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10/12/2017

The Long & Short of the Prince William Half

10/12/2017 0 Comments
October 1st was undeniably one of the greatest days this month. I mean, I know we're all of 2 weeks into the month, but it really was a day to remember.

Why do you ask? Well because that's when the 2nd running of the Prince William Half occurred.

I had no/low expectations of myself at this race. Before anyone starts spouting inspirational dribble about how I should be proud and yadda yadda yadda, I went into this race with the only expectation of finishing it and fully enjoying the splendor that is the Manassas Battlefield.

There is something to be said for going into a race with such a mindset. I enjoyed myself. Really enjoyed myself. I saw friends, cheered people on, got swept up in the beauty of the rolling fields, and just flat out enjoyed myself over those 13.1 miles. I ran those miles in a state of awe, wonder, happiness, and gratefulness. Most importantly, I trusted in myself. I trusted in the work I had put in.

So race day started off cold. Like 46 degrees cold. What?!?! Fall showed up in a big way. This was a topic of discussion in our MRTT group. What to wear!?! So I settled on my long sleeve MRTT shirt, a pair of capris (knee pants on me), and gloves. Two layers of gloves. I had my favorite oatmeal for breakfast, and made sure I had everything with me, including my bib! I didn't forget my bib this year! I'm already winning!


On the way to Jiffy Lube, I get to drive part of the course and see the Stonewall Jackson Fire Dept. out with their ladder truck and an enormous American flag hanging from the ladder. I did get a little teary. So once in the parking lot at Jiffy Lube, it was really just a hurry up and wait. I met up with friends, we took the huge MRTT picture, and then we wandered over to the chute for the start of the race.

I positioned myself at the very back of the corrals, back with the 3:30 folks. I had no expectations, and pretty quickly I moved up past the 3:00 pace group and as we moved out onto the roads, I just enjoyed the marching bands and cheerleading squad that was out on University Blvd. Pass the fire truck again, and then past my high school's drum band. Drums and races, they're just two of my favorite things. Having your feet fall at the same time as the beat is something amazing, and being able to feel those beats makes it all the better.

So then it was onto 29 for the bulk of the race, and I passed the 2:45 pace group. What?! Well, we'll see if that holds. I was feeling really good. Cold, but good. My hands were still cold, but the rest of me was comfortable. I look over towards the battlefield and the sun is hitting the dying grass in a way that makes it look like sugar was sprinkled over the entire field. It's so gorgeous. I take a nice deep breath. The crisp air feels amazing.

Before I know it we're about to turn up New York Ave., towards the monuments, and here is where I start to see my friends. First up is a schoolmate that I've known from elementary days, she's with the 2:15 group and looks amazing. Next is my neighbor and fellow MRTT'er, she's so energetic. Then I pass another fellow MRTT'er, and finally, it's my time to go up around the loop and work my way back down the hill. Then back out to 29 towards Stone House. I pass all the same girls, except this time I see my most frequent MRTT running partner, and another MRTT'er that's moved back to the area. Seeing them along the course really helps motivate me. I want to see them again, and I start figuring out the next spot that I'm likely to pass them.

Before I pass all of them again, my watch goes off. 5 miles in under an hour. What!?! I didn't think I was doing that well, but that's awesome. I'm also feeling pretty good. Those 5 miles flew by, and now we're running back up 29.

I did break the cardinal rule of racing though. I wore a brand new bra, which was awesome by the way, and I tried new nutrition. Luckily, everything worked out. The bra didn't chafe and I saved $6 on it because Target was having a sale. I've been mulling over changing my fuel during long runs because the Gatorade chews I've been using have started upsetting my stomach. Always a good thing while running long distances with no bathroom in sight. So I tried some Gu, and I really liked the first one. It was Carmel Macchiato which is my hubs favorite Starbucks order, so that made me think of him, and then running those hills that were coming weren't so bad. The second Gu I had was not as nice, and I did not finish it. I shouldn't be surprised because I do not like berry flavors, and it was Triple Berry. Ok, back to the recap.

