Me and My Heroes

  The story of me and why I am writing this…

I grew up as an asthmatic.  I can clearly remember the sight of medicine sitting on a spoon in front of my face as my mom nicely & patiently convinced me to swallow it.  I can remember having to take these inhalers where you put this capsule inside & pushed on the inhaler to make the capsule explode as I tried to breathe in this terrible tasting powder.  My mom always had to call ahead before I could go to someone’s house for a playdate or birthday party and ask if there would be any cats, dogs, fireplaces or cigarette smoking as all these things would give me a major asthma attack. But what I remember MOST, clearly and vividly and to this day, is my mom and dad taking care of me.  I remember like it was yesterday, my mom sitting throughout the night, watching me breathe.  I remember my Dad taking my pulse and counting my breaths.  The pillows that my mom would prop me up on in an effort to try to get me to be able to fall asleep in a sitting position because laying down made breathing that much more difficult.  My mom and dad never left my side.  They never seemed to fall asleep. No matter what, they were, and still are, there for me.  My mom and dad are my Heroes.

As I grew up, I saw different Doctors.  Nothing really seemed to help my asthma, and I feel like every time I went to the Doctor, they gave me more medicine. I’m not saying that was a bad thing, I’m just saying I took a lot of medicine.  I puffed on a lot of inhalers.

When I went to college, I had a serious relapse with my asthma.  I just couldn’t breathe.  I was puffing on my inhaler all the time.  I was having trouble walking to class without having to puff on my inhaler.  My mom quickly jumped on a plane and took me to a pulmonologist.  His name was Dr. Love.  He looked at me straight in my eyes and said, your body is too dependent on medicine.  Your lungs are weak.  You have got to start building up your lungs or you will be sitting in a chair for the rest of your life.  He asked me if I would like for him to arrange for the handicap van to take me to and from school?  What?!  No way was that going to happen!! No, I do not want to be driven to and from school when all my friends are walking!  He said, well then, you need to start running.  You need to build up your lungs and running is a great way to do that.  I would learn later in life that Dr. Love was my hero.

After I left his office, I thought, how can I run when I can not even walk?  I had a friend, Jen, who offered to run with me.  I had several other friends who offered to take me to the gym and workout with me.  But it was the running that I needed to focus on.  I needed to build my lungs.  Everyday, inhaler in hand, Jen would meet me to run.  We would run about 25 yards. Yup, 25 yards.  And then I would puff on my inhaler.  The next day would come and we would run 25 yards.  But as the days came and went, I would begin to run further.  I will never forget the day I ran all the way to the bridge…I ran a 1/2 mile!!  I just thought that was such an amazing accomplishment!  But even more exciting was that I began to become less dependent on my inhaler.  I could run to the bridge and not have to puff on my inhaler.  Everyday we ran. And we began to run further.  I would eventually begin to run 2 miles.  Jen stuck by my side and ran with me.  She encouraged me to keep going.  I would learn later in life that Jen was my Hero.

Over the years, I would eventually stop taking all medication. I also began to realize the importance of eating healthy. My mom and dad were runners and we always ate healthy growing up.  But when you go off to college, it is easy to get side tracked by all the food available on campus.  I began to realize that certain foods directly affected how I felt.  Not just the foods that I was allergic too, but food in general. 

I graduated college & life stayed pretty consistent for awhile. Working, running, eating.  I met another Hero of mine, my husband.  Although we continued to workout and eat fairly healthy, it wasn’t until we had children that the importance of food and eating clean would shake my world and cause me to have another eye-opening experience. Our 2 youngest children, but most specifically our middle daughter, became severe asthmatics. Inconsistent allergy testing and several trips to the ER, we landed back at the allergist.  We learned that our middle daughter had severe allergies to a lot of foods, most specifically soy and all nuts.

