Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Confessions 7.13.12

I confess....that last Saturday, I ran the Coon Dog Day 5K, just barely. It was hot, and I wasn't ready for the race, and I did not like it. But, I hung out with friends, and at least burned some calories. 

A few hours after the race I was content to float down the river on a tube, and I confess that I really love tubing. It was a perfect day. I didn't see any snakes (didn't look for any), and stayed in the middle of the river. I go into panic attack mode when I get too close to the bank. All I can do then is go in circles, like a freakin' idiot. But, I mastered the art of staying in the middle this year. Of course, having a really nifty paddle helps! The next day though, Sunday, I was really sore - from running and paddling! But it was the best kind of sore.

I found out about a new sports watch that may hit the market this spring. I blogged about it this week, and you can check that out here. The watch has a very cool safety feature, and is lighter and sleeker than other GPS watches on the market. I confess that I pledged to back them, and would love to see them get all the funding they need. They have a Kickstart campaign going until July 14.

Hubby and I celebrated 18 years of marriage this week. I confess that I still find it hard to believe that we have been married that long! After we agreed (I thought) to just have a meal out together, he sent me roses - the card read "I believe in miracles since you came along".

We made Sugar-Free Flourless Peanut Butter cookies in our baking group this week. I'm try to eat lower carb right now, and I thought this might be a tasty treat. With the key ingredients missing (sugar & flour) I should have known they would be NASTY. They weren't just nasty - they were gross. And I confess that I served them to all my residents anyway,and offered them to staff too - without telling them that I thought they were horrible. I don't know why I keep trying with Splenda. I don't like it, and never will.

What are YOU confessing this week?

Confessions are being hosted by MAMARAZZIClick the button if you'd like to join in.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Bia: A GPS Sports Watch for Women that Men Want Too

I just found out about a new Ladies sports watch that will be on the market in April 2013. I have a Garmin 305 now, and for those of you who know - this thing is humongous. Very unladylike. Very bulky. And I am constantly fidgeting with it on my wrist. Don't get me wrong, I love what it does for me - shows my pace, my time, my distance, heart rate and all the data I've come to love.

But wouldn't it be awesome to have all this, with a safety alert for peace of mind on solo-runs, and a smaller, sleeker design? Well, if the funding comes in, we could have all this - by April 2013.

This watch was designed by women, for women. Of course when it comes out, men are going to want one too. This is what we've been waiting on ladies - please take a look.

This watch not only provides (quick) GPS technology (without the awful standing around, staring at my watch syndrome), and has a built in safety alert to send information to loved ones and emergency services with the push of a button when you can't grab your phone. One of the founders, Cheryl Kellond, says they designed it because they heard over and over from women how they were afraid to run alone, or at night, or early in the morning, or on trails (basically this sounds like everywhere). Cheryl agrees that while this won't solve everything, and it's only part of an overall defensive running strategy, it plays a roll in allowing us to keep our freedom and give our loved ones peace of mind. (info retrieved for this paragraph from Shut Up + Run)

The safety feature alone is worth good money - it will send an email with coordinates of your location to a loved one and emergency services. A three-second click that could save your life.

I've checked out the info, and I believe in this product -so much so that I've backed them. 

You can too (for as little as $1) - check out the Bia Sports Watch, watch the short video on their Kickstarter page and see for yourself. They have until July 14, 2012 to get their pledges in order to get Bia ready for market. Go support them!


Bia is the greek goddess of force and power; she is also Nike's younger sister. 

Still have questions? Check out their FAQ page.

Ergonomically designed.

Much smaller than standard GPS watch

I would love to have one of these on my wrist next Spring!

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gone to the dogs.....Coon Dog Day 5K

This is how I felt from the start of this race! It was really, really hot and humid. I hadn't run any length in almost 2 weeks. But I had registered, so I was going to do this race run. And I got a very cool tech t-shirt.

The Coon Dog Day festival in Saluda, NC is the 49th annual celebration for dogs and their people. What began as a chicken supper fundraiser for the local Coon Club has grown into an event that attracts 10,000 people each year. 

Live entertainment started at 9am, and continued until the end of the street dance at 11pm. The parade is a favorite event, and consists of mostly homemade floats, tractors, fire trucks, horses, motorcycles, dogs and the reigning Coon Dog Royalty Court. All in all, a lively local event.

But to be honest, I skipped the whole festival because I wanted to attend my best friend's annual Floatilla. What on earth is a floatilla? A Tubing extravaganza on the Green River, Saluda, NC. It was the perfect conclusion to an ill-run race. I LOVE tubing.

This is my friend's mother. Notice the paddle in her hand - we all have these wonderful paddles. She gave me mine for Christmas after my first year attending. Each year we wood-burn the year onto the handle. Proves we were there I guess. But the paddles really make us the envy on the river.

But, I digress, back to the 5K race report:

Of course, there were coon dogs there too.

I don't like it when races start out with hills, and this one did. When I do my training runs, I always carry water or watered down Gatorade. I should have had some with me today, but I was thinking - it's only 3 miles. And I didn't want to look like a wimp. But it hurt me today. There was only 1 water station, right after the first mile. I could have used another one at mile two.

There were rolling hills until the last mile, and for the most part, that was all downhill. That was nice. I wasn't going for a PR - I haven't been running regularly for the last month, well, really since the Mud Run in June. I haven't gotten my groove back. 

Here's a picture of me near the finish line - I look pained. And I guess I was. I picked up my pace when I knew the end was near. Not one of my better races, at all. I just wanted it to be over.

