The Tuesday Tune-Up: New Adventures

Tuesday Tune Up, Weekly Check In, Food, Fitness, Family, Duran Duran


Hey there!  How was your weekend?  I hope it was a good one.  Today’s Tuesday Tune-Up shows what kind of adventures I’ve been having lately when it comes to food, fitness, family and Duran Duran (and other music).

Food, Tuesday Tune-Up

I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to food lately.  Last week Jay cooked some delicious meals for me and this week, I had Chef Brooke Willamson from Season 10 of Top Chef cooking for me.


Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs (aka Safe Eggs) invited me to a cooking class at the Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories to have Chef Brooke teach us how to make delicious meals with undercooked eggs.  Below is Chef Brooke’s own Instagram collage from the evening (why I have my bag on my shoulder, I’ll never know):

Chef Brooke Willamson, Tripel, Top Chef, SafeEggs,


We made a number of dishes but I think my favorite was the Coddled Egg with Whipped Smoked Celery Root. Salmon Roe and Chive Puree (see above – green and in the mason jars).   I’ll have to give more details about this cooking class in a future post.  The fact that I learned that you can actually enjoy eggs even if they’re not hard boiled or scrambled well was a big deal!

Fitness, FitFluential, SweatPink, BurnThis, Tuesday Tune-UP

I’m excited to announce that I’m now a BurnThis Ambassador!  

If you’re a fitness freak and love taking photos of your fitness endeavors, this might be the (FREE!) app for you.  BurnThis is a digital fitness community (#FitFam) where you share your fitness/wellness photos to continue to be inspired to keep up healthy living every day.   To me, it’s almost like a specialized fitness Instagram feed but the site also has its own blog, with cool boutique studio listings, recipes and workouts.

BurnThis, #fitfam, #BurnThis

BurnThis is new to me but it’s a developing community that offers challenges (with prizes you can win!) and discounts with high-end fitness and wellness products.  I’m still getting started and would love to have you join me.  For more information about BurnThis or to download the app for FREE, click here!

Fitness wise, I also got the chance to get back on a bike again – sadly, not a spin bike but I got to ride this beauty from Priority Bicycles at a very special event at the Viceroy Santa Monica recently.  I absolutely fell in love with this bike (and was bowled over by everything about the Viceroy).

PriorityRide, bicycle, Viceroy

This fabulous experience was courtesy of Nicole at The JetSet Family.  The full details about the very special tour of Venice and Santa Monica will be featured on The JetSet Family very soon.  Stay tuned!



This weekend Jay and Wild Boy went on a group Dad and Son camping trip, so I got the chance to be “Not Mom” for two and half days.  I don’t think I’ve been the only human at home for that long in awhile.

It was nice to be able to go out to dinner (at LA hotspot Bottega Louie) and dancing at a secret-ish club called Honeycut (accessible through a secret alleyway and then 15 feet underground) and not have to be “Mom” early in the morning.

Bottega Louie, dining, LA, cocktails

Bottega Louis – Elegant.

Honeycut, dancing, LA, club

Honeycut – where you could go a little wild.

However, once the boys got home, we were all guests of the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood to preview their new Roxtars Menu for kids under 10 years old.

Hard Rock Cafe, Roxtars, menu for kids

My love of the Hard Rock Cafe has been noted many times on this blog (like here, here and here) and it was great to bring Jay and Wild Boy to experience it too.  A full review of the globally forthcoming menu for kids will be feature here on the blog soon but until that time, let us just say that the Roxtars menu was kid tested and very much approved.

Roxtars, Sir Kingston, Hard Rock Cafe, dining with kids, kids menu


Duran Duran, music, 80's music, New Wave, Tuesday Tune-Up

I might have been the only New Wave fan in Los Angeles that sadly didn’t go to see Spandau Ballet for their 2 night stint at The Wiltern after a 30 year absence!  I felt that I was lucky enough to see this great band perform a short set at Jimmy Kimmel in November so I opted to forego the ticket and add to the Duran Duran Tour fund.

You know that my friend Melissa@MizMeliz was at the Spandau show (she named her book after a Spandau song with permission granted by Gary Kemp!):

This Is The Sound of My Soul, Spandau Ballet

I was sad to hear that Billy Idol had to postpone some dates of his tour due to illness.  I still don’t have tickets to this tour but I’m very tempted to buy one…

Over on the exclusive fan community section of, John Taylor appeared on the first Katy’s Kafe of 2015 where there was some talk of how the new album is sounding and coming along.  It sounds like Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers are certainly making it very funky but it also sounds like we are going to be waiting until anything gets released but there will be a chance to see Duran Duran in Spring or Summer!  Yay!

