Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Wednesday - Guilt

No need for a big windup or back story cause I am sure you can figure out where this is coming from....

WHY do I let someone make me feel guilty for making running a priority?

Notice I didn't say it was my top priority, but A priority. Over the past year, I have tried to figure out how to balance being a new (breastfeeding) mom, being a wife, working, exercising, and spending time with friends and family as well as a few hobbies.

I felt like I was doing a pretty good job of keeping all the plates spinning and keeping everyone happy, but obviously I have made a poor assumption.

I am not sure how, but somehow now my Saturday long runs are keeping us from doing something (not sure what) but something. I have been making us soooo busy with my stuff (running) that we can't seem to do other stuff (again, not sure what). I have been over-planning our lives, but don't fret....because supposedly, it will all be better when my upcoming "adventure race is over and I can quite running so much."

You would think that I run 7 days a week leaving my family to fin for themselves. You would think that and you would be wrong. I run 4-5 days a week totaling maybe 7 hours out of 112 waking hours a week - that is all and I moved most of my runs to mornings before 6am.

I am very aware of my "me" time and the tole it takes on the family and I pick and choose it carefully.

So really, like intimidation, guilt is something you let yourself feel and I guess I need to get over it.

Ok........DONE! I am over it!

(and no worries, this wasn't some huge fight or anything...just something I can't let go of...a few judgmental comments thrown my way)

Excuse my rant ;-)

Run On!
Brooke

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Thought We Were Friends

Today I thought - "wow, he is so friendly" I felt like I had made another new Starbuck's friend
then I looked at my cup and realized....we're not really friends :( he doesn't really know me.

Isn't it amazing how quickly a great company can lose my business. How one decision, which was probably made to save time and their $ (not mine), can make me want to get my expensive coffee somewhere else. 

I am sad to think that no longer will some one ask me what I would like to drink, write it on my cardboard cup, and then ask me my name. It always felt so personal...almost made me what to come back. Who knows now???


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lake Run Success

Today I ran to the lake and back from Mom & Charlie's ..... pretty easy down, HARD coming back up - and........ I made it, at a good pace, without having to stop and walk. This run has always been my measuring stick. Maybe I am more ready for this adventure race then I thought. Still wish the rain had stayed away and we could have gone out to ride some trails.

Run On!
Brooke

Friday, April 22, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 356 Days 106-112

106 - 4/16: Have backpack will travel? but Hannah Montana, really???

107 - 4/17: G watching some TV before bed

108 - 4/18: Where do we find our Indian curios, state spoons, glasses, and plates, and fireworks now?

109 - 4/19: Cinnamon Chip Scones

110 - 4/20: Barn #2

111 - 4/21: Love (playing with some settings trying to recreate a picture I saw on line and did a pretty good job)

112 - 4/22: Bathtub Photobooth

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Overlap

It's amazing when it happens...when your work life overlaps your personal life and you find cool stuff that can appeal to multiple sides of you.

Recently (February) I finally got my new mountain bike that I have been saving for almost 2 years. Sadly, I haven't taken it out on any real trails yet. Now I am stoked to get out on Sunday and see what I can do thanks to this video...... Pedal Driven "bike-umentary" (extended trailer) was shared through the eMINTS blog, Networked Teaching & Learning,  in honor of Earth Week. The hope is to encourage teachers to use authentic resources like this video for the purpose of engaging kids not only in using technology and creating multimedia all while learning about science, how having a voice is important, how respecting our earth, and so much more.

Enjoy....


Pedal-Driven: Behind the Film from Howell at the Moon Productions on Vimeo.

Run On!
Brooke

Free Polaroid Frames

While perusing my new addition, Pinterst, I found some great (free) Polaroid frames. I did have to do some tweaking with Fireworks but after making the background transparent all was good. Using one of the frames and a Pioneer Woman Photoshop action ....this is what I made:

 
Gramps' Boots

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why Wednesday - the chase

it was a sunny Sunday afternoon....we were riding into quite a head-wind out in the country enjoying a friendly chat when from up ahead we saw them and they saw us and the chase was on....

we looked at each other and knew we had to kick it in, knew that we needed to get moving NOW, and hoped that they would loose interest quickly...

we split up and so did they...running faster and faster until one was coming close enough to chomp on my foot {I only hoped they were leaving her alone}..

wish i would have brought that pepper spray i had mentioned earlier in the day but probably would have sprayed myself...

i guess the thing to be thankful for {besides not getting bit or falling off my bike}....at least we weren't out on a run!

