fitsmug foodsmug guestsmug lifesmug recaps shillsmug

KERF Recaps: Kathy’s 2-Year-Old Doesn’t Ruin Halloween, But He Wakes Her Up One Night So She Recuperates With Chocolate, Has A Guest Explain Metabolism, And Lists Food She Managed To Eat Despite Being Tormented By Her Child

Welcome to the latest summation of the last week of Kathy’s food blog that’s not really about food so much anymore. This week, the blog about “Eat[ing] Real Food” discussed

• The Halloween weekend Kathy had, despite the best efforts of her candy-seeking child.

• What a typically perfect day looks like in Kathy’s life, even though her dastardly child interrupted her beauty sleep.

• A thing Kathy made with chocolate she’s being paid by Hershey to use in a blog post.

• A list of the ways Kathy has put nut butter on day-old fakery bread and put leftovers on top of salads.

• Metabolic testing. A guest post, naturally, as Kathy’s priorities these days are spreadsheeting her viewing of old “Survivor” episodes and sticking to her pledge “to utilize Pinterest more often.”

First off, Monday’s post is about Halloween weekend, and what a shitty time Kathy thought she was going to have with her 2-year-old:

I really had no idea how Mazen would like Halloween. My gut instinct told me he would hate every bit of it. But turns out he loved it!!

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.33.29 AM

Kathy put on some clothing-subscription clothing and a cheap witch hat and steeled herself for a terrible night, enlisting Bath Matt’s mom to escort them to the University of Virginia and surrounding herself with “friends” (not pictured with their faces showing). Luckily, her 2-year-old didn’t embarrass her too much in front of them:

Mazen really got into the spirit… a little too much! Often he tried to get 2-3 pieces of candy from one person. He didn’t understand that one was enough. He also didn’t understand that we weren’t supposed to eat it all at once! The one thing he did really well: lots of “Tank yous!!”

Exhausted by the outing, Kathy and Bath Matt opened some of their Sonoma vacation wine, ordered a pizza —

From a place whose selections sound like overpriced apartment complexes with astoundingly thin walls and fake ivy filling the lobby.

From a place whose selections sound like overpriced apartment complexes with astoundingly thin walls and fake ivy filling the lobby.

— “to fuel up,” and Kathy tsks herself for having a piggy piece and a half:

Note that the witch was hungry!

They head into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat, and Kathy has a tiny moment of tenderness —

There was a moment when everything was dark and children were plentiful that took me right back to the Halloweens of my youth. It was a moment I haven’t relived in many years!!

— even though it’s vague, poorly articulated, and ephemeral next to her Edmund Spenserian odes to cake and frosting she’s penned. The moment passes quickly, and soon, Kathy is watching television and passing out.

Saturday is a far more exciting day, racking up 8 exclamation points as Kathy mentions Grand Pee-Paw’s 60th birthday, the blueberry syrup she put on her not-French toast, her trips to the gym and the grocery store, a birthday party — and the cake, of course — for a friend she hasn’t mentioned since she published a photo of her a week after she gave birth two and a half years ago, and a walk to a brewery for a dinner of nachos and salad.

But wait! Sunday was even more stupendous!

There was “a really fun family breakfast!” — which I imagine involves a jumping castle, a unicorn, plates of that brightly colored goo the Lost Boys eat in “Hook,” and a tank of nitrous oxide. My imagination is wrong, though, because all the Younger-Smugsons really ate was

Eggs, bacon, toast, grapes and coffee.

The whirlwind continued as Kathy logged 23,000 steps on her fitness shackle running at a soccer game, going up and down her attic steps “100 times” to sort “breastfeeding supplies” and pitch things from her and Bath Matt’s sole “memorabilia trunk,” getting rid of everything but her “high school graduation speech!” and “collage acceptance” letters.

For dinner, Kathy and Bath Matt decided — while not under the influence of drugs or Truth or Dare — to make shrimp and grits, to put both of those things in sushi, and to eat brussels sprouts and bacon to go with said sushi.


I’m starting to think Kathy’s sponsor, the ominous-sounding Shrimp Council, might be messing with her.

Kathy concludes her weekend post:

And I’d call that a wrap!!

Would you? I’d call that Reason 26 why no one’s ever going to be inspired enough to want to buy a vinyl doll of you, Kathy:

nom nom paleo

Tuesday’s post is another one of those “Day In The Life” things Kathy last did six months ago. Here’s what she did in her second installment of How Perfect Can I Make My Life Look, 2014 Edition:

• “Didn’t quite hit 8 hours” because her inconvenient toddler woke her up crying in the middle of the night.


