Monday, September 27, 2010

Half-Marathon Training: 9 weeeks to go

Oh, yikes. Single digits now!

This past week, my training was supposed to be 2 27 min runs and 8 miles on Sat. I had to skip the Tuesday run (oh darn) because the Husband was out of town and #1 was out of school, so I had no way to get it done! We still have a single jogger, but we sold the double one. On Thursday, I was able to get my run in after dropping off #1 at school. It was kind of hot, and #2 is so heavy, it was not easy pushing him in the jogger even for just 27 minutes. Needless to say, I walked alot.

Saturday, I got up a the buttcrackofdawn again, and set out on my planned route taking me in a big loop around some surrounding neighborhoods. I printed out a small version of my map to bring with me, because I got a little lost last time. Just for the record, streets named Portway, Portview, and Portman should NOT be allowed to intersect. I mean really. And wouldn't you know, I got fricken' lost AGAIN this time! I mean, not lost as in "I have no idea where I am", just lost as in "this is not the street I'm supposed to be on." I'm so tired of streets changing their names from one end of the other! Jeez. If I was more organized, I'd drive my route the day before. But who has time for that! All this just to avoid making a billion laps in my little 1-mile-loop neighborhood.

Even after all that, I still made really good time. I've only run 8 miles once before, and I beat that time by 6 minutes. I think that's mostly because before I wasn't all the way recovered from my ankle issue.

And then guess what I got to do after my run??

Momma's got some new shoes!!

I finally got me some "Big Girl" running shoes. We drove to the nearest running store (about 45 min from here) and I had a friendly sales associate look at me walking and running, and do some wierd squats and stuff so he could look at my knees and arches,etc, and helped me find some shoes that will be good for me. I also got some arch supports and different socks to try that will hopefully help with all the blistering I've been having. I can't wait to try them out on Tuesday! They are Mizuno brand, not one I've heard of, but that' ok. I trust them! I also had to get a pouch thingy for my nike+ sensor since I don't have Nike+ shoes anymore. I also don't love the colors, but, I guess it's more important to have good shoes than pink shoes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tour of the Big XII cake series, Week 4 (Kansas State)

This weekend the Aggies are off, and we have a Thursday game next week. On the "off" weekends or days we play non-conference games gives me a chance to do the logos of the teams we aren't playing this year (like last week).

This week is Kansas State!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Project Halloween, Day 5 (IT'S DONE!)

Well, things are finally coming together. I can't show many pics of today's work, because it's all in the details!! Here's a sneak peak. I'm basically cutting out lots of pieces of contrasting material, then cutting them some more, and going crazy with the glue gun. I'm not sure if that will make the costume "non-machine-washable", but that's ok. I made the decision, after I got started with the glue gun, that I'm so not sewing a bajillion little pieces on!

Later on today, after making a run to get some more glue sticks, I was able to FINISH!! I glued the rest of the pieces on, and tacked on the thing that goes on top of the hood. There goes my resolve not to hand-sew anything. I was gonna use velcro, but it wouldn't get all sides. So I just stitched a little around the corners of it so it would stay down. A few other stitches here and there, and wah-la! Finito!

Since I beat my goal of having it done by the end of this weekend (the 2-week mark), maybe I'll take off until Monday to start the second costume. Maybe.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Project Halloween, Day 4

Today was spent making the mittens and shoe covers. I'm not sure whether these mittens will stay on for more than 2 seconds, and I was on the fence about even making them, but I did anyway. I had to add elastic to these, just like the sleeves. This is the only pic I can show today!

I also made the "thing" that's going on top of the hood. It looks pretty good, considering I made it from scraps I had laying around!

Next...the dreaded details. I have no idea how I'm gonna do it....time to transform from orange blob to "the thing"! Wish me luck!!

p.s.....Even though this is "Day 4", it's been about a week and a half since I started. But I don't get to work on it every day..sometimes just a little in the afternoon or evening! So these "days" are what I got done during that time period.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Project Halloween, Day 3

Day 3 was spent sewing the front and back together. Now can hang it on a hangar! And it looks like an outfit! Yay!