WHY do dogs gets such enjoyment from tormenting bicyclists?

Thanks for the ride Chanti ;)

Run (Ride) On!
Brooke

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pioneer Woman Cooking - Update 2

To bring you up to speed - I am on my mission to make some of the Pioneer Woman's recipes from her cookbook (that Michael requested) and some from her website. Here is the running list with the new tries in blue:


Pioneer Woman Potato Skins
       
  1. PW's Potato Skins - time consuming but easy....just not sure what to do with the extra potato I scooped out. We used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon but I think it was probably just (almost) as good.
  2. Hot Artichoke Dip
  3. Cinnamon Rolls (she's famous for these - has even been on many morning shows making them)
  4. Breakfast Burritos
  5. Migas
  6. French Breakfast Puffs
  7. Maple Pecan Scones
  8. MarlboroMan's Favorite Sandwich
  9. Spicy Pulled Pork
  10. Macaroni and Cheese
  11. Beans and Cornbread
  12. Cowboy Calzone
  13. Perfect Pot Roast - Was an easy recipe. We cooked ours in a crock-pot instead of a dutch oven and the only other thing I would do different would be to trim more fat off my Chuck Roast before cooking. Michael and Greyson both LOVED this.
  14. Chicken Pot Pie (Perfect Pie Crust) - First off, her crust is the flakiest crust I have ever seen. I left out one tablespoon of water and could have probably left out 2..it was a bit sticky. I followed the pot pie recipe to the T and it was unbelievable. We will make this one for sure again but maybe not too soon with the cup of whipping cream and 4 tablespoons of butter not to mention the cup and a half of vegetable shortening in the crust.
  15. Meatloaf - Followed the recipe to the T but decided to add onions. I loved the moistness (from bread soaked in milk and 4 eggs) and the bacon on top. Think next time I will blend the recipe we normally use and hers by adding mushrooms, red pepper, and more onions. Michael was not a huge fan but I think with the blending of the two recipes he will be happier.
  16. Cheese Grits - We had these with steaks, cauliflower, and asparagus. Will say...there was a bit too much garlic in it for everyone and will probably leave out one clove next time. Might also add green onions and some bacon as well. FYI - we made a half a batch and it could have fed an army.
  17. Comfort Meatballs
  18. Creamy Rosemary Potatoes
  19. Olive Cheese Bread
  20. Flat Apple Pie
  21. Mocha Brownies
  22. Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
  23. Sour Cream Noodle Bake (from website) - This is the perfect mix of sour cream, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and noodle of course. Easy recipe for using ground beef. It will be a good recipe for Greyson. Michael's only complaint....not enough meat.
  24. Sweet Cinnamon Scones - so I didn't follow her recipe to the T but more blended by favorite scone recipe with hers. I prefer to use buttermilk for my liquid along with chilled butter. After multiple test runs my taste testers voted for buttermilk over whipping cream or yogurt. I didn't have any buttermilk in the house but had read that I could make my own with milk and vinegar and it worked perfectly. As suggested by Ree (Pioneer Woman) I did add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar as well as 1 cup Hershey's cinnamon chips. I decided to try mini sized scones this time and I think I will stick with that size from now on. Finally I added her topping of cinnamon and sugar. I mixed it with a little egg yolk and milk, spread it over the uncooked dough, and it cooked up to make the perfect crispy, sweet crust on top. 
Sweet Cinnamon Scones (before)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Galaktoboureko - Greek custard!

Yeah, don't try to say it :) This is one of Michael and my favorite desserts. He originally had it in a Greek restaurant he worked in as a teenager and then we found it years later in a restaurant - of course a restaurant no where close to our little town of Carthage so we decided we needed to find a recipe. After scouring many cooking sections of book stores we finally ran across Sheila Lukins All Around The World Cookbook. It's not a totally traditional recipe but it's close, and so yummy.