I see all of my girls again after turning up the road headed towards Rock Fight. Rock Fight is my favorite section of the battlefield, but it did slow a lot of folks because it's all hills. Lots of small little hills with bigger hills at either end. Luckily, if you train on this stretch of the trail, the road follows the trail, so I was used to these hills. It made it easier to encourage my fellow racers.

So after we're back on 29 we're at 8 miles. What?!?! That's awesome. What's even better is that a fellow MRTT'er caught up with me and she and I were able to catch up.

We ran the next few miles together until she left me around mile 12. It was so great to see her, and it is a little amusing that we had such a good conversation in the middle of a race. All of the talking on the phone with my sister and my mom really paid off during training. :)


So now that I'm back on University I was looking forward to seeing the school bands and they really did bolster me. Then seeing the 12:45 pacer come up from behind me and pace me for a bit really helped kick my butt into a slightly higher gear. Not too much, I was still a mile from being done, and by this point, my heel was complaining, a little, and I was just generally tired. I know to hold back, because not a sprinter. So I pace the 12:45 for a bit, and we do-si-do a bit.

As we turn back up the road towards Jiffy Lube, I'm really starting to get warm. The sun was finally up, and the chill was leaving. My gloves didn't feel so nice now, but I knew my family was going to be there waiting for me, so I kept my eyeballs peeled. I finally saw them under a tree, playing happily. I think I smiled, I don't really remember, but I do remember giving them all high fives and speaking. I don't remember what I said, but the next thing I knew was my Small Fry coming up behind me running his little butt off. I think I challenged him to a race, and don't you know that little boy ate up the 100 or so feet between us. I couldn't let that stand! So I kicked it up a notch. Well, I kicked it up a lot, and it's all his fault. I hit 6:58 m:m for the last bit of the race. I was going to throw up. I ran 13 miles and then some and then decided that I wasn't going to disappoint my boy, so I raced him. It was the best, most proudest moment of the race for me.


After walking back down the chute, getting a banana, a granola something, water, and a vitamin drink, my crew met me at the entrance to the after race festival. Where I promptly gave my granola to Small Fry, the rest of my uneaten banana and water to Baby Girl, and my food tickets to the Big Guy. Luckily, someone who wasn't going to use their food and drink tickets gave us theirs so I was also able to get a smoothie, that I didn't like, and a beer for the hubs. Everyone wins until I wanted to snap a picture. Small Fry took exception to it.


He did come around though and was delighted when we celebrated with Duck Donuts.

I was pretty happy with Duck Donuts too. I was also pretty happy with my 2:44:36 finish time. I beat the 2:45 time!

So there's the recap, the race is awesome, the organizers are the best, and you really need to add this race to the roster. Thanks so much for reading!

10/06/2017

Pattern Review - McCall's M7431

10/06/2017 0 Comments

Ok, it's truth time. Who has bought fabric and a pattern with the intention of getting it made within the month and then it sits around your house for a year?

Fess up. We all have. I certainly have. This is the case with this particular pattern. Part of the delay was also nailing down which view I wanted to make, but really that was only a small part of it.

I was just lazy, but then when your anniversary rolls around and you want to wear something snazzy and new for the husband, guess who digs through her stash and finds the year-old project? Me!

This pattern goes together so easily. There are a few options to choose from, and you can really mix and match the elements that you like. I decided that the dress the model was wearing was the one I was finally going to decide on.

It helps that the Boho look is back, and I was feeling particularly spunky because I have a great pair of stacked lace-up heels that don't hurt my feet, and that's a bonus when you're suffering from plantar fasciitis and you still want to wear cute heels and not limp.  The cherry-on-top to all of this is said heels make your legs look really good.

There's definitely something to be said for a great pair of heels that not only boost your confidence and look good with a myriad of outfits.

I digress. Back to the pattern, after I decided on the dress, got it cut out, realized I forgot to cut out the back neck facing, and then had to cut out that facing piece from muslin, I realized just how much I had the poly blend I was using. I mean, I've used poly blends before and it's nothing new. The slickness of the fabric is just a pain, not to mention how much it sheds. The pattern calls for cotton blends, challis and the like and while my fabric has a similar drape as those, I bet those cotton blends do a bit better when it comes to putting in the eyelets for the lacing up the bodice. The piping around the neck might also have been easier in a less slick fabric.

