Boat dayz. 

19 Jun

Are the best dayz. 


22 May

As you’ve heard, I love our neighborhood. Love. One of the highlights of the year for me is our annual art festival Art-A-Whirl. 

We can walk out of our front door and experience thousands of local artists, music and more. 

Plus it gives us an excuse to host a party of our own for folks to get some AC, snacks, bevvies, and sunscreen. 

So thankful for these moments. So thankful. 

Seeeeeeesters day. 

13 Mar

Me, my sisters in-law, brunch, facials. 

Time with people who matter most. 

Grateful for every second!

The farm. 

21 Feb

Takes my breath away everytime. 

Helps recenter me everytime. 

Make your own pizza night. 

8 Feb

Today I’m grateful for dinner parties with great friends!

As you’ve read… I love people in our home. We love hosting casual dinner parties. They often center around making something that everyone can be a part of. 

This Saturday we had Cathy and Mike over for make your own pizza. It was a blast. 

These pics didn’t turn out that well but you get the point. 

Even Webster got a new toy from Auntie Cathy and Uncle Mike!

Great conversation. Great food. Great cocktails. Great friends!

Plain grateful for life today. You?

The kindness of strangers. 

21 Jan

Today my heart is full today of gratitude for the kindness of strangers. 

I’m on the work part of my California adventure. I embarked on my public transportation journey to our local office and was… well… a little dusty in my skilz. 

It’s funny how quickly we adapt to our surroundings. But more so, how quickly we lose certain innate skill sets. Me + public transportation used to be best friends. Now, not so much. 

But not to worry. These Califonians sure are swell. So many strangers helping answer so many questions. 

I made it from San Fran to Oakland and back in style. 

Thank you strangers. Thank you California for your gifts! 

Cravings and Nesting – FINAL

14 Jul

So here I am with a little more than 4-weeks to go!  It is amazing how much faster this pregnancy has gone by than my first with Elliot.  I just don’t have a lot of time to think about it while keeping up with an almost 3-year-old!

We had a crazy June, traveling a lot and I told myself that when July came I would get serious about making some meals to freeze for those days after baby arrives and we are too tired to cook anything.

We will have another meal swap in August so that will help out.  But here is my is hot and I am not feeling inspired to cook  soups, casseroles, etc.  I do think I can whip up some easy pasta dishes that freeze well.  Especially with all of the awesome produce our CSA is providing right now.  But I am looking for suggestions, so let’s hear them.

And I have been craving and eating fruit like crazy.  I actually remember craving more meat and protein when I was pregnant with Elliot.  So this leads to my theory that we are having a girl this time (we didn’t find out with E and we don’t know what we are having now either).  We went strawberry picking at Apple Jack Orchard two-weeks ago.  I love that place and I love it even more that they don’t spray their berries!  While there, I also ordered fruit from Michigan that you can pre-order and pick-up in July or August.  Cannot wait for peaches and blueberries, again chemical free!  Anyway – we came home and made a ton of jam, Jen’s boozy jam too and this strawberry cake.  Seriously both Elliot and I have developed a red tint from eating so many strawberries – j/k =)

But they taste so good even if this season’s are a little tart and small due to all of the rain we have had.  Nothing beats local strawberries.

As I anticipate the fruit cravings to continue, any other recipe suggestions?  The belly and I thank you =)

introducing: Jen and Company

10 Apr

After many hints and teases, the time has finally come.

Welcome to the new site! What do you think?

I’m super excited about my the new name, the new look, and the new web address.

Why the change?

As many of you know, this blog originally started as a co-blogging partnership and has sense morphed into a me being the main author and having featured contributors to keep it interesting. With all that change, it seemed a new look and a new name were in order. To learn more about how the blog came to be, check out the about page.

The name, Jen and Company, was my sister Jackie’s idea. She gets 100% of the credit. She is an idea machine. She helped me brainstorm (road trips are good for that) and then sent me an email chock full of ideas.  When she brought up this name, we came up with so many different interpretations and I love that. She meant it as I have a company of contributors on the blog. My other sister immediately thought of my love of entertaining. I thought of how I love to run and bike in the company of others. It just made sense.

