Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bootcamp Challenge: Timed Mile


I feel like 10 million bucks at this very moment!


Cardio Wednesday.

Today was a special Cardio Wednesday because it was really "Bootcamp Challenge" day.

The one timed mile.

Major suck.

The winner gets a t-shirt.  That's decent.

I don't know who won yet.  We ran the dreaded mile in three waves.

BUT!!  Here's why I'm so extremely impressed with myself....

I ran the mile faster than I have ran a mile in TEN YEARS!!!

8 minutes and 21 seconds


I ROCK!  I can't believe myself....

I timed myself, on my own, on Monday....I ran a 9m30s mile.  I will pretty impressed even then.

I have no clue how I ran it in 8m21s today.

Let me re-cap it for you:

Ten bootcamp veterans are lined up on the starting line. I'm am so nervous. Jerry yells "Go" and starts the timer.  I started Lap One at a good pace, right behind 5 other girls.  I keep telling myself to "keep a good pace, don't start off too fast".  Lap Two, I was behind only 2 girls now, breathing good, pace good.  Lap Three, girl number one got passed, but girl number two was right beside me.  We were neck and neck.  I couldn't shake her.  Last Lap, I picked up the pace.  Arms pumping, legs stretching out as far as they can, heaving in air like I was fueling some kind of internal furnace.  Girl number two, passed.  I am in the lead, ya'll (Girl lead, not boy lead.  They were way ahead).  Girl No.2 is right behind me, on my heels, taunting me with her rapid breathing like she wants to run me over at any moment.  On the last curve, before the final stretch, I hear her pace quicken.  She's coming at me.  So I pick up my pace, 'cause I ain't ready to lose (P.S. this is not a competition, but somehow I made it one).  Final 100 Meters....I am at a DEAD sprint....Bustin' it.   Chugging like a crazy train.  As fast as these big legs can move.  Rockin' it.  I cross the finish line, first of the girls in my wave. I'm sucking wind, bad.  But I did it.  In 8 minutes and 21 seconds.  I did it.

I could win that t-shirt.  Maybe, just maybe.

That's all I wanted to share today.  I feel like a champion.  A hero. Like Rocky Balboa.

It's a great way to start a day.

Keep Posted,
'cause if I get that t-shirt, you'll be seeing me in it,

the rave

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pinterest. It's What's For Dinner.

Last night, we had a fabulous meal!

Seriously, it was so good.

I am not a genius in the kitchen, by any means.

But I am really good at following instructions...aka, recipes.

Some may say that makes me less of a "chef", because I lack creativity or the desire to experiment and make a perfectly flavorful concoction. 

Well, I've got news for those folks.  I've never wanted to be a chef, and I don't really like to cook real food (I love baking sweets and breads!). 

So, if I need a recipe to thrive in the kitchen, so be it.  I feel no shame.

Besides, I've always made up for my lack of ability by working super hard to do "whatever" well.

It's worked out well for me so far.

So, for our dinner last night, I consulted my ever-deepening friendship with Pinterest.

First,  I made homemade butter.  I shook my jar of heavy cream while watching an episode of Glee (season 2, episode good!).

After making my homemade butter (you can definitely use store bought butter), I turned to this Country Living recipe to add a bit of fall flare.  

Maple butter.  Basically, combine butter, maple syrup, and a touch of hot sauce (think Cholula).

I wish I had these cute, tiny maple leaf cutters.  

It's divine.  I admit, I did lick clean one of the beaters from my mixer, after the butter was finished.  

I know, it's disgusting.  But it was so good too.  Sinful.  I'm aware.

Later on in the evening, after dinner, I made the perfect companions to this maple-y, butter-y delight...  

So easy.  No rising.  No kneading.  Just mixing and shaping and baking.

I've had a couple for breakfast already.  With butter.  Maple butter.

On to the dinner menu.

Caleb, one of our housemates, invited a couple of guys over for dinner.  They had been camping out at City Hall for the Occupy Philly movement.  They had some pretty interesting stories to tell.  They had been at the Occupy WallStreet movement in NYC before heading to Philly. Crazy stuff.

Anyways, back to dinner.

Baked Chicken Nuggets.  I skipped the coconut oil and used 2 eggs, beaten, to coat the chicken.

At the last minute, when I found out that we would be having guests, and the food supply seemed like less than enough, I whipped up some **cough** instant **cough** mashed potatoes and frozen peas.  Nothing special there.

I was scrambling to fill the tummies of two nineteen year old boys, plus Dustin and Caleb.  

Let me just say that the Autumn Chopped Salad was the favorite of the night.  Everything was so delicious, but ironically, the salad was the big hit.  Go figure.  Guys and salad...anything is possible I guess.  

Now, if my dad would eat, and love, a salad like that, it would truly be a miracle.  (Dad, there's no watery, white, iceberg
lettuce in this, just pure green, romaine goodness.  I don't know if you could handle it).

