Monday, October 31, 2011

Today's Run = Fail

UGH! Nothing but excuses for my failure. However after going over my excuses in my head, I know what I have to do to move forward to prevent future slip-ups. I only made it to 2 miles! Sigh.... I'm proud of myself for listening to my body but sad that my body couldn't be pushed further.

Excuse #1: I let too many days go in between my runs. My last run was on Wednesday! It was great too, made it to my 3.1 mark only let myself slack off and then only make it to 2 miles before feeling like I was going to fall over. I was supposed to run Friday but had a lunch thing at work to go to and then dinner out with family. It left no time to run. Saturday it was raining and icing so running was out of the picture. Sunday.... I think laziness kicked in and I used Connor's upset belly as an excuse not to run.

Solution #1: GET ON A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT! I'm officially keeping myself to a Monday, Wednesday, Saturday schedule. NO MORE EXCUSES!

Excuse #2: I started feeling really crappy and my stomach started getting upset around 1.5 miles. Why may you ask? Well... I ate a great breakfast of oatmeal and a protein drink BUT when I got to work I only had coffee... ZERO water and munched on candy this morning. How do I expect my body to run when its fueled with JUNK! I totally undid my great breakfast start!

Solution #2: I need to start focusing on my intake. I haven't changed my diet since I started running. I'm not talking about going on a diet BUT be more conscious of what is fueling my system. I'm drinking way more coffee in the morning than I used to in the last month and a half, and my water intake is slowly decreasing every day. Get on the ball girl!! Start eating better! Drink more water! Its an easy thing to do!!

Excuse #3: Having excuses! The first two excuses allowed me to be mentally defeated and then that lead to a physical defeat.

Solution #3: I'm a procrastinater in heart and I need to recognize legit reasons for missing a run and total bull shit reasons.

Wednesday I'll be sure to fuel myself with the best of anything and everything an push myself to the 3.1!

The Biggest Question During Shower Time...
The cool air is starting to surround us and many women around the area are starting to following the shaving legs flow chart during their morning shower routine.

This is just a silly little flowchart / picture that made me giggle. Lord knows I'm contemplating these very thoughts if I'm running late in the morning or just don't feel like it!

It orginially stood out to me because I'm currently covering flow charts and logical analysis in my Object Oriented Programming class. I thought to myself... There needs to be an app that tells you if you should shave your legs in the morning! Just plug the answers into your phone / tablet and BOOM... you know the shower routine for the morning.

Could you imagine.... waking up every morning... plugging in the variables for the day and then the app spits out your agenda for the whole entire day?! Soon we won't even have to think for ourselves. Scary huh?

Just some scary thoughts for a scary day! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This week on Pinterest!

This week in Pinterest!!

Lets start off with the Pumpkin Carving!! On Monday I carved our two smaller pumpkins. I carved one that looked like a vampire and one that looked like a cat. I got the cat idea from Pinterest. It looked simple and cute... IT WAS. LOVE IT.

This afternoon Connor and I carved the bigger pumpkin and used cookie cutters to make the shapes. On Pinterest it shows to use a rubber mallet but I used our crab mallet and it worked! We used the star shaped cookie cutters to make a starry sky on the pumpkin.

Ew Mommy... This looks gross.....
Helping mommy bang in the cookie cutters

Finished Product

This week we also made some Halloween crafts. On Thursday evening Connor and I made paper plate ghosts and then I made some mummy bars!

The paper plate ghosts were super easy. You just glue some black construction paper eyes and mouths on to the plate and then tape white crape paper to the back! Connor ran around with the streamers behind him yelling, "Oooooooooo Ooooooooooooo Oooooooooo"

The mummy bars were really simple too. I bought Hershey Bars, wrapped them in white crape paper and then glued googly eyes onto the front. Everyone at the office LOVED them.

Can you tell which one Connor made? :)

Mummy Bars! We're watching you!!!

I did some cooking/baking this week from Pinterest as well. On Monday I made Sliced Baked Potatoes. You slice them real thin but not all the way to the bottom. Drizzle olive oil, butter and salt/pepper on them, then wrap them in aluminum foil and bake! Super easy and very yummy. Next time I'm going to get inventive with the seasonings.

It was yummy with our London Broil and Veggies.

For Saturday's lunch it tried out the wonton mozzarella sticks. The description said baked not fried but then the actual recipe was to fry it. I tried baking them and they were just ok. I'm now looking at other mozzarella stick recipes.