I began to research food and my findings were SCARY!!  I realized that changes needed to be made, even though we were fairly healthy eaters.  I realized even more the importance of eating clean, whole foods.  I realized the importance of getting to know your farmer.  I realized the importance of organic fruits and vegetables and if you can’t buy organic, get to know the farm and the farmer.  I needed to be my daughters hero and make sure that I fed her the best quality food I could.  Now don’t get me wrong, she is a child and I am not supermom, so there are loopholes in this clean food diet.  BUT, the difference that eating clean can make IS noticeable!!  Knock-on-wood, we have NOT been for any breathing treatments or to the ER since making these changes.  And, she really isn’t taking any medicine.

Running a marathon was always on my think list.  Not my bucket list, but my think list.  My dad ran over a dozen NYC marathons and my mom also ran the NYC marathon.  But I just never thought I could run that far.  Again, even years later, I was still only a 6 mile runner.  But then one spring evening while out with friends, a running friend suggested I run the Chicago Marathon.  She said she would train me.  She said she would write the training plan and tell me everything I needed to know.  She said I could do this.  She was holding herself accountable for training me and holding me accountable to running. I told my husband. I told my parents.  I was now accountable for committing to run the Chicago Marathon.  And if that wasn’t enough accountability, I also committed to running the Chicago Marathon on behalf of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and raising money.

So June 2015 came and training started.  My running friend and I stuck to the plan and never deviated.  Why?  Because we were committed and we were accountable.  My parents, my husband, my running friend, St Jude…I committed and felt accountable to them.  My parents had run marathons, so I did not want to let them down.  My husband thought I was crazy and quite honestly did not think I could do it so therefore I was accountable to him to prove to him that I could run 26.2 miles.  My running friend said she would train me and I therefore I was accountable to her because I didn’t want to let her down!  And I told St Jude I would raise money and therefore I was accountable to them.  From June till October, we trained, logging 700 miles.  I raised $5000.  And we finished the marathon sub 4 hours!! We were accountable for completing the commitment and we were heroes to St Jude for raising money.

So here I am, writing about me and my heroes and how I became a runner, a person who works-out and a person who believes in clean eating. Why? Because I realized the power of being someone’s hero. I realize the power of being there for someone, offering encouragement and accountability. I realize what the power of clean eating and exercise does for your health. I realize that I want to share my love and passion for clean eating with others. I want to share my passion for living a healthy lifestyle, both physically and nutritionally. I want to be there for people just like people are there for me. I want to share work-out tips, recipes and help people take the steps, whether beginner steps or advanced steps, to living a nutritionally and physically balanced life. I want to be your hero, your coach, giving you pure power to be the best that you can be. If you would like more info on how to get started on having the pure power to eat clean, commit to a work-out plan & have accountability, message me. I look forward to being each others hero.

Be Somebody’s Hero,

Pirate & Mermaid Birthday Party


We had so much fun creating these cupcakes for a Pirate & Mermaid Birthday Party!  The theme worked well because the party was for boy/girl twins. The party theme also works well for when boys & girls will be invited to the party. 

For the Pirate cupcakes, we made chocolate cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting. Kids love trinkets that they can keep so we ordered Pirate rings & Jewel rings as cupcake toppers. For the Pirate cupcakes we found Scooby-Doo graham cracker bones & chocolate coins at the local supermarket. 


For the Mermaid cupcakes we made traditional yellow cupcakes with ocean blue buttercream frosting. Swedish fish were used as the Mermaid tails, jelly beans as clamshell pearls & a Jewel ring for all our little mermaids to keep & wear. 

 Such a fun party, we hope you too will have fun with this theme. 



❤️ Cheesecake


One of my favorite things to make for dessert after a ❤️ Day dinner is cheesecake. Made with reduced fat cream cheese, you can either make a graham cracker crumb or brownie base. After your cheesecake cools, the fun part is topping them. The possibilities are endless but one of my favs is a homemade Kahlua whip cream topped with chocolate stuffed raspberries. Some of my other favorites are (pictured above) fresh strawberries with a chocolate drizzle and a raspberry jam drizzled with chocolate.




