Seasonal Clif Bar Giveaway!

Last night I met up with one of my bridesmaids, Becky, for dinner at Mama Ayesha’s.  The restaurant is about a 10 minute walk from the Woodley Park metro station, just over Rock Creek Park on Calvert Street.  As you cross the bridge you will see this crazy/awesome mural on the side of the restaurant.  I mean come on, Mama Ayesha herself with 11 presidents.  Classic!

Dinner was awesome!  We started with hummus

and then split two dinner.

We ordered Menzalah, which was layered eggplant topped with ground beef, pine nuts, almonds and tomato sauce baked and served with rice

and Mushakal Mashawi, which was shish kabob, shish taouk and kifta kabob served with rice and grilled vegetables.  Both dinners were awesome!  I loved the eggplant in the first dish and the grilled chicken in the second dish.  Oh man, and the hummus was truly awesome!

A cup of decaf and 2 desserts brought our amazing meal to a close.  I’m so thankful for my friends and love that Becky will be one of my bridesmaids.  Tonight we talked about the bachelorette party, oh yeah!  Vegas anyone?

While at dinner, I received a text from Neal’s sister Jill that baby Annabelle was born tonight!!  Seriously, Jill is A-Mazing.  As of 2PM this afternoon, she was sitting on her couch watching elf.  4 hours later she had her baby girl in her arms.  Who does that?  I am seriously in awe, considering Annabelle is her first baby but man are we excited to welcome Annabelle to the world!  Happy Birthday Annabelle!  In honor of Annabelle’s birthday, I thought a giveaway would be appropriate!!

Seasonal Clif Bar Giveaway

Clif Bar has 3 seasonal flavors this year and I thought 1 lucky winner would like to try all three!

We’ve got Peppermint Stick!

We’ve got Iced Gingerbread!

And we’ve got Spiced Pumpkin Pie!

Who’s excited?

To Enter the Seasonal Clif Bar Giveaway simply:

  • Leave a comment on this post about your favorite ethnic food and/or favorite Clif Bar flavor

  • Earn an extra entry by tweeting: “I want to win @CoffeeCkeCardio’s Seasonal @Clifbar Giveaway!” (Just make sure to leave a second comment on this post with your tweet)

  • Earn an extra extra entry by signing up for a subscription to Coffee Cake and Cardio.  (Just make sure to leave a third comment on this post saying you’ve subscribed to Coffee, Cake and Cardio). 

I’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday morning (October 27, 2011). (Please note that you must live in the Continental United States to qualify).


Celebrations at the Melting Pot

Tonight Neal, Liz, Matt and I went to the Melting Pot to celebrate Liz’s and my birthday, Neal’s and my engagement, and Matt’s return to DC.

Liz, Matt, and Eric (the buffalo stand in)

It was so nice to have a dinner date with the gang, as Matt has been out of town on business for the past 5 weeks.  We started dinner with the Wisconsin Cheese Trio fondue.

We then had a wonderful main course (herb chicken, terriaki steak, filet mignon, Tuna, and shrimp).

We also enjoyed a few cocktails!!

For dessert we had a WONDERFUL dark chocolate fondue with marshmallow and oreos.

It was great catching up, making plans for the winter months, and talking about Eric’s return to DC in February.

Liz can’t wait to have her man back!! We all miss Eric a lot!

Tonight’s dinner was the perfect way to end the weekend and a great way to start the week.  This week is going to be REALLY busy, but I’m looking forward to getting a lot of stuff done at work, continuing our wedding planning, and cranking out a LOT of graduate work!

Weekly Plan: October 24-30









1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, on sandwich thin, banana

Veggie patty on sandwich thin, small salad

Pumpkin fluff, honeycrisp apple

Dinner at Mama Ayesha’s

Dinner with Becky


Elliptical and Weight Lifting

Multigrain cheerios, banana

Lunch with Melanie

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Turkey tacos

The Biggest Loser


3 mile run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Dinner at Cosi

Dinner with Katy and graduate work


Elliptical and Weight Lifting

Multigrain cheerios, banana

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Food tasting with caterer

Graduate Work


30 min run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Salad @ home

Wedding Planning with Neal — visiting venue #4


6 mile run

Oatmeal, sunflower butter, banana

Smoothie and wrap from Tropical Smoothie (post run tradition)


Dinner at Neal’s (turkey or chicken burgers)

Long run and lots of graduate work



Multigrain cheerios, banana




Wedding Expo at one of our venue options and lots of graduate work

This week, my goal is to continue my Get-in-Shape Checklist and to accomplish a lot on my to do list.  I am also having a GIVEAWAY on Tuesday… so stay tune for that!

