Food: Adventures in Gluten-Free Baking – Pizza Dough!

Last Friday, all I wanted to eat was pizza! It had been so long since I’d eaten pizza that the craving was out of control.

In an effort to try new things (hello, Adventurous April!), I picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough Mix at the store. This mix is made from rice flour. Usually, I like to make pizza dough from scratch and use a whole wheat flour recipe. But I’ve had gluten-free pizza at a few restaurants in Denver and wanted to see how hard (and hopefully tasty!) it would be to do myself.

Turns out, it was really easy! Just a few ingredients outside of the package (water, egg, milk and butter) and just a few steps to combine everything.

When I laid the dough out to make the pizza though, I noticed that this dough is a lot thicker than a regular wheat flour dough.


The dough was also stickier – I had to keep adding water to my hands to keep the dough from sticking to my fingers and hands. I managed to spread the dough enough for 1 large pizza.

We topped with pizza sauce, hand shredded mozzarella and hot pepper jack cheese (yum!), hard salami pieces, pieces of cooked turkey bacon, mushrooms and jalapeno. Baked for 20 minutes and we had this beautiful pizza!

The crust and pizza were pretty spot on. The crust is a bit crumblier than the usual crust I make but that could be operator error. Neither Alex or I have a gluten sensitivity so this experiment was more for taste. And as we try to keep paleo principles in mind with our food, we decide that gluten-free was more paleo than whole wheat flour. (Note: this pizza and pizza crust are definitely NOT paleo)

I will buy this crust mix again. The fact that it took 30 minutes total to make (compared to an hour + for whole wheat) and that it tastes pretty much like a ‘normal’ pizza crust makes it a winner in my book.

Fitness: 'Official' Yoga Wear

My body was SO SORE yesterday from my tiny little run on Sunday. My arms, my shoulders, my legs, my core, EVERYTHING! I hit up a hot yoga class to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out and get that lactic acid moving.

Last night’s class was packed – as in: we had to form 4 rows in the studio and my row had 11 people in it. That’s a lotta people!

I don’t think I’ve been to a yoga class at CorePower Yoga and been disappointed yet – each class is a great workout, great sweat and I leave with a happy body and mind. But last night’s class was particularly fun – the instructor MADE it fun!

I feel like most classes are serious – and generally I appreciate that – but last night, I appreciated this instructors light hearted comments and guidance. He kept reminding us to ‘engage in our non-competitive yoga practice.’ And he played Fleetwood Mac before our final shavasana. Amazing!

Last night, I wore ‘non-yoga’ clothes to yoga.

Usually when I do this, I feel really out of place. I don’t any Lululemon outfits, I don’t have any ‘official’ yoga clothes. I usually wear longer running capris and a running tank and feel like I ‘fit in’. But those clothes weren’t clean so I wore my favorite Nike Tempo shorts and a running tank. When I look around at my fellow yoga friends, running shorts feel taboo in the studio.

But last night in the jam-packed class, I’d say about 25% of the yogis were in clothes like me! Not in expensive yoga wear but in active, comfortable sports clothes. Other girls in running shorts, in non-moisture wicking clothes (I sweat too much for those) and some in cotton tank tops. I felt like I was in the right class.

I really *want* the high-tech, super fancy yoga clothes but it’s not quite in my budget right now and my current clothes are working just fine. I know there are many people at CorePower wearing the same clothes, as I found out in Monday’s class, but I can only seem to notice the lulu logos surrounding me.

I think I just need to engage in my non-competitive and non-self-conscious yoga practice and work on my elusive Crow pose. I cannot figure that one out!

Do you practice yoga? What’s your typical yoga class outfit?

Fitness: 2 Mile Run!

You read that right – I ran 2 miles yesterday!

A few weeks ago, I attempted my first outdoor run and it was not pretty. I was really frustrated with myself and my body, realizing it had only been a 5 weeks post-crutches but expecting my body to somehow magically have endurance and strength.

This weekend, after a week and a half of sickness, allergies and coughing, I wanted to really work my body – to feel active after so many inactive days.

