Don’t “Half” Do it!!

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This past weekend, I decided to run the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. Big mistake. First of all, I whole heartedly meant to train for this run, I really did. But, I have no idea where time went, and the next thing I knew, it was this weekend. Second of all, I didn’t have to run this thing at all. I had no monetary investments or anything of that sort to MAKE me run it. So, my point is that, if I didn’t think I was ready to run 13.1 miles, I didn’t have to (I think I was just too excited to finally do a run here in Kansas City and because I hadn’t ran a race since the Dallas Turkey Trot this past Thanksgiving Day). But I did anyways, cause I am hard headed, and because I said I was gonna do it, and because I got all the way to the starting line undecided, and then the horn went off, and all of a sudden I was running, and so I had to finish it.

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This is not a post on how to train for a half marathon, rather, it’s a post on if you are not prepared or not properly trained or have not at least done a few miles here and there a week or two prior to a race: DON’T DO IT, NO MATTER HOW CASUAL YOU MIGHT THINK IT IS. I know this is an obvious, “duh”, thing, but to reiterate this point, I’ll tell you what happened to me when I decided to do it anyways :) The last time I attempted 13.1 miles was the last half marathon that I ran, which was January of 2013. My longest run prior to this run was like 2 weeks before, a measly 2.5 miles. Though it didn’t end (too)bad for me, I finished, barely, but I finished, I did pay for it. It took me fifteen minutes longer than the first time I tried it, and I suffered for it after the race, and the day after, and the day after that. I was hurting everywhere, even my eyebrows and eyelashes were hurting, I think, I couldn’t tell.

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This is how it went: The weather was awesome, the last half marathon I did, it was like a freezing 30-some degrees, with rain, sleet, and bad winds. This one was 80 and windy. PERFECT, I thought. The first 7 miles was a breeze, surprisingly, I hit all of the water station, no GU though, cause I had no idea what it was. I was on my usual pace for what I usually run a 10k. The bands and the music sounded great. Then mile 8 came. And my left knee decided so say, hell no! It kind of like refused to bend a little, so I favored my right knee and continued on. By mile 9, my whole left leg and right knee was like laughing at me and wouldn’t really work, so I brisk walked a little to rest.

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This run was hard FOR ME because of all the damned hills. By mile 9/10 all I can muster was a light jog because all of my leg muscles have given up, like literally. It feels like this: you try to run, but you don’t go anywhere, for real. It felt like a magnet was pulling your leg down every time you try to lift it up. I was still kind of ok at mile 10, but then they want to put the biggest freaking hill at mile 11, and I’m like, I’m done, just get to the finish line, go home, and soak. Also, at mile 10, like right before the massive mile 11 hill or whatever mile it was, someone wants to yell out, “Come on!! You only have 5K to go!”, I thought I was going to lose it. FIVE-FREAKING-K!! I wanted to stop moving so bad, but for some crazy reason I kept jogging, and once I got over the massive mile 11 hill, I trotted to the finish line, and thanked the LORD that I didn’t pass the hell out. I kept walking around once I crossed the finish line because I was afraid I would collapse if I stopped moving. For real. Finally, I stopped and sat down, and it hurt so bad. It hurt to bend my knees, every step hurt, water and bananas didn’t do crap, and, I had to drive home. More importantly, I still had to walk to the car.

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I’ll end there, but the pain lasted for about 2 days. When I got home, my left knee refused to bend. Every time I tried to walk, it said, nope! So I had to pick up my left leg when I went up the stairs or to get in the car for about a day or two. It’s about 4 days later and I have down graded to being just a little sore. It could have probably been worse, I’m glad it wasn’t. So, the moral of the story is train properly before you attempt any race, and don’t half do it, no matter how casual you think the race is, because it isn’t, especially 13.1 miles. The End.

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PS: Do not let the smiling photo fool you, I was smiling through pain :)

Game of Thrones Mixing: 1/10 and 2/10

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If you don’t already know, I love me some Game of Thrones. I think the long wait for Season 4 was cruel,(ok, not really), and that there are only 10 episodes in each season is unfair. I don’t watch too much television outside of GoT and sports, unless you count forced feedings of Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies, so when I do find a series that I like I get all into it.