Tonight for dinner we had Spaghetti Squash Lasagna. Now.... for the last year and a half Kevin and I have been eating Spaghetti Squash in place of pasta. We LOVE it and I highly recommend trying it out. This was a little involved because I had to bake the squash, cook the meat and then put it all together and bake it BUT it was WORTH IT! Yummy yummy!!!


Not sure what Pinning items will be accomplished this week... I'm looking at moving towards some Thanksgiving crafts and yummy desserts right now!

Eating Pasta and Howling at the Moon

Saturday night was date night for Kevin and I. Connor spent the night at my father's house and we had a night out on the town. We haven't had a night out on the town since our cruise last year. It was very refreshing!

Yesterday was SUPER cold. VERY VERY VERY cold. Between the icing and little bit of snow we got mixed in with the rain it felt like December. We shivered every where we walked.

After we dropped Connor off at Pop's house, Kevin and I ventured up to Baltimore for dinner at Chiapparelli's in Little Italy. Chiapparelli's is my favorite restaurant and I haven't been there in YEARS. We tried right before Connor was born for my birthday but it snowed and we couldn't leave the neighborhood.

Kevin and I had an awesome meal. I had a glass of wine with it and he had a Boston Lager. I ended the meal with a yummy dessert... CANOLI!!! LOVE ME some canolis! :)

Afterward we headed to Howl at the Moon in Power Plant. We were originally going to go but then remembered it was the weekend before Halloween and decided not to go. BUT dinner went so fast that the movies we wanted to see were still an hour and a half away. Soooooooo we decided to just get over ourselves and go to Howl at the Moon.

Howl at the Moon is a piano bar. Its not just a piano bar... its a dueling piano bar. They sing covers, have fun with the crowd and take requests. They of course were having a Halloween celebration and it felt like Kevin and I were the only ones NOT dressed up.... We did however enjoy some adult beverages and adult conversations. It was really great getting away just the two of us.

We scored a spot next to the big window that faces Power Plant's main area and we watched people arriving in their interesting costumes. We saw Pac Man and his ghostly friends, some Angry Birds, the Seame Street gang, lots of slutty anything and everything, super heros, doctors, and our FAVORITE was a guy dressed up as the Captain that fought off the octopus from the Old Spice commercial. VERY ORIGINAL.
In case you can't remember...

After we had a few beverages and the bar started to get over crowded and the people were becoming annoyingly drunk, Kevin and I headed home to an empty home and enjoyed sleeping the whole night through!

We both agreed that last night was a much needed escape from our every day stresses and normal events! I'm now looking forward to our adult vacation coming up in mid-November!

Kevin with his very large adult beverage

Me with my very small adult beverage


Sooooo.... how was your weekend? Did you get stuck in the snow? Have beautiful weather?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow?! In October?

There is snow in the Maryland forecast today. I think we're south enough that we see any snow but I'm seeing pictures on Facebook of other people's lawns that are dusted with the white stuff that means winter. I can't believe the word snow is even being tossed around before Halloween!

I find it funny that people are calling it a snow storm on the radio. After the blizzards we've had in the last couple of years, a couple inches or a dusting is NOT a snow storm. Especially if it isn't going to stick to the roads and cause the salt trucks to come out........

The funny thing about this storm is tonight Kevin and I are having a date night. Connor is going to spend the night at my dad's and Kevin is taking me to my favorite restaurant Chiapparelli's in Little Italy. The last time Kevin tried taking me out to my favorite restaurant, it was my birthday, I was 9 months pregnant and we got 2 feet of snow and couldn't get out of our neighborhood.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this snow doesn't some how magically stick around and dump on us! I'd really like to finally make it back up there tonight!!

The mess that is surrounding us.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Discovery City is at it AGAIN!

After dealing with an unexpected earthquake and rebuilding from hurricane Irene, Discovery City was handed another unexpected event.

As you can see a monster (blue guy in the middle) visited Discovery City to wreak havoc on his unsuspected victims. He may look friendly but that is how he fools you. The monster took a woman of the town hostage. Local PD could not do anything to stop him. Thankfully the Discovery City Justice League stepped in and took action.

Spiderman spun the monster in his web. Captain America knocked him over with his shield and rescued the hostage. Buzz Lightyear flew him up to outer space so he is never seen or heard from again.

Discovery City is yet again cleaning up but hopeful to return to their harmonious peaceful singing that drives Connor's mommy crazy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reached Running Goal #2

My first run after completing the C25K program (Goal #1) completed Goal #2... Running a full 3.1 miles. My original goal was to run 2.75 miles because that would push me several minutes beyond the last run (30 minutes). Once I started running I thought, "Hell... what's another lap and a few extra steps." I decided I was going to keep running until I hit my goal.

