Monday, December 12, 2011

Well...hello there!

I've been meaning to get back to blogging for a while now, but something happened tonight that set me off.

It all started by a seemingly innocent tweet.

Everyone that knows me knows I enjoy shopping. That's certainly no secret. It's also no secret that I'm not a fan of shopping alone. I'm awful about making decisions and prefer having someone else to give me their opinions of what I try on. As a result, when I'm alone and am thinking of buying something I often turn to Twitter. Tonight was no different. I have several holiday parties to attend and wanted a new dress. Could I wear something in my closet? Probably. But in the last year I've lost a significant amount of weight which means a lot of things in my closet no longer fit me and frankly, I simply wanted something new. No crime there.

What happened next really surprised me. I got a bunch of tweets from my "internet friends" telling me things they liked and disliked about the dress. Then all of the sudden, I saw this:

I was instantly taken back. I instantly replied "whoa - so not true! I have numerous Christmas parties to attend - mostly the same people at all of them." Then I looked at her timeline and what I saw really surprised me.

I'm not really sure what I've done to bring on this sort of exchange about me. For all anyone knows I was at a discount department store trying on a clearance dress or at a store shopping with a gift card that I had been given. I never mentioned where I was. I never ever would have mentioned the price of this dress. Also, not everything that gets tweeted ends up in my closet. That's the whole point of tweeting the pic, to weed out the uglies!

There are so many other things I have to say about what happened tonight, but I'll just end with this:

Before you judge someone, take a second to learn a little bit about them and spend some time walking in their shoes. You may just be surprised by what you find out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Little Bit Stronger

This morning I woke up and set off to run 10-12 miles. It was a gorgeous morning and lots of other runners were on the street. I was cruising along listening to my music but my legs felt heavy and my body was tired. I called it a day after just under 9 miles. I got home and still had plenty of time for a kettlebell workout before I needed to get ready for church. I popped in my Jillian Michaels DVD and gave it all I had.

Much to my surprise, I still had tons of time to kill before getting ready. I started a pot of coffee and hopped in the shower. After my shower, I made breakfast and watched some
tv before deciding it was time to get moving. Before getting up, I changed the channel to U-Verse's new Today's Country station. The first song that came on was Sara Evans's A Little Bit Stronger. I tweeted part of the lyrics:

Doesn't happen overnight, but you turn around and a month's gone by,

And you realize you haven't cried.

I'm not giving you an hour or a second or another minute longer.

I'm busy getting stronger.

I didn't think anything about tweeting it. I love the song, love the lyrics, nothing more. It wasn't until I was about half-way finished doing my hair that it hit me. Today is May 8th. To most people May 8, 2011 meant that today is Mother's Day. To me, it meant so much more.

May 8, 2008 was the day that I ended my marriage. It was the day that I decided that I'd finally had enough. It was the day that would change my life forever. I didn't know it at the time, but I was close to hitting rock bottom, which meant that I was close to picking myself up and putting my life back together again.

As I sit here three years later, I amazed at just how different my life is. My relationship with my family is stronger now than it's ever been. My friendships with those that were around three years ago are also stronger. I've formed new friendships with so many wonderful people and I am ridiculously happy to have them my life. I've become a runner - a marathoner! I've traveled to so many parts of the country that I wouldn't have seen if it wasn't for running and I'm looking forward to exploring even more cities by foot in the years to come. I feel more alive today than I ever have.

None of these things would have been possible if it weren't for the events that lead up to May 8, 2008.

Things aren't perfect, and they never will be. May 8th still triggered tears, but not as many tears as it did last year or the year before. One of these days, May 8th will just be another day. Until then I'm going to do my best to spend everyday getting a little bit stronger.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Long time no blog!

Hi Friends! It's been a while since I've sat down and blogged, but I've got so many things to update about that I thought I'd just to a quick recap to get here it goes, Jenn's life in bullet points:

  • If you follow me on twitter, you've probably already seen me mention this, but my Etsy store is back up and running...and it's in full swing! I've started making non-slip headbands similar to those you find at running stores, race expos, and the interwebs for $15-18. I'm charging $10 each or $25 for a set of three. All proceeds benefit my Girls on the Run SoleMates fundraising campaign. If you check it out and don't see a pattern you're looking for, shoot me a message! I'm in the process of making a bunch more.
  • Chocolate pasta sucks. I bought some at Soulard Market last Friday with plans to make it as a dessert for Easter dinner. I told my mom about it and she immediately thought I was crazy and requested that I do a test run. Well...she was right it.was.awful! I boiled the noodles, chilled them, tossed them with whipped cream and strawberries and topped it with chocolate sauce. Sounds great, right?? WRONG! After tweeting that this was an epic fail Lauren told me her boyfriend has made chocolate pasta as a savory dish with butter and parm...I may try that with the rest of the noodles (if I'm not too traumatized to try them again).
  • Speaking of the fabulous Lauren...I AM GOING TO CALIFORNIA to visit her in September to visit her!!!!! We were originally planning a long-ish weekend, then she mentioned that she was road-tripping to Vegas the week I was planning on leaving. This lead to me popping into my boss's office and asking if I can take 12 days off (well, 12 days total, not 12 work days) and she said YES!!! So...LA and Vegas in less than 5 months?? Time to get my ass in shape!
  • If you're in St. Louis and you haven't been to Sanctuaria yet, you need to go. NOW! I'd be lying if I said I remember a lot about last Friday, but what I do remember is amazingly yummy drinks (with pretty flowers), a cool crowd, and a very hip vibe. I can't wait to go back.
  • If you have a second check out the Girls Guide to the Galaxy's StL 2011 Sexiest CyberGeek contest. They posted it last night, and I've found some cool new local people to follow! I'd love to opportunity to meet all of the other nominees sometime soon.
  • Our Ragnar Chicago team is finally coming together! After having a full team of 12 set late last year, the team kind of fell apart this spring. Work, school, and babies caused some girls to have to drop, but we're now back up to a team of 11 and we already have 2 out of the 3 volunteers that we need. We are still looking for one female runner and 1 volunteer in or near Madison or Chicago...if you know of someone PLEASE let me know!
Ok..I think that's enough for now. I promise I'm really going to try to be better about updating. I've got way to many races and new shoes to tell you about to not blog.

Happy Almost-Thursday!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back to the basics

It's been a while since I've posted about shoes, so I decided to share a couple of pairs that arrived yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably heard me talking about Sole Society. It's a new shoe club that just launced this year. I didn't hear about SS until last month and signed up right away. I ended up ordering two pairs of summer heels, the Anouk and Analisa.

Here's what SS has to say about the Anouks: This fashion forward yet timeless platform is a fun, sexy addition to your shoe collection. With peep-toe, cutouts and a Tstrap, it's equally sleek and fierce.

  • Heel Height: 5 1/2"

  • Platform Height: 1 1/4"

  • Runs true to size

  • Material: Microsuede

Anouk in coral

I ordered them in coral and am in love. They're so cute and comfortable that I've decided to order the blue as well!

Isn't the blue pretty, too??

Next up is Analisa:

Take your look to the next level with these gorgeous ruffle heels. The adjustable ankle strap provides a secure fit while the stiletto adds femininity and glamour.

  • Heel Height: 4 3/4"

  • Platform Height: 1"

  • Runs true to size

  • Material: Satin

Analisa may not be the most practical shoe ever, but 4" heel, platform, ruffles AND pink meant that I had to have them. Their not as comfortable as Anouk, but they're certainly not uncomfortable and I think they'll look super cute with dark jeans and a white top.

Have you guys found any cute new shoes lately?

Monday, April 4, 2011

And the winners are... (plus tutu instructions)

Thanks to everyone for the super sweet comments about Rock n Roll Dallas - Barbie from barbie runs for fun and Jacob (aka @Wirelessjake on twitter) are the lucky winners of theHoneyMilk! I'll be putting both of you in contact with them very shortly. For everyone that didn't win and would like to try HoneyMilk, here's a coupon code I found online for you - SMP63032 - using this code will save you 33% on your entire order of Athletes HoneyMilk (up to 6 cases of each flavor per order), plus the shipping is ALWAYS on them!

Miss Alayna sporting her halloween tutu and her PunkRockRacing tee!

Also - I owe Fran overdue instructions on how to make tutus so here it goes:

You'll need:

2 spools of 6" tulle (I like to use more than one color - so get one of each)
Spool of grosgrain ribbon, preferably something about an inch thick

I start by cutting the tulle into strips approx. 24" long (this will give you a tutu that's about 12" long). I find it easier to go ahead and cut off of the tulle at one time, but feel free to just cut it as you go. Then I tie the ribbon around the back of a chair making sure that it's tied tightly enough that it isn't going to move too much. Then all you do is fold the tulle in half and tie a slip knot around the ribbon, making sure the knot is at the bottom of the ribbon. If you don't want to use slip knots, you can simply make a double knot - easy peasy! If you're using multiple colors, just alternate the tulle as you go and continue that pattern until it's long enough. When it's the length you need simply cut the ribbon, allowing enough room to tie a bow, and you're all done!