Have an amazing Monday and a great start to the week!  What are your goals for this week?

Wedding Venues 2 and 3

It has been 2 weeks since Neal and I got engaged and man have I learned a lot!  It’s almost like people develop a split personality when someone in their life is getting married– a “wedding personality” if you will.

Symptoms of “Wedding Personality”

(note: this is meant to be funny but true)

Negative Side Effects

  1. Desire to organize and plan wedding as if it is your own
  2. Desire to make sure the wedding is everything yours was not
  3. Urge to tell the bride how you are going to impact the wedding without asking if your help is needed
  4. Urge to analyze the bride and groom’s choices
  5. Unexplained questioning of the bride and groom’s wedding planning timeline

Positive Side Effects

  1. Willingness to help the bride and the groom with whatever they need
  2. Desire to help take any stress off of the bride and the groom
  3. Desire to make this the happiest day for the bride and the groom
  4. Unexplainable tears of joy

The truth is, people are just so excited.  I completely understand where their excitement stems from and I’m learning to just take everything with a grain of salt.  We’re loving where our planning is going and hope to finalize a venue next weekend…

This past Friday, Neal and I headed out to Maryland to see our favorite reception venue before work.  The moment we drove onto the property, I fell in love!

Next to the barn is the old farm house, which holds the bridal suite.  I’m also considering this as the wedding site, using the path as the isle and having chairs on either side facing the house.  It’s an amazing venue and Neal and I both fell in love!

On Saturday morning we headed to venue number 3, which has a stained glass hall for the reception.

This is an amazing venue, but because it is all inclusive, it might be a bit too pricey… we shall see!

Overall, we’re having an amazing time planning our wedding.  There are so many idea floating through my head, but I know it’ll all work out in the end.  Today Neal and I are running 8 miles, our longest run to date!  We’re looking forward to having a good run and crossing this one off our list.  This after we’re watching the Redskins game and then going to dinner at the Melting Pot with Liz and Matt.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!


27th Birthday Recap

I had an amazing birthday!!  This week started out with a bang as Neal proposed on Monday night!  I didn’t think it could get any better… but it really was an amazing week.  Although Neal and I both got really sick this week, living on cloud nine kept my mind off of my runny nose, sore throat and cough.

This morning Neal and I went on a 7 mile run, part of our 15K training.  I was so excited to see a birthday cake on my FT7 this morning!  Too cute!  But today, I wore by new Garmin Forerunner 305!  It was a birthday present from my parents and I just couldn’t wait to use it today.

The weather was absolutely amazing today.  The air was crisp and there was this amazing breeze.  Neal and I started our run along the George Washington Parkway on the Mt. Vernon Trail at mile marker 12.

Our run took us past the airport, around Gravelly Point (right where the airplanes take off and land), and right to the 14th street bridge.

It is so amazing running past the monuments.  Runs like this remind me of why I love Washington, DC so much.

Neal and I had a fantastic run and felt great afterwards!

7 miles

  • Mile 1- 00:11:57
  • Mile 2- 00:11:42
  • Mile 3- 00:11:28
  • Mile 4- 00:11:38
  • Mile 5- 00:12:15
  • Mile 6- 00:11:42
  • Mile 7- 00:11:39
  • Total time- 01:22:24
  • Total calories- 1180 calories burned

Afterwards we headed strait over to Tropical Smoothie Cafe!  Nothing better than an ice cold fruit smoothie after a long run.  Once we were cooled down we headed over to Whole Foods (Kombucha drinks, honeycrisp apples, bananas, NuGo bars, and sunflower butter) and Giant (a few odds and ends).

Once home, we settled in and watched the Redskins game.  Sadly they lost but I got a rockin’ 20 minute nap in during the 2nd quarter!

