Saturday, February 28, 2015

Baking Shenanigans 2015...

So far, this year has been insanely busy on the baking front. I did have a few weeks in January to recover from the holidays, but I still got to bake up some pretty fun stuff.

  1. First birthday cookies in pink and gold.
  2. 6th birthday bowling themed cookies.
  3. Norman North semi formal invite cookies.
  4. Frozen themed birthday cake.
  5. Frozen themed birthday cookies.
  6. Matilda Jane open house cookies.
  7. German chocolate cake for my fabulous father-in-law.
  8. Birthday cookies for two of my favorite kids' mimi.
  9. 60th birthday golf themed cookies.

  1. Birthday cupcakes cookies with polka dots.
  2. Personalized valentines cookies.
  3. Thank you cookies for nurses.
  4. Burger cupcakes and love cookies for Josh's cousin Jennifer's wedding shower.
  5. More birthday cupcakes with polka dots.
  6. Elephant baby shower cookies.
  7. Valentine cookies!
  8. Wedding shower cookies.
  9. Grey and yellow chevron birthday cupcake cookies.

  1. Fire truck themed 3rd birthday cookies.
  2. 50 Shades of Grey birthday sugar cookies.
  3. Winnie the Pooh birthday sugar cookies.
  4. My favorite Frozen sugar cookies so far.
  5. Ninjago birthday cookies for my nephew Haden, and Japanese cookies that say Paige for my niece's 16th birthday.
  6. Cookies I donated for a local church.
  7. Cookies for my friend Kristy who headed to Arizona for a marathon.
  8. Wedding shower cookies, love the white on white.
  9. My biggest order to date, cookies for the OU College of Arts & Science's gala.
This is not everything that has been happening this year, but it's a lot of it. It hasn't been too easy keeping up with all of it, but it has sure been fun making goodies. I am glad to have a few days to catch my breath and catch up on my DVR and get a little blogging done. I promised my girls that I would make them some chocolate chip cookies this weekend. They have been feeling a little neglected lately.

I am looking forward to what is coming up for March. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

How About Some Goals…

So I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think they are silly and people don’t stick to them. I think if you want to do something you should set goals. Small steps in the right direction are more apt to get you where you want to go than a New Year’s Resolution.

I have considered my goals for the year, but I thought I would focus more on monthly goals for now.
Here’s what I have come up with so far, they cover a range of shenanigans.
  • On the running front, how about I start running again? My total of 9 whole miles run in December might seem impressive, but I’m ready to start hitting the streets again. So far, so good. I am focusing on running because it’s fun, not because I have to. Two Saturday’s in a row of 5 miles a piece, a hill workout, and even a not so terrible treadmill workout so far. I’d say I’m off to a pretty good start.
  • Running naked. Yep, for the entire month of January my goal is to run sans Garmin. I do not want to worry about pace AT ALL for at least one month. (I will reassess this goal for February when February gets here.) This is not to say that I am not keeping track of my miles, but I know most of the routes we run so I can keep track of my distance but not care about how fast I get from the start to the finish.
  • As for meal planning, I plan to do it. December was especially hectic with all the baking, and I feel like we were always scrambling for what we were going to have for dinner. Now we talk about it, or we have for the last two weeks, and we have a list of dinner options on the fridge and the girls get to pick.
  • January has been much less busy on the baking front, but my goal for this month is marketing, marketing, marketing. I’ve baked up a couple of batches of cookies to take to my favorite salon for passing out. Valentine’s day is right around the corner!
  • I also plan to get more organized with my business. (Set up my LLC, and open a business account.) There I sais it, so I have to do it. I have the forms for the LLC in my in box, just have to do it.
  • I am so excited that I actually bought a new, to me, fancy camera last week. It’s a Nikon D3000, and my first goal with it is to learn how to use it. I signed up for a photography class, and since I missed the first class last week I am going to night for the make up class. Should be interesting.
  • Finally, my last goal for January is to get more yoga back in my life. When I PR’d the marathon, almost two years ago, I was practicing yoga pretty regularly. In fact, all I was doing at that time was running and yoga. No strength or anything. After the horrible miles of 2014, I realized that the thing that was missing for almost the entire year was yoga. I am working on getting back to my mat. It’s good for me and I really enjoy it. It’s practically a no brainer.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Running in 2015...

After three super busy days at my day job, and not much baking going on, I decided to try out a new recipe last night.

Dark chocolate shortbread cookies. I have wanted to make shortbread cookies forever and I finally got a chance to.  I found a recipe and gave it a try. I was very surprised that the recipe didn't call for eggs. I even googled it to make sure it hadn't been left off the recipe.  Nope, no eggs. I baked them, dipped them in semi sweet chocolate and added some sprinkles. Nothing says celebration like sprinkles. 

Josh and I bundled up, packed up some cookies and headed to Jerry and Tiffany's to run in the new year. It's officially a tradition, two years in a row. 

Worst selfie ever, but it was cold and we were out there. No wind though, so that was good. 

We took a shoefie after. We even got dog feet in the shot. Hunter ran in the new year with us. 