Speaking of piping, it's a lovely detail only you can't really see it in the print I choose. This pattern would make an excellent foray into adding those little dressmaker details in a newer sewer.

I'm still terrible at taking pictures of myself wearing my creations. Seriously, I could use some help, tips, anything. I was quite happy with the dress. I didn't have to lengthen it like I usually do, which was a nice surprise. Oh, and no I'm not going to show off my terrible pictures of me wearing the dress. You're just going to have to take my word for it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

9/18/2017

Sunflower Grapevine Wreath

9/18/2017 0 Comments

My Big Guy loves sunflowers which is why several years ago, I made this Sunflower Rope Wreath {HERE}, but it was starting to fall apart after 7 years so it was time to create a new wreath. While searching for floral inspiration for my sister's reception, I came across a Summer Floral Wreath {HERE} on Michaels.com and knew that this was the wreath design I wanted for my new sunflower wreath.

Instead of the summer flowers they used, I picked up a bunch of sunflowers, cosmos, and greenery. Sorry, I don't know what the two bunches of greenery I got were called, but I liked how all the bunches looked together, so that's what I went with. It's a very scientific method. Oh, I didn't add the bird the original instructions had, mostly because I didn't find one that I loved, but there was an owl that I did almost buy for this wreath.
So then I just followed the directions for the summer floral wreath and VOILA! I have a  new late summer/early fall wreath that I love.

I love that it's asymmetrical and happy. I could have probably added more of those white spikey flowers, but I'm not that fussed about it.
Hopefully, this wreath will last me as long, if not longer than my last wreath. My Big Guy also likes it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

9/15/2017

Pattern Review - Simplicity S0982

9/15/2017 0 Comments

I'm back! With another post even! What?! That's like 2 in a week. Well more like 2.5, because Dana wrote most of the PSL post from Wednesday, and I only added my $.02 worth. Still!

So this post has been in the works since March. March, people! I technically finished the sewing of this dress back in March, and then it sat on my dress form until last week, when I finally got around to finishing it. It needed buttons and buttonholes. That's it. I got 98% done, and then it sat. For 6 months! I know I'm not the only one who does that. I mean, I can't be, right?!

With fall weather arriving, it was the perfect time to finish this dress, because the yellow and black buffalo plaid is also a lightweight flannel, and who doesn't love flannel?  I do also need  to apologize for the lack of good pictures, apparently I've forgotten how I set up my phone to take full pictures of myself.

So the pattern was simple and straightforward, as most shirt dresses are, but this one has the nice added touch of having a tailored shirttail hem, but it was also on the short side. Always. So I cut out my dress in the longest length, and then simply shifted the pattern down to cut out the shaped shirttail hem. Easy peasy. I like my skirt hems to be 24" from my waist, but this one is 23" which is totally ok.

I also needed to alter the pattern between the bust and hips, because I'm not a one size fits all girl. So after adjusting the side seams to accommodate my many sizes, I had a dress that was ready to be put together.


Sewing it up was easy and straightforward with no surprises. I mean, it's a shirtdress, how many different ways are there to make one?  And after the 6-month hiatus, putting in the buttonholes and attaching the buttons was easy, although I didn't realize that I had very dark blue thread in my machine instead of black, so now I have very dark blue button holes. Oh well. C'est la vie.

I would say this pattern would be good for the adventurous beginner. It's not a difficult pattern, by any stretch, but it could seem a little daunting to a sewer who just unpacked their first sewing machine.

So last week, we had some wonderful fall-like weather, and so it was the perfect time to test out my new dress, and step out of my very safe fashion box. You see, I'm not very good at pairing ankle boots with anything. I'm just not certain of just how to wear them, but the model on the envelope is wearing them. Therefore, so can I. Pairing the dress and boots with a blanket scarf was also new, I know we've talked about my adventures in scarf wearing, but I've never attempted a blanket scarf. So much newness going on! I was brave though, and put my best booted foot forward and went on my way.


