Three things

Three things, Thursday aka TTT

This week has been a doozy…So here’s my three things for the week…

1. Being a single parent is HARD.  This is no new news, or break through in today’s society but pardon me while I whine for a little bit.  Folders, homework, dinners, snacks, laundry, projects mixed in with a career outside the home and being a ‘taxi driver’ is tough.  Argh!


2. Stress can cause migraines.  Migraines can suck terribly.  Yeah…coming off my second one in a month has been NO FUN.  Those that suffer from head colds, sinus issues, or headaches/migraines realize that this is a show stopper when it comes to running, working out, or fitness of any sort if you get these issues to the extreme I do…so yeah.  Insert lazy slug slogan, here…I did get my plank in today…does that count?

This pretty much sums it up...(pic via google)
This pretty much sums it up…(pic via google)

3. Taking forced time off from fitness isn’t always easy.  But it leaves time for snuggles on the couch with my girls, phone calls later in to the evening with my sister, and scratching my head as I compose my next blog post.  So it’s not all bad, right? Although I may have a felt a little like this, this week….

Pic via google
Pic via google

So tomorrow I am off from work, but still am getting up at O’dark 30 to get my kids ready and off to school. I requested a massage appointment, realizing it’s last minute, but praying all the same I get to use the gift card my friend Melissa got me for my birthday….WIN.  I work Saturday and Sunday so this would be epic!

Do you deal with migraines?  Have kiddos you have to take care of on your own?

Happy Thursday!

❤ Michelle





food, Tuesday Truth

Time to be true-Two things…



Ok, so I started last year at a pretty dark place, but managed to finish on a pretty high note with lofty yet achievable goals. Running, writing, and researching recipes are high on my list this year mixed in with some awesome photography…Right?  Um…so yeah…about that…


Then, I cut my thumb on Christmas day, and my running, motivation, and goal making days halted all too quickly. BUT…thankfully only for just about a month.  Whew…bullet dodged.  I caveat this with saying I DID NOT/DO NOT want a repeat of last winter.  Ever.  Both the weather, and my mood were beyond frigid.

So here we go…


I started running again last week.  My miles are minimal and my pace is slow as can be…but I’m MOVIN’…can I get a yahoo???  Today at work I had a leadership workshop of sorts to attend so my 8 hour day was squashed in to 4 hours of playing catch up.  I was tired by the time the final ‘bell’ rang, so upon arriving to my daughter’s school I texted my Maria…”I’ll be on the dreadmill in 30 minutes in case you want to join me.”  Of course she did, despite battling a migraine for 5 days, and her virtual hug and push helped get my on the mill.  2.6 miles, complete.

My pace may have slowed, but the passion is still very real.
My pace may have slowed, but the passion is still very real.


I hit the restart button after the holidays to try and lose my 5-7 lbs of marathon training/winter weight/I’m lazy and just ate all the food weight…so I’m back on MyFitnessPal for anyone else who uses this app, tracking my food and fitness and REALLY trying to stop eating all. the. chips.  I have to giggle when it says I should weigh a certain weight if I continue to eat the way I am because yeah-pre-menopause obviously isn’t calculated in to the equation, and well yeah…I don’t see that number on the scale.  BUT…I’ve just restarted in the last week or so, so baby steps, right?  With that I have been eating high protein/veggie/fruit type of diet, so here is tonight’s easy peasy dinner recipe!

Baked Pork chop with white wine, onion and caper sauce over baby spinach salad

Easy peasy pork in just over 30 minutes!
Easy peasy pork in just over 30 minutes!

What you’ll need (pork chops):

4 thick cut boneless pork chops, seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon pepper seasoning on all sides-apply liberally and set aside for about 5 minutes while you get everything preheated.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Pre-heat a non stick pan and add extra virgin olive oil and 1 pat of unsalted butter.  Heat to high heat, and pan sear chops on both sides (5-7 minutes each side-don’t over crowd your pan!) until golden brown and transfer to a baking sheet.  *Tip-line your pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up! Place in your pre-heated oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until your chops have reached 155 degrees-let rest for 10 minutes minimum-chops will reach required temp of 160 degrees by this time.  *Tip-cover with foil while resting your meat.  It helps hold the temperature.

