Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In  process of bouncing around a few things right now.  Trying to figure out the best way to move forward.  Still working on my idea for the "Living Legacy Warrior Memorial".  Having to write up many proposals for the project and sending it out to company's to see if they would be willing to partner with me to get it off the ground.  At the same time I am working on getting sponsors for next year's walks.  So many things up in the air but I still feel like I am moving forward.  The next few weeks are going to be busy with work, and going back to visit with my family in Pennsylvania, before my parents fly home to Arizona.  Well, tomorrow's a new day... Who knows what will happen...Next...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Tonight I read an e-mail from a friend that inspired this post.  I hope that lightness can replace the darkness and where nothing is growing a beautiful garden will grow.  Tonight, I hope my words will inspire you, as you have inspired me... Never give up... We all face hurdles in life, do not be deterred by them, gain strength from them as you make your way over them. We all have the potential to tap into our inner self, what drives us, to find our passion and harness it, when we do we can achieve our desires.  We have to learn how to do it with grace, with positive intent, with conviction. Each one of us needs to learn how to trust it and not overdo it. How to nuture it and not hide it. How to use it and not save it up for a day that may never come. Passion is a gift we offer that expresses who we are, our intentions and our capabilities.  Never allow someone to snuff out your passion or desires, hold them in your heart and never let them go.  To steal someone's passion is like committing someone to a slow painful death.  For those of you that know me you know that I am very head strong, willful and passionate.  I dream big and I go after what I want.  That being said, when I dedicate myself to something I give it my heart and soul.  I never want to look back on my life and say "what if"...  I have some unanswered prayers, but I just keep believing that one day, when the time is right they will be answered.         

Monday, August 29, 2011

Notes Left Behind...

5 Year Old Girl With Cancer Leaves Behind Unbelievable Messages - Everyone Should See This  Heartbreaking, to know that you lost your child to cancer at the tender age of five years old.  Amazing that after her death she is still teaching others about love and life.  I saw this tonight and I wanted to share it with you.  Watching this video you start to realize how lucky you are to have children that are healthy and happy.  I know that my children tend to push buttons and frustrate me sometimes, but I can't even start to imagine what it would be like to lose one of them.   Especially at such a young age.  I hope you take a moment to watch this clip.  Prayers going out to this family and everyone that loved her so. The book is called "Notes Left Behind" and the web site is called  The Cure Starts Now

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Having to Leave...

Getting ready to leave Pennsylvania, I went around to say my ( See you later's).  If you know me, I never say the common phrase that everyone says as they part ways.  I gave my Mother and Father Kisses and Hugs, the boys did the same then we went to visit my Grandfather.  Six years later and I still cry like a child, when I go to visit my Grandfather.  I miss him now more than ever.  Tristin was a little over a year old when he passed, and he never got the chance to meet Tyler.  I run over the conversations that we used to have.  Out of the three grandchildren I was the closest to him. I would spend hours on end with him talking, as I got older, we would go to the races and would make our way to the casino just to play a few slots.  It didn't matter what we did, as long as we got to spend time together.  I still wish that I had made the last trip to Pennsylvania when I knew he wasn't feeling well.  He had just moved from Arizona back to Pennsylvania with my Grandmother.  ( Long Story Made Short ).  I called him on the phone, and he reassured me that when he was feeling better,  I could come up and see him and we would spend time together.  That was the last time that I got to talk to him.  He passed away later that night.   I went to see him today at the mausoleum, I was the only one there, but I didn't feel alone.  I put up some new pictures of the boys.  Spent some time there, then walked out, locked the door and got in the car.  The kids wanted to go see their Great Grandmother one more time before we left to come back home.  As I drove over to see her.  I thought I was ok, but when I started to tell her what we did this morning I broke into tears.  I know she misses him too, so I hate to cry in front of her.  I got a hold of my emotions and then we all gave her hugs & kisses before we headed home.  I know that my Grandfather told me at one point that he didn't want people to come and mourn at his grave, if they couldn't appreciate him while he was alive.  He was my best friend and we had so many special moments together that still play in my mind.  All these years later, I only seem to miss him more.  So many things have happened over the last six years that I wonder what he would think about it.  I know he would most likely think I was crazy for participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure multiple times, but I know that he would have been my biggest supporter.  No matter how much time goes by, my love for him will never tarnish, fade or disappear.  As the years go by I cherish the moments that I got to spend with him even more...  Forever in my Heart, Always in my Prayers, Constantly in my Thoughts...XoXo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In the Wake of the Storm...