Its funny how doing something small, like stepping out of your fashion box, can give you such confidence. I am very pleased with how the whole look came together, and am so excited for more fall weather so that I can don this outfit again. As it is, I'm currently wearing my Key West Circle Top and shorts, because summer is making a last stand.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

9/13/2017

Mason Jar Lattes: Another Freakin' PSL?

9/13/2017 0 Comments
Dana here.  Yes, folks, it's that time of year again!  Pumpkin spice everything!!!  Pancakes, chai, cookies, pork loin, and of course coffee.  I sometimes wonder if the hysteria is self-sustaining.  Like, because everyone else in the world seems to love pumpkin spice, more people latch onto the trend.  Or is it truly a perfect storm of the best season (IMHO), delicious spices, and the jolliest of the gourd family?  Aww, look at those guys.  They're so excited for autumn!
As some of you know, Heather and I have a friendly competition every year to see who can get their hands on a PSL from Starbucks first.  There's a delightful added difficulty factor because some Starbucks will slide you one before they're officially released if you ask nicely.  Well, that's been my experience anyway.  I've won the last few years.  It helped that I worked right near a Starbucks all that time.  This year, though, Heather beat me!  She called me just after 7am at some obscene hour of the morning to gloat.  I think she took advantage of me being busy with a new book release*.  To be fair, though, I would do exactly the same thing to her. 😜 Of course, us being us, we want to be able to recreate the magical, pumpkin-spice-y experience at home, and we're never quite satisfied.  So it's time for another recipe review!


Ingredients
1/3 cup pumpkin puree fresh or canned
1 cup sugar or splenda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
(I only did 1/2 teaspoon.  See commentary below)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep syrup from burning.
Let mixture cook together like syrup and begins to coat the spoon (for about 10-15 minutes), then remove from heat.
Refrigerate in a heat-proof container.
The syrup will thicken a bit in the refrigerator, but will become syrup again when heated.

My initial impression upon reading this recipe was, "You cook the pumpkin?!"  In my experience, that gives the pumpkin a not-very-nice, cooked squash flavor.  Somehow, that didn't happen here.  Maybe because you're using stovetop heat instead of microwave?  I don't know, but three cheers for this recipe!  Heather made it first and said she thought it needed a bit less cinnamon, so that's what I did when I made mine.  I can't speak to Heather's because I wasn't there to try it, but mine turned out divine!

Hey guys! Heather popping in here to add my $.02. I made the recipe exactly as written, and yes, there was too much cinnamon for me. IMO the recipe as written is like a pumpkin chai, which is delightful, a smidge of cardamom and it'd be a proper pumpkin chai. It's still a delightful melange of spices, just a bit heavy on the cinnamon for me and what I like in a PSL. 

This is the advantage of being a younger sibling: you can learn from your older siblings' faults.  You really should have thought about that before being born first, Heather!

  So the recipe is brilliant.  You get all the magical fall spices and a hint of pumpkin-y-ness...kind of like drinking a pumpkin pie.  Oh!  I need to try it with whipped cream on top.  I bet that would be amazing!  With just a sprinkle of extra cinnamon.  Nomminess!  You do still have the problem of stuff sinking to the bottom, but just give your cup a wee swirl and you're good to go.  Then just grab a book or a friend, wrap up in a cozy sweater or flannel shirt, and you're off!

*Wanna hear something weird?  About a year ago, I posted a recipe for pumpkin spice latte syrup, sans the pumpkin...autumn spice syrup?  Anyway, in that post, I announced the release of my book, Out of the Shadows.  Well, Shadows has a little sister now!


Into the Fire released on September 5th, and I am so excited!  Continue Lenore's journey as she avoids assassins and searches for lost Old World technology in southern Invarnis.  She definitely discovers coffee while she's there, but no pumpkin spice lattes.  Get it and Out of the Shadows on Amazon.  And that recipe is here if you'd like to have a look.  

