Saturday, March 30, 2013

Another Birthday...

Last night we got to celebrate another birthday with my friend Kendra. I won't divulge her age, but it was a pretty big milestone birthday.

Kendra and I at the Fall Classic Duathlon in 2010

The party was at her house, the last time we had a birthday party at her house it was quite a bit crazier. It was great to have an evening just relaxing with friends.

Of course there were pictures...

Kim, me and Rochelle


Rochelle, Kendra, Kim, me and Erin
Somewhere there is a picture of us, without Rochelle, at the last party. I am very sad I couldn't find it.
We weren't out too late, but it was late enough to learn a valuable lesson. You should not fuel your Saturday morning run with chips, salsa, wheat thins and cheese dip. Hydrating with wine would also not be recommended.
This morning it was hills, brutal , spirit killing hills. Okay, that is a tad exagerated, but it was hard. I would love to know how you calculate the amount of exertion on 8 hill miles and convert it to the amount of exertion for a flatter longer run.
In all it was 8 miles in 1:12, so the overall pace was not horrible. My splits reflected the fact that I was dying. Sub 9 paces in the first half lead to a few walk breaks in the second half. It was nice to not feel pressured to run any farther then 8. I was very happy when I got home at 8:30.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Book Club...

I saw the March Book Club on Peanut Butter Finger's blog and I was excited to get in on it. I don't think the book was the one that I voted for {I honestly can't remember which one I voted for} and I don't think it is a book that I would have ever picked up. I have to say that it is another book in a long line of books that I have ready lately that I have loved.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I said before how much I loved this book, that was before I read the end and I cried my eyes out through the entire last chapter.

So let's talk about the book.

The narrator, Hazel, is a 16 year old three year stage IV cancer survivor, she meets Augustus at a cancer support group. He is a cancer surviror who lost his leg to the disease. Yes, they are teenagers and yes, they fall in love. Hazel is reluctant to get close to Augustus because she learns his last girlfriend, also a cancer patient, did not survive her disease.

You have to know going in that this book is going to deal with death, and you know that these two teenagers are going to fall in love, but the book was so much more than that. I love that it dealt with Hazel's feelings about what her parents, especially her mother's, live was beause of her and her cancer. She worried about what her parents lives were going to become when she was gone. She felt guilty, for this horrible disease, and how it had shaped and would continue to shape the lives of her parents after she is gone. It was this guilt that initially kept her distant from Augustus.

What a burden it is for her to know that she will ultimately cause so much grief and saddness for the people she cares about. Hazel worried that she was her mother's whole life, and at some point she will be gone.

I liked that they had a pre-funeral, because ultimately shouldn't we be able to tell the people we care about exactly what their live has meand to us? I think most people have considered what would happen after they die. Not from the whole if there is a heaven perspective, but what happens to all of the people we leave behind. Is it what we leave behind that marks the life we lived? For Hazel it is her parents and the life they will have inspite of, and as a result of, her life and her death.

I liked the parallels with the novel that was discussed throughout the book. It didn't really have an ending, and this book didn't really feel like it had an ending either. There really isn't an ending for Hazel and her parents. It almost makes me want to write a letter to the author to see if he will tell me what happens to them. For most books I think I would be bothered by that, but for this book I am strangely accepting of it.

In all, this was a very good book.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIAW, Sprouts and a Scary Yoga Class...

It was very exciting in Norman today.

The Sprouts Farmers Market opened today. It was Christmas in March.

I decided to swing by after my scary yoga glass this evening. It was scary based only on the fact that the guy that owns the yoga studio teaches the level 1 class on Wednesday nights. I have never taken any of his classes before, I am quite intimidated by him. I was in need of a little inner peace today so I decided to suck it up and just go.

It was a very good class. The pace was quite a bit quicker than the other level 1 classes I have been taking, and instead of focusing more on the individual poses we went through more poses. It was different, but very good.

So, after yoga, I swung by Sprouts to check it out. This is where some of my WIAW comes from.

I even got some greens that were not my favorite roasted broccoli and Brussels Sprouts.

I was a little disappointed that they didn't have a salad bar, why can't they be more like Whole Foods? Since a salad sounded good and I was not wanting to actually do any chopping I picked up a pre-made one. It was yummy.

I also picked this up. When we get those holiday popcorn tins at Christmas, my favorite part is the caramel ad cheddar cheese. You must combine the two next time you have the opportunity. You won't be sorry.

I only mention these because the packagine is green, but I have had one of these the past few days. Milk chocolate with a white chocolate filling inside these truffles are the perfect combination. I did manage to only eat one a day instead of eating all three at once.

