about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Friday Fitness Fun.

I mentioned in my Blue Apron post that Casey and I have been trying to really clean up our eating and increase our activity levels these past few months.  We wanted to get ahead of the holidays, and not wait until January to suddenly realize that we’d been eating like crap and not moving nearly enough.  So what does that look like for us?

The eating part is the easy part.  We know how to cook healthy meals and what healthy diets look like.  And honestly, we weren’t even really eating that badly, but I felt like there was too much sugar and not enough effort.  The funny thing is that I’m always very aware of and concerned with getting the right balance of nutrients into the kids.  A good balance of veggies, protein, and healthy fats – and I work hard to try to give them three solid meals a day.  So I’m trying to pay more attention and do the same for Casey and myself. 

The boys and I eat breakfast together each day, so that is never an issue.  But lunchtime is usually thrown together quickly just for them before we hurry up to naps, and I always tell myself I’ll eat my lunch once I get them down to sleep.  As soon as I get them into their rooms, I come downstairs and enter a flurry of feeding dogs, trying to work, going back upstairs 400 times to tell Cullen to stop jumping around his room. cleaning up the morning mess, etc. and often my lunch goes by the wayside.  That’s when I start reheating coffee and eating handfuls of chocolate chips.  No wonder I am so grumpy at 4pm (the non-napping three year old also has something to do with that…)!

Dinner is a family meal again – either with all four of us, or just me and Casey after bedtime.  But dinners are usually balanced and are our most veggie-heavy meal of the day.  Overall, I’m trying to cook bigger meals so we have more leftovers for lunches, to up the vegetable count in ALL meals, and to mostly stop eating sugar except for special occasions or nights out.

Like I said, recommitting to healthier eating hasn’t really been too hard.  It was more of a mental shift than really learning anything new.  But the fitness piece is tough this time of year, and this stage of life.  Casey is training for a marathon and traveling a lot right now.  He works hard to fit his weekday runs in on the treadmill at work during the day (or at hotels when he travels!), and I try to support him in carving out one morning each weekend for him to do his long runs.  I know he is feeling good about being committed to something and having a goal in sight, and with such a busy job, it’s really important that he has something he is working on just for himself as well.   

As for me, I have had zero interest in running for the past few months.  I think the last time I ran was…September?  I ran a lot this spring and summer, and I am the first to admit that I have become a super wimp when it comes to running in icky weather.  But the biggest hurdle for me has been figuring out how to run this fall/winter while being home with the kids.  It’s too cool and rainy to force them to sit in the stroller, and it’s too dark outside when Casey leaves/comes home from work for me to run outside.  Excuses?  Probably, but they sound legit in my head. 

I know I will start running again once we have some daylight past 4pm (hurry up, March!), and I’ve actually already registered for one half marathon next summer (why do I keep torturing myself with this??).  But I feel no rush back into running right now, and I really haven’t missed it.  The main thing I have missed is our long afternoon stroller walks to the playground, and all that wonderful fresh air each day. 

But I certainly haven’t been sitting around doing nothing.  I’ve gotten totally and completely hooked on Barre3 classes again!  I first started going to Barre3 in November of 2012 – two years ago!  I was just finally dipping my toes back in the fitness waters after having Cullen (and yes, he was a year old…), and I started going here and there throughout the following year.

When I got pregnant with Graham, I actually kept up the barre workouts until I was 38 weeks along!  That feels like a million years ago, and I always smile and talk to the pregnant mamas I see in my classes now. 

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For me, one of the best parts about barre classes – and the reason I chose Barre3 – they have CHILDCARE!  Most gyms have childcare, but it is really hard to find individual fitness studios with a childcare program.  As I sit here writing this, I am waiting for Casey’s plane to land after a week spent in New York City.  He has traveled five of the last eight weeks, and it has been HARD (for all of us!).  I am so grateful for the childcare option at Barre3, as during weeks like this one, it is the only way I can squeeze in fitness outside of the house, and it is often the only one hour break I get all day long.  Being a healthier mom makes me a happier mom, and that is good for everyone!

After Graham was born, I started going back to barre around 12 weeks postpartum.  He would snooze in his carseat or be snuggled in someone’s arms, and he always did really well.  I went one to two times a week for several months, and then I took quite a few months off.  It was summer, so I was running more and doing more outside stuff with the kids, and the class schedule also started to conflict with Graham’s nap needs.  So I took a hiatus, knowing I’d get back to it eventually.