Thanks for reading!

9/08/2017

The Long and Short of Warrior Dash!

9/08/2017 0 Comments
You know those running memes where one runner tries to get you to run a race, because it's only *3* miles?

Yea, that's pretty much how the conversation between my friend and I started when she asked if I wanted to run Warrior Dash with her.

It's *only* a 5k, and I checked all the obstacles. None of them rely solely on upper body strength, and none of them will require people to lift you up over things.

Ok, I'm in!

She really had to twist my arm, didn't she?

So the morning started off fairly normal, as far as race mornings go. I wasn't worried at all. I mean it was a 5k with a few obstacles. What was there to worry about? It was gorgeous weather for the beginning of August, almost fall like. It was so nice. Go figure, the obstacle course, where I was going to get filthy has beautiful weather.....

Oh little did  I know that the course was the most hilly course I have ever encountered. By the time we hit a mile, we'd already ascended 20 stories. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

So the race started off fairly easily, we were running downhill and were going at a comfortable clip. We encountered the first of some very steep hills, and since we were with the pack, there was some walking that had to be done. The course wasn't that wide. Then maybe a 1/2 mile in, maybe more, the pack had thinned a bit, and there were 2 guys up ahead on the trail that were stopped and looking at something just off the edge of the path. They tell us there's a snake.

There's a what now?

A snake. I can hear him rustling the leaves just to the side of me off the path. Nope! I'm gone, down the hill, over the creek and back up the other side of the hill. I wait for my friend. I don't do snakes, and the rest of the time we're on this course, I'm chanting just keep looking in the center of the path. Just keep looking in the center of the path. It became my mantra.

So after that, we hit a mile, and then finally encounter our first obstacle. It was a bleacher type climbing thing. It was fine. I didn't have to climb or jump really, because long legs.

Then there was the trench, which was easy for my not so tall friend, because she easily shimmied down into the trench and then bear crawled the entire length. I did not have as easy a time getting into the trench, because long legs. It took me a bit and a try or two to actually get into the trench, but when I did finally, I was able to crawl through it.

The swinging pallets were next, and quite fun. They took a bit of balancing. Thank goodness for long arms. After the pallets, was a short drop down a dirt cliff, that we slid down.

Then there was this "Fisherman's Catch" tunnel thing, which I hated. Being tall was a definite con to this obstacle. It broke my bra!! Luckily, friend was able to fix it before we continued on, but man did we laugh about it. It was a real bra buster. That last pun was courtesy of Dana when I was telling her about the race. You can complain to her. :)

Then there were more hills. So many hills. I will say I was able to "cheat" on a lot of the obstacles, because of my height. I don't feel bad about this at all. Then there was a muddy pond we had to wade through before getting to one of the obstacles. That was fun.

Then more hills. Stupid hills. There was a water stop after the sloggy mud pond, which was amazing.

Then more small mountains. and then we were at the fire pit. It wasn't the fire trench I had envisioned. It was much, much smaller and oh so easy to jump over. I did not get a pic tho. I am slightly upset about this.

After the fire, was the wall climb. The obstacle I was the most afraid of, but I did it! I didn't die!

After the climb, it was a short jaunt over to the water slide, which was way higher than I thought it'd be. Did I mention, I'm afraid of heights? Like crippling so? My adrenaline was going full bore after the climb, because I was scared, but I also wasn't going to fail. Thankfully determination is stronger than my fear.

So we get to the top of the water slide, and I'm nervous, and then the stupid volunteer at the top says watch out for the snakes. What!?!?

He says the snakes in the water. I may have told him that I was climbing down then, I don't remember, but I do remember him recanting, and then pushing my fear of heights and snakes into the pit of my stomach, because my friend was waiting on me.


Then after the dunking, we got to wade through a mud pit, which was the best thing ever! I ended up with dirt in places that I didn't know existed, but it was so very fun!

I gotta say, one of the best parts about Warrior Dash is the free photos. It is kind of a pain to sort through all of them, because the search functionality is bollocks, but they're free!

This was hands down, one of the best races I've done. It was so fun, and I got to face some fears. I can climb a wall!