But I have two 8k's coming up in August - Maggie Valley Moolight, and in September - Ache Around the Lake

Ache Around the Lake was my very first race 2 years ago. It was an ambitious beginning, because it's a very tough 5 mile course. Big hills until the last 1/2 mile. I thought I would actually die the very first time I attempted to run the route.

But it just happens to take place on the little lake where I live, so I was faced with it every year for the past 11 years, so two years ago I decided to go for it. Three years ago, I started with the "easier" 2-mile Ouch. I walked that with  a 90 year old woman, and we came in dead last. Of course, I later overheard her telling someone that she "couldn't get rid of that girl that walked with me". I was standing less than 2 feet away, but maybe she wanted me to hear...

So this week I will work on getting back on a running schedule. 

Our Tryon Running Club is offering a Running Clinic the end of July with Katie Malone of Malone Coaching. Katie is a triathlete herself and coaches other triathletes and runners. It will be a great learning opportunity for me. 

Will I participate in the Coon Dog Day 5K next year? Mmmm, the jury's still out on that one. 

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Confessions 7.6.12

This has been a long week, and I confess that I am glad it is almost over!

I confess that I wanted to eat many of my Oreo Peanut Butter one sitting. Thankfully I gave (most of) them away.

I confess that I will be running  The Color Run with my sisters after all! I am so super excited! Here is the video again, if you didn't watch it last time - it looks like so much fun! The song is by Imagine Dragons "On Top of the World."

How did this change happen? Well, we experienced a death in my husband's family last week, and it changed my perspective. I want to do this with my sisters, and who knows what may happen next year. We all got registered just in time! It's all sold out now!

I confess this run and other future races I have planned should keep me on track and running. I was derailed this past week, but will still be participating in the Coon Dog Day 5k tomorrow. Yes, and entire festival dedicated to the beloved Coon Dog. I've run this route one time - it's hilly, but lots of my TRC buddies will be there, and that's always fun.

Last but not least I confess that I love my sister's new blog 40 by 40. She is on the brink of 40. She wants to do 40 things she's never done before, before she turns 40. She has about 3 years to do this, so it will be a fun and interesting blog. She's an even newer blogger than I am, so give here some blog love, if you are so inclined.

Her very first adventure is going to be to bake a layer cake from scratch (my suggestion ; ) ), and she will be making my Red Velvet Heaven

What are YOU confessing this week??

Confessions are being hosted by MAMARAZZIClick the button if you'd like to join in.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes - Oh, My!

I found this insanely evil-rich piece of beauty on pinterest. I first made them at work with my baking group this past spring. My residents (and all the staff) LOVED them - so we have made them several times since.

The group of bakers I have right now all want to participate, and do something during our group. So we usually end up baking dozens and dozens of whatever we have on the plate for the day. And to keep them out of my office, and my mouth, we give them all away to anyone who will take one, or two, or more. I've had residents before who were very content to watch me do all the work, and then eat everything "we" made after.

But this "recipe", if you will, is just about one of the best things you will ever, ever eat. Well, if you like oreos, peanut butter and brownies. And one of the easiest desserts/snacks you will make. They are so good you will lie for them, as in - if someone asks you if there are anymore, you will lie and say they are all gone - knowing you still have 1/2 dozen squirreled away behind your cereal boxes. You will even consider hurting someone over the last one. They. are. that. good. 

I've been asked to parties with the promise that I'll bring these with me if I'll come...

How easy are they, you ask? Well, short of burning them to a crisp, it is really hard to mess them up.

First, your ingredients - 

(1) Get a box or two of Oreos - I've used the regular kind, chocolate filled and the vanilla creme. I like the Chocolate filled ones a lot, but they are all good. If you are keen on mint, you could use those. And I guess you could use the reduced fat, but really what's the point? You are already creating a morsel with a gazillion calories...

(2) a jar of peanut butter - whatever kind you like. And, you could go with reduced fat, but come on, really??

(3) brownie mix - your favorite, but I recommend one without chips, nuts or other lumpy add ins

Family size will make 24 brownies

(4) brownie mix extra ingredients - whatever it says you need on the box

(5) Muffin/cupcake liners

Oreos & Peter Pan

Grab an oreo and slather with peanut butter, top with another oreo and more peanut butter. Oreo, peanut butter, oreo, peanut butter. Place in muffin cup, then in muffin pan.

Looks good just like this, doesn't it??

Now, mix up your batter, just like it says on the box. The only thing I add is extra water. If it calls for 1/4, I use 1/2 cup. You want the batter to be smooth, on the thin side, not really thin, but not so thick it won't pour over your oreos.

Don't worry if you don't get every edge of oreo or peanut butter covered over. The batter will bake up and around the cookies. They will look simply beautiful when they are finished.

Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. The oreos will be soft right out of the oven, but after cooling they harden back up.
You can dig in while they are warm - ooey and gooey, but I think they are better after they have cooled off. Either way, make sure you have some cold milk to go with.

Luscious Layers of oreo & peanut butter

Where ever you show up with these - you will be an instant RockStar!

Here is the official recipe - from Food Snots. Her pictures are way better than mine! Take a look.

Oreo and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes

1 box brownie mix, 8x8 inch size
24 Oreo Cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 muffin cup baker with paper liners.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. For each cupcake cup spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter over 2 Oreo cookies and stack them on top of each other. Place oreo stacks into the cupcake lined muffin cups. Spoon 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over each stacked oreos and let it run down the sides of the cookies. If you have left over brownie batter, bake separately in a separate baker or muffin tin. Bake cookies and brownies for 18 to 20 minutes, until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely then serve.

Makes 12 servings

The Beautiful Bottom

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