Celebrate Yourself

This past Wednesday was my 35th birthday.

Yep. THIRTY-FIVE. I feel weird saying that I’m thirty-five because for most of my life I thought that people in their 30s were…old.

I’m old.

That’s not what this post is about, however. I started running when I turned thirty. I’d previously been on a weight loss journey that didn’t really require any exercise and running a 5K was just a thing I wanted to do. I’d run in high school and it was terrible, so I wanted to kind of prove I could do it. And I did.

Here I am, five years later, training for my second marathon. On Wednesday I got up early to run, spent some time at the chiropractor (because that’s what old people do), had brunch with my bestie, went to the bookstore with another friend, shopped, then had dinner with my sister. Usually my birthday makes me maudlin for no apparent reason except the ones I create in my own brain. I fought that hard on Wednesday. Because it was my birthday, dangit.

For the past few years I’ve started my birthday with a 5K. I just add on however many extra years I am onto it. Wednesday I got up and did a nice 3.5 miles for thirty-five years and it felt great. It was a strong start to my day and really helped keep my emotions high for the most part. Running is obviously a type of therapy for me, and for so many other people.

With social media it’s so easy to get caught up in the thinking that you’re just not good enough. For me, I know that I’m never going to be one of the fast runners. I’m not a person who wants to get out there and go every single day, either. I need rests. I need to sit on the couch with a book or watch television. When I have a good run or if I’m just feeling cute (Skirt Sports for the win), I like posting and sharing. Kind of like this blog post!

Actually, my run on Wednesday was a pretty normal one, though it did feel a lot better than some of my other training runs. My point is that sometimes it’s so hard for us to talk good about ourselves. We know that we sometimes put up a front on social media, and that’s fine. No one has a perfect life. But if we wait for just those perfect/awesome/amazing days we’ll never get to celebrate.

Maybe it’s not just about posted a picture with a funny caption. Make it really is about treating yourself. Not in the sense that you should go out and buy a bunch of junk, but just that you treat yourself well.

I am the queen of self-deprecation, which is ironic because my number one love language is words of affirmation. I mean, really. But by treating yourself well, I just mean to celebrate you. The everyday you. Was it hard to get out of bed today? Did you do it? Awesome! Treat yourself with a cup of coffee. Finish a book? Great! Buy a new one. Did you run? Walk? Workout? You are amazing.

I wish it were that easy, but I know it’s not. We should treat ourselves like everyday is our birthday, right?

We can at least celebrate our little accomplishments. The little things we’re proud of.

A good run.

A workout.

You put on pants one day. (I’m on vacation, okay?)

Leave me some ways you celebrate yourself. I’m going to go celebrate with leftover cake.

Recipe Box: Festive Black Bean Chili

This vegan recipe is a long-time love and even a fan favorite of my meat-eating friends. It was also among the first “real meals” I learned to make in my post-college life, back before Y2K.

Umpteen years ago I moved to Ithaca, a stunning and liberal college town nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Back then, I was a 22-year-old college grad, a vegetarian and working my first job at the local newspaper, The Ithaca Journal.

Not two blocks away from my office, I came across a great vegetarian eatery that quickly became my go-to lunchtime haunt. The Moosewood Restaurant, known for its veggie and vegan fare, was widely known. I quickly fell in love with the food and in turn started acquiring Moosewood cookbooks. (Um, I confess I have more than a half dozen of them.)

This recipe, which I’ve adapted a bit over the years, was among the first I tried and remains one of my favorites. I hadn’t made it in years, but the other day, inspiration struck.

I forgot how damn good it was. So for you, my adapted version of Festive Black Bean Chili from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.

feb March 2016 985


1 diced onion

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 15-oz can black beans

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup salsa

salt and pepper to taste.

feb March 2016 979

In a large pot, brown the onion with garlic in 1/2 cup of water for about five minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and stir on high heat for about a minute. Add salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat and cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add corn and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Stir every now and again and salt and pepper to taste. I typically pair this with either cornbread or tortilla chips (hint of lime flavor hits the spot!) Sometimes I top it with avocado before serving.