To celebrate the return of Game of Thrones to our our lives, and to put my slight obsession with cocktails and drinks to good use, or to find a generally good excuse to try out new drinks while watching an awesome show, I have decided to try out one GoT inspired cocktails to go along with each new episode. Surprisingly, there is a plethora of GoT themed cocktails out there, but I am going to focus on one drink and try to somehow tie it in with that week’s episode, the operative word is try, cause there might be a time when I just want to make the drink just cause. So, if you follow along and try out some of these drinks, I hope you share and Enjoy :)

Since I am starting a little late, this week’s post will be for episodes 1 and 2.

Episode 1: The Lady Arya Cocktail

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I thought this was an appropriate cocktail for the first episode because Arya had the last and best kill of the episode. I mean seriously, an eye for an eye kind of deal that Arya gave that dude at the end of episode 1. You know you liked it.

The original recipe is from here.

Notes: I had to adjust this a little bit because it was too acidic, for me and my poor friends to had to try the first take. Also, I substituted Midori for the limonata cause I didn’t have it on hand. Overall, it was pretty good, a little tart, but it tasted good throughout and actually got better until the last sip :)

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1.5oz Bourbon

1oz Grenadine

0.75oz lemon juice

lemon peel for garnish

Splash of Midori

Instructions: Shake all materials except Midori. Strain into a coupe and then add a few splashes of Midori.

Episode 2: The Red Wedding Cocktail

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This was an easy pick and tie in. First of all, I would never RSVP to any of the weddings on GoT, you might not make it out. Second, though not as red as the last wedding, it was the kill that any GoT fans were waiting for, I just didn’t expect it this early.

The original recipe is from here. The site did not provide any measurements, so I had to eye it with what I know: 75% liquor, but in this case, all ingredients contain alcohol so it was easy. This is what I came up with:

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1.5oz Bulleit Rye

0.5oz sweet vermouth

0.25oz Cherry Heering

a few dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions: shake everything except the bitter, strain into a rocks glass. Add a few splashes of Angostura bitters.

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If you are like, no, that is so not right and such, please know that I am no professional nor do I know what I am doing. This is a HOBBY and I just like to try out drink recipes and enjoy, if it’s not too overly gross. One day I will be an awesome mixologist and will know why certain ingredients go together for what taste and what not, for now, I just attempt, sip, and repeat.

Cheers and ENJOY!! :)

 

*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

 

Week 31: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy weekend! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend :) This week went by extra fast, probably because the weather was glorious :) (Even though it is currently thundering, lightning, and hailing as I write this)

Highlights:

It was a pretty quiet and lazy week, hence the limited amount of photos from the week. The weather this week was so awesome, that we went to the park just about everyday after school/work and just enjoyed that I did not get a chance to do any photo taking. Hence, a limited amount of photos this week :)

Jaelan had two state exam days this week. She reports it being okay and not that bad. But then again, she says that about everything, so it’s hard to gauge. So, pray that she did well. I haven’t researched the significance of state exams here in Kansas, but if they are anything like in Texas, one cannot be promoted to the next grade without passing it.

Jaelan is also prepping for her school’s end of the year Talent Show. She won’t tell us what she is singing. I hope she makes it :)

As previously stated, Xavi’s state exams has been rescheduled, so she has yet to take them.

Finally, the big whoa this week was the, Rock the Parkway Half Marathon that I decided to run without doing any training for, or rather that crept up on me. More on this on another blog post.

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Aspen:

Aspen was pretty good THIS WEEK, and because I was too busy worrying about the run on Saturday, I didn’t get to write down any funny stuff that she said or did, plus there were too many to remember. She did tell me that she has a new favorite word, from one of the shows that she watches. I managed to talk her into telling you guys what it is in the videos below. The first video is of a failed attempt, and the second video is the success. Enjoy!

Week 31 Gallery and Videos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GOB!