Duran Duran ecard

…and this happened this week and it made me smile!  It was this song – not typical.


 So that’s a summary of what’s been going on in my world this week.  

What about you?  Let me know!


Last Chance to Join #GoReIn2015!

If you want a support system to help you achieve your Goals/Resolutions/Intentions for 2015, this week is your last chance to link-up and join the #GoReIn2015 community!

Details can be found here.

#GoReIn2015, Goals, Resolutions, Intentions, 2015


Friday’s High 5: 10 Motivational Instagram Accounts

Friday's High Five

This week’s Friday’s High Five is actually a double five because I’m highlighting 10 Motivational Instagram accounts.  The images, words and stories and stories of the following 10 Instagram accounts help me get through my day.  Each one of these accounts give a glimpse into 10 people that look at the world in (what I believe is) an admirable way.

This post is my not-so-secret admirer note to these 10 amazing people.  These people remind me about the depths of human potential and that the bumpy journey of life can have more peaks than valleys.  You might know these 10 people already but if you don’t, you definitely should!

10 Motivational Instagram Accounts You Need To Know:

(Headers link to Instagram account; Image credits link to website)



Tasha Edwards is The HipHealthyChick and her positivity is infectious.  Tasha knows what the power of hard work can bring you in life and in fitness.  If you don’t believe that you have an inner warrior in life, work or healthy living, Tasha can help you find it!


It’s no secret that I’m kind of in love with Alan Ali.   Ever since discovering SweatingUntilHappy in 2013, I’ve been mesmerized by Alan’s unfailing dedication to his family, healthy lifestyle and inspiring fitness endeavors (we’re talking half marathons, duathlons, triathlons and he’s currently training and fundraising for the IronMan 70.3 Raleigh - you can donate here).  This southern gentleman is real about his every day struggles but always finds a positive spin to move on.  Alan’s nightly quotes on Instagram help me end the day on a positive note.


I came to know Kasey Arena of Powercakes at the 2014 IDEAWorld BlogFest and couldn’t believe that a girl in her mid-twenties could be so composed, smart and giving.  Kasey is a personal trainer (just like her mom!) and her passion for fitness, fuel, cooking and baking radiates for everyone to see.  Kasey’s mission is to guide all women to be comfortable being themselves in body, mind and soul.  Kasey leads body image workshops with young girls and is the co-author of the book Bodypeace, a 30 day guide to help people transform the relationship they have with food and their body.  The philosophy of love and peace in food, fitness and body image is one that needs to be amplified and Kasey is already leading the march.


I have no idea how I found Angela Leigh of PureLeighLiving but I love her Instagram feed.  I don’t know Angela but I know that she works for Equinox gyms, lives in Los Angeles and has an adorable French Bulldog, Lucy.  Angela’s Instagram feed shares motivational quotes, her dog and her love for fitness and healthy living.  To me, she’s a laid back LA girl with a great outlook on living healthy every day.


I discovered Lora V when I lived in New York and via the jewelry company, Erica Sara Designs.  Lora is a petite powerhouse who loves to run and her view on running and life in New York City strikes a chord with me.  You might have seen Lora as a coach for the Saucony 26 Strong program in 2014 where she coached a rookie through her first 26.2.  In addition to her passion for running, Lora is dedicated to helping to fight cancer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Lora headed a fundraising effort called #CancerDontCare efforts in memory of her father and the many other people who fight cancer and still don’t win.  Lora had me at running and LLS but she’ll keep you with her amazing photos of NYC, running tales and dedication to making the world healthier.


I met Ashley Johns at FitBloggin’ 2014 and have found her Instagram stream inspirational ever since.  Ashley is dedicated to fitness and healthy living and her aim is building a community in the quest to find empowerment in their own mind, body and soul.  Ashley designs Fair Trade talisman Armor bracelets for men, women and teens to help inspire them toward living fiercely.  You can find food, fitness and lifestyle inspiration in the FierceForwardForLife Instagram feed.


I want to be Chris Freytag.  This 49 year-old mother of 3 grown children is wonderfully warm, incredibly smart and looks better than any Hollywood movie star.  I had the pleasure of meeting Chris at FitSocial 2013 and have been a fan ever since.  Chris works hard at being healthy – she’s been a fitness maven for over 20 years but she promotes exercise and healthy eating in a down-to-earth manner that inspires rather than intimidates.  Her Instagram feed is full of motivational quotes and ideas for both workouts and healthy recipes from her website  I love Chris and I keep hoping that through social media osmosis that I can absorb even half of her energy and her enthusiasm for life.