Then I started adding the elastic. Oh, and I had to try it on the boy it's going on and measure how much to take up on the sleeves and legs. THAT was really cute. I wish I had gotten a pic. Then I sewed casings for the elastic and fed it through.

eeeee! It's sooo cute!!

Then I made the hood that goes with it. This is the part that needs the most work, since I have to create something to go on top of it that will "be" the thing that the costume represents. Plus, I have to add the detailing all over the costume. Making this jumpsuit is the easy part, I think. The detail will be the time consuming part. The part I don't have a pattern for.

(I cut off the top of the hood pic so you cant see what's up there!)

So, what's left? I have to add velcro to the hood, make the mittens and shoe covers, then start on the detailed stuff. I am undecided if I will completely finish the first one before starting the second one, or should I go right along and get the second jumpsuit done and do all the detailing together?? I dunno.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Half-Marathon Training: 10 weeeks to go

This week of "training" was much better than last week. Both my short runs during the week last week were 25 minutes and I set new mile time records for myself. In recent records, anyway. The weather is much nicer at 6am (lately, around 60 degrees) which helps me tremendously. My long run was postponed until Sunday because the Husband had his 5k that's he's been training for on Sat. He did great! The weather was beautiful and we were there at the finish line to cheer him on!
My long run this week was 7 miles. Not a record distance for me, yet, I've run that distance twice before. But I got up at the crack of dawn and got done before it got too hot. It went really well, or as well as running that long can be. My pace was right up there with the best times I've had for long distances and wasn't on my death bed when I was done. I actually felt pretty good! It's runs like that that make me think I can actually do a Half-Marathon. The only down side is, my knees have been killing me since a few hours after I got back. Not exactly sure why. Hopefully, next weekend I'll be going to a "running" store and getting some new shoes. They can run with you and analyze your stride and run and help you pick out a pair of shoes that are the best for you. I'm prepping myself to have to spend more on shoes than I normally do at Academy, but I know it will be worth it. The ones I have now are ok, when I picked them out last year for running I had no idea just how much I'd be running. "They" say your running shoes are good for 300-500 miles. After this past week, I have 283 on mine. I noticed this after my 10k last week....
mmmmm....that can't be good. I've never worn a pair of shoes out like this in my life! I'm hoping when I get new shoes it will fix all the problems I'm having and my knee issues won't be just because I have old lady joints. I also should probably be doing cross training or some kind of strength training on my off days, but I just don't have time...and I'm lazy.

Project Halloween, Day 2

Okay, enough procrastinating. Time to start sewing. I sewed the front 2 panels together. Easy enough. Then I had to put the zipper in. It wasn't exactly rocket science, but it took me way longer than it probably should have, partly because I may or may not have sewn over the teeth of the zipper on one side and had to rip it out and start over. I am so not sewing on the side of the panel where I can't see the zipper on the next one. I don't care what the instructions say. Then the two front sleeve halfs on.

(Sorry about the swiffer in the pic...I guess I coulda cropped that out...)

Except, there's something on the back that needs to be stuffed before sewing into the back. Hmm, the pattern instructions did NOT say that I need fiber fill (it's like the cottony stuff that goes in pillows). Dammit. I can't continue on this roll with out this step. I am so not in the mood to drive 30 min to the sewing store to get some. Then, my wonderful genius of a husband suggested, "Don't we have an old pillow you can use?" HELLO! Why didn't I think of that. I was only thinking on the smaller scale, toss pillows. I totally forgot about the huge box of sham stuffer pillows we have in the guest room that aren't being used right now. I'm sure I will find a willing subject.

Oh, Hey there big guy. How you doin?

Let me have a little looksie under the hood. You weren't needin' that stuffin', were you? Didn't think so. Thanks a bunch.

So I was able to get the back part stuffed and sewn in the back panels. (I'll add more pics later after the "reveal". I don't want to totally give it away!) So now I have 2 complete pieces with sleeves, front and back. Just have to sew them together.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Project Halloween, Day 1

I finally took the dive and started on the costumes. Well, one of them.