Because I was making a change, I really made a change – new design, look and feel. This is all thanks to Julie who was great to work with and made things very easy for this non-techy gal.

What I’m not changing is the content. There will still be recipes, race recaps, restaurant reviews and random musings/rants on food and fitness.

So, what do you need to do?

If you subscribed to She said. She said., you’ll need to re-subscribe to Jen & Company.  If you go to the old site, it will re-direct you, but re-subscribing to the new site will make sure you get all the updates. To subscribe, you can just click on the subscribe button in the header above, or you can just follow this link to add this blog into your feed.

If you have my blog on your blog roll (thank you!), I’d love if you can update the name and the web address.

There may be some hiccups on the way so please bear with me. In the meantime, I’d love any feedback!

What do you think?

food for thought: staying healthy on the road

8 Apr

I’ve been in Chicago this week for my day job. This trip was super fun because I got to meet up with fellow blogger, Liz from DC. Liz and I met last summer at the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago. It was so great to see her again and get caught up in person about our similar passions – healthy living and fitness. She’s a rad runner and she was also in need of oatmeal sans dairy so we were a perfect pair. We met at Cosi where they have steel-cut oats made with water and you get to choose your toppings. I love toppings. I opted for granola and strawberries.

Hello squinty eyes!

Between my work travels and my personal travels, I feel I’ve created some pretty solid strategies for staying healthy while on the road.

I want to share with you what works best for me to stick to a healthy plan. Plan is the key word here. If you do not plan correctly, you are setting yourself up to fail. There is no way around that. You can’t expect that being healthy on the road is just magically going to happen. Most of the tips below are geared toward work travel. I am not nearly as diligent when I’m truly on vacation.

  • If you are traveling to a conference, let them know if you have any specific food needs. I actually did not do this this time (fail!), so no one new I was vegan. Thankfully, I work with awesome people and the hotel I stayed at was extremely accommodating. I find that if you let people know, they really do want to help. However, if you don’t ask and are rude about it, don’t expect them to bend over backwards for you.
  • Pack snacks. I always bring a pile of snacks with me on every trip. Typically this includes larabars, mini bags of almonds and dried fruit, apples (they travel well), baby carrots and other cut up veggies (mainly for the plane ride) and sample packs of protein powder or super food. These come in handy for your actual travel time and if you are attending a conference where the food does not fit your dietary needs.
  • Stay hydrated. I find that if I’m at a conference, it is difficult to get enough water in as the rooms I’m in are usually freezing. When I’m freezing, water does not sound good. However, I try to take advantage of hot water when it’s available and force myself to down water throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help you not attack the lunch buffet and will just make you feel better.
  • Many hotel rooms have fridges that you can store things in (call ahead and ask). Many times I will find a grocery store as soon as I arrive and pick up things like fruit, yogurt, etc. to ensure healthy options.
  • You will not work out unless you bring workout clothes. Pack them. To me it’s worth having to bring all the extra gear and check a bag if I need to.
  • Use the workout gear you have. Just having it in your suitcase doesn’t count.  Almost every hotel has a fitness center. It may not be as nice as what you’re used to in all cases, but hey, you have to take what you can get. I find that staying on my regular workout schedule makes me feel better during my travels.
  • If you are traveling to a nice climate, ask the hotel if there is a safe place to run or walk outdoors. You want to make sure you’re in safe area. Please carry a phone and ID with you.
  • Yoga podcasts are awesome. I’ve downloaded a few Dave Farmar podcasts (they’re free!) and done yoga right in my hotel room.
  • Explore on foot. The best way to get to know a city (most of them anyway) is on foot.  Throw on the sneakers and get some fresh air!
  • Most conferences I go to have big meals plus treats during the breaks. I fill up as much as possible on fruits and veggies when they are available. I do my best to skip the desserts. I mean, I don’t eat dessert for every meal when I’m at home, so why would I at a conference? I’ll cave if it’s something that looks fabulous and that I can’t live without. More often than not, the desserts served in hotels or at conferences are not that great.
  • Limit the alcohol.  For me, this is key. Having more than one drink messes with my sleep and it makes me want to eat more. Plus, it makes it harder to get up and workout in the morning. If  I am feeling the pressure (why is there so much pressure?), I typically sweet talk the bartender to make a club soda and lime look like a fancier drink. Or I make one glass of wine last a looooong time. Sometimes, I may not even finish it.
  • If you have free time to eat out, research great restaurants in the area. Don’t settle for a chain or even worse, fast food, if you don’t have to. This past trip, I totally took advantage of the salad and hot bar at a nearby Whole Foods. That was dinner for me two nights in a row as I was working in my hotel room. I know…I lead a super exciting life.