While your chops are baking, make your “sauce.”


1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped

Zest of a lemon

1 cup of white wine

1/4 of cold water mixed with cornstarch to thicken

Kosher salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.

In the same pan you seared your chops, deglaze with the white wine (make sure it’s wine you’d drink!)

Add your onions, garlic, capers, and olives.  Reduce down the liquid by half, and add your seasonings and cornstarch water to thicken.  Add zest just before serving.  I served the spinach and pork with the sauce, who needs dressing/gravy?  Not this girl!

So in order to stay on track with food, fitness, and life in general my TRUE goal this year is to BE CONTENT.  I have said it before, but I’ll say it again.  I am, and I have, ENOUGH.

Who’s with me?  How are your eats and exercise lately?  How do you battle off season eating/motivation?

❤ Michelle


Holidays, Uncategorized

Birthday weekend wrap up

For the last 42 years, ok not that long but for a LONG time, I have hated my birthday.  I wish I could honestly figure out where this hate comes from, although I have a few sneaking suspicions that I will keep to myself.  Yet as I have grown into a middle aged adult, I truly have worked at embracing my birthday as a day of celebration of life vs. a battle of time.

And this weekend, I was reminded how very blessed I truly am.  I was surrounded by friends and family, and made to feel more special than I can even describe in words…

So this post will have less words, and more pics, because I truly can’t find the words to describe the blessings I feel today, and always.  And of course…food pics.  Because isn’t this why we run so much?  LOL!!!

Make a wish!  You're never too old, right?
Make a wish! You’re never too old, right?
Cherished gifts from my first Chicagoland friend, Carolyn. XO
Cherished gifts from my first Chicagoland friend, Carolyn. XO
My kind of birthday cake....crème Brulee
My kind of birthday cake….Crème Brulee
Birthday wine at Fox Fire in Geneva IL, delish!
Birthday wine at Fox Fire in Geneva IL, delish!
These amazing people planned a surprise birthday brunch for me.  #sigh
These amazing people planned a surprise birthday brunch for me. #sigh
Birthday dinner of twin lobster tails, YUM!
Birthday dinner of twin lobster tails, YUM!
Me and my friend Melissa
Me and my friend Melissa ❤
Walked today, for #megsmiles
Walked today, for #megsmiles

So after quite a bit of deliberation I found myself looking hard at my circle of friends once again today.  I am cutting back more on social media, removing negative forces from my world, and realizing not everyone has the best wishes for us in life.

But…some people DO want nothing more than the best for us…and those are the gifts that I hold true to my heart on days/weekends like this…

Here’s to a new week, more miles, amazing relationships and even better food!

Questions….Do you enjoy your birthday?  What’s your favorite birthday treat?

❤ Michelle



Fate with a little bit of Fitness added in…

I knocked out my AB challenge tonight, and even made it to 24 seconds with my plank vs. the required 12 seconds.  Weak…I know.  But it’s progress so I’ll take it.  I also walked 2.5 miles today, and my thumb is healing nicely so I hope to hit the trails next week for a couple miles!  I think God was actually doing me a favor this week, as we have sub 0 temps with negative wind chills to add to the winter fun!  Those of you that know me, know I struggle in the winter.  This winter my goal is to keep movin’ despite the frigid temps, and laugh. and then laugh some more…:-) And for those of you bragging about your warm temps in the winter, I am not affected.  Winter is SUPPOSED to be cold and snowy.  It’s not always FUN…but it’s winter, and the beauty of a fresh fallen snow is still priceless.  My face, does still hurt tho…just sayin’…

