Thursday, December 30, 2010

Corgi Secret Santas

We participated in two Corgi secret santa swaps this year! Clive from the Corgi-L email list hosts one each year. Our Santa sent us a package full of goodies for both of us humans and the Corgi! Sully got a crinkly stuffed dragon and a rubber frog with a LONG tongue. Thanks Maureen!

We also participated in Kelly's Corgi Butts Secret Santa! Our Secret Santa, Cassie, sent us an awesome item from our wishlist! She sent us a copy of Corgiville Christmas by Tasha Tudor! This made a great addition to our Corgi Christmas book collection, along with last the 2009 and 2010 copies of The Watching, which benefit Corgi-Aid (and make me tear up every time I read them!). Thanks Cassie!

We sent out recipients each a handmade Corgi towel along with other items specific to them. Our Corgi Butts santa-ee, Ivy and Bryson, got a copy of Natural Health for Cats and Dogs, and some handmade ties for Bryson to wear. You can see him sporting one here. Our Corgi-L partner got lots of treats to share because she has 16 dogs! 4 Cardigan Welsh Corgis, 7 greyhounds (she does rescue) and 5 others. Wowza!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post-Christmas Post

We had a really relaxing Christmas. We decided not to go anywhere this year and it was a good thing with all the snow and bad weather! On Christmas Eve we noticed my debit card number had been skimmed and someone had helped themselves to around $700 in Christmas goodies. Thankfully the bank was open Christmas Eve so we started the process to get that straightened out.

Better or worse than last Christmas, when we drove home from Wisconsin, at some bad Chinese food and I spent the evening puking and shivering? Better I think!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thanksgiving

I know everyone's thinking about Christmas now but I forgot to blog Thanksgiving!Here's this year's Turkey Trot outfit. Not quite as flamboyant as last year's but it was raining a cold drizzle and I didn't want to wear a soggy turkey hat in the icy chill. So I whipped up this little number with some fun foam!
Here's what I ate. I made Oh She Glows' Vegan Walnut Loaf and gravy and it was delicious! My family also put my in charge of green beans and cranberry salad.
Here we are at the table. All in all, a nice day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Win a cookbook

A fellow Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge participant is giving away a vegetarian cookbook! Go enter to win!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 24

I've come to realize that I am one of those people that they talk about in comic-strips, one of those people that they caricature with shiny brown goop all over their faces.
Glitter Graphics
Glitter Graphics from GlitterGeek.com
That's right, I'm a chocoholic! When playing the Game On! Diet, you get 100 calories free everyday to eat whatever you want. And mine is ALWAYS chocolate! M&Ms, little Dove miniatures, chocolate hazelnut spread, hot cocoa! I never realized it before but I guess I can't go a day without it! And I'm thankful for it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 19

Of COURSE I'm thankful it's Friday! And helpful coworkers (I do have a few!), my warm coat and gloves, oatmeal (where would I be without oatmeal?), and deodorant. And today I'd like you to share one thing you're thankful for at Appreciate It, where it will be added to the giant list!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Day of Thanks

Day 13: This brownie waffle recipe! And the most adorable "Five of Hearts" waffle iron my mom gave me recently when she was cleaning out for the move. This weekend I made a big batch of whole wheat-flax and brownie waffles to freeze. That way I can pull out a waffle, pop it in the toaster and have a quick breakfast!

Day 14: Long, fall walks with my Corgi! It's so peaceful to walk around the neighborhood at Corgi-speed, taking in the leaves and general fall atmosphere.

Day 15: Determination! I am starting a round of the Game On! Diet today and I am determined to make my goal and win my prize!! I have promised myself up to $100 in new running pants if I get 85% or more of the possible points. Anyone interested in joining me in a second round one these 4 weeks are over?

