Monday, December 21, 2009

4 Runs Richer

Over the past week something extraordinary has happened. Ok, not really that extraordinary but pretty cool....on everyone of my runs (outside) I have found money.

Being an observant runner is what makes running outside so much fun - whether counting bunnies, cicadas, cigarette trash, etc....I do make a point of keeping my eyes peeled. And on my really lucky days I find monetary treasures, change of any sort. It may only a few pennys over a month long period but it's a big deal when I stop to pick it up.

This week was different - it must be my lucky week because, with the help of a Chanti & Robert, I have made $0.38 (1 quarter, 1 dime, & 3 pennies). So all this change has got me to thinking, and Robert, how does it get there? Do people throw it out their car windows? I would understand if I found it at the drive through of a bank or local food establishment but this is just money laying around at random locations. Who knows???

Now I know, I won't be supporting my running habit with this, but over time I may be able to buy myself a bottle of G2 at the local 7/11.

More things to ponder - Run on!

For Those Techie Hobby-ists

This week I have finally set up my iPhone with a couple of new apps that I hope will help me keep up with the handful of hobbies I fill my life with - one being blogging. Thought I would pass on some tips that some of you may benefit from and not have to figure out for your self with endless trial and error.....

1. First off - where to blog? I have looked at quite a few blogging sites and have created my own websites with some complicated and not so complicated programs like Dreamweaver, NVU, and iWeb and I keep coming back to Blogger. It seems to be the easiest to use (and pretty easy to customize) and serves me well for the little blogging that I do. I love all the Google Applications and Blogger is another great one. If you don't use or haven't looked into Google Calendar, Reader, Docs, Gmail, and Wave I highly suggest you start. They are all great tools that can help streamline your life. Maybe I will tell more about how I use those at a later date.

2. Now - become a mobile blogger! What I have found is that it is a bit difficult to blog everything I want when I want and remember that I want to so I went in search of an iPhone app(s) (cause I always have my phone with me) that could help streamline this process. Since I use Blogger I found a free app called BlogPressLite that let me set up account to both of my Blogger blogs.

With my phone, I can easily add blog posts from anywhere at any time and not need my laptop. And I can add photos directly from my phone that I take right then or have taken in the past. Wonder if I had the new 3Gs if I could add video??? When I add the photos it automatically uploads it to my Picasa web album for me (which is another great Google tool used for photo editing and storing photos online). One downfall....I haven't figured out how add links (the other thing I do the most in my posts). Maybe someone can tell me how to do that.

Hope this helps someone - I know I am loving it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sew Aprons - Check

I am so excited....the aprons I put together to go with the cookbook I made for family and friends are finally finished. They turned out so cute and I can't wait to make one for myself (after Christmas of course). I ended up making 5 (didn't have to make one for mom cause I found a really cute one at Kohl's with cupcakes on it) and I even have them all wrapped up.

Having this all done means I only have 1 baby present to buy, a few more sugar cookies to decorate, and make 2 cheesecake's and I will be finished. With a baby coming next year I am thinking that I am going to have to be a bit more planned and possibly cut out a few of the crafts until I get it all figured out.

Holiday Treats

Hoping to finish off my Holiday baking (except for 2 cheesecakes that I will bake on Monday) sometime tonight. I have split up all the treats and am short on Peppermint Bark and have to ice all the sugar cookies. I do have a friend coming over tonight and I hope she is up for some decorating. I found the cutest little Chinese take-out boxes at Michael's (the craft store) that I am putting all the snacks for neighbors in and have some left over tins from Wal-Mart that a few other treats will go in.

For those of you that don't know it, packaging is important. I usually pick up my containers right after Christmas during sales and this year I am hoping that Target still has some of their tins available. I will also be hitting Michael's again for more take-out boxes. They are the perfect size for small amounts of treats.

Run Through The Lights (Jingle Bell Run)

So last night the CRC (Carthage Running Club), Brooke, Chanti, and Robert, was in attendance at the 2nd Annual SWAT "Run Through the Lights" in Carthage, MO. ***Chanti brought us bells for our shoes so we made it a "Jingle Bell Run" as well ;)

We made a 5.5 mile loop from the Y, to Chi Dong Dong Chong (sp is wrong) where they have a drive through Christmas light display, to down-town and then back to the Y. There were about 10-15 of us total and only one bike this year :( Michael, Brady, and Debbie dropped out). The weather was nice and the company even better. The only thing missing was Brady standing on Chanti's porch yelling "Go CRC" as we ran by.

