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2013 Bucket List Update

I cannot believe it is August already.  It seems like it was just January and I was working on getting this blog up and running.  Now 6 full months have gone by so I wanted to do an update on my bucket list items for this year, make some changes and add some new items.  Here is my original 2013 Bucket List.

I had an extensive list started at the beginning of the year but feel very good about myself for completing almost everything on my list up to July except for signing up for Crossfit. 

January:  Getting my blog up and running and posting regularly!  ~ COMPLETE

This goal for January has been the one that I am most proud of myself for completing.  My blog has opened up so many opportunities for me and I have met some really inspiring, motivating and fun-loving people through the blogging community. I was worried that I might run out of things to say, or write about, but that is just not the case.  Maybe its the Italian in me…..  who knows.  🙂

February:  Signed up for my first 5KThe Philadelphia Color Run slotted for July 14th & took my annual weekend ski trip the BF-COMPLETE

Team Lean Mean & Eat Clean

We took our annual ski trip this year and it was a blast.  Every year we continue to hone our downhill skills moving to bigger and better mountains.  I am hoping that this upcoming ski season leads us to new mountain terrain.  I would love to start checking out some of the other ski resorts that PA has to offer!

The Philadelphia Color Run was soooooo much fun.  You can read my re-cap about it here.  Although planning the arrival was very underestimated on my part the day ended up being so much fun.  I was able to meet up with some new friends that I met through my Facebook Group as well as complete my goal of signing up for my first 5K! 

Tomorrow I will partake in my second 5K this year “The Don’t Just Stand There 5K” hosted by Races2Run which will benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer, Cancer Care Connection and the Gift of Life Organ and Tissue Donor program. 

I’m excited to meet up again with Karen and her daughter (which I met for the first time during The Color Run) and my dear friend Cathy who has recently taken on a new healthy lifestyle by adding regular fitness and changing some eating habits for the better.  I’m so proud of her for taking a step out of her comfort zone.

I am also planning on participating (if I can pull off enough training prep) the Spartan Sprint that is being held here in Philadelphia on Sept 28th!  You can take part in it too (or any open Spartan Race across the US) by entering my giveaway for a FREE race entry by this Friday at midnight! 

Go here to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway

March:  Start round two of P90X to prepare for Crossfit –STARTED


I did start round two of P90X, but haven;t stuck to the 6 day a week program faithfully.  I’ve been mixing up my workouts between P90X, insanity, Turbo Fire and running.  Although I have been pretty  consistent with my training I am just not where I want to be in order to sign up for Crossfit.  So this goal has been side-lined for the time being.  Maybe once school is back in session, I can make a little more progress with strength training. 

April:  Learn to Ride – Complete

Learn To Ride.jpg

What a freeing experience this was.  I signed up for the PA Learn to Ride class that is offered free to PA residents that want to learn to ride a motorcycle.  It consisted of two in class sessions and two on course sessions.  Within an hour n half I was literally riding a motorcycle.  The instructors did a wonderful job explaining every detail and every skill needed to be successful in this course.  I’m still looking for the perfect bike for me, but I know its out there and will find it soon enough. 

May:  Attend Blend Retreat in Utah (this will contribute to checking of one more of the 50 states on my Ultimate Bucket List)- Complete!


This was by far the best experience of my life.  I was nervous to go, didn’t know a soul there but pushed myself completely out of my comfort zone and jumped in with two feet.  WOW!  Not only did I have the time of my life, get to visit Utah and attend a wonderful blogging conference, but I’ve made some truly life changing connections.  I’ve continued to stay in touch with many of the gals I met at Blend.  They inspire me everyday to be a better athlete and they MOST definitely push me to try new and interesting food stuffs!  Like Kombucha!  I watched plenty of Blend chicks suck down this drink like it was life-sustaining tonic water.  Not until I returned from Blend did I attempt to taste Kombucha.  Now not only am I drinking Kombucha regularly ~ I am home brewing my own!  Sweet! 

June:  Sign up for Crossfit ~ Sidelined

(see goal for March)

July: Complete my first 5K run  – COMPLETE!

(see February goal The Color Run)

August: All you can eat crab fest w/family and friends – COMPLETE!

Hilltop Crab House

This brings us to the current month of August.  Although my only goal for August was to go for an All U Can Eat Crabfest to round out the summer months (which I already indulged in during the 4th of July holiday weekend) I have actually added some new more inspiring fitness goals. 