Traveling during vegan lent was interesting. The hotel I was at had great food and almost always had something I could eat at meals. The one plated meal was the only difficult one. I picked the cheese off my salad so that was easy enough. The main course was either chicken or the vegetarian option which was cheese ravioli. I asked very nicely if they would be able to steam some vegetables for me (seemed like something that wouldn’t be do difficult so maybe they’d be willing) and I was presented with steamed asparagus and carrots – score! That coupled with some bread held me until the next break where I grabbed my packed snack of almonds and dried cherries.

Breakfast was more difficult. I tried the nearby Corner Bakery and they down right refused to make oatmeal with water. Seems to me a funny thing to have such a firm stance on but whatevs. From then on I stuck with my standby, Starbucks. Starbucks make their oatmeal with water and it comes with nuts and fruit and they always have bananas. Thank you Starbucks. Vegans appreciate you.

I was lucky to be in a big city. Traveling to more rural areas as a vegan, or even a vegetarian would be much more difficult. I would to have to pack an extra bag just for snacks.

Do you have any tips on staying healthy while on the road? I’d love to hear them!

restaurant review – cafe maude

7 Apr

The following post is written by Featured Contributor, Liza.


A few weeks ago we went out for a grown-up dinner (this only happens a few times a year in our worlds right now) with our BF’s  to celebrate Matt’s Birthday.  Here are the BF’s Matt and Heather, aren’t they adorable?

Heather and I were brainstorming about places we would like to try and she suggested Cafe Maude.  I had heard great things about it and was excited to try it.  Here is a pic of the hubs and myself.

Here are the deets…

Atmosphere – We had made reservations and thank goodness we did because it was PACKED!  The vibe is very dark, cozy and warm; very bistro like.  Highly recommend making reservations especially since this was a Friday night.

Service – This is our big complaint.  Our server was definitely a bit slow.  We ordered several small plates that we shared and the time between courses was too long.  Not sure who to blame here the server or the kitchen staff?

Drinks – Their drink list was pretty fabulous.  Being the pregnant one, I opted for a mocktail – the strawberry starlight.  It was very refreshing and delish.  Matt order a margarita…ok maybe a couple.  This was a big deal as he typically orders something much more girly like a cosmpolitan =)  Heather drank the Natasha which was a blackberry cosmo.  The hubs ordered the Double Double.  The title says it all as it is heavy on the scotch and all you need is one.  Ever since traveling to Scotland last year he has become a real scotch lover and this didn’t disappoint.  He was toasty in no time.

Food – We started with hoisin spare ribs, grilled asparagus and house cut fries.  They were all delish but the spare ribs were superb!  Now I am not typically a rib kind of girl (I know, I know…) but these were AMAZING.  Seriously, I could have eaten a whole plate by myself.

Then we moved onto grilled hanger steak and mac and cheese.  Rob and Matt have a serious love for mac and cheese so this was a must order.  It was good with a lot of lemon in it which was surprising but we decided we liked it.  The steak was great as well, it really melted in your mouth.
The mac and cheese went so fast that we ordered another bowl and another order of fries (because the pregnant lady was craving them – therefore no questions asked).  However had we known it would have taken so long to arrive, we probably would have just skipped it for dessert.

It being a birthday of course we had to have dessert. Again Cafe Maude didn’t disappoint.  Matt and Heather ordered the milk and cookies.  It was a HUGE platter, more than enough to share.  And the milk was melted vanilla bean ice cream.  It was awesome.  Rob and I shared the hazelnut chocolate torte – it was ok, nothing to write home about though.

Overall Experience – It was a great night with awesome company.  The food was good and we would for sure go back.  Though for us it is more of a celebratory occasion kind of place but for some it could appeal even on a weeknight.

Have you been to Cafe Maude?  What was your experience like?