sending good karma out to a pissed off mother nature

Reading about Hurricane Sandy's devastation on the east coast is horrifying. New England is home for us and our hearts and thoughts have been with family and friends as they have been struggling with floods and fires in their communities on the coast. It's impossible to wrap your head around such an enormous amount of complete and utter destruction. Watching the news reports is painful. Floods, fires,  evacuations, death, looting. . .

And yet. Yet, there are still beams of hope, of goodness.

The strangers who rescued wet, scared dogs, stranded in rising waters.

Neighbors who welcomed people into their homes when nearby houses were carried out to sea. 

Zoo workers who stayed overnight in case the animals needed them.

As I read about these regular people who rose to the occasion of supporting each other in crisis, I felt hopeful. When I was a little girl my grandmother taught me that true compassion means caring for someone you don't know. I am keeping this in mind today as we watch heroes helping others in the midst of catastrophic destruction.

If you are in the catastrophe zone, our hearts goes out to you. When the time comes to start fundraising and rebuilding, we're there. If you are lucky enough to be safe and dry today, take this day to give thanks by helping someone else. How?

Here's how:

  • Buy the groceries for the elderly person in line in ten items or less line in front of you.
  • Donate pet food to your local no-kill shelter
  • Offer to clean or babysit for a new mom
  • Buy the coffee for the guy in line behind you
For today, let's try to put good karma out in the universe. Maybe this force is strong enough to calm the very ticked off Mother Nature.

the guide to an emergency preparedness kit


If you are reading just prior to an approaching event, go to this website,  the best emergency preparedness guide online. Includes instructions on how to tape windows, evacuation, pet safety and other urgent essential information.

Several years ago just before Christmas our area experienced such a damaging snow and windstorm that we were without power for 9 days. Luckily, because we had an emergency kit, we survived the below freezing week without power, stunned with how much we rely on electricity for our survival and amusement.

With Hurricane Sandy looming I thought about how prepared were we still? Would we be ready again? I checked the FEMA website for instructions for emergency preparedness and there is essential information (shown in graphics below) but there are also things we learned during the last emergency.

What we learned that made a BIG difference
 in riding out an emergency safely. 

  • The two best things we had during the storm was 1.) Our battery operated (and crank style) AM/FM & Weather radio. Throughout the windstorm that ripped part of our roof apart and the ensuing week without power, we were able to stay informed as to where the storm was heading next. 2. ) Plastic and duct tape which we used to seal the windows. With no electricity and just a gas fireplace (with no fan) to heat our home, the temperature inside started dropping dangerously low. Sealing the windows helped keep us warmer. 
  • Get a sleeping bag for everyone in your family. During the December storm that left us without power for a week, we were so cold, especially when we slept. Our regular blankets just didn't warm us up. We now have sleeping bags in case of an emergency event during cold weather again.
  • Charge all your essentials (your phone and computers). Get a waterproof case for both.
  • Prepare a plan for your pets. In case of emergency your normally docile pet may become frantic. Buy a carrier for your pets in case you have to evacuate together. Never ever ever ever tie your pet up outside even if he has a doghouse.
  • Have some extra money handy. $50 in five or ten dollar bills. ATM's may be down.
  • If you have power, follow emergency services on Twitter like FEMA. Check to see if your city has a Twitter account.
  • Read the FEMA Emergency Planning Guide. Print it out and fill out pages 20-22 regarding essential emergency information such as where your family will meet in case you are separated and contact numbers. (Remember, if the disaster lasts more than a few days without power, your phone battery might die and you may not be able to access important phone numbers even if you do find another phone to use.)
  • Discuss with your family members where you will meet if you are separated. 
  • Purchase extra batteries for your phone. Click here for iPhone batteries on Amazon.
  • Purchase an emergency kit for your AND your pets. We bought this one from Costco for us and this one for our puppy.  Know where they are. We keep our kits (one for us and one for our dog) in the hall closet as well as in the trunks of each car.
  • If you are unable to reach family members directly, sign up at the Red Cross Safe & Well site to alert your family and friends that you are OK.
  • Read FEMA's Natural Disasters Guide for recommendations on what to do in extreme situations such as earthquakes, floods and extreme cold.
  • If your local government says evacuate, EVACUATE. You may want to stay and protect your property but think of the emergency personnel who may risk their lives rescuing you if your braveness made you too cocky. I'm stunned looking at images of people flocking to the beaches in a hurricane to take pictures as the waves pummel the sand.

