November 16, 2013

Pumpkin Oat Muffins (Gluten Free)

This year, & I will be hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new home. I've been so excited, I've been working on the menu for weeks and have just started testing out the recipes. Thanksgiving 2013 will include 7 (+ a newborn) friends who'll be staying in our home. I've always imagined that one day I might own a Bed & Breakfast... Friendsgiving 2013 seems like a perfect short term version ;)

Since is racing the Philadelphia Marathon tomorrow, I thought I'd wake up early and make him a special breakfast to get his weekend off to a nice start. Perfect opportunity for recipe testing! This morning I tried out a new recipe for Pumpkin Oat Bread and it's baking in the oven as I type. Holy sh*t this house smells good right now. I found and replaced the whole wheat flour with gluten free flour (I used the Trader Joe's Gluten Free Flour Mix). I also omitted the nutmeg because I'm not a fan. The recipe is meant for muffins but I seem to have misplaced my muffin tins during our move (note to self: register for muffin tins) so I decided on a bread instead and increased the baking time from 15 minutes to 40 minutes. It was delicious BUT texture is definitely more appropriate for muffins so muffins I shall make Thanksgiving weekend.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins (Gluten Free)
makes 12 muffins
adapted from
  • 2 cups Gluten Free flour
  • 1 cup Gluten Free oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup buttermilk* (I used 1 cup mile + 1 tbsp white vinegar, mixed & set aside for 10 minutes before adding to batter)
  • ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree!)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare muffin tin with liners & non stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl of a mixer, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. 
  3. Add the oats to the bowl
  4. Mix in the buttermilk (or milk + vinegar), pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, apple sauce, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the top of the muffins spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
 ..... 15 minutes later, here's the finished product courtesy of my . Can't wait to serve this to our guests Thanksgiving Morning after our Wednesday night taco & margarita fiesta! Yes, we start our Friendgiving early here at Team Robica headquarters.
I'm still working on my menu for the weekend so if you've got any great recipes, please send them my way!

Also, tomorrow I'll be heading to Philadelphia to cheer on Robert and few thousand members of our lovely running community at the Philly Marathon. This race holds a special place in my heart. It was my first Half and my first (and only, despite several other attempts) full Marathon and it's got amazing energy! If you're racing or cheering, please let me know so I can spot you and maybe even get your picture for my album. Good luck & race happy!

November 14, 2013

Carla's Inspiration: Unapologetically Myself


At ESD, we've been reveling in the inspiration around us. The mantras that help steer people toward their dreams keep us equally motivated! Our  is a celebration of these strong words, and behind them are stories to be shared.

This is Carla, or you may recognize her as . She's a confident online personality that urges people to honor their individuality and carve their own paths. In fact, her blog's tagline is: "...because fitness isn't about fitting in."

Carla , , offers and , and is a published . On top of all this, she's a mother.

It's in her own quest to live fully that she hopes her daughter follows her example. Her wish is that her daughter grows up unafraid to be herself, and embraces evolving, changing, growing as a person...without excuses. It's okay being exactly who you are, and accept there's room enough in this world for us all to live this way.

Carla explains exactly what she means by "" on her blog.

Because Carla is a champion of self-confidence, we find her incredibly uplifting! She reminds us that goals don't always have to be event-driven, but can sometimes be a constant way of life. We should all aim to be unapologetically ourselves.

November 12, 2013

Get The Look: The Elite Gift!


When Erica designed necklaces for the elite women racing the , she chose a hallmark ESD look: a custom-engraved rectangle charm paired with a 1/2" circle, on a rope chain. The combination of shapes and sizes adds a stunning element to any necklace! By mixing and matching different shapes and metals, you can create a truly unique piece. The good news is, you needn't be an elite marathoner to get the look!

Sabrina Mockenhaupt 
Jelena Prokopcuka

ESD charms are designed to work beautifully together in a layered fashion. Inspired? Each piece can be customized to create your own winning necklace!

I Tri Necklace + Mini Initial Charm on Rope Chain
Shown: in gold fill + in sterling silver, on gold fill rope chain. 
Want a different mantra? Start with our  and go from there!

Every Mile Necklace + Name Rectangle Charm on Satellite Chain
Shown: + , both gold fill, on gold fill satellite chain. Prefer to wear some wishes? Replace the Every Mile Necklace with a !

Love Note Rectangle Necklace + 13.1 Charm on Rope Chain
Shown: in sterling silver + (1/2") in gold fill, on sterling silver rope chain. Need a different distance? Use a or instead! 

Large Monogram Necklace + Sorority Rectangle Charm on Satellite Chain
Shown: (3/4") + , both gold fill, on gold fill satellite chain. Not a sister? Not a problem! The classic Monogram makes an equally powerful statement paired with a or !

The possibilities are endless - Names, Monograms, Race Distances, Mantras, Custom Wishes, Love Notes, and more! Shop the to build your own ESD necklace now!