Sunday morning, I got dressed grabbed a magazine and decided to head to the gym to use the treadmill or elliptical. As soon as I walked outside, into the 70* warm Colorado air, I knew I had to stay outside. I swapped my magazine for my Garmin and decided to take an easy run down my familiar route from more than 1.5 years ago, the last time I was running.

The route I took used to be a short 3 mile run for me. I was smart enough to not try to run 3 miles right out of the gate and instead, ran 2 miles: 1 mile out and 1 mile back.

It felt GREAT to run! I took it slow and steady, walked to cross streets, and just let my body get into the groove. After 1 mile, I felt a strong stitch in my side so I walked for a bit. At 1.27 miles, my body felt normal again and I picked my pace back up.

This run was really hard physically on me – After that first mile, my quads, hamstrings, calves and ankles were feeling really tired. But I pushed through (slowly!) and made it home in one piece. And most importantly, NO KNEE PAIN!

Today, my body feels like it did after my first half marathon – tired, sore and just needing to foam roll and stretch!

I know for some people, 2 miles is not a celebrated accomplishment. And that’s fine! But for me it is and I was (and still am!) on cloud nine. This run was a direct inverse of my first outdoor run and showed me that I can do it!

Today, its gray, rainy and a high of 46* outside – a far cry from the sunny, 70* weather yesterday! It’s a great day to stay inside and practice some hot yoga after work.

And now for some FUN!

Last week, I told y’all about popchips, who was kind enough to offer 1 reader a 30 day supply of chips. Today, I have a winner to announce!

As picked by, the winner is Georgina!

Thanks for playing, everyone!


Fitness: Allergies

After 7 days of coughing and sniffing, I finally have an answer to my sickness. Allergies.

Yep, allergies!

For all of you regular allergy sufferers, I commiserate with you now! I get it!

Last week, I really was sick with a cold (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). Then I started to feel physically better but this cough and nose stuck around… and really gets worse in the evenings when I’m at home. I’ve coughed my throat raw and decided it was time to see the doc. Day and Nyquil weren’t fixing it.

She told me it’s allergies – the mucus keeps producing which keeps the cough going. I knew this but couldn’t figure out how to stop it. Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin, she said. Zyrtec was on sale so I popped a Zyrtec last night.

It dawned on me that it absolutely MUST be allergies – from Philly! The dog! When we give her a bath or if I pick her up or snuggle up to her, I get really itchy and red bumps appear on my arms (or wherever touched her). So my cough getting exponentially worse at home, in the evening makes perfect sense. Dog hair.

So today, I’m *really* feeling a million times better. Residual coughing as I deal with the last bit of crap in my throat but that’s it. Hooray!

I feel well enough to sweat out the last toxins with a yoga class. My body has been aching (literally) to get moving again – my muscles are tight and need a good stretch! And a mid-day yoga class is just the solution.

To allergy sufferers everywhere – how do you deal with this all every season change?! Will I be taking Zyrtec all spring and summer now? Please say it isn’t so! 

Colorado Fire Season Comes Early

Since living in Colorado the past (almost) 3 years, I’ve come to learn that wildfires are more-or-less a ‘normal’ occurrence here. Most occur as the weather and ground gets drier – later in the spring. This year, fire season came early.

We’ve had so little snow or rain this year that everything is super dry – ground, tress, grass. Paired with the extremely high winds blowing through Denver yesterday, a tiny ember from a controlled fire burned by the Colorado Forest Services last Monday reignited.

This is what I saw when I walked out of work last night at 540 p.m. At first, I thought the wind blew in a rain storm. Then the smell of smoke hit me in the face. The fire is many miles away but almost directly west of my office.

The smoke in front of the sun gave a very eerie, red orange hue. My cell phone doesn’t do it justice.

And as I walked the dog last night, nearly 10 miles north of my office, the billowing smoke trail was looming over south Denver.

(click on this photo ^^ to see it full size)

Last night after work, I’d heard that the fire had burned more than 200 acres. This morning, the fire is burning more than 3000 acres strong and is not contained. Housed have been burned, people have been evacuated. Hopefully we have much less wind today and fire crews can work to get this fire under control.

If you live in Colorado or other area prone to wildfires, here are some important fire safety and fire evacuation tips to help keep you safe:

 I’m sure this isn’t the only fire we’ll see this spring and the best thing we can do is to be prepared.

