Opting Out

This year, REI stores will be closed on Black Friday, as they’ve decided to #optoutside. We LOVE this. Not because we have any issue with Black Friday shopping, but companies encouraging folks to get outside and get active is awesome. And a couple of us here decided to join them. So, here are our outdoor plans for the day.


I was an avid participant in Black Friday for years. The local outlet mall opened at midnight (Massachusetts has pretty strict blue laws about who can be open on Thanksgiving, and when). So, we’d head out around 9:00 PM, coffee in hand, sit in traffic, stand in some lines, freeze our butts off, then head to stores that opened later. I’d usually roll into my house around 6:00 AM, and have breakfast.

Breakfast, anyone?

This was breakfast. It’s pie. 


And then I would laze on the couch all day, because I was exhausted. Obviously.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast. There was always tons of laughter, some hysterical, but it was what really kicked off the holidays for me. But, the last few years, I just havent’ wanted to do it. My kids are older, and the things they ask for aren’t usually the things you get great deals on. Plus, my husband does a lot of the holiday shopping in advance.

Last year, I didn’t go out at night, but got up early and hit Target. This year, I’m opting out entirely, and making this my view for at least part of my day, when I head out for a nice walk.


Red Friday?

Red Friday?


If you’re out shopping, I hope you get great deals! If you need me, I’ll be walking off some pie.


While I have never been one for consumerism in general, I do love a good sale. However, I won’t be shopping today. Oh no. But in all honestly, I probably won’t be spending much time in the great outdoors either.

Which pains me to say. I’d much rather be outside than doing what we are doing…

Bathroom remodeling projects.


It has consumed my life (and my house, including my dining room table, living room, basement – ON MY TREADMILL! – and all other flat surfaces) since the beginning of November. Our downstairs full bathroom is nearly complete but since all my dad-in-law’s tools are here, we have decided to tackle the upstairs half bath as well. We even installed a new toilet that we got from toiletable.com.

However I did recently commit to the Real World Run Streak (#RWRUNSTREAK) so I’ll definitely be outside for at least one mile. And my hope is to cajole my boys into raking leaves with me for more outside fun. Fingers crossed!

Leaves, leaves, leaves!

Leaves, leaves, leaves!


However you spend your day, we hope it’s a joyous one! We’re super thankful for all of you. And leftovers.

How are you spending Black Friday? Are you out shopping? Tell us about your deals! And if not, tell us about your day! 

In a year’s time

I’ve never been one to think very far into the future. Retirement planning was such a tough concept for me. It’s forever away, why do I need to start planning now? And if you’ve been reading for a while, you know I am also the Crown Princess of Procrastination Nation.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook and said that volunteers were needed for this year’s South Shore Half Marathon, and people that volunteered would get free registration next year. I’m not sure why I even cared. I mean, I had friends that ran it last year, and it’s super close to my house, and runs through a gorgeous part of the burbs that I live in, but still. Aside from being a habitual non long term plan ahead-er, I haven’t run in… a while.

Like two years, give or take.

Still, I immediately texted my running/walking/brunching partner, Sara, and told her about my cockamamie plan, signed us up, and wondered how cold it was going to be on race day. (It wound up being high 50s/low 60s. Last year, it was in the 20s, so this was definitely better).

We signed up to work at the finish line. I had no idea what we’d be doing, but at least we didn’t have to be there until 8. I probably would have gone for race day registration, because sitting there doing paperwork is my speed, but it was a) bananas early and b) already full. So finish line it was!

It took us a few minutes to even find the finish line, because it’s tucked away on a side road, behind a cemetery, at the bottom of a hill, almost in the woods. Having not volunteered before, we were a little lost, but Sara and I are take charge, bossy types, so before long, we found our spot and got down to business.

We wound up unpacking, unrolling, and eventually, handing out medals. There were a LOT of them. Something like 2200. I had no idea that many people were running this thing.

Lots and lots of medals. They're so pretty!

Unpacking isn’t exactly glamorous work, but man, handing out medals to people that just finished a half marathon? That is FUN.


We were actually around the corner from the actual finish line, but we could see it through the trees. There was music playing (omg, please stop with the cheerleader song, I cannot), and a generally festive atmosphere. We stood around for a bit, waiting for the first person to cross the finish line (1:15:13, woah) and then more people started to trickle in.


And then BOOM, it just sort of exploded for about an hour. With 7 people handing out medals, we could still barely keep up. But it was a good kind of crazy, you know?