• Woke up at 5:40 a.m. to go to “athletic conditioning,” and congratulated herself for being “strong ’till the end despite being very tired and drenched with sweat!”

Because I only get up once per week for an early class, I don’t dread it like I might if I was a daily occurrence (as it used to be back in the day!) It’s sort of, almost exciting to get up this early once a week!**

• Called half a banana “fuel” for the gym.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.16.17 AM

• Mentioned brushing her teeth twice.

• Said she had to “sneak in a shower” before her child could wake up again and ruin things.

• Mentions her subscription clothing service.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.25.16 AM

• Sent her husband to work at 7:45 a.m., when their child wakes up.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.38.04 AM

• Called a pumpkin pie-flavored yogurt “this guy.”

• Noted that her child failed to inconvenience her once she had him in his Halloween outfit:

I get Mazen dressed – in his Halloween costume! It’s the day before and he has a party at preschool. No tears this time! After some practicing he gets that costume = fun and treats.

• Said she had to/was able to “quickly” clean her kitchen.

• Pretended to

work on emails and comments before a 9:30 call with Relay Foods about a potential project.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.22.04 AM

Even Barbie’s “Home Office” set looked like it got more use.

• Was able to go to the TJMaxx factory second housewares store HomeGoods to buy useless decorative crap for her friend’s new house and “a new piece” for her own garage-less not-beach cottage, saying that being able to do so is

{Reason #562 why preschool days rock!)

Her caption is "Love the glam."

Her caption is “Love the glam.”

• Lamented that, after walking the half mile to pick up her child, the walk back “was a slow one” because he “wanted to walk.”

• Had a lunch of photographed salad, photographed carrot sticks, and unphotographed lasagna her child didn’t eat in his far-off high chair.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.39.23 AM

• Put her child down for a nap around 2:30 p.m. so she could rejoice, uninterrupted, over a package of free nut butter from a new company she’s already not doing any favors for:

I taste the chocolate right away and it’s heavenly – kind of gritty almost like little bits of crackle inside!? The cinnamon raisin reminds me of pumpkin spice!

• Pretended to work “2 solid hours …. including uploading these photos and writing this post up to here! I also had a call with a sponsor. Exciting times. And an empty inbox at the end!”

• Handed off her son to her husband when he came home from the fakery shortly after 5.

• Started making “sausage and root soup” but got distracted by “wrap[ping] up on the computer for the day. She came back up and threw some frozen spinach in the soup. Her son didn’t approve.

It was OK, but not amazing.

• She “thought about opening a bottle of wine but …. decided to pass since there is a good chance ice cream is in the cards tonight during Survivor hour!”

• After putting her child to bed at around 8:30 p.m., (she elaborates in comments that “I’d love a 7pm bedtime for the evening time to myself, but it also means we can go out to dinner with him more easily and attend parties and things.”) Kathy returned to her favorite spot in front of a screen for “new ice cream flavors” with two of her friends:

After M went to bed, Hillary and Ellen came over for some Survivor!! We try not to have dessert every night during our Survivor parties (most of the time it’s just hot tea), but I just got some new ice cream flavors from Sweet Sandies that we had to try.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.35.37 AM

• Called the ice cream and the reruns of the reality show “Amazing” and went to bed at 10-freaking-26 in honor of her birthday on Oct. 26.

Wednesday’s post is another that Kathy was paid to write by the asses at Hershey, a sponsor relationship she doesn’t mention until the end of the post, because the FTC’s rules on “clear and conspicuous” disclosure don’t apply to Stompy Kathy Secretkeeper over here. (Although she might care if reprimanded by Hershey, since it’s more likely they’d get dinged for noncompliance, as marketing agency Location3 wisely points out.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.29.26 AM

Kathy wins at typography.

It’s not like she majored in history or anything. You know, the kind of study that would have maybe mentioned the payola scandals that swept radio and television in the 50s.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 11.20.56 PM

To earn her money from Hershey, Kathy talks about how great s’mores are:

….marshmallow, chocolate and graham in any style of dessert wins my heart. 

I love the texture combination: sticky, gooey mallow // creamy, milk chocolate // crunchy, spiced graham cracker.