I wanted to be clever today and leave you with a smile, I wanted to tell you a story that would make your heart fill with joy.  I wanted to tell you so many things, but for now I can only leave you with this...
I know that everyone is most likely tired of hearing about Hurricane Irene.  To date that I know about we have lost 11 lives so far.  One life lost is one too many, unfortunately in storms like this you can only pray that everyone makes it through.  I wanted to share this picture I took tonight from my hotel room.  It was a stunning sunset.  ( my picture truly didn't capture it's true beauty )  It was a beautiful day here.  We watched the news on and off throughout out the day.  I just kept thinking that as we were enjoying wonderful moments together in the sunshine, some of my friends were going through some of the worst times ever.  It makes you feel helpless and frustrated not knowing how your family and friends are at this point.  It is even worse, having the knowledge that you can't do anything to make it any better.  So, for tonight we will keep everyone in our thoughts and prayers, praying that tomorrow will be a better day...  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays... Greek Salad With Baked Pita

           Greek Salad With Baked Pita
Fiber from whole-wheat pita bread and protein from chickpeas turn this typical Eastern Mediterranean salad into a satisfying main dish. Plus, crumbled feta offers plenty of flavor without the need for additional salt.  Quick, Easy and Delicious!  This can be a meal or you can have this as a side dish to your meal.  Either way you serve it, I know you will get rave reviews.  
  • 2 6-inch whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 English cucumber, unpeeled and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • Paprika for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each pita into 4 strips and cut each strip into 1-inch triangles, splitting apart the 2 “sides” of the pita as you cut. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in oven until pita is crispy, about 10 minutes, tossing once.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, chickpeas and parsley. Add oil, lemon juice and pepper; toss well. Add feta and toasted pita and toss again. Garnish with a dash of paprika and serve immediately.
Nutrients per 1 1/2-cup serving: Calories: 280, Total Fat: 7 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 44 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 13 g, Sodium: 400 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg    
Clean Eating Magazine  
Posted on December 14, 2010
n/a | Photo: Edward Pond  
    Nutritional Bonus:  glowing skin: 1 low-cal serving of our Greek Salad offers 25% of your daily need of vitamin A, an antioxidant vital to the health of epithelial tissue, which covers the outside of the body and lines organs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


As I visited my Grandmother today with my parents, husband and kids I had an overwhelming sense of being blessed.  My grandmother, 96 years old and a 26 year breast cancer survivor.   My Mother, 73 years old and an 11 year breast cancer survivor... To have the chance to sit with them, laugh with them and be able to make more memories with them.  Priceless... Watching the boys spend time with their Great Grandmother, Nana & Grandfather.  Words can not adequately express... However, I can tell you that it solidify's why I do what I do, walking in multiple Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events.  I want everyone to have the same opportunity that I had today, for many, many years to come.  Today was a day of many blessings...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just Smile...

Sometimes we can't change the situation, but with our smile we can change the direction.  I met a man today that lost his wife last week to breast cancer. As I was leaving the restaurant, I ran around the corner and took this picture.  He asked me why?  We ended up chatting for a bit.  I told him that I write in this blog every day.  I try to make a difference, by sharing with others stories or information about breast cancer and every Friday I put up a new recipe for people to try.  I don't think he truly understands why I do what I do, but as we parted ways he told me that my smile and just me taking the time to talk to him changed things.  I didn't want to pry, but I felt compelled to continue talking to him.  After a few more minutes of us talking Tristin came in to tell me that everyone was waiting for me.  I told him I would be right out.  The man told me that I should get going because I had people waiting on me.  He said that before I started to talk to him the only person that he felt was waiting for him was his wife.  He was lost without her and longed to be with her.  I told him that I did understand what he was saying, but I believed that she would want him to live a full life, and not have it cut short like her's unfortunately was.  He needed to live for both of them, not throw in the towel.  He asked me why I cared and I told him that I walk with an amazing group of people and that we are all Pink Warriors.  We support each other in the difficult times and we celebrate victories won.  I encouraged him to call the Susan G. Komen hotline and get some support even though he lost his wife. I knew that other people in our Pink community would show him the love and compassion that he needs right now.  I asked him if he was going to be alright, and he told me that I saved his life just by taking the time to smile at him and to talk.  He gave me a huge hug and whispered in my ear Thank You, I will now be living for two...  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