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets

how do you start your morning?

Today is 119 days until Disney's Princess Half Marathon. I've never run a marathon before. I've never walked a 5k before. This is a huge leap of faith and honestly, I don't know that I can do it but every morning for the past 6 days I have watch this video from the 2012 Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon to inspire me. And I will be watching this every morning.

Being inspired by others who have achieved their goals is an empowering way to start the day. Maybe at some point I'll start to believe that I can actually do this.

What do you wish you could do?

easy happy food from chef joy: white truffle bean dip

It's always fun getting a call from Chef Joy asking "I have something for you. Can I come over?" The answer is always, yes. Yes.

A few minutes after her call she showed up at our door with a basket chock full of goodness from roasted asparagus spears to white beans and white truffle oil. Today we were making White Truffle Oil Bean Dip, part of Chef Joy's 20 Appetizers in 2 Hours Class.  This was #13.

If you haven't used white truffle oil before, it is a VERY intense flavor. Some people are wild about truffle oil, some people like it and some, well, some people hate it. So, in each recipe you make, start with just a small amount, perhaps even a 1/4 teaspoon (or an eyedropper full). It's easy to add more to taste.

This dip is simple but elegant. It's ideal for a holiday party because it tastes rich but it takes just two minutes to make. Chef Joy recommends dollops of this dip as an appetizer for use on warm bread, served in hot phyllo cups or in a scooped out baby Yukon Gold potato. The protein + fat combination in this makes it a satisfying snack even on a cracker.  This afternoon we prepared them on gluten-free rice crackers with roasted asparagus spears. It was delicious and perfect for an autumn evening. I'm trying it later this week on a roasted sweet potato as an easy, delicious, filling dinner.


1 15 ounce can white beans
2 tablespoons heavy cream (if you're vegan, substitute soy cream)
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse can of white beans under cool water and add to bowl. Mash well (with a potato masher or fork), slowly add cream and mix. Add in salt and pepper to taste. For a smoother consistency, puree. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of the white truffle oil over the bean and cream mixture and stir. Taste. Add more truffle oil to taste.

toni braxton and the art of the thank you

A couple of days after we hosted recording artist Toni Braxton in a live celebrity chat on MSN Live, I received a package in the mail. Inside was a box, the iconic Tiffany & Co. box. I untied the white satin ribbon and lifted the lid. Inside were two small, perfect crystal votives with a handwritten note from Toni, simply saying "Thank you for a lovely interview." I was knocked out by her graciousness.   Yes, the votives were beautiful but more importantly, however, was the thought behind it.  Her act of gratitude left me elated.

Sure, as kids, our parents made us sit at the kitchen table and write thank you notes to our grandparents for birthday gifts but as we've grown up the art of handwriting a thank you note seems quaint, old fashioned, really. Instead we send an email or even a text. I've been guilty of this myself but as part of my adventure into happy I've been thinking about people who have made in difference in my life. People like Toni Braxton and most recently designer Rachel Roy who sent me the kindest note after a recent meeting (read our Smitten interview with Rachel here).  These two extraordinary women excel at the art of leaving a lasting impression. So do our three east coast nieces who since they first learned how to write would send us notes, often hilarious. ("Auntie T & Uncle L, I miss you. Thank you for my American Girl doll. OK, now come home.") They know just how to reach our hearts.

Recently, I vowed to send at least one note a week to someone who has gone out of their way to make this world and my world even, a little better (even if it was years ago).  On ETSY I found a wonderful company called Daily Sip Studios. Owner, Kimberly FitzSimons designs simple, beautiful letterpress stationary. Now, each time I sit at my desk to write a note to someone I can almost feel my grandmother smiling, sitting next to me saying "Good girl. Good girl." That. That makes me happy.

Think about it. Can you imagine your dentist getting a card from you saying "Thanks for being so gentle!" What if you sent a note to your dad thanking him for teaching you how to change a flat tire? What about that teacher who was tough on you because she knew you could do better? (Hello, Sr. Marlene!)

This week, let's do this. Let's send out a card, a note to someone who has impacted our lives. Imagine how very proud your grandmother would be.