Stay safe, Colorado!

Fun: Making Monday More Fun

I know a lot of people really dislike Mondays but I don’t mind them too much. Yes, I’d still love to sleep in on Monday but, really, I’d love to sleep in any day of the week. I’d love an extra weekend day to play but I still pack fun into my weekdays too. However, like everyone, I love it when Monday comes with a few extra perks.

Monday is more fun with new clothes.

This past weekend, one of my favorite retailer, The Limited, had an incredible sale – 40% off EVERYTHING, including mark downs! I shopped yesterday and came away with 4 basic t-shirts that my wardrobe has been seriously needing (gray, black, white, peach), 2 necklaces and 1 set of 4 pink bangles.

Today, my outfit is brought to you by The Limited.

This shirt and necklace are new. The pants and jacket are not – I used to work at The Limited part-time in my early days of living in Denver and spent much more on clothes than any paycheck I made there.

This is my ‘Please stop coughing, Lynne!‘ face. I’m still coughing, still sick.

Another fun accessory I’m wearing today is a bracelet I was given for my birthday.

This bracelet comes from a very cool store in Denver called Revampt - everything in Revampt used to be something else. Do you recognize that design? It’s a repurposed Arizona Tea Can!

 Monday is more fun with FREE POPCHIPS [GIVEAWAY!]

Last week, a beautiful box of popchips was delivered to me.

Popchips is a sponsor of the upcoming Blend Retreat that I’m attending, the Denver sales rep contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in trying some new popchip flavors. Since I’ve been focusing on cleaning up my eating (during the week), I was apprehensive at first – chips? We stopped buying chips months ago (except for special occasions).

I looked into the ingredients and nutrition of popchips and was very surprised at what I found! Check out Original:

Excellent! 6 ingredients!  A non-fried, non-baked chip! Popchips applies heat and pressure to a potato slice until it *pops*. They’re super tasty and a million times* healthier than traditional potato chips. (*lgsmash qualification - not official stat)

Alex and I have been trying the flavors over the past few days. I’m REALLY digging the Chili Lime flavor and Alex has been enjoying Parmesan Garlic. I think my *favorite* part of these individual sized bags is that each is only 100 calories – and unlike other 100 calorie snack packs, this actually feels like you ate something. Mindless healthy munching, FTW.

SO! Here’s where Monday gets fun for YOU. Popchips wants one of you to enjoy 30 popin’ days of chips too!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment telling me how you’re making Monday fun or your favorite flavor of chips. (My all-time favorite is Sea Salt and Vinegar)
  2. Tweet about the giveaway on twitter and leave me a separate comment letting me know! To make it brainless: ‘I want to win 30 days of @popchips from @lgsmash!’

That’s it! 2 comments, 2 entries for 30 days of chips. Giveaway will run until Friday, March 30 at 11:59p.m. Winner will be chosen on Saturday, March 31 using

**Disclosure: Popchips sent me these yummy treats and are hooking me up with this giveaway. All opinions are always my own.

Monday is more fun when you register for the Blend Retreat!

Like I mentioned above, I’m registered for the Blend Retreat in 1 short month, May 4-6, held in nearby Boulder!

This retreat is for bloggers, readers and friends to become ‘blends’ (blog + friend = blend). It’s a weekend to hang out, get active and make new friends.

So many of my favorite bloggers are registered already and I can’t wait to meet everyone ‘in real life’. Check out the list of who’s coming!

If you’re a blogger or reader who wants to come but hasn’t registered, it’s not too late! Tickets are still available and only $75 until April 1. After 4/1, tickets increase to $100. We’d love to see you there!

How are you making Monday more fun?

Food: Cincinnati Skyline Chili Dip

Have you been watching the NCAA Tournament? Last night, my college’s basketball team, The University of Cincinnati, played a rival Ohio team, Ohio State University, for a spot in the Elite 8 round.

This was a big game for Cincinnati – this past Sunday, they beat #3 ranked Florida State to get into the Sweet 16 round. It was the first time UC beat a higher ranked team in the tournament and the first time they’ve made it to the Sweet 16 in a number of years.

Alex and I had planned to go to a bar to watch the game but I’m (still) sick so we stayed home and watched the game from our couch. To help cheer on our team, we made SKYLINE DIP!