While I still had the chance, and the kids are in their final days of vacation.  I decided to take them to visit their Great Grandmother. My parents flew in from Arizona, so that the kids could also get a visit in with their Nana & Grandfather.  Today we drove in from Ohio, had lunch.  Then we were off to go visit Great Grandma.  My Mission is to take a picture with my Mother & Grandmother.  This year my Grandmother became a 26 year breast cancer survivor and my Mother an 11 year survivor.  Since I started walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the cure, I have come to realize that my family is extremely blessed.  Before becoming a 3-Day walker I thought that everyone was like my family with their success rate when dealing with breast cancer.  I have learned, sadly that this is not the case.  So, until we can get everyone to be long term survivors, or until we wipe out breast cancer all together.  I will be walking, 3-Days and 60 Miles in any city that hosts the walk.  In November it will be Arizona with my sister.  Next year, I am already signed up for Boston then Cleveland.  Who knows where I might end up?  

Monday, August 22, 2011

And Sometimes...

Prayers are answered.  A little while ago I wrote about Raymond Johnson.  He is a 26 year old that is battling breast cancer.  His claim had been denied twice to get health care coverage, because he was a man with breast cancer.  After all of the press that he has received over the last two weeks and the outrage that came from the breast cancer community.  I am pleased to announce that he is now going to received the coverage that he so desperately needed.  This is a victory not only for Raymond, but for all men that are battling breast cancer.  When we say that "Everyone Deserves a Lifetime", it does not mean only women.  Every step we take is a step forward, one that I hope opens up the door to other men that are diagnosed with breast cancer. There are no boundaries with breast cancer, and no one is immune to getting it.  My sincerest hope is that with Raymond getting the coverage he needed and being open about having breast cancer. It will give other men the courage to come out and fight!  We are all in this together, one step at a time and celebrating one victory at a time.                                  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wear your Pearls...

Bridget pictured on the Left.
When you participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure or as we loving like to refer to it as the "3-Day community", we become one big PINK family.  We reach out to each other, support and help where we can.  One of our family members ( Carrie Lynn Marinakis ) came up with the idea of an event called, "Wearing Pearls for Bridget Spence, who is a Susan G Komen 3 Day Event Coordinator."  I want to take this blog entry, to introduce you to Bridget.  Bridget was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer five years ago. When she was only 21 years old with no family history of the disease.  She has a blog that she writes in called "My Big Girl Pants."  Here is her blog link if you would like to read more.  http://mybiggirlpants.blogspot.comThese are a few words that Bridget has written in the introduction of her blog."I am just a little girl trying to be a brave big girl on this scary journey.  As treatments improve, more and more women and men are living very full lives while still fighting cancer.  I hope I can give other metastatic cancer patients a voice!"  I had the pleasure of meeting Bridget in Washington DC last year when I participated in the 3-Day, it was brief, but very powerful.  I will urge you to take 11 minutes out of your life to watch this video that was put up on youtube by "mosimpkins" .  The quality of the video is alright, but look past that.  Listen to Bridget's words.  I heard her words for the first time almost a year ago.  Bridget's words have resonated through my soul and I have found myself many times over the last year remembering her words.  Even as I write this blog I am in tears.  Bridget is still fighting her battle, with the same grace as she ever has.  We as her friends, family and those who just want to stand in support of Bridget are bringing out our pearls.  It doesn't matter if they were a family heirloom or they were bought for your prom or wedding.  Bridget loves her pearls and we love Bridget.  If you were like me, I never owned a strand of pearls.  If you know me, you know that anything I try to do is always done in a "BIG" way.  This would be no different.  My dear friend Leah Paugh is a Independent Distributor for Premier Design Jewelry.  They have a Stunning string of Pearls that is 90" of endless pearls called "Opening Night".  I know, you are thinking what in the world would I need that many pearls for?  We took a few pictures of ways that you could wear these pearls.  I bought them to signify my endless support of Bridget and her fight.  I hope that you will join us with this simple yet meaningful tribute to her.  If you are interested in buying these pearls or any other ones that they carry in the Premier line.  You can contact Leah and she will give you 10% off of your purchase if you mention that I sent you, or that you read this story.  I went today to talk to Leah about getting into the business.  I want to do more, and this is looking like the way that might give me the freedom to do so.  Tonight as you get ready for bed I ask that you take a moment to think about our Pink Warrior Princess that wears pearls.  If you say prayers I ask that you lift her up in them.  Sometimes, we all have a bad day, but even on our worst day we can always find a reason to be Thankful.  Tonight, I ask that you be thankful for all of the little things that mean so much.  Don't lose sight of the important things and never take for granted the simple moments that seem to go by in a flash... 
Yes, this is the 90 Inches of pearls "Opening Night" shown in just 3 of the many ways that it can be worn.  It retails for $39.00.  Premier Design Jewelry has many other beautiful pearl pieces to fit anyone's style.  You can reach Leah at 440-725-0981. I have to say Thank You to my Beautiful Model.  She was a great sport when I asked her to help me with the pictures today! Thank you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Removing the Clutter...