Wait, spiced? Spiced? That’s like celebrating Franzia for its famous sobering effects, or nut-butter for how perfectly fat-free it is. Not just because the closest thing to spice in your average graham cracker is thiamine mononitrate, but because Graham crackers were like, the flagship product of a diet invented by a minister who thought a bland diet would stop children from touching themselves — something that led to terrible consequences, he argued, including “a fondness for spicy foods.”

Kathy decides that she can definitely top the merely “good” graham crackers they sell at the store by making her own graham crackers and then, “the ultimate s’mores.”

Thus, these Pumpkin Spice Homemade Graham Crackers were born.

Ugh. Between this and the popsicles that were “conceived” last week, I’m hoping she doesn’t get “knocked up” with a casserole for Thanksgiving.

Kathy goes on to say a number of dumb things:

• Her cookie cutter made the cookies “extra fun.”

• One of the “things [that made] these graham crackers pumpkin spiced” was “pumpkin pie spice.”

• She included pumpkin beer in her recipe, and decides the beer “isn’t that detectable” but also “adds a festive punch.”

• The sugar, butter, and flour dessert she made is basically a health food because she used whole wheat flour “to amp up the nutrition.”

• She “Poke[d] some holes in for graham cracker loyalty!”

And Kathy makes sure to mention eating “extra dough balls” and show plenty of photos of her child not having much fun and the electronic monitoring device she’s required to wear as part of her life sentence from Diet Court.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.28.44 AM
Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.29.04 AM


And, of course, she talks about how she schlepped her sponsored post supplies to a bonfire (not pictured) and how all her friends (not pictured) told her that the s’mores were definitely the best they’d ever had in their whole lives.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.30.33 AM

And she ends by asking,

How do you like your s’mores? Charred marshmallow? Perfectly brown?

I like mine to be made without children suffering machete scars from clearing brush so that companies like Hershey can get the cheapest ingredients at the highest human cost. I like mine to be made in a way that doesn’t require me blocking out the knowledge of elementary school-age children kidnapped and sold for $30 as slaves, admitting quietly, “I wish I could go to school, to learn to read and write,” or unable to say anything at all*:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 11.47.54 PM

Passage about the child trafficking investigations of former Malian diplomat Abdoulaye Macko, from “Bitter Chocolate: Anatomy of an Industry.”

Kathy finally gets around to that pesky disclosure at the end of her post, candy-coating it with a little defensive sucking-up:

Disclosure: This blog post was sponsored by The Hershey Company as part of my participation in their Food Ambassador program. All thoughts and opinions about delicious s’mores and chocolate are my own.

And all research? That’s courtesy of her commenters:

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.28.32 AM

Thursday’s post is about metabolic testing, and it’s written by this lady:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.13.35 AM

Kathy’s opening commentary is limited to:

(Whoa that’s a lot of credentials!)


I actually had the opportunity take a similar test many years ago. I think this stuff is so cool!

We think it’s “cool” too, Kathy! Let’s travel back to 2009, about a month before Kathy’s 27th birthday, when she talks about the test and reveals that she was freaked the fuck out about her weight —

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.35.42 AM

— that she had to call herself “perfect” to calm down, and that she was super cool about having this photo published online, for all eternity.


Back here in 2014, Horner wants to talk about how one calculates how many calories one burns. Or, as she says,

how this number get’s calculated

Oh boy. You know, if someone is going to name-drop “predictive equations like Mifflin St. Jeor and Harris Benedict” work, I’d like to think that person knows what a fucking apostrophe does.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 1.33.03 AM

I can use Wikipedia too.

“Gets” isn’t even a possessive word or a contraction. The word “its,” indicating possession, confuses some people because if you said “Joe’s,” you would add an apostrophe and an “s,” but one doesn’t do so with “its” because “it’s” already exists as the contraction for “it is.”


Anyway, Horner explains that the best way to get a super-accurate metabolic test is to go to a gym and get a breath test.

While they are more expensive than the null expense of predictive equations, they are often very reasonable.

Look, say “null” all you want, Angelina Jolie in “Hackers.” For someone who was going to lend us a lab coat and take us behind the scenes, you’re sure coming off a lot like that Omaha humbug Oscar Diggs.


From A price list from the University of California at Irvine puts their test at $50 for people who are already patients of their weight management program, and $85 for others.

