Believe in Angels

by Maria on October 15, 2014

Oops, it’s been a while friends! But I’m here, just trying to keep up with everything. I’m sure you all understand how that goes…

However,  I’m still running off a high from a great event I attended on Sunday. The Fighting Angels Foundation held their very first 5k in Milford. The foundation was started to bring awareness and to find a cure for Angelman Syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder that results in delayed development, intellectual disability, speech impairment, and problems with movement and balance. Baby Joey was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome and his family has done an amazing job by creating this foundation and setting out to find a cure for him and all the other “angels.”

On Sunday, just over 300 people gathered outside the Greek Spot Cafe in Milford for a chilly run! There was an amazing show of support from friends, family and the “gym” family! While the morning was chilly, we all quickly warmed up once we got started!

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I have to say, I haven’t really focused on running lately and right off the bat, I was not feeling comfortable. The cold was likely the main factor. But once I got past that first 1/2 mile, I was really hitting my stride! The views were gorgeous as we ran along the beach and I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful foliage as well. I had no choice really, I forgot my iPod at home. Running without music and no running companion was new to me, and while it wasn’t terrible, it was also not ideal. It made the heavy breathing of people ahead of me and behind me that much more noticeable.

I was not surprised to see Gabe and Amanda casually waiting once I got to the finish line. They are the cutest and fastest couple I know. While we waited for Donna and Del, we used the time wisely. We took a selfie.

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Since the Greek Spot was a sponsor (and a great host at that), breakfast gyros and sandwiches awaited us. We had made plans for breakfast afterwards, so I didn’t want to spoil my appetite although it sounded (and looked) so tasty!

Soon enough, the top 50 times were posted and I was not surprised to see Amanda placing 3rd overall female! I crossed the finish line at 25:10. Pretty sure  it was my fastest 5k to date! I placed #37 overall. Not too shabby.

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We were all  feeling much warmer at this point as we hung around at the beautiful beach and cheered Amanda on as she received her medals!

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The volunteers and committee for the foundation did a phenomenal job organizing this event! It’s so inspiring to see so many people come together to help fight for an amazing cause. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by these amazing group of people and friends!

And what’s a Sunday funday with the gym family without breakfast? We looked up places in the area and came across Pop’s Family Restaurant. It was pretty busy but we only waited 15 minutes for a table. Of course, we all ordered our usual omelettes and well done home fries!

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Full belly, full heart. I’d say it was a pretty good day.

Make sure to check out The Fighting Angels Foundation, donate to the cause and stay tuned for upcoming events!

Have you run any charity based 5ks recently?

Running: With or without music?

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WIAW: When in Vegas

by Maria on September 17, 2014

Wow, it was more than a month ago that I traveled to Las Vegas for work, immediately taking my next flight for Denver for a couple days. It was a long week for sure, and while the focus was not on food (WHAT?!), I did manage to sneak in some pretty tasty meals.

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I initially thought I’d be able to explore Las Vegas on my downtime, but when you’re away for work, there doesn’t tend to be much “down time.” Instead, I barely managed to leave the hotel. Now, it was the Four Seasons so it wasn’t all that bad.

My first night there I went to dinner solo. Actually, I picked it up at Citizen’s Kitchen at Mandalay Bay. The take out menu wasn’t all that thrilling and after eating random food on our flights, I opted for a good ol’ turkey burger and side salad, for only $18. Oh, Las Vegas and your $4 bottles of water.

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I got back to the room, put on my pjs and cozied up in bed while I ate my burger. That’s how I do Las Vegas. The burger was actually really freaking good. I did eat the bun too, but left the salad on the side for later. Pretty sure I was in bed by 7:30 and I wasn’t mad about it.

Breakfasts were had at Veranda at the Four Seasons. I quickly found my calling on the menu and had it multiple mornings, along with whatever fresh juice was on tap for that day. One morning it was watermelon, another day it was peach and mango, or something along those lines. As far as my breakfast, can you guess what I chose?

Veranda Breakfast Las Vegas
We hosted a special VIP cocktail party one night at the House of Blues, with signature cocktails and light appetizers. I noshed on some small bites but when all was said and done, I was still hungry. I actually really wanted a piece of tiramisu. Random craving but it came to me and when I couldn’t find it, I ordered a fancy salad at Veranda.

Salad Veranda Las Vegas
It was some mix of endive, arugula, pear, and pecans. You can’t tell from the looks of it, but this salad bowl was HUGE, and the salad was not. I actually ate it like tacos since the endive leaves provided the perfect vehicle for shoving it in my face.

And while I ate more substantial food while in Las Vegas, many dinners were had with my coworkers, various VPs and my CEO. Snapping pictures of my food while at dinner would not be the best move, although I have a feeling none of them would be surprised.

Once my time in Las Vegas was done, it was time to fly to Denver! I had never been to Denver so I was pretty psyched. Upon arriving, I had a quick salad at a random bar in the airport for $8. Take that Las Vegas! However, after my upscale dining experiences in Las Vegas, this particular salad was less than stellar, so I filled the void with a Jamba Juice, which I haven’t had in a couple years. That too was just OK.