Every now and again, we all need to take stock of our lives.  Sometimes we need to un-clutter it.  We can plant the most amazing and beautiful  flower bed, but if we don't maintain, take care of and spend time working on it, it will become over grown and messy.  This is also true of our lives.  As we live every day we don't always maintain the little things, before you know it, the little thing has now become an over grown mess.  Today it was gorgeous out side.  With all I have been doing, between taking care of the family, house, squeezing in training, writing the blog and so on.  I have lost sight of things I once used to take such pride in like my flower beds.  So today I started out with "just weeding" out, the grass that showed up out of no where, the dandelions that blew in and the little trees that started to take root.  As I got farther along into the process I decided to get radical.  I tore out most of the flowers in the bed, snipped the wires to the lights and puled them all out, lastly taking out a tree.  I want to simplify things. Once I have re worked the front beds they will just need to be maintained to be kept in order.  As the school year is fast approaching, I am finding that I will have a little more time to get things done.  I have let the days of summer take me away from my normal routine and I have enjoyed it immensely.  Spending time with the boys, family and friends dong things out in the sun.   As fall rapidly approaches.  It is time to get radical & bring about change...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays...Trout with Gooseberry Relish

Off to another pre-season game so here is a quick recipe that you can enjoy.  Easy to make flavorful and even easier to clean up.  Enjoy!  Golden gooseberries (aka cape or physalis gooseberries) are tart, and their astringent flavor complements fish such as salmon and trout very well. Their growing season is relatively short, so pick them up at your local grocery store or farmers’ market in the summer months while you can. If you can’t get your hands on the golden variety or you prefer a flavor that’s more tart, use green gooseberries instead.


  • 1 1/2 cups golden or green gooseberries, tops and bottoms sliced off
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick and immersed in cold water
  • 2 12-oz trout fillets, skin on
  • 4 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice gooseberries in half lengthwise and place into a medium mixing bowl. Add onion, garlic, honey and vinegar and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Lay 2 pieces of foil on a flat surface and spray each piece with cooking spray. Drain potatoes and discard water. Lay potato slices in 2 rows, side by side, in the center of each piece of foil in a single layer, overlapping slightly. (Potatoes will form a base for the trout to sit on.) Season potatoes with salt and pepper. 
  4. Place 1 trout fillet on top of potatoes in each foil. Top trout with gooseberry mixture, dividing evenly among fillets. Put thyme sprigs on each fillet and enclose in foil, making a pouch.
  5. Place pouches onto 1 large or 2 small baking trays on middle rack of preheated oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove pouches from oven and carefully open to test for doneness. Fish should flake easily with a fork and potatoes should be soft and fully cooked. If fish is not cooked, close pouch and return to oven for 5 more minutes. 
  6. Carefully open each foil pouch. Cut each fillet in half, lengthwise, and divide potatoes, trout and relish evenly among 4 plates or place on 1 large platter for service. Enjoy immediately.
Nutrients per serving (6 oz fillet, 5 to 7 potato slices, about 1/4 cup relish): Calories: 282, Total Fat: 7 g,Sat. Fat: 2 g, Omega-3s: 670 mg, Omega-6s: 600 mg, Carbs: 25 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 31 g, Sodium: 130 mg, Cholesterol: 141 mg     

