Monday, February 28, 2011

Duck Duck Goose = 13 miles in 3 hours

As I mentioned on my facebook last week, I somehow injured my thigh just two days before the Surfside Half Marathon, for which I was registered and STOKED to run!  How did I injure it, you ask?  Well, I actually hurt it twice - both times, playing with a five-year-old.  I'm still not sure what happened, exactly, but all I know is the searing pain that struck my leg on Friday afternoon as I jumped up to be the "goose."  Talk about making you feel old!

I traveled down to my friend Ben's house in Houston Friday night and couldn't even lift my leg at that point.  I had to pick it up with my hands in order to get out of the car! Crazy.  I took some Nighttime Recovery and fell asleep as soon as I got there.

Saturday morning started so early!  I woke about 5:30 and was disappointed to learn that my leg was still hurt.  It wasn't as bad as Friday, but I wasn't sure I would be able to run.  I decided to get dressed and go anyway.  Thankfully, Ben was driving down so I could rest my leg for a bit longer.

We got there and met up with our friends, Aaron and Ashley.  Ash was running the half, as well.  (She is a marathoner and is pretty much awesome.  I can only hope to be as skilled a runner as she is!)  Aaron and Ben got to hang out while we ran and take care of A&A's baby, Lexi.  She is a doll! :)

I was surprised that my leg held up pretty well during the run.  For the first eight miles, I ran (slowly) for the most part because stopping to walk hurt more than running.  After eight miles, though, it kinda hurt no matter what I did!  At that point, I decided just finishing was good enough for me, so there was a lot of walking going on!

About half a mile from the finish, I spotted Ben walking over by the water.  I caught up to him and he ran with me until the end.  It was so nice to have that sort of support at the end.  After 12.5 miles, my body was definitely over it!  He ran ahead at the end to take a few pics.  My total time was 2:57:31 which is terribly slow.  I am trying not to complain, though, because I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish at all!

(Side note - I think I am going to require that Ben accompany me on all future races.  He also met me at the 4 mile water stop and handed me a Spark! :) That was awesome!)

I will definitely plan on doing Surfside again.  Running on the beach was so great!  The miles seem a bit longer, but the atmosphere is worth it.  Beautiful beach and lovely breeze... ahhh... it was great!  I think I'd like to try to full next year, though.  We'll see. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Jacket - At Last (it's OLD... can't remember where it came from!)
T-shirt - Gap
Jeans - CK
Shoes - WalMart
Bracelet thingy - made by me from scrap material

(Hi Bricky-poo over in the corner!)

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Irving Church of Christ hosted an event this weekend for teenagers called "Impact Weekend."  It's the 3rd time we've done it and this one was the best yet!  We started the weekend off on Friday night by watching the movie "To Save A Life."  If you haven't seen this movie, go get it NOW!
It's one of those things that makes you want to be a better person.  Good stuff.

I was a group leader, so I spent Friday night through Sunday morning with five awesome girls!  We had studies and discussions about situations we saw in the movie (things that teens face) and how the Bible tells us to respond.  There were 6 groups in all.  It sounds so cliche' to say this, but I feel like I got more out of the discussions and studying the Bible than the teens did.
Throughout the weekend, there were lots of games, laughs, tears, jokes, friendships, and sleep deprivation.  I wish that everyone could have that experience!

We wrapped up the weekend by attending church at Irving this morning.  The day started with a baptism of one of the teens (which is always great!) and worship was amazing!  Isn't it great to be with other believers and feel like Christ is right there with you?
I know it sounds a bit charismatic, but it's not that I felt like Christ was with us.
I felt Christ with us.  

After church, I got to eat lunch and talk to two friends that I love and respect so much!  Ya know those friendships that allow you to have real conversations?  Yeah... it was that.  And they are awesome and I wish their families could have come, too!  

Considering that I had 9 cumulative hours of sleep since 7 a.m. on Friday to Sunday afternoon, I came home and took a three hour nap.
It was lovely. :)

So, that's a very summed up version of my AMAZING weekend!
I already can't wait for Impact 2012!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday (and it was really Wednesday!)

This is my "I'm nannying all day and don't need to get all dolled up" look. :)

Sweater - Mossimo/Target
T-shirt - Mossimo/Target
Jeans - CK
Shoes - Walmart
Hair ties disguised as bracelets - Walmart :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stitched Valentines

As I mentioned on Tifany's blog, I love stitched paper!  Something about it just makes me so happy. :)  With that in mind, I made a few Valentine's notecards.  They are pretty plain, but they're cute enough that you can embellish or leave them plain!