Some people looked like they were just out for a leisurely stroll, some looked like they wanted to die. One guy proposed to his girlfriend as she finished (she said yes! check out the race’s FB page for pics. )  But they were all pretty happy to see us! (We were directly in front of the bananas, which may have been part of it).

I said ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Great job’ so many times. A lot of people thanked us for volunteering, which was cool. Things would slow down and speed up, but it did trickle down eventually, and then we heard someone say there were only a few more people left out there.

My partner in crime, Sara, during a moment of downtime.

My partner in crime, Sara, during a moment of downtime.

Leaving before everyone finished was in NO WAY an option. If you finish a half marathon, even you’re the last one to finish… Hell, ESPECIALLY if you are the last one to finish, someone better be there to hand you a metal.

And we were.

All in all, it was a great experience. I feel so motivated, and inspired, by all the people that ran that race. And, that day reminded me of a few things that I needed to be reminded of.

  1. I saw so many people with this look on their face, this immense pride at having finished, this visible sense of accomplishment. I want that moment. And the medal that goes with it, tbh.
  2. Not everyone who runs half marathons looks the way you might expect people who run half marathons to look. I.e. I won’t be the only fat girl at the party.
  3. I can do this. I am capable of whatever I put my mind to, I just have to put my mind to it. I can. And I will. (borrowed from Mer)
It will be mine

It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

So, in a year’s time, I plan to be on the other side of that finish line. Sara and I are working out the details of our training plan. I can tell you it won’t be like my last half marathon training plan (pretend you haven’t signed up for 8 months, then try to train in 8 weeks and gift yourself with a year of intense PF pain).

And hey, if you’re from this area, and want to join me, do it! Heck, even if you aren’t from anywhere near here (HINT HINT HINT TO MY CHICKS), you should come up anyway. You don’t even have to run. Just volunteer.

You can hand me my medal.


What the heck is a NanoWrimo, anyway?

It comes from the Latin Nano, meaning project, and Wrimo, meaning for crazy people who can’t accept that their life is already too busy, especially during November, and decide they are going to write a novel.

I may be paraphrasing a bit.

NanoWrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a creative writing challenge, where lunatic writerly types sign up and try to write 50,000 words between 11/1 @ 12:00AM and 11/30 @ 11:59PM.

In case you didn’t know, I am one of those lunatic writerly types. Most of us around these parts are, in one fashion or another. I mean, we write posts about running, and cooking, and not running, but we write about other things too.

I’ve already ‘won’ Nano once. In 2011, I did the (previously) unthinkable and wrote 50,000 words of a novel. A really crappy, unbearably angsty, wreck of a young adult novel that will never see the light of day. Ever.

But still, it was a novel, or the very rough start of one, anyway. And while the book itself was mostly drivel, the experience was pretty awesome. I felt like a real writer. I’ve written as long as I can remember. There have been dry spells (the last 3.5ish years) and not-so-dry spells (2009-2010). But I’m always a writer, so whether I’m writing or not at any given moment, writing is part of who I am.

I look at the world through writer’s eyes. When I see a couple sitting on a park bench, faces terse, voices hushed and angry, and one of them stalks off, I want to know their story. I want to know what led them there, and what happens next. And since they are strangers, and I’ll never know, I want to tell their story. I want to give them the happy ending I don’t know if they’ll have. Because I’m a writer.

And also, clearly, a romantic. So, what am I going to write? ROMANCE, of course! I love love. A lot.

Working title: Rooftops and Carparks

Synopsis: Boy meets girl on a rooftop. He falls in love, she falls asleep. And then some other stuff happens, some of which is adult, and some of which is very childish, because most of us never grow all the way up, not really anyway.

I have a rough idea, but it’s been kicking around in my head for a while, so it’s pretty well formed. I have no outline, but I’ve still got… holy moly, I need to get on that. Or not. Sometimes it’s good to work without a net.

So, if you need me for the next month, I’ll be in my dining room, muttering to myself about stupid characters that don’t want to do what I want them to do. And I’ll be writing. Around 1700 words a day, give or take.

If, in addition to reading rambly blog posts, you are also one of those lunatic writerly types, and you sometimes like to not sleep, and you think the month in which Thanksgiving falls is the perfect month to make your life complete chaos, you should join me! (It’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s actually a lot of fun. Don’t rub that in my face on day 20, when I’m 8,000 words behind and crying, please).

