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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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    5K - 23:28

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    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



16 Miles on Lake Michigan.

Sunday morning started out MUCH earlier than I am used to these days.  Months ago, I sent out a plea on Twitter to see if anyone else needed to do a marathon training long run the weekend of the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago.  Almost immediately, I got a response back from fellow marathon enthusiast, Meghann!

And so, an HLS group long run was born.  I was up at FIVE AM, in order to get dressed and ready to run.  I had to change and eat my breakfast in the closet so that I wouldn’t disturb my roommates.  After days of being on the go nonstop, I was so tired.

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But I had THIS to look forward to, which pulled me out of bed. 

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I met up with Meghann, and Jen in the lobby, and before I knew it we had a group of EIGHT amazing runners all planning to conquer 16 miles together.  We headed out to the Chicago Lakefront Trail, a beaaaaautiful trail that runs along Lake Michigan for miles and miles.

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At 6am there were very few other runners out there yet, and the city seemed so peaceful and quiet with the sun still rising.

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Our gang took off and found a comfortable pace all together.  Can I just add that I am obsessed with these new running tanks I got from Target?  They are built in bra tanks, but not the kind that are all tight and bunch up on your stomach – they are loose and flowy!  I am buying ten more.

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If you haven’t figured it out already, I am also slightly obsessed with water of all shapes and sizes.  Running along the lake was pure heaven.  I’m sure I annoyed the group with my constant squeals of “this is SO beautiful!” – but seriously…it was.

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Other perk of the trail – WATER fountains everywhere!  Soo many places to refill bottles and take bathroom breaks.  You can’t ask for much more.  This makes me excited x100 to move to DC where I can walk from my house to the Mt. Vernon Trail – I can’t wait!

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This was the biggest group run I’ve done to date.  In the past I’ve run with one or two others, but never a big group.  I always thought running groups just weren’t for me, but after yesterday I am seriously considering joining a running group when I get to DC.  Getting to know these wonderful seven other runners made the miles fly by, and by the end I felt like I had seven new friends.  From left to right – Leslie, Meghann, me, Monica, Jen, Becky, and Evan (and un-pictured, but totally awesome Theodora!)

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We ran south on the trail to the 8 mile marker, where we all high fived and then turned around. 

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This was by far my best MCM training long run to date, and I totally attribute it to the wonderful group I ran with.  Who runs 16 miles on vacation?  Ahhh the power of group motivation.  This run was also really special because Meghann and I FINALLY got to run together!  We’ve been blog-running friends for a few years, and finally getting to meet and run was one of the highlights of my entire weekend.

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I finished 16 miles feeling TIRED, but strong.  I stopped to take a few walk breaks in the last few miles (thank you Jen for walking with me!), but it was still the strongest run I’ve had in a while.  16 miles – check!


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After the run, I had a few hours left to kill in the city before my plane departed, so we took advantage of the extra time and went walking in search of Chicago DEEP DISH.

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For me, this weekend was all about the people.  The food was good, and the sessions were informative, but the friendships formed are what is still making me glow a day later!

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I love Chicago.  I try not to hold my horrific Chicago Marathon experience against the city as a whole.  :)

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After a crowded 2 mile walk down the Magnificent Mile, we found ourselves at Gino’s East Pizzeria.

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Hungry and ready for FOOD!

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During our run, we declared that we weren’t leaving Chicago without the legendary deep dish pizza, and what better way to earn it than running 16 miles, right?

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Our group split the vegetarian and spinach pizzas – one slice of each.

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Holy crust – cheesy gooey goodness.  I had to pace myself so that I didn’t inhale it in three bites.

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Such a wonderful local indulgence.  :)

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Enjoyed with new friends – the best part!  :) 

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I know that so many bloggers and readers had fun this weekend finally getting to meet face to face.  Since so many of us are runners, and clearly we all like to travel and get together, I think it would be so fun to organize a HUGE blogger running relay.  I am looking for relays around the country as we speak!  Who’s interested?

After a long train ride and journey through the airport with the lovely Diana

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I finally made my way back to Charlotte and into the waiting arms of Casey and the pups.  I had such a wonderful time in Chicago, but it’s nice to be back home too.  Especially knowing that I’m leaving the Windy City with 16 strong miles under my legs, and a huge group of new, wonderful friends.

(A million thanks to Leslie for letting me steal all her pictures!!)