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 12

Today I am thankful for my mental health. Ever since our Disney vacation, I have been feeling very blah. I mustered up enough motivation to finish my 10K training but other things have been falling by the wayside. But I'm happy to say I have found renewed determination! I am grateful that my mind is in good working order, that I can function everyday at work and at home and that I've never had first-person experience with depression or other mental illness. I shouldn't waste a moment in a state of ennui.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 11

Today I am thankful for the gorgeous Indian summer weather! It was so nice to run a couple of errands at lunch. But I wished that I had more time to do some leaf raking!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 10 (Yes I skipped a few days. No worries, I was thankful on those days too. I just didn't blog it!)

Today I am really trying to be thankful for my job! I am not about to blog about things I don't like about my job, lest I not have it for much longer! But today my computer is driving me through the roof!!! A new one has been requested and should soon arrive at my desk. And for that, I am truly thankful!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hall Hanging

Inspired by a patchwork growth chart Jenn posted, I made this wall hanging for our back hallway. I was having trouble coming up with artwork for this wall because the light switch made anything I picked out hang too high! I made a large wall hanging and created a cutout for the light switch and voila! This is VERY crude but I like it that way. I didn't even bind the edges, I just zigzag stitched the edges so they are kind of raw. It's very make-do, wabi-sabi.

My first 10K!

This morning I ran my first 10K, the Rattlesnake Master 10K in Urbana. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and cool (40's) with just a touch of wind. I ran the whole thing at a nice even pace and finished in 1:05:32.

Mile 1- 10:08
Mile 2- 10:13
Mile 3- 10:38
Mile 4- 10:31
Mile 5- 10:44
Mile 6.2- 13:18

That last 1.2 miles was a tough one for me, up a slight hill into the wind and then onto a wooded trail to finish out the race. But I kept on and I'm happy with my time!

30 Days of Thanks Day 7
I am thankful for the strength and an able body to be able to experience the physical activities I've discovered I really enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 5:
I am thankful for the weekend! Too easy, I know, but I need a weekend! I am looking forward to this weekend being busy but fun. I started adult beginning ballet on Saturday so this weekend will be my third lesson! And Sunday I am running my very first 10K race!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Day 4:
HBBC Logo
Today I'm thankful for Amanda for hosting this wonderful winter motivation! Just what I need in the dark of winter to add a little pep to my steps!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

My Turtle Runner buddy Robin linked to Middle Name Marie's post about 30 Days of Thanks in November. I'm a couple of days behind but wanted to start anyway. So here are my first three days!

Day 1:
I am thankful that October is over. I know, I know! The days, weeks, months go by so fast that we should really celebrate each and every day. BUT October was a terrible month for me. I was sick the ENTIRE month with this cold, but as soon as the calendar flipped, the mucus started to recede. I don't even want to try and remember all the other bad things about October so I won't. It's November now!

Day 2:
I'm thankful for my heater! My parents just moved into a new house and their heater went out very early in the morning and it has been COLD here! What a disaster! I'm thankful that we had our new duct work done this spring and that it keeps my room toasty in the mornings! Helps me get out of bed and get my day started off right!

Day 3:
I have been missing our cat a lot since he passed away. I was lucky enough to hear a speaker last night at our Dog Training Club meeting about pet loss and I am thankful for all the people that understand and comfort those of us who suffer when we loose a pet. Pets are family members and nothing makes you feel worse than when someone belittles that and makes you feel stupid for grieving over "just an animal". Luckily, I haven't had many experiences like that this time around but when we lost our first guinea pig, I had a terrible boss who just could NOT understand why I was even upset and made me feel really horrible. I felt so thankful just being around all those people last night, knowing that they all had been there and that they understood and would NOT judge me for being this sad about a cat.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gold award

I earned my Presidential Champions Gold Award last week! Only 419,517 more points to my Platinum Award!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cookies

These are some of the cookies that we baked at our fall Drop In & Decorate event at work. We decorated over 200 cookies!
We also gathered and donated a grocery bag full of deodorant, which was their special request this time around.
This one if my favorite! Look at the adorable chocolate chip spider!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Have I told you lately?