I’ve featured Jody@Truth2BeingFit as a Friday’s Featured Female with good reason.  This woman is absolutely fit and her outlook to living a life that makes room for health, foods that she loves (including cookies!) and to keep going no matter what obstacles stand in your way.  Jody always shares great quotes (often extolling the great virtues of coffee!) and is tremendously supportive of those who are looking to have fitness, food and happiness guide their lives.


It’s not hard to determine how I discovered Mikita given that our names are similar.  Ever since discovering (aka the other M. Burton), I’ve come to appreciate seeing this newly divorced mother of 3 in my Instagram stream.  If you live in Kansas City, you might know Mikita as a lifestyle expert because she appears on Fox 4 every Tuesday at 9:30.  I love seeing the real life of this cool lady.


If you’re interested in health and fitness and have dipped your toe into the blogging or social media world at all, it’s likely that you already know Carla Birnberg.  Carla was early to the wellness blog scene as MizFit is now more “unapologetically herself” as  I was late to the Carla party but I’ve loved learning about this woman as a writer, mother, fitness enthusiast, spiritual being and creator of the best hashtags ever.  Carla’s Instagram features her daughter, her dog and her philosophy about life (often abbreviated by #wycwyc – what you can, when you can).  Carla’s feed manages to be inspirational while she showcases all of her humanity, a feat not easily mastered.

I’m certain there are more than 10 motivational Instagram accounts out there, so feel free to tell me who I missed either in the comments or on my Instagram account – @mburton0214.  Did you know these fabulous Instagrammers?

The Tuesday Tune-Up: What’s Going On

Tuesday Tune Up, Weekly Check In, Food, Fitness, Family, Duran Duran

I’ve morphed the Tunes For Tuesday series into a weekly check-in about the things I love most: food, fitness, family and music (including Duran Duran).


Like many of us at the beginning of a new year, I’m working hard to eat more healthfully.  I’m making an effort to cook more at home and to include more fresh fruits and vegetables into every meal (even dietitians need to work at getting their daily servings of fruits and vegetables).

  • Even though I did cook more at home than I have in quite awhile (there was a 5 day stretch of being a solo parent that I didn’t take Wild Boy out for dinner even once and that is a feat) I have no way of proving it with photos.   There’s been a wrap or taco kick in my house since Susie’s Tacolicious post.   Here’s one photos of a great lunch that Jay made for me with a wheat tortilla, avocado, tomatoes, refried beans and a Trader Joe’s Spelt Risotto Mix.  This meal was delicious, easy and full of nutrients.  I need to remind myself of that meals like these are not that much work:

turkey tacos, healthy eating, wraps,

  • We also had a great meal at The Misfit Bar in Santa Monica.  These do-it-yourself chickpea lettuce wraps with pretty watermelon radishes were delicious:


TheMisFit, Chickpea lettuce wraps


  • But I think my favorite thing was the Amazebowls Food Truck Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Bowl that I had on Sunday.  Isn’t it pretty?  If you haven’t had dragon fruit, you absolutely should try it!  It tastes like a combination of strawberry and kiwi.  It’s my favorite fruit besides mango.

Amazebowls, pitaya, dragonfruit

Fitness, FitFluential, SweatPink

The back is still a little achy so running has taken a back seat.  I did run 1 mile for the #SweatPink #NoExcuses challenge and it was hard!  True to my #GoReIn2015 post, my fitness energy has been focused on strength training and Pilates to build my core and prevent the injury/recovery cycle.

  • I’ve been going to Pilates classes (and even 1 yoga class) but when I wasn’t able to get a reservation in a class, I did some Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube.  These FREE workouts with Daniel and Kelli are hard but fun.  I like the right side countdown meter so you can see how much of your workout you’ve completed as the time ticks by.  I did a few days of the 5 Day Workout Challenge to Burn Fat and Build Lean Muscle and I was sweaty and sore after each one!  If you’re ever strapped for time and want a great workout, I’d highly recommend trying it – here’s a link to Day 1, if you’re interested., Greg and Kelli


  • Have you ever tried boxing?  I got the chance to work out at the very cool boutique studio, Prevail Los Angeles this week at a special event.  I’ll be sharing more about that experience soon.

Prevail Los Angeles, Boxing

BlogFest, IDEAWorld, SweatPink,


Making time for family isn’t easy and this is an area I’ve definitely been working on as well.

  • Wild Boy has become obsessed with sports over the past year.  Even though I enjoy exercise, both Jay and I are not sports people.  Not at all.  Let’s just say that all I know about football, I learned from my Friday Night Lights obsession last year.  I’m not kidding.  On Sunday, I went to a restaurant with multiple televisions so my child (and his friends) the could watch the Green Bay Packers vs Seattle Seahawks game while the adults ate and drank.