Found in Clean Eating Magazine  Posted on December 9, 2010   By n/a | Photo: Edward Pond

Nutritional Bonus:

Gooseberries are ultra- in vitamin C - 1 cup of gooseberries contains more of the immune booster and collagen producer than half an orange.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


As Summer starts to wind down and we prepare the kids to go back to school.  I find that I am holding on to every minute I can get with the kids.  Today we played outside and made drawings on the driveway with chalk.  Then we took a trip to a local treasure know to locals as    ( Brant's Apple Farm ).  They are a family owned business and we love every time we get the chance to go there to try their latest harvest of apples.  One of the things I look forward to every fall is making weekly or bi-weekly trips out to Brants.  It is always a wonderful feeling knowing that you are supporting a local farmer and getting fresh off the farm goodness.  They have a wonderful bakery, but I love mixing the apples and making my own fresh apple sauce.  I also in & amongst everything today was working on making contacts for the Memorial.  I have a contact that is willing to work with me on acquiring bulbs for the different spots starting in Mid-November.  I am excited as I reach out to people I am getting a very positive response.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Work in Progress...

I have so far one "Visionary" that is willing to work with me on the "Living Legacy Warrior Memorial"  I have so many ideas that I come up with and many never see the "Light" of day.  I think this is one that is going to happen!  I am so excited!  Waiting on some companies to get back to me and once I get all of my steps lined up.  I will release where the first of our Memorial sites will be located... Fingers Crossed & Prayers up!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day of Planning...

Spent most of the day on the computer or on the phone trying to find people that can "See" my vision.  I want to be able to create this living Memorial for those that have gone before us.  I want to be able to have a Visible, Tangible, Reminder that Lives.  We unfortunately have causalities in this War, that we are raging on Cancer.  I want to Honor these fallen Warriors.  If any of you have any one that would be willing to help Sponsor, Donate or Maintain these Memorials, please contact me!  I want to do all I can to start this project now.  So that maybe next year we can see some of them in Bloom.  Thank you in advance for your time & generosity!  Together we will bring Cancer to it's Knees.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Living Memorial...

Between last night and early this morning I came up with an idea that I am going to work on & hopefully implement before next year's events.  Currently the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure has walks in 14 places.  Starting off in Boston then on to Cleveland, Chicago, Michigan, Twin Cities, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Dallas/Fort Worth, Arizona and then finishing up in San Diego.  I would like to find hearty pink flowers that are perennials, and that are indigenous to the specific area.  The symbolism behind it would be a flower that would serve as a sign of Hope and Renewal that comes back every year.  They will be Forever be Beautiful & their Love will repeatedly blossom living on.  A living Memorial to Honor, show Respect and Remember each of the Warriors who have so Valiantly battled breast cancer and have lost. Leaving Lasting Beauty for all to see...I hope it will serve as a Beautiful Living Testament to those who Graciously have given, Lovingly shared of themselves and Bravely Fought.  I hope it will bring about Healing, Awareness and Beauty, till we walk there again.  

                     Thinking that it should be named the "Living Legacy Warrior Memorial"...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be Your...

Today, I beat my previous record for number of consecutive days spent alive.
I am going for a new personal best tomorrow...

