Strawberry-Cherry Upside Down Cake

Sometimes you need to indulge and actually eat your cake. This Father's Day I whipped up a cake for dear hubby to spoil him and I hit a gold mine.

His favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake BUT I had no pineapple in the house. And since it was Father's Day weekend and darling daughter has been asking for some sweet treats I figured, okay. Spoil the family. I know it isn't on my eating plan per se but in all reality, I will NEVER stick to a plan that I can't indulge every now and then so....due to some creative genius from watching maybe one too many episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen -- introducing my strawberry-cherry upside down cake.

The sweet stuff:
About a cup of frozen strawberries thawed slightly and sliced
10 fresh cherries sliced
1 Tbl non-dairy butter
2-3 Tbl brown sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon

I seriously just flew by the seat of my pants in this part. I put the butter in a 8"x8" glass baking dish and microwaved 30 seconds until it melted. I sprinkled brown sugar all around. I laid out the sliced strawberries, added the sliced cherries, and sprinkled some cinnamon on just because.

The cake batter (this was much more exact):
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup organic sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup non-dairy butter - slightly melted
1 tsp vanilla

I mixed it all together in a bowl. I know, shocking! No two parts. Just dumped it all in and mixed with a spoon. It still had a few butter clumps but don't fret.

Spread it all on top of the berry mixture, sprinkle more cinnamon on top if you are crazy like me, and bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes. Mine took 35 minutes but you know the drill, bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve hot and enjoy!

I love this cake not only because it is yummy but because it is a smaller cake. Pretty much just one layer of that normal two layer cake recipe and that is a good thing when you want to eat healthy 80% of the time. It is gone in no time! Win-win for me.

Unfortunately, we devoured the cake before I could take a picture!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all I have learned and am learning through Food Network.

Daily Bible Verse: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1


Amazon: A dress shopping surprise

Today's post is a bit off of my normal topic stream but I was so impressed by a recent shopping experience that I have to share.

Just recently I went through training to be a lector at the church I attend. I was all set and ready to go except for the whole dress code thing. Spaghetti straps were a no-no and living in Hawaii for yikes! almost 18 years has left me with a ridiculous wardrobe when it comes to dressing up. You see, this isn't the time or place for yoga pants and a racer back tank even though I have worn such to mass with a sweater cover up. And it obviously wasn't the place for those couple of spaghetti strapped sundresses I owned.

My awesome hubby even took me out on the town to find a dress or two that would work before I was scheduled to read at mass. I was hopeful but quickly realized, shopping is AWFUL. I found one, yes, just one dress that would conform to the dress code and was half way decent for $79. Ummm....nope. No way could I spend that much on a dress I didn't love. I left discouraged and perhaps a wee bit grouchy. He brought me and darling daughter home and went out for a run. Smart man.

I got inspired to just check Amazon. Why not, right? Well, after seeing tons of dresses that were no where near conservative I hit the jackpot. Somehow I ventured into this whole collection of retro dresses. Bright flowery dresses. Conservative dresses. Dresses I thought, hey, this could work. I placed four in my cart for about as much as that one dress I said nope to and crossed my fingers hoping one, they would arrive on time, two, a couple would fit, and three, I would actually like them on.

Three came promptly and one not so far behind.

Each dress was packaged in its own little zipper bag inside the larger bag. Packaged with love but not excess baggage. And trying on commenced.

Here are photos of the first three.

The fourth I loved as well but it was a bit lower cut than I thought but with the right bra top underneath, it was perfect. Conservative and lovely!

I am honestly beyond amazed that I found such great dresses and that the fabric and quality well exceeded what I thought would come with the awesome price tag. This is one happy shopper and my dear hubby keeps complimenting me on each dress I wear. Win-win!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Amazon.

Daily Bible Verse: She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. ... ~ Proverbs 31: 17-22


Move It & Hydrate: 5-day FREE Challenge

Hey there fit peeps, I'm talking to you!