This is how I've made all of mine - if you're wanting to use elastic instead of ribbon, here's a great tutorial from Plumtickled - just remember she's showing you how to make them for a kiddo, so you'll want to make sure you get the proper waist measurement.

I hope all of that makes sense - if anyone wants to make a tutu and doesn't understand anything I just said, shoot me an email and I'll do my best to help.

Hope y'all had an awesome Monday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Dallas...and a giveaway!

This past weekend I headed to the greatest state in the Union for Rock 'n' Roll Dallas. My love affair with everything Texas, and more specifically DFW, isn't a secret so it should come as no surprise that I loved this race.
When I arrived in Texas I was greeted by The Running Couple, who arranged for absolutely perfect weather. It was so sweet of them to make sure that the highs were in the mid-80s and the sun was shining. Friday I had a bit of time to myself and it was so nice to walk around Fort Worth, there were blooming flowers and beautiful green trees everywhere!
Beautiful scenery during a long walk Friday afternoon

The weather played a trick on me though, because by Sunday morning it was FAH-REEZING! Ok, technically it wasn't 32 degrees, but it was darn close, especially considering it was in the 80s Friday and Saturday. Normally temps in the 40s & low 50s wouldn't have been so bad, but I had no cool weather running clothes with me. My tank, shorts and HoneyMilk tutu would have to do!
Nothing says Texas like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!

Lee and Isis were so wonderful to wake up super early just to to drive me to the start. They even braved the cold to cheer runners on during the race. This worked fabulous for me because they were able to drop me off about 2 blocks from the start. From there I quickly made my way to the VIP tent. Brian (@TriBoomer on twitter) generously gave me a pass into the VIP tent where I was able to chat with him and where I finally met Sarah Stanley.
Just one of the beautiful homes we saw along the way

Before the race, Brian introduced me to Miss Texas USA, Ana Rodriguez. She had never run a race before and asked if I minded running with her. I can't begin to describe how friendly she was, and I'm not talking that fake beauty pageant niceness. She was genuine. It was great to have a buddy for a little while but she was too fast for me so I told her to go ahead after a couple of miles. Luckily I was outfitted in my HoneyMilk honeybee costume so I had tons of people cheering me on, I had forgotten how many cheers tutus earn on a race course!
I couldn't believe how many people asked me about HoneyMilk while on the course. Several people saw my post about the tutu on the RnRDallas FB wall and many more commented that they saw the tutus floating around the race expo. This made me SUPER happy. I was able to spread the word about a product that I truly love to those that had never tried it and I told those that were already faithful HoneyMilk customers about Team HoneyMilk.

This honeybee is done with half-marathon #4 for 2011

I cannot express how much I love this course. Say what you want about the Competitor Group and Rock 'n' Roll races, but they sure did a great job mapping out a beautiful 13.1 miles through Dallas. I loved the race last year, but this year was even better. The course was exactly the same, but I think the volunteers were even better this year and there was definitely a lot more crowd support this time around. For me, this race was over far too quickly - if they ever offer a full at this event, I'm jumping on it. I was having so much fun out there that I could have kept going! My one major complaint about the event was the lack of mylar blankets at the finish line. I was a tad cold while running, thanks to the temps and a little drizzle, but once I quit moving I was miserably cold. Mylar to wrap up in would have helped a lot.

So thanks to Texas for another wonderful race - I can't wait to come back again!!!
My reward for the race!

Now onto the fun stuff...the giveaway! As you can tell, I'm a big fan of HoneyMilk and a member of Team HoneyMilk. They've been generous enough to give me two cases to giveaway to my readers. Entry is simple - just leave me a comment letting me know which flavor of HoneyMilk you'd love to try. My personal favorite is vanilla, but there's not a flavor I don't like (that's why I'm a big fan of ordering their variety pack). So that's it, just leave me a comment (and be sure to give me your contact info so I can let you know if you win!) by Monday, April 4th - easy peasy! Good luck!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cowtown Challenge Weekend

This post-race margarita that's big as my head proves that everything is bigger in Texas

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve written a race report. I guess that’s because it’s been a while since I last ran a race. Luckily my schedule is about to kick into high gear – hopefully that means that I’ll be a bit more motivated to train properly...fingers crossed!