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This past weekend was first weekend, so we decided to trek down to West Bottoms and check out the happenings there, since we had never been. West Bottoms is on the westish side of Kansas City, Missouri. It’s a suspect looking area due to the old, run down looking buildings that riddle the streets. However, on first weekends, it’s a pretty popular area for shoppers and retailers. The first weekend of every month is a big deal for West Bottoms because it’s the only time during the month that all (or most) of the antique and vintage shops are open. So, the shops put out for first weekends and food trucks come down and serve up yummy goodness.

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Anyway, as this is a food post, we wandered into Bella Patina. They had nice stuff. Old, but nice. I even found an 8oz stemmed cocktail glass for $2. More importantly, they had a restaurant on the third floor that is pretty dreamy because of the huge windows and third floor magic. But more importantly, they serve, The GOB, pictured at the top of the page. I was intrigued by the GOB. Everyone else had cookies and tacos, but I decided to try the GOB.

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The GOB is what I had imagined a French macaron would feel and taste like. Not the hard and tasteless, but pretty, incongruity that it is. Because you can’t be a pretty dessert and be dry and tasteless. You just can’t.

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The GOB is pretty much a giant version of a French macaron, except that it is soft and rich and chewy, and sweet and heavenly bad for my current diet, so I devoured it anyway. It is so good. It is everything that a French macaroon isn’t, for me anyways. This particular recipe (you know I asked) consists of two round, mounds of devil food with cream cheese filling in the middle. When you bite into it, it is soft and rich, not fluffy or airy. It’s just right. Perfect amount of chocolate to go with the cream cheese. The guy behind the counter mentioned something about it originating in Pennsylvania and that I won’t find it anywhere else. Which is probably a good thing for my diet.

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According to my research in wiki, there are different types of the GOB, better known as whoopie pie. Wiki says that Amish women would make these desserts and hide them in their farmer’s lunches, and when they are found, the farmers would yell, “whoopie!!”. BAM! Whoopie Pie. The GOB can be designated as a pie, a cookie, or a cake.

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What ever you want to call it, I need to learn how to make this thing and if you are ever at West Bottoms, go to Bella Patina, on the third floor is Vintage Eats and Sweets. Try the GOB, you will love it. If you already knew about the GOB, shame on you for not sharing your knowledge :)

 

*Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. No one twisted my arm or gave me free GOB to write this post.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 30: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy weekend! (Tardy Version). If you are a super nerd like I am, you are extra happy that this weekend is here because Game of Thrones will be back in our lives. It should be illegal for networks to make fans wait over a year for their shows to return. But, that’s just my opinion. I am sure you Scandal fans can sympathize :)

Highlight:

The awesomeness factor for the week was Mimi coming to visit us. She flew in and surprised the girls (I lied and told them I was picking up a new pet) :) They were so happy to see her and so were we. We haven’t seen family since the new year. Aspen was all over her Mimi and pretty much didn’t know who I was while she was here. But it’s ok, the girls needed their granny time. She took them shopping and savored every minute she was here. Goodbye was very tearful, especially for Aspen. They will not be coming with me to the airport next time. We are looking forward to the next visit.

Everyone was able to spend some quality time with her this time since Xavier and I both had a day off to spend with her and the girls. Since we have been to a few more places in Kansas City and OPK, we were able to show her a little bit of Kansas City. She got lucky and came on a first weekend, so I showed her around West Bottoms, since I had never been myself. It’s an interesting little part of KC, full of character.

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In other happenings, Xavi is pretty much blind. Her teacher advised us that she thinks Xavi needs eye glasses, so to the eye doctor she went. And it didn’t go well, she was getting all of the number and letters mixed up. She definitely NEEDS eye glasses. Xavi also had her year end scrabble tournament this week. The kids in the club practiced towards this final tournament and though she did not place in the top 3, she was still pretty happy about the whole idea of the scrabble club. She likes scrabble and that’s cool with me. You usually have to drag kids into this type of stuff. I love my little nerd babies. Her grade was also supposed to have their state exams this week, but it was cancelled, due to some system issues that the state was having, no re-test dates have been determined. They do that here? In Texas, all hell would break loose before they cancel state exams…..