Skyline Chili is a local franchise in Cincinnati that is a staple in most Cincinnatian’s diet. Our chili is thinner than traditional chili and is just ground beef and spices. My favorite dishes are 4 ways, below, (spaghetti, chili, onion, cheese) and cheese coneys (mini hot dog + chili, cheese on top). It’s always one of my first meals when I go home.

Since there are no Skylines in Denver, Alex and I keep a stock of Skyline cans on hand for gatherings with Cincinnati friends, Bengals games or random times we need a Skyline fix. When making skyline at home, we’ve found it’s so much tastier (and easier!) as Skyline Dip (than recreating the 4 ways or coneys).

Directions on back!



Enough for 2 people

  • 4 oz (1/2 block package) Cream Cheese (I use Neuchâtel)
  • 1 can Skyline Chili
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: diced onions, diced jalapeno, Franks Red Hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Spread cream cheese evenly in the bottom of an 8×8 glass pan 
  3. Pour can of Skyline over top 
  4. Add onions, jalapeno, hot sauce on top of chili (optional) 
  5. Top with shredded cheese (we only buy blocks of cheese – less ingredients! – and thought slices would work. They don’t. Shred yo cheese, yo. 
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melty and delicious. 


We eat ours with blue corn tortilla chips and beer from our UC glasses while wearing our UC sweatpants and tshirts.

Not the healthiest meal but one of my favorites, for sure.

I wish I could say that our chili helped UC win or that it magically cured my cold but it did neither, unfortunately. UC lost and I woke up still sick.  But my belly was happy last night!

I have OSU in the finals of the bracket I filled out so even though they beat my team last night, I’m glad they’re still in it. In fact, both of my teams are still in the finals.. These next few games will be very interesting!

If you filled out a bracket, how are your teams doing? Is your bracket still alive?

Music: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros In Concert

You know when you were a kid and were sick but started to feel better – almost like back to your normal self – and your friends were going to the movies and you so wanted to go too? But your parents said no because you were still sick?

My mind was my parent, my heart was the kid yesterday. Months ago, I bought Alex and I tickets to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at The Ogden Theatre last night. I just told y’all how much I love music and concerts - I did not want to pass this show up!

I was sick and worked from home all day but sometime after lunch, I was feeling much more energetic, my voice had come back and the salt water had ‘cured’ my throat. I felt great! Well enough, I thought, to go to the concert. My head was telling me that I probably should stay home but I wanted to go so bad and I was feeling better! I was over the worst, I told myself.

So we went to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros last night. I was feeling tired again by the time we left our apartment but shrugged it off.

We arrived in between the opener and Edward Sharpe and ended up waiting about 20 minutes for the show to start. The band came on around 9.

For those who don’t know anything about Edward Sharpe, they’re kind of a hippy group with a very large band. (Fun fact – if you know/knew Ima Robot, the lead singer of Edward Sharpe, Alex Ebert, is former lead singer of Ima Robot.) They had 10 people on stage last night! Watching them all walk in on the stage reminded me a bit of a clown car – how many more?! And where are they all going to go?!

(There are 3 musicians to the left of the photo that I couldn’t see)

The show was a lot of fun! We stood on the upper balcony of The Ogden and watched - no dancing or singing from me last night – but the group was so entertaining. I felt like I was watching a show that my parents might have listened to in the 70′s. It was a bit folksy, a bit rock, very engaging.

Alex Ebert is quite a character to watch on state – he wildly danced around, sat down the speakers, talked with the audience. The show felt more like 10 friends had gotten together to play awesome music at a farm party or in someone’s basement – they all rocked hard, danced and twirled on stage, took their shoes off and just had a really good time.

I’m not sure if the show was sold out or not but the place was full and bursting with energy.

What struck me most about this show was how powerful and clear both lead singer’s, Alex and Jade (Catrinos), voices were. At one point, Alex readjusted his voice (‘Sorry guys, so many shows in a row!’) but despite that, their voices were beautiful and strong. Their songs usually grow in volume and excitement and both Alex and Jade are singing so loudly but still maintaining a lovely pitch.

We left around 11 p.m. – I was too tired to stay any longer – so we missed our favorite song (and their most well known), Home.