Who is your card going to?

the guide: happy halloween via the US mail

Ever since I was home in Boston this summer I've thought about the little moments I miss with my friends and family like sharing a cup of coffee together. So I've done something about it. Last week I headed into the crafts studio and designed some cards that would let some special people know just how much I miss them. The secret? In each card I included a packet of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Via packets.

The project was easy and just knowing that people I love would be settling into a cozy autumn afternoon with a hot mug of pumpkin goodness just made me so deliriously happy.

Is there someone in your life who could use a boost and a reminder of "Hey, you're a good friend. I just wanted you to know"?  And as Miss Manners says "A handwritten card is always in good taste."

espresso + biscotti = it's almost like being in italy

Some of my favorite moments in Italy were the mornings when I would sit seaside at a cafe, sip espresso and enjoy a simple biscotti as I inhaled the heady scent of lemon trees and the Mediterranean Sea. On these grey, drizzly mornings here in Seattle I try and remember the sunshiny Italian moments. With a double shot of decaffeinated espresso courtesy of our Nespresso machine and the discovery of Nonni's Salted Caramel Biscotti, it's almost like being there.

This week as I was running out the door to Italian class I brought along the box of Nonni's to share with the class. It turns out when you nibble a biscotti during Italian lessons it makes learning Past Imperfect verbs a little more fun. The biscotti were a big hit with the class. There is something about a perfect combination of salt + chocolate + crunch that makes your taste buds just get all happy and for just 100 calories a serving, there was no guilt involved.

Definitely a happy food.

Want to learn how to order espresso and biscotti in Italian? I'll teach you how. Click below. Ciao!

video: cooking with christopher walken

Christopher Walken shopping in a supermarket with a voiceover.
Christopher Walken telling Richard Belzer "We need to get to the petting zoo."
Christopher Walken making chicken with Richard and asking "You Like 'Spartacus'?"
And the statement 'It's not good to eat too many pancakes."

This may be the funniest/oddest thing you've seen this week. Maybe this month. Just watch. 

the guide to baked apple cider doughnuts (recipe)

There is a farm stand in Amherst, Massachusetts called Atkins Farms. When I was a little girl, every Sunday morning after Mass my grandparents would take me to Atkins to buy our vegetables for the week. Spring and summer were fine but oh, when fall arrived there was the promise of a hot apple cider doughnut and a cold cup of fresh pressed apple cider. Even after L. and I got married, on crisp, sunny, autumn Sundays we would bundle up in Irish wool sweaters, throw the top down on our little Volkswagen Cabriolet, and drive from Connecticut to Western Mass. for the sublime taste of cinnamon, sugar and apples, all warm and cozy. I can still remember the way the sunshine bounced off my husband's smile as he tasted that first bite of a cider doughnut.

This recipe calls for apple cider syrup. You can make your own by boiling pure unsweetened apple cider down to 1/7 of its original volume. This can take 3 hours. Be sure to stir often, especially in the last 30 minutes. What you are left with is a thick, concentrated apple cider syrup that is extraordinary poured over vanilla ice cream, as a glaze for salmon or add a teaspoon to club soda for a sparkling bright apple cocktail. 
See the recipe for boiled cider here.

Now that we live here on the west coast I wanted to replicate this taste without the calories of a fried doughnut. I've spent the last couple weeks poring over my Junior League of New England cookbooks and researching recipes online. After several variations, this recipe is the winner.  It isn't low fat or low in sugar and technically it isn't a doughnut at all  (because it isn't fried) but it's close enough in shape, taste and texture that it brings me right back to those lovely, sunshiny autumn days when a perfect moment was just about me, him and the taste of a fall day in New England.

Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe
18 doughnuts


1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup of boiled cider (or regular apple cider)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
3 Tbsp. canola oil


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 doughnut pans and set aside. In a bowl mix dry ingredients together (white flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, white sugar and brown sugar.) Set aside. In a large bowl bowl mix the wet ingredients (egg, applesauce, cider, Greek yogurt and canola oil. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being careful not to overmix.

Spoon batter into doughnut wells just until 2/3 full. Fill both pans and bake for approximately 12 minutes. (Start testing at 10 minutes with a cake tester.) Cook just until golden.  Remove from oven and carefully remove doughnuts from pans after 2 minutes. (If the nonstick pans were greased, theu should slide right out. Using a small spoon will help edge them out.) Arrange hot donuts on a plate and sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Repeat with one more pan. Enjoy when they are warm!

