I love the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The kids are off school and we prepare for hosting the big feast with a lot of cooking, cleaning, and projects (interspersed with some lazy downtime, too!) This year, Hayden is off on a bird hunting trip with Grandpa, so the girly and I have been occupying our time with Photobooth pictures:
and paper doll fashion shows:
We treated ourselves to a manicure on Sunday (sparkly lavender for R, a deep teal blue for mama):
and we constructed a garland for our "Twig Tree" using circles of Making Memories & Jillibean Soup double-sided patterned paper, Jillbean corrugated flowers, and Jenni Bowlin chip buttons sewn together in a chain:
While we bake, this guy dutifully keeps the kitchen floor clean from crumbs and spills (though he was not a fan of cranberries):
Daddy has been busy with the woodworking tools in the garage, constructing a custom sign that I've been wanting to adorn the space over our French doors. I'd seen a similar one in Ballard Designs, but I wanted it to be personalized for our family. I sketched out a design and the handy hubby did the rest. His woodworking skills + my Silhouette letters make a pretty good combo, no?
And in the few moments in between all this, I'm getting in some scrapping with the December Jenni Bowlin kit. It's loveliness, I tell you! Here's a tiny sneak:
Today we plan some more baking....we'll pick up the turkey....and collect our young hunter when he returns from Kansas this afternoon. Better get busy! Enjoy your Tuesday!
finishing up some new pillow covers for our living room:
working on our advent calendar tags (from Elle's Studio):
finalizing Thanksgiving menu, recipes, and shopping list:
creating table centerpieces for the big meal:
and selecting wine to accompany the food (taste-testing involved, natch.)
so what are you up to currently?
I'm spending this week tackling my mile-long Thanksgiving to-do list, but if you happen to be doing some pre-holiday scrapping, here's an easy and quick page recipe for you!
Big Hugs | supplies: Bazzill Basics French Vanilla Cardstock + My Minds Eye papers (Ledger Boy, Twinkle Twinkle Boy) + Studio Calico stamps (polka dot, Noah alpha, Addy alpha) + Maya Road Chipboard Pennants + Jenni Bowlin Pearl Buttons in Yellow + Jenni Bowlin inks (Malted Milk, Brown Sugar) + Jenni Bowlin Chili Powder paint dabber + Studio Calico Calico White Mr. Huey + twine, staples, pen
1. Apply Chili Powder paint to polka dot stamp, apply approx. 2" from the top and right edge of cardstock.
2. Cut ledger paper to 4x6 and star paper to 3" x 7.5". Adhere blocks to cardstock once stamped image in dry.
3. Select five chip pennants to spray with Mister Huey. Paint two hearts with Chili Powder. Once dry, adhere buttons and hearts to pennants and thread chips onto red baker's twine.
4. Stamp title in upper right using the Noah alpha with Malted Milk ink and the Addy alpha with Brown Sugar ink. Outline letters with a brown pen.
5. Print two photos (2.75" x 3.75") and adhere on top of ledger paper. Add journaling above photos.
6. Stitch border around design. Staple banner across page just below photos.
Five unrelated and random things I feel the need to share:
1. Loving the Organix Coconut Milk line of hair products. So far, I've bought the shampoo, conditioner, mousse, serum, and instant repair and they are all wonderful. I adore the lovely, light smell and it makes my rather fine hair silky, smooth, and voluminous. And if I learned anything during my college years in Texas, it's that big hair is better.
2. Made a rather happy discovery in the check-out line at Target when I saw these York Peppermint Pretzel Sandwiches from Snyder's. A dark-chocolate covered pretzel and peppermint patty sandwich? Yes, please! The combination of sweet and salty, chocolate and mint is worth every calorie (and I think they are a seasonal item, so grab some while you can!).
3. A story in yesterday's Denver Post revealed that the marathon I ran back in October was measured incorrectly and participants ran an extra 764 feet (or .14 miles). Not a huge deal, you say? To which I reply, LIKE HELL IT AIN'T! I signed up for 26.2 and not an inch more. And in order to properly brag about my new ultra-marathoner status, I designed my own bumper sticker and had them printed at CafePress:
4. Picked up a super cheap pair of silver aviator shades (because the delicate nature of these glasses + my general all-around clumsiness don't mix, and I'd cry if I sat on a pair of $179 Ray Bans) as well as a simple black boyfriend blazer at American Eagle last weekend. These should serve to either make me look hip & on-trend, or like the 1986 version of Kelly McGillis in Top Gun.
5. Excited about working on this year's advent calendar from Elle's Studio (and having Riely home today to help me!) We plan to hang the 25 tags on a mini Christmas tree and each will contain a holiday activity, small treat, or festive reading.
And that's I've got for today! Happy Friday!