This just means that I’ll have to catch them again, next time they are in Denver!

And today, I woke up feeling more sick than I did yesterday. I probably should have stayed home last night – I know my parents would have told me to if I was still a kid – but I’m really glad we went. But today, tonight and the next few days, I’m definitely taking it easy.


Gargling With Salt Water

Can we first just acknowledge how weird and gross sounding the word ‘gargle’ is?

It’s official. I’m sick. I felt it start to creep in on Monday evening and by Tuesday morning, I had a full fledged head cold. In a very fun twist of events, I’ve also lost my voice today. I spent most of yesterday coughing – sometimes a dry cough, sometimes a hacking cough – and by end of the work day and through the evening, the back of my throat was really sore from coughing.

The cold symptoms are easing but not the throat. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. with a hacking cough (crap in my throat) and my throat on fire. I couldn’t get the crap out and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I remember that as a kid, my dad had us gargle salt water when we had sore throats.

I didn’t have fond memories of this but a quick search on the smartphone told me that it should help relieve my pain and move that crap out. Worth a shot.

Apprehensive of the taste, I reminded myself that I ate bone marrow and pig ears – a saltwater gargle would be cake. And it was – and almost immediately after, I coughed out the crap in my throat and could swallow without burning pain. I’d call that a win for salt water!


  • Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 8 oz of water
  • Gargle small pulls of water for 15-30 seconds and spit out
  • Continue until all water is gone

Not rocket science.

After a quick gargle session this morning, my throat’s feeling much better. I’m hoping to feel well enough by lunch time to finish up the work day from the office and not my couch.

The Fray: KBCO Select-A-Set Show

As much as I love being active and dropping money for yoga/camping/running/hiking/swimming gear, I’d sooner shell out money for new music cds and concerts. Music is my first love.

I’ve been to countless concerts over the years (and already have tickets to so many this year!), have an extensive collection of music on my computer/iPod/purchased cds. I even had a brief stint singing  in my brother’s now very successful band, The Pinstripes. To be very clear: my stint was VERY brief and has zero relation to their success. I may love music but I am no singer.

Last weekend, one of the local radio stations, KBCO, played a 3 song set that I submitted. KBCO regularly asks listeners to submit a ’3 song set’ to be played on their ‘Select A Set’ weekends. If your set gets played, you win a smaller prize and all sets that were played are entered into a much larger contest. This time, the smaller prize was an intimate concert with The Fray and the larger prize is an expenses-paid trip to Moab, UT.

While driving home from dinner last Sunday, Alex and I were listening to KBCO and The Head and The Heart’s , Down in the Valley, came on. I love this song and asked Alex to not change the station. At the end of the song, the DJ said, ‘That 3 song set was submitted to us by Lynne in Denver’. Cue Lynne from Denver’s freak out.

I’d submitted songs by The Lumineers (Ho Hey), Ryan Adams (Lucky Now), and The Head and The Heart (Down In The Valley).

Because my set was played, I was invited to an intimate concert with The Fray. You likely know The Fray from their hits like: Over My Head, How To Save a Life, You Found Me and their new song, Heartbeat. The Fray is also homegrown right here in Denver, Colorado!

(I know, I know. I need a real camera. Still.)

The show was at the Soiled Dove Underground on Saturday evening. It was AWESOME. They played stripped down versions of their songs and were very interactive with the crowd. Since it was such a small show (think small comedy club sized room), they even offered to take questions from the audience.

I had so many favorite parts about the show but I think what I liked best is that The Fray were able to play songs that probably don’t get played at their full-scale, larger shows. The last song in particular was the very best icing on the cake for me.

Issac, the lead singer, played a solo, acoustic, no microphone/speaker/electronics version of their song called Happiness. During the many months of Long Distance Relationship-ing, I would listen to this song on the plane home from visiting Alex. I got a bit teary-eyed hearing this song; it punctuated a time in my life when I was missing my love and to hear it again, live and so authentically, with him standing with me, was such a treat.

I loved every minute of the show. Thanks a million, KBCO, for playing my set and hooking me up to see The Fray. To anyone in a city where the Fray is playing this spring, go see them. It is absolutely worth your time and money!