First things first: read the instructions. Read them again. And again. Check, check, check.
Next: lay out sheets upon sheets of pattern pieces on microscopically thin tissue paper and cut them out. Time: 45 min.

Third: lay out pieces exactly as mapped out in instructions so as to maximize your fabric. Except, mine was wider than the pic, even though I had 60" fabric and used that guideline. So I had a little leeway.

2.5 hours in, I have a billion oddly shaped pieces of fabric and tissue paper. Yes, 2.5 hours of cutting out stuff. I don't know how long it's supposed to take you, but that's my time. At least I can skip that step for the next costume since I'm using the same pattern. That's good for today.

And? Happy 3 month Blog-iversary to me! I finally qualify to have my blog listed on the most awesome place to find other "mommy" blogs...I can't believe I only found it recently!! Yall can vote for me once a day. The more you vote, the higher my blog moves up in rank and the more people can see me!! Yay and Thanks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tour of the Big XII cake series, Week 3 (Colorado)

This week on the Tour of the Big XII is University of Colorado. I know, they may be leaving the conference soon, but they're still in it now! The Aggies play Florida International or something. It's not on tv. Shocking. At least the Cowboys game is on...oh's blacked out for the Titans game. Whatev. Looks like we will be packing up the fam and heading to our local wing establishment to try to see at least some of it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Candy Corn Cupcakes

The other day, I had an idea. Wouldn't Candy Corn Frosting be awesome? I did a little research online and couldn't find anything about it. So, I opened up shop in my kitchen and did it myself! No one better steal this and become a millionaire! Anyone is welcome to try them just be sure you let people know where you saw it! :)

The cupcakes were pretty straight forward. Make white cake batter, divide into 3 parts, and tint 2 of them yellow and orange. I just spooned a little of each color into the paper cups. Next time I'll have to try something different to keep the layers of color straight in there. The top layer of white kind of sunk down in there.

When you bite in...magic!

(Pardon the pic, it was taken with my iPhone inbetween bites)

I used candy corn with some leftover homeade buttercream I already had "laying" around. It's pretty straightforward. Have buttercream, add candy. The end.

(seriously. who just has tubs of homeade icing all over the place? Me, that's who.)

Hmmmm, what other kinds of candy can I make cupcakes out of??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My OTHER new project...

Monday morning, I went to one of my favorite stores, Joann Fabric. If you've never been to one, stop what you are doing and go now. I'll wait.

Not only do they have the best selection of baking stuff of all the "craft" stores here, and it's very well lit and cheery, and the Ladies that work there are awesome, but they have everykind of sewing thing you could ever need. Usually I'm in there looking at baking stuff, but not this time. Boo. I had to get the fabric and other accoutrement that I need to make the boys Halloween costumes. I am going out on a limb and assuming I'll be able to do this. I mean, I can sew a pillowcase and a bag, how hard can it be? I've never sewn anything from a pattern before, but I remember seeing my mom do it alot when I was young. That counts, right? Also, to make things even more complicated, there's not an exact pattern for the costumes I want to make. Which means, I have to find something as similar as I can, and along with pictures from the internet, I have to wing it a little. Okay, alot. But, these costumes cost over $100 together, if you can find them, and I spent $48 on the fabric and all the other stuff. The fleece material was %50 off. (well, isn't it always?). Zippers, elastic, thread, velcro, and some other stuff I don't really know what it's for. The ladies at Joann are so helpful (have I mentioned how much I love that store?) and you would think they would be totally laughing at me as I was asking them to help me find everything I need, but they weren't. They were very reassuring! I think there's about 6 weeks or so until Halloween...I really should have gotten started on this 2 weeks ago, but honestly, I've been avoiding it a little! Now I have no excuse!

So, any guesses on what the costumes will be???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tour of the Big XII cake series, Week 2 (bye) (Dallas Cowboys)

This week is a "bye" on the Tour of the Big XII Cake Series. (Hey, I'm makin the schedule!) But I just wanted to post this graphic, which contains the logos I will (hopefully) be making. Since several schools have more than one logo, I figured these are the most "official" ones!