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Kelly     at 3:05 pm

That looks like SUCH a nice run!! I need to try that sometime :)

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R @ Learning As I Chop     at 3:07 pm

I love cities in the wee hours of the morning. They are so quiet and peaceful

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Katie KS     at 3:07 pm

I suggested Big Sur via twitter, but in case you missed. Talk about beautiful scenery – it’s all down the Pacific Coast. I ran the last leg which is the least pretty but ever since then I’ve wanted to go back and see the rest of the route. It’s 26.2 miles all along the coastal road. It makes for interesting logistics, but it was so much fun for my friends and me! Hard to believe it’s been 8 years (and at least half a dozen babies!) ago!!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome – I will check that one out! Thank you :)

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Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin     at 3:13 pm

Wow congrats on your 16 mile run! The Mount Vernon Trail entrance is right by my house and that’s what I run and bike on almost every day. It’s beautiful!!

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Katie @ Healthy Heddleston     at 3:13 pm

I’m glad you said where your tank was from.. I was about to ask — super cute! Congrats on the long run! Also, isn’t Gino’s the BEST!? They even have gluten free pizza!! My husband and I were in Chicago in March and I was stoked when we foudn out they had GF!

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Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul     at 3:14 pm

I LOVE running in new places and totally agree about running along the water. One of the things I’m going to miss about Philly is running along the Schuylkill River with all of the crew teams practicing and just the peacefulness of the water. Hopefully I’ll discover a water-friendly route in Baltimore. Looks like HLS was a blast!

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Jules Reply:

Yes, there is a water friendly route in Baltimore! I live here (but am moving to Boston) and I loooove running here! There is a ~5 mile path that meanders along the water into the inner harbor. You can add ~2-4 more miles if you continue around the harbor onto Key Highway. It’s totally flat too…I usually run my 10-12 mile runs on this. It’s gorgeous and a popular spot to run :)

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Tricia     at 3:16 pm

Am I wrong or do they not have those tanks online? When I saw your first picture of this post I was like, “dang it! She has that tank that I want!!” They had them at our Target, but none left in size small. : ( Boooo. I agree tho – they rock! I tried on the extra small and it was too tight on my ribcage….the search continues. Beautiful photos!! Where do you put your camera when you are running?

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I was going to link to them online but couldn’t find one either. :( But I JUST bought them last weekend, so I’m sure they are still in the stores! I actually got a small AND a medium, bc they were pretty similar and I wanted the pink color. :) I didn’t have my camera, that was Leslie!

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Amber from Girl with the Red Hair     at 3:16 pm

Definitely look into joining a running group! I ran with two different groups last summer and LOVED it. It makes the run fly by. Now I’m training for my first marathon but not part of a running group – I ran 17 miles on Sunday solo and it was kind of lame!! Haha

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Lauren     at 3:16 pm

I would LOVE to do a blogger relay! And I am bummed I didn’t get to meet you at HLS.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Boooo were you there? Why didn’t we meet?? We’ll just have to do a relay then. :)

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Chrissy (The New Me)     at 3:17 pm

That sounds like a perfect long run! I went to Chicago last year for a librarian conference and ran on the Lakefront path almost every morning. So amazing and beautiful! I’m glad you got to enjoy it.

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Diana     at 3:18 pm

Your post makes me wish I was a runner.

thank you sooo much for being my travel buddy! It made the trip so much better! :)

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Molly     at 3:18 pm

That tank looks perfect. Would you mind sharing the link if you see them online? (I can’t seem to find it and we don’t have a Target nearby, unfortunately!).

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Tricia Reply:

I’ve been looking and looking and looking at their site online and from what I can tell – they don’t have them online. Yet. So I think just keep checking back. I saw them in my store, but they didnt have the size/color I wanted. They are really SO cute tho!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

No link online – sorry guys :( But they are definitely in stores NOW! I’m going to go buy several more.

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Jen     at 3:20 pm

I would love to do a blogger relay/race. Keep me in the loop!

Congrats on rocking your 16 miles. So fun that you all got to do your long run together!

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lauren     at 3:37 pm

I’m down for a relay. On the east coast, i know of Blue Ridge Relay, Palmetto 200. :)

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Chase @ The Chase Project     at 3:39 pm

Oh how I heart Chicago! I’ve walked up and down Lake Michigan but never run. Looks amazing!

