Monday, March 12, 2012

Trying Out a New Look...Again!

Got bored of my old template so I thought I'd try a new one. There are a few things I have to fix seeing as how a few things are lost...but I hope you like it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Need to Keep Motivated!

As I type this, I can hear the rain/sleet pounding the windows and pavement outside and I am NOT looking forward to my workout tomorrow. I am supposed to have my first speed type of workout and I am hoping that I can get on my regular trail to run on. My workout tomorrow is a tempo workout -- I have to do a 1 mile warmup, 3 miles at near 5K race pace, and then a 1 mile cool down. I do NOT want to do those on a track -- how boring! My trail may be closed though due to flooding. We had tons of snow the past few weeks which just melted and now it's raining. :-( We'll see. So that is discouragement #1.

Discouragement #2: I went running the other day with one of my coworkers. She is actually the one who encouraged me to run the half marathon. Yesterday was the first day I ran with her. I was huffing and puffing to keep up with her, but she was just cruising right along as if she were walking in the park. Then, after pushing to finish the 3 miles, I am thinking, "Whoooo, I am pooped!" But then she says, "Well, that was a good warmup. I'm off to my workout now!" Say what?! That WAS my workout! Oh well. I do have to remember -- she has been running way longer than me. I'll get there someday...right?!

Discouragement #3: Boo hoo, it's so cold! The other day, I told my husband that I think I actually like running in the cold than in the heat. In the winter, you can always add layers to get warmer, but in the summer, when it's hot, there is not much you can do to cool down. While I still do agree, I am so tired of the cold! The past few runs, the cold wind was so fierce, my eyes were watering like crazy after just 2 minutes and my nose was running like a faucet! Not fun! What's even worse (or maybe it's better) is that my face is so numb, most of the time, I can't even feel it so my face is just all gross by the time I'm done. Maybe that explains the strange looks I get from fellow runners/walkers on the path?

Okay, okay...I'll put the violin away. Whining will get me nowhere. Instead, I will try to psych myself up... I will run tomorrow and I run as hard as possible. Why? Because I can!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes

I've been trying a lot of cupcake recipes trying to find a few that I really like. A lot of girls on the Nest Forums were raving about these coconut cupcakes so I had to try them. You can get the original recipe HERE. As you'll see, it's an Ina recipe from her Food Network show, Barefoot Contessa. In traditional Ina-fashion, these are not figure-friendly cupcakes -- I mean 6 sticks of butter between the cupcakes and frosting -- HELLO! But then again, I don't have that expectation for any cupcakes! Cupcakes are meant to be enjoyed, so go for it!

Overall, the recipe was pretty easy to put together. The only suggestions I would make are these:

-In the recipe it says to fill the cupcake liner all the way to the top. As they baked though, my cupcakes rose a little more than I would like and the tops were all touching each other. Next time, I would just fill the liners to 3/4 the way or close to the top.
-By shear accident, I didn't buy enough cream cheese for the frosting. I was only able to make half the recipe. It ended up being plenty for all the cupcakes though! I even still had a little left.

I thought these cupcakes were pretty tasty. I like the almond flavor in them. I don't know that I would say there was a huge coconut presence though. I mean, the only thing that made them coconut cupcakes is that fact that I folded in some shredded coconut into the batter and also sprinkled some on top. Take that one element away, and it's just a regular cupcake (but still very yummy.) I wonder if I could kick these up a notch and do kind of a pina colada twist. Maybe add some Malibu rum to the batter (coconut flavored!) Maybe I could use some crushed pinapple in the batter or put some in the frosting... Maybe I could even use some pinapple juice in the frosting... Hmmm, all things I'll have to try someday. Until then, I've got a lot of cupcakes to eat!

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Emotional Roller Coaster!

Yesterday I wrote about how I was bummed about not being able to go on that field trip. Well today I found out that there were other teachers axed from the field trip list too. It's still a bummer, but I was at least happy that I wasn't the only one cut.

On a positive note, my school had a book fair this week with all sorts of prizes and drawings. I ended up winning one of the drawings and got FREE iPod Shuffle! Super cool, huh?! I didn't even know about the contest much less that I had a chance of winning. What an awesome surprise!

To add to my emotional roller coaster, tomorrow is my first race back. I am pretty calm about it, but I'm sure I'll get nervous tonight and especially nervous tomorrow. And to top that off, I am dreadfully sick! I no longer feel congested that much, but my throat feels terrible and I have completely lost my voice! I am worried about how my throat will feel tomorrow. It's already constantly dry, what am I going to do for my race?! I'll be drinking LOTS of water/tea from now until then! I hope I feel better tomorrow morning than I did this morning too. I was at school feeling all groggy and even dizzy! Luckily that didn't last long. I feel fine now except for the throat thing. The funny thing was, I was going to ask on this one message board for running for advice on whether or not I should even try to race considering my cold. That reminded me of a post I saw a few weeks ago that had me LOL! The topic was something like, "The Most Asked Questions" and here was someone's sarcastic, but hilariously true response:

I woke up this morning and was bleeding out of my eyes and all of my hair fell out. As I was walking to the bathroom, I noticed that my left foot was missing and must have fallen off in my sleep. Then I tripped over the lung I coughed up the night before and broke both arms in seventeen places. Plus I have a cold. Should I run in my 5k race today?

I decided not to bother asking! Of all the symptoms listed, I only have the last one. I think I'll be safe! Wish me luck! :-)

Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?

Well, we are sitting here at the LAX airport, so it seems as though I have some time to write. So here are the details of our adventure so far.

It started on Friday, my birthday! My husband made breakfast for me, then immediately wanted me to guess where we were going for our secret destination vacation. He wouldn’t make it easy though. He put down a piece of paper in front of me and told me I had to win a game of Hangman if I wanted the vacation. The first word had 3 letters which I assumed was the word THE, so my first guess was a T. My DH started drawing the head on my hangman. Oh No! I then started thinking of Wheel of Fortune. Another popular letter on the show was always R, so I made that my second guess. DH started drawing the body. NOOOOO! I better make some better guesses! Next I guessed S. That gave me just one letter in the second word, but enough to figure out that word must be ISLAND. I guess the consonants first and was still puzzled, but as soon as I guessed the I, I figured out that we were headed to the Big Island of Hawaii! I started screaming and jumping up and down, literally! Then my husband said that he had a gift for me which goes with our vacation destination. The gift box he gave me was very small and clearly a jewelry box, so this puzzled me. When a finally tore open the paper and lifted the lid on the velvet box, I found a charm bead inside. The bead was in the shape of a pineapple. My DH explained that he wanted me to have this pineapple bead so that every time I looked down at my bead bracelet, I would remember our vacation together, how much he worked and will always work to make me happy, and to remember how much he loves me. I totally didn’t expect it but, I started to cry! It was just so sweet! I think I’ll definitely keep DH around!

Well, after a day of furious cleaning and packing we finally have started our travels. I wish I could say we had an uneventful arrival, but I’d be lying. One flight got delayed by 4 ½ hours, we got switched to another flight instead, and are now sitting around for an unexpected 4 hour layover. By the time all is said and done, we will have been traveling 21 hours! AHHH! We are trying to keep up good spirits though. After all, by the time we do get there, we will so not care about all this! We’ll just be glad to be there soaking up the tropical rays in sipping on some Mai-tais. I can’t wait!