I would absolutely do this race again, and maybe next time I'll get the hubs and the boys involved. Baby Girl will have to wait a few years.

Cheers!

8/07/2017

DIY Coffee Trivet

8/07/2017 0 Comments
So it's no surprise that I love coffee, or that I have several recipes and gadgets around my house solely devoted to coffee, and today's post is no different.

I had a coffee trivet. Only it didn't stand up to the daily abuse it received. Dana actually gave me this tile trivet several Christmases ago, and I loved it. It was just a simple 'B' on the tile with felt pads underneath. It did the job as spoon rest, mug rest, and counter beautifier.  Until it didn't do the last very well. The 'B' started wearing off, and then the trivet just looked kind of sad.

I knew that I was going to attack it with an oil-based sharpie and some kind of coffee hand lettered art, but there were so many choices! How was a girl to choose?

Enter the snarky throwback to my youth and my early introduction to rap. How could I not choose this quote?

Then there was the matter of designing the image. Luckily, I'd found this wonderful tutorial {HERE} on how to hand letter within a circle, and then everything clicked and fell into place.

I actually used one of my larger mugs as my circle guide, and then went from there.

The next time I do a project like this, I will have 2 oil-based sharpies on hand, because the one started running out towards the very end of my project. It was quite annoying, but cest' le vie.

After I let the tile dry for about 24 hours, I baked it in the oven and then let it cool inside the oven, and now several weeks later, my trivet looks as good as new, and it brings a smile to my face every morning.

I do only hand wash the trivet, but it has survived that and coffee stains, and compliments both of my coffee makers. Now I think it's time for another latte. If only I could get my orange sugar syrup right....

That is a post for another day though. Thanks for stopping by!

6/30/2017

DIY Patriotic Shirts

6/30/2017 0 Comments
Can you believe that Independence Day is next week?!?! What?!?!

Where the heck has the year gone?

Luckily, I was on the ball this year, and made our patriotic shirts early enough to actually wear on the 4th. Go me!

I did some searching on the googles, and found some patriotic phrases I liked for the fam and then set about drawing out the images for the shirts.

I created rough drafts and then final drafts on paper, and then used them as guides for the shirts. I lettered the shirts with a combination of sharpies and fabric paint. Each person got a personalized shirt to fit their interests or personalities.

I must say I'm pretty proud of each of these creations, although the hubs shirt was a pain. Apparently his shirt was cut much smaller than the advertised size, and so needed a bit more customization, but I wasn't about to redo my artwork, so I cut out around my original artwork, staying about 1/4" away from the painted edge, and then stitched it down to a shirt that was in fact the same size as was advertised. So his shirt officially takes the cake as the most involved shirt.

My shirt was a close second, because I wanted to create a watercolor affect for the flag, and that took a bit of planning and prayer, but luckily it turned out well on the first try, from there it was just a matter of lettering everything with my trusty black sharpie.


The kids shirts were all fairly straightforward, the only one that had a bit more done to it was Baby Girl's because I sewed some star rhinestones to it to add a bit more sparkle. A girl can never have too much sparkle.

Thank so much for stopping by!

6/21/2017

Mason Jar Lattes - Gingered Dark Chocolate Mocha

6/21/2017 0 Comments

Dana here.  Time for another coffee recipe!  Because who doesn't like choices?  My gingered dark chocolate mocha is one of my all time favorites.  Mmmmm, it's dark and complicated and a little spicy...wait, am I talking about coffee or a fictional romantic interest?  Well, I did first feature this recipe on my own blog when I reviewed Hell's Teeth by James Fahy, and that description definitely fits a character in the book called Alessandro.  Spoiler alert: he's a vampire and he's as delicious as this drink. 😈

Gingered Dark Chocolate Syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 of a teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce ginger root, grated or sliced very thinly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drop all the ingredients except the vanilla extract into a small saucepot.  Stir occasionally and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble.  This shouldn't take more than about five or ten minutes.  Make sure all the sugar is dissolved and then remove from the heat.  Let sit for fifteen to twenty minutes to allow the flavor of the ginger to really infuse into the syrup.  Then add vanilla extract and stir to combine.  You can strain the mixture now if you want, but I leave my ginger bits in so that they can continue to give off flavor.  You'll just have to either avoid or deal with ginger bits down the road if you do this.  You can then use the syrup to flavor your coffee, make hot chocolate, drizzle over ice cream, eat it off the spoon...hey, no judgement.  What you do with your syrup is your business.  And it can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Enjoy!



