Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oreo Pops {Tutorial}

I love to make cake pops and I'm a little obsessed with them
ever since I got the "Cake Pops" book by Bakerella.
My only problem is that they take forever to make.
It ends up being quite the process even while
I usually end up splitting up the project into 2 days by baking a cake one day
 and then putting together the cake pops the next...
but then there goes 2 of my evenings!
While I wish I could spend all my time crafting & baking,
that's just not likely to happen with the so-called life thing going on.


So to help save on my time (which I never quite have enough of), 
lately oreo pops have been my "go-to"
because they're fun and their super easy to make!

They're a perfect touch for gift giving too.
Here's a few I made as part of a little gift!


Here's a little how-to if you want to join in on the fun.

*My favorite chocolate to use is the Wilton's Candy Melts Chocolate found at a craft store.
It's very easy to use and comes in a variety of colors.










Eat & enjoy!

*I made a few of these block holders with the oreo pops as gifts for family & friends.
It's definitely getting close to summer now but with a little creativity
the block can be made for a birthday/any holiday!
(look for a little crafty tutorial soon)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mafia Date Night

My husband totally surprised me one night after work and
took me on a *much needed* date night.

Lately I feel like we've been two married people
who have gotten SO caught up with our own personal lives
-running errands, working out, playing on sports leagues-
that we went from thinking "What should we do tonight?"
 to automatically thinking "What am doing tonight?" 
...and we don't even have KIDS yet!

So we have no excuse for a weekly date night
and sadly enough that has been neglected lately.
(One of my *new years goals* I should definitely focus
a little more on because hey, marriage is work!)

It just so happened that my husband planned
a random surprise date this week for us.

We went to one of my favorite places to eat.... BJ's Restaurant!

They have THE best pizza ever which we practically inhaled.
They never disappoint.

The real reason why BJ's Restaurant is the *key to my heart*
is because of their Pizookie's! If you don't know what a Pizookie is...
it's a freshly baked, hot out of the oven, rich and delicious cookie topped
with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and served in its own deep dish.
Yes, it's absolutely HEAVENLY & will change your life.

This particular night we got the "Pizookie Trio"
which comes with 3 mini Pizookie's so you can try a variety.
We went with: Oreo.... Red velvet.... Chocolate Chip
Three words: TO.DIE.FOR.

After dinner he took me to one of the first hotels built in Vegas...
The Flamingo to see the "Mob Experience"
It's a recently new thing they opened up here in Vegas
and it was actually really cool.

They give you badges with "Mob Names" and send you on your first Mob mission.
You learn about how the Mafia was actually responsible for starting the idea of "Vegas"
and they were making LOADS of money under the table from owning the Casinos.
They have interactive Mob actors as you walk through alley ways and secret doors.
They even show a movie about the Mob too!


  {Total BAD "A" faces because we stuck up a bank}

So fun & definitely worth checking out!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kind of like I found Jesus...

Ever since my sprint triathlon ended I am CONVINCED
everyone has to do one. How lame does that sound, right?

"ohh-em-gee everyone like has to do this because it's just like soo cool"
 
No no... it's much more than that, I can assure you.

Last week I took an indoor bike class from the lady Jackie,
the founder of Xcell.com, who teaches triathlete swim classes
& trains various levels of triathletes.
#1- Hardest 1 hour & 15 min class I've taken. Ever.
But the good kind of hard... like the hard that kicks your trash, pushes your limit,
and makes you feel a little barfy but when it's all over you think "I soo rocked that!" 
And then you are full of this amazing sense of accomplishment & rush of endorphins 
which puts you in one fantastic mood. 

And that's just ONE class... in one aspect.

I was talking to Jackie before the class started and she asked me...

"So how did you like the triathlon?"

To which I answered...

"Oh I loved it. I'm completely addicted &
I'm convinced everyone has to do one!"

She totally laughed at me...
Being that she's done over 100, yes that is ONE HUNDRED,
triathlons in her day, she could totally relate.

She told me... "It's kind of like you found Jesus, huh?"

Completely.

So here's me going all triathlon "preachy" on you...
You HAVE to do a triathlon sometime in your life!
Absolutely anyone can totally do it too.
Fitness is definitely something I'm super passionate about
and the best way to get & keep motivated is to try something new,
*sign up for a race* & train with people who have similar goals!

#1- You'll feel excited that you've learned something new.
Why not expand your knowledge?? It just makes you more valuable.

#2- You'll feel accomplished for sticking to your goals.
This one always catches up to me come race day... during the race
it hits me that I'm actually doing it. I get a little teary eyed, filled with emotion,
& a huge sense of accomplishment.
#3- You'll grow so much as a person because you were out of your comfort zone.
At some point you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and nervous because
you're trying something new... which will be challenging at times but
after it's all said and done you look back and see just how far you've come.

#4- You'll most likely meet some amazing new friends.
Not that you have to get rid of the old ones but you'll meet people
who have been there done that, that will encourage you and give you great tips.

#5- You'll be healthy... and healthy = happy!
Enough said.