Last Friday Ashley and I hopped on a plane headed to Fort Worth. The flight was great, thanks to an awesome Southwest flight attendant who kept the vodka coming, even though we didn’t ask for more than the first round. I swear I could feel my mood improve as soon as the plane touched down, there’s just something about being in Texas that truly makes me happy. Shortly after we grabbed our luggage Lee & Isis were there to pick us up. It was absolutely amazing to see them again! Once we got back to their place we chatted for a bit but headed to bed relatively quickly since we had to get up bright and early Saturday.

Lee, two fine ladies whose names are escaping me, Isis (and her baby bump), me, and Ashley after the 5k.

On Saturday morning we got to the expo by 7am so that Ashley & I could pick up our packets. I was surprised by how big the expo was, it was big enough to feel like a “big race” but no so big that it was overwhelming. Ashley & I grabbed our 5k and half/marathon bibs, the special Cowtown Challenge bib and our t-shirts. Pretty soon it was time to stash our bags at the HoneyMilk booth and head to the start line for the 5k. This was a mistake – we should have headed to the start much sooner. I’ve never seen a crowd like this for a 5k! We ended up getting there in plenty of time, but were kind of stuck at the back of the pack. We tried to run for what I would guess was about ¾ of a mile but finally gave up because it was so crowded. We ended up saying screw it and just had fun while covering the remaining distance. It was awesome to be with Lee, Isis & Ashley and I cannot wait to see the photos – they’re sure to be hilarious!

See HoneyMilk makes people happy – we’re proof of that!

After the above photo was snapped, we headed back to the expo and poured some HoneyMilk for everyone to enjoy. We couldn’t stay behind the booth for too long because we had to get to the meet-up sponsored by HoneyMilk. The meet-up was at Magnolia’s Motor Lounge. None of us had been there before so we were excited to try it out. The food was excellent, as was the beer, and I heard the garage fries topped with country fried bacon were especially yummy. It was so great to see all of my Texas buddies again and to meet some for the first time. I wish I would have been smart enough to snap some photos of everyone!

Meet-up at Magnolia Motor Lounge

After the meet-up Ashley hung out with some family, Isis had to go to work. Lee was super productive and I took a nap. When I finally woke up Lee & I headed to the best place in the whole world, a/k/a Central Market, to pick up supplies for a fabulous dinner and then we were off to pick Isis up from work. She and I relaxed and caught up some more while Lee slaved in the kitchen. After dinner Ashley joined us again and another DFW buddy, Mike, came over. Lee & Isis were smart and went to bed early…Mike, Ashley & I stayed up watching some silly stuff on tv.

Alarms went off bright and early Sunday morning. Mike, Ashley & I got ready for the half, Lee got ready for the 50k and Isis got ready to be an awesome wife & friend (she wasn’t running but got up and drove us to the start!). The start was gain pretty crowded, but seemed like it moved a little more smoothly than the previous day. Ashley started off with her cousin and they quickly pulled in front of me. While I was in line for the porta potty Ashley called – at first I was worried about her but then she told me that her cousin sped off and she was going to hold up and wait for me. I told her I was moving slowly but she said she didn’t care.

Ashley & her medals representin’ Big River and HoneyMilk

Having Ashley by my side for the last 11ish miles of this race made the day for me. We chatted, laughed, took pictures with real-life cowboys and their horse and popped into a Starbucks to use a real bathroom. We weren’t moving fast, but we were having fun and for me, that’s what this race was all about – I needed to just have fun again. I cannot thank Ashley enough for sacrificing her race to stay with me.

The course was ok - we ran through some questionable neighborhoods, but we also got to run past the Stockyard, which was a highlight for me, and all around downtown Fort Worth. There were some killer hills (Hello mile 9!) but other than those I'd say it was a reasonably flat course. There wasn't a ton of course support, but I'd say that the police we some of the nicest I've ever seen on a race course. Oh, and this was the first race I've done that gave out finisher's shirt - that was a nice touch! All in all I'd probably give this race a 7 out of 10. Since it's in Fort Worth, there's a high likely hood that I'll be back in 2012.

HoneyMilk and Punk Rock Racing gear, plus two medals = a great day

So there you have it, half marathon #13 is in the up is Rock 'n' Roll Dallas. See you soon, Texas!!!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

These will be mine...hopefully by tomorrow if the UPS man cooperates!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just when I say I'm gonna be better...