I will be running my second 5K and working on increasing my running speed and HOPEFULLY making a commitment to do the Spartan Sprint!  (I’m a little nervous about this one too )~ but heck! YOLO right?  Whats the worst that can happen I end up at the end of the day doing somewhere close to 350 burpees! 

 That’s not so bad 🙂

I am also looking to add a few more 5K’s to my fall schedule just to keep the flame alive! 

I feel good about my training schedule and that it has rounded out with more balance workouts that hit on endurance as well as strength.  I feel good about the goals I have accomplished so far this year and I feel good about the upcoming months and the short-term goals that I have set for myself. 

What yearly goals have you set for yourself and have you checked-in with them lately to see if you are on target?

WIAW and Blend Retreat Part 2 ~ Food & Friends

So since it is WIAW I am going to combine my Recap #2 from Blend with What I Ate Wednesday and let you see all the yummy stuff I ate at my weekend Blend Retreat in Utah.


After we checked in to the hotel and took a bit of a breather, we headed back down to the White Pine Rotunda where they had a Green Mountain Coffee Bar and Justin’s Nut Butter spread set out for all to enjoy! This is the first time I have been able to try Justin’s Nut Butter and I fell in love with all the flavors ~ they were all so good.

I think my favorite was the honey!

We also found some Justin’s Nut Butter PB Cups in our swag bag, and it was the first time I’ve tried them too~ just sinful. So, So, Good! 🙂

Justin's Nut Butter

Justin’s Nut Butter

After some more introductions and a another jaunt through the sponsor room, we headed back to our room to clean up and head down to bar area where Silk was sponsoring our cocktail hour.

Silk and Lauren did a wonderful job creating unique cocktails using the Silk Soy Milk.

They offered three choices of cocktails called Silk Pajamas, Ginger Refresher or Strawberry Mint Slush.

Silk Pajamas

Silk Pajamas

The coffee flavored Silk Pajamas won it for me, but the ginger was a close second.

Appetizers consisted of spring rolls and black bean cakes with a variety of veggie crudités.

Blend Cocktail Hour Apps

Blend Cocktail Hour Apps

We chatted some more and Leslie & I got to meet Arlene & Becca.

Leslie, Becca & Arlene

Leslie, Becca & Arlene

These ladies were awesome. After we had our drinks in hand we then headed over to the Escala Ball room where they were ready with the dinner service.

But not before we finally got a chance to hear from our beautiful and inspiring hosts, Lindsay, Janetha and Katie!

They are always smiling and so energetic.

Photo Credit Lindsay/Travis

Photo Credit Lindsay/Travis

These three ladies & their families worked so hard for months to put this retreat together and they did such a wonderful job. All the way down to the finer details. So a BIG shout out to all three ~ THANK YOU SO MUCH for a wonderful life changing experience.

Dinner was exceptional.

I had roasted chicken, salad, saute purple & white finglerling potatoes & roasted vegetables w/garlic sauce, bulgur salad and carrot ginger soup.

Dinner @ Blend Retreat

Dinner @ Blend Retreat

For dessert it was a fruit tartlet.

Fruit Tartlet

Fruit Tartlet

Breakfast on Saturday was sponsored by Muesli Fusion and The Laughing Cow.

They did an awesome job setting everything up. Laughing Cow provided bagels with five cheese spread flavors. Lite, Garden Vegetable, Cinnamon Cream, Strawberry Plain.

Chobani & Muesli Fusion

Chobani & Muesli Fusion

There was tons of fruit, juices and coffee to pick from as well as several different types of oats provided by Museli Fusion. I ended up having half of an everything bagel topped with a mix of Laughing Cow Garden Veggie and Lite cream cheese, pineapple and melon slices with a cup of Museli Fusion Pure An-Ox Oats topped with Silk Soy Milk.

The breakfast was super filling and provided the energy I needed to recoup from the boot camp workout earlier in the morning.


Sunday’s breakfast was sponsored by Chobani.

The girls did a fabulous job with breakfast! 

Chobani Girls :)~

Chobani Girls :)~

The menu consisted of a walk up omelet station where the Hyatt’s Executive Chef prepared personalized omelets. The choices were endless.

Omlette Bar

Omlette Bar

My omlette consisted of eggs with dices zucchini, spinach, mushroom and smoked gouda cheese topped off with a yogurt cream made with, of course, Chobani 0% Plain.  I also got to enjoy for the first time a Chobani Almond Coco Loco Flip!  The coconut yogurt is amazing!