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Meghann     at 3:46 pm

I was so thrilled to finally run with you too! I am seriously down for a group relay race and PLEASE come to a Florida race this winter!! :)

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Liz     at 3:59 pm

I think the HLS is probably one of the only conferences you could find 8 people to run 16 miles with! Glad you got to reward yourself with deep dish pizza :)

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha totally agree.

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Victoria     at 4:02 pm

Gorgeous! You will definitely enjoy running on the Mt. Vernon Trail! It’s all river and bridges and the DC skyline! Only bummer is there are no water fountains from mile 17 to mile 10. I think there are probably plaes to get water below mile 10 since you’re in Old Town. The W&OD (aka the Wad) will be really accessible to you too though and that trail DOES have fountains, benches and places for bathroom breaks. Here’s a link to the Friend’s of the W&OD page: http://www.wodfriends.org/map1.html

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JL Goes Vegan     at 4:45 pm

What a beautiful run! (and I loved your pace …truly friendly for all runners!)

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Chicago Cuisine Critique     at 4:52 pm

Those tanks look awesome! I will have to check them out next time i’m at target. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

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Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 4:56 pm

So glad you had a great time Emily! I don’t run, but I need to check out those tops for working out! I am sure your hubby is glad you are home! Enjoy your evening!

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christina cadden     at 5:26 pm

Wow, looks like such a beautiful run!

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Jeanna Basnett     at 5:48 pm

Im in for the blogger running relay!!

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Chelsey     at 6:08 pm

Yay you! I remember you wrote about having to do 16 miles in Chi-town so long ago! I’m so glad you did it!

Gino’s East = purely the best Chicago pizza around.

I would totally be interested in doing a relay – that sounds like it would be so much fun!

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Lee     at 6:11 pm

I have that same shirt – also one in black.

I might be interested in doing some sort of relay. I’m a little bit of a slower runner though, not sure if that would matter.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

LOVE the shirt. And slow or fast – it’s just fun to run together!

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Ashley     at 6:18 pm

Wow! How fun. What a great end to the weekend! I can’t imagine running 16 miles and then walking 2 miles after for pizza, lol. So far my furthest run was my 1/2 marathon and I still never figured out exactly how to prep my stomach the best. It usually took me a full day before I was really hungry after long runs. I remember you having problems during your training a few months ago. How has your stomach been this time? Any new tricks? I can’t wait to really start running again!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I still have issues with my stomach, but I try not to let it stop me as much anymore. I just get up REALLY early and eat before running, so it’s not sitting in my stomach like a brick. Eating afterwards is usually not a problem. :)

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Hayley     at 7:29 pm

I totally agree on the water thing! My hometown is about 20 minutes from the shore of Lake Superior and I miss it like crazy! If you ever get a chance to head to the Upper Peninsula of MI, don’t pass it up! You’ll love the lake:)

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Kristie     at 7:41 pm

The run looks so fun. Group runs mean more people there to motivate you. Way to knock out those 16 miles!

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Amanda (tomboy that wears makeup)     at 7:51 pm

Welcome home.

Did you get any new recipe ideas when you were away? Looking forward to your next creation!!!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

for SURE! Look for a delicious new burger recipe coming soon… :)

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katie     at 7:56 pm

ahhh! those photos make me soo jealous! that was my fave thing about living in chicago. the lake was like a block away from my apt and i used to run on five days a week during the summer. makes me miss that city so much!

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Jen     at 8:07 pm

Such a fun run! We MUST do a group relay. We would have a ball :)

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Nienke at Revel     at 8:19 pm

Hahaha! I didn’t hear a thing when you ate and changed in the closet!! And earplugs helped too! :)

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

GOOD! I was so worried I would wake you guys up :(

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Heather     at 9:04 pm

I have never been to Chicago, it looks so pretty! good job on the run.

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Kristen     at 9:46 pm

I have been soooo jealous the entire weekend reading everyone’s blogs (and tweets)! I so hope I am able to go to HLS next year. And I am so excited now to run the Chicago Marathon! Amazing run Emily! Glad to hear your training is going better! Again, you are such an inspiration!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome! I hope you come next year too :) Thanks so much.

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Summer     at 11:42 pm

LOVing that tank on you!

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whitney     at 8:29 am

looks like you had a great time. Now since you have had chicago style pizza which do you prefer?