So, the test. You’re not supposed to eat anything for a while beforehand, which makes sense, because you don’t want to measure your body’s metabolic rate when it’s working on digesting last night’s lentil puck or this morning’s oat sludge. Horner says:

The test works by measuring the amount of air you exhale and thus determining the amount of oxygen your body is consuming. This can then be calculated to discover how many calories you are burning based off an “oxygen consumed per calorie burn” ratio.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? No, seriously. That second sentence could be a randomly generated string of words regurgitated from a MetaCheck Analysis System promotional leaflet. Miss Null Expense of Predictive Equations may very well understand what she’s trying to explain, but she writes like a Xerox machine calibrated to copy key phrases without comprehension.

Here’s how a breath test can determine how many calories you burn: If you put a tube in your mouth and plug your nose, everything you breathe in and out is going to go through the tube. The tube is hooked up to a machine that measures how much air you breathe in, and how much oxygen is in it to start. Over a period of time — say, ten minutes — it is also measuring how much air you exhale, and how much oxygen remains in all those exhaled breaths.

Since your body burns about 5 calories processing a liter of oxygen, the machine must have measured about 1.81 fewer liters (or about 366 adorable teaspoons) of oxygen at the end of Kathy’s 10-minute test than it measured going into her healthy little lungs, meaning she burns a little more than 9 calories every 10 minutes, about 54 calories per hour, and, ultimately, about 1300 calories per day if she did fuck-all.

Even Kathy’s metabolic processes resemble inoffensive, made-for-TV pop music.

Horner’s not up to explaining those yicky details, though. She’s much more interested in talking about relaxing, using a towel because she was drooling around the tube, how she had to stop giggling because she sounded like Darth Vader and how she was — clearly, very competently — “educated”:

I was educated to breath in and out of my mouth at a normal rate during the testing period.

“Breathe,” Katie. The verb is “breathe.” Even Danielle in “Ever After: A Cinderella Story” knows that.

Anyway, according to Horner’s test, Horner burns 2,261 calories per day at rest — about 33% more than the average person of her age and height and weight — which really must chap Kathy’s below-average, 1300-calorie-a-day-burning hide, especially with Katie’s humblebrag about how she finds that, “many times I am not eating enough for my body.”

Kathy’s last post of the week, on Friday, is the usual bland sandwich of all the nut butter-topped oats and salads with dinner leftovers ate in a week, held in place by two slices of awkward salutations (This week: “Just enjoying the fall around here!”) and insincere-sounding farewells (This week: “Hope you guys had a great week of eats!”)

She begins by saying that

I probably shouldn’t tell you

—And stop. Oh man. Kathy. I can think of 26,000 ways you could finish that sentence. I probably shouldn’t tell you I think my mom walking around her old house sounds like a hurricane. I probably shouldn’t tell you my horrible thoughts about people who show up at soup kitchens in cars and have the nerve to eat more than one sandwich. I probably shouldn’t tell you anything about my cervix or my mucous plug or how my placenta was on a cutting board I still use. I probably shouldn’t tell you how many complaints I have even though I have almost no obligations and can sleep and exercise as much as I want. I probably shouldn’t tell you about how I felt inconvenienced by the death of a grandmother and how I took a grinning selfie with a casket. And I really probably shouldn’t tell you about what a “dancer” I am, or how “athletic” my calves are, or how “sensitive” my nose and palate are, and all the boring playacting I’ve done with my stuffed teddy bears.

Alas, she really finishes it this way:

that I already put Christmas pillows on my couch…. ! Only because I found them at Target and they aren’t that Christmasy but they are red and green and I couldn’t wait to use them. I also already ordered our Christmas cards and have gotten a head start on shopping. I completely admit I live one season ahead. Don’t hate me!

Hate her? Why would anyone hate her? She spent some money. Planning and preparing for a holiday meal takes time and brainpower. Hanging up Christmas lights takes physical effort, organization, and patience. Writing heartfelt things in cards takes time, a good memory, and a heart that understands the fine line between being doughballs-to-the-wall giddy about frosting and presents and leisure, and optimistic, encouraging sensitivity for those who are taking stock of 2014 and finding financial struggles, medical challenges, perhaps death, or perhaps distance and loneliness amidst the bright points and happy days. All the fuck Kathy did was enter her credit card information online, pick a cart at Target, and threaten her family with an unnamed Christmas playlist that seems to include two versions of her second-favorite Andy Williams rendition —

I promise I haven’t busted out any holiday tunes yet, but the “Most Wonderful Time Of The Years” might be starting soon…since Thanksgiving qualifies as the start of the season in our house!)

— her absolute favorite, of course, being the one she danced to at her wedding, “Moon River,” though she probably prefers the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” version since she’s featured this framed poster in her room a few times:


I wonder what Kathy misconstrued about that classic to enjoy it?