The pink lady apples I bought recently have been amazing. Not a mushy apple in the bunch.

Finally, I will end with my half chocolate, half regular mini sized Frosted Mini Wheats. With a banana an almond milk it makes a delicious breakfast. The bowl in this particular picture held the last of the almond milk and it was not near enough almond milk for me. I should really pay closer attention when I am making my grocery list.

Stay tuned, I did do some baking this week. I will share soon.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Baby Shower Cupcakes...

I love when I have the opportunity to bake for my friends. My friend Patti was hosting a baby shower and I volunteered to make some mini cupcakes for her.

I woke up early on Friday morning and decided to get to baking. White cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes were on the menu.

I don't know what it is about mini cupcakes, but I just love them. They are so stinking cute. I made half batches of both flavors and it was enough to make three dozen of each.

Saturday, after my run, I made vanilla buttercream frosting for the white cupcakes. They got pink sprinkles on top, because the baby is a girl.

What else can you put on red velvet cupcakes but cream cheese frosting. I just couldn't put pink sprinkles on these very red minis, so they went sprinkle-less.

It feels good to be baking again. I have some more baking to do this week, I'll leave that for later.


A Run and a Birthday Party...

I was up bright and early yesterday morning and ready for a nice long run. I slept horribly Friday night and woke up long before my alarm went off at 6:15 am. I feel like that is the story of my life.

I was excited to try out my second pair of Ravenna 4s.

I actually have a pair of Injinji socks to match this pair.

I wasn't sure how many miles I was going to shoot for, I just thought I would go out and see how far my legs wanted to take me. I was pretty happy with how it all went.

No problems with my ankle, and 11.18 miles in 1:42 minutes. It was drizzly the entire time, and the roads were a little slick, and it was windy at time, but you know this is Oklahoma. We ran towards the flats, but took a little different route that we got a bit lost on, but it was good.

Honestly, my legs felt horrible the rest of the day, and I have been pretty sore today. It was nice to get back out there though.

Last night we headed to Edmond for Hailey's birthday party. Pizza, cake, ice cream, cheese puffs and lots of kiddos.

And of course, Haden took some pictures of himself.

On the way home there was a bit of excitement on I-35 in Moore.

It's not too often you see a care fully engulfed in flames on the side of the road.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Stacy...

Today is my friend Stacy's birthday. I won't say how old she is today, but I will say that she is this close to a milestone birthday.

This picture is from ages ago, but I love it. It always reminds me that we so need to run another race together.

Since I was missing the birthday celebration tonight we made a date for last night. We, of course, saw a chickc flick.

We both read this Nicholas Sparks book and had been trying to find a chance to see the movie. We both decided that the movie was good, but the book was much better. They really changed quite a bit of the story for the movie, though the basics of the story were the same. Not the best movie I've ever seen, pretty predictable love story, but sometimes you go to a movie to just be entertained.

Afterwards, we went to Hollie's Flatiron Steakhouse for dinner.

I had never eaten there before, and I was pleasantly surprisd. We had Parmesan Garlic Steak Fries and a yummy spinach salad.

The salad was huge too.

The red tomatoes and the bowtie pasta really made this a very hearty salad, and I am not usually a fan of walnuts, but it all worked well together.

It was a great little girls' night out. I was reminded that the first birthday I celebrated with Stacy was back in 1998. Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago. My how we've changed. I look forward to many more birthdays to come.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whatcha Readin'...

On a blog I recently started following, there was a post where you could vote for a book for the March Book Club. I have never really been a part of a book club. Technically, in college as an English Lit major I paid alot of money to be a part of a book club that gave me a little piece of paper that said B.A. {bachelor of arts or Bad Ass, take your pick} on it when I finished.

That book club was much more expensive than this one.

So I voted on one of the books, and honestly I can't remember which book I voted for. I checked back and the winner was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I am very close to being done with the book, and all I can say is WOW! What an amazing book. I will do a longer post about the book when I am done. For now I would say, you must read this book. It'll make you laugh and cry. {Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. Name that Movie.}


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Navy Beans, Navy Beans, Meatloaf Sandwich...

Sloppy joe, slop sloppy joe...

Sorry I had an Adam Sandler moment there.

I decided to actually plan a meal today. I know, I am becoming a mom that cooks and bakes again, it's crazy.

There is nothing easier than making a crock pot of beans, and your house will smell so good when you get home. The hardest part is that you have to remember to soak the beans, so it does take a little bit of planning ahead.