I am happy to announce I am hosting a 5-day FREE challenge that focuses on moving more and hydrating better. The perfect combo to keep us all on target as summer heats up and we get busy vacationing, exploring, and more.

The challenge runs June 27th to July 1st and is being hosted on my facebook page. You can find the challenge event HERE. Hop on over today and join me and the other challengers. 

I will be providing hydration tips, some new move it ideas, and more PLUS all participants will be eligible to win a prize or two...courtesy of me. Why? Because I LOVE you!

And what makes this challenge extra special to me is that I will be hosting it from the great state of Texas and I know, running in that Texas heat will make hydration much more necessary. 

I hope you join me and if you are so inclined, spread the word. The more the merrier!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for good friends and great discounts!

Daily Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11


#irun4toby - What does this mean?

I get asked many times what all this #irun4toby means so I thought today would be a good day to explain it again.

A very long time ago I signed up to be a running buddy through I Run 4 Michael - an awesome group that matches runners with special needs kiddos and adults. To be honest, there is a wide spectrum of needs represented and some days it breaks my heart to see little ones fighting for their lives but then I see the courage of their parents. The love they have and the willingness to share their story, pain, hopes, and accomplishments. We can't go through life with blinders on not seeing what can hurt us. We are called to love and to care and this group is beyond AMAZING!

I was on the waiting list for MONTHS to be matched with my buddy and on July 27, 2017 I was matched with Toby. He has Down syndrome and over the months he and his family have become part of my family. His mom is so much like me it is ridiculous! And in just 8 more sleeps I get to HUG Toby in real life and I am beyond excited.

But many ask me, what is involved to run for Toby?

Love and caring.

I run every day so running for him that way is easy but it is more than miles. It is about digging deep and connecting with one another. Kinda like a virtual pen pal but don't go into this if you aren't ready to grow your heart and family. I am in contact with Toby and his mom almost every single day either via facebook, email, or texting. I share my worries and joys with his mom as much as she shares hers with me. We pray for each other, encourage each other, and all of this is because of one amazing boy who is ROCKING his extra chromosome to make the world a much better place.

And in case you are still wondering what is involved, creativity and fun! From the first day I started running for Toby I began logging those miles in a virtual mission to run from Maui to Nebraska (my home to his) and I am beyond excited I will make it there for real before virtually but that mission will continue and then I will let him pick where we run to next. He just doesn't know that yet.

After I got off of the water and hit land, I began sharing tidbits from the places we were running through. Think of it as a geography lesson for him, me, and darling daughter. I am putting these almost weekly "Where we are" posts in a special blog for him and one day, I will share it with darling daughter. An online journal of love.

It started with daily posts of every facebook post I did for him but to be honest, that got overwhelming. I will occasionally add in other special posts and toss in pictures of him so we can all reflect back and see him grow up. A memory box of our special runner-buddy bond.

Here is an example of a post I do for him. Today's post in fact:

Toby, our virtual mission is continuing and I am still stuck in Arizona and am beginning to think this state is very brown and empty. I keep going from low population spot to low population spot. But I guess it is better than "standing" in the middle of a highway updating you on our progress!

So today we are in Kaibito, Arizona and I have NEVER heard of this place. The 2010 census reported a population of 1,522 people and over 90%...okay, 99.19% to be exact....were Native American. But what stood out to me is the town/city is at an elevation of 5,810 feet. That is higher up then I live!

I shared a picture from the web so you can see Kaibito too. To be honest, the pic makes it look greener than the virtual mission map does! It is much prettier than I first thought. Guess that is why we should NEVER judge a book by its cover.

Love you buddy!

And it contained these pictures:

Daily Gratitude: I am beyond thankful and honored to run for Toby and to have him and his family in my life. It is making me a better me and my daughter and better girl. 

Daily Bible Verse: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. ~ Galatians 6:9-10


And the winner is.....