This post is not remotely related to diet or exercise. My diet for the next month will involve a lot of coffee, and a fair amount of sugar. Exercise will include long walks to the fridge. Basically, I’m not sweating it. Or sweating at all. Sometimes, you have to feed your soul a little. And mine likes words.

And pie.

Do you write? Do you think Bec is insane? Do you think you maybe want to get insane with her? DO IT. 

Recipe Box: Lemon Chicken Soup

When life gives you lemons, make soup.

Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Actually, it sounds exactly right. Carry on.


Where I live, lemonade weather is fading fast, and soup weather is upon us. So, when I was thinking of a lemon-y recipe post for September, an annual tradition during the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Million Mile Run-Walk-Ride month, this soup immediately sprang to mind.

I first found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave. And I really do crave this soup. It’s absolutely perfect anytime, but with the addition of the lemon (and thus Vitamin C), this truly does help me get over a cold. Just in case you want to tuck this one away for the coming season of a certain f-word that we don’t need to talk about.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo from elliekrieger.com

4 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4
Serving size: 1 ½ cups



The broth is incredibly creamy and flavorful, and I love the whole wheat orzo instead of traditional rice or pasta. Go for the fresh thyme, too, it really makes a difference.

Yay soup! And yay for this month of kicking pediatric cancer in the butt! The month is almost over, but there are still a few days to log miles and make donations. We truly appreciate all of you joining us on this #journey2amillion.

P.S. I can’t take pictures while I cook, it completely messes with my flow. Plus, my 100 year old farmhouse kitchen has terrible lighting, hence the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.

Just Walking?

So, here at Scoot, we’re not just a running blog. We talk about all sorts of things. It’s right there in the tag line : Fitness, Food, Friends, Fun. That is part of what we consider to be awesome about having seven of us around; there’s always something different to chat about! That being said, we also talk about running. Because, well, we run.

And by we, I mean everyone who is not the person writing this post. I…don’t run. I…kind of, sort of, used to run, once upon a time.

All my fellow chicks have run half marathons or marathons. I…signed up for a half marathon once, but I didn’t actually do it.

So, while we fully celebrate our differences, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes feel like those old ‘one of these things is not like the others’ bits on Sesame Street. But, most of the time, I’m fine with being the non runner in the group. I know it won’t always be that way. I want to run. I dream of running. A half marathon is fully in my someday plan.

If you don’t know my backstory, the quick and dirty version is that I started running three years ago, using Couch to 5K, because I was most def acquainted with the couch, but not so much the 5K. I was making good progress, building up my endurance and working on going faster. I was doing well during training, but every time I did an actual race, I would freak myself out and wind up walking instead of running. Still, everything was moving in the right direction.

And then, July. And heat. And humidity. And no.

Fast forward through the next three years, and you’ll see a few half-hearted (re)attempts at Couch to 5K, one ridiculously last minute training attempt for a half marathon (not because I decided last minute, but because I procrastinate like it’s my job) which resulted in eight months of recovery from a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, and a whole lot of not doing much in the way of exercise.



I want to tell you that wasn’t representative of a typical day. I want to tell you I wasn’t averaging 2500-3000 steps a day. I want to tell you that I was bedridden with the plague that day, because holy moly, it looks like I never left my couch. But, if I’m being honest with you, and with myself, those kind of numbers had been my norm for quite some time. There would be small spurts of days with more activity, but really, inactivity had become my new activity.

So, when I saw this 30 Day Walking Challenge as I was scrolling through Facebook (on my couch, of course), I thought “Huh… well that looks doable… it’s just walking.”

The challenge is based off a number of steps, and since day one was 2000 steps, which was below my already unimpressive daily average, I would count only the steps I got during ‘activity’ toward the daily goal. Each 500 steps is roughly equivalent to 1/4 mile, so day one is a mile, day two is 1.25 miles, and so on. And there are rest days. In the increase slows down after the first week. The idea is that on the last day, you do 10,000 steps, which is 5 miles.

The first couple days were no big deal, but the increase of 1/4 mile each day was no joke. I mean, I wasn’t dying out there or anything, even though July… hot… humid, but still, I could definitely feel the increase. But, in a good way. In a proving to myself that I am capable way. In a nice to be out there way.



We headed out of town for a few days, and I thought “I’ll be able to stay on track… it’s just walking.”

Most days, I was still able to get my steps in. A couple days, I didn’t. One day it rained allllll day long, and we sat around playing cards. And then one day, I climbed a mountain (I’M JUST SAYING).