I soaked the beans, and then threw them in the crock pot this morning with a container of vegetable broth, one onion and some garlic. Seriously, it could not be easier.

When I got home from work all I had to do was whip up a batch of cornbread to go with the beans. I have yet to find a recipe for cornbread that tastes better than Jiffy cornbread. In 20 minutes dinner was ready.

Yes, I put ketchup on my navy beans. What can I say? I have been eating them this way for as long as I can remember. I topped it all off with some cornbread.

Then I had to hve a solo piece of cornbread.

When I was a kid I remember my grandpa eating cornbread with syrup, I like to have mine with butter and honey.

Because I believe all meals should end in dessert, I will have one of these...



WIAW, S&B Burger...

I can't believe it's Wednesday again! How about another WIAW post?

They opened an S&B Burger Joint within walking distance of my office last year and I have been there for lunch a couple of times. I rarely leave the office for lunch, I prefer to eat my bring old hummus for lunch almost every day.

Anyway, they opened one in Norman where Coach's used to be so last night we decided to go there for dinner since Josh and the girls had never been there before.

We started off with their spicy cheese cubes with honey mustard that we ate so fast I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it. They were that good. Even Josh, who has sworn off dairy thought they were awesome. Carson gave them her thumbs up and that kid hates almost everything.

I went with the theta veggie burger, I got the slider. I love that they have the veggie burger option, and I am a big fan of the sliders, it's just enough for me.

I couldn't decide if i wanted french fries or sweet potato fries so I went with the 50/50. It was like the best of both worlds.

The girls both liked it which is a plus. It's nice to have another restaurant that everyone in the family can agree on.

After the girls and I saw The Hobbit at the dollar movie yesterday afteroon, we went by il Dolce for gelatto. Not sure why they call it the dollar movie when it costs $2.00 to get in. I guess the Two Dollar Movies doesn't have the same ring to it.

I went with the biscotti and chocolate. Yum.

I even got the girls to smile for a picture.

Oh happy day. I wish it could be spring break every day.

On the injury front, my sprained ankle seems to have healed quite nicely. I still have a little bruising, but no pain. It was slightly swollen by the timeI got home tonight, but I think that's just because I stayed off it for the last four days. I got a yoga class in yesterday morning and one tonight and had no trouble with it. I am sleeping in a compression sock still, just for peace of mind. I think I will be ready to give my new shoes a try on Thursday morning. That is if I can remind myself that I like to get up at the crack of dawn. I really need a more consistent schedule.


Monday, March 18, 2013

More Sugar Cookies...

After baking some Hostess Cupcake cookies on Friday there has been some serious cookie eating going on in the Craig house. It's a good thing I gave almost half of them to my favorite six-year-old gymnast because that meant that no one here ate those cookies. Even so we have gone through quite a few cookies in the last four days.

I decided to whip up a batch of my favorite sugar cookies this afternoon.

I wasn't feeling especially creatie, so I decided to just make circles.

I made the chocolate frosting that I used on the Hostess Cupcake cookies. I mae a little smaler batch.

Just under 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, and about 5 tablespoons of almond milk, mixed together. I used my stand mixer this time, mixing this by hand is not easy. I love how the frosting sets on the cookies. I tried to put a few sprinkles on them, but I didn't get them on the cookies before it hardened.

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but they are very good. Not too chocolatey that they wouldn't go great with a nice glass of dark chocolate almond milk.

You should come by and try one.


New Show Sunday and Wine Tasting...

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, but there was no green beer or even green clothes. There was a new show.

I had wanted to watch The Americans for a while, but I had never gotten the chance to. Sunday we finally got around to it.
As I have said before, I am a sucker for a new tv show, especially when new episodes of my regular shows slows down. I was a big fan of Brothers & Sisters and I love that Matthew Rhys is playing such a differnt character on this show. We have watched the first three episodes so far and I am really enjoying it.

I meet Rochelle and some other members of her mom'sclub at Blu for their wine tasting in th afternoon. We had done their wine tasting once last fall, and I was excited to go back a second time. The fact that I was off today helped. We drank wine and visited and took pictures.
I wasn't the only one that didn't show up in green, Anne didn't have any green on either.
Can you tell I got ready in about 15 minutes? Maybe I should watch less television and pay closer attention to when I am supposed to be somewhere. It's funny how you show up and meet someone that graduated the same year as you from your high school's biggest rival, and they know people that you know. Yeah, yeah, it is a small world.

I am sad my four day weekend is coming to an end. I don't want to go back to the real world.