Jamba Juice
I was really excited to be in Denver. Before arriving, I had heard so much about Root Down from various bloggers so when it was suggested we head there for lunch, I was more than game! Thankfully, it was walking distance from where were located. For a Saturday afternoon, this place was packed, but we were lucky enough to be seated at a nice table outside. They had a brunch menu, even on Saturday. We had a long day ahead of us so I wanted something satisfying. I was over eggs after my daily breakfasts in Vegas so I chose the veggie sliders with sweet potato fries.

Veggie Sliders - Root Down, Denver
Each dish was presented with their signature sauce, which was super tasty and great for dunking my fries! I’m not a huge veggie burger eater, but these were really good. Like really good. They were served with jalapeño jam, dijon and sprout salad.

Veggie Burger - Root Down Denver
Oddly enough, while we were at lunch, we were already discussing dinner. We heard True Food Kitchen was another hot spot so I gave them a buzz to see if yoga pants would be appropriate attire. The girl giggled and said, “Absolutely.” I also asked if it would be busy around 5:30 and she assured me it would be okay.

True Food Kitchen, Denver
After a long day, we were tired and hangry. When we arrived at True Food Kitchen, we were told there would be a 20 minute wait. We did not mind because the fact that it was only 5:30 and that busy obviously meant the food is good. We were seated within 20 minutes and were greeted by a super nice server who was more than happy to answer our questions and provide his recommendations. Since the edamame dumplings sounded so intriguing, we ordered some to share. I didn’t take a picture but I can promise you, the presentation and the dumplings were fabulous.

After my carby lunch, I was ready for some real protein. I ordered the baby greens salad with salmon. I was really just interested in salmon. It was awesome!! So yummy after a full week in Vegas without seafood. How did that happen? I don’t really know.

Salmon Salad, True Food Kitchen, Denver
Our final day in Denver was less interesting. Breakfast consisted of an on-the-go egg white and turkey bacon sandwich from Starbucks, it’s no $18 frittata from Veranda, but it did the job.

Both Las Vegas and Denver are known to have some pretty fabulous restaurants and while I was able to check out a couple, I really wish I had the opportunity to try more and find brussels sprouts!

What foodie destination is your favorite?

What was the best vacation meal you’ve ever had?

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WIAW: More Foodie Finds

September 3, 2014

While I’ve been quiet on the blog, I’m still eating my heart out!! So this only means that I have discovered many new and delicious goodies. I’ll use this as an opportunity to share because I hate keeping secrets. I’ve tried close to 100 protein pancake recipes, and none of them were all that great. [...]

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MIMM: Keep on Keepin On

August 11, 2014

So there was this girl that used to blog… remember her? HI friends! I’m here, I’m here! I felt an update was long overdue and even more so when I got this tweet… My heart smiled SO big!! This meant so much to me for a number of reasons. First, as you know, I had [...]

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Feeling Strong at Kong Crossfit Norwalk

July 16, 2014

Fairfield County has no shortage of Crossfit boxes, but how do you pick which one to go to? It’s times like these when Groupons come in handy! A few months back, I purchased a Groupon for Kong Crossfit in Norwalk. I had heard about it and since it was so close to my office (at [...]

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Feeling NOURISH-ed with Lorna Jane

July 8, 2014

I have always been a fan of the Lorna Jane brand for both her fabulous athletic apparel and for her positive outlook on health so I was really excited to have the opportunity to review her new cookbook, NOURISH, the Fit Woman’s Cookbook. NOURISH is not what you would expect when you think of a [...]

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Spicing it Up at Bailey’s Backyard

July 2, 2014

Even though Summer is here, I’m playing a little game of catch up and sharing some of the amazing dishes you’ll find on the Bailey’s Backyard Spring menu. You may recall my raving review of their Fall menu, so when I was invited back – I nearly jumped up and down in excitement, and maybe [...]

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MIMM: The Moments Worth Savoring

June 30, 2014

It’s quite clear that my posting schedule has been somewhat inconsistent. I can’t apologize for that. I do what I can with what I have when I can. And today, I’m sharing some marvelous reasons why you should focus on each moment in your life and not rush to get to the next. Marvelous time [...]

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The Must Have Box From POPSUGAR

June 24, 2014

A couple weeks ago, I came home to the most wonderful package on my doorstep. Well, it wasn’t Rob Lowe or Tommy Lee, but I think that would be asking too much. I got my first Must Have box from POPSUGAR. It’s not like your typical monthly delivery where you receive samples of things you [...]

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MIMM: All the Dads

June 16, 2014

How is the weekend over? Is it Friday? I’m confused. I had a really busy weekend where I went from one place to another to another, and it was all marvelous! Let’s get to it! I had a handful of friends participate in an “alumni” dance at one of the local dance studios, Steps. They [...]

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