After the game, Neal and I got dolled up and went out to dinner.  Over the past 2 years, we’ve gone to the Cheesecake Factory for both of our birthdays.  It’s become a birthday tradition I guess.

Dinner was awesome and I’m happy I burned those 1180 calories this morning!  After dinner we headed over to Barnes and Noble where I did a little perusing for wedding ideas.  Here’s what caught my eye…

Place seating board with clothes pins

Antique dinner plate table numbers

Isle decorations-- LOVE!

Reception decorations.. Love Love Love

I had a wonderful 27th birthday!  I’m so thankful for all of the birthday wishes and appreciate all of the wonderful people in my life.  Last year was a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to all that this year has in store.

I’m starting out today with a 30 minute run with Neal and then am planning to use my free Starbucks birthday coupon before heading into work.  After work I’m having dinner with Randy, the other love in my life!

This week I’m focusing on eating 9 servings of fruits or vegetables a day and drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Two mini goals but I know they can impact my diet in a huge way.   Oh and be sure to check out my 28 goals before turning 28 next year!

Have a very happy Monday everyone!  Any plans this week?  What mini goals do you have this week to impact your health in a very positive way?

Cookies and a Makeover

The air is crisp and the sun is out… I don’t think I could ask for more!  Lately the weather has been a tad spring like, which is nice in the spring but I really want fall to be here and to stick around for awhile.  Today in DC there is a strong breeze and it’s just beautiful.  Can’t wait to make it out to the farmers market in a bit!

So who doesn’t love sugar cookies?  I’ve been feeling festive so I whipped up a batch of these babies.

Halloween Sugar Cookies


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Buttercream frosting
  • Red food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Black sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Recipe from

  1. To create a glaze, place half of the jar of frosting into a microwave safe bowl.  Follow your food dye’s instructions for creating the color orange.  I placed 4 drops of red and 12 drops of yellow into the frosting and mixed thoroughly.
       2.   Next microwave the bowl of frosting for 30 seconds.  This will create a light and smooth glaze.
       3.   Once the cookies have cooled you can begin glazing the cookies.
        4.   Add sprinkles and voila!
This week I also went to an awesome Mary Kay party, hosted by the one and only Liz!
We had a really awesome time using the Mary Kay skin care line and putting on makeup.

After using the skin care system

and makeup -- had to go for the red lips!

It was a great girls night out and I hope to do it again some time!

Well laundry is done, so I’m off to do some folding and then enjoy this awesome weather!  Today Neal and I are going to the farmers market, checking out a wedding venue (AHHH) and then watching the Iowa game!  Tomorrow we have a 7 mile run, woop woop!

Have a fantastic Saturday everyone!!

27 Accomplishments in 27 Years

Here’s a look at some of my accomplishments from my first 27 years of life…

1984 — Drank a lot of breast milk

1985 — If only I wore a pedometer, I was a walking queen

1986 —  I enjoyed my last year as the only child in my family.  So glad I have my sibs now though!

1987 —  Fell in love with My Little Ponies and learned how much I hate peach oatmeal.

1988 —  I learned how to give my stuffed animals hair cuts.

1989 —  I learned how to cut my own bangs.

1990 —  I watched ET, Dirty Dancing, and the Indian Jones Trilogy more that year than I have my entire life.

1991 —  I became a fashionista

1992 — If I remember correctly, I rocked the house collecting earth worms for a science project worm farm.

1993 —  I learned that stealing Troll stickers from your classmates backpacks is bad.

1994 —  I won the 25 meter dash at the school Olympics.  I was kinda a big deal in the 4th grade.

1995 —  I had my first real crush (Ely) and my first real rejection.  Makes me laugh now.  Giving him a pack of gum and love note was a bad idea.

1996 —  I sold a heck of a lot of Girl Scout cookies!  I was the cookie selling queen in my neighborhood.

1997 — I made the cheerleading squad

1998 —  I made the cheerleading squad

1999 —  I fell in love with the discus throw

2000 —  I began to read and study the bible and understand the scriptures.

2001 —  I’m pretty sure all of my sick days that year were just excuses to stay home and watch “A Baby Story” and “A Wedding Story”.  OH and I got my first job at Baskin Robbins.