Galaktoboureko

Custard:
2 quarts whole mild
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup Cream of Weat cereal
10 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
16+ sheets phyllo pastry (find in frozen food section)

Syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur (we used Triple Sec - orange liqueur)
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Custard:
2. Scald the mild in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup of the butter and the Cream of Wheat. Increase the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool slightly.
3. In a bowl, beat the eggs until flluffy. Then add vanilla. Whisking constantly, gradually mix some of the hot cereal mixture into the eggs. Continue whisking constantly and gradually add the egg mixture to the remaining cereal mixture. Set aside.
4. Melt the reamining 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a pasty brush to lightly coat an 18x12 inch baking dish or pan with melting butter.
5. Remove the phyllo pastry from the box and lay the sheets on a dish towel. Cover the pastry with a sheet of waxed paper and a slightly dampened dish towel.
6. Place 8+ sheets of phyllo pastry in bottom of pan brushing each layer lightly with butter. (Michael and I found this is easier to do together). Pour custard over the phyllo and top with 8+ more sheets of phyllo brushing each layer with butter again.
7. Score the top into 24 squares and bake for an hour. (we have never scored the top, not sure why but I would bet that helps you to cut it after it is baked)

Syrup:
8. In a sauce pan, combine water, sugar, Grand Marnier, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly, take out cinnamon stick, and pour over dessert while still hot.
9. Let cool for an hour and serve. Can sprinkle top with cinnamon and powdered sugar (although we never have).
Image from Pamela Heywood on Pinterest


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 356 Days 99-105

99 - 4/9: High Stepper - his gate gets more efficient by the day

100 - 4/10: Just a Little Help - seems like he will be running before he figures out how to crawl

101 - 4/11: Sick baby boy again

102 - 4/12: Imagine - or should I say Iamgiue (do you know who did this?)

103 - 4/13: Calling Aunt Tra - Greyson just had to talk to her

104 - 4/14: Dessert Topping - something about this is not right

105 - 4/15: Running Friend - found this guy on my long run hanging out on the side of the road.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why Wednesday - Solo Riding

I will make this quick and to the point....cause it's a simple question....I should probably be able to answer it on my own....and I should be able to resolve it....but alas, the question still lingers....

WHY don't I think I can go on a bike ride by myself?  
...and to extend that...
HOW is it that I can RUN for multiple hours but when I think about riding my bike for that kind of time it feels like it just won't fit in???

With an adventure race looming, I need to get on some trails. I have put in some seat miles but not near enough to say I am ready for the race. I was going to go to spin class yesterday, but due to sick baby, I didn't get to go. I'm planning to do a ride tomorrow night when Michael gets home to watch G and then a Sunday road ride with Chanti. Let's hope they all pan out.

Run On!
Brooke

Free Fonts Extravaganza

When it comes to finding free fonts, this morning I hit the mother-load. Check these out ....they are AWESOME!!! The first is to Fonts for Peas and the second link is to Free Scrapbook Fonts both created by the same husband and wife team.


You can search through all of the fonts - and waste half a day like I did (kidding), or you can search through the type of font you are looking for on the right hand side. They even have some doodle packages that would be fun to use on blogs or some digital scrapbooking. 

FYI - for those of you that don't know how to install fonts to your computer here are some easy instructions for Windows 7 or Mac OS X.

Great, I better go now - I have to create some new projects to use the 100+ fonts I think I downloaded. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Special Thanks


It's been such a long time since our last post simply because Greyson is doing so great and we haven't really felt like there was much to say. He has more teeth coming in, he's scooting around, has gained a bit of weight, and is getting ready to turn the BIG 1 quite soon!

But yesterday we got some sad news about one of Greyson's supporters, Richard Campbell, and all I have been thinking about is how we need to take a moment to say thanks and to let his family know we are thinking about them, we send them our love, and we are sharing their sadness.

I don't claim that I knew him well, but I know that he was a loving husband, dad, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, friend, and more. I know that people say he was a very caring person. I know that as people have talked about him I haven't heard anyone say anything more than how much he will be missed.
And even though I didn't know him well I know that he cared for our son. I know he visited Greyson's page every time we posted an update and even sometimes more than that. I know that he waved at me every time he saw me out running and he got a kick out of telling me that Greyson was always beating me when I push him around town. I know that the first time we took Greyson to Michael's work, he took time out of his day to meet Greyson and make sure he was doing well. I didn't know him well, but what I did know I will miss.