Anyhoodles, since this week is a bye and coincidentially the opening week of pro football, I decided I'd make the Cowboys logo. This one didn't turn out that good because I totally did it in a hurry and didn't get a chance to get it up here because I was so busy with the other cake! But I did get it done before the game, not that it helped them any.....sheesh.

Oh, by the way, the Aggies did win our game against Louisiana Tech, 48-16. WHOOP! 2-0!

Half-Marathon Training: 11 Weeks to Go

This past week, after taking a few days off after my 10k, I "officially" started my half-marathon training. It was a short week, only one short run and the long run. My short run Thursday was 23 minutes, and boy, I was still feeling the 10k. I don't remember being that sore last year! Saturday was my long run, 6 miles. I was so busy last week I was super tired, and when I checked the weather it looked like it would be only about 75 degrees by 9am, which is when I was planning on going. Usually I have been getting up at the buttcrackofdawn for my long runs, to get them in and be done mostly before the sun comes up, since I really seem to struggle with the heat. I'm really looking forward to the fall when I can go later in the morning when it cools off.

I don't know what the person who wrote the info for the weather channel app was smokin', but dang. It got hot. QUICK. It was 85 with heat index of 90 when I got back. (Which made me feel better about not handling the heat. I was still thinking it was 75 and I was just a wuss.) After the first 3 miles I was cooked! I walked a ton the 4th and 5th mile. And then I caught my foot on a twig at mile 5 and twisted my ankle a little. Luckily, it was my other ankle. I'm not gonna lie, I dropped a couple curse words. And luckily, it doesn't seem as bad as last time. I about threw in the towel after 5, but I figured I could at least walk the last mile so I could still get my distance in.

So, I got my distance covered, but that's it. UGH. I am not running again at 9am until NOVEMBER.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's here! 13 year-old birthday cake!

I've been looking forward to this one for all 4 weeks since I was asked to do it! This was for one of our neighbor's daughters who was having a sleepover party. Remember those days?? Sigh.

She wanted alot of things on it and was worried it would be too much. That's one of the things that I love about doing this. It's my job to find a way to incorporate all the things someone wants in a way that looks beautiful and makes them feel special!

The bottom tier has 4 animals on it; 2 bunnies, 1 piggy, and 1 doggie. These she wanted to represent past cakes her daughter has had. Teal blue is her favorite color.

She also loves flowers and they wanted daises on there. I decided to play with one of my new fondant tools I got from my Wilton class for the bow.

It is super cool. It has all these interchangeable parts that let you cut out ribbons of fondant with crinkly or wavy edges. There's also "embosser" parts that imprint a pattern on the edges. I LOVES IT!!

I used my marshmallow fondant for the bow. I have been testing the limits of it lately to see exactly what I can and can't use it for in addition to just covering cakes. Turns out, it doesn't dry quite hard enough to use for bows like this. I broke like 4 loops putting it together. ugh. At least I had enough to make the bow she wanted to be the topper. I threw in a few extra gumpaste flowers I had to give it a little extra oomph.

I feel like I'm saying this alot lately but this is one of my favorite cakes I've made!

What's in Your Pantry?

My friend Katie is (ok, well, was 2 days ago) having a "What's in Your Pantry" link-up-blog thing. This is my first time joing one of these! Ok, so, I'm like 3 days late. But here goes!
Could there be any less space in there? For someone who does alot of cooking, this is a tiny pantry.

Door shot:

I do what I call "shopping ahead" at one of the grocery stores here. They are too expensive to shop at all the time, but about a year ago I started doing a little homework and realized that the coupons in the Sunday paper usually add up with their "Buy one get one free" sales. I wind up paying 1/3 of what it would normally cost at Walmart. So I spend about 20% of our weekly grocery bill there and wind up getting 3x the amount of groceries as what I actually paid for. Hence, the 8 bottles of cooking spray. Also note the ginormo bottle of vanilla extract. Sams!