Who doesn't want to be happy??

I found this fantastic article on Fitbie.com
called "Yes, You Can Be a Triathlete"
Check it out. Good stuff.

Soo what better than to start this Friday, May 20, 2011...
because according to Active.com it is officially

*Bike to Work Day*


You can find some great tips here and here
but even if you work from home why not get out
and just ride a bike that day anyway?
You really can battle any excuse you have
and find a way to make it happen!

A great little quote I saw by the Tea Cups in Disney World this year...


Isn't that great?

Now get out there & make it happen!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Patriotic Wreath {Tutorial}

So remember that Christmas Wreath on my crafty "to-do" list?

Well I made it & remodeled it into a little
Fourth of July *Patriotic* Wreath

It's never too early to be Patriotic right?
The best part was that it was one of the easiest crafts to make!

Here's a tutorial so you can get into the Patriotic spirit early as well...



I bought a 12" foam wreath, some festive scrapbook paper,
and red, white, and blue buttons from Hobby Lobby.
The wreath was a little thicker than what I wanted
so I ended up cutting it in half

I used my cricut cutter to cut 3 1/2 inch white stars out
to cover the foam wreath & then hot glued them in place


I trimmed off the excess foam that was still showing

Then using some patriotic paper I cut twelve 4 inch stars.
You can make smaller stars depending
on the size of your wreath



After scoring each of the 5 points, crease the stars on each line then fold the inner points the opposite way so your star forms a 3-D shape

{Aren't they cute?}


Hot glue stars down while over lapping
then add buttons & embellishments





Final step is to add ribbon for hanging


I tied a bow with one ribbon, a loop knot with the other,
hot glued them together & then glued
them to the back of the wreath



And viola! You're done!
Then you sit back and admire your work.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

{Craft} To-Do List + Cinco De Mayo.

Now that I've got some free time on my hands I want to shift my focus a little.
I've got some big plans up my sleeve for some home make-over projects
with a little bit of craft making too- I can hardly wait! 

Here's a few crafty things I've got my eyes on...

Shabby Flower Pillow
I swear I've been seeing cute pillows everywhere but I'm waiting until we decide on some paint colors... yes, full on home makeover status. Until then I'm anxiously excited to put some sewing skills to the test and make this.
Here's the tutorial ------> Shabby Flower Pillow 

Star Wreath
So this is actually a Christmas Wreath but how cute would it be modified into a Patriotic Wreath for the 4th of July? Super easy exchange to Red, White & Blue paper.
Love. Here's the How-To

It's definitely no surprise that I fell in love with these
Cupcake Gift Boxes

Reeeally? Genius.



Oh and how flippin delish does this look??
And just in time for Cinco de Mayo I might add...
Thank you SkinnyTaste.com, again!

Grilled Steak Fajitas


Horchata Skinny Version

I don't know about you but I LOVE horchata!  
I'm totally stoked to make it- Yum yum yum
Here's the recipe


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

*Iron Girl Triathlon*

It's official...
I totally survived my first Iron Girl Triathlon!

Can I just start out by saying that it won't be my last either!
I'm officially addicted and I can't wait to do another.

The distance for this Sprint Triathlon was:

800 meter swim - 14 mile bike - 3.1 mile run

Since it was an Iron Girl it was exclusive only to women.
The participants all had to wear hot pink Iron Girl swim caps
so it looked like this huge sea of pink!
This was before the race started...
(allllllll natural baby)


**Note girl on right side of picture without a wetsuit.
The temperature that morning started out in the low 50's
with the water temp in the low 60's and PLUS it was windy...
Not quite sure if she survived the swim!

My best friends woke up suuuuuper early to come cheer me on for the race.
When I saw two heads bobbing up and down running through a crowd coming my way, one redhead and one blond, I instantly knew they were there to cheer me on. I started to get a little teary eyed even before they ran up and then I saw this cute little sign Jess hand made for me. They've always been super supportive. It's definitely no wonder why we've been friends for 12+ years.
I love these girls! 


Getting pumped before the start!

Here's the very start of the swim...


video

My T1 time (transition from the swim to the bike) was sooooo long.
It was about a quarter of a mile run from the end of the swim to where the bikes were
but still, longest transition time ever.
Grant is AWESOME at catching pictures and videos with his trusty little iphone.
Since he documents everything, he caught up to me on my T1 to take some footage...

video

The start of my bike...
video



 
And this is the video of my finish...

video

Here's me & my friend Diane with our swim coach Jackie Arcana.
This lady is off the chart. She won the *Full* Silverman triathlon in 2007 and 2009.
**Full meaning- 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run ( a.k.a. full marathon)!
Now she owns XcellPerformanceGroup.com and she trains triathletes of all levels.

 

It's definitely been a journey training for my first triathlon and I'm so excited to check off one of my *New Years Goals* from back in January. I definitely owe a big thank you to my awesome friends and family- you guys were truly my inspiration when I needed it most! You guys rock!

Now I can officially say I am an
Iron Girl!
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