Hmm. Well.

Speaking of pumpkin season, holiday music season, mediocrity season, and so on, I think I’ve duplicated Kathy’s squiggly calendar:

But, yeah. Pillows. Christmas pillows. That’s what she shouldn’t have told us. Even though she can’t wait to tell us again, in the comments section:


So, probably this $24 “imported” (read: Made in China) thing:

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.34.53 PMand, I don’t know. What does “one is green pattern” mean? Hopefully, this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.36.23 PMKathy does know she doesn’t get retroactive extra credit points for being the Technical Valedictorian of Christmas, that Santa won’t be bringing her a do-over of the speech she got to give to the Orange High Panthers of 2001 just for racking up an extra thousand arm-swings on her Mandible at Target, right?

Whatever. Let’s move on to what she ate. We all know what she ate. Oats. Eggs. Toast. Nut butter. Cereal. Granola. Yogurt. Sponsored Cheerios. Banana. Chia seeds. Here are the bizarre notes:

• Toast with jam “homemade by my sister’s high school friend.”

• A “pumpkin pie smoothie.”

• That thing where she cracks an egg in a pan and drags an old slice of bread through it. She still calls it “French toast.”

Remember when I used to eat this every day?


She continues, telling us both how her child’s speech development is really fucking messing up her breakfast and also how she loves her some personal datives:

For various reasons I feel like my breakfast making time has gotten cut short now that Mazen can say “HUNGRY MOMMY!”, so I tend to fall back on quicker things most of the time, but I still love me some FT! 

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.52.35 PM

• Toast, eggs, and canned peaches. She got them

at the market at the end of the summer – just stretching the peach love out a bit!


For her lunches, she had two things that she enjoyed and five things that showed what a martyr she is:

• Another alleged food. This one was supposedly a “quesadilla,” which means she heated up smoked salmon and cheddar in a tortilla.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.07.48 PM

• A salad from Eppie’s — “instead of the veg plate” — after picking her kid up from pre-school.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.12.08 PM

• A salad with that sponsored expensive olive oil she shilled for in August. She calls what’s on top of the salad a

strange looking pile …. a No Bull Burger that I cut up for Mazen and then he rejected. I had to take one for the team : )

Yeah, Kathy. Because it’s not like you put meatless lentil pucks on top of your salads every single damned week on your own.

• Her child’s lunch. Or parts of it, anyway:

Lunch #4 was consumed standing at the kitchen counter…tsk tsk. I was tasting this and that while I was making Mazen a plate and before I knew it I figured I’d had enough nibbles to call it lunch!

• Two lunches of leftovers and one that was “a quickie” (“salmon salad,” a pear, and “Kashi cracker for dipping”), all photographed on that wicked kitchen counter she’s just indicated she’s chained to because of that tiny tyrant of hers. Note how she leaves the sad little shred of plastic wrap sitting on the gelatinous piles….

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.20.44 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.20.55 PM

….creating tableaux that fully convey her glum status as Eater Of Old Things, Preventress of Food Waste, She Who Hasn’t Time To Sit Down, For Her Royal Meals Are Over.

Thankfully, Kathy’s moods became sunnier after eating things her subscription recipe service gave her instructions for:

• Pasta (she doesn’t indicate who cooked) topped with “a soup-turned-sauce” of sweet potatoes.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.51.39 PM


Kathy’s verdict: “Delish vegetarian dinner.” Conchshell’s verdict: How the hell didn’t that taste like pecan maple parrafin soap candles?

• A steak that “we grilled,” which I’m pretty sure means Bath Matt, and the potatoes and green beans we saw earlier, made with butter, parmesan, and parsley. Kathy is amazed by this unusual grouping of ingredients, exclaiming:

Loved that combo!

• The first of the two non-recipe subscription service dinners was a combination of leftover green beans and potatoes from the steak dinner mixed with lentils that had been cooked in maple barbecue sauce. She put “lots” of cheese and yogurt on top, and called it all

amazing despite being hard to decipher! …. [with] Juicy wine from La Crema in the back : )

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 11.58.15 PM

• The last dinner was something she didn’t even need a recipe for, a “simple salad” before she was “headed out with girlfriends.” Tell us more:

It was made with geens [sic], peanuts, cheese, and roasted squash and served in a homemade dressing. Consumed after dark!

Sure, Kathy.