I need to just stop saying I'm going to take it easy with my shoe purchases because it seems every.single.time. I say that I end up buying more! But this time it wasn't my fault. Allow me to explain:

Every so often ShoeDazzle emails me with a dazzle deal, and I almost always ignore the email. This morning I opened up the email and for some reason decided to check it out. Today's deal was 5 different styles of Velvet Angel shoes for $39.95. These aren't ShoeDazzle brand shoes - they are shoes that retail at anywhere from $150 on up, most being in the $300 range. SHUT.THE.FRONT.DOOR. Designer shoes for almost 90% off??? Yes, please.

How in the world was I supposed to pass this up?? I wasn't. So you see, that's how this wasn't my fault at all.

I frantically began looking at the options and figuring which ones were available in my size (aka giant) and kept trying to add them to my cart, but the site wasn't allowing me to shop (blasphemy!). Luckily, I was thinking clearly enough to try to call their customer service line and after being on hold for a few minutes a lovely lady picked up the phone and became my shoe savior for the day. She quickly told me which shoes were available in my size and I was able to get 2 pairs ordered with ease.

On to the good stuff...what I ordered!

I'll start with these - the Zoo Bar in black:

Here's what ShoeDazzle had to say about them: ‘Zoo Bar’ platform pump by Velvet Angels is pristine, with a beveled platform that commands attention and reflects the light. The genuine leather upper is stitched at the towering heel, with seductive cutouts that showcase every curve. This versatile side-zip beauty has oodles of sex appeal and will shine a spotlight on your stems.

With a 5" heel and a 1" platform these babies are sure to make my legs look nice and long!

And now I present to you the Infinity in mauve:

ShoeDazzle says: The gorgeous ‘Infinity’ shoe by Velvet Angels shows off a seemingly infinite number of criss-crossing straps that glide up to the ankles. With a fierce metallic beveled platform and sky-high heel, these shoes have a commanding ‘come hither’ vibe. Anchored by grommets that lend Infinity urban sophistication, the straps playfully showcase hints of skin while retaining some mystery. A genuine leather upper and sole distinguish this zip-back stunner.
And I couldn't agree more! These puppies are perfect for summer! They also have a killer 5" heel and a 1" platform.

I'll close with this:

Dear Mother Nature -
Can you please speed the end of winter up a bit so I can wear my new shoes?
Love, Me

**WTF is up with blogger lately? Is anyone else having a really hard time getting photos to go in the right place? Sorry for the ridiculous formatting!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

4 months and counting...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The post I've been avoiding...

I've been meaning to write this post since I got back from Disney World, but I just haven't. It's no secret that my last couple of races were disappointing to say the least and now I'm battling an injury. I've talked to Ron, Mary, Isis and Lee about this, but I don't think I've mentioned it to anyone else. My 2011 goals have got to be adjusted. I need running to stay fun and failing race after race is anything but fun. I'm tired of being frustrated and I need to find the joy that running used to give me.

This means no El Scorcho 50k and no Chicago Marathon. 2011 will be the year of 13.1 or shorter race distances, with the exception of the El Schorcho 25k.

Right now I'm struggling to run 5 pain-free miles, so my focus is currently getting that under control, but once that's better I am going to be doing everything I can to run a better race. That means I am going to be committing myself to speed work, hill workouts, cross-training, and losing weight. I doubt it'll happen in 2011, but my ultimate goal is a sub-2 half marathon.

Yes, I'm still running a lot of races in 2011. No, I will NOT be racing all of them. I am currently planning on racing RnR Chicago, and probably 2 others but I need to look over course profiles before I decide which ones.

Right now I feel like the marathon has beaten me down. Chicago 2010 kind of broke my spirit and I'm not really sure how to get it back. That race made me question if I really have what it takes to be a marathoner. I'm hoping these changes will help me out, but only time will tell. If all goes well, I'll be running through the streets of Paris in April 2012!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pasta Sauce

There's nothing better than homemade pasta's my recipe for red sauce!

Red Sauce 
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup yellow onions (1 medium yellow onion), chopped (I prefer red onions)
1/2 teaspoon garlic (2 cloves garlic), minced (I am VERY generous with my garlic - probably about double this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
4 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
In a medium, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes.
Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heavy wooden spoon.
When I make my sauce, I do huge batches of it. I usually triple or quadrupole this recipe (I eat lots of red sauce). Once it's finished, I let it cool, put it in mason jars and then freeze it. This is awesome because nights like tonight I can just pop open a jar and I have my homemade sauce - so much better than anything I've ever bought at a store!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My first post...

from my shiny new toy!