2002 — Won 1st place at the Texas Women’s Powerlifting State Championship, graduate from High School, and Started my first year as a collegiate student-athlete in track and field.

2003 —  I learned that tapping on a window to upset a bee hive is a bad idea when you’re a strong woman.  I have a scar on my hand to prove it.

2004 —  I transferred to George Mason and fell in love with the hammer throw

2005 —  I moved into my first dorm as a senior in college and loved every minute of it!

2006 — Graduated from college and accepted my first job at Dartmouth College.

2007 — Lost 50 pounds

2008 — Traveled to Europe to visit friends in Germany and family in England, a trip I will never regret.

2009 — Met the man of my dreams and started graduate school.

2010 —  Ran the Country Music Half Marathon with TEAM in Training

2011 —  Started blogging!

I’ve lived a pretty fun life so far.  I have a wonderful family, a loving and supportive boyfriend, an amazing career, hobbies I love, and hopefully a lot of year ahead of me.  Here’s to having lived 27 years!!  Turning 27 is going to rock the house on Sunday.

Happy Friday… Sadly I have the cold Neal had but at least it’s almost the weekend!  I hope y’all have a great day!

Not Just Any Old Columbus Day: I’m Engaged!!

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Columbus Day!  On one hand, I hate that I have to work each year while the Government is closed.  On the other hand, no one is on the metro!  It’s a day I love to hate.

Empty Metro Parking Lot

Today started out with an awesome 30 minute run with Neal.  We did a small hill loop 3 times and got an awesome workout in.  I showered and then made an awesome breakfast…

English muffin topped with 1 egg, 1 slice of turkey bacon, shredded cheese, and a slice of tomato.  It was awesome.  With a big huge cup of tea to go along with my breakfast sandwich, I was ready to take on Columbus Day!

This is the coffee mug I painted at a paint your own pottery place a month or so ago btw, I LOVE paint your own pottery. Highly recommend it if you haven't been before.

After work, I met Neal at the metro.  Neal planned a date night for the first night of “birthday week” and we decided Monday night was the ideal night for us both.  Although I wasn’t all that excited to go downtown to see the new MLK memorial, I knew Neal would love it.  The plan was to go down to see the monument and then head over to Bobby’s Burger Palace for dinner.

DC is such an amazing city and I’m reminded of that every time I go downtown.

Neal and I headed down to the tidal basin and headed towards the new MLK memorial.

As we got closer to the MLK memorial, Neal and I headed down a path that was closer to the water.  It was such a beautiful night and I was loving being outside with my amazing boyfriend.

Since last week, Neal has been talking about “Birthday Week” and his plan to give me a gift each day, starting with small gifts and building up to a large gift.  While we were walking, Neal began explaining to me that he may have lied, “You know how I said I was going to start with small gift and end with a large gift? Well yeah, I lied”.  It was then that I knew, Neal was totally going to propose.

Neal pulled me in close and told me how much he loves me.  Of course a crowd of people walked by just then, but after they passed and I stopped saying ” OMG, are you serious?  No way”, Neal got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

Our Only Witnesses

I surprisingly didn’t cry but I think it’s because I was in shock (and still am)!

Check out my nasty hair and manicure ... clearly I had no idea he was going to propose.

The ring is gorgeous!!  I am so incredibly grateful and am truly engaged to the man of my dreams.  Neal loves me for who I am and who I dream to be.  He supports my goals and balances me out so well.

After a few minutes of OMG’s, Neal and I found a bench and started to call our family and friends.

We’re kinda excited!

As the sun started to set, we headed over to the MLK memorial…

Took a few photos…

And headed off to dinner.  Now Neal said Bobby’s Burger Palace was just a decoy and that I could choose anywhere for dinner… but burgers are so Neal and I.  I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Bobby’s Burger Palace was just OK.  It wasn’t the “most amazing burger I’ve ever had” but it was pretty good.  In all honesty, I was just overjoyed to be engaged to Neal!

As of this morning, Columbus Day was just another holiday but now, Columbus Day (10.10.11) is the day the love of my life asked me to be his wife.  I am so excited and can’t wait to marry this man!