Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blogging Break Coming to an End

I didn't intend on taking such a long break away from the blog...it just that life happened to get ultra busy and I had more to keep up with than possible. Things are slowing a bit and I have so much to share on the blog. A few things that are on the way.....race report from the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon, a tutorial on creating your own painted coasters, and a DIY easy lotion. I'm excited to be sharing some of this very soon! In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing well and having a great summer.

A view from my sister's pool. We had a great time swimming
Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

OKC Memorial Marathon

Rain, thunder, lightning....and a TWO hour delay to the marathon! This Memorial run was definitely memorable.

The day started early....3:30 a.m. It's always strange waking up when it is still dark outside! The dogs were a little confused, but willing to have their breakfast early too. Leaving the house around 4:30 a.m., we headed for downtown OKC, found our usual parking spot, and walked to where we were meeting friends. After hanging out for awhile, we left for the corrals. It had been raining lightly, but that didn't bother any of us, we were eager to get moving! It was already crowded and a challenge to make our way down the sidewalks and into the corral. If I could change something about this event, it would definitely be to make more side entrances for participants. We had barely made it into the corral and completed a few warm-ups when they announced the first delay. The original start time was 6:30 a.m., now delayed to 7:00 a.m. Sounds of discontent could be heard throughout the streets, but everyone stayed where they were and patiently waited. As 7:00 a.m. came closer, another announcement was made...the race would be delayed until 8:00 a.m.! Runners were advised to leave the corral area and seek shelter in a nearby parking garage. At this time, rain had started to fall more heavily, and there was significant lightning in the area. We tried moving to the garage, but it was packed! Luckily, a friend's car was nearby and we spent our time hanging out with one another. We hadn't heard if the run had been delayed further, so we decided to walk back towards the start line. On our way over, It started pouring again and we had to take shelter until a narrow ledge at the post office.

Seeking shelter just before the run....you can barely see me in the yellow rain poncho under the US Post Office sign. (Original video clip from Channel 5 News.)
We were wondering if the run would happen at all, as we had heard that if the delay lasted past 8:00 a.m. the roads would not be closed and the race would have to be canceled.

Nearly two hours after the original start was scheduled, it was announced that we would begin at 8:15! Everyone was excited and more than ready to run! 

And....we're off!! In this video still you can see Roger as we get started....he's right in the middle wearing the blue singlet! Run, Roger, Run!
(News Channel 5/OKC Memorial Marathon Promotional video)
After sitting and waiting for so long, it felt great to finally be moving. The first two miles went by quickly and I even saw a friend, Julie, along the course. We ran together for a short while.

I loved seeing the crowd support along the way! I saw several students and friends, gave many high fives to some awesome kids, and even shared and received encouragement from fellow runners. I felt decent the first 6-7 miles, even though I was running low on nutrition (Remember...I ate at 3:30!! with only a small snack at 5:30, but that was over 3 hours ago). I had half of my GU around mile 4 and the other half around 7. I ran the pace I had hoped for the first half (about 8:00 minute pace), the next couple miles I slowed a little more and even more after that. I took several walk breaks and was starting to feel very tired. As I was going along Classen, I saw Julie again and we ran/walked together some more. 

The sun was coming out and it was heating up. Heat + humidity + low calories = Get to the finish line fast! It was a welcome sight to finally make it towards the green FINISH banner. The crowd was cheering for all of us and the announcer was calling out names of finishers as we ran across the line.

Roger was waiting for me just past the finish. We grabbed some water, chocolate cookies, and orange slices (those cancel out the cookie calories, right?) We stayed awhile and visited with friends, then headed home for a shower and some real food! 

It was a memorable experience, and I'm always thankful for the opportunity to be able to run. :) 

**As we didn't take our iPhones (due to the rain), I didn't get any pics! There are quite a few at Race Photo Network... bib 12226. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

OKC Memorial Marathon Eve

It seems unreal that in just a few hours I'll be waking up to leave for downtown OKC.  Time went by quickly since that first training day several months ago. There have been ups and downs throughout training, but I still intend on doing my best and having a great time! In the last few days there have been forecasts of tornadoes, large hail and rain. Not unusual for this time of year here. Hopefully, things will change between now and in the morning, and everyone will enjoy the event!

Half Marathon gear ready to go...

Good luck to everyone running in the morning!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Little Quiet Time...

Where have the last several weeks gone? I can't believe my last post was over a month ago! The last month has been filled with half marathon training, overcoming some health issues, keeping up with the never-ending "to do" list, and squeezing in moments of art here and there. This afternoon, I'm thankful to have a few minutes of quiet time to get back on track. Well, mostly quiet, except for Abbey's cute snoring.

It's the perfect afternoon for napping....I think I should join her!

I was able to spend some time last night creating some cute Easter cards for my mom, dad, and sister. I used the ideas I learned from one of the Life Book 2014 lessons to create two "Quirky Animals" cards....a bunny and an elephant.

My sister chose to keep the pink bunny, while my mom and dad wanted
the purple elephant.

The Quirky Animals lesson..it turned out very cute!