Sometimes we just need to go for our own personal best.
I have never been where I am today, and I can't go back to yesterday.  So, when I wake up in the early morn, I am going to be the best that I can be!  Many people go through out their life wanting to be thinner, look better, to be richer, or just to be something else...
As you go through this week I challenge you to be your Personal BEST!  Don't let the negativity or self doubt sneak in.  Shut off anything that isn't positive!  Just tell yourself that you are the best that you can be today, in this moment.  If you want to lose weight, start making better choices.  If you want to look better, start by treating yourself to one new piece of clothing or work out.  If you want to be richer, don't always buy a want, wait for a need, or give up something that you can live without.  We are all given a gift, that is called our life.  Only we can determine our fate.  There are things that we can not control.  Like getting cancer or a life threatening illness, but the rest is left in your control.  If you are unhappy with your current situation only you can change the direction.  I am not saying that it will be easy, but what worthwhile thing in life ever is? There are always exceptions to this rule like you were born into privilege or you win the lottery, genetically or monetarily.  No one is perfect, but be perfectly you.  The older I get the more I realize that I am only me.  I can't be ( enter name here ).  There is no use in comparing myself to her, because that is as effective as beating my head against the wall.  Take all of the energy that you spend wishing, wanting and waiting to become something else & use it on today.  To enjoy the moments that you are given.  When you wake up tomorrow go for your Own Personal Best...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We Won!

First Pre-Season game against the Green Pay  Packers and we won!  Final Score Browns 27, Green Bay Packers 17, the weather held out for the game and it was a great night.  It's always fun to get back in the swing of things.  Got to see a bunch of returning fans and met plenty of new ones.  There is never a dull moment when a game is being played at the Cleveland Browns Stadium.  I would love to divulge what happened tonight but I can't.  All I can say is that it never ceases to amaze me how people are.  Especially when they spend so much on the tickets, parking and then the food and drinks.  If your going to go out to a game, concert or event please know your limits.  We want people to come out and have a good time, but we have a job to do.  Even if you don't understand it.  Come out have a great time & drive home safe so we can see you back again for another event.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays~Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

This is a hearty, Russian classic, our budget-friendly, clean version replaces the beef with portobellos, making up for lost protein with tofu in the creamy sauce. The family will be saying “spasiba” in no time.  

I thought I would miss the beef.  To my shock and delight I can tell you that I did not miss it.  I look forward to making this recipe again in the near future.  

( Tip: ) The only thing I did different is that I blended the Tofu until it was as smooth as I thought it could get.  Then I added the sour cream and blended those two together.   Finally I added the beef stock and blended it into the rest. This produced a perfect cream sauce. I also cooked the sauce down in the pan with the mushrooms and then allowed it to cool some before serving this let the flavors meld together. I didn't measure the salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning.  I seasoned it to taste.  I also doubled the mushrooms.  

  • 12 oz whole-wheat egg noodles
  •  Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  •  4 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  • 14 oz medium-firm tofu, pureed in blender or food processor
  • 8 oz low-fat sour cream
  • 8 oz low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried dill


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high for 1 minute.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, mist with cooking spray and add onion. Sauté for about 8 minutes or until caramelized. Add white and portobello mushrooms and garlic. Mist with cooking spray, if needed, and saute until cooked, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Add tofu, sour cream, stock and tomato paste, and stir until smooth. Stir in seasoning, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour mushroom sauce over cooked noodles. Serve topped with dill.
Nutrients per 1-cup serving: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 3.5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 9 g, Sodium: 140 mg, Cholesterol: 15 mg    

Serves: 8
Hands-on time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes.         
By Jeanette Hurt | Photo: Gibson & Smith

Nutritional Bonus:

Mushrooms are not only low-cal wonders - 1 white mushroom contains only 5 calories and is fat-free; 1 oz of portobello mushrooms contains 10 calories and zero fat (that includes saturated fat!) - but they are also an impressive source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and maintain heart health.  Just 5 oz of mushrooms contain more potassium than a banana!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Can you say Football...