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Finally, thanks to Xavier’s company, he was able to attend the Royals home opener against the White Sox and tail gate with his co-worker. He had a blast, except for one thing: IT WAS FREEZING. I was kind of bummed that I could not go cause it was in the middle of the day on a weekday, and because I am a huge sports fan, but after hearing about the weather, I was glad to be indoors. So, NFL and MLB games are definitely going to be an issue in the cold weather. Kansas City, y’all need a roof on y’all’s stadiums!

Aspen:

Aspen and her sisters went to my friend’s son’s birthday party, Happy Birthday Aiden!! They had a blast. It was a gymnastics theme party. And I am not talking about tots gymnastics. It was a full blown gymnastics gym. Aspen had a blast sliding, jumping and trampolining, and refused to do the zip line. The big girls got to try out the balance beam, the uneven bars, and the zip lines. I thought it was a brilliant theme because of the plethora of activities that the kids can choose from. Might have to try that for the girls, one of these birthdays.

Week 30 Gallery:

Sweet Love Bites: Cherry Heering

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed that I have a slight obsession with drinks. Slight. Every now and then I test and taste concoctions and spirits, and even read about them. Yes.

I recently attempted a Cherry Heering Liquer cocktail that I found here. My version is below and I consider it a success. I used triple sec instead of the Parfait orange liquer, because I did not have it on hand, and because triple sec is orange based, so close enough. It came out very sweet, which is fine with me, since I drank it during dinner. It was like having my dessert with my meal. Enjoy!

Love Bites Cocktail

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 Ingredients:

1 oz. Cherry Heering Liquer

1 oz. Triple Sec

0.25 oz Irish Cream

Details:

Pour cherry liquer, then triple sec over rocks in desired glass. Top with Irish cream.

Cheers!

 

 

Week 29: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy, Saturday!! Another week whizzed through ridiculously fast! March is almost over and crunch time at work will hopefully slow down, lol.

Highlights:

The big girls got plenty of outside time this week. We now welcome the 30s like it ain’t cold. Anything below that is dangerous for outside activities. I am really glad that we live within walking distance to a park, cause the girls can run out there whenever they want to.

Xavi is currently prepping for her first scrabble tournament coming up this Thursday, I know exciting :) I hope she does really well and kicks ass. You can never be too competitive, even(or especially) with brain sports.

Jaelan had a performance in front of the entire 6th grade during lunch yesterday. I am happy to report that she said she received the most applause. I was not able to attend, due to her not telling me about it until Wednesday. She sang, “Happy”, by Leona Lewis, not the one by Pharrell.

Finally, Jaelan asked me if she can ask me a question one day during dinner this week. I was like um, uh, sure…..? She asked: How did the world come about, you know like life and earth and the solar system, and monkey. She said she has a couple of scientific theories about it, which we discussed, but she wanted to know what I thought. I welcome these type of questions over that other one.

Aspen:

Aspen has been missing out on a few park days the last couple of weeks because she has been taking naps, religiously, between 5-7pm. So, when she wakes up, there is barely enough sunlight to go play. I have no idea why she is so exhausted so late in the day. But it is AWESOME! When I get off of work she is knocked out and all is well and quiet and peaceful. Mwahahaha!!

PS: This week, a friend and I got to check out a wine bar I had been eyeing at the River Market. I joined the club and might blog about it after I get a feel(or fill) of the benefits. This is mostly due to my obsession with cocktail/spirits/wine/dranks.

Week 29 Gallery:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 28: Finally, Friday!!

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According to someone’s calendar and such, Spring arrived this week. I have never been more excited for Spring’s arrival. EVER. I welcome the thawing out of the environment and time spent outdoors without fear of frostbite. Seriously. As someone who is new to “winter”, I kid you not, every time I stepped out in the cold without gloves, I was afraid, my fingers were gonna fall off.

Anyways, it has been a crazy week at work and at home, and since the weather has become bearable, I have also started running again, so as to not pass out at the half-marathon that I have decided to run in less than a month. So, this also means less time at the park with the girls :(

The girls were on their Spring Break this week and with all of the busy-ness around here, I did not adequately plan any activities or our annual trip. The trip is scheduled later on in April. Time and I are just not vibing right now. I hope to catch up soon. Also, apologies for missing last week’s post. My phone decided to eat ALL of my photos and now they have all gone to picture heaven. And what’s a Friday post without photos? LAME.