I never know what to say in these sort of times, but I had to say something. Our hearts goes out to everyone that loved Richard and we will miss seeing his name show up every time we make new Greyson updates.

Brooke

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 356 Days 92-98

92 - 4/2: Can I go out and play? G's first day playing outside. We are loving spring.

93 - 4/3: Sunday ride with Chanti

94 - 4/4: G wasn't a fan of broccoli florets - immediately started picking at it.

95 - 4/5: Crafting

96 - 4/6: New App output - IncrediBooth

97 - 4/7: 11 Months Old Today
97 - 4/8: Out for a ride in the new bike trailer. Notice the sleeping baby.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Wednesday x2 - and late

Wow, it has been busy around here and the nice weather has kept us out later and let me give you a few more excuses........but really in my list of priorities, this has dropped to the bottom of the never ending (never finished) to-do list. But no worries, I am back ;-)

This week (and last) I finally got on my (and Chanti's) bike for some seat time. With the adventure race just around the corner and with Don(na) counting on me, I have to do more than run.

WHY is it so hard for me to cross train???

With a little guy, work, hobbies, planning a bridal shower and a 1st Birthday party, and sleep, I am find it very difficult to fit in one more thing, but this past week I did it. Sunday I went on a road ride (27 miles) in 35 mph gusts with Chanti and friends and then Thursday morning I made it to 45 minutes of spin class. I even made my normal 4 runs. Sometime next week I MUST get off the road and get some trails and/or some hills in.

Let's see what I can get it.

Run On!
Brooke

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pioneer Woman Cooking - Update

To bring you up to speed - I am on a mission to make some of the Pioneer Woman's recipes from her cookbook that Michael requested and some from her website. Here is the running list with the new tries in blue:

  1. PW's Potato Skins
  2. Hot Artichoke Dip
  3. Cinnamon Rolls (she's famous for these - has even been on many morning shows making them)
  4. Breakfast Burritos
  5. Migas
  6. French Breakfast Puffs
  7. Maple Pecan Scones
  8. MarlboroMan's Favorite Sandwich
  9. Spicy Pulled Pork
  10. Macaroni and Cheese
  11. Beans and Cornbread
  12. Cowboy Calzone
  13. Perfect Pot Roast - Was an easy recipe. We cooked ours in a crock-pot instead of a dutch oven and the only other thing I would do different would be to trim more fat off my Chuck Roast before cooking. Michael and Greyson both LOVED this.
  14. Chicken Pot Pie (Perfect Pie Crust) - First off, her crust is the flakiest crust I have ever seen. I left out one tablespoon of water and could have probably left out 2..it was a bit sticky. I followed the pot pie recipe to the T and it was unbelievable. We will make this one for sure again but maybe not too soon with the cup of whipping cream and 4 tablespoons of butter not to mention the cup and a half of vegetable shortening in the crust.
  15. Meatloaf - Followed the recipe to the T but decided to add onions. I loved the moistness (from bread soaked in milk and 4 eggs) and the bacon on top. Think next time I will blend the recipe we normally use and hers by adding mushrooms, red pepper, and more onions. Michael was not a huge fan but I think with the blending of the two recipes he will be happier.
  16. Cheese Grits - We had these with steaks, cauliflower, and asparagus. Will say...there was a bit too much garlic in it for everyone and will probably leave out one clove next time. Might also add green onions and some bacon as well. FYI - we made a half a batch and it could have fed an army.
  17. Comfort Meatballs
  18. Creamy Rosemary Potatoes
  19. Olive Cheese Bread
  20. Flat Apple Pie
  21. Mocha Brownies
  22. Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
  23. Sour Cream Noodle Bake (from website) - This is the perfect mix of sour cream, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and noodle of course. Easy recipe for using ground beef. It will be a good recipe for Greyson. Michael's only complaint....not enough meat.
  24. Sweet Cinnamon Scones - coming soon since I finally found the cinnamon chips

Friday, April 1, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 356 Days 85-91

85 - 3/26: Spring Running - the new flowers and buds make it all the better.

86 - 3/27: New/Old Camera

 87 - 3/28: I like the way barns smile at you.

88 - 3/29: Geocaching Woes - still can't find that cache

89 - 3/30: He Can't Stop Moving -even for a second

90 - 3/31: Sushi with Friends

 91 - 4/1: Liberty Cache (my first Travel Bug)