Serves 4 people. Reheats well. Each 11 ounce serving has 222 calories and 10 grams of protein (that’s without the bread, chips or avocado!) Enjoy!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

On a completely unrelated note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERI! Today is our chick’s 30-somethingth birthday and we love her to bits! Make sure to wish her a happy day via Scoot’s social media or in the comments below!

This is 40?

A year ago, I wrote a post about being a year out from my 40th birthday. It feels like I wrote that yesterday. But yesterday, I actually did turn 40, so apparently, an entire year has passed. I don’t even know how that happened, but the older I get, the faster time seems to go.

That post was all about plans for the year, ways to get healthy. I didn’t really do any of them. If I’m being honest, I forgot most of them as soon as I finished writing the post. This year passed, like so many others, in a blur. There are moments that stand out, good times and bad that will ultimately define this year in my memory, but the year leading up to 40 was no more significant than turning 40 itself. I tend to idealize moments, think that when I hit a certain point, things will be magically different. I had this idea that at 40, I would somehow have everything together, be this paragon of maturity and grace, the perfect picture of modern working motherhood. And I guess I sort of was?

At the exact moment I turned 40 years old, 4:26PM yesterday, I was in the middle of picking up both kids at school/daycare, wishing I’d taken the day off from work, and jamming to Ariana Grande on the radio. And then the moment was gone, slipped by, and it wasn’t noteworthy, except to note that it’s pretty indicative of my life. And it’s a good life. A really good life.

In terms of where the plans for the past year went…

Weight loss? There was none. Well, there was some but not for more than a minute, and I’m roughly in the same place I was last year. It’s okay. I’ll get there. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I’ll get there.

Running? Nope. That half marathon didn’t happen, couldn’t happen, and there hasn’t been any running since then either. It’s okay. I’ll get there. Or I’ll decide that isn’t where I want to go, and I’ll get somewhere else.

General health and happiness? Sometimes? I don’t stop and enjoy the little things enough. I spend too much time on the internet. I let anxiety get the best of me. I beat myself up for bad choices. I worry, even though I know worrying won’t change the outcome of things. I think, far too much, about where I should be, instead of embracing where I am.

It’s okay, I’ll get there.

I woke up today, my first full day of being 40, and I felt… exactly the same as I did yesterday. Except that I have a whole new decade stretching out ahead of me until the next big birthday, and it just feels full of possibility. What will my 40s be? What will I make them?

I have no idea. Well, I have a lot of ideas, but right now, they’re all sort of swirling around in my head like confetti dropped into a wind tunnel. They are idea-lets, none of them fully formed.  Eventually, the wind will die down, and it will be the time of making lists and making plans and making decisions. And I will. And it will be okay. And I will get there.

But for now, I’m off to spend some much needed girl time with my bffl. Coffee and shopping and giggling somewhere, because we are us and that just sort of happens.


And then later, I’ll pick up the kids while jamming to Jason Derulo, and be glad I took today off.

And it’s Friday, so we’ll get take out and maybe go to the mall.

And tomorrow morning, I’ll drive my son to swimming and my daughter to her job and I’ll go grocery shopping.

And I’ll take a minute here and there to look around, to soak it in, to remember.


This is 40.

Scoot a Doot t-shirt winner!

First things first… A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our very own Jess! We adore you and hope today is the best day yet with many more to come in the future.

Hotness - you should wear this always.

Hotness – you should wear this always.

In other news, we have our Scoot a Doot shirt winner! We love how you were all so enthusiastic about the shirts and for those who asked, we do have some available for purchase but only in specific sizes (aka, we order a couple of extras and are out of S and L). If you’re interested, shoot us an email at scootadoot at gmail dot com.

Ready to meet our winner?


Big congrats to JenRessler1 who won via her tweet on Twitter! We hope you party like a rock star in your new shirt, Jen.


Feel free to wish Jess a happy birthday and congratulate Jen! Happy happy day!

This is 39

In a year, I’ll be 40. (I know, this kind of feels like one of the American Beauty, ‘in a year, I’ll be dead’ moments, but I promise, it’s not.)