If you guys decide to make the salad I would love to hear how it goes over with your audience.  I was totally surprised by the "yum" factor and reaction I got from it.

Also, ya'll should definitely make the maple butter.  It would be excellent on toast, pumpkin bread of any kind, or even cornbread!

Go all out!

Keep Posted,

the rave

A Sad Goodbye

I have been wanting to share with you my latest moment of sorrow.

It's a difficult thing to express the deep attachment that I've had for a dear friend of mine.  We go way back.  Almost 10 years back.

We've been through a lot of good times.  We've also been through a lot of rainy, muddy, dirty seasons.

But it was time for me to let go.  To move on.  

My dear, sweet, perfectly-molded-to-my-feet tennis shoes were begging to be set free.  Or put out of their misery.  Whichever way you prefer to see it.

 I guess I have attachment issues.

After much deliberation, I did preform a holy and proper burial for my running, mowing, painting, bootcamping companions.  Aka, I threw them in the trash after letting them sit on my window sill and bask in the glory of their former days for a while.

Now, I have these:

Has anyone else had crazy attachment issues with inanimate objects too??  I would love to feel affirmed in my psychotic tendencies.

Keep Posted,

the rave

Friday, October 21, 2011

From Concrete To Country

Whew!  Lots has happened since my last post.

Let me update you.

Dustin and I took a little jaunt to Lancaster County this past weekend.  Being on the cusp of autumn, the tips of trees tinged with color, the air crisp and cool and fresh, it made for a glorious weekend.  I really do believe if I could choose what heaven looked like, it would closely resemble Amish country.

Making our escape.
On our way there, once we had entered into Lancaster County, I kept bursting out into song, "America the Beautiful".  I was SO distracted.  I was supposed to be paying attention to the directions, due to my lack of concentration, we had to turn around once or twice to get back on the correct route.  Oops.

Tell me this isn't the most beautiful sunset.
Our Bed & Breakfast...for the first time ever!

An old mansion, built in 1735.  The basement held the town's first jail...only two cells.

One of 6 or 7 had gorgeous sky lights in the ceiling.

Hand painted flowers decorated the entire was so beautiful.

Outside, they had gorgeous landscaping and a great fire pit with wooden benches all around.
Great view of the surrounding area.  The barn on the right is an antique store.  They had some really cool things.
Typical.  He's laughing, but this is not a friendly environment at the moment.
An Episcopal church across the street from the inn.  Built in 1722.  General George Washington attended here twice during his encampment at Valley Forge.
A beautiful, historic structure.
The church's cemetery.  President Abraham Lincoln's grandparents are buried here. His grandfather was also named Abraham Lincoln.

Secondly, after returning from my slice of heaven, bootcamp was back in action.  I can't say enough about how much I love these workouts.  Yes, I hate them while I am in the midst of it, but I feel SO GREAT after every time.  I mean, my muscles feel so solid.  Yes, they are still hidden under these stubborn layers of flab, but they are rocks!  That's relative, you know.

Compared to they way I felt, the way my body felt, 5 weeks ago, I feel like SuperWoman.

Feeling strong is a great, empowering thing.  When I flex, intentionally or naturally, I feel this rush of energy.  Like I could jump through the roof of my house if I wanted.  Or do a walking lunge to Timbuktu.  Or really, just run up and down the stairs in my house 5 million times.

Gosh it feels good.

5:30AM...who cares.

Muscle soreness...bring it.

Extra warmup laps for being early....fine, I'll do it.

I feel like a champ.  That's champion.

However, my Groupon deal ends soon.  In about a week and a half or less.  I can keep going for $75/month.  Ouch.

Bubble has officially burst.

I can't exercise on my own.  I am so un-motivated.  I won't get up at 5:30, three days a week, by myself.  I don't operate like that.

I'm sure ya'll understand.

What do you guys think??  It feels so great to have this exercise routine, but I can't afford $75 a month.  I can't justify it, even though I feel like a rockstar after every workout.

What's a girl to do??

Moving along.  I got a job this week.  I will be the Office Manager at a chiropractor's office not too far from here.  It's part time, which is super.  I will work 3 days a week and I will get paid enough to finally get health insurance for myself and to keep up the sewing and Etsy stuff on the side.  Perfect.  Really, it's so perfect.

I will be wearing scrubs on a daily basis.  Never saw myself doing that.  But I can dig it.

Oh, I officially start Nov. 2.  Only a few more weeks of no work.  I am getting my sew on while I can.

I am actually working on a blouse for myself.  Here's a preview.

I still need to add the sleeves and hem the bottom.
I am in the process of attaching the collar...I have to slip stitch it on.  It's a little time consuming.

This is back.  I am proud of my professional looking placket(?).  I still need to add a couple of eye hooks to close it up.  I think that's what they are called.

The final product should look like the yellow top in the middle.
I don't do ballon/ruffle sleeves.  Not my taste.

Lastly, the weekend after this one, I will be heading to the Big Apple with two friends to go to a Derrick Webb/Sandra McCracken concert.  We will be there the whole weekend!!  I'm really excited.

