste

how to:

cook chicken and cube into bite sized pieces.  mix with soup, veggies and seasoning.  in a casserole dish place your pot pie mixture and cover the top with crescent rolls.  bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly and crescent rolls are golden brown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

love is...

love is your sick puppy wanting to be close because he doesn't feel well...

Monday, November 10, 2014

no cook appetizer...

i have made this twice in the last week, and it's a big hit!  it is so easy and super delicious, and best part, no cooking involved!


log of goat cheese
apricot jam
pomegranate seeds

how to:

place goat cheese on serving platter and spread apricot jam on top.  sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds and serve with your favorite crackers!

***you can also substitute cream cheese or pepper jelly***

Friday, November 7, 2014

workout challenge...

tomorrow marks 3 weeks that i have been working out everyday with jarad.  i mentioned to him that i wanted to improve my workouts and push myself with new fitness goals.  we have been doing push ups, pull ups, running hills, squats, hiking, jumping rope, running stairs, lifting weights and jogging.  many of these things i am not able to do on my own, i have little upper body strength, but everyday gets a little easier and i feel stronger.

the other day i noticed a few changes that were encouraging and pushed my motivation even further.  while at the gym and doing bicep curls with 10 pound weights, i noticed some muscle definition in my arm.  while nothing to brag about, it was still exciting!  i am also very close to being able to do a regular push up on my own!!!  i also started to notice a small (very small) gap between my thighs. 

i look forward to our daily morning work outs together, and they are even better when wilfred gets to come!  he is there to cheer me on and lick my face when i lay down to stretch.  i am still a ways away from my goal, but when you start to see your body change and get stronger you become addicted to sweating.  thank you jarad for your constant support and motivation!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

love is...

love is your husband driving 45 minutes (each way) to come and visit you for lunch (on his day off!!!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

view from new office...

recently my office relocated to the santa monica airport.  i get to see interesting helicopters and planes take off and land all day long.  in fact my first day here we saw the presidential helicopters land here.  today i got to see the good year blimp!  this view doesn't get old!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

music...the lumineers

i am sure jarad is thrilled that "pyro" by kings of leon is no longer on repeat, i have a new obsession!

the lumineers, "big parade"

Saturday, November 1, 2014


many of us dressed up at the office on friday for halloween, so i wore an old costume of jarad's and i was an nasa astronaut.  it was also fitting for our new billboard at work!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

music...kings of leon

don't you love when you rediscover a song from your favorite band?  a couple of weeks ago my sister and i went to the hollywood bowl to see kings of leon.  this was my 14th time seeing them and they put on a good show.  in fact they even brought out chris martin from coldplay to sing one of my all time favorite songs with them.  but they played this song and it was never one of my favorites until just recently


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

love is...working out together

my "love is" for the week is working out together!

i told jarad that i need to work out harder and more efficiently, so he has been exercising with me everyday for the last 4 days.  he is teaching me new things and encouraging me every step of the way.  his positive attitude and guidance are motivating and helping me to feel stronger!

and if that is not love, he also makes me a post workout smoothie for my ride into work!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


my new favorite go to dinner is a scramble.  i love breakfast for dinner and this is easy, satisfying, low carb and delicious!!!

i have been making them so frequently, i actually prep all my veggies at the beginning of the week, so i can just whip them up for dinner even faster!


handful of chopped onion
handful of chopped red and green bell pepper
handful of sliced mushrooms
3-4 pieces of deli turkey chopped
5-6 jarred jalapenos (or to taste)
green scallions for garnish
cheddar cheese to taste
3-4 eggs

how to:

in a fry pan, saute onions, peppers and jalapenos until tender, then add turkey and warm through.  crack your eggs in a bowl and mix (you can add a bit of water or milk if you like), and pour into pan.  add your cheese as the eggs cook and scramble all ingredients together. 