If you are going to take a shoefie, you must take a selfie too! Tiffany, Jerry, Patti, me and Josh. It was a great way to end 2014 and start 2015. Looking forward to the miles ahead. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Baking in 2014...

This has been a big year for me when it comes to baking. Back in January I was thinking that I would be done with baking, but then February rolled around and after an order for 100 Valentine sugar cookies it has just taken off from there. We have also learned what happens to Penny when she eats a dozen sugar cookies. She is okay for the first 24 hours, but after that it's gas and discomfort for Crazy Penny.

There was a little re-branding, with my new name and logo. It was not easy coming up with my new name, Sugar Shenanigans, I really feel like I have grown into my new name. (Plus I LOVE the word shenanigans.)

We have slowly turned out breakfast nook into my baking area.

I now own two Kitchen aid mixers.

I am the proud owner of a bun rack. Really, it makes me laugh every time I say it. I wonder if that will wear off.

These are just a few the Shenanigans of 2014...

  1. Olaf/Frozen cookies for Avery
  2. Sock Monkey cookies, I am sad I didn't make these for Carson when she was younger.
  3. Love and Dragon Flies for Dan & Judy's anniversary
  4. Ice Cream and Cupcakes
  5. Flowers, and the first cookies I sent in the mail.
  6. Ladybugs, Cows and love.
  7. Pokemon for my girls' birthday.
  8. Dr. Seuss cookies, I can't wait to make more of these.
  9. Peeps! Way better than actual Peeps, in my opinion.

  1. Superhero cookies for a 3-year-old's birthday
  2. More love cookies for an engagement party.
  3. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
  4. Angels and gold starts. I really love these angels.
  5. Arkansas cookies, I love the hog cookies. I made OU, OSU and WVU cookies too.
  6. Elf on a Shelf. My kids missed the whole elf on the shelf craze, and I was nervous about these cookies, but they turned out great.
  7. Thanksgiving. Love the turkeys made with flower cookie cutters.
  8. Music theme cookies.
  9. Pigeon cookies, my kids are too old for this character, but I hear the books are very popular. These cookies were a big hit with the kindergarten class.
There have also been a few cakes and cupcakes sprinkled in here and there.

German chocolate cake for my father-in-law's birthday. Seriously, I think I used up every dish in my kitchen with this one.

Dark chocolate nutella cake for my mother-in-law's birthday. (I see a theme developing here.)

I have tried out some new things this year. I aspire to make macaroons. I did make one batch and I think they turned out good.

I think the theme is chocolate and not in-laws.

It's been a year full of baking, and I hope that 2015 brings even more.

Goodbye 2014...

 There are just a few hours left of 2014, so what better time to be nostalgic about the year that has passed then now? No big plans for the evening, except a few extra teenagers, a little take out, and a midnight run planned for later.

There has been a lot of baking this year, but how about everything else?

There has been some running...

  1. Chicago Marathon, definitely a bucket list race, I got stung by a bee, and I'd like to do it again and run stronger.
  2. OKC Marathon, the last time I ever run the full in OKC, it was brutal.
  3. National Running Day, that day that I didn't actually do any running.
  4. Route 66 half marathon, the horrible half that turned into an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia
  5. Sooner State Games trail run, the day I seriously thought I was going to be last.
  6. Strides of March half marathon, my second fasted half ever, and the reason I decided to run the full at OKC. What was I thinking?
  7. Birthday running, I love birthday running with the girls.
  8. Walking the Turkey Day 5k, got Josh out of bed to walk that with me.
  9. Scorcher half marathon, the wettest race I've ever ran, and my last race in the 35-39 age group.

 And some other fun stuff...

  1. My 40th birthday, when my aunts and great aunt flew in to surprise us.
  2. Joshs's 41st birthday and one of those times he did a shot of tequila on his birthday.
  3. Rochelle's birthday celebrating at Blu.
  4. The girls' birthday at the Melting Pot in Dallas
  5. Food basket deliveries for the Elks Lodge before Christmas.
  6. The tailgate after the crappy OU game Josh and I went to.
  7. The Daddy Daughter dance, only one year left...
  8. Spring break in Branson, or that time we tried to go to Silver Dollar City and it freaking snowed.
  9. Birthday celebrating for Sarah and Rochelle.
By the numbers:
  • 1,047 total miles
  • 7 100+ mile months
  • 2 marathons
  • 3 half marathons
I think I ran my most miles in a month in October with 147 total miles, and my least amount of miles this December when I logged only 9 miles. That is quite a drastic change. Two marathons in one year is a lot. 

I am looking forward to a fresh start that the new year brings. Time to get back on track, set some new goals and decide what comes next. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Not So Much Running…

By the time I got home from the Tulsa half marathon three weeks ago I was completely worn out. I took a nap, which I try to never do on Sundays, and I was still tired. When The Walking Dead was on later that night I had a cough and could barely stay awake long enough to see one of my favorite shows.

Monday rolled around and I called my doctor and got in to see him Monday afternoon. The diagnosis? Upper respiratory infection. Armed with a z-pak, prednisone and cough medicine with codeine I was on my way. Thinking I would be feeling better in a day or two.