Chobani Breakfast

Chobani Breakfast

Chobani also set up a smoothie bar with two types of smoothies, Peanut Butter and Blood Orange as well as Perfect Pancakes made with Chobani. On top of those they had Chobani Oatmeal already prepared in jam sized mason jars (who can beat that~ these girls are awesome and know how to satisfy a foodie’s breakfast needs).

Chobani Flips

Chobani Flips

There were so many yogurt flavors that I had not tried yet, the choice was so hard ~ but I opted for the Flip and took a couple of Bites for the road. 

Chobani Bites

Chobani Bites

You can find the recipes for all of the menu items prepared @Blend Retreat with Chobani products and Mueslie Fusion products on their websites to recreate our experience at home. I know I will be doing that soon.

Lunches both days we were on our own, so on Saturday I headed back to Whole Foods. I had a small spicy tuna roll made with brown rice and a water (no picture because I was starving and it didn’t last long).


Just enough to keep me tied over until dinner with the gals.

One last treat made with love by Momma-B!  She is one fantastic lady.  After a long Saturday of bootcamps, hikes, zumba and walking in Park City, she decided to whip up some of Momma-B’s famous Utah Scones.  She served them with honey butter and homemade jam!  O~M~G!  So good. 

Since Utah is known for their honey I was super stoked to be able to try them with her homemade scones!  I love being able to try local favorites!

Momma-B's Famous Utah Scones

Momma-B’s Famous Utah Scones

The meals were one of the major parts of this retreat for me. It is where I became friends with so many people. Bonding over a meal means so much to me and at Blend Retreat the food was so good and so healthy making new Blend friends just made it all the more special.

I just wanted to also say thank you to all of the Blend Retreat sponsors, without you Blend wouldn’t have been so successful and fun.  It was so great to have to opportunity to try so many products from so many great companys like Blue Diamond, GPPFitness, ProBar, Bob’s Red Mill, Blueprint, Core Power, Onnit, Attune Foods, SoyJoy, NatureMade, Zevia, Green Mountain Coffee, Simply Choices, Fitmixer, LaraBar, Heathly Bites, Vega, Plant Fusion and The Good Bean.

Blend Retreat Prep & Martha’s Golden Rules for Aging

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already time to pack for the Blend Retreat in Park City, Utah. Where did the time go? Last day at work, time to roll up the digs and pack them up in my suitcase.  No time to change my mind about what to wear, or what to pack, or anything else for that matter.  Its Blend time!  In literally 24 hours from now I will be on my flight headed to Park City Utah!

How freakin’ exciting is this!  Talk about an adventure.  I decided in September of last year, that I will no longer be sitting around waiting for things to happen.  That if I wanted to travel and do fun stuff that I needed to MAKE it happen.  And I am proud that I’ve been able to make that happen.

Ive been trying to read up on all the new blogs I have found because of Blend, making travel arrangements for shuttles and cars to and from the airport, making lists of things I do not want to forget to pack……it’s becoming a small whirlwind. And it’ll be over before I know it, so I need to remind myself to enjoy the ride.

One thing I have learned about taking a trip is that you MUST enjoy the planning process. If you do not absorb and enjoy the excitement of prepping, planning, packing and traveling, your absolutely sure to miss out on 75% of the whole experience.

This trip for me is going to be a learning expedition. The gals that are attending range from blog readers, new bloggers {like me} and seasoned veterans a like; there will be  fitness pros, marathon runners, cross fit  enthusiast and foodies to boot. I want to absorb every bit of blog knowledge that each and everyone brings to this retreat; experience and ideas, newly kindled friendships, new motivation on how to stay fit at 40 all while doing it with people who are just as passionate about healthy eating and physical fitness as I am.

This will be a trip of many firsts!

  • First time traveling alone
  • First time visiting Utah
  • First time hiking in the mountains with a group
  • First time attending a blogging conference
  • First time putting myself out there and networking

The following list couldn’t have been more appropriate both in timing and mental clarity.

10 Golden Rules of Successful Aging found in the May 2013 edition of Martha Stewart Living Magazine


1. Eat Well

2. Maintain a healthy weight

3. Stay physically active

4. Get quality sleep

5. Wear sunscreen

6. Find a good doctor

7. Find your passion

8. Connect with others

9. Stop complaining ~ change what you can, and accept what you cannot

10. Stay curious

Being a list-o-holic ~ I LOVE THIS LIST!!!!! The last few items on this list are driving my will and passion to attend the Blend Retreat! It was a huge step out of my comfort zone but I’m not getting any younger. I want to experience new things, meet new people and see new places!