Apparently, Black Cap is equivalent to 49 floors!

Apparently, Black Cap is equivalent to 49 floors!

And now we’re back home. I could use the fact that I missed a few days of the challenge as a reason to quit, or start over next month. I could say that I’m still on vacation, and that Friday is supposed to be the ‘rest day.’  Or I could sit here and think “What difference does it make anyway? It’s just walking.”

But really, there’s no such thing as just walking. And when you’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing for a while, there is really no such thing as just walking. In addition to walking being great exercise in and of itself, it’s a place to start. It’s a beginning. For me, it’s the first step (pun totally intended) in getting back to running, to seeing those half marathon dreams come true, to joining my fellow chicks in the ranks of runners.

So, I’m off to the park. I’ve got 5500 steps with my name on them today. Sure, it’s hot and humid and August out there. But, I can do it.

After all, it’s just walking.

Recipe Box: Summer Veggies Three Ways

If you’ve been following along the last couple of Fridays, me and my chicks have been posting all about eating local. You know what happens when you’re hitting the farmer’s market and getting produce delivery?

You have a LOT of veggies laying around.

I don't even know what my counter looks like anymore.

I don’t even know what my counter looks like anymore.

Which is great! Except what the heck are you going to do with them all?

Here are three recipes I found to help me use up these beautiful bounties. And as a bonus, all three of these recipes are vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly, because I’m nice like that (it was mostly coincidence, but lets roll with it).

The first is recipe is adapted from the awesome vegan cookbook, The Kind Diet. If you don’t know this one, it’s written by Alicia Silverstone. I’m not a vegan (right now), but vegan cooking is happening a lot right now due to the dairy elimination. If you don’t know much about succotash, get ready to make the ‘ewww, Lima Beans’ face. Honestly, though, lima beans are awesome. And if you really, really hate them, you could swap in edamame instead. Don’t let the beans scare you off though, this is delicious.

Summer Succotash

Lima beans, the bane of my childhood existence, getting some action with my fresh corn and tomatoes.

Lima beans, the bane of my childhood existence, getting some action with my fresh corn and tomatoes.



1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 diced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (I used ridiculously fresh local corn, cut right off the cob)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat the butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until the onions begin to brown (5-7 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the lima beans and saute another 5 minutes.  Add the corn and tomatoes, saute 1 minute longer until heated through.  Remove from heat and add parsley, basil and vinegar.

This can be served warm or chilled. And it’s great either way. Do it. You’ll love it. All I am saying, if give (lima) beans a chance.

The next recipe came from Pinterest, where I spend far too much time pinning recipes I will likely never make. But this one, Warm Zucchini Salad, I did! And it was fab. Pinterest led me to Vikalinka, a blog I hadn’t heard of before.

When you have a LOT of zucchini, make this.

When you have a LOT of zucchini, make this.

Go here to check out the original recipe post, her pictures are stunning.

The last recipe came from a trip to the library, where I stumbled upon The Real Girl’s Kitchen cookbook. I didn’t actually notice that it was written by Haylie Duff (do I secretly have a thing for cookbooks written by blonde actresses? maybe.), I just liked the pictures. Thank goodness I like pretty things, because this cookbook provided me with a few great new recipes, including this one.


I hesitate to even call this a recipe, it’s that simple. Like, even if you can’t cook, you can cook this. And you should, because I’ve made it three times in the last month, and I’m making it again this week. And you know, I DON’T like repeats.

Haricot Vert Salad

Five ingredients never looked so good.

Five ingredients never looked so good.


1 pound of french green beans (I used regular green beans, they’re just French, only fatter, and I feel it’s important not to judge beans on their size)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes – quartered 
Fresh Dill
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Blanche green beans in boiling water for 4-5 minutes (you want them still crunchy, but not raw), and the put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled down, drain and put them in a large bowl. 

Cut tomatoes in quarters. Or halves. Don’t stress it. Add those to the beans, along with the chopped dill. 

Mix the red wine vinegar and mustard together and drizzle over the beans and tomatoes. Or just dump those in the bowl and mix everything around. Salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go.

Now, get a plate. Or just stand there, eating it out of the bowl with your fingers. You know, as one does.

Don’t you just want some veggies now? Do you have any great vegetable recipes? Please feel free to share! 


Keeping It Local, Part 2

So, last week, we talked about different places you can go to get local produce; farms, farmer’s markets, community gardens. But, if those aren’t options in your area, there are some other options. Namely, CSAs/Produce Delivery and home gardening.