I know, I know...I couldn't think of a better segue from marathoning to baking than the obvious carb-loading reference. Which, if you're a regular reader, you know is my favorite part of running. So today I'm sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake. With an egg nog latte, it's perfect for breakfast. Pair it with a vanilla chai tea for an afternoon snack. Or pour a late harvest dessert wine and enjoy before bed. Or, if you're an advanced level carb loader like me, do all three.
However you enjoy it, it's a great cake for fall. Go try it. You'll like it. :)
1 c butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
2 c unbleached flour
1 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each: nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1. Stir together dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. Cream together shortening, eggs and sugars until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient bowl and stir to incorporate. Add nuts.
4. Pour into greased 10-inch bundt pan and bake at 350º for 60-65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto wire rack to remove cake and cool completely.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or smear with cream cheese frosting.
I've had several requests to share some of my marathon training tools and favorite running products, so I thought I'd wrap up the last of my Marathon Mondays for 2010 on that theme. Be advised that I am not a professional marathon runner (nor do I play one on tv). I've completed two marathon training regimines, run one marathon, all of which involved lots of whining and wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into. I'm not sure that qualifies me to recommend anything (beyond an ibuprofen-stocked medicine cabinet) but here are some of the items that I couldn't have done without:
Training Regime. Used by my Boston-qualifying friend Alison, the Run Less, Run Faster book has training schedules for both half-marathons and marathons and specific workouts designed around your goal finish time. I trained to run a 3:55 marathon, and my finish time was 30 seconds faster than that - proof that the program does, indeed, work. Each week, you have a speed run, a tempo run, and a long run. The book recommends cross-training an additional two days a week (swimming, biking, and rowing are emphasized) but quite often, I used those days for recovery or yoga or eating bons bons and drinking wine while planted on the couch. (I kid. Kind of.) Three days a week of running might not seem like enough (and I admit to doing some shorter 5-7 mile easy runs on cross training days) but if you are diciplined enought to strictly follow the pacings and intervals, your body will need the time off to repair. And consume bon bons.
Shoes. I wear two different pairs of shoes when training. My Newton Universal Performance Racer is a lightweight shoe that I use for speed and tempo runs. Newtons are designed to help you land on your midfoot/forefoot, where the bulk of your natural foot padding is. It is the fastest, and efficient way to run. I was not a heavy heel-striker before wearing Newtons, so the transition to these shoes was easy. They are not for everyone (I highly recommend you receive a professional evaluation of your gait before committing to a particular shoe) but they work for me.
For my long runs, I feel more comfortable in a soft, cushy shoe. I have a neutral gait (don't pronate or suppinate) but I do have very high arches, so a cushioned shoe with arch support is a must. I go back and forth between the Asics Gel Kayano and the Asics Gel Nimbus, depending on what's on sale, and these are the shoes that get the most mileage (and also the ones I race in.)
I think the most important thing about shoes is to replace them often. Running is a relatively cheap sport (which is good - save your money for wine!) but don't skimp on the most important piece of equipment. I keep a log of the miles on my shoes and replace them every 350-400 miles. Which works out to about 4 pairs every year - but hey, it's cheaper than knee surgery!
Timing. Once you get preoccupied with your mile pace (and show me a seasoned runner who isn't) the investment in a Garmin is a must. It accurately tells me how fast I'm running at any given moment, my cumulative pace for the run, the calories I've burned, and the distance I've gone. It has many, many more capabilities, but those are the ones I use most. I own the Forerunner 305, which is now available for $199 (about $150 less than I paid 4 years ago!). And Garmin's customer service can't be beat. When my watch stopped turning on earlier this year, I called them and even though it was out of warranty, they replaced the watch with a new one for a $79 fee. Since I feel naked running without my Garmin, it was money well spent.
Fuel. Before training for a marathon, I never required water on a run. But when I started long training runs over the summer, and my husband refused to follow along behind me in the car with a cooler of ice water, I invested in a 4-bottle Fuel Belt. It took a bit of getting used to, but the belt doesn't ride up, stays snugly around my hips, and I forget it's there until I'm thirsty or need a carb reload. I fill the bottles halfway with water, freeze them, and then top them off with water or Gatorade before heading out on a run. In the velcro pocket, I keep a mini LaraBar or two (which are now available at Target, too!) or a Bonk Breaker bar (the peanut butter & jelly flavor is yummmmmmy!)
Socks. Ditch the cotton socks unless you want blisters galore. A polyester/wool/cotton blend with wicking qualities (like CoolMesh or DriFit) is so much better and your feet will thank you. I've tried out tons of different socks and my favorite, hands down, are the Thorlo Experia Running Socks. They have just the right amount of padding (and a mesh arch support) without being bulky. And they come in pink. Bonus!