Is it you? Did you win the SOS Rehydrate giveaway? Find out HERE. But hint, hint, your intitials are R.T.

I wish I could give everyone some SOS Rehydrate to try but in all reality, I only have so much on my desk and limited funds since I am doing this out of my own pocket. So enjoy the SOS lucky winner! You deserve it!

But there is something I can do for all of you! Help you reach your fitness and health goals and right now I am recruiting dads, moms, kiddos, fit peeps all of you to take the plunge and join a fitness and health challenge in honor of dad. What a perfect gift to give your hubby or father, right? Better than anything else I can think of and if you think this is something men won't like, think again. My hubby turns his nose up at so many fitness programs or activities besides running or swimming (solo of course) but these programs are catching his eye and that is cool! You can learn more HERE.

And I just need to say, I AM A WINNER TOO! In the shopping realm. I found not 1, not 2, but 3 amazing "conservative" dresses and where and how may shock you! Stay tuned for that upcoming post in the next few days. Really, this is SO COOL I do need to blog about it! It knocked my socks off!

Have a beautiful day and God bless!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for new dresses that are affordable and darling.

Daily Bible Verse: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8


The Gift of Health

I work in fundraising and have seen the trend year after year, the funds raised for dads on Father's Day are small in comparison to funds raised for mom on Mother's Day. So being the curious creature I am, I researched that and two points stuck out to me. People feel more connected to their moms and NO ONE knows what to get dad!

Oh man, let me tell you, that makes me sad as dads rock too, right? Of course right! I would DO ANYTHING to have one more day, one more hug, one more laugh with my dad. And that fuels my desire to keep my hubby as healthy as possible so he can be there for many, many years for his kiddos and one day, grandkiddos (God willing - My dad died of leukemia and cancer sucks. Just saying.....)

Now hang with me a minute as I may appear to be going off topic but trust me, I'm not.

At the beginning of May I started a new health and fitness routine/challenge with the goal of energizing myself. Mission accomplished! I am more energized and eating better and working out more. Just check out my stats from last week! It is has been way too long since I have seen so many green up arrows.

And to be completely honest, at first I was shy and didn't want to do my new workouts in front of dear hubby. Within a week my confidence grew and I did workout in front of him and guess what, in time (and with encouragement from darling daughter) he gave a workout a whirl...and he is looking at other ones I do. He IS interested...to the point of asking how would he be able to do these while darling daughter and I are away. I am not pushing him too hard to join us now but will leave those DVD's front and center for him because I understand, at first I wanted to do them solo.

This got me thinking. We love our dads and our hubbies. Why wouldn't we want to give them a gift that REALLY matters? Why wouldn't we want them to be ENERGIZED, STRONG, and CONFIDENT? We would be foolish to say we didn't care about any of those.

And this is what is happening for me. I AM getting stronger. The weights I am lifting are being increased. I am doing more reps, more burpees, more push up's AND running longer and stronger. I have lost over 5 pounds and even though this was not my goal, it is AMAZING to have my clothes fitting how they were years ago. And I am NOT walking around like a zombie anymore every single day. PLUS, I am eating better and more so I am no longer constantly hungry. I know, this sounds too good to be true, but it isn't.

The GREAT news is you CAN give this to your dad, hubby, or even yourself and I would LOVE to help you pick out the perfect fitness and nutrition challenge to fit your needs in terms of where you are and where you want to go. I am honored to be a Beachbody Coach and love my Shakeology and invite you to JOIN ME on Team Endurance.

To learn more just email lifeasarunningmom@gmail.com with the subject - DAD - and I will get back to you ASAP.

A fitness program for dad --- one that you and the whole family can join in on --- can you think of a better Father's Day gift? Come on, this beats a tie any day! How many ties does a man need? And a man on Maui....ummmm....one is more than enough!

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful for the people who have said YES, guide me, because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE helping others.

Daily Bible Verse: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4