MacBook Pro...

with a pink hard case....

and a fabulous Kate Spade sleeve...

and a super tiny wireless keyboard...
and finally the magic mouse!

Friday, February 4, 2011

ShoeDazzle - February Style

Alright boys and girls, it's that time again.  Below are my favorite ShoeDazzle picks for the month of February.  Do we love them or hate them?

I generally stay away from Ankle straps, but I love the shape and color of Toto.

At first glance I really liked the Melosa, but now I'm not so sure.  I like the idea of a gray shoe, and I like the idea of a rose, and I love me some peep toes, I'm just not sure this is doing it for me.

The Viola is the shoe I'm most torn about.  I love this style of shoes on other people, I'm just not sure I can pull it off.  I'm kinda thinking you have to be a super skinny lady to pull these off but I think they could be really cute with a black dress or rolled-up boyfriend jeans.

Jenna is pretty classic Jenn-style.  I love the shape, I love patent leather, and there are few things I love more than platforms and heels that give you a little pop of color.  Plus how can you go wrong with black and pink??

I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but ShoeDazzle also sends you 5 bags and 5 jewelry sets to pick from each month.  I've never really found any purses or jewelry that I've loved, but I'm kinda digging this tote bag.  It's available in a really pretty pink, which is the color I'm leaning towards.

This could easily become a month of multiple ShoeDazzle purchases.  The beauties I posted on Wednesday are already on their way to me, and I can seriously see me ordering at least 2 more items this month. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 28, 2011

One step closer...

You may not know this, but my boss is one of my very best friends.  I'm so fortunate to have her in my life, her family has become mine and vice versa. She's been by my side through all of my ups and downs and I hope she would say that I've done the same for her.

The last couple of years have been anything but easy for her.  In August 2009 she was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer, opted for surgery and radiation. Exactly one year later she found out the cancer was back, and in the exact same spot.  This time they were treating it with surgery, radiation, and then 5 rounds of intensive chemo.  Exactly two weeks ago she finished chemo and today she had her first post-cancer PET scan...the results are in and the news is wonderful!
  Of course she still has a long road ahead of her, but today is a great day! She's one step closer to beating cancer once and for all...and in my book that's a pretty big deal! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

These beauties would certainly make the dreary slush filled St. Louis days more bearable...

Hunter 'Original Tall' Metallic Rain Boot (Women)

and when paired with these welly socks they would be sure to keep my toes happy!
hunter welly grizzly sock courtesy of nordstroms

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vegetable Soup with Dumplings

Last Wednesday night St. Louis got hit with a pretty serious snow storm and thanks to me living in the City and the City not plowing secondary streets, I took a snow day!  I've always said that I wouldn't be very good at working from home, but I'm proud to say that I actually got a whole lot of work done that day. It was fabulous to be able to shower and then put my favorite Soma pajamas (which are incidentally on sale for a killer price) right back on.  In addition to real work, I was able to get a couple of loads of laundry done and make an awesome lunch. 

I had some veggies that I needed to use before they went bad so I decided to whip up a big pot of vegetable soup.  I normally make my own noodles for my soup, but my mom picked up a package of Mary B's frozen dumplings for me so I used those instead.

Mary B's Dumplings


Here's what I used:

One package of Mary B's dumplings
1/4 of a yellow onion
Fresh garlic (I used 3 cloves)
Salt & pepper to taste

Here's what I did:

Bring the stock and water to boil - I equal parts of both.  Once the broth is boiling, drop the dumplings in ONE AT A TIME. This is very important, if you don't drop them in individually they will all stick together - trust me on this one.  Then I dumped all of the chopped vegetables in and dropped the burner down to medium heat.  You will need to stir the soup pretty much continually so that the dumplings don't stick to the bottom of the pot. I can't remember exactly how long it cooked, just until the veggies were tender and the dumplings were finished - no more than 30 minutes. 

Finished product
This made a ton of soup, but that was great for me because I just threw it in containers for leftovers. I kept a couple in the fridge but also froze a couple.  They'll be perfect on cold days when I don't feel like cooking - nothing like warm homemade soup on a cold and snowy St. Louis day!