I only used half an ounce of ginger, which creates a syrup that has a undertone of gingery spiciness when I add just a tablespoon of it to my morning cuppa.  If you weren't paying attention, you might not notice it, so use more if you want a stronger flavor.

Also, I haven't tried this with ginger powder, so I'm afraid I don't know exactly how that conversion works.  A quick Google search, however, recommends about 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger to 1 tablespoon of fresh.  I personally don't find that ground ginger has quite the same sharpness as fresh, but ground is certainly more convenient.  Give it a try and see what you think.




Why did I tell you to add the vanilla at the end?  In short, because too much heat will kill your vanilla flavor.  A lot of recipes will have you wait until the last possible moment to add extracts to your dish, batter, whatever because extracts are rather more delicate than other flavor-giving ingredients.  So don't get ahead of yourself when assembling your syrup.  As Alton Brown would say, your patience will be rewarded.


Mmmmm, look at that chocolatey goodness.  Don't mind the Dalek, he just wants his fix.  Like I said, I only do a tablespoon, but you do up your mocha however you want.  Oh, and for instructions on how to steam your milk in the microwave and the general latte recipe, you can find the original post here.

You can also find previous Mason Jar Latte recipes here:

So delicious!  If you decide to give this one a go, let us know what you think of it down in the comments section.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

6/19/2017

The Monday Report - 1 week down, 16 to go

6/19/2017 0 Comments

What!?!? There's a Monday Report? There hasn't been one of these in ages, and part of that is because I seem to have misplaced my discipline. If my discipline were near the snacks, I'd be certain to find it, but it's not there. I've checked. Many times. 

So last Monday started a 16 week half training program that will hopefully keep my butt in gear and running. I even put it in my bujo, because that seems to help with my motivation. I like checking things off and coloring. I'm really not much older than my children. 

I adjusted the plan to my schedule, and moved my long runs to Friday so that I wouldn't have to juggle work schedules over the weekend. The first Friday went great. My oldest even gave me a little bit of flak over the length of it. I am going to have to share this conversation, because it's so telling about how my running has impacted my family. 
Big Guy - "Mom, you need to go running."
"I know. Do you see that I'm dressed. I'm going as soon as I wolf down this eggo PBJ."
"Mom. Go. For. Your. Run."
"I am. Thank you for being such a good bully. I'm going up and down Carver by the way."
"How long is your run today?"
"4 miles."
"Really? That's your long run? That'll take you what an hour?"
"I know it's not a 'long' run, but it's what the plan calls for, and yes, about an hour with cool down."
"Go run. Love you."
These types of conversations are fairly common with my family. They know running is an outlet for me, and that it's good for me, and I'm so thankful that I have their support, even when I may not want it. 

So the first week called for 13 miles with 1 day of cross training. No, cross training got done, but 10 miles of running with a 1.5 mile hike on Sunday got done. Overall, I felt pretty good on the runs. Summer has already descended on us, so they were hot and slowish runs, but I got out there and did them. The hike was a lot of fun, because I took out the Big Guy and Baby Girl, and we walked the Stone Bridge Loop at Manassas Battlefield. For it being in the low 90's, my kids were awesome, and really didn't complain. I also didn't have to carry the small one, and her only complaint was when rocks made it into her shoes. 

I am trying to not focus on the times of my runs, and how I feel, and how my body is reacting. The first takeaway from this week is that I need to get back into a better sleep schedule! Summer is not a reason to let my sleep habits suffer. If only Baby Girl would get that memo. 

Here's to a great 2nd week, and thanks for stopping by!