Now, none of are currently participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, but it’s an idea we fully support. CSAs have some risk, in that if the crops don’t do as well as expected, your return on investment might not be as high. But, a worthy risk in that it supports your local agricultural system. And fun bonus? You’ll get to know fruits and veggies you’ve never met before (some of which look like aliens. I’m looking at you, kohlrabi.)

The newest thing in local produce seems to be delivery. We’ve got chicks on both coasts getting boxes of fresh veg!


When we first started this quest toward healthy eating, we were looking into joining a CSA.  During my investigation, I stumbled across Farm Fresh to You, a home delivery company that drops farm fresh veggies and fruits directly on your doorstep.  You can pick how big of a box you need, when, where, and how often it’s delivered, and you can even look up online exactly which farm your food is coming from.

Box of awesomeness

Box of awesomeness

I love, love, love being able to customize my box, especially because there are a bunch of picky eaters in this house.

It's just what I wanted!

It’s just what I wanted!

I also love that every Tuesday morning there’s a box on my doorstep, because, well, I’m busy (read lazy) and I really hate grocery shopping.


As an added bonus, there’s always a couple recipes included with the invoice that incorporates produce you picked for your box.  How considerate is that?!?


Listen, I’d love to have a home garden, but my thumb is as black as tar. I am barely keeping the basil plant in the window alive at this point. So, what’s a busy (and gardening challenged) lady like myself to do when I want fresh produce?

Get it delivered!

It's like a present!

It’s like a present!

Like Cam, I can customize my basket. I can substitute out things I don’t like, and I can add on things like fresh eggs and bread. And bacon, I’m just saying.




The absolute best nectarines in the world

The bananas aren't local, but they are organic. And bananas go like hotcakes, and sometimes go in hotcakes, around my house.

The bananas aren’t local, but they are organic. And bananas go like hotcakes, and sometimes go in hotcakes, around my house.

As much as I’d love to do a CSA, this is my preferred method of supporting my local growing community. Each week, they tell me where all my produce comes from, and give some recipes for the lesser know veggies. Like these…

Garlic scapes. If garlic grew in heaven, it would look, and taste, like this.

Garlic scapes. If garlic grew in heaven, it would look, and taste, like this.

And there’s no risk. I can cancel for the week when I go on vacation, or take a break from delivery if I’m not going to be home to cook much for a while. If you can find a produce delivery company in your area, I highly recommend checking it out!

We do have a couple of green thumbs in our group, though!


Hubs and I love to garden. We have a full acre and typically plant a 25 foot-by-25-foot garden in the backyard each spring. Hubs grew up on a farm and harvesting a garden each year is among his favorite activities.

Zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, green beans and parsley are our favorites. Just ask the neighborhood rabbits…and squirrel…and deer.

Vic’s luscious garden midsummer in its prime. We snapped this one in 2011, before the critters became so brazen.

Vic’s luscious garden midsummer in its prime. We snapped this one in 2011, before the critters became so brazen.

Until we add a substantial fence, we decided not to plant. It’s a lot of work for few results in recent years, so we decided to table it this year.

“What’s the definition of insanity?” my husband asked. “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

It was a tough call, but it’s where we are just now. To get our fresh veggie fix, we head regularly to Rochester’s Public Market or my beloved Wegmans for delicious, local produce. And our dear neighbor has been generous enough to share his CSA share with us. We loved what we’ve tried (SNAP PEAS!!!) and find it fabulous that each share was in the ground just hours before we cart it home.

Snap peas, (my favorite!), lettuce, Swiss chard and other greens in a shared CSA haul from Vic’s neighbor.

Snap peas, (my favorite!), lettuce, Swiss chard and other greens in a shared CSA haul from Vic’s neighbor.

If we don’t have our fence installed by next spring, we’ll definitely be signing up for the CSA!


Fresh food options in my local vicinity are much harder to find than one might assume. My area is very agricultural, and generally, pretty active and health conscious.  My little town has a farmers market, but it seems to be one-half food and one-half handmade crafts, and I’m not talking about honey or jam.

Not much going on here, folks.

Not much going on here, folks.

No one delivers out here in the not so boonies so a CSA or organic service are not options. I could get in my car and drive 10 miles east to buy the freshest seasonal fare, but that seems like it’s missing the point. I heard on NPR that eating local meant eating food that comes from within a 10 miles radius of your home. There’s a Whole Foods three miles from my office, but at my house we call it Whole Paycheck. If we wanted to eat organic and healthy and conveniently, there was one solution left.