  • If you don't have a doughnut pan, you can also use this batter for mini muffins. 
  • Some recipes call for glazing the doughnut with butter before adding the cinnamon and sugar mix at the end. However, I found that if you add the cinnamon and sugar while the doughnuts are hot, the sweet topping will stay on just fine.  You can also omit the cinnamon and sugar step. 

what to say when you don't know what to say

When we were going through the loss of our babies the cruelest thing someone said to me was this:  "Maybe you're not meant to be a mother. Think of all the places you can now travel to!" Even typing these words stings and brings tears to my eyes. I know this mother, this very nice kind friend didn't meant it the way it came out and at the time I wasn't thinking "She means well." At that exact moment my world imploded and I agreed with her. Maybe God didn't think I would make a good mother so he took them back.  Looking back I know now that she said what she thought would comfort me. It didn't, but she didn't know what else to say. In her albeit misguided way, knowing that I like to travel, she thought she was making me feel better.

I thought about this moment last week when my friend Louise called to tell me our friend Andy's wife had unexpectedly died. She was young, lovely, a mother and a wife and it was a tragic accident. It was beyond sad and we all felt terrible for Andy who we have known since high school. What do you say to a young man who loses the love of his life? It's interesting how the instinct now is to go to Facebook to get news, leave a message. After I got off the phone with Louise I did just that. There was, of course, an outpouring of love for Andy but I sat there paralyzed looking at the screen. I wanted to be sure that what I said comforted him and his daughters.

When people hear bad news (i.e. someone is getting a divorce /dies /loses a child /a pet  /a job) the immediate instinct is to make the affected person feel better but they end up saying things like:

  • "He's better off in heaven."
  • "God wanted her next to him."
  • "You can get married again to someone better next time!"
  • "They didn't treat you well. Steal everything you can from the copy room before you leave."
  • "We always hated her. Think of how miserable she'll make her next husband."
  • "He was just a dog.Why don't you get another one right away? You'll forget all about Danger."
  • "She's now playing in heaven with all the other babies." 
I've heard all of these said by well-meaning people. The last one was said to me and I literally collapsed thinking of all the dead babies in heaven or worse in limbo all alone in the dark for eternity. The thing is though, that people mean well. They really do. I can't imagine a world where people would say something horrible to someone in grief.  So I sat and stared at the screen and I said I was sorry and I was thinking about him and his girls. What else is there to say? I thought of what comforted me at the time when all I wanted was to smell our babies' sweet little heads. What brought me solace was simple. It was a hug or a note from someone saying "I love you. We're thinking of you and L. and we're keeping you in our prayers." They didn't say "It will be OK" because it wasn't OK. I still have the cards from friends who simply wrote "I love you!"

It IS OK if you don't know what to say or you feel uncomfortable. Maybe you do have a heartwarming story of someone, that's wonderful. Go for it. It's normal and human to want to take someone's pain away but they have to experience it. Unfortunately there is no shortcut through grief.  It is going to suck. Period. The worst thing is not saying anything at all or ignoring someone. Grief isn't catchy. What happened to them won't happen to you.   All you have to say is "I'm thinking of you. I'm sorry." That's all. That's all.

happy autumn food: the barefoot contessa's roasted potato leek soup

The air is just turning crisp here in Seattle. It reminds me of home, of Massachusetts, where the trees are so technicolor orange against the bright blue, sunny, clear sky that it could make you cry from the sheer beauty of it all. Today was the quintessential day for making soup.

Just before my Italian IV class started this morning I searched online for a hearty, autumn-like soup and chose this Roasted Potato Leek Soup Recipe by The Barefoot Contessa. My friend, Chloe, came by and together we peeled, laughed, chopped, talked, roasted and blended the perfect soup for a fall day. It took about two hours start to finish. There were, of course, some easier, less time consuming recipes available online that involved just boiling the potatoes but by roasting the potatoes and leeks, this recipe turned out a complex, deep, unbelievably creamy soup with texture and crunch (from the addition of bacon.)

yukon gold potatoes and leeks tossed with olive oil, pepper, salt and thyme ready for roasting

When L. walked in the door after work as the soup was simmering he said "Oh, yeah. It smells amazing in here. Wow." And that first bite? "This is good. This is very very good." Sometimes it just makes me so happy to make him happy.