From one goal to the next!
Half way through my run it started to drizzle (I do not recall the weatherman calling for rain today) then when I had 3 (or so) laps to go it started to actually rain. UGH. I didn't want to get soaked because I had to go back to work BUT I didn't want to give up. I was getting tired at 2.75 miles but I kept pushing myself and my legs. This was all mental, the physical was an afterthought.

The two other runners on the track left after the rain picked up and I kept going alone. I hit 3 miles and wanted to jump for joy but who knew that last .10 of a mile would be the longest I've ever had to run! I think my main problem was I kept looking at my app after I reached 2.75 miles so it felt like it was taking me twice as long (I won't be doing that again!).

I reached 3.1 miles at 3 months after starting this running journey and in 35.09 minutes. I gave my usual "YES!" out loud and threw my arms up. Goal #2 has been completed. Goal #3 is running an organized 5k. I guess I should start checking into those now! In the mean time I'm going to keep on going and start working on my pace and getting faster.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday we went to the Clark's Elioak Farm for a family pumpkin patch adventure. The week before Connor and I went to a birthday party there and I discovered they had rescued pieces of the old Enchanted Forest.

According to wikipedia,"The Enchanted Forest officially opened on August 15, 1955, following a preview party the afternoon before — one month after Disneyland Park's opening. Appealing mostly to families with small children, the park had a nursery rhyme theme. The park featured fairy tale buildings and characters, but no mechanical rides originally. Track rides were added later, including the Alice in Wonderland ride with teacup-shaped cars, a Cinderella's castle ride with mice for the cars, the "Little Toot" boat that took children to Mount Vesuvius for giant slides, and the Jungleland Safari which was driven by open Land Rover-type vehicles. Children's birthday parties were often held in the picnic areas among the attractions; many local teenagers worked as ticket-takers at the park. Unlike many other attractions of the time, the Enchanted Forest was integrated from the day it opened." The park closed in the 1990's and there have been efforts to reopen the park but Clark's Farm has been given the opportunity to rescue and restore the items from the park.

Needless to say I was excited when I got to the party and found out some of my childhood memories had been rescued and Connor could enjoy them. BUT being at the party without Kevin and a semi-cranky Connor left me missing out on enjoying the rescued pieces. Sooooo.... Kevin, Connor and I went this weekend.

Our adventure started by wandering the main part of the farm and seeing the Three Little Bears home, the Dish That Ran Away with the Spoon, and a few other structures including the Old Woman Who Live In a Shoe. Afterward, we ventured over to the petting farm. We saw goats, sheep, pigs, a cow, a donkey, a emu, a Pony named Captain Jack (same name as our dog) and some ducks and chickens. Next we ventured to the tree maze. This tree maze was made up of huge pines and you followed paths around to different old Enchanted Forest items. Very cool! Lastly we ventured to the pumpkin patch where Connor picked out two pumpkins.

Overall, the day turned out fabulous. I was able to share a childhood memory with two of my favorite people that I never thought would be able to enjoy. If you're in the Maryland area I highly suggest stopping by to take a look back at some great history.

Enjoy the pics!

The castle waiting for our entrance

Hey Diddle Diddle....

Hanging out on a mushroom :)

The Old woman who reminds me not to have too many children

Checking out the animals

Family Photo in front of the Three Little Pigs house... Connor turned his head...

Old Enchanted Forest

Hickory Dickery Dock!

Hmmm... which one?!

Mommy and Connor!

Shhh... early naptime....

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Book Club

Last Thursday I met up with my "Read This, Bitch - Book Club" to discuss When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedairs.

I had bought this book about this time last year and started reading but wasn't too dedicated or engrossed in it due to my trip to AZ to visit my mom and then my trip with Kevin to Bermuda. Right after the Bermuda trip I got a Nook for Christmas and poof!.... I forgot the book even existed.

Sooo this month I saw that we were going to read the book I thought, "Cool.... I'm almost done the book. It won't take me long to read at all."

I started in where I left off and finished. Then I started skimming through the beginning of the book and saw that some of the stories I didn't even remember! Soooooo it was back to rereading the book for me! I would start reading the first few pages of the chapter and if I didn't have a clue or recognize the story I kept reading.