Welcome to my home garden! I’ve never gardened before. I really have no idea what I’m doing and am relying on my husband because he has some experience in this realm of food growing.  First, we built raised bed boxes.

I got to use a hammer and drill!

I got to use a hammer and drill!

Next, we scored some fantastic compost from a local farm for TEN BUCKS. My husband and I were ridiculously excited about it and repeatedly called it beautiful.

Yep, we were happy as two pigs shoveling this…stuff.

Yep, we were happy as two pigs shoveling this…stuff.

Then, we ran to Home Depot to buy some plants and seeds. Since it’s late in the season, we focused on fall harvest plants. We also did some homework on companion planting and had a loose plan before going shopping. We decided on cucumber, zucchini, three kinds of peppers, carrots, broccoli, a blueberry bush, a slew of herbs, and bed dedicated to bee-attracting wildflowers.

The berries have grown SO MUCH already this season!

The berries have grown SO MUCH already this season!

We're planted! Not start growing, plants!

We’re planted! Not start growing, plants!

I’m SO excited to see how this works out and hope that in a few weeks, I can just go in the backyard to pick my salad greens and smoothie berries. I bet they will be the best greens and berries in the history of ever!

Do you garden? Get produce delivery? Have a CSA share? Tell us about it! And next week, we’ll give one last look into how we eat local. Enjoy! 


A Month Without Moo

If anyone had told me I’d go a full month without eating dairy, I would have laughed at them. Loudly. I mean, I’m the girl who turned Whole 30 into Whole 4, just because I couldn’t live without cream in my coffee. I am the girl who considersconsidered….considers cheese and ice cream two four food groups (the other two being bacon and coffee). I mean, a life without Ben & Jerry’s? That’s no life at all.

But, I did it. Actually, to be exact, tomorrow it will be 40 days without dairy. And I’m still here to talk about it. So, I figured I’d talk about it!

First off, let me give a shoutout to everyone who chimed in with tips when I originally posted about going dairy-free. The Daiya cheesecake, man. Completely fab.

Cheesecake aside, I’ve eaten some truly delicious stuff in the last month (and a few things that I’d rather not remember), so since you guys were kind enough to share with me, I’m going to share some of the highlights with you.

Straight out of the gate, I knew ice cream was going to be one of the hardest things for me to stay away from. So I didn’t! It’s summerm after all. And, there are a ton of dairy-free ice cream alternatives out there. I tried a lot of them. Some, I threw out, because ewwww. The most popular dairy-replacement right now is coconut, which is awesome if you love coconut, which I do. BUT, not every flavor complements coconut. Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut ice cream was a hard pass. It just wasn’t right. But, the FOMU (get it? haha!) Bourbon Maple Walnut? Divine. Seriously, see if you can get this near you, and if not, they’ll ship all over the U.S. (If you truly hate coconut, So Delicious Cashew Milk Salted Caramel Crunch does not such at all).

Game. Changer.

Game. Changer.


Directly behind ice cream, sits my BFF cheese. And I will say, this one seems a lot harder to replicate. I completely ruined a dairy free roasted veg pizza by smothering it in Faux Mozz (there may have been tears). But, here and there, I found some gems. Namely, the Aged Artisanal Nut Cheese from Treeline. FANTASTIC. It made cheese and crackers for dinner a reality again. A very tasty reality. (Side note, I emailed them to see where I could find other varieties, and they emailed me back in like 20 minutes. I love amazing Customer Service almost as much as I love cheese. Almost.)




I didn’t realize this going in, but the biggest challenge, by far, has been eating out. Considering that dairy is a significant allergen, I’m shocked at how many establishments don’t know what is in their food. I’m not going to go on a cross contamination rant, but the confused look I get when I ask ‘Does your bread contain dairy?’ is getting annoying. One woman said ‘why would there be dairy in bread?’ (Hint: A lot of bread contains dairy, namely butter, for browning).

And while my state, overall, has many vegetarian and vegan restaurants, the number of them in my part of the state is a whopping zero. Luckily, my hippie sister was more than willing to trek into the city with me to go check out Veggie Galaxy. Primarily vegan, with some cheese and egg dishes (there’s always a vegan alternative), and a full vegan bakery, this place knocked my socks off. I can’t wait to go back.