  • Did you see how Jay wanted to decorate our bedroom from my Instagram feed?  I love Seinfeld as much as the next person but I had to draw the line when Jay wanted this huge photo of Cosmo Kramer over our bed:

Kramer, Seinfeld


Duran Duran, music, 80's music, New Wave

2015 will definitely be a year of music.  Duran Duran is due to release an album and announce a tour (at some point) but until that time, I’ll have to keep myself busy with lots and lots of other music outings!

  • January brought the amazing Midge Ure to LA for one night only and his show was amazing!  I did get to see Midge at the RetroFutura show this summer and while he was fabulous at that show, it was a very small set.  At this recent show, he unexpectedly played one of my favorite songs, “Cold Cold Heart”(a love I documented here) and it thrilled me to the core!

Midge Ure

  • Duran Whine: Since I don’t have cable, I missed the showing of Duran Duran “Live At Wembley” on AXSTV on Sunday.  Did you catch it?

Duran Duran, AXSTV, Live At Wembley

I’m also trying to ignore that Duran Duran is playing a gig in London on February 19th for  Great cause but tickets are by lottery and since I can’t even jet to London if I wanted to (my passport needs to be renewed), I must wait.  Oh well.


That’s it for this first edition of The Tuesday Tune Up.

How’s the first half of January treating you?


If this post reminded you about sticking to your Goals/Resolutions/Intentions for 2015 as the New Year’s haze begins to fade, you can still join the #GoReIn2015 link-up!

#GoReIn2015, Goals, Resolutions, Intentions, 2015

Join a community of support here and ensure that you reach your Goals/Resolutions/Intentions for 2015 !


Friday’s Featured Female – The Ladies of Bravehoods

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Female!

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF

This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women.  IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life.

Normally, I share stories written by the women themselves but today I’m writing the feature because this is a cause that needs to be shared!

Friday’s Featured Females are Meredith and Allison Yacht of BraveHoods

BraveHoods, kids with cancer, 13,000 kids with cancer

13,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year.  Meredith Yacht is a cancer survivor.  She’s 8 years old, nearly the same age as my own child.  While Merry was going through the chemotherapy and radiation treatments required to treat her rhabdomyosarcoma in 2011, the loss of her hair was almost worse than the side effects of the treatment.  Kids with cancer just want to feel like a “regular” kid and bald heads with scarves, hats and awkward wigs only made it harder for Merry not to stand out and feel uncomfortable.

Merry’s mother, Allison discovered that a hoodie t-shirt was the one thing that helped her child feel warm, comfortable and even just a little bit stylish during throes of cancer treatment and she made it her mission to bring those elusive things to other brave children fighting cancer by developing BraveHoods.  

Bravehoods is a one-for-one organization, that GIVES a super soft hooded t-shirt to a child (and siblings!) with cancer for every BraveHood sold.  


Two of the examples of Bravehood t-shirts available.

Over 750 BraveHoods have been donated nationwide thus far but that’s not enough.

 BraveHoods wants to donate 13,000 t-shirts in 2015….and YOU can help!


Vote here and help BraveHoods win $10,000 grant from KIND snacks KINDCauses!

KIND causes, Kind Snacks

If you my words aren’t enough to convince you to support BraveHoods, this video will.

You might be made of stone if the video above didn’t pierce your heart like it did mine.  I’m in awe of how the Yacht family (Allison’s husband, Steve and Merry’s brother, Zach are also part of Bravehoods) have endured the ordeal of cancer treatment and yet are inspired to go above and beyond to help others.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate – cancer took my stepmother before she was 40 and has robbed the son of good friends of a carefree childhood (Danny van Schaik has been fighting leukemia since age 10 – see here or donate to Danny’s cause here).  Cancer is awful but when it affects children it seems especially unfair.

Please support Bravehoods by voting in the KINDCauses contest here:

and via the following outlets :

BraveHoods: Our Story

Like them on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter

Buy (and donate) a Bravehood t-shirt

Know A Brave Kid Fighting Cancer?  Apply here

My child doesn’t have cancer but so many other people’s children do.

I want to do my part to help Bravehoods to help children with cancer until cancer is eradicated.

Please do what you can to help Merry, Allison and Bravehoods or in your own way.

Thank you!

Disclosure:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  I have no professional affiliation with KIND (other than being a fan of their products) and although Allison Yacht is the sister-in-law of a friend, I have no vested interest in BraveHoods (other than supporting the cause).  Please know that I will NOT earn any affiliate fees if you choose to make a purchase through the links in this post.  All opinions expressed here are my own as a human being who believes in helping anyone and everyone in the fight against cancer.