What could she have been doing out at such a witching hour? Tossing toilet paper in the trees outside a rival bakery? Tumbling to the ground underneath the bleachers at the high school to neck with a jar of nut butter? Conducting mini-cupcake-summoning rituals? Watching “Survivor” on a 70″ TV at the nearest Best Buy? I’m sure Kathy will detail her nighttime after-dark activity in an upcoming post.

Outside of the blog, it looks like Kathy and Bath Matt remembered to update their Facebook page, since they’re heading into their high season of reduced hours and crankily offered goods.

in case we didn't know what?

And, wow, their slapdash holiday menu.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 3.54.32 PM

The style of their hours is inconsistent. Their pitch for giving bread as gifts needs a semicolon and a verb. There are muffins and bars listed, but each of the five varieties of “cookie” is singular. Their list of items for sale is more tedious a read than Kathy’s old RD school notebooks: Each day is broken out into its own list of items for sale, even though some items — like all five of the cookies — are sold across multiple days. Because so much text has been crammed into the flier, “Pumpkin Choc Chip muffins and teacakes” has that horrible abbreviation in it — each of the three times the item is mentioned. Is there a difference between “Whole Wheat Cinnamon Chip” and “Cinnamon Chip”? Am I the only person who didn’t know a cinnamon chip was an actual thing?

As delicious as the child labor that ensures their presence on our shelves.

As delicious as the child labor that ensures their presence on our shelves.

The worst part, though, has to be the three-exclamation-point paragraph at the bottom: THREE LINES OF ALL CAPS, followed by a huffily passive-aggressive request for people to order pies and “Pumpkin Ohs” early: “Our bakers would sure appreciate knowing how much to bake!” Dude. Monson. This is a pretty standard paragraph in your business. You know Paradox Pastry, right? It’s not clear online if they’re offering holiday items this year, but here’s what they posted on Facebook a few years ago:

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 5.41.52 PM

How about emulating this straightforward instruction from Charlottesville’s Chandler’s Bakery: “Not all items are available daily. To guarantee availability, please call to order”? You could even follow the lead of local bakery HotCakes, which words it a similar way: “We will prepare foods to be ready for pick up on Wed. Nov 26. Please place your order by 11AM Sun Nov 23.” They also provide size and pricing information, something I’m sure you would have included had you not had to type “cookie” 15 times.

And, honestly, last year Great Harvest made Pumpkin Ohs on Dec. 17, closed their doors for two weeks, and returned to find they still had a shit-ton of Pumpkin Ews sitting around that they had to unload for $3 each.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.15.27 PM

So maybe be a little less pushy about how everyone totally wants them, okay, Monson? Especially when commenters on your wife’s food blog seem to be the only ones paying attention to the details for you:

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 2.38.37 AM

•’s Deena Shanker recommends Gail AmbrosiusDandelion Chocolate, and Askinosie Chocolate. Their chocolate costs $4.50-$8.50 per bar at its least expensive, but at least it doesn’t ruin the lives of 10-year-olds for cheap “chocolatey” non-chocolate that tastes like cheesy, soapy vomit.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 12.17.23 AM


**Except that it’s exciting because it makes her feel superior. Flashback to Sept. 13, 2007:

I was thinking while I was running “I am crazy to be out here in the silent dark running at 6am.” But then I thought that this is why sleeping America is obese and I’m not. I’m the normal one!

fitsmug foodsmug lifesmug recaps shillsmug

STUFT Mama: New York City Marathon Precap

Hamcats, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our FULL New York City Marathon race recap, let’s take a look at the week leading up to it. Starting with Thursday’s post, we actually get to time travel all the way back to LAST Monday, because Stuft spent most of the week shilling every sponsor except the one paying for her New York trip.

If you’ll recall, which Stuft would prefer you did not, last Sunday in blog terms (October 26) she ran a half marathon at a hard enough effort to make herself sick. Looking forward to a big goal race, surely she’s going to go easy or, you know, NOT AT ALL for a couple days to recover.

I didn’t run at all on Monday.

YES! GO STUFT! Be that inspiration you so badly want to be. Tell us how rest and recovery and taper are crucial to running your bes–

I didn’t run at all on Monday. I thought I might do a few miles, but I didn’t.

Uh oh.

I went on an impromptu walk with Mom and the boys instead and taught my classes throughout the day.

I’m sorry. You teach a spin class and a step class and (I think) a body blast class the day after running a half marathon, and you still passive-aggress at your mother for insisting your sons spend a little time outside? The woman who babysat your kids while you ran that half marathon and is about to babysit them for a weekend while you jaunt off to NYC to run a full marathon?