Overall I enjoyed the stories. They made me giggle at some points and laugh out loud at others. Some of the stories I couldn't get into. My favorite story was "April In Paris". For me I despise spiders with a passion but we have a spider that builds a web every year on the outside of our sliding glass door. We leave him there all autumn and he gets bigger and bigger and fatter and fatter. Then... one day... he's gone! Reading his short story brought back memories of sizing him up last year. This year we had a spider visit the spot but he didn't stay long. Boo....

November's book is Chill Factor. Are you reading any good books right now?


Well... I'm done!! Done the program that is.... I plan to keep running and get Kevin and myself registered for a 5k in the next month but boy does it feel awesome to actually complete a program dedicated to getting you in shape. My last run was smooth sailing and actually enjoyable!

I've been meaning to blog about how I get a note from the universe in my inbox every morning and I will another time, BUT this morning the note read:
"Every fortune, gold medal, and trophy...

Every comeback, triumph, and celebration...

And every kiss, hug, and hand held, Amanda...

Were first a thought, a whisper, or a dream.

Go, Amanda, go!
    The Universe"

I found this on Pinterest a while ago.
It really spoke truth to me this morning. When I first started this journey I did it half heartily and  with the assumption that if it got too tough I'd stop. But as the first week was completed my thoughts became focused on completion and my dream became doing it.

Right now I'm about a half mile short of running a 5k. I can run the time asked but I haven't reached the distance. Over the next two weeks I'm going to add 3 to 5 minutes to my time until I reach the final goal.

I'm so glad that Kevin and I did this together. It was helpful to have him to bounce ideas off, complain too, and celebrate triumphs with. I'm looking forward to pushing forward over the next two weeks to reach the 5k mark so we can start the next part of our journey.

So if I can complete this you can too! I know of at least two others that have started running since I started posting these adventures. Time for you to start! Get the first step out the door and the rest will follow!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This Week on Pinterest!

Mid-terms totally cramped my Pinterest creations this week. I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I wanted to...

On Monday morning I sampled the Mini Fratattas and I remember that I'm not a fan of microwaved eggs... Soooo I think they would have been awesome fresh out of the oven but kinda just eh microwaved.

Tuesday evening I planned to make Grilled Cheese and Avocado sandwiches and then Kevin volunteered to make dinner so he made them! He put a different spin the the recipe given. He added Mexican blend cheese, crushed taco shells and bacon bits to the sandwich and they turned out very yummy!

As the week passed I started working on a crafty project for the toddler bag swap I attended this afternoon (I'll blog about that later). I needed to create a learning project for my toddler and 4 others. I picked the button matching game. I however, could not find any buttons I liked so I stuck with felt objects for scrap-booking. They turned out really great.

Friday evening I tried making Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies BUT I didn't have enough powder sugar!! NEXT week!

Saturday morning I woke up inspired and made Apple Ring Pancakes. You basically make pancake mix and add pumpkin pie spice and dip the apple rings into the batter and cook them up. VERY YUMMY! I also added ground ginger, all spice and cinnamon to the batter.

Sunday morning I attempted to make fried eggs in a red pepper ring and it turned out to be difficult. The eggs wouldn't stay attached to the pepper so when you flipped everything it all came apart and in some instances the yolk broke. They tasted good but too stressful to make again.

For the toddler bag swap I made Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon. It was very yummy, easy and turned out great!

I'm hoping to add a few crafty things to my plate this week! Until then happy pinning!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Greatest Hot Wheel Track Ever?!

I found this video earlier in the week of the one of the COOLEST Hot Wheel tracks ever put together. Watch the whole thing.... seriously...

AWESOME huh?! Growing up I loved three things... Barbies, Legos and Hot Wheels. We used to set up cool tracks in the kitchen and down all the flights of stairs at my dad's house but NOTHING like this. I also must say I don't think they had those boost things back in my track building days. This REALLY makes me excited to get started with Connor. Just today Kevin's mom brought by all the cars / Hot Wheels she found cleaning out her house in preperation for a move. Connor was in heaven! Santa may have to bring some tracks!

Friday, October 21, 2011

End of the World?!

So today was supposed to be the "end of the world" again... The day isn't over yet but I'm still here how about you?

I giggled the last time it was supposed to be the end of the world. Then I giggled again when it was a miscalculation. Not really giggling at the religion or the person... just at the idea really.

I find myself imagining what the end of the world would be like. I don't really picture massive explosions or people be rescued by a higher being.... I picture everyone just "poofing" into the air. Poof! GONE! Everything would get quiet, start to collect dust... our physical and digital footprints would be left behind... Weird... I know...

I did read a book called Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh at the beginning of this year. THAT was a great book! I think it realistically depicts how the "end of our time" would be. Actually... it was so real that it kinda stuck with me for a little while. My vision of us "poofing" into thin air was replaced!

