Friday, August 27, 2010

Christmas in August'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.