Sunday, May 18, 2014

Half Marathon!

I did it!!  I conquered the goal!!  6 years (and two kids) after running my very first half marathon, I have finally ran my SECOND half marathon!  It feels good!  AND, I ran it almost 35 minutes faster than my first one.  Because I'm a sap, I got a little teary eyed at the finish.  Finish time was 2 hours and 16 minutes.

And I was greeted with the most amazing sparkly poster, some flowers, and my favorite people cheering me on at the finish.  It was so wonderful!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Half Training Week 11

A few too many rest days this week.... and all in a row.  Oopsy!

Monday May 5: Turbo Fire, Fire 45 class and Stretch 10
Tuesday May 6: Ran 10.14 miles! (woo wee!)
Wednesday May 7: Technically "rest" but I couldn't sit still so I push mowed our yard for 2 hours :)
Thursday May 8: Rest
Friday May 9: Rest
Saturday May 10: Rest
Sunday May 11: Ran 3.5 miles


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Police Week!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
-Joshua 1:9

It's that time again y'all!  Police Appreciation Week-- a time that we reflect and remember those officers who have been killed, and a time to express our deep appreciation for these men and women who put their lives on the line for us every single day.  I couldn't be more proud of Daniel or more proud to call myself a police wife, and naturally as a baker, I'm always looking for a good excuse to bake and love to spoil Daniel's squad.

Here's what last year's  police week goodies looked like, and here's what this year's police week goodies look like.....

Jar cakes!*  1 jar cake for each bag, and I made both chocolate and vanilla cakes with vanilla buttercream.

Tag reads "Dessert for the Deserving"

A bottle of antibacterial in each bag.... because well.... it's necessary in the profession.

A notepad and a black ink pen in each bag-- you can never have too many of either.

And a pack of chewing gum in each.

All bagged up in blue bags. 

It isn't much, and I SO wish that I could do more for them-- I can't thank them enough for all they do for our city, and for also having Daniel's back each night.  I feel honored to know so many brave and hard working men and women!

You can find more information on Police Week here.

*For those curious about making jar cakes-- inside is just a regular white cake recipe and a regular chocolate cake recipe.  I used 8 ounce jelly jars, and because the jars are much taller than a cupcake you want to bake them at a lower temperature and for a longer amount of time so that the inside gets done without burning the outsides.  I baked these 8 ounce jars at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.  I had put 1/2 a cup of batter into each jar and when they rose, they came out the top a little so I had to cut some down to ice them.  (And don't forget to grease the jars well!)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Flower Cupcakes (and India Tree)

Received an order from a local Momma recently who might be one of the sweetest people I've never met. Ha!  Seriously, we are in some groups together online and share some mutual friends which is how she found out about my cakes.  But in communications with her I found that she was just so easy going, and on top of that, her passion to support a local Momma trying to make ends meet just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Her daughter is having a garden party and when I showed her the flower cupcakes I've made in the past, she said that she loved them and her daughter did too so that's what we went with.

4 dozen cupcakes for the party-- 2 dozen are both gluten and dairy free vanilla cupcakes and 2 dozen are chocolate cupcakes.

ALSO, in other news, this was my first time working with natural dyes/food coloring which was also a request by this sweet Momma.  I ordered a set of India Tree natural dyes online.  (Later discovered they sell the set at Whole Foods and I could have saved shipping.)  When looking into them and asking around about the dyes, I got a mixed bag of responses, so here's what I have to say about them.....  They are NOT bad dyes.  They actually seem to work very well, they just aren't as bold in color.  For the pink and lavender flowers it worked pretty perfect, but if I was going to make red decorations, I would be there ALL day adding more and more of the red dye I think.  (And keep in mind the set is only primary colors, so you have to mix up the colors to get your purple, green, orange etc.)  Also, as a decorator, I'm used to using Wilton gel colors, and these are liquid colors, so you DO have to make some adjustments to your icing to get the right stiff consistency for decorating.  Just my 2 cents for the night.

Wishing this sweet Momma and her daughter a Happy Day and Happy Birthday at their garden party this weekend! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring Days.

It's only the first week of May and our little guys already have farmers tans-- I'd say that Spring has been good to us thus far!  Here's what our Spring days are made of and what we've been up to....

Making a new bright, fun Spring wreath for the door,

Ripping out ugly bushes from the front of our house,

Making bow ties for our little fellows and them looking extra sharp wearing them for a friend's wedding and for Easter,

More and more yard work... but with a fancy new self-propelled lawn mower,

Planting a variety of garden seeds in our raised boxes and praying hard for a an abundance to share, 

Evenings with ice cream together just the 4 of us on the front porch,

Picnics in the yard with my favorite little fellows,

Lots and lots of bubbles,

Navigating the zoo,

More ice cream (this time at the zoo),

 Soccer games,

The "Walk for Life" for our local Pregnancy Care Center,

.... And, loving on this guy!

It's been a busy couple of months-- I've been reminding myself of our one word for the year.  Intentional.  Intentional with my time, with our time with one another.  Intentionally bringing out the camera to take photos, but also intentionally setting it down once in a while to stop and "smell the roses." Some days might seem long, but the years are oh so very short-- doing my best to absorb each and every moment.