Support. As my OBGyn will concur, the most important item for running (after your shoes) is your bra. I've tested out quite a few and there's one that I always go back to: The Moving Comfort Cameo Bra. I like the scoop-back style as it doesn't chafe my collar bone like a racer-back does. It comes in great colors and is quite often on clearance at Sierra Trading Post, so stock up! One note - this bra seems to run big. I am typically a 34D, yet I always buy a 32C in these bras.
Skirt. I am a big fan of the running skirt. Not only does it look cute and girly, it hides thigh sweat. What? You don't get thigh sweat? Well then you're not running fast enough. I have several colors of the cheap C9 skirts from Target, but the undershorts in these are a bit looser and tend to chafe on long runs. The Nike Pacer skirt solves that problem with anti-chafe compression shorts underneath. I LOVE this skirt - it's lightweight, has never given me the dreaded thigh burn, and it's center zip pocket on the back waist band is perfect for holding bon bons.
Playlist. Several people have asked me to share my playlist and at the risk of endless ribbing for my um, "ecclectic" taste in tunes, I will share it today. Hey now, don't judge. It did, remember, get me through 26.2 miles relatively painlessly:
So there you have it....the must-have items for any wine-swilling, bon-bon loving, sometimes whiny, but always stylish running girl. Now go log some miles!
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The Jenni Bowlin Studio Blog Hop is still open - scroll down to the post below and leave a comment there to enter the giveaway!
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The new Red/Black extension from Jenni Bowlin Studio is all the vintage-y goodness you expect from Jenni! The colors will be perfect for holiday pages, back-to-school, heritage and so much more. My favorite part of the line is the die-cut journal cards. They come in cute little pads and the unique shapes are so much fun to incorporate on a page.
Here's two pages of mine from the November kit, which contains lots of the new products. It's still in stock at the General Store, so grab one while you can!
Back to School | supplies: patterned paper, letter stickers (Jenni Bowlin Studio) + pebbles (Prima) + die cut machine (Silhouette) + fonts (Androgyne - title; Orator - journaling ) + mini staples (TIm Holtz) + vintage invoice + baker's twine
Don't forget to leave a comment on the post below to be entered in a drawing for the new Jenni Bowlin goodies! (Comments will be open until noon on Friday - MST) And have a great Wednesday!
And the winner is...
Congrats to Katie, who was randomly selected to win the Jenni Bowlin goodies. Thanks to everyone for playing along on our blog hop!
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Hello friends! Exciting things are happening over at Jenni Bowlin and we are hosting a blog hop this week to celebrate! First off, there's a new message board over at the Mercantile that you'll want to check out. It wil be home to challenges, downloads, and general chatter about all things JBS. So hop on over and bookmark it!
To go along with the festivities, there are lots of chances to win some of the gorgeous new products at JBS. Leave a comment here (and get complete list of all the other participating design team blogs over at the JBS Inspiration blog) to win a set of the new Red/Black Extension III (12x12 papers, diecut, mini papers, journaling cards), 1 new diecut pad (random - vintage, polka dot, or calendar), and 1 new mini bingo card set (random - calendar multi, calendar black or Thanksgiving). Here's a glimpse at some of those goodies:
And if you've been waiting to get the new JBS paint daubers, ink pads, and re-inkers (and you know you NEED them!) they are now available in the General Store. Go grab them while you can! (I highly recommend the Malted Milk, Chili Powder, and Spice Tin.)
So leave a comment on this post for a chance to win some of these fabulous new goodies. Comments will close on Friday at noon (MST) and a winner will be posted soon thereafter! I'll be back tomorrow to share some of my creations with the JBS November kit, which just happens to feature a lot of these yummy new products. Until then, happy scrapping!
I'm slowly coming out of the wine-and-Halloween-candy-induced coma that inevitably follows a festive All Hallows Eve celebration and thought I'd share some of my photos with you all. We had unseasonably warm weather for this time of year (a big WOO HOO! for that!). It always makes the trick-or-treating & decorating so much more fun when you're not wearing snow boots and a down parka. Even the wind settled down long enough for us to adorn the front porch in creepy cobwebs:
And my Silhouette got a workout cutting lots of little mice to add to the scene (ala Martha Stewart):
The cousins arrived Saturday afternoon and we snapped the obligatory costume shots:
Meanwhile, the daddies were off playing golf and sporting their blinging Anthony Kim belt buckles:
And how can I forget one of the most exciting events of the weekend - Hayden ran his very first 5K at the annual Eerie Erie! He did amazing, kicking it in near the finish line and promptly beating both mom and dad with a time of 27:30. Here's a quick phone shot we took before the race:
Is it any wonder the boy didn't want to be seen with his mama at the finish line??
Hope you had a happy Halloween and enjoy your Monday!