Monday, October 13, 2014


coconut seems to be the new superfood and it is one that my acupuncturist encourages me to eat.  its a good thing i like it, so i have been experimenting with lots of different coconut products, it is good for both beauty and health!  here are some of my favorite coconut products, most of which can be found at trader joes.

i love using the coconut milk for thai cooking, check out my green curry recipe!  and the coconut oil is good for asain stir frys (it can be a little on the sweet side) and especially in pancakes!  i also love coconut water, especially the brand zico, which is known to promote electrolyte balance and has important vitamins and minerals, not to mention very hydrating.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


my new favorite refreshing treat is a smoothie that jarad came up with, it is strawberry frozen lemonade!


1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup frozen strawberries (frozen fresh or organic are best - no added sugar)
1/2 packet of diet lemonade (individual size)

how to:

throw all ingredients into your blender and add water until you get the desired consistency.  it is creamy, tangy and refreshing, but best of all you don't have to feel guilty about drinking it!

***add chia seeds for some extra health benefits***

Friday, October 10, 2014

love is...

for the past 5 + years i have been cutting out the "love is" comic from the los angeles times and taping it in my daytimer.  it makes me realize that love is all around us and is shown in the simplest of ways.  i am going to start documenting my own version of love is, i think this is also a great way to show gratitude and appreciation for the little things we often take for granted.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

new england vacay...

we went back east for a family wedding and got to make a nice long vacation out of it.  here are some highlights from our trip...

fried dough at derry new hampshire fair

live painting of jason and elyse's first dance with family in background
jarad riding in vermont

berkman brother sandwich before wedding
staycation in wells, maine

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

happy birthday colton!

happy birthday colton steale!  you are growing up to be such a funny, smart, athletic and sweet young man!  you are very loved!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

the triple A's...

i heard a relationship expert on the radio today and her advice to couples was easy and something we can practice everyday.  it is the rule of the triple A's...


here is another list of the triple A's that also seems appropriate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


great quote!!!

"goals are dreams with deadlines" anonymous

Saturday, September 6, 2014

new addition!

congrats to our good friends mike and lauren on the new addition to their family.  at two weeks old, we got to visit with them and meet camille.

of course we couldn't go over there empty handed and it is common to bring over the new parents a meal.  so i threw together my white bean chicken chilli in a ziplock bag (with instructions) so they can store it in the freezer and cook in the crock pot when ready.  hope they enjoy it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014


feeling inspired by this, it seems like an appropriate message to remind myself of...

entradero park...

unfortunately i haven't been able to work from home in about 6 weeks.  my schedule is finally calming down and this was my first work from home day!  i celebrated by sleeping in a little later than normal, going to the gym, taking wilfred to his favorite park (entradero) and making jarad breakfast!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

entertaining at work...

i would say that i have an unusual office set up.  we are a post production house that edits TV commercials.  we have long hours and while our editors are working and clients are waiting for feedback we have a lot of down time.  of course food and alcohol seem to keep people happy and entertained so that is what we do best!  we serve breakfast, lunch (dinner if people are still working that late) and all the snacks in between.

we are severely understaffed at work this week, so i offered to come in and set up a breakfast spread for our clients.  i had to be in at 7am which made it hard to order from a restaurant since that is awfully early.  so i went to trader joes the night before and got lots of goodies to make this beautiful breakfast spread.  the cost was under $60 and it would easily feed 8-10 people.

trader joes shopping list:

1 pack potato pancakes (in frozen section)
3 small spinach quiche (in frozen section)
2 packs of pre-cooked bacon
1 package scones
1 package crumpets
1 loaf of sweet bread
lemon curd
orange juice
fruit for rainbow platter: strawberries, raspberries, orange, bananas, green figs (or kiwi), and blueberries

i cooked the frozen items and made my fruit platter.  i make sure to arrange the dishes so that it looks interesting and with different heights and of course a pretty table runner.  this took me about 30-40 minutes to cook and set up and i think it looks impressive.  although this is for my work clients, this can be used for a brunch at home with friends and family.  i am particularly fond of my rainbow fruit platter, it always comes out fun and festive looking, a fun way to eat!