I will be listing a few more items in my Etsy store soon.  I will let you know when that happens!

Keep Posted,

the rave

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Etsy Items

This will be brief.  Dustin and  I are leaving this afternoon to spend the weekend in the countryside with the Amish.  It doesn't get much better than that.

I have listed some new items in my Etsy store.

I bought most of them at the yard sale my church had a few weekends back.

These are mostly dishes.  Some collectible, some just really pretty.

1.  Myott Stratfordshire, England - Fruit/Dessert Bowls - set of 8 $24 (set of 4 - $16)

 2.  Mustard Yellow Epiag Saucers - Czechoslovakia - plate hangers included - set of 2 - $10

3. Norman Rockwell "The Music Maker" Collector's Plate - plate hanger included - $12

4. Norman Rockwell "Mother's Pride" Collector's Plate - plate hanger included - Certificate of Authenticity - $15

5. Paragon Dessert Plate - Honiton Pattern - $10

I will be listing a few other things soon.  Retro floral sheet & pillowcase, Retro floral tablecloth, and possibly some vintage aluminum canisters like these.  I am having a hard time letting them go, but I need to.  Sigh.

Keep Posted,

the rave

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lucky Girl

FOUR YEARS!!  Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!

(This is the year to give linens. I know you care.)

Sometimes I can't believe it's been so long.

Sometimes I doesn't seem likes it's been long enough.

Sometimes I need to say these things....

...things I love about my husband:
*He has an intensity about life and people that pushes me to look at and love things differently than I would on my own.

*He loves his family. Especially his brother.

*He loves my family.

*He can pick me up and twirl me around even when I feel like I weigh 1000 pounds.

*He loves math.  This means, I don't have to.

*He's neat and clean.  It may sound simple, but the good Lord knew I needed a man like this.

*His ability to grow a beard like nobody's business.  His ancestors were probably Vikings. or pirates. or lumberjacks. or grizzly bears.

*His laugh.  I LOVE his laugh.

*The diligence and determination he has for little things, like helping me fold clothes, or cook dinner, or using the sewing machine to sew a himself a new guitar strap.

*The joy he expresses over my cooking. Food in general, really.  He's like a kid in a candy shop. Every time.

*His love and appreciation for people, music, food, etc.

* He's a great people know who you are.  He's touched a lot of lives in his few years of living.  He doesn't make friends to increase his facebook count (something that he doesn't even have).  If you want his friendship, you've got.  No holding back.  Just get ready.  He doesn't do "surface level".  It's not in his vocabulary.

*He's a geek.  "You wanna talk about our dish-washing schedule?  Let me make you a powerpoint."  "You wanna lock all the doors and windows?  I already did that.  And checked them, twice.  And I locked our friends in our car, and didn't even know it."

*He can stay up until the wee hours of the morning with anyone who's willing to dialogue about anything.

*He loves me to the core.  Do you know what that's like??  It's pretty upsetting when I really think about it.  Devastating, actually.  There's no love like the love of our Father, but Dustin does an overwhelming job of letting the Father's love spill out of him onto me.  My heart swells to almost bursting when I realize it.  How could I not love him back?  How could I do anything other than shower him with the same affection, exuberance of life, peace, patience, compassion, conviction, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control?

I could go on and on.  And on and on.  I know a lot of you could do the same about your spouse.

I'm a very lucky girl.  A very undeserving, lucky girl.

It's our four year anniversary today.  And I want to celebrate and let the whole world know...and remind myself....let's get real, I need the reminder....what a special, one-of-a-kind love that I have.

God has been so good.  So, so good.

Before we even spoke to one another, let alone, thought of each other in form...we weren't even friends. Circa 2004
One of the very first dates...don't we look so young?!  Circa 2005 
Christmas time.  Look at that baby face!  Circa 2005

Dating a youth conference.  Circa 2006
Around the holidays...Circa 2006
Playing tennis with some buddies.  About to get hitched!  Circa 2007
Pretty sure we are engaged...but I can't remember.  Murder Mystery game at the Penlands.  So fun...Circa 2007??
October 13, 2007
The Island of Curaco...Honeymoon.  Circa 2007
San Jose, Costa Rica....Study Abroad trip.  Circa 2008
Philadelphia Blizzard.  Circa 2009
Philly Historic Adventure. Circa 2010
Burlington, Vermont.  Circa 2011
Baltimore, MD.  Circa 2011
Instead of letting my mind race with all of the reasons I don't deserve this love or life, I choose to celebrate it.  I have been given a good gift!  I can't erase all of the mistakes I've made, the things I've said wrong, the things I should have done but didn't or shouldn't have done but did.

But I can celebrate the good.  I can live in the present.  I can take advantage of what is happening...right now!

Four Years!!  And I am so in love.

Here's a snippet of a video that I forgot I had.  It's from last year's snowy winter....forgive me, it's a bit grainy.

I love you Dustin.

the rave