Pretty much…lol

Today at work, I had my weekly meeting with my boss to discuss any issues, happenings, budget, etc etc.  Often times we get off on a tangent, and today’s tangent coupled with a later conversation that  left me smiling. This lesson didn’t hit me until later in the day when one of my peers came to my office red faced and flustered.  This woman has become like a Mother to me, so I immediately asked if I could help.  She had received the news that her daughter had lost her job, and her heart was heavy trying to carry her daughter’s grief.  And instantly I got choked up, remembering last year at this time, when I had found out my position was being eliminated.  She and I talked extensively, both being women of great faith and I shared my story again of how I was at my wits end last year, as the time ticked by where soon I’d be jobless.  But then I got the call…THE call for an interview for my current job, and everything fell in to place.  Nearly 10 months later and I feel like this amazing group of people have welcomed me in with open arms and have made this my current ‘work’ home. It isn’t always about a hefty pay check or lofty raises that make the job satisfying. Nope…

Truth right here...
Truth right here…

It’s about the people you choose to surround yourself with, each and every day.  In my weekly meeting with my boss earlier today, he verified that he is working on my less than stellar pay, and reminded me that I am appreciated.  And that my friends, is enough for me…

So yeah…the pay check would be nice, but at the end of the day it’s about THIS.  People, moments, relationships, family, and friends.

Keep Movin’ forward!

❤ Michelle


November goals…

Oops, I am a day late in my November goal post I promised myself I’d write.

Better late than never, right?

With running/racing season nearing it’s end for me, I decided I would make goals for myself for each month of winter.  Last winter was brutally rough for me, between being injured and living in Chiberia with the Polar vortex nearly wiping me out I knew I needed to start this winter off with a positive force.


photo credit to the Chicago Tribune
photo credit to the Chicago Tribune

November goals:

Yoga at least once per week

Weight training 3 times per week

Dreadmill running 2-3 times per week, even if its just a couple miles

Epsom salt baths, weekly

Continue decluttering at least ONE space in my house/life EVERY week (I will post for accountability)

Continue cataloging/blogging my recipes so I can get enough documented recipes to work on my e-cook book. 

I’ll do a blog post each Sunday, reporting back how I did for the week.  If you’d like to join in, HOLLA!


What are some of your November goals?

dedication, food, goals

Two or more things, Tuesday…

I have realized a lot this past week and a half. First, I LOVE being home, keeping things clean, organized, and running whenever I want to! LOL! But I know I need to work!

Today was a rest day for running so I knocked out my 90 pushups, and decided I deserved to get my hair done! I haven’t had my hair professionally highlighted in nearly a year and a half, but was proud to say the stylist said I did a great job. Of course I didn’t splurge on a salon due to being frugal, but I was pleased with Cost Cutters today.

not professional styled, and no foof...but under 50 bucks, and I was sold.
not professional styled, and no foof…but under 50 bucks, and I was sold.

I was supposed to go consignment shopping today, yet the snow and icy road kept me close to home. I did however attain a new pair of khakis and 2 long sleeve shirts (is spring EVER coming?) from Ross. And yes, I eye-balled the workout gear like a crazy women, yet I refrained.

Tonight’s dinner was a simple baked parmesan served with garlic and mushroom red sauce over rice pasta. Our side dish was sautéed broccoli and cauliflower with garlic. YUM.

Quick, and easy…

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Butterfly two chicken breasts, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside

Next, mix 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of low fat olive oil mayo, and Italian seasoning together.
In a separate dish, pour in about a half cup of panko bread crumbs.
Slather your chicken with the parm/mayo mixture and coat in the panko bread crumbs.
Bake at 425 until done, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I keep my sauce simply. We have the BEST local market that makes amazing marinara sauce, so I sauté garlic, onions, and mushrooms to add to the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, and you are GOLDEN.
Cook your rice pasta according to package directions, making sure you salt your boiling water, and serve with your favorite veggie!

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

I finished the night cleaning out my closet. I try to do this at least twice a year….great success, and I even located my Mickey Mouse socks… 🙂

Mickey Mouse socks=win.
Mickey Mouse socks=win.

Yes, nearly half of this is running/workout
Yes, nearly half of this is running/workout clothes…lol

So my 2 things this Tuesday are…

1. Be who you are, and be true…
2. If you aren’t able to love your career, love your life all that much more.

DO what you LOVE. Even if it’s outside of work. For me it’s family, fitness, friends, and so many things I have a passion for-like cooking, organizing, writing…


❤ Michelle