We followed the recipe exactly with just a couple minor notes:

  • We added fresh thyme (in addition to the olive oil, salt and pepper) to the roasted potatoes and leeks. (It made the house smell like Thanksgiving dinner!)
  • We blended the potato/ leek/ chicken broth mixture in small batches in the food processor but we left plenty of texture so the soup felt hearty. 
  • Before serving, we added crisp bacon and shredded cheddar cheese on top of the soup. 
  • Toasted Asiago bread was the perfect accompaniment.

healthy, sublime protein bars

this protein bar takes just five minutes to make! 
Once you make this you will never buy another protein or granola bar.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Magic Cookie Bars were the ultimate snack our moms could possibly make. I remember the first time I tried one it was sophomore year in high school. It was a Friday night and JoAnne was having a party. At one point Mrs. F. brought out a pan of Magic Cookie Bars fresh from the oven. We each grabbed a bar. I took that first bite of the coconut, chocolate chip, walnut, graham cracker layered dessert and I remember thinking "Oh. My. God."

Depending on where you grew up you might know these as Heaven Bars or Seven Layer Bars. Traditionally this dessert is made with a bottom layer of crushed graham cracker crumbs mixed with a stick of melted butter. This graham cracker/butter mixture is pressed into the bottom of a pan. Then you layer in chocolate chips, followed by chopped walnuts, butterscotch chips and finally flaked sweetened coconut. Over the top of this whole pan of goodness you pour a can of sweetened condensed milk and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

It is divine. And about 2 million calories, fat grams and sugar.

As I've been getting healthier and more focused on losing weight and running that  1/2 marathon in February, I've been looking for lighter and cleaner versions of our favorite foods. This one was tough. But not impossible.

It started with a raw protein bar that I picked up at Whole Foods. As I bit into it, it had a reminiscent taste. It was chocolate coconut. I wondered if I experimented a little, if I could replicate something that tasted kind of like a Magic Cookie Bar but was not only healthy but GOOD for you. After experimenting with different flavors and combinations with the help of eager testers, I did it. I created a bar that kids, adults and even my husband liked. No one knew it was healthy (and raw!) but everyone loved it. It is also full of protein and enough good fats to keep you satisfied longer and contains all the healthy properties of walnuts and cocoa.

So, here is the recipe for Heavenly Happy Magic Cookie Bars. I hope you like it.

Heavenly Happy Magic Cookie Bars


1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup coconut (Use fresh coconut or flaked unsweetened coconut found at Whole Foods)
20 dates (pitted)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons of cacao nibs (unsweetened cocoa bits found at Whole Foods in the baking aisle)


Start with a bread pan. 

Cut a long piece of parchment paper (available in the supermarket shelf with wax paper, cling wrap) so that it is at least 3 times as long as your bread pan. Cut it so it fits well in the bottom of the pan with the ends equally long on each side.  Set aside. 

Add walnuts and coconut to food processor and blend until both the walnuts and the coconut are incorporated (approximately one minute.)

Add 20 dates and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth (1 to 2 minutes)
Finally add 2 tablespoons of chocolate nibs and pulse for ten seconds (no more than that.)

Your mixture should be soft, fluffy and dense.

Pour mixture into the bread pan on top of the parchment paper. Using your fingers, press the mixture down firmly in pan. Once the mixture is even, fold over parchment paper, one side then the other so that your cookie bar is covered. To get a good, firm bar, using another bread pan, press pan #2 down on pan #1. 

Place pan in refrigerator to cool for 2 hours. 

To remove bar from pan, remove the top pan (if you used one) then unfold parchment paper and use it to lift out the bar. On a hard surface, slice the bar into ten or so slices. Keep refrigerated. 


  • We tried this with peanuts instead of the walnuts and it tasted like a peanut butter cup (not exactly like a pb cup but close!)
  • Once you have the basic ingredients down, explore by adding dried (unsweetened) cherries or blueberries. Be careful, though, and read the labels. Most dried fruit contains sugar. Unsweetened dried fruit is available at Whole Foods. 
  • If you're tempted to leave out the nibs, don't! They are quite bitter alone but they provide the perfect balance and crunch to this dessert.

things to be happy about this week #7

1. This dog. And this photographer.

See more of Chuppy, Daisy and Jessica here

2. It's time for pumpkin lattes. And pumpkin bread. And bagels with pumpkin shmear.

3.  The 30th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of  "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" is available on Tuesday. Looks like your "Family Stay at Home Movie Night!" this Friday is going to include Reese's Pieces.