Top Half:

The top shelf is my "baking stuff". And yes, we do like marshmallows, but those bags are to make fondant with. Bottom: cans, etc. Note the "healthy" pasta and peanut butter. We're trying, people.

Bottom half:

More "shopping ahead" (fruit cups), more ginormo bags of powdered sugar (Sams! I use it for fondant and frosting). Chips, cereal, ziplocs. All necessities! Also, there's about 15 boxes of cake mix in there just above the powdered sugar you can't really see.

This isn't really part of my pantry but I think it's funny. We have a fridge outside in the garage and the bottom drawer has become my "fondant drawer" . Any time I make a batch, I tint the whole batch because it's so much easier, so I am developing quite the rainbow!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Race Day Wrap Up-10k

Yesterday was my 10k. The weather was AH-mazing, it was like 50 degrees at the start. I don't remember what the temp was last year, but it was hot! I was super nervous waiting in the porta-potty (um, gross, I know) line that was moving soooooo sloooooowly that I wouldn't make it in time! I had about 7 minutes to spare! So I didn't have much time to "warm-up", not like I do much anyway. (yes, I took a few pics while I was running. No, I didn't stop to take them. As a result, I got some criz-azy pics. iPhone camera+action shot=weird fish-eye effect! This is one of the hills. It is WAY steeper in real life)

The first 3 miles were PURE TORTURE. The course is so hilly. Like, straight up and down like a rollercoaster. Like, there are no straight parts, just up and down steep hills. The course was the same as last year, but I so don't remember it being that bad. Last year at this time, we lived in a different neighborhood that was almost as hilly, which I thought helped me in the race, being used to it. (Well, as used to hills as you can get. They are tough) The second 3 miles were much flatter. But I felt like it took me 4 miles to get in my "groove", when normally it only takes me 2. I would much rather have those hills at the end when I am warmed up instead of smacking me in the face right at the beginning!

(And then there was this guy. He kept starting and stopping, and as a result, he passed me like Four times. I was like, Can you please stop passing me?)

In spite of all the hills, I pretty much kept on pace with where I wanted to be. My ultimate goal was to break 60 minutes, which I now know is impossible for me on that course. My main goal is always to beat my previous time. Last year, it was 1:03:10. I starting thinking about halfway that it was pretty sure not gonna happen. (Also, I was thinking, This course was NOT this bad last year and How the hell am I going to do a half marathon. What was I thinking??) I was cooked after 3 miles of those hills. Then, when it straightened out, I started thinking maybe it was a possibility. But dang yall, I was tired.

I tried to book it as much as I could, and when I got about .7 miles from the finish I speeded it up. I stone-cold-sprinted that last half-mile. I was so focused I didn't even see my family. I was totally checking my watch. I was at like 1:00. When I crossed the finish, I could barely breathe. Or move.

I checked my watch. It said (or so I thought) 1:03:07.


I beat it by 3 seconds. Sweet. I did a Tiger Woods-style fist pump and heaved my foot on to the stool to get my chip cut off. After I found the fam I spend about 30 minutes feeling great about the fact that I beat my time by 3 seconds.


Once I could see straight again, I noticed my watch said 1:03:17. NOT 1:03:07.


Over last year's time by 7 seconds. But surprisingly, I'm not beating myself up about it as much as I thought I would. I still did it and finished. I guess it says something about how much further along I am over last year because I ran at the same pace not training with hills.

So, I didn't accomplish either one of my goals. But I'm okay with that. One reason? I finally have a pic of me running that I don't HATE. All the ones anyone has ever taken of me is always at the end and I feel like I look ridiculous. Even when I started trying to smile and wave. I look weird. But this time, Husband got a good one. Superficial? Yes. Am I okay with that? YES.

So here you go, in case you were wondering what I looked like, sort of...

(The funny thing is, I don't think this pic looks anything like me!)

If and when I finish my half-marathon and I'm not on the stretcher, maybe I'll show my face...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Game Day Wrap Up, Week 1.


