Friday, September 30, 2011

Me, My, & I

 Things that happened this week...

1. Girl smacking her gum and popping bubbles in church.

2. Woman shaking her head during worship in irritation of the hymn not being sung the traditional way.

3. A guy's hair overly gelled.

4. Almost running over a pedestrian walking in the street outside of the bike lane.

5. Girl chomping on her Pringles during class.

6. A lady throwing me my food shoving me through the Drive-Thru at Taco Bell.

7. Sitting in stand-still traffic on Shaw, when I need to be at work.

8. Annoyed with co-workers not doing their job.

9. Several dropped AT&T calls.

10. Bothered with how fast a professor teaches.

11. Too many annoying 'Debbie Downers' posting on social media.

12. Irritated by the lack of focus by a student.

13. Ungrateful people.

14. I cringe at the way people sip their drinks.

15. Blisters on both feet caused by every shoe I wore this week.

The list above is all the situations that aggravated me this week. After breaking down several times I was reminded of the story in the Bible, Jesus & The Sermon on the Mount. In everything, Jesus felt compassion. It didn't matter who wronged him, accused him, or said evil things against him. He came to serve others, not to be served. As disciples we are called to serve as well.

It's about my kingdom and my happiness, right? Wrong.

It's a personal problem. A heart issue.

It can be so easy to point the finger and say that it's them not I. God doesn't intend for it to be me, my, and I. We are to be others focused and allow Christ to rein through us. I have been anxiously waiting all week for Friday. After counting the days, hours and minutes, the weekend finally arrived. I came home to find out I received a card from a unknown person thanking me for  blessing them in a way I didn't even realize. I am convinced this was the Lords way of  reminding me of the gift of generosity and to soften my heart. It was definitely a wake-up-call. Generosity is unnatural. Think about when you were a child. Your parents didn't teach you to be selfish. It's easy for every child to say "mine". Instead, they taught us to share. Selfishness doesn't bring peace. Life is found when we give it away. Matthew 10:39 says it best... "He who finds his life will lose it. He who loses his life will find it through me". 

It's so easy to let the little things in life frustrate us. It's also easy to forget the importance of life, how and why we are blessed. Take whatever you have, whether it be big or little, give it to Jesus, then give it away.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Obsession

Fall is here... well at least that's what the weather man says. Last I checked, the weather was still in the 100's. I'd say the valley has been pretty lucky this summer. My armpits were still an issue, just not as severe. My running was difficult, but manageable. My acne was flaring, just not as noticeable. Let's just say... Im thankful for changing colors, temperatures, and pumpkins.

I have an obsession, some may claim I'm crazy. I'm fine with that. I most definitely have to blame my mother for this disorder. From a very young age, my mom introduced me to pumpkin. Here's how it went...

Our family started out with pumpkin pie during the holidays, then to ice cream.

Gradually we started buying things that smelled like pumpkin. Fall smells hit the spot. So, not only could you taste the pumpkin in my house but smell it too.

 Pumpkin candles.

Hand wash.
Bathroom spray... It smells so good it makes you wanna go all the time. 

Bath & Body works is a good friend of our family's. Just about every sale they have, I would bet you both my mom and my aunt are there! Last year Bath & Body had Pumpkin Paradise 3-in-1. I loved it. I'm sure walking around smelling like a pumpkin isn't the most attractive thing so I used it for evening baths. Totally relaxing.

Ok, now we're talking. My mom bought our very own pumpkin bread making kit. Too bad it's not gluten free. I am on the lookout for a good g-free pumpkin bread recipe!

My favorite of all, pumpkin spice coffee. Starbucks gets way too much of my money. Luckily this week I found Pumpkin Spice Coffee grounds at TJMaxx. I've never been so excited. It's delicious! Sorry Starbucks, I won!

I think I've shared enough of my pumpkin disorder. Although; some may think it's completely normal. If you're interested, check out the latest pumpkin centerpiece.  Fall moves too fast around here. People get so excited for Christmas, starting countdowns and buying decorations months before. When we rush by changing of the seasons we miss many things: Fall colors are simply the best, carving pumpkins, eating all the delicious foods and so forth. There is just so much to enjoy and be thankful for. 

What's your favorite thing about fall? 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Training in Progress

Six weeks away. Just six weeks and I'll be running 13 long hard miles. 

I'm more than ever thankful for my Smart Coach training plan this time round. It encourages me to get up in the mornings, or afternoons (if I'm lazy) and run. Since I started back at work in August it's made it really difficult to get my butt up and exercise. I enjoyed the leisure of not setting an alarm, sipping on some coffee, reading the word, and running when I pleased. Thats no longer the case. I was spoiled for a few months and then reality hit. darn.

Running has become therapy for me. It helps me regain my sanity at times and makes me feel like I did something for myself. I consider a day without running crappy. Running frees my anxiety and prevents me from feeling like a grump. With how crazy my life is these days, sometimes my schedule doesn't allow me to run. For the most part, I try to run 4 times a week. 

In the meantime, a couple short races have been placed on my calendar. It helps me stay motivated and not slack off on miles. I'm not a big fan of 5k races, so you'll rarely see me spending money on those. I barely get into my running grove at three miles, then have to stop? The Cross City Race is  coming up. It's a fun 10k run benefiting Saint Agnes Mens Club.  I was lucky to have my brother run it with me last year.

In between the Cross City Race and Two Cities half marathon I am participating in the Warrior Dash. Call me crazy, because it's a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, run from hell. I can't wait! It's known to be one of the most challenging courses. Check it out and sign up. I dare you. 