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

haha I don’t know – they are both so good! Probably prefer the regular kind because I can eat MORE. :)

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Teri [a foodie stays fit]     at 9:18 am

Running with a group on long runs makes SUCH a difference.

I was going to ask you where your tank is from. It’s so cute! I hope my Target carries them!

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Amanda @ Cakes and Ale     at 9:34 am

So glad you love Chicago! I’ve lived here almost my whole life, and I’m this city’s biggest fan! The lake is so big, you might as well be on an ocean… and the pizza? Doesn’t get much better than deep dish! Every deep dish place is a little different than the last, so I never feel bored with it…

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Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward     at 9:59 am

Congrats on a great run! I’m so impressed that you all conquered 16 miles with all of the other events going on over the weekend. You definitely earned that deep dish, which looks delicious by the way.

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Cati @ crave and create     at 10:27 am

Congrats on the long run! I was in Chicago last March and ran part of the same trail; I think it’s so beautiful. Love the tank, too – so glad you mentioned where you picked it up. I haven’t seen them in my (Cincinnati) Target, but I’m going to keep checking!

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KMP     at 11:23 am

Hey Em-

First, thanks for your kind comments on my marathon meltdown (ages ago). Glad to see you had a blast in Chicago. If you have not seen it, check out Spirit of the Marathon – lots of runners training on that same trail.

I’m putting together a relay team for the Bourbon Chase 2011. It’s a 200 mile, overnight relay through middle Kentucky. I’ve heard it is a blast. http://www.bourbonchase.com/ Your group might enjoy it. It looks like you would not have any trouble finding 11 people to join you!

Karen

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Emily @ Run Emily Run     at 11:29 am

Ooh, good. I was going to ask where you got your running tank, so thanks for sharing. It’s so cute! So glad we finally got a Target in Manhattan.

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Sheila Viers | Live Well 360     at 12:38 pm

So great to meet you in person Emily! I had such an awesome weekend, and I agree, the food and the city ROCKED, but the new friendships and getting to know such amazing peeps is really what MADE my weekend.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

YES, you too! I want a gym bag! :) Hope to see you again soon.

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Becky     at 4:43 pm

I keep researching relays, too! I cannot wait to run with you again. Group runs used to make me so nervous, but ours changed my mind. I’m lonely in RI without my running buddies!

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Julie @ Pickley Pear     at 10:33 pm

Great job on the run! 16 miles is a LONG way, but running with great friends along the lake must make it THAT much more fulfilling! Deep dish pizza is so worth every bite. What a fun weekend in Chi :)

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Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner     at 10:43 am

As a lover of marinara sauce that pizza is right up my alley! I want your tanks, btw, I am the queen of shirts/tanks that are tight on top, and flowy on the bottom.

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Stacey @ The Habit of Healthy     at 3:57 pm

It looks like you had such a fab time! Well done on the 16 miles, that’s an awesome run and how nice to do it with new friends. The pizza was definitely well-deserved!

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Brandy     at 8:48 am

Even though I didn’t attend…I had to put something up about HLS and how blogging has changed me for the better.

It’s my post today: http://secondchancehappiness.blogspot.com/2010/08/blogging-for-better.html.

So, thank you for all that you do!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Such a great post – thank YOU!

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Brandy Reply:

I don’t think my blog emails people to let them know there’s a response….or maybe it does. I don’t actually know. Yeah, still learning this whole thing.

But thank you for helping me NOT feel like a weirdo about the “too ____ to eat”. Too hot, too tired, too lazy….nope. I eat. It comes from a lady I’ve shared a very small office with for over 8 years now. And when you hear something for 8 years….this isn’t a new thing….well, I start to wonder if I’m the weird one. You know? Much, much, much appreciated.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome. So glad we can relate. :)

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Shannon     at 9:45 am

ahh! i love that in one of your photos of the pizza, the people at the table in the background are all holding hands. <3

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

ahhh totally had to go back and look at this – must have missed it while I was drooling over lunch. LOVE it. :)

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Elaine     at 12:31 am

Loved this post. Love your energy. I miss the Great Lakes! Best to you w/ MCM. That one is still on my ‘bucket list’.
Chicago was my first in ’92.
I am a new follower of your blog. Keep it going! Looking into to buying some PB2 for sure!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

So glad you found the blog! I’m going to do a PB2 post soon – stay tuned. :)

[Reply]

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