  • We had a great day NOT watching the Aggie game. We're lucky to get any Big XII games here in TN, and Aggie games are rarer. But we did listen to it on Aggie 96 through the Husband's iPhone radio app. Dave South, people!! Obviously it was my Aggie cake that propelled us to beat Stephen F. Austin.
  • I made a crap-ton of food, meant for us to graze on throughout the weekend. Salsa, Queso (I'm trying to perfect a copy of restaurant queso, which is more involved than throwing Rotel and Velveeta together in the microwave. Good thing I have many willing taste-testers), 7-layer dip, potato skins, and of course our Aggie Cake. And leftover fajitas. It would have been even better had I not realized at 5pm Saturday that we were almost out of Tortilla chips. I swear we had another bag in the pantry.
  • Saturday was beautiful, the high was like 78!! Ack! I so hope this is not a weather tease. We had the windows open All. Day. Long.
  • Dinner was going along swimmingly when, after he was done, #2 started complaining about his stomach hurting (in a cute, wimpery 2.5yo way) and crawled up on Husband's lap. Not wanting to be left out, #1 was on his way up there too. You know where this is heading, people. About 30 seconds later, #2 promptly unloaded his dinner all over the 3 of them in an explosive way that was truly not necessary. I, the lone one who escaped, jumped up.


  • I ordered the 3 of them to strip down and head for the tub upstairs so I could clean up. The husband got the boys bathed while I threw the clothes in the washer and scrubbed the rug. Four times. And I got most of it out. go me.
  • After we got the boys down, we spent the evening NOT enjoying any of the rest of the food I made or drinking any of the trough of wine we had in the fridge, but rather staring at whatever game we were watching and trying not to lose our own dinner. And me issuing a stern warning to the universe that I better not get sick, I have my 10k in one day.
  • Luckily, today everyone is feeling better. WHEW. Sometimes kids just eat too fast. Especially #2. We escaped a bullet. Better enough that MY husband ran FOUR MILES today after graciously letting me sleep until TEN AM. It was glorious, people. And I am soooo proud of him. As soon as I finish typing this, I'm going downstairs to bury myself in the 7layer dip, pie-eating style. We did get more chips, but maybe I don't need them after all. I do need to carb-load for tomorrow, right?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tour of the Big XII: Are You Ready For Some Football??? (Texas A&M)

Yippeeeee!! It's finally here!! College Football!! It's about time, already. Sheesh. We are always so ready for football come August. I'm planning tons of food for tomorrow for our big celebration Gig'em!

This year, for some reason, I decided I was going to do a "Tour of the Big XII". choo choo!!!! (honestly, one of my twitter buddies in FL recently made a cake with the the Florida Gators logo on it out of fondant and that's what got me cookin on it!!) Each week, I'm going to rotate through all (yes, all) the schools' logos. I may even fit in a couple pro logos in too if I have time. The cakes are going to be pretty small, just a single layer 6" round. That way I don't bake my way into the poor house and also we don't all weigh 500 lbs come December. Some I'll keep, and some I'll send to work with my husband. (Yall aren't gettin this one, sorry!!) I'm doing it mostly to practice doing different designs, covering with fondant, and just overall practice. The husband keeps asking me, "WHY are you doing this again?" Why not?

The first stop on the Tour??

The maroon fondant didn't quite come out the color I wanted, and you don't even want to know how much dye I had to put in to get it this color. Some colors tend to darken after a day or so, and this one seems to be doing just that. I had also planned to put it on a white background, but I remembered all this extra chocolate marshmallow fondant I had and decided to use that. I think it still looks ok! I did have some weird crackage/dry edges on my letters after I cut them out, I think because all the gel dye made the fondant so sticky and I was trying to add powdered sugar to even out the consistency of it and maybe I added too much? I don't know. Still learning!

Also, check out this awesome Football-shaped pan I got. You can not only use it for cakes but for bread too! I can't wait to use it. Is there anything cooler than that football-shaped party sandwich? I think not!! If it wasn't rainy today I would so be makin' that. Maybe next week.