In Susie’s Kitchen: Tacolicious of San Francisco – Restaurant and Cookbook

Bienvenido a 2015!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season! I spent quite a bit of time doing what we all do over the holidays: cooking (of course) and eating (ditto.) In particular, I indulged in quite a lot of Mexican food, which I actually made myself, thanks to Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails and More, the terrific new cookbook representing one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants.

Tacolicious, cookbook, Gluten Free


In 2013, while on vacation in San Francisco (when Melissa almost ruined my surprise birthday party by bumping into me on the Embarcadero – see here ) we followed a restaurant recommendation from our hotel manager all the way to the Mission District. “You MUST go to Tacolicious,” she said. Off we trotted—to find out there was a one-hour wait. For lunch. Turned out that out of all the meals on that trip, we were still talking about the fish tacos and the Silas (a non-alcoholic lime-and-mint drink) at Tacolicious a year later.

Tacolicious, Mexican food, San Francisco

3 Tacos at the actual Tacolicious restaurant in San Francisco


When I got diagnosed with celiac last year, I was in despair of ever being able to eat at Tacolicious on a return trip.  But when I emailed the restaurant, the very nice Mike Garcia not only replied, assuring me that some of the menu items were safe . . . he broke down the entire menu for me.  Talk about going above and beyond!

So I did get to have those fish tacos again—grilled, not fried, but just as good as I remembered.

So when the Tacolicious cookbook came out recently, my husband added it to what we call “the pile of Chanukah books.”

Cookbooks, Tacolicious, Gluten Free,

Flipping through the pages, we were getting hungrier by the second reading those recipes! Since we were having family over for New Year’s Eve, we began toying with the idea of cooking everything from the book.

You know what happened next, right?

I think I made nine or ten dishes over twenty-four hours (including two looooooong braises!). If you want to know the meaning of torture, try standing around your kitchen while making Guajillo-Braised Short Ribs, knowing you won’t be eating them until the next day.

Tacolicious, Shortribs, braised, gluten free

Prep for Guajillo Braised Short Ribs


Guajillo Braised Shortribs, Tacolicious

The result after braising.


Or braising the fattest lamb shanks you’ve ever seen down to nearly nada for the Lamb Adobo Taco with Spices and Orange . . . good Lord, those were good. So good, in fact, that I have been daydreaming about braising a lamb shoulder in that sauce. Mainly so that I can have more sauce.


Tacolicious, Lamb spices

(There was a small error in the recipe, which I’m chalking up to a copy-editing issue—after toasting chiles in the first step, the second step neglects to tell you to add them to the sauce . . . but then tells you to simmer the sauce “until the chilies have softened.”  So if you have the book, or are buying it—add those chiles right after the juice comes to a boil, then follow the recipe. Or so I assumed . . . this is what I did, and the sauce was ohmahgawdgood.)

Even the seemingly obvious recipes, such as Classic Guacamole or Lazy Salsa, have a unique flavor that makes you feel as though you’re tasting these things for the first time—and you’ll never want salsa from a jar again after you taste this one. (There’s even a method offered in case your tomatoes are less than ideal—just make the roasted version.)

The Mexican Party Mix. The Butternut Squash and Kale Tacos. The Pickled Red Onions . . . I lost track of how many onions I chopped, how many vegetables I diced! Who knew my knife skills would get such a workout? The book is also full of interesting tidbits about real Mexican food, how to choose the best tortillas (Trader Joe’s), how to warm them, how to choose recipes if you want to throw a “taco party,” even how to choose the best meat for your bistec taco. That’s a lot of info packed into one spicy package!

Tacolicious - 3 tacos open

One of the best things about the book is the attitude: pure fun. It encourages you to enjoy the cooking process, to have fun with the food. These recipes are also great for cooks of any skill level, which is nice to see for a change.

Next time you’re in San Francisco, definitely check out Tacolicious . . . but until then, the book can be had for less than a plane ticket. This one should be added to the collection of anyone who loves to entertain—or who just loves great Mexican food.

Checkout Tacolicious via their website, connect with them on Twitter, drool over their Instagram photos or check out their cookbook.

*Please note that this is not a sponsored post.  Susie and received no compensation (read: no complimentary meals or cookbook) for this review.   All opinions and photos are from Susan Litman.  To connect with Susie, find her on Twitter at @susan_litman and Instagram @insusieskitchen.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links within the post that may add a few pennies to Melissa’s Duran Duran Tour Fund, should you choose to buy the cookbook through these links.