Sometime around September, I started back at Barre3 regularly, and at this point I try to make it to three or four studio classes each week!  I do a mix of 6am classes (when Casey is home), mid-day classes (using childcare), and weekend classes either early in the morning or during nap time. 

I never thought I’d be a fitness class type of person, but I find that I push myself a lot harder in classes, knowing that it’s one hour that is just for me that day.  Plus, it is an excuse to wear workout clothes all day long, right?

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I have recently become obsessed with workout gear from the Gap, of all places!  I’m addicted to their gfast leggings, and I bought three pairs during the black Friday half price sale!  They have some cute patterns right now too.

Speaking of deals, I noticed at my local studio this week that they are having a holiday special on class packages.  The 10-class package is 20% off from now until Christmas, for anyone who loves Barre3 and wants to stock up like me. 

And last but not least, a heads up that Barre3 just announced their Barre Challenge program yesterday!  This is an awesome fitness challenge program that runs from January 5th to February 1st.  I’m going to participate myself, and I think it’s a great way to kick off a new year of healthy habits.  I’ll be posting more about this after Christmas, along with an awesome Barre3 giveaway for you guys!

It’s worth noting that none of this is sponsored or paid in any way.  I absolutely love Barre3, and I am so excited and grateful to have something that makes me happy, helps me stay active, and keeps me involved with the fitness community.  I’m excited to share it with you guys!

Next week, I’m going to test out a one week pass at a nearby hot yoga studio, as I think that would be something to add in during these icky winter months.  I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

Happy Friday!

Giving Back and Bee-ing Better.

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is that, despite commercialism and coupon codes everywhere you look, there is also so much generosity and charitable giving this time of year.  Cullen’s preschool classroom did a giving wreath, Casey’s work collected toys at their annual holiday dinner, and I see giving opportunities pretty much everywhere we go.

As much as I admittedly enjoy receiving gifts as much as the next person, I have so much fun choosing gifts for people we love each year.  Nothing gets me more excited than finding the perfect gift that I just know someone is going to be excited about on Christmas morning.  And even better is knowing that we purchased something from a company who cares and gives back to good causes as well.  Here are a few of my personal favorite charitable companies that we’ve supported this year:

The Little Bee Co. Cloth Diapers

I wrote about these during a Babble roundup several years ago, and we have been using them ever since.  I even used their bitty bee diapers on Graham as a tiny newborn. 

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In addition to simply being awesome cloth diapers, they are also a company with a mission.  For each diaper that is purchased, The Little Bee Co. donates a diaper to an orphan in need.  From their website:

Orphans, especially those in 3rd world countries, do not have proper diapering available. A large number of orphanages use split pants, rags or often times no diaper at all. These precious babies find themselves in unhealthy and unsanitary conditions that cause an already bad situation to be far worse.

Threads 4 Thought Sustainable Apparel

You might not have even realized you’ve seen these clothes before, but most often they are hanging on the end caps in Whole Foods!  I have a few pieces myself that I absolutely love – ridiculously soft fabric and unique patterns and styles unlike anything else I have.  Threads 4 Thought is committed to ethical sourcing, sustainable materials, and has a mission to give back.  From their website:

Our mission for Threads 4 Thought was to create great fashion that evoked a lifestyle of shared responsibility for each other & our world. We continue to work towards that mission every day … using sustainable materials to make our products, working with factories that respect their employees and treat them humanely and fairly. We are honored to work closely with two highly effective charities that we have worked with since we founded the Threads – the International Rescue Committee (the IRC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

PBS Kids & Whole Foods Markets

Speaking of Whole Foods, I actually mentioned to Casey the other day that the front entrance of each store has suddenly become a small toy store this holiday season.  I honestly assumed the master marketers knew that it would be tough to get past the toy area without children shrieking and begging for toys.  Well played, Whole Foods.  But once I looked a bit closer, I realized that Whole Foods actually has a partnership with PBS Kids this year.  Here is more info from Whole Foods:

We’ve partnered with PBS KIDS to offer presents — plush animals, wooden trucks, green toys race cars and wee wear — with a purpose. 100% of the net proceeds PBS KIDS receives from your purchase of these toys supports its mission: building knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity to empower children for success.

Plus, we’re donating 1% of total sales from these toys (up to $25,000) to Whole Kids Foundation®, dedicated to helping kids eat better — and enjoy it!