Eggs Benedict - Poached Eggs, Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Grilled Red Onion & Chipotle Hollandaise on a Grilled Housemade Black Pepper Biscuit.

Eggs Benedict – Poached Eggs, Balsamic Roasted
Tomato, Grilled Red Onion & Chipotle Hollandaise
on a Grilled Housemade Black Pepper Biscuit. DAYUM.


Cooking isn’t as difficult as I expected, at least not most of them time. And as if not using dairy wasn’t change enough, my daughter recently decided to become a vegetarian. I’m glad that I’m a seasoned cook, though. Otherwise, this would be a lot tougher.

Sometimes, it’s a simple breakfast…

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Candied Walnuts and Fresh Berries

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Candied Walnuts and Fresh Berries

…and sometimes, it’s a more complex dinner.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Cream Sauce

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Cream Sauce

Either way, we’re eating just fine around here.

I’ve got a month left to before the next procedure, and then I’ll find out if I truly have a dairy allergy. When this started, I would have said, with complete conviction, that if it wasn’t a dairy allergy, I would be all up in a milkshake before you could say boo. Now, I’m not so sure.

As much as I don’t love being the person at the restaurant that ALWAYS has to have the manager come over, living without dairy is much more possible than I expected. So, I guess we’ll see. But, I did find out that I’m much more capable of restraint than I’d been giving myself credit for, which was awesome.

So, maybe someday, I’ll turn Whole 4 back into Whole 30. Maybe.

Keeping It Fresh

Hey, did you know that we here at Scoot like food? And eating? We totally do!

Something else we like? Supporting local businesses. And a big part of that is eating local.


We’re spread out all over the country, so that first part isn’t so easy. But while we may not be local to each other, we’re all down with our local food scene, be it farmer’s markets, CSAs or locally sourced restaurants. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to chat about the different ways we keep it local.


Two words. Farmer’s. Market. Or if you have access, going straight to a local farm is even better. New England is home to really decent gardening conditions, so in the summer, it’s easy to get local grub. I’m lucky enough to have a ton of local farmer’s markets nearby, so pretty much any day of the week, I could hit one up. And, as if that weren’t awesome enough, there’s a local farm about 10 minutes up the street from work, that has a farm stand three days a week.

This past weekend, I hit up the local farmer’s market. My husband is usually working on Saturdays, but he had just started his vacation, so we all went. This particular market is my personal favorite, as it sits right beside a small beach, and there’s a big grassy area to have a picnic, and the best lobster rolls in the world are sold right up the road. They have everything from fresh bread to nautical jewelry to local honey to TONS of fresh produce. I went with $40 in cash, and left with all this.

Eat the rainbow!

Eat the rainbow!

And these…

Honey, fire up the spiralizer, I'm making zoodles!

Honey, fire up the spiralizer, I’m making zoodles!


Peas for scale. The monster lettuce weighed almost 5 pounds and cost me $2.25!

Peas for scale. The monster lettuce weighed almost 5 pounds and cost me $2.25!

The kids were right in there, making suggestions and asking for berries. (Parenting Pro-tip: If your kids ask for fruit, say yes, every time). And everyone got frozen lemonade, and I still left with a couple bucks. Total score.


Riverside, California has a huge agriculture industry.  It is home to acres of citrus trees, hosts the Orange Blossom Festival, and even has a Citrus Heritage Run through the orange groves, which I participated in last year.  It’s not uncommon for residents to have a few lime, lemon and orange trees in their yards.  The University of California, Riverside, which is just around the corner from my place of residence, keeps groves of citrus trees and has a botanical garden that is open to the public.  Yep, we here in Riverside love our gardens.

Riverside puts on three Farmer’s Markets a week, in different locations. There are also markets that are open daily where you can buy fresh produce that’s been picked that day. I used to live downtown (on Lime St., right between Orange and Lemon), so I’ve only frequented the Downtown Farmer’s Market. I used to walk there every Saturday to get produce, fresh flowers, eggs, honey, and bread… and sometimes dog treats. All organic, all grown locally.

Riverside is very close to other agriculture towns, like Redlands, mostly famous for Hangar 24 Orange Wheat beer, Yucaipa and Oak Glen, where you can pick apples in the acres of orchards, and Norco, which has a very distinctive smell, they have cows. Vendors from these nearby cities bring in their goods and set up shop on Main St. in Riverside every weekend. In addition to all the produce, there’s live music, food trucks, and local vendors, all displaying their goods and services, from dangly handmade jewelry and pottery to fancy scarves and hats. It’s a great way to support local business and I like the idea that I get to talk face to face with the people that grow the food I’m feeding to my family.