I haven't mentioned it lately but I'm still running. I'm in week 6 of training for a 10K in November. Yesterday was my longest run in quite a while, 6 miles. It went perfectly, I maintained an even pace the entire time and ended knowing I could still do more.

This is the first step in getting ready for the Illinois Marathon next year, which I'm running with a relay team from work. This winter I'll probably relax a bit and then gear about in February or March with another round of this training schedule.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Santa's Visit

Can you believe that I, the writer of the SwapDex, had not been in ANY of Linda's A Swap for All Seasons Swaps. That is, until now! I joined the Countdown to Christmas Matchbox Swap, had a blast making my 25 matchboxes and mailed them in. Now I can't wait to get my Advent boxes and open one each day leading up to Christmas! Linda is hosting a Swap For All Seasons Santa Clause Blog-Along Giveaway and we were all asked to post a picture of Santa on our blogs.This is me in 1984, getting a HUGE present from Santa at the Kraft company Christmas Party. This is the year started turning brown, so even though my portraits from this year show a blond little girl, in this picture I am almost brunette. I can't remember what was in the box. But I do remember those purple shoes on my feet! And I vaguely remember having to go up some stairs to get my present from Santa on some sort of stage. And I remember the story on the back cover of that issue was about a man who bred Himalayan cats. It's weird what you remember.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Tote Swap

Halloween swaps are my most favorite swaps of all! (Runner-up is Valentine's day swaps)I got in on Aunt Pitty Pat's Halloween Tote Swap and received a wonderful package from Terry. The tote itself is this neat, plump bag, almost like a bucket or trug! And it was filled to the brim with goodies! Fat quarters and matching thread, a soap, a spiced tea, a notepad, some trim, a wonderful clutch bag, jellybeans, a scrubby shaped like a pumpkin, more fabric goodies and thinking ahead to Christmas, a Christmas bookmark! AND, let's not forget the wonderful wallhanging she made, all ready for my to finish however I please! Isn't it adorable?!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back from vacation!

Thank you, Fairy Godmother! We have been back from vacation for a few days now. It's back to work as usual now, though we both have colds so work is a little harder than usual! Disney was wonderful!

My favorite was the Magic Kingdom, I really loved Main Street USA, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the carousel! We had breakfast with Winnie the Pooh (and more importantly, Eeyore!), met Mary Poppins and Bert, and visited Minnie's house. I really liked the theming at Liberty Trre Tavern but the Liberty Tree Square Riverboat was WAY BORING!

Animal Kingdom was a close second, which is probably obvious by our choice of hotels: Animal Kingdom Lodge! There were zebra and giraffes and antelope right outside out room! But most of all I loved the Red River Hogs! They have the most adorable tufts of white hair on their ears!

On the safari at Animal Kingdom we got to see even more animals, elephants and lions, hippos, and rhinos, and baboons!

At Hollywood Studios I really liked the Toy Story Midway Mania ride and the Muppets 3-D show! It was fun to walk around but this park was not as great as the first two, definitely number 3 out of the 4.

Epcot really disappointed me. I thought as two adults without kids it would be the most fun! But all those countries are really just full of shops. We did enjoy the roller coaster in Norway but suffered through the Canada movie. Our dinner at the new La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico was quite delicious! But not enough to make up for their lack of fun attractions. Soarin' was ok, but not nearly as fun as some of the other things we did.

This is just a quick post. If you'd like to hear more about our Disney trip, let me know and I'll gladly write it up!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Counting down the days!