Check this video out!  It might help you make your decision! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No Bumpers Necessary

Just a random friday night adventure. I can't even remember the last time I bowled. This was one of those Groupon deals. Two hours of bowling for 15 bucks for two people. Totally worth it. 

We went, thinking that it wouldn't be crowded and quite possibly miss the chance of someone seeing how awful I bowl. Well we were wrong, it was the complete opposite. Not only were all the lanes full but we had to wait for 2 hours until a lane opened. Sierra Lanes has a bar/restaurant inside the bowling alley. It just so happened, Friday night was Karaoke night. Yee Haw! Let me just tell you, there were some interesting kareokers... or singers... or wanna be vocalists? That's the point though, right? 

By 10:00 o'clock, (when I'm normally in bed), we were ready to get our bowl on. Randy needed some practice throws to be sure he still had his game. I'm just that good (cough cough). 

The lights went dim, music grew louder and the bowling began. 

I went ahead and let him go first so he could remind me how to properly bowl. Step, right, left, right, left, bowl. So here it goes...





Don't ask what face I am making... I think its "ah man"!

Well, almost! Not that time... but I did get two strikes in a row. So, for those of you who know the game of bowling, thats a double!  Cha Ching!

All in all, it was a blast! We bowled 3 games, sang to the music, and danced in the lanes. I'm still determined to find a bowling shirt and some shoes. Look out thrift stores, here I come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pottery Barn Knockoff! Again!

I promised ya'll that I would share my, ever so cool, stolen idea from Pottery Barn with the mercury glass pumpkins. I cant help but try and copy them. They have the best designers, so why wouldn't I? After flipping through the September and fall magazines, I found the design I wanted to do for my dining room table.

Here is the expensive Pottery Barn version... uh yeah, beautiful!

Here is my version!

- One small bag of raffia 

- Five ivory candles. I just used what I had around the house. It's more creative if they aren't all the same.

- Clear glass blocks. I used these to elevate pumpkins and create levels. You can also use books. Just take off the paper cover, they add a nice touch. 

- Ten pumpkins. All shapes and sizes. It's not necessary to have this many.

-Variety of candle stick holders.

As you can see, I did not paint every single pumpkin. I did that on purpose. I felt like, if all the pumpkins were in silver/mercury it would be too much.

The candle stick holders were in various places around my house. I decided to pull them for the season and incorporate them into the centerpiece. I wish I had a giant hurricane for the center but I don't, so I just used what I had. 

There you have it folks! I'm lovin' the mercury glass idea. Definitely will be trying it on a few other projects... possibly for Christmas :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gluten Free Italian Pasta Salad

This is one of my summer favs! It requires a minimal amount of ingredients and there is no wrong way of making it!

- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
-1 red onion
-2 tomatoes
-1 cucumber
-1 can of whole black olives
-feta cheese or mozzarella
-1 bag of gluten free brown rice pasta
- gluten free salami (optional)
- 1 cup of Gluten Free Greek Italian dressing. (you can make your own, but this is quicker)

- Begin boiling water and cook pasta according to package.

- Slice the red onion into rings. *Allow rings to soak in a bowl of ice water to extract the stingy bite, then the onion will taste sweet.

- Chop up the red & yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, and cucumber into bite site pieces.

- Once pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water until cool. 

-In large bowl, combine pasta, veggies, olives, cheese and salami.
*slice the salami into to halves.

- I usually add the cheese last to prevent it from getting too soggy.

-Toss well with dressing, place in refrigerator for a few minutes and it's ready to be served!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mercury Glass Pumpkins

I am a lover of pumpkin. Anything and everything pumpkin is my weakness. Pottery Barn came out with their September Edition and I about died. First and foremost their prices are far from a budget that I even come close to having. Secondly, I knew there had to be a way around spending $40 for a pumpkin that's up once a year. So I decided to make a Pottery Barn knockoff.

This is what I fell in love with! Aren't they fantastic?!

Pottery Barn image
I went around town finding the cheapest, yet coolest looking pumpkins I could find. First stop was the dollar store. They had awesome ceramic pumpkins in neutral colors. I almost didn't want to paint them! I was looking for a variety of pumpkins that varied in shapes and sizes. Joann's and Michaels usually have good deals on their foam filled pumpkins. Be sure to take a coupon, they can be pricey. 

I relied on Krylon Spray Paint once again, to do the trick. And it worked! Here's what you need.

- A variety of pumpkins. I went with about 10 pumpkins all varying in shapes and sizes. 

- 1 can of Krylon Metallic 

- 1 can of Krylon Brushed Metallic

*I definitely suggest purchasing the spray paint at Walmart. It's the cheapest that I've found. You won't be using an entire can.

(There are two different ways I went about doing it.) Trial and error right?!

- Spray the pumpkins with the brushed nickel paint first.

- Don't let the the paint dry completely. I suggest, almost immediately moving onto the metallic. Sprits the metallic paint over the pumpkin so that it produces a spotted look.

- Another option would be to spray the metallic, lightly, over a colored pumpkin so that the pumpkins original color seeps through. There isn't a wrong way to do it. Like I said, trial and error.

What do ya think?! What would you do differently? Let me just tell you, the total cost for all the pumpkins plus materials was around $25. You can't even buy 1 pumpkin for that price at Pottery Barn. I'm super excited to show you what I've done with these! Coming up!