Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up- Surprises and Relaxing

We had a very nice weekend this weekend. Friday I went out to Kohl's after work to get some running shirts, success there. Then I went to our K-Mart which is closing and everything is discounted. I thought they would only have crap but there was surprisingly a lot left. I got some socks I am going to make into arm warmers, a foam roller, and this Brodus Clay Brawlin Buddy. I love the Tons of Funk theme song and Brodus so this was a good score at 20% off. He watched Smackdown with us that night.
Saturday we went to a surprise birthday party for one of my closest friends at work Eddie. He may have turned 40 but he is extremely young at heart!
We put these up at work Thursday to celebrate
Justin and I got to their house early to help set up for the party. It was great when he walked in the door, he looked so surprised! Afterwards we went to Half Price Books, Goodwill, and Woodman's. Not a lot of bargins but that's ok. We had a yummy dinner at Tacos El Norte, I had avocado taco, steak taco, and a chorizo taco. I saved the chorizo for Sunday. We took some fun photos when we got home.

Me and Guido

Me and Tobi
Sunday I got up and ran the Maze 5k, you can read about it here. I came home and napped with Tobi for a bit during football. Then I decided to attempt my first apple pie. We got out new peeler in the mail Saturday and I was excited to try it. What an awesome tool, it worked out great! The pie came out excellent!! I found it off the Weight Watcher site and bought the pie crust at Walmart.
New peeler
Tobi supervising the pie making

Guido helping
Yummy pie!
Later that night I also made Hungarian Goulash and we watched Hangover 3.
 The goulash was so good and Hangover 3 was not as good as 1 but was better than 2. I started not feeling all that great so I headed to bed early. All in all we had a very nice weekend. Hope yours was good too!!

World's Largest Corn Maze 5k- Race Recap

Sunday the 20th I ran the World's Largest Corn Maze 5k for the first time. I had been checking the weather all week and saw it was going to be COLD! 35 degrees to be exact. Thankfully I bought some new long sleeve shirts to prepare myself. The event was help at Richardson's Corn maze, one of our favorite places to visit in fall, read about this year's visit here. I got to the race about 7:30 and proceeded to get my packet. It was very organized and I walked right up and got my bib and shirt. The shirts are actually really cool!
They had a very good wave system. I was in wave 11, which means I was expected to run a mile in the 11s. Our wave went at 8:46 and I was the first one from my wave to go.
Finish line

Looking at the corn
 I headed out and immediately realized this would be like any run I have ever done. The twists and turns, the course was well market but you never knew which direction you would be sent next. Lots of hill, challenging but good. The ground was also muddy since it rained the day before so I had to be careful, there was also downed corn and stalks in some places. I carried my new Nathan's handheld and never had to stop for water. I actually ran the entire 5k without walking, this was a first for me. Maybe all that running and talking helped because I was shocked. I just kept chugging along. My gps said the race was only 3.02 mile, but it clearly had some issues in a few areas. Official time:
I was pretty pleased with my time for it being a trail run in the mud. They had lots of food at the end to fuel up on. All in all great race and well organized. Will certainly do this one next year!
Pretty cool bib

I finished!

My outfit, I got a few complements! My socks were $2 from Hobby Lobby and were Halloween paint splatter. I made my skirt, it was super comfortable and stayed put.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Second Running Skirt Attempt- More Sparkles!

I was so pleased with how easy, well maybe easy is not the best work, making the first skirt was I made a second one last night. I think they are getting better and I like making them because they are super cute and not too difficult. This time some parts were certainly easier but others we more frustrating, I even broke my first sewing machine needle! I freaked out before I remembered I had back ups. Here is the finished product.
It's not professional quality, hey I slacked a bit not changing the green thread to black for the band, but for $5 total you can't beat it! Let's just hope it holds up!
Have you made any fitness accessories? I am thinking of trying arm sleeves.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Making My Own Shimmery Running Skirt-Being Crafty and Saving Money

I have seen so many cute pictures lately from runners wearing shinny sparkly skirts. I started thinking I wanted to order one. With the prices kind of high and the fact I would want multiple colors, I thought "Maybe there is a way I could make one." I wanted more than just the standard ones out there that are solid colored. I headed over the Joanne Fabric today to see what I could find. I knew there would be tons of shinny fabric with Halloween around the corner. I bought 26 inches of the purple spiderweb fabric above and 26 inches of the two fabrics below.
It's hard to tell but the red one is a red with little blots of gold all over it. I might wear it to my Veteran's Day run and/or a Christmas one. Total for the 3 fabrics and the black elastic was less than $10. I will be able to get 2 skirts out of the elastic. When I got home I searched the internet to see if anyone had a tutorial to make one and I found this blog called Beauty Still Remains. She had a wonderfully detailed tutorial on how to make one. As usual my sewing machine annoyed the heck out of me and I think I have room for improvement for the next one, but I am pleased how this one came out. I plan on wearing it Sunday at the World's Largest Corn Maze 5k. I'll make sure to post a picture from the run. I just hope it holds up!
Have you ever made your own running gear?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Running Forward- What's Next??