It's Friday! While I still have to work next Monday and Tuesday, I am counting down the days to our Disney vacation! I can't wait to eat at Jiko and Crystal Palace (and so many other great places like California Grill and O'hana!), get my picture taken with Chip and Dale, Alice in Wonderland and Piglet, Ride on Toy Story Midway Mania and maybe eek up the courage to ride something a little more thrilling! We leave in 6 days!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Goal Update for August

2010 Goals Update for August

1. DONE Complete the St. Jude’s relay and donate at least $300.

2. Keep track of all miles I run in 2010.

August mileage total=42.5 miles, 2010 total 247 miles

3. Donate 10 quilts/blankets to Project Linus.

8 completed and turned in. 2 completed and ready to turn in

4. Pay off our credit card. (Done once in 2010, new goal of September 2011.)

Paid another $1000 this month, should be paid off before Christmas!

5. DONE Earn the Silver Award in the President’s challenge.
DONE (4/29/2010)! I am 78% of the way to my Gold award!

6. DONE Enter 10 or more items in the county fair.
DONE! total of 17 entries!

7. Try something new like tap dancing, water aerobics or herding.

I start Adult Beginning Ballet this month!

DONE:Got certified in CPR/First Aid (July), learned to do a cartwheel, took herding lessons with Sully (April, May), tried water aerobics (January)

8. Grow only things I eat in the garden and eat what I grow.

Planted: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, leek, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, beets, snow peas, carrots, radishes, cucumber, edamame, zucchini, yellow summer squash.

Have eaten: carrots, spinach, radishes, spinach, lettuce, snow peas, yellow squash, cucumbers, blackberries, raspberries, basil, chives, thyme

9. Visit family more often and remember to send birthday cards.

10. Add I deep cleaning task each week to my cleaning schedule.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Christmas in August

OrganizedChristmas.com/It's nearly September, are you thinking about Christmas yet?? For the past two Christmases I have used plans from Organized Christmas and have not scrambled last-minute for gifts, worried about last-minute cleaning or scrounging for recipes to take to each event we have scheduled. It's all been pre-planned and smooth sailing for all the winter holidays!

Last year I used the Christmas Countdown and it worked really well. This year I'm doing the Houseworks Holiday Plan to focus more on keeping the house clean and organized over the winter so there isn't any huge spring cleaning to do. Next week is the beginning of the 18-week plan. Join me for Planning and Paperwork Week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Garden and other random pictures

I had a few random pictures hanging out on our camera. Not great pictures. But ones I had been meaning to share. Like this one of a new painting we bought! I love the lime green! It fits right in in our dining area.Check out the awesome Mario display that was at our grocery store!
And here is an up-to-the-minute picture (taken just a few minutes ago) of the garden. I wish I could get up high enough to take a picture of the whole thing!
It's been producing awesome tasty delights like these! Look at the shine on that eggplant!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Healthy Living Summit


After seeing everyone's great posts about the Healthy Living Summit, I wish I had acted fast and bought a ticket. But now thanks to Running with Cake, I can pretend I went because I won her giveaway for HLS swag bag goodies! I'm livin' it up with goodies from Oroweat, Friot Lay, Stoneyfield Farms, Subway, Attune, and more! Thanks, Jennifer!

Mahomet 5K


I was dreading this 5K because I still felt drained and a little demotivated by the relay experience. But I had friends that I knew would be that lessened the dread. It turned out to be great! My time was 31:07, one of my better times! I finished feeling like I could have done more....not MUCH more, but more! Then I gorged myself on cookies and fruit and crossed my fingers to win a Road ID door prize. But they never called my number! Despite that, I really enjoyed myself and this morning's run was a happy one again! I think I'm back to liking running. That funk didn't last long, only two weeks. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Corgi Jump Height

A big change in Corgi obedience! Effective January 1, 2011 Pembroke Welsh Corgis will be included on the 3/4 jump height list. Here the PDF of the AKC Minutes for August.

This means that instead of jumping 10 inches, Sully will only have to jump 8 inches, with a 16" broad jump! That's what he jumps in Rally so I am super-cool with that!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Updated links!