I was pretty proud of myself...first half I tried to keep up a good pace (letting Chanti lead us) and stayed with the pack but knew the second half was going to be a bit slower so asked my loyal friend if we could slow down and enjoyed the run home. Had to keep telling myself "this isn't a race it's a run" because for some reason I feel like I need to keep up. Oh well, maybe that will keep me on the road for as long as possible in my new "race".

A note on "running for two" - Again, a couple people said .... "You aren't even showing" until I turned to the side and then they said "oh yeah, a little". Come on people you have seen me in a bikini or at least shorts and a tank top....MY STOMACH IS NOT NORMALLY THIS BIG!!!! Yes, this pregnancy has proven something - I have body issues, maybe it is vanity, who knows, but I am getting over it or getting used to it. I'm going to get lots bigger before it's all over.

Happy Holiday's to you all,
Run On - Brooke

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Pregnancy Countdown Ticker

Just another fun widget to keep track of things. Run On - B

26.2 Journey's on Hold

Guess maybe I should have posted this a while back but it just never the Journey's to 26.2 are put on hold for a little while since I am now PREGNANT. I can't believe it finally happened. Michael and I have been trying for close to 2 years (which I know is not long at all) but it seemed like forever and it has finally worked.

So here are the stats - I am 18 weeks along today. The due date is May 18th. We will find out later today (hopefully) if it is a boy or a girl. And YES, I am still RUNNING (not fast, but still moving). Since we found out I have been able to continue running but did have to take a 3 week break (some minor issues) and am logging about 20 miles a week. I try to run 2 four milers and 2 six milers each week. My legs still feel good but my lungs are feeling the hormones of pregnancy (who knew). But the worst part is my bladder. Not sure how long I will be able to put up with having to stop all the time to pee but I will hold out as long as I can.

Hopefully I will continue posting about my running and pregnancy for a while. I really want to be one of those women that can run well through the whole thing, but who knows. It's all about the baby now and we will see what she/he is going to "allow" ;-)

Get your free online pregnancy calendar from

Run on,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Crafts

Why do I do this to myself? Another Christmas and I have taken on another set of crafty gifts to make.

The biggest and most time consuming would have to be the cookbook. I started it in August after learning how to do digital scrapbooking with Photoshop and finished it up at the end of October. Then I had to wait until Shutterfly decided they wanted to put their photo books on sale and ordered a couple books to see how they turned out. Little did I realize that the cover would be messed up. With part of the title and credits cut out I had to do some creative tweaking along with a little trial and error to get the cover to line up as it is supposed to. If you are making photo books with your own pages I would suggest going with one of their layouts for the cover. But I can't complain, they are completed and wrapped and I ended up getting free shipping on all of it and paid half price for 9 out of the 11 books. Figured out it really pays to plan ahead with that kind of project.

To accompany the cook books, some relatives will be getting an apron. I got the idea from one of the teachers I work with and decided I could "throw together" some quick aprons. I have gotten as far as cutting out the pattern (not the fabric) and selecting all the fabric and thread but was so tired yesterday (thank you little baby Higgins) that I couldn't seem to pull myself off the couch to start cutting and sewing. Hopefully I can begin tonight and plan to get one done a night. Fingers crossed.

Another photo project I am working on would be a calendar for my Aunt Diane. I gave her one a year or so ago and she loved it so much she requested another. Biggest problem being that I haven't seen that side of the family for more than a year and only one relative was willing to send me some pictures. Still hoping to get a few more from my mom but we will see. It may turn out to be a set of pictures from past years and not just the past year. FYI - Snapfish is running a buy one calendar get the second for free until the 17th of Dec. I better get moving.

And finally, I made 23 handmade cards and included a great picture of Michael and I for those friends that we no longer buy presents for. I usually like to have a Christmas letter but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe next week but it may turn into a New Year's letter.

So that brings me to my todo list. I still need to make 2 Cheesecakes for the Hicklin's and Oexman's. Cook and decorate my sugar cookies. Package up the food gifts for neighbors and Chet and Charlie (peppermint bark, pralined pecans, pretzel turtles, pecan balls, and sugar cookies). And finish sewing 5 aprons.

Here's to a handmade Christmas. Not sure it will be possible next year with a little one so hope they all enjoy it this year. Hoping you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and wish me luck.