It's been 5 months since my first 5k and I am surprisingly still going! I have managed to run one to two races a month, a goal I set back in May. I have completed in 1 mud run, 4 5ks, and 1 10k since May. I have 2 more runs planned for the end of the year and still need to pick my December race.
So what's next on the horizon? Well Oct 20th I am doing a very cool run, World's Largest Corn Maze 5k where you run through the corn maze I went to on Sept 20th. I am very excited for this one and got some new shoes last night to wear during it. I got some Asics Scram 2.
They felt really comfortable and got good reviews so hopefully they will help me zoom through the maze.
After that I will be running the Veterans Day 10k in Kenosha, WI. I am running that one with my friend Paula. I look forward to doing another 10k, I really liked that distance when I did the one two weeks ago. So what's next?? Well I have been really thinking lately about how far I want to go with running and decided I want to keep going. I did join my local running club, I have not had a chance to run with them but home to soon.
 Last night I made the leap and committed to the next step... a 1/2 marathon. I signed up for the Rock and Sole Half Marathon in Milwaukee, WI for June.
Does it make me nervous, a little. But I know with continuous training I can do it. Again it is never the distance that scares me, but it's coming in last :). I am hoping some people I know might do this one with me, but if not I'll be prepared to pound the pavement alone! Who knows what runs I will do between now and then. I am hoping to fine a 15K or a 10 Miler. Not sure where I will go after that run either. I am hoping I will enjoy 1/2 and can keep doing them for awhile before contemplating a further distance, we'll see what the future brings.

Weekend Wrap Up- Orchard Fun!

We had a very nice weekend this weekend. Justin's parents were going to visit us this weekend, but turned out they could not. We did not really have any plans but we made the best of it, we even had a three day weekend as we are off Monday.
Friday we did our standard errands. I went to Goodwill before Justin got home and got 3 pairs of jeans. One was a pair of Gap jeans still with the tags for $7.99. I also got a new Bears sweater at the mall on sale.
Saturday I did the traditional swapping of the summer for fall/winter clothes. I was able to purge a lot of out dated and small clothes to donate. That night we went to Chili's for dinner and had their new two for $35 meal. We each had a margarita (mine Mango and his Raspberry), shared guac and chips, I had sirloin and Justin a burger and we split the lava cake. All really yummy!

My dinner


Lava Cake!
Sunday we went and did something I have not done before, went apple picking. We went to a local Orchard called Harvest Time Orchard. I highly recommend this orchard in Twin Lakes, WI. We got there and bought fresh made donuts, they were very good! They have fresh Apple Cider, Mums for sale, pick your own pumpkins, and more. They even had a jazz band playing.
Barn where you can order donuts, buy meat and cheese, brats, and more!

Don't want to pick your own pumpkins, they did it for you.

The mums were very pretty
After that we headed out to the orchard to pick apples. They had Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Honey Crisp, Gala, Jonathan, and Empire. We got all but the Delicious ones as they are not our style.

All apples were nicely marked

Pick us a winner Justin

The fields

My first time picking, these were Empire. Sporting my new Bears sweater too.
We got two big bags for $10. I now need to figure out what to make with all these apples.
Did you start any new fall traditions this year?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What it's Like to Be Instant Parents or Our Lives as Foster Parents