A quick word about Grandma Stuft. When Stuft ran her second-ever marathon–all the way back in the Dark Ages of less than three years ago–she gave Stuft a ride at 4:30 AM, hung around for a four-hour race, cheered on her daughter with a cute sign, and celebrated afterwards. Now that Stuft is running 11 marathons in less than a year, she baby-sits the kids during races, refusing even to bring them to the finish line although the sight “puts a tear in [Stuft's] eye,” and brings graham crackers to family cookouts so her grandsons can have proper s’mores instead of roasted Quest bars. She is repeatedly a key figure in forcing Stuft to take her boys places besides the gym and Trader Joe’s.

Tuesday brings us the chance to meet Stuft’s treadmill. More recent comers to Stuft may have been partially introduced to it through the concept of the “sneaker selfie”:

Stuft got her treadmill for free, because of course she did, and her bragpost about it is her second-favorite post to link back to (after the one about being “in the moment” with her sons). This is a really fancy treadmill, with built-in programs that reflect the elevation changes of famous race courses and a nice little screen to display their visual. Of course, since Stuft pretty much just runs half and full marathons now, she doesn’t really take advantage of this treadmill feature. Especially the week right after a half and right before a full marathon, even the Tread Pirate Roberts doesn’t run that fa–

I decided to change things up and run an actual [half marathon] course.

I ran the same course that I ran my half marathon PR [personal record] on a couple years ago.

Tell me again how time doesn’t matter and it’s an accomplishment just to finish a race, really, just finishing is the most important thing.

We also get a sneaker selfie:


Moving on, Stuf–


MOVING ON NOW, to Wednesday–

Before the race Sunday, I had a little bestie date with my girlfriends in LA.

I am super-happy for Stuft that she did a thing with friends she did not make over Instagram that involved something besides posing for an awkward A-frame hug photo after a race and then moving on with their respective lives. Her college friends are the cinnamon on squash.

I am slightly less happy that a 37-year-old woman went out for pizza with her friends and took six times as many pictures of the restaurant and its workers as of her friends.

Also in food, Stuft reassures us that it took her “just a few days” to eat a small bag of rice cakes, which on the list of ways to say “I don’t have an eating disorder” ranks in between eating half an apple and making a pizza crust out of salmon.

They were yummy.

Wednesday morning, Stuft foregoes her usual run and just heads off to teach spin class! That’s actually right on target as a midweek pre-marathon workou–

I didn’t get a chance to run until late afternoon. It got dark fast. I got in a quick 6 miles.

It doesn’t take my songs to know that what you did in the dark is called “exercise bulimia.”

In a perfect world my training would have been more focused and more on point, I would be in a better place mentally and physically to tackle the race, but sometimes we’re just not in control of those things.

Meanwhile in Adulting 101, the self-described “careful and cautious” Stuft displays admirable judgment behind the wheel of a two-ton death machine in traffic with her children…

…in order to show off that she is wearing her four-and-a-half-year-old son’s sunglasses.

In a much more successful Parenting 102, Stuft, Andrew, and the Demolition Twins have a genuinely lovely evening carving jack-o-lanterns. Andrew is even willing to goof off for the camera, which I honestly don’t think I have EVER seen him do before.

And this gets at the hypocrisy and sadness beneath this blog. Stuft’s audience, judging by IG and blog commenters, has a lot of stay-at-home/part-time-working mothers who look to her for advice on how to balance running and a happy family life. But all we see, over and over and over, is an otherwise-happy family being slowly poisoned by her running and everything wrapped in it. #timeislove #priorities.

Thursday morning, Stuft overslept by an hour and decided the best way to make up for lost time was to run 9 miles on her treadmill.

And then it’s time for Stuft to be a writer and, you know, write a thing:

I really wanted to write all about running and core work and such

The topic of her blog! The crowd goes wild!

My head is a bit of a mess…because of all this other behind the blog life stuff going down.

Well, okay. Showing some personal vulnerability is a great way to engage your audience, especially for a blog that revolves around (some might say “abuses for Instagram likes,” but I digress) family life. Let us in, Stuft. Give us a reason to sympathize with you, to root for you.

There are some life changes and decisions that are being thrown our way at the moment

With my head all crazy-like these days with life decisions and stuff

I think figuring it out and going through the ups and downs to get there is all a part of it, you know?

It’s time to take some time to really figure out some life stuff.

Wow, these are some really tough issues to deal with! If only I knew what they were.