November 6, 2013

"Do Something Good" Custom Name Ring Giveaway: Winner

Nearly two weeks ago Erica launched the "Do Something Good" Custom Name Ring Giveaway.

Entering was simple: do something positive and tell the ESD team about it. Here are just a few of the entries:

"Took a shuttle from the marathon expo back to grand central and helped a blind woman carefully get off the bus."
"Helped a fellow runner who had taken a tumble on the road by cleaning her wounds with my amiphipod water bottle."
"Brought pumpkins in for each kid at PreK this am."
"Babysat my friend's newborn so she could get of the house and take a yoga class."
  
Well, we have a winner! Congratulations Tracy Schwartz (). Tracy, contact us at custserv@ericasaradesigns.com by 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, November 13 to claim your ring!

Thanks to all who entered, and keep spreading the #GoodKarma!

November 4, 2013

Giveaway! Custom Engraved Sterling Silver Keyring

You ran your race and conquered the streets... that earns you the keys the city, right? Well then you'll probably need a keyring to hold them.
The New York City Marathon was an exciting time for Erica Sara Designs. Not only did Erica personally design custom pieces for the marathon's elite field, but the ESD team was out in full force Sunday, cheering along the course.

To celebrate what's proving to be a fierce fall race season, Erica is doing a giveaway! Enter to win one of her newest pieces - the .  This pretty awesome solid sterling silver keyring can be engraved with the race name and date of your choice. For a personal touch, the back may be engraved with a special message, making it an ideal gift for both men and women!

Ladies and gentlemen - because this giveaway suits you both - entering is easy.

To enter, you must do BOTH of the following:
  1. Pin your favorite Erica Sara Designs "race medal" (i.e. favorite piece of ESD jewelry) to Pinterest and include a link to your pin in the blog post comment, required below.
  2. Share your favorite race experience with us as a comment to this post. Be sure to include your Pinterest link in the same comment!
To gain additional entries, you can do any (or all) of the following: 
  1. Like on Facebook. If you're already a fan, let us know in the comments.
  2. Follow on Twitter. If you already follow, let us know in the comments.
  3. Tweet a link to this giveaway by using the following text and hashtag: "I entered to win an #ericasaradesigns Custom Marathon Dogtag Keyring! You can too by entering here: http://www.esddaydreams.com/2013/11/giveaway-custom-engraved-sterling.html #ESDkeyring"
  4. Share the Facebook post announcing this giveaway on your own Facebook timeline.
Entries are limited to U.S. shipping only. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, November 10th, and will have one week to contact us at custserv@ericasaradesigns.com to claim the keyring. If we do not hear from the selected winner by Sunday, November 17 at 11:59 EST, a new winner will be selected.

November 3, 2013

The Elite Gift, New York City Marathon 2013

It's November 3rd, 2013 and it's my favorite day of the year: the New York City Marathon!!!  A year ago, I started my 365 day countdown to NYCM and expected that when I woke up this morning, it would be to head to Staten Island to conquer the 26.2 miles through the 5 boroughs. But life had a plan of it's own and here I am in a hotel room, waiting to watch the women take off and then head to the park to cheer. In my post about why I'm not racing this year, I allude to several big projects, dreams come true, but didn't specify... well one such project was designing and engraving the gifts given to the elite athletes for NYCM.

Here they are, the gifts that NYRR commissioned me to design. For the men, a Sterling Silver Key Ring. For the women, a Sterling Silver necklace. The opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn't be prouder. Over the weekend, I've seen images of these amazing and inspiring athletes wearing my hard work and I still can't believe it. I'm honored and grateful.
Wishing the best of luck to everyone racing this morning. I'm honored to cheer you on and hope you have the race of your dreams!!!
Over here
Jelena Prokopcuka wearing her ESD! Photo courtesy of Robert Reese

November 1, 2013

Theodora's Inspiration: Never Give Up


Let's face it: your inspirations fuel our creativity. The personal mantras that keep you determined and focused keep us equally motivated! Our is a celebration of these strong words, and behind them are stories to be shared.

Meet , fitness blogger, social media strategist, and runner. She's proof you don't need to be an Olympian to pursue big goals. In 2009, Theodora decided to change her life. She documented her journey to a healthier lifestyle on her blog, .

As she lost 50 pounds, she gained a loyal following. Theodora shared her transformation, step-by-step, while promoting a balanced lifestyle. "What you will find are realistic ways to stay healthy on the go and that, hey, it's okay to indulge once in a while."

Hers is a story to which many people can relate. And, so is her mantra: "Never Give Up." Theodora's not only changed her life, but continuously makes her dreams a reality. She began running several years ago as a form of cardio, but it quickly became much more. She's since run countless races, and will be adding marathon number four to her list of accomplishments this Sunday!

Join us in wishing Theodora well as she runs the on November 3!

No matter your goal, there's a mantra to keep you driven. What does yours say?