I guess if we make it through the day our next big date is December 21st 2012. The end of the Mayan calendar.... does that mean the end of our time? Who knows! BUT what I do know is on December 20th 2012 I turn 30... it'll be the death/end to my 20's. I need to throw an "Its the end of the world Amanda's turning 30 party".... hmm.... I'll keep you posted on that one.

Anyway... how do you vision "the end of the world"?

College Then vs College Now

College Then:
Me and Kevin (2003) - Our first summer dating... my 3rd year of college
I went to college straight out of high school. I was told to "Get it done in four years, or we're done paying" by my parents. Sounds kinda mean but they know me. I'm a huge procrastinator and would probably drag my feet. Soooo I got it done in four years. They paid for the tuition and I paid for books and two classes I had to retake. I started at Anne Arundel Community College and then transferred to University of Baltimore (UB).

When I was going to college I never ran out of steam. Being up till 2 or 3am finishing a paper or homework was nothing. The alarm would go off at 7am and I would get up and start the day over. I also worked 20 to 30 hours a week while going to school full time. I was a procrastinator but I loved being busy (still am/do!).

My last two years at UB was spent taking evening classes while I worked during the day. Some evenings I was out by 8:30pm and other nights I was out by 10:45pm. The 8:30pm classes I would stop by Kevin's house to spend some time with him and then head home and the 10:45pm classes I went straight home. Either way, I had homework to do when I got home. My commute was crazy too. I lived in Glen Burnie, MD... drove to Annapolis, MD to work (south), then drove up to UB in Baltimore City, MD (north) and then at the end of the evening drove back home to Glen Burnie, MD (south). I would be up LATE and then up early. I never needed sleep.


College Now:
Connor and Me (2011) - Jumping into taking multiple
non credit classes and one credit class
Taking a few non-credit courses here and there isn't that bad. You have two weeks to complete each lesson and you get two lessons a week for 6 weeks. Not bad. Fairly easy to keep up with.

I'm now in the middle of my first credit course at the community college since I graduated with my bachelor's degree. Woah... very different from my early 20's! Now in my late 20's... I'm managing a household, chasing a toddler, trying to spend time with Kevin, trying to find me time AND then there's the labs, homework, readings, lecture listening, quizzes and this week.... I'm studying for a mid-term. Thank goodness the class is online!

Needless to say sleep has trumped my studying this time. Once Connor goes to be around 8pm, I get some stuff done around the house and then settle in for some classwork/studying...once my eyes get heavy I don't push through like I used to! Why? Well... sleep is a hot commodity now and I take it when I can get it!! I also let other "fun" things trump doing homework/labs if it comes up. Why? Well... free time/fun time is now cherished by the minutes and hours these days. Does the all the work get done? Do I pass the quizzes? Yes! Its just that my determination is split into to umpteen different directions.


Does this make me less of a student? Does this make me "old"? or... Does this make me a seasoned college student? The been there done that student? The I'm a completely different person than I was student? I've learned to pick and choose my battles student?

The mid-term is today... wish me luck!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Run Left....

I just did my second run in Week 9 for C25K.... one run left. Usually I've been waiting to finish the week before blogging BUT this run was my best yet. I ran a total of 2.50 miles with the total work out being 3.24 miles. My average speed per mile (while running) was in the 11 minute range rather than the 12 minute range. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. 62 degrees and breezy/windy. The sun was shining through the clouds bouncing around in the sky. I felt like universe was giving me such a great gift today. When my app told me it was time for the cool down I wanted to continue and finish two more laps to make it an even 3 miles but I decided to complete C25K before pushing it.

This was my last C25K run on the track. I'll complete Week 9 on Saturday at home in my neighborhood. I plan to keep running on my lunch breaks when needed on the track but this is the last run in the program at the track. It felt bittersweet. I started in Week 1 in the middle of August and I was sweating my butt off in the hazy, hot, and humid weather - OUT OF SHAPE. Now, I'm in the middle of October in the cool breeze of Autumn. While I haven't really lost any weight I feel stronger. I decided to take pictures before leaving to track to show what a beautiful day / run it was. Enjoy.

My favorite

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Glass is Always Full

I saw this the other day and thought I should put it on a t-shirt and wear it every day.

Whether I'm looking at life in a good mood or a bad mood my glass is pretty much always full. I'm TRY most times to put a positive spin on something and it is rare when I let "Negative Nancy" take control of my life (well PMS is a whole other story - ask Kevin.... - Everyone is allowed a bad day....).