TOMS Footwear & Apparel

My love for TOMS is no secret, as there is at least one member of our family in TOMS shoes at all times.  I love the styles, the fabrics, the patterns, and the mission.  Here is information on their One for One campaign:

In 2006, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and saw that they didn’t have adequate shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes for a child in need. One for One.® In 2011, the One for One model was expanded and TOMS Eyewear was launched. With every pair purchased, TOMS helps restore sight to a person in need.

As much as, of course, I like picking out new shoes for the boys and myself, I also love knowing that for each pair we buy, a similar pair goes to a child in need.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day drama of our lives – skipped naps, marker on the wall, etc. – and to forget that there are children in the world who literally have no shoes.


And last but certainly not least, a new company we’re shopping this year – Bombas socks!  Their “bee better” mission means that for every pair of socks that are purchased, another pair is donated to someone without access to clean socks. 

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Did you know that socks are the number one requested item in homeless shelters?  For most of us, myself included, it’s hard to imagine going without something as simple as having something clean and warm on our feet.  Partnering with the Hannah’s Socks organization, Bombas has already helped donate over 150,000 socks since launching in October 2013 – pretty incredible!  You can see more about their donations and impact here

Not only is this a great company with a noble cause, they also have an awesome product!  Casey, Cullen, and I have all been wearing Bombas these last few weeks…

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Bombas are leisure-athletic socks, available in both calf and ankle styles for women, men, and children.  And while some people probably don’t think this much about SOCKS, if you’ve ever worn a pair of really bad socks, you know the difference.  Here are a few features that sets Bombas brand apart:

  • Stay Up Technology – is there anything more uncomfortable than saggy socks??  The calf style is guaranteed to stay up!

  • Blister Tab – A tiny ankle cushion that sits directly where your shoe hits your leg to prevent painful rubbing and chafing.

  • Invisitoe – We got rid of the annoying bump that runs across the toes on most socks. We hand link our socks so you don’t feel a thing.

  • Y-Stitched Heel – A Y-shaped stitch creates a natural cup around your heel, so your sock stays in place.

  • Long Staple Pima Cotton – The most comfortable socks you’ll ever wear start with the most comfortable sock fabric known to mankind: Long Staple Pima Cotton. It’s warm in the winter, cool in the summer, with natural moisture wicking properties.

Cullen (at age three) is actually still a bit too small for his, but I’ve tucked them into his drawer for a year or so from now when he’s getting into things like soccer and little league (omg!), and we’d like to avoid things like painful blisters! 

I haven’t been doing much running these days, so I’ve been wearing mine for more leisure activities and just day to day.  They are hands down my favorite socks to wear over leggings and under boots!  The calf style has just enough tension to hold jeans or leggings in place and avoid all that slipping around (without being too tight!).  And they are seriously adorable!

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But of all of us who tried these, Casey was by far the most excited.  He is forever on the quest for the perfect workout socks, and he’s honestly pretty picky.  Did I tell you guys he’s training for the LA Marathon!?  He’s really excited about it, and I’m super pumped to support him and go cheer for him next March.

In order to get ready he’d been doing base training for a while, and just started officially training a few weeks ago.  For his last several training runs, he took Bombas out for a spin, and came back with nothing but good things to say! 

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Here’s a look at how the ankle socks fit within running shoes – you can see that ankle tab that prevents chafing and rubbing.  He headed out for a sixteen mile run right after this, and reported back that the socks felt great and that he “didn’t even notice them” – which is pretty much the highest compliment for running socks, right? 

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And finally, just to touch on their charitable mission once more, you might be thinking –  but do needy or homeless people really need fancy athletic socks?  And the answer is, of course not.  That’s why the folks at Bombas worked closely with charity partners to design a special sock that specifically meets the needs of people without access to clean socks each day. 


The donated socks feature feature reinforced seams (for greater durability and longer lifespan), anti-microbial treatment (to prevent growth of fungus and requiring less washing), and darer colors (to show less visible wear).  A pretty cool company with a very worth cause.

For those of you who are interested in trying them yourselves or giving them as gifts this year (perfect stocking stuffers!), Bombas is offering a 20% discount to the first 100 readers to use the code: DAILYGARNISHDiscount applies to your first order of any size. 

Tis the season of giving, and most importantly – giving back! 

This post was sponsored by Bombas.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish!

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