Valentine’s Day Cupcakes


It is hard to believe that it is almost time for Valentine’s Day and what more could you want on Valentines Day than cupcakes and kisses?!  (Ok, maybe some champagne too!)  You can make your cupcakes from scratch or you can totally cheat and buy a boxed mix.  But I promise you it is worth the time and effort to make your icing from scratch.  There are tons of options to decorate the top of your cupcake, but since Mondays are always hectic and crazy, we thought it would be a good time to share with you a super simple idea…top the cupcakes with chocolate kisses!  If you want to get a little more creative, you can puree strawberries, put the puree thru a sieve to remove the seeds and blend the puree into your icing for a sweet and pink touch!




Happy 17 Years!


17 years ago today, I said “I do” to Greg.  Our wedding day was a Fairy Tale.  A beautiful day celebrated with family and friends and surrounded by love.  Everything from the ceremony to the reception was as perfect as any Fairy Tale can be written.

But you see, the key to a successful marriage, I believe, is realizing that your wedding day is a fairy tale, but that doesn’t mean that everyday is a fairy tale and you automatically live “Happily Ever After.”  Your marriage is not a Fairy Tale filled with perfect days of “I Love You’s” or filled with perfect days of those butterflies in your stomach because you are just so in love.  The story of marriage is simply not found on the shelves of the Fiction section of the library.  Instead, marriage is an autobiography and a biography written by a bride and a groom in the non-fiction section.

A best friend, a partner, a husband, a Daddy…a groom has many roles to play in the story of a marriage.  The day you get married, your book starts with Chapter One that has 365 blank pages.  Each anniversary, you are given another chapter of 365 blank pages.  How you write those pages is up to the husband and wife.  There are a lot of days that the skies are so blue and the sun shines so bright and love is in the air.  There are a lot of days that love is perfect.  But there are days when the day seems stormy.  Love might seem like it is the hardest word to say.  Days when you argue.  There is health.  There is sickness.  That’s reality.  But how your chapter plays out is up to you.  How you write your autobiography/biography is a choice you make together.

Over the years, our chapters have been written to tell how we have bought 3 houses, had 3 children and have worked together in owning our own companies for many years.  Our story writes to tell about how we live, eat, breathe, work and sleep together.  We have been blessed with many things, but, we work at it.  We realize that just because we got married, life isn’t automatically “Happily Ever After” but “Together and Happy Ever After.”

So, as we celebrate 17 years and begin our next chapter, I start by writing I Love You, Greg.  I am thankful for everything we have.  I am thankful for the 3 wonderful children we have created.  I am thankful that we have each other.  I am thankful that we realize our own grass is green enough.  I am thankful that even when we disagree, we realize that we must say “I am sorry.”  I am thankful that we realize we must say “I Love You” each and every day because each day, each blank page, is a gift, a gift that we are not guaranteed to receive.

I look foward to writing many more chapters with you, Greg Suire.

Cheers to 17 years!!

Reindeer Cookies

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If you are looking to get your kids involved in some holiday baking, or you need something fun for them to do while you do your holiday baking, give them this super easy and super cute baking project. You can make your own sugar cookie dough and let the kids roll and cut their own circles, or you can cheat and buy the store bought sugar cookie roll of dough…just as yummy!
I used a royal icing recipe to ice the cookies…it’s the only recipe I keep under lock and key, but I am sure you can google one. Pretzels as the antlers, chocolate chips as the eyes and a red m&m as the nose and a few extras to munch on while you decorate!
Merry Baking and may your Cookies go down in History!!


Witch’s Brew


I love martini’s but don’t love martini glasses. I find martini glasses way to hard to balance…especially if you are standing around at a cocktail party…trying to talk, balancing a martini glass…(and for us girls we are usually trying to balance ourselves in our fancy high heel shoes)…it’s just not in my realm of talent.

So, I like to serve my martini’s in more of a glass…something way easier to balance. In the spirit of Halloween, we made these Witch’s Brew Martini’s…aka chocolate martini’s. To add a little extra festivities, we melted chocolate & piped a Witch’s hat inside the glass, then filled it with vodka, Kalua & milk & topped it with a black & white straw…

Happy Halloween,