Back to work I go... For those of you that don't know, I work for Tenable Security Services.  We provide security for the Cleveland Brown's Stadium.  Tonight we had our first security meeting to get us back on track for the season.  I am a Supervisor for the 300 W. area right above what most people know as the Cleveland Clinic Gate Entrance.  It is always fun to come back and see all of your friends that you haven't seen since the end of the last season.  Tonight was no different.  Saturday will be our first game back.  I have to say that I am shocked to see how quickly the time has passed since the end of our last season.  I keep thinking about our 3-Day family that in a few short hours will be taking their first steps in Michigan.  Enjoy every minute!  Dr. Sheri Phillips will get you ready as you head out on your Journey... We will be keeping you all in our thoughts & prayers...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pennies from Heaven...

As the rain was pouring out side last night, I could not sleep. I kept having a nagging feeling that would not let me rest till I wrote this down... A few days ago the kids were with me running errands.  We were walking up to the store entrance when we noticed that there were pennies that were scattered everywhere on the ground. It was like it rained pennies from Heaven. We started to pick them up & someone walked by muttering, "their not worth very much". That "simple" phrase kept playing in my head. Which inspired me to write this...

Pennies from Heaven...
Pennies from Heaven they are wishes that come to you.
Pennies from Heaven are scattered all around you.
When we fundraise and tell of why we do what we do,
sometimes we hear... 
Well, there is nothing that I can do.
My response is... 
Do you have a penny? 
Well, what can one penny do?  
It seams like so little but each one carries a dream.
Like the footprints we lay down as we walk alone or in a team.
Each steps counts and so does that penny that you hold.
To some that could be the difference between them growing one day old.
If each penny that get's tossed aside would be put together it would cause a landslide.
Like the walker that thinks they are alone, only has to walk once to know
that no one walks alone.
You see my friend each penny is like a soul...
Some are shiny and new,
others are dull and well worn
many have been cast aside thinking that they are not worth much.
When we gather them together they start to add up, 
as you add one more to the pile they all seem to be worth more.
Each one has a worth, each one carries a dream, each one counts...
So as you find your pennies along the way collect them for this day.
This day, for three days, when we collectively come together to make each wish count.
Until we find a cure...
Remember this...
Your change will bring about a change...


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Does not Discriminate...

After the appalling news that has come out over the last 24 hours about Raymond Johnson who is being denied medical coverage for his breast cancer because he isn't a woman.  I am left with this sick feeling in my stomach that I can't seem to shake no matter how hard I have tried.  ( This excerpt was taken from the Today show post.)  "Although it's a well-established medical fact that men get breast cancer, Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income and disabled Americans, won’t provide coverage for some of them. Last month, Raymond Johnson, a 26-year-old single South Carolina man, discovered he was one of the estimated 2,100 men who are diagnosed with the disease each year." This is the direct link if you would like to learn more about this travesty...
After posting this on my Facebook account another friend comment on it & said that she thought that Montel Williams was a Survivor...  He actually has MS and has a foundation that he has founded and is very active with.  This drove me to do a little digging of my own.  I have included another link that if you are feeling so inclined to read and learn about the celebrities that have battled breast cancer.  I was shocked to see the amount of names, many of which I had no idea had ever been affected by breast cancer.  It is a sobering fact to see so many names on a list & remember these names on this list are famous people or celebrities.  You will not find Your mother's name on this list or your sister or the grandmother that lives down the street on this list or any of the "Ordinary" women or men that are fighting this battle.  I shudder to think of how long the list would actually be.  Then if you add in the amount of names of those that valiantly battled and lost the list would be staggering.   
Celebrities affected by breast cancer
I will leave you with this information... This will start to educate you about men's breast cancer.  Knowledge is POWER!  Arm yourself, who know's the life you save just might be your own...

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's your LIFE...

I don't like the fact that this skips for whatever reason, but I liked the simplicity of the picture ( so that you can put your own pictures into the song or let it lead you where your feelings are. ) and that the words came up so you could not only hear them, but see them as well.  Every day we have choices to make.  I have been touched in such a profound way by all of my 3-Day Family, ( PINK Family) they constantly leave me in awe and wonderment of their Strength, Determination, Creativity & their never ending Support of others.  We may have never have "met' in person, but we hold others up during their dark moments and celebrate in our victories... I just wanted to say how truly Amazing these people are and how I feel blessed to be able to be a part of the family... Thank you...XoXo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just Listening...

