FitBloggin’ was held at the Hyatt near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  McCormick had just opened a new store right across from the hotel.  Since they were such a generous sponsor, I had to go check it out.


I never realized that Thai Kitchen was a McCormick brand.


Being in Maryland, there’s no shortage of Old Bay Seasoning.


The store was part items to buy and part displays and interactive.  These cases were like a mini museum display.


There was an interactive where you could find our your flavor preferences based on choosing foods that you liked.


This vides showed how we get vanilla.  It was like watching a “How It’s Made”.


Besides the spices, there were also displays of some cooking tools.


Finally, now store at Inner Harbor is complete without souvenirs.


I didn’t need anything, but I had a 20% off coupon and left with some extracts.

It was a fun store and I’m sure it will be super busy around the holidays.

 Posted by at 11:11 AM

Last year, I attended FitBloggin’.  When I was researching about the conference, there was chatter about whether you really needed to bring an extra suitcase.  The answer is YES.

FitBloggin’ wouldn’t be possible without our awesome sponsors.  It’s not really possible to photograph it all, but I tried.

When we first arrived, were were given a traditional SWAG bag.  It’s basically a bag full of products from our sponsors.  This year, the bag was a nice Reebok duffle.  We had a choice of resistance band or yoga mat.  I chose the yoga mat.  Also included in our bag were Pop Chips, biPro protein powder, McCormick spices, Attune cereal, Nature Made vitamin C and fish oil, a I Love Beef apron, bars and more.  The next stop was the Reebok table where I picked up my shirt and shoes.  Yes, they are bright pink and I am going to wear them!


At lunch one day, we arrived to find this Be Epic bag with bottle and shirt hanging on our chairs.


Saturday night’s mixer was sponsored by Unilever.  With two young children and a love for cooking, I can never have too many wooden spoons or measuring cups.


Our Ignite Fitness Keynote was sponsored by Polar.  I spoke during the keynote and loved having the chance.  I’ll post more about it later after the video is available for sharing.


There were many more sponsors and I thank them all.  All of the generosity makes FitBloggin’ affordable and available to many bloggers.

I didn’t really need an extra suitcase, only because I left a bag and a box at my sister’s house.  She’ll bring it back to Ohio at Thanksgiving.

 Posted by at 1:53 PM

McCormick was one of the FitBloggin’ sponsors this year.  In addition to being in attendance at the expo and our conference, they hosted bloggers at their testing center on Thursday.  We had two (not full) buses leave the hotel just after noon.  I loved that the center was on Pepper Road.


We were treated like celebrities.  Photographing began before we even were off the bus.  Having worked for Camp Invention before, I loved the Create It sign that hung outside the room where out lunch buffet was set up.


We had lots of dishes to choose from.  The squash ribbon salad was particularly photogenic.  The turmeric roasted cauliflower was also quite beautiful.


I even remembered to take a photo of my plate.


The complete menu was on the cards at our tables.  All of the recipes can be found online.  There is over 1000 recipes available on their site.


After lunch and some general information speeches, we split up into groups.  My group went to a applesauce testing first.  We were tasting cinnamon applesauce.  We learned about flavor profiles and the spice wheel.  We also talked about wellness associated with cinnamon.  It turns out we were trying two different cinnamons.


We answered several questions and completed our questionnaires electronically.


Next we headed to learn about tastes.  We completed experiments with salted potato chips, strong cinnamon gum and strawberry flavoring.  It was interesting.  I kept thinking about Camp Invention and what an awesome curriculum these experiments would make.  There are 5 basic tastes which everyone is familiar with, but there are also others that are starting to be recognized like fat, metallic, heat and Kokumi (mouthfeel/thickness).  I always describe myself as a texture eater.  Of course, I definitely agree with the last one.


After a dessert break (mini shot desserts), we headed to a talk about flavoring vegetables.  Since the basket looked like an in-season CSA box, except for the asparagus, I was very interested in their talk.


They talked through some preparation and seasoning ideas for various fall seasonal items.


We followed up with two more cooking demos.  Both demonstrated items from the lunch menu.


The experience at McCormick was amazing.  I had a great time.  As we left, were were given a wonderful goodie bag.


Since we are in two CSAs and cook at home often, I was particularly happy with this outing.  I’m always looking for new ways to cook our CSA bounty.  Thanks to McCormick for hosting the FitBloggin’ bloggers.


If I have to pick just one reason to go to FitBloggin’, it’s the fabulous people that you meet.  Some people are already friends, some people you only know from on-line and many others you meet throughout the conference.

Here’s a quick glimpse of some of just a few of my favorite people photos from the weekend.








Everyone is friendly, welcoming and approachable.  It sets the foundation for a great conference.

 Posted by at 11:17 PM

Today started out like a regular day.  The kids and I headed to the J and I did a mostly rehab workout.

The workout:

  • calf raises, 2 sets of 15
  • single leg balance, 5 times
  • bridging, 12 times holding for 5-10 seconds each
  • step ups, 2 sets of 20
  • ankle pumps, 2 sets of 20+
  • quadriceps sets, 2 sets of 10 on each leg
  • straight leg raise, 2 sets of 10 on each leg
  • triceps, 1 set of 12 at 60, 50, 40, 30 and 20 pounds all in a row
  • biceps, 2 sets of 12 with 10 pound dumbbells
  • elliptical for 3 minutes (this felt “ok”, but I didn’t want to push it yet)
  • 20 minutes in the pool (water bicycling, etc. with a floatation belt)

I’m starting to feel a ton better.  My knee is most sore after kitchen work with the side to side motions.  As long as I don’t do lateral moves, it’s doing great!  Physical therapy works.


After our trip to the J (and a side trip to get Nick’s glasses fixed AGAIN!), we headed to John Carroll University to meet up with Lisa.  She writes a blog called Life After Losing at  She actually went to high school with my husband.  One day he said, I think you’d like this blog and the rest is history!  We enjoyed our packed lunch in the cafeteria with the kids.  We talked about FitBloggin’ and blogs and enjoyed our time together.

Next up: day off of planned exercises, but will try to do a few of the physical therapy exercises throughout the day