Well, my quiet time is coming to an end. I need to get some house work done, make some body lotion bars as gifts, finish some laundry, get lunches ready for tomorrow, and sneak in an hour run at some point. Too bad the weekends can't be 3 days long! 

I hope each of you had a blessed time with family over the holiday weekend! Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Art Supplies


I love getting new art supplies. After hearing so many wonderful things about Posca Paint Pens, I decided to give them try. They aren't easy to find, so I was happy to see them on Amazon. I ordered a set of 8 fine tip pens and received them within a few days.

The pens are amazing. They easily glide over a variety of surfaces such as wood, canvas, paper, and glass. So far I have only used them on watercolor paper and canvas. The colors are vibrant and the ink flow is smooth. Even though they are "fine" tipped, I think I would also like to have the extra fine tip for writing words....adding them to my wish list now!

Here are a few of the mixed media journal pages I've completed using the pens....

Posca Pens used for outlining flowers and drawing symbols. I
used a Sharpie pen to do the writing at the lower left corner.

On this page I primarily used the white posca pen for highlighting
and details. 

Both pages were created based on lessons from the Life Book 2014 class (lessons by Alena Hennessy and Tamara Laporte). Since I am still working on the 29 Faces Challenge (even though it is finished!), I am counting the girl on the swing as face #10.

Work in progress on canvas...posca pens used for outlining and adding
shapes...I'll post the final pic when it is completed. 

I can definitely say that if you are thinking about purchasing Posca Pens, they are well worth the investment. I love mine!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Ninja

So...last weekend I was making some awesome veggie burgers using my Vitamix. It's one of my favorite recipes from the book, No Meat Athlete, and I make it often. While I was cooking I was busy chatting with my husband and working away in the kitchen when I realized I had left out the dry ingredients. I added in the oats, stirred a bit with a spoon, and placed the container on top of the Vitamix base. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the spoon out of the container before turning on the blender!!!  (It was somewhat hidden in the oats.  AGGHHHH!) What followed was pretty much a disaster and the result was one ruined Vitamix, a spiky spoon, and a dinner down the drain. I ended up making sandwiches instead and feeling like an idiot...not to mention wondering how much this was going to cost to fix.

I called Vitamix the next day and explained my dilemma. To my great surprise, the customer service representative told me that my machine would be fixed at no charge! I've had my Vitamix for almost 8 years and haven't had any problems, so she said they would honor my warranty (even though it was my fault) and fix it for me. Wow. Incredible customer service. They sent me a UPS label and I mailed it this past Thursday.

Repair time? Two-four weeks. Hmmm. I needed something to help in the kitchen until my Vitamix returned, so I decided to purchase a food processor to use in the meantime. I researched my options, and decided to try a Ninja.  Amazon had a decent deal and a few days later the Ninja arrived at my door.  I unpacked it, washed it, and had it ready to use by this afternoon. I decided to see how the Ninja compared with my Vitamix for making veggie burgers. (My husband kindly reminded me to avoid blending a spoon this time! Metal shards and veggies don't mix well. HA!)

Ninja loaded with black beans, spices, spinach, sun dried
tomatoes, olives, carrots, celery...and some other stuff!

This model has removable blades, a motor on top, and one speed for pulsing ingredients.  It comes with two different sizes of containers. Blending is okay, but the items on the bottom were blended more, while the items higher up were more chunky. This worked out fine as we both liked chunks of carrot, nuts, etc. in the burgers. Of course, since this is my first time using it, there may be tricks I am not aware of yet to better blending throughout the container.  

Once the ingredients were mixed, I formed them into patties and browned them in a skillet. My photo didn't turn out well of that process...my sister said they looked gross! LOL...so I decided not to share. I really should work on my photography skills! I have a "real" camera, besides my iPhone, but often times just grab what's easy. Learning to take better photos is on my summer "to do" list.

Super Power Chia Bread....mmmmm. Great for open faced sandwiches, nut
butter spread, or even plain. Delicious!
In addition to making the burgers, I also made Super Power Chia Bread from Angela Liddon's online recipes! This is the second batch that I've made in the last couple weeks and I'm in love with it! It's easy, it tastes amazing, and it's healthy. For lunch, I added a layer of homemade pesto, the veggie patty, sprouts, and tomatoes.....MMMMMMM. Loved it. 

LUNCH! Chia Bread + veggie patty + more veggies = :)
Even though I'm missing my Vitamix, I think having the Ninja as an additional tool in the kitchen will work out just fine. Tomorrow I'm hoping to try the Ninja to make Pumpkin Pie Smoothies. I'll let you know how that turns out! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ink Spray FUN!

This past week's Life Book lesson was an adventure in ink spray play! It was so much fun! I wanted to share a few pictures of the process with you.

 SPRAY, SPRAY, SPRAY! Oh, and a little dripping too. 

Watching Tamara while learning how to create a face...

Close up of the face in progress

Finished journal page! I am debating coming back to it to tweak a
few things....for now I'm leaving it though. 

I've also been working on a few other faces for the 29 Faces Challenge. I've posted them on my Mixed Media Journey blog. I hope you will stop by and check them out!