Making the cards is really easy, but I'll give you some tips to make the process smooth.

First, you need a notecard (I used 4x6 cardstock), embroidery thread and a needle.

I usually freehand my design, but if you are not confident in your artistic abilities, just grab a cookie cutter and trace this bad boy out!  For this card, I just wanted a simple heart.

Don't try to be perfect.  I think imperfection makes them cuter. :)

Next, you just want to use your needle to make holes all along the outline you just drew.  You can space the holes fairly close together, just keep in mind that you make the hole bigger as you pull the thread through it, so if the holes are too close, that can be a problem.  It wouldn't be a bad idea to practice first (on a scrap piece of cardstock) and play with different spacing.

Now, you want to thread your needle.  Make sure to put a knot in the end to keep it in place!  Start by pulling the needle up through the back so you don't see the knot.  We'll be doing a back-stitch all the way around the design.  If you don't know what a back-stitch is, it's super easy!  Just pull the needle up through the first hole and then back down through the next one.  Like so:

Then back up through the 3rd hole.

And back down through the second, making a solid stitch.  Then, up through the fourth hole and repeat.

Then just continue until you have completed your outline!  Here's my finished heart:

I decided it was a little too plain for my taste, so I added another heart inside.  When you're finished, you just adhere it to a notecard of the same size, or on top of a tent card.

Here are some that I've finished:

Have fun!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

My first What I Wore Wednesday post, and I'm cheating.  This was Tuesday!  But, considering that we were iced in yet again today, I am still in my PJ's so you won't be seeing a picture of that! :)

*top to bottom*
Headband - made by me
Earrings - Avenue (they have cute, BIG jewelry!)
scarf - made by me
long-sleeve shirt - Target
jacket - A.M.I. (hand-me-down)
Blingin' ring - Avenue
pants - Ann Taylor Loft
The big mess that is my room - definitely made by me! :P

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cakin' - Bejeweled Blitz style

My best friend, Rachel, recently turned 25 and we went to dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday.  I wanted to make a fun cake for her and finally decided on Bejeweled Blitz - a facebook game that we both play!  Since lots of people ask me just HOW I make my cakes, I thought I would show the process!

First, I almost always use a cake mix.  People always tell me how amazingly delicious my cakes are, so why bother making them from scratch?  Also, I don't have to wonder how they will turn out because everything is so consistent.  My favorite brand is Betty Crocker and I love the French and Golden Vanilla the best.  Yummm

You might not be able to tell in this picture, but I always line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.  If you don't do this, DO IT!  I made cakes for a year or two before I realized how wonderful this step is!  Now I never have a cake stuck in the pan!

Also contributing to my non-stick success is THIS stuff.  I spray the sides of the pan with Bak-klene and this stuff is wonderful!  You can pick it up at Williams-Sonoma, but I'm sure other retailers carry it, as well.

Also from Williams-Sonoma (am I commercial for them today or what?), this spatula is great!  I guess you call it a spatula?  I'm not sure.  ANYWAY, the reason I love it is because it fits into all the openings of the KitchenAid beater attachment (seen below).  It also has a curved handle so that you can scrape down the sides of the bowl without lifting the arm of the mixer.  How genius is that?!?!

Mmm... cake batter...

Next, I started making fondant pieces for the top of the cake.  This was way more time consuming than I had planned!  It was fun, though.  I did it by making grids in the fondant, painstakingly measured to 3/4 inch squares, then shaped according to the game gems.

Here you can see the grid I was talking about! 

After that was done, I started stacking and icing the cake.  Yummmm, look at all that buttercream.  Oops, forgot to get pics of making the buttercream!  I usually make a non-butter version - 1 cup of crisco mixed with 1 tsp of vanilla, add 4 cups of powdered sugar a cup at a time, then about 5 TBL of milk.  I don't measure the milk anymore, just pour until it is the consistency I want.  It's also good with 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract.

You know how you can sometimes see the seam between cake layers, slightly sticking out farther than the rest of the cake?  The way to avoid this is to smoosh.  Yup, stack them up and smoosh them down with your hand.  If icing oozes out the sides, you can just run a knife around the cake the scrape off the excess.

Next, I iced the cake. You don't have to worry about making it perfectly smooth because the next step is smoothing it using the paper towel method.

In order to smooth the buttercream, you have to wait until it "crusts."  Crusting just means that the outside surfaces slightly harden to the point that you can touch it and it won't come off on your hand.  Most websites will tell you 10 minutes, but it seems to take a bit longer for me.  I usually find something else to do for about half an hour at least.  After it crusts, get a VIVA paper towel.  The reason you need that brand is because it is the only brand that doesn't quilt.  If you want a quilted pattern on your icing, than by all means, use whatever brand you want. :)  I love Viva, though!  Just rub your hand over the cake in a circular motion.  Make sure you pick up the paper towel and move it around frequently to make sure nothing is sticking.