I updated my blogroll over there on the bottom left. <---- I had to weed out the blogs I no longer read and add the ones I've started following since....uh 2007 when that was probably last updated! Did you know that I had a 3rd Blogiversary on July 26?! I should probably have a giveaway or something! Anyway, reasons I stop reading/remove blogs:

No posts in the past 6 months (Except for my husband's blog, which never sees ANY action but which I continue to hold out hope for!)

They had a baby (call me anti-mom-blog if you want, but that's not something I'm interested in reading about)

My tastes have changed. I'm much less vintage cottage/shabby now. I'm much more retro/mid-century/clean design now. I don't like a lot of clutter!

Too many fattening recipes! You'll notice many more healthy eating blogs and many less indulgent baking blogs now.

If you ever get bored, spend a minute or two picking a few blogs from my blogroll and check them out! This is a favorite "coffee break" activity for me, I'll pick out two or three blogs from someone's blogroll and just browse for 10-15 minutes, since I don't drink coffee or smoke. I'm still entitles to a break!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Workout Music Swap



EDIT: This is now a playlist swap, NOT a CD swap.

Do you need some new Workout/running music? I'm always on the lookout for new recommendations so I'm hosting a Workout Music Swap!

Just create a playlist with at least 10 of your favorite upbeat workout favorites and send it to your two partners. You'll get back a playlist from two different people and hopefully find some new favorites! Sign up here. If you don't already have a swap-bot account, it's free and easy!

Sign-up by: September 3, 2010
Send your playlists by: September 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Relay Wrap-up

It's done! We started out at 8 pm Friday and made it to Peoria around 5 pm Saturday. In the spirit of being positive, I'll start with the good parts!

We raised a TON of money! I worked really hard finding creative ways to raise money without mass emails or letter writing and I managed to raise $437.77. Our team as a whole raised over $30,000, their largest contribution to date!

The running was awesome. I felt well-rested between each leg and never had any issues with my hip. It was really great to set a goal (10 miles) and meet it.

We had perfect weather. At night it got downright chilly! And during the day, it could have been MUCH worse then it was.

I saw a couple of people I knew, including the person I did my internship under in 2003. Her whole family was running with our team, this was her 5th year!

And now for the bad parts.

The waiting was exhausting. When you're not running, you ride ahead to the point where the runners will stop and you sit and wait for them. There are segments where you drive behind the runners too and that is exhausting because you are driving 5 miles per hour for miles on end.

Little sleep combined with a wide array of people/personalities can lead to irritation. I won't go into specifics but this combined with the long stretches of waiting were infuriating, at times nearly tear-inducing.

When we got to Peoria, I took a shower (Awesome! I had worried that there would be long lines and I wouldn't get one.) but all I wanted to do was to eat and rest and then drive home. We get in line for food and there is NO VEGETARIAN OPTION!!!! It was spaghetti with the meat sauce already mixed in!!! I wanted to cry so bad. How hard would it have been to have ONE station with non-meat sauce???

In the end, when I asked myself why I signed up, it was because I wanted a challenge. And it certainly was a challenge. It was a physical challenge, but that was really the least of it. It was an emotional challenge, trying to draw inspiration from within when the people around you were not being the most supportive group. It was a challenge for Mike and I to ride in that van for hours and hours and try and keep our tempers in check. It was a challenge to stay positive and I really tried not to bring anyone else down even though there were times I felt like I should have just mailed my check and not even done the run. Most people had told me the experience is so inspiring and amazing and supportive. And so I struggled with the thought that maybe I was just not making it what it should be, maybe I was somehow creating this mood myself. So I dug down deep and tried to find bright spots, and I found quite a few. Most observers were awesome, clapping, honking and donating money. Most of the runners were great and offered kind words and encouragement to all. The coordinators did a good job planning and food/drinks/sunscreen/bugspray/etc. were all provided and readily available. But it was quite a challenge, that is for sure.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

St. Jude Run!

Tomorrow is the big day! The BIG day! I'll be running, relay-style from here to Peoria. So I won't be running the entire way, NO WAY! About 50 other people and I will be breaking it up into legs 1-5 miles long.