Today we took a trip to listen to the Glassman- they are a Drum Bugle Corps they are out of Toledo, Ohio.  There were also many other groups performing coming from as far away as California.  They were Amazing!  Shortly after we entered the stadium they had a dedication to all the Men and Women that are serving our Country.  We never stop to think of the sacrifices that they make every day, because our life goes on the way that it always does.  I ask you tonight or whenever you end up reading this to STOP.  Take a deep breath and as you exhale say Thank You.  Thank You, to the people who you may have never met, or who you spent your life growing up next to that have given their life so that we may live free.  Every Service Member that is currently serving has written a blank check.  They have unselfishly, dedicated their lives to protect our freedoms that we take for granted far too often.  I just ask you where ever you are or what ever you are doing to take a moment to remember these Hero's that have left us far too soon.  They will never be forgotten or their sacrifices.  Prayers go out to their Family and Friends that struggle to continue on.  I hope as a community we will lift up these families and take care of them as their loved ones took care of us.  Thank you from a Grateful Heart...   XoXo 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Reunion...

Right before going to my husband's family reunion I was informed that there would be a table decorating contest.  So, naturally I got out my duffle bag and started to frantically stuff it with all of my pink goodies. Some that I had just added to my collection from the Cleveland 3-Day for the Cure that was just held the weekend before. 

Arriving at the reunion I set out to decorate the table.  It was actually humorous all of the stares that I was getting.  Pink hair, pink shirt decorating our picnic table ( Yup, you guessed it...PINK).  I even used bright pink duct tape to secure the thunder sticks to the table, the pink pom-pom's and a 3-Day towel. 

So, our table was PINK!  Pink all the way around.  It came time to judge the tables.  Everyone was handed a piece of paper and a pencil.  Then it was time to wait...  A little bit later they read the results and...

WE WON!!!  They handed me a really cool hand made picnic table with "Piper 2011"burned into it.  I felt like I just won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!  As the reunion came to an end they graciously gave me the floor for a few minutes and I explained why everything is all about the PINK.  I explained why we missed the reunion last year, and how we will miss the reunion next year because of our participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure that will be held August 3-5.  I then asked if everyone would take a donation form to sponsor me next year.  If they were unable to help me, I asked if they could pass it along to someone that might be able to.  It was really great to have the family come up to me afterwards and ask me questions about the 3-Day events.                    

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fantastic Foodie Fridays Avocado, Endive & Apple Salad w/ Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Sometimes we just need a break from a heavy meal.  Here is a refreshing salad that is easy to make and on a hot summer day will keep you from having to turn on the stove or oven to get a meal on the table.

Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Makes 3/4 cup vinaigrette (including grapefruit segments)
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit (about 10 oz)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced basil (about 4 basil leaves)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Belgian endive, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 crisp apple, julienned
  • 2 radishes, thinly shaved
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado

  1. Prepare Grapefruit Vinaigrette: Cut skin from top and bottom of grapefruit and set grapefruit on a cutting board so it stands upright on one of the flat ends. Remove skin and pith from grapefruit with a sharp knife, cutting to the flesh from top to bottom all the way around. Hold skinned grapefruit over a medium bowl and cut in a “V” to remove individual segments from between the visible membrane “walls.” Reserve juices in bowl as you cut, then squeeze remaining membrane to release the rest of the juice once all segments are cut free. Discard membrane. Cut segments crosswise into quarters. Whisk oil and honey into juice, then stir in grapefruit segments and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare Salad: Gently toss endive, apple, radishes and pomegranate seeds with grapefruit vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Cut each side in half again, creating 4 quarters. Scoop flesh from skin with a large spoon. Thinly slice each quarter of avocado lengthwise and fan pieces onto 4 plates. Top avocado slices with about 1 cup salad and serve.
Nutrients per Serving (1½ tbsp vinaigrette, 1 cup salad and ¼ avocado): Calories: 250, Total Fat: 15 g, Carbs 29 g, Protein: 5 g; Sugars: 14 g, Fiber: 13 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 180 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Stephanie Izard, winner of season four's Top Chef, creates a crisp salad for you to enjoy this season.
By Stephanie Izard | Photo: Gregory James, Food Styling: Jessica Colley