My glass seems to always be full with stuff to do as well. This week I met up with friends, I'm studying for a mid-term, I have to take the mid-term, finish Week 9 of C25K, prep for the toddler swap on Sunday (no... I'm not swapping my toddler for another one - this will be a separate post), I have book club, I have to finish reading the book for book club, catching up on the blog challenge AND keep up with all the other day to day things including that thing called WORK. All I can say is thank goodness for an hours worth of lunch break! <--- This is me putting a positive spin on things.

I come across a lot of different personalities through out the day, I see a lot of FB statuses and watch the news every morning... a lot of what I take in is just plain negative! There are a lot of people walking around with their glass half empty or waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So the question is... How does one pull the positive out of a negative situation? Its hard when you're in the midst of things to find the positive and its hard to admit when you need help. BUT just asking a friend so show you where the positive is can be helpful. Take a deep breath and try to visualize how you will come out of the situation without negative outcomes. AND don't surround yourself with people who put negative spins on things or put you down negatively.

Its hard at first. Being positive is like exercising. The more you do it the easier it is. Its really really hard at first BUT seeing the positive and filling your glass becomes a snap and the negative around you doesn't seem so negative anymore.

Do me one favor today... when something negative comes your way try to find that positive spin and post it here! Give others inspiration by being positive. I want more positive conversations in the hallways, more positive FB statuses and I'm turning off the news because well... there's hardly anything positive there these days.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Week on Pinterest....

Sunday's are going to be my Pinterest Posts! This week I did a lot of what I found I've been "Pinning" lately.

Earlier in the week I blogged about how I got crafty can created Leaf Creatures and a laminated fold-up travel mat for Connor to play with when we're out and about.

This weekend I have been kicking some Pinterest butt and cooking/baking my butt off!

On Friday I remade the Mini Deep Dish Pizza's that I made about two weeks ago. They were still just as yummy.

I started on Saturday by cooking making Cheese Cauliflower Pancakes to go with our steaks for dinner. These were a tad disappointing. It was very involved to make these while trying to watch the steak on the grill and then they caused me a bunch of grief by not sticking together. After all was said and done they only tasted ok. Nothing spectacular. I deleted the pin.

For dessert last night I made Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. Can you say, "OH MY GOD"?!!! It was Ahhhh-mazing! It was the most work I've ever had to do for hot chocolate but well worth it in the end. It was a piece of heaven! Instead of little marshmellows on the top I sprinkled chocolate chips. Nom nom nom.....

My Red Velvet Hot Chocolate... Mmmmm

NEXT I steamed sweet potatoes and mashed them to prep for Sunday morning's breakfast. This morning I took the mashed sweet potatoes and made Sweet Potato Pancakes! I found the recipe Sweet Potato Waffles but we don't have a waffle iron so I adjusted the recipe and made pancakes! They were sooooo good and Connor tore them up too!

In preparation for this week's breakfast I decided to try another recipe. I found on Pinterest, Mini Frittatas. I sampled a little piece that came out of the oven and they were yummy too. I'll follow up with these once I've actually ate a whole one. BUT it was really simple to throw together and toss in the oven. I put orange and green peppers, mexican cheese and bacon bits in them. Mmmm.

Ready for this week's breakfast!

THEN....(I did a lot of cooking and baking!) I made a Chicken and Broccoli Casserole. It was a type of casserole that you make your own sauce instead of using a cream of soup. It was yummy but involved. Something that would have to be saved for a weekend and not a week night. I also left out the last step of pouring melted butter with poppy seeds over the top. I left out the butter part because there is already a stick of butter in the sauce and I left out the poppy seeds because I couldn't find them at the grocery store so I used black pepper instead. STILL YUMMY!

This afternoon Connor and I played a sensory game I "pinned" on Pinterest as well. I hid the foam alphabet pieces of a puzzle we had in a shoe box of corn flakes. He had to move around the flakes, find the pieces and then I helped him figure out where the fit. HE LOVED IT. We played the game about 6 times today. I used Corn Flakes because we have a huge box of them sitting on top of the fridge and its taking FOREVER to go through them. I figured using them for the game wouldn't hurt. PLUS we could munch on them as we played.