To help herself out, Stuft turns to the two sources that have never let her down. No, not her husband and friends, you silly goose. Instagram fitspo and He’s Just Not That Into Mary Magdalene. Duh!

First, Stuft sagely quotes a meme:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” I don’t like to call them failures anyway, they’re all learning experiences, right?”

I think a “learning experience” implies you learned something.

Second, Stuft finds deep meaning in a Forty Cubits to a New You passage that takes a Bible verse about never turning down the opportunity to do a good work and makes it into how taking a little “me time” every morning ensures success. The central figure of the religion this devotional purportedly promotes is a dude who once took forty days of me time in the desert and ended up brutally executed, so, take that “success” as you will.

Friday marks two days before NYC. Stuft pops on the treadmill for a “short shakeout run” of seven miles, because “sometimes we’re just not in control of those things.” Then she needs to get in the mood for packing:

I had my frist of many cups of coffee for the day

“Packing,” as usual, means taking a bunch of sponsored products she got for free, inexplicably laying them down on the grass, and taking pictures. Many pictures. Many many pictures.

Pop quiz! Which #sponsored #product is Stuft going to credit with supporting her NYC trip?

a. Handful bra
b. Rock n’ Roll/Competitor Group bag
c. Pro Compression leggings and socks
d. Vega random (presumably) edible substances
e. Quest bars
f. Mizuno clothes and shoes
g. Wrist-mounted calorie counter

If you guessed h., none of the above, congratulations!

Friday was also Halloween, and Stuft’s food got into the spirit of things. She started off with the time-honored tradition of pizza for breakf–


Nodding to KERF, she proceeds to dump what appears to be oatmeal on top of her usual tarred & squashed cinnamon:

But if you stare into the abyss long enough, it turns out to be not oatmeal but cottage cheese mixed with fat free peanut butter-flavored powder.

The Stuft parents spend Halloween evening with their sons. Then they trek off to the airport for a red-eye to New York. What you need to know about this flight is that:

1. Stuft has spent all week talking up the SUPER SPECIAL BECAUSE NEW YORK Y’ALL pizza and bagels and ice cream she is going to eat.
2. Stuft brought along a bag of purple sweet potatoes.
3. The security check was not a fan of the purple sweet potatoes and scanned them for bomb dust.

Practicing solidarity with the hassled overnight shift worker, the airplane and the excessive amount of Starbucks that Stuft claims to drink would not let her sleep:

This is not “bae caught me slippin.” This is worse. This is Stuft asking her husband to take a picture to illustrate her trying to sleep and not being able to.

Safely if sleepily in Manhattan, the Stufts head out for breakfast. Andrew eats like a normal human being. Stuft carb-loads for a 26.2 mile run the next day with an egg white omelette auditioning for The Walking Dead:

Possibly more offensive than the egg white massacre is the fact that in her description of a DISH from a MANHATTAN RESTAURANT, Stuft affiliate-links her favorite producer of bottled (yes, bottled. It comes with a pump. Like soap.) egg whites.

I don’t have too much time to be offended, however, because all too quickly they are off to the marathon expo. And in the heart of fucking New York City, they are greeted by this sign:

My brain cannot process those words in this order.

A race expo is kind of like a temporary mall glommed onto necessary procedural steps of picking up your race bib and T-shirt. Stuft buys a bunch of shit, talks her way into some free shit, and poses for even more awkward photos (29 total of the expo, a new expo record). For some reason, she feels the need to explain to a random running celebrity that she has not trained for the race tomorrow so obviously her time won’t reflect on her as a runner.

She’s right.

NOT TRAINING is what reflects on her as a runner.

Stuft is then interviewed by Runner’s World about what to wear for running. This turns out to be a good thing, because the interviewer realizes how drastically underprepared Stuft is for a race in, you know, actual autumn and gives her a pair of arm warmers.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a day-before-the-race post without two final reminders that Stuft hasn’t been feeling well and so her time doesn’t reflect how she really could do if she were feeling better, really. And then this lovely contribution:

For your family huh? This family?

Kauai Marathon, school started this week edition

Maybe this family?

San Francisco Marathon, 10th wedding anniversary edition

I want to hurt in a good way and leave everything I have out there mentally and physically for myself, my amazing family, for all of those who can’t run or be there, for all the other racers out there with me and overcoming their own obstacles and for all of you who have big dreams of your own and WILL make them come true some day.

I wonder if she ever tells her sons this to their faces.

Stuft stats!