Summertime means my creativity in the kitchen (and in general) is at an all time high! I want to do and try all the things and I’m not afraid to go for the gusto in trying new recipes because hey, there’s time to spare.

When I’m able to, I always support local businesses. Growing up in the Garden State means we have the opportunity to head straight to the source when we prepare our meals.

Here’s a recent haul from a trip to our local farm, Duffield’s. Anyone want to guess how much this cost? The cucumbers and corn are homegrown.



Additionally, I am super luckily to have other sources for what ends up on our table. Joyce, at Pickie Pickie Farm (aka her yard) has chickens! We visit once a week to get extremely fresh eggs from her chickies.

Gandolf the rooster

Gandolf the rooster

The chicken roam freely around the yard during the day and return to the coup each evening.



Finally, there’s the Bullock Garden at our local elementary school. This is a brand new initiative headed by first grade teacher, Sonya Harris. I’ve been lucky enough to learn from the educators at my son’s school how to weed the things that don’t belong there and (the fun part) pick all different herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

We were fortunate to have Ahmed Hassan work on the garden this spring and it’s truly been a blessing to our community.

From garden...

From garden…

...to plate!

…to plate!

So, whether you’re local to one of us or not, we highly encourage you to check out your local farm scene. And then you should totally send us pics of your food. Because in case it wasn’t obvious, we really like food.

Next Friday look for our post about homing gardening and CSAs (that’s Community Supported Agriculture). Are you a part of a local CSA? Shoot us an email at scootadoot at gmail.com – we’d love to feature YOU in our next post!

Katie K Activewear Review

This is going to be part product review, part just me telling you about a totally kickass company. Cool? Cool.

I’ve been fortunate enough in my blogging life to try out some incredible products, and asked to share my opinion on them. And if you know me, you know I love sharing my opinion. (That’s a nice way of saying I’m mouthy.)

So, when I was selected to be a brand ambassador for Taffy Activewear last year, I was stoked. Taffy is this totally adorable line of plus-sized activewear. It’s functional, trendy and well made. Saying yes was a total no brainer. After I’d been a Taffy Ambassador for a couple of months, I started noticing another name in plus-sized activewear around Twitter – Katie K Activewear.

I did a little peeking around (meaning I went straight to the website and started shopping) and realized that Katie K and Taffy were sister companies, both founded by the awesome Katie Kozloff. You can read Katie’s full story here, but in short, when Katie was a personal trainer, she often heard from her plus size clients that they had trouble finding stylish workout wear. And she didn’t just listen, she acted, creating a plus size women’s active line in Taffy, and later, an all inclusive sized line in Katie K.

Basically, Katie is awesome. I love representing this fantastic, female owned business, and I’m thrilled to help spread the word about this brand and show the world how I #definebrave.

Okay, let’s get down to it. The CLOTHES.

This might be the cutest I've ever looked for a workout!

This might be the cutest I’ve ever looked for a workout!

For me, activewear needs to be three things; functional, comfortable and cute. Katie K is all of these things. The products are incredibly well made, and vary from pieces that are geared toward performance, like the Signature Capri, to pieces that can easily take you from the gym to running errands.

The latter is a little more my style, and along those lines, I can tell you I am fully in love with the Signature Walking Pant. They’re comfortable enough to wear for a brisk walk or a Zumba class, but they totally work for a run to the mall, too. My fave.


Post Color Run, covered in glitter and Katie K.

The best parts of Katie K products are in the details. The peek-a-boo opening on the Signature Open Back Tee had me channeling my inner Lynn Stone in the Color Run parking lot. (If you get that reference, you get massive cool points and we should probably hang out). And the Signature Cowl is pretty enough to rock on date night. Add to all that, the entire line features bright colors like coral, yellow and vivid blue.



And for my plus sized ladies, if you want to see the items for you? It’s all of them. The entire store comes in sizes Small-3X. So, if you’re looking for something ALL your friends can wear to a race, you can totally find it here. It’s awesome.

I’m pretty much gushing at this point, I know. I’m just so in love with this company. And because they’re so great, they let me offer you guys 15% off your purchase and free shipping when you use my Ambassador Code (BEC15).



I really hope you ladies will check out Katie K!

P.S. Today is the last day to enter our giveaway for a free entry to Diva Dash. Don’t forget to check it out!