As such, there is not much to highlight this week. Despite all of the busy-ness, I have been getting to hang out with the family a little more. While out window shopping this week, I found out that Jaelan LOVES to try on ridiculously high-heels and walk around in them in the shoe stores. We spent like 20 minutes letting her do this. I want that 20 minutes of my life back. Just kidding. She had a blast and I thought it was weird, because I hate high heels. She even tried on lots of what my sister, Paris and I call, “what the fcuk heels”. These are slightly taller than regular heels, but not quite hooker heels. YEAH.

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On the Aspen front, we have not been on the same page at all in the past two weeks, she hates me and wants nothing to do with me. Everything is my daddy this and my daddy that. WHATEVER. Go feed yourself. Just Kidding. Honestly, I don’t know where the animosity from here is coming from, I blame it on toddlerhood and the fact that she sees her dad more during the day. Anyway, I end up being all accommodating and non-disciplinarian when she does come around me. This is not working out well, as she now thinks that is the boss when I am around, and she tells me things like, “no” and “I don’t want to”, when I tell her to do things. And as is such, she has become pretty unbearable when in public without her dad. Not sure how or if I am going to address this issue, but it needs to rectify itself quickly. I don’t remember toddlerhood being this challenging with Jaelan and Xavi. SIGH.

Week 28 Gallery:

Week 26: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy weekend! Woot! I don’t know about you, but that week went by freaking fast! And now it is almost Spring Break, for the girls, I mean.

Highlights:

It was a fairly uneventful week, so just a couple of notes on the regular. Good things happening for Xavier at work. If you see him around or on the internet(rarely), tell him Congratulations, Good Job, and Keep up the good work! :)

Jaelan was under the weather this week, some sort of tummy boo-boo. But she is recovering appropriately. It seems like every week someone in this house is under the weather, but thank goodness, they go by quickly. Also, she told me that she wants to touch Anthony Davis’s eyebrowns, this is what she used to call eyebrows as toddler.

Xavi is as usual, she has a scrabble tournament coming up and I am giving her a few secret words that will help her to destroy and conquer :)

Jaelan Quote: “If we get stuck at the playground during a blizzard, we can all squish together inside one of the round tube-slides to keep warm and survive”. I think she will do great in the wild.

Aspen:

No comments.

Ok, maybe a couple of notes. She is challenging my parenting skills, or highlighting my lack thereof.

And then she wants to start taking tumbles and spills that test my heart’s ability to stop beating and then beat again. Not fun.

Maybe next week will be better.

The End.

Week 26 Gallery:

SXSW Spy!!

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South by Southwest kicks off this weekend and of course I won’t be there. SAD FACE.  If you live under a rock and do not know what it is, go here. It’s basically a huge creatives(music, film, craft goods, ect.) festival thing in Austin, Texas. (Hook ‘Em!) Besides getting to listen to awesome music and see lots of creativity, it is also a huge learning and networking event for literally everyone, for both the participants and the attendees. I am loving some of the lineups this year, and of course Renegade Craft Fair will be there. If you go, get me something :)

SXSW has an interactive segment, in which, the issue of surveillance, online privacy, and technology are leading topics. They keep it weird in Austin, so you get music, film, creative trade crafts, food, meet and greets, book signings, and moderated panel discussions. What peaked my interest, cause I am a current affairs nerd, is Edward Snowden will be speaking via video conference, specifically on March 10, regarding NSA surveillance, technology, and the technology community. If you don’t know who Edward Snowden is, go here. Technology and the digital/online community is of great significance to the SXSW culture. This is a great opportunity to reach a large number of people, whose trade and craft rely heavily on the digital world, and to everyone who has ever used technology, so that means you :) The discussion will be moderated by an American Civil Liberties Union director, and regardless of your opinion of Snowden and of his involvement with the NSA, Russia, or anything in particular, this should be an informative session and interesting. I will probably watch the stream. I’m just saying.

*Image from sxsw.com*