After it was all smooth, I started assembling the board.  I was afraid that I would make an inaccurate board, so I played the game a few times so I could get some good screen shots.  (Side note, in the end it doesn't matter because no one even looked close enough to make sure the board was playable! haha)

Here is the board, finally assembled.  Now on to the details!

I added a simple border around all the straight edges and also added the time bar that tells you how many seconds you have left in the game.  Since it was her 25th birthday, I made it look like she only had 25 seconds left.  I thought that was fun. :)  Here is the finished product!

Sorry my pics are so bad.  My next "want" is a good camera!! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

All blogged down with all these great blogs!

I have spent the majority of my day discovering blogs.  It's like a never-ending process because I find a blog I love and then notice all the blogs they love, so I go to those and see all the blogs that THEY love.  Whew!  I think I had about 50 tabs open in one session.  

 in the midst of my discovering, I came across Simply Handmade by Paige.  I dig this girl's style!  Also, she is having a GIVEAWAY for a gift certificate towards a bag made by Aubrey Plays.  The bags are simply adorable!  If you have a minute or two - check them out!  Even if I don't win this giveaway, I'm pretty sure I will be toting one of these bags pretty soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pleated scarf tutorialish type thing

Before I get started, you must know that I am copy-catting from a great blog that I love, Make it and Love it. I saw this scarf tutorial months ago and am just now getting around to trying it myself.  Because, let's face it, I'm a procrastinator but being snowed in for four days really gives me no excuse!  So... here we go!

I found a little bit of black knit in one of mom's closets (she has gobs of fabric!) and thought it would be great for this project.  It's heavier than I like, but I didn't want to spend the money to buy fabric for such a simple project.  

Cut strips that are 7 inches wide.  No idea what the ending length of mine were because I was rushing through that process a bit and just cut until I ran out of fabric.  I would guess that the completed strip of fabric was about 12 ft long.  (Which turned out being a bit long, so keep that in mind if trying it for yourself!)  I had to piece several together, so that's why I don't know for sure.

Next, start pinning pleats.  I just eye-balled it.  The pleats in this picture are closer together than what I ended up doing.  I'll explain the bloopers at the end. :)

And keep pinning until you get really bored with it, cause then you're almost done!  Or, turn on Family Feud and pleat while you watch a whole episode.  Man, that Steve Harvey cracks me up!  Oh, oh yeah... anyway, keep pleating.

Now it's time to sew!  Yay!  You'll want to sew a border about 1/4 inch in from the edge, all the way around.  Be careful, though.  The pleats get tricky when you're sewing down one side, so you'll have to move slow.  Or, if you're smarter than I am, you'll just sew from the other side so it's a bit easier.  Then, stitch another seam about 1/4 inch towards the center from the previous seam.  I got smart on that one and went one direction for both seams!  Much, much easier.

And here's the finished product!  The only way to wear it (I think) is doubled up and and tucked in, as shown.  If I hadn't made it so long, I think you could probably wear it a few other ways.  Cute, huh?  Please ignore what I'm wearing.  I've been snowed in for four days and threw on a jacket to make this halfway presentable. Oh, also.  I need to clean my bathroom mirror pretty badly.  I'll get right on that.

So the original post from Make it and Love it said to use a thin fabric and double it up.  I did that at first.  Problem 1: the fabric was too thick so it wouldn't drape right.  Problem 2:  I did little pleats and that used up a lot of fabric while making it really bulky.  Problem 3:  I would have had a scarf that measured about 36 inches long.  So, I just used a single layer of fabric.  There are a couple seams that aren't hidden well, so if you're looking for them you can find them, but it's busy enough that it wouldn't be noticeable.

Okay, there ya go.  Let me know if you make it, too!  It was easy and I think it's super cute!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My current problem. Okay, one of them.

Although I bought the storage bins with the pink lids thinking they were the cutest ones available, I hate seeing them every time I walk in my room.

I thought that this lovely Waverly fabric would come to the rescue! I bought it years ago to make a curtain and then decided it was too busy to cover that much space.

I have toyed with a few different ideas and I think making an extra-long bedskirt (since my bed is extra high off the floor) is the best choice... I think. Before I start all this sewing, though, I'd like some opinions. Does this look like too much?

Whaddya think? Need to see more of the room? Is this just TOO much? Any other ideas? I'd love some advice!