My grand fund raising total is $437.77!! Thanks to everyone who donated, bought stuff from my Etsy shop/ebay auctions and helped me make it over $400! That was my goal (after I made it to $300, my original goal) and I made it!

I'll have a post-relay report once I get back and have rested. We start out Friday night, run through the night and arrive Saturday afternoon. Present our big check on the telethon, pig out on food and then head back home. Sunday I'll be zonked out, recuperating, I'm sure. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fair results-culinary!

Third place in Sugar Cookies. Since you can't really see mine, here's what they looked like before judging:

Third place Other Grain Bread for my oatmeal bread. Something when terribly wrong and it over-rose and then collapsed on itself. Every time I've made this bread, it has been gorgeous with a lovely brown, round top. Wouldn't you know, the fair entry loaf went all wrong!
And these cinnamon rolls didn't even place! I should have baked them in a smaller pan so they didn't spread as much. Weird thing is, when I went the next day to pick up my extras and non-winning baked goods, my cinnamon rolls were no where to be found! So someone either thought they looked tasty or picked them up by mistake. So I have no idea what comments they judges might have made about them.
This picture shows the Grand Champion baked good, Featherlight Muffins. I believe they were from this recipe. And Champion cake was a Lemon Cream Cheese Poundcake.

Fair results-crafts!

This year was just not my year at the fair! I am a new quilter so my projects were the best of my ability thus far but just not up to snuff compared to some of the more experiences quilters. My doily (small with purple flowers) got second in the Crochet tablecloth/tablecovers category. It turned out most people entered their doilies in the Other Crochet Items category (since they did away with the Doily category). In fact, the Champion crochet item was the 1st place doily from that category:It was HUGE and quite lovely and well done but not particularly that intricate.
My PJ pants got second in the Pajama category. I didn't know most people make CHILDREN'S PJs! I'm all about adult PJs!
My table runner (middle) got second place. The duck item (first place) on the left is a tablecloth, with really nice embroidery.
Far right, my fourth place Christmas ornament is beaded and cross stitched.
My two quilts (the two on the right) were third and fourth. The judge really picked on my machine quilting, which needs work, and the fact that they weren't labeled. Oops, I had meant to label the Pampered Pooches one but the other one is for Project Linus so it just has it's Linus label on the back.
I didn't enter any embroidery this year but the first place (and Champion) in this category this year was gorgeous! The stitches on this pillowcase were SO lovely and fluid, filling in every part of the pattern. It nearly looked like machine embroidery but it was all done by hand!
And this is the entry that won Best of Show. It's a painted teapot. Not really my thing but it did look nicely done.

Fair results-produce!

My blackberries won second place in a relatively large class of berries! I took this picture on their fourth day of being displayed and they are starting to show a little mold. On the day I picked up my ribbons, they were a swarm of gnats and a puddle under a mold skin! EWWW!
Isn't this garden basket gorgeous? The colors were just fantastic, I wish I had all of these veggies ready in my garden! I checked my carrots and couldn't find 5 large enough to exhibit. And my eggplants are just wee babies so far.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Boy

A belated Happy Birthday to my hubby! Here he is spending some quality time with his favorite silly Corgi! I'm super-proud of him for devising and sticking to a plan to get his truck paid off extra early! And for really dedicating himself to the Disney Weight-Loss movement! (We are both attempting to loose weight before our September trip! He is actually succeeding!!)

Home Gym Update

My basement home gym is shaping up nicely! Freshly painted, one wall is Florida Orange. I plan to add some large inspirational quotes to that wall like.To the left we have my chalkboard that I LOVE, and my hand weights on the table! Yoga mat and rubber flooring for floor exercises and you can't see but I have a really sturdy coffee table that I use for my bench.And to the right are my treadmill, stability ball, and Mike's exercise bike.

Unseen, but in the same room are my radio and the all-important dehumidifier.