What better way than to start with the Blend Retreat!

What’s Happening…..

I’ve got so many things going on right now it’s hard not to be excited. 

I recently joined in for the first time the Healthy Living Blogs Spring Tea Swap.  On Monday I received via email by tea swap match. 

So I’ve been trying to decide which two of my favorite teas I will be sending to my match up buddy.  It’s a little hard to narrow it down to just two and it’s slightly overwhelming thinking “What if they don’t like those flavors?’  I would hate to send someone that I don’t even know teas that they don’t even like. 

But I guess the basis behind the tea swap it to broaden your horizons and try new things!  So I have one flavor picked out right off the bat and the other flavor it’s a toss up.  I will decide by the end of the week and will be sending them off via snail mail. 

If you are interested in reading about the Tea Swap you can find the info on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #HLBtea

As well as joining the HLB Tea Swap I also joined up to be a Foodie Pen Pal for the month of May! 

The Lean Green Bean

Lindsay over @Lean Green Bean is the kind host of this awesome food swap.  I’ve been reading about all the swaps for the past few months and decided I just didn’t want to miss out on the next one. 

You can check it out by heading over to her site and signing up too! 

If you’re interested don’t forget to sign up by May 4th! 

And then there is the Blend Retreat!  This weekend retreat of Bloggers and Friends (hence the name BLendS) is only three short weeks away! 

I'm Attending Blend

I’ve been counting down the days. 

My airfare is booked, I’ve got gals lined up to share a shuttle with and now all I need to do is starting figuring out what to pack and how to pack it. 

Apparently, there is so much more that I will be coming home with, that I need a ton a extra room!  I wasn’t planning on checking my bag, but as I keep reading posts about the weekend, I’ve got to either take a week sized back (not a weekend sized bag) or plan on shipping my goodies via UPS!  The Sponsors have apparently been very generous to us! WHAT!  OMG….I’m so excited! 

The two things I’m most excited about is:

1.) Meeting everyone that writes a blog I read. I have been learning so much from these gals, and can’t wait to tell them in person how thankful I am to have come across their blogs.   It will be fun to meet the face behind the blog! 

Plus getting to meet like-minded people who love  food, fitness and taking pics and writing about all that stuff too is just incredibly cool! 


2.) The 4 mile hike that is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon in the mountains of Utah!  Nikon buddy get ready to be overworked!

With all this going on, I can’t help but be super excited! 

What plans do you have to look forward to over the next couple of weeks?  Are you attending the Blend Retreat? 

Blend Retreat

I'm Attending Blend

I am so excited to announce that I will be attending the Blend Retreat this year!  It’s a weekend fitness retreat of Bloggers + Friends who become Blends!  How much fun does this sound?

After reading through a ton of fitness and nutrition blogs I kept seeing the Blend Retreat logo pop up and all my favorite bloggers were attending and it peaked my curiosity.  So I went to the website and checked out what they had to offer.  What a cool thing these gals have going on here and I’m so excited to be able to be a part of this years experience.

The 2013 retreat is being held in Park City, Utah from May 17 – 19th and anyone is welcome to attend.  Blogger or non-blogger, blog reader, fitness junkie or foodie.  Everyone is welcome.

They have a TON of stuff planned like a welcome cocktail party, three meals including two breakfasts, a five-course dinner, coffee and snacks, two fitness classes, hiking, raffles and a ton of swag from their sponsors.

This will be my first time flying on my own, so I’m a little nervous but excited at the same time.  A trip like this is a huge step for me but the journey so far has been totally worth it.  Can’t wait to meet some new exciting peeps and talk shop with people that share my passion for healthy eating and fitness!

So if I’ve peaked your curiosity about the Blend Retreat as well, head on over to the website and check it out for yourself.  If you are already attending drop me a line!

Head on over to the Blend Retreat Blog by clicking here and RIGHT NOW they are having a great Q&A Giveaway from the bootcamp sponsors Fitmixer!

Check out Fitmixer and enter the giveaway!  Great way to learn about a new up and coming company that is geared toward everyone else in the fitness world (and not just the Arnold types!)

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