Enjoying the great outdoors while playing a sensory game.
Sooooo that was my Pinterest week in a nutshell. Most weeks probably won't be this involved (especially this week... I'm studying for midterms) but I hope to accomplish at least one "pinned" item a week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Make a Wish Come True

When I became pregnant with Connor I started visiting a popular website that gave valuable information to expectant and in-the-midst-of-parenting mothers. The website also had a community feature that allowed you to join groups and talk with other mothers (and fathers) about questions, opinions and general day-to-day stuff. You can join your "birthboard" and communicate with others who are due/have children in the same month and year you are. I mainly read and never posted leading up to Connor's birth. After he was born my "birthboard" changed to January 2010. In this birthboard I started posting and I created many relationships and friendships with other mothers.

I know you're probably thinking... "But their just people in the computer that you've never met". Maybe to you... but to me... These are women I "talk" to on a daily basis. I've discussed many many many different topics with them, took in joy when our babies reached different milestones, and have even grieved when some on our board suffered a loss or difficult times. We've created friendship amongst ourselves and support each other even though most of us have never met. We've created our own version of friendship.

That being said, one of the families on our board has hit hard times. At 3 years-old their son Ethan developed a rare form of epilepsy. It was a long journey full of hospitalizations, seziuers and many tests. Now, a year later, he's been diagnosed with Doose Syndrome. According to their family blog  Ethan has "an estimated 20-30 myoclonic/atonic/absence/a-typical absence seizures every day, and a tonic clonic every 1-3 weeks". He's been showing small signs of improvement since starting the ketogenic diet. Learn more about this little boy and everything their family has done from their blog.

His small signs of improvement is has been uplifting but his this improvement has caused him to be unable to "qualify" for the Make A Wish Foundation. Prior to this improvement his one wish is to visit the beach. The family lives in Colorado and wants to put their son's toes in the sand.

I'm writing this blog post tonight to help get Ethan to the beach. I'm trying to get word out about this little boy so his one wish can come true. Please share this post with as many people as you can and if possible please donate any amount. A website has been created to collect donations for the family and can be found here.

One of my friends is need. I'm doing all I can help. Thank you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

C25K Week 8 Complete... FINALLY

I've FINALLY completed Week 8! It took me longer because of our crazy schedule and I had to put a couple extra days in between my runs. It made it harder, but nearly as hard as Week 7. Something about those 25 min runs just did me in.

Week 8 we had to run for 28mins all three runs. I was nervous because of the trouble I had with Week 7 but I had a new determination not to fail anymore. NO MORE EXCUSES.

Run 1 was a challenge BUT I wasn't struggling and cusing or huffing and puffing at the end. I felt GREAT and excited. I had to do this run on my lunch break at work and even though I took a quick shower afterwards I felt really gross putting my work clothes back on and sitting in my office the rest of the day. Its getting harder and harder to do my runs at work. Boo...

Run 2 was my best run this whole journey. Throughout the run I was getting bursts of speed and actually RUNNING instead of jogging. I was great! I was exhausted afterwards.

Run 3 I compeleted three days after Run 2 instead of one day. It sucked. I jogged most of the run and I just wasn't feeling it. PMS had a huge factor in this but again... that's just an excuse. At 20 minutes my lower back started screaming at me. At 24 minutes it locked up and an I had to stop and walk. After a minute of walking I was upset with myself so I pushed myself to run the last 3 minutes. Now I'm sitting here thinking a heating pad on my back would do WONDERS - But I'm glad I pushed myself.

Now that Week 8 is complete I'm moving into my final week of C25K. It won't be my final week of running and prepping for a 5K. I'm only at 2 miles when I hit 28 mintues and I don't see myself running that extra 1.1 mile in the 3 minutes that is going to be added this week.

Kevin and I were going to run the Turkey Trot 5K / 1mile Jaunt BUT I just found out its on a Wednesday at noon. WTF! UGH... Looks like we're on the search again. Soooo until the 5k I'm going to be adding 3 to 5 mins on to each week until I hit 3.1. Afterwards I'll just keep working on my time. I don't see myself speeding up tremendously but speed isn't my goal... finishing is my goal.

I also downloaded an app on my phone called Run Keeper. I really really like it so far. I can program my exercise into the app and it tells me when to walk and when to run. It tracks GPS where I ran and for how far. It also tells me what my pace is. My first two runs this week were 12 minutes and today's was 13.50! See I was jogging SLOW..... After you've completed your workout it emails you a summary and uploads to your profile on their website! I like it because I can track my progress... or lack there of...

Week 9 shouldn't take me nearly as long to complete as this week did. Here's to actually finishing the program!!

Soooo I Bought A Laminator...

I pretty much still have every children book that I had when I was a kid. They are now in Connor's room on his book shelf. Some of these books went through two children before me and some of them have my mom's scribbles in them. Some of these books have seen better days and are out of print. I have been trying to find a way to preserve some of them without re-buying them (lots of $$$$$$ due to being out of print).