I knew that I was in no mood for running. I had decided during the half marathon that I was going to take a little break. I was worn out and not having fun and really needed a little break.

Thanksgiving was a couple of days later, which meant the Turkey Day 5k. I had so much fun at this race last year. I was bummed that I was not going to feel up to running, so I talked Josh into signing up and going for a 3 mile walk with me.

The weather was wonderful!
He’s smiling even though I made him get up early.
Rochelle stopped by after her 8+ mile run to walk a few blocks with us.
There was a Tim sighting at the OK Runner water stop!

It was a great day, I just love seeing friends out at local races. While I was sad to not run that day I still wasn’t really missing running, my motivation was about zero. That’s fine though, with my hacking cough I thought it best to take it easy.

The following Thursday, I met Rochelle and Patti for a nice easy 4.5 mile run from my house. I was fine when we were moving but whenever we stopped I would again start hacking. It had been a week and a half since I had been to the doctor and I still had a cough, felt tired, and just didn’t feel like myself. I stuck to other non-running workouts and lots of baking until last Tuesday.

I called my doctor and told him I still wasn’t feeling better. He called in another antibiotic for me, which was filled by my pharmacy about the exact time Josh got home from work and swinging by Target to pick up more cough drops and Mucinex. Nothing better than a husband that will turn right around and drive across town again to pick up your meds.

The antibiotic was one I had never heard of and I could tell after just a few minutes that it wasn’t going to work for me. My tongue, ears and face started getting very itchy and while I tried to convince myself that maybe I was imagining it after a little bit of it not going away I had to take two Benadryl and turn myself into a walking zombie for the rest of the evening.

I again called my doctor and went to see him last Wednesday. Turns out my upper respiratory infection had turned into Bronchial Pneumonia. No wonder I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I left armed with another antibiotic and an inhaler. I even took a sick day last Thursday. I spend the day catching up with The Newsroom on HBO just in time to see the last episode of the series air last night.
It’s been three weeks since I started to not feel well, and how do I feel now? Not fabulous. I have gone through more tissues than I can count. (I actually ran out at work today.) I am completely sick of coughing until I feel like I might throw up, I am tired of feeling like I can’t take a deep breath, and

I am so tired of feeling tired.

And I am starting to be bummed about my lack of running. After three weeks off I am going to have to get back into shape before I can run with any of my group. It’s so frustrating.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Route 66 Half Marathon…

It has been crazy busy the last three weeks! That paired with the fact that I feel like I have had the plague the entire time it has been hard to keep up with everything.

I ran the half marathon in Tulsa again this year. I love this race, it’s the fifth time for me to run it, and even though I was didn’t feel prepared to run a strong half this year I still registered for it. I have been less trained in the past and it’s been fine. Spoiler alert! It was a very hard day for me. Probably the hardest of all the previous years.

We got lucky and it was not 19 degrees this time, there was no ice storm two days before the race, and it was not raining. My luck pretty much ran out.

There were pictures before the race, but they seem to have happened on someone else’s camera and I have not managed to get them.

My goal was the same as last year, just run by how I feel and go with it. No goal times or pace. I’m really not sure what happened but it was just so hard to keep running. There were many walk breaks and there was a side stitch that nagged me in the second half. I just felt tired. I had done an almost 11 mile run the week before the race and felt fine, not great, but almost good, so I had been confident I could go run 13.1.

I was again plagued by guilt at knowing everyone else was waiting for me at the finish line. I really need to get over that, but it’s hard when you feel like your forward progress is slower than a snail’s pace. I did keep moving forward, and if there is one positive from the day it is that I didn’t quit.
They changed the route AGAIN this year. This is one of my favorite races, but seriously they need to pick a route and stick with it. I enjoy the six miles of hills at the start of the race, but in the past you always know that it’s going to level out when you get by the river. Not this year. It was like they wanted to have as many hills as possible, and they managed to get in a lot.

I must say that the little out and back on the bridge once after running by the river before you headed into downtown was probably my least favorite part of the whole race. It seemed so pointless and stupid and I am not a big fan of turning completely around like that in the middle of a race unless it’s an out and back and you know it’s half way and you get to go back the same way you came. Might just be me, but it’s hard on my legs/knees/feet.

Anyway, the finish was the same place it was last year, and while I like that you don’t have to worry about taking a bus back to the start to get in your car, I kind of miss the finish in Veteran’s Park. It just seems so crowded when we finish downtown.

I finished up, running my slowest half marathon to date and found my super speedy friends for finish line pictures.
Tiffany, me Sarah, Lauren, Rochelle, Lauren and Kara.

Aside from the actual running it was a great weekend. We got to hang out with the in-laws and celebrate Josh’s birthday with Mexican food on Friday night.
Some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten, and the guacamole was amazing.

And they gave Josh a shot of tequila for his birthday.

We drove home after the race and by Sunday evening I knew that I was getting sick, I just didn’t know that I would still be sick three weeks later. But more on that later.