I won’t be dead. I’ll just be 40. Which is practically the same thing if you ask my teenager.



It’s the age you don’t trust anyone over. It’s what comes after Thirty-something. It’s the big 4-0. And it’s the number that I swore I’d have my stuff* together by. (To be fair, I also said that about 30. But let’s not go there).

It’s funny how time creeps up on you. All those things I said I’d do before I turned 40? Well, they seemed so doable! I had so much time!

365 days doesn’t feel like a lot of time. It really doesn’t. But, if I play my cards right, 365 days is a lot of time to get stuff* done. I want to use them wisely, so for this, my 39th birthday, I’m giving myself a few gifts that will hopefully see me through the next 365 days and on to a better, healthier, happier future.

Time – To be specific, I’m giving myself the gift of taking time to care for myself and not feeling remotely guilty about it. If I serve dinner a bit late because I snuck in a walk, or walk by the growing laundry pile on the way to gym without so much as a backwards glance, that’s okay. Losing weight and getting healthy requires time, so that is a gift I am going to give my future 40-year-old self. Her smaller behind* will thank me for it.

Dedication – This gift is not easily given, received, or understood, at least by me. What does it mean to be dedicated? Does it mean never eating cheese or cake or cheesecake again? Does it mean that at every moment, my caloric intake has to be at the forefront of my mind? I certainly hope not, because that is just not sustainable for me. But I am giving myself dedication to an overall healthier lifestyle. Which leads to my next gift. (I was once told I was very good to myself. What can I say, I enjoy presents!)

Choice – This gift is a key piece of an overall healthy lifestyle. I can eat what I want. I can eat over my allotted calories sometimes. I can have a piece of cheese, or cake, or cheesecake, or CHEESE AND CAKE, as long as I understand that I have a choice in the matter, and that both sides of these choices has consequences, be they positive or negative. I don’t always have to make the right choice, but I am giving myself permission to own my choices, good or bad.

Joy – It’s time for me to start finding the joy in this process. I don’t have to complain about working out. I don’t have to mourn the lack of ice cream in a given day. I can love the hour I spend walking in the cold (because this is New England, yo) and revel in the fresh fruits and vegetables I eat and be joyful that I have the opportunity to do these things. Maybe not every day, every time, but sometimes. Nobody likes a whiner. 

Inspiration – This is a gift I give myself by surrounding myself with people who make me want to be better. Some of them I am lucky enough to call friends. Others are bloggers telling their stories, just hoping they’ll inspire someone. Momentum can be hard to sustain, so I’ll be seeking out inspiration wherever I can find it, and hopefully, providing some of my own.

Forgiveness – This is a gift that just plain needs to be given. I’ve spent so much time being angry at myself for all the things I’ve done, and the things I haven’t done, to get to where I am physically. And to what end? Holding it against myself, blaming myself… it only serves to hold me where I am. It’s time to let the past be the past, before the present is the past. That made sense, right?

A Clean Slate – The last gift I’m giving myself is a completely clean slate. Whatever I’ve done before, whatever I’ve tried at and failed at, or tried at and succeeded at but quit anyway, it’s all off the table now. Just because I quit running doesn’t mean I can’t start again. And I have to start at the beginning, but that’s okay. With a clean slate, you’ve got nothing but beginnings. I can try something new, or I can try something I’ve already tried before. Weight Watchers worked for me before, and then I quit. And then I went back and it wasn’t the right fit. Doesn’t matter. If I choose to try it again, I can. No dwelling on how it went last time, there is no last time. There is only this time. No day but today, my friends.

So, Happy Birthday to me! I may not love the idea of leaving my 30s, but I am truly looking forward to the idea of ringing in my next ‘decade’ as the happiest, healthiest, best 40-year-old I can be. To that end, these gifts are the greatest gifts I could wish to receive.

A treadmill in the garage wouldn’t suck either, just saying.

*All asterisks are indicators of where I want to use bad words, but as I’m almost 40, I’m trying to be less of a trash mouth. That’s a gift to everyone, I promise.