Connor especially LOVES Stop That Ball by Mike McClintlock and from what I've seen its out of print. I was kinda bummed about it. UNTIL... I found an awesome idea on the blog I'm a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here. It gives you step by step instructions for laminating older books and making them more durable. AWESOME!!

My next thought was... Well... ok... where does one find a laminator?! Are they expensive? They MUST be...

I emailed my friend who I knew recently bought one and asked her if I could borrow her's or did she mind telling me where she bought hers/how much was it. I came to find out that they sell them on Amazon (duh!! they sell EVERYTHING at Amazon). AND it was reasonably priced. My Laminator

My lamintor was delivered on Saturday.

Fast Forward to Last Night....

FINALLY! I had some downtime... I took some of the farm animal coloring sheets that Connor and I used during "Farm Animal Theme Week" and laminated them to put the together as a flip book. My thoughts:

Next I searched laminated projects on Pinterest..... WOW! Lots of awesome cool learning projects came up for Connor. I spent the next 1/2 hour to 45min "pinning" ideas.

THEN.... after doing some homework for my online class I ventured upstairs to work on a project that I had found.  I made a laminated fold up travel play mat. It was so easy!

Now I'm planning out my next projects.... A weather board for Connor, a mini cookbook for a coworker, mini "quiet books" for Connor.... its new awesome crafty idea <--- aka... new addiction/obsession to feed my Pinterest addiction/obsession... YIPES! Help me! :)

Any other ideas? Are you going to run out and buy a laminator now?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Crafts!

Feels like I'm creating a theme here huh? Fall Favorites... now Fall Crafts...

I've started some fall crafts for and with Connor.

Couple weeks ago Connor and I wandered the front yard and collected pieces of nature and created a collage glued onto construction paper.

Monday night I created a craft from Pinterest ( They are fall creatures created from empty toilet paper rolls. Super cute. Connor enjoyed playing with them.

Tuesday evening we made a tactile fall tree using the same fake leaves used on the fall creatures, sticks from the front lawn and construction paper.

I look forward to doing more fall inspired crafts the further into the season we get. Hopefully Connor will be able to help me with some baking. What is your favorite fall craft?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Favorites

Like I've posted before I LOVE fall. Its honestly my very favorite time of year. I find the changing leaves of yellow, orange and red more inspiring, romantic and relaxing than the spring flowers coming to live after a cold winter.

The three things that I always always do... Dye my hair red, bake a pizza casserole AND watch the episode of I Heart NY from Sex in the City, Season 4 (episode 18). Let me explain....

Dye My Hair Red:
hen the tops of the trees turn a bright red and then the rest of the of it follows and turns deep and warm, something releases into the air and I run out buy a box of dye and POOF I match nature around me.

Bake A Pizza Casserole:
Winter is full of baking yummy goodness that makes for thicker hips. I like to start the season for baking off with the classic pizza casserole. It was a favorite from my childhood and became Kevin's favorite when we moved in together.

Watch Episode of I Heart NY:
I Heart NY from Sex in the City is one of the first episodes that they did not film during the summer. Carrie's first line in the show is, "There is a time of year in NY when even before the first leaf falls, you can feel the seasons click. The air is crisp. Summer is gone. And for the first night in a long time you need a blanket on your bed". My favorite moment between Big and Carrie is in this episode too. It adds to the romantic feel of the season. After giving birth to Connor, I appreciate the moments shared between Miranda and Carrie about being there while she gives birth to Brady. And FINALLY my very favorite line is saved for the end. Carrie says, "Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn't fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it's comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you're very lucky, a plane ride away".

The favorite moment mentioned above.

Tonight while blogging I watched I Heart NY. The trees haven't reached the deep red yet... but they are close. AND Kevin will be happy to know Pizza Casserole is in his near future.

What is your Fall Favorite?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Maryland Renaissance Festival in Pictures

Here's our story in pictures!

Our Cabin! The porch swing was new to us and the
mattresses were actually KIND OF comfortable! Too bad there wasn't heat!

Our family photo! Connor was able to dress up like a knight. I was a typical wench and Kevin was a pirate!

Trying on daddy's hat
Dressing up as a wench and pirate is all part of the Fall Season!
O'Danny Girls
In their own words, "We are three very nice girls who sing very naughty songs"

Lets face it.... nothing like dressing up like a wench and a pirate to top off your fall events!
Axe throwing competition! No one won :(