4.  Companies like Coast Mountain Soap Company on ETSY who make pumpkin soap

5. Awesome, brave, wonderful people like this singing "Hey Jude." Now what was it that you were saying about wanting to do something nice for someone this week? Now would be a good time. Na na na na na na na.

what to do this weekend: the farmer's market

If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where the climate is temperate all year then lucky you, you get to shop at farmer's markets all year-long. Unfortunately, here in Seattle, my favorite farmer's markets are closing over the next few weeks. The taste of the fruits, vegetables and products picked and made by our local farmers and artisans is something that you just can't duplicate in supermarkets. So this weekend I will be visiting my favorite farmer's markets to stock up on the local bounty. We've enjoyed an unseasonably sunny summer here in Seattle so the produce is so bright and beautiful you can almost taste the sunshine.

Over the next week I'll be making jam and soups and freezing tuna brought in off the boat just the day before. I like to think that on a cold, icy day in December we'll be tucking into a roasted potato leek soup prepared with organic ingredients grown by our local farmer's.

It's almost apple picking time so until then, see what your local farmer's are offering. Click here to find a local farmer's market in your area.

For more great ideas on cooking with fresh, local ingredients, pick up Emeril Lagasse's book "Emeril Farm to Fork."

inspiring quote #112

Tortilla Soup in 10 Minutes (and it's healthy!)

I was on my way home from Italian class pondering the many, many merits of fast food (having skipped breakfast and lunch) when I got a call from Chef Joy.

Chef Joy: Hey Happygirl. I'm thinking lunch.

Happygirl: Yes! I'm thinking I need lunch. Right. Now. I'm staring at McDoanld's.

Chef Joy: No! Do you have salsa and chicken broth? Tortilla chips?

HG: I have pico de gallo, broth and tortilla chips. Why? 

Chef Joy: Great! I'll meet you at your house!

Less than 10 minutes later I was home and ten minutes after that Chef Joy and I were enjoying tortilla soup AKA Huevos Revueltos con Salsa Roja. (Typically, this being Huevos, this soup would have an egg on top but the texture of eggs weirds me out so we went with avocado on my soup.) 

Tortilla Soup Recipe
(Huevos Revueltos con Salsa Roja if you make this the correct way with eggs)

for 2 people

1 jar of salsa (we used pico de gallo in this soup because I didn't have jarred salsa)
2 cups of chicken broth (we used organic low sodium)
1 cup of tortilla chips
1 egg


Place some tortilla chips in a soup bowl.  

In a small pot on the stove add chicken broth and salsa. Heat on medium-high. Cook for ten minutes. 

In the last minute or so of the soup coming together, in a small pan scramble one egg until it is just set (don't overcook it.) Set aside.

Pour salsa/broth (now soup) mixture over tortilla chips. They will become soft and noodle-like. It's genius.

Add egg to top of soup. Or avocado.


  • This is a soup that can become your go-to meal when you are starving and about to make a poor choice for a meal or snack. If you have chicken broth, salsa and tortilla chips in your cupboards, you've got soup.
  • For more protein, add black beans (when you add the salsa) or warm cooked shredded chicken / cooked white fish when you would add the egg. 
  • This soup is perfect for camping or as Chef Joy tells me she prefers it--for breakfast.

143 days until disney's princess 1/2 marathon

Yesterday I started a Detox/Cleanse to give my training for Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon a quick start. To get my head ready to do this 1/2 marathon (my first) yesterday my friends created this reminder in sidewalk chalk in front of our home. This made me so happy I wept last night when I went out to look at it again. I've never done something like this and right now the idea of me running a 1/2 marathon is right up there with me becoming an astronaut. Close to impossible but what if? What if I can do this?

Are you registered for the 1/2 Marathon on February 24th at Walt Disney World? If so, how are you preparing your body and your mind?

This is going to be amazing! Right?

Nikes and a tiara. I'm ready.

Thank you Trudy, Sophie and Trinity for the encouragement!

Want to feel encouraged? Watch this video.