Okay everyone knows we have cats, they are not really what this post is about but we can't post any pictures of our placements so a Guido pic will have to do.
 So lets rewind a little bit here, I am sure some people are a bit confused by the title of this post. What do you mean your foster parents?? Last year we found out we could not have kids of our own, yeah it sucks some but what can you do. Well what we decided we could do is adopt a child or become foster parents. So we went with the becoming foster parents and possibly one day that could lead to adoption. I looked up foster agencies on the internet and chose one not to far from out house. I called the number online and said I'd like information on becoming a faster parent. The lady was very nice and set up a meeting at our house to meet us and fill out a lot of paperwork. Fast forward, after much paper work, a note from our physician, background checks, and finger printing we were all cleared and the next step was taking foster parent classes.
In October we started, what are called in Illinois, PRIDE classes. We had to complete 27 hours of training on the world of fostering. Sure the classes were tiring on top of busy season of work, but we had two excellent teachers and a room of other people wanting to be foster parents that provided support and encouragement. Once we finished that, we had awhile before we got our license. As of June 2013 we are officially licensed and started the wait for a phone call.
Well as you know we went on vacation to the Dells from Sept 8th-11th.  After returning I worked from home on September 12th and that's when it finally came...the phone call! We got a call that they had a placement of a toddler girl and asked if we wanted to take her, yes please!
Well the night before I picked her up I grabbed the What to Expect the Toddler years to brief myself on what to expect. I mean we have been around toddlers before but they were other peoples children so there was lots to brush up on. What do they eat? Do they talk? What diapers do they wear? How long do they sleep? After reading up on this, Justin and I headed outside to install the car seat. We had to enlist the help of our neighbor as she is a pro at installing them. After lots of pulling and pushing the seat into place, we finally got it in! Next we headed to Wal-Mart to pick up some food, clothes, and diapers.
The next day I headed with my mom to pick her up, it was like this is it today I am going to be someone's foster parent. She was the most darling little girl, so sweet and loving! We can't really say a lot of privacy reasons but she was able to stay with us for a week. Thankfully the cats took to her well and they were on their best behavior that week!
We experienced a lot of firsts that week! First time I drove with a toddler in the car. I found myself saying hi a lot to get her to respond (one of the few words she could say) so I knew she was ok.
First time experiencing parent juggling. This is holding the child, diaper bag, child's toy, and purse all at once. Even while walking and holding doors. It is amazing how you can hold all that stuff and not drop anything!
First time enrolling someone in Daycare: Monday I went to our local daycare and enrolled her in daycare for the first time. I felt silly. I was like "Hi I have this daughter and I need to enroll her in daycare, how do I do that?" They were very supportive and familiar with working with foster parents. They gave me tons of paper work to fill out, which I was used to and already a pro at! Daycare went surprisingly well, of course I was "That mom" that cried after I dropped her off at daycare. Gosh I swore I was not going  to be that person :).
First time going to the store to buy little kids shoes. This was a challenge as she only came with one pair of shoes. Kids shoes are confusing, they all look like they are the same size even though they are not.
First time navigating the neighborhood with a stroller. I did pretty good with this, I only drop off the side walk into the grass a few times and she seemed to be pretty entertained when that happened.
First time driving in the city of Chicago and I mean in the city, Michigan Ave in the city. I was so scared and to top it all off I had to drive home with a toddler in the car in the city. I was like "everyone stay back, toddler in the car!"
I was a world wind of a week, but I would not trade it in for anything. We learned a lot about schedules, naps, sleeping (she slept through the night thank goodness!), teamwork, and more. We experienced a lot of firsts and I know we will experience many more in the future.  Like I said she did return home, I'd be lying if I said it was not hard. It is amazing how quickly you become attached to little kids. When they look at you and flash you that smile, it melts you heart. For now we are back to our regularly scheduled lives until we get the next call for a placement...when we will become instant parents all over again!

Weekend Wrap Up- Wisconsin, Burgers, and Beer Bread

We had a pretty busy, yet fun weekend. Friday we kept it low key with our Taco Bell and Walmart because of having to get up at 4am Saturday.
Saturday I ran my first 10k, you can read about it here. After the run we went to Denny's to enjoy some post race fuel.
My yummy Fit Fare Omelet!

Justin's Slamwich

Pancake Puppies! These were mine, I only ate one and took the rest home.
After Denny's we went to go check out this outside mall they have called Bayshore Town Center. It was kind of like a bigger, nicer version of Streets of Woodfield. It had quite a variety of stores from Apple, Barnes and Nobles, and even a Trader Joe's. Of course I had to go to Trader Joe's and stack up on some treats! After the mall we headed to Sprecher Brewery to refill our stock of beer and soda. We love going to this place, they have some great varieties of both soda and beer. We did a beer and cheese pairing there back in May for our anniversary, you can recap that here. With beer and soda in tow we headed home, where I feel asleep for a much needed nap.
Later Saturday night we went to Target to get some pumpkin M&Ms and other food items. That's where I saw the Chris March Halloween hats. They have been all over instagram and Facebook and I wanted to see them in person.
Super cute but a bit pricy at $15- $25 dollars
After Target we went to dinner at Red Robin, they were having the Oktoberfest burger again this year and I wanted to treat myself to one.
My Oktoberfest burger

Justin and his burger
Once burger time was over we pretty much headed home for an early night.
Sunday my parents came over and I made some Weight Watchers Easy Enchiladas for dinner. We had a nice time catching up with them and enjoying some good food. I also made some Sprecher Beer Bread which came out excellent!
Cats watching tv

Guido watching the Lions versus the Bears in his front row seat

Mmmm Beer Bread

Dinner time!

Dinner's ready lets go!
How did everyone enjoy their weekend?