Friday, February 18, 2011

Dominion Enterprises Cutest Pet Contest

So the last two weeks DE has had a pet drive to help bring in donations for the Norfolk SPCA. They asked for various pet toys, food, maintenance supplies (for the facility), blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, etc. In conjunction with this drive was the DE Cutest Pet Contest.
Knowing how absolutely precious my little boy Bailey is, I have decided to enter him into the contest. Here are a few pictures I was choosing from:

These were handmade by Ryan's cousin Claire

Doing what he does best...napping!

Plz get away from me mommy, I'm trying to sleep!

He likes to have a tent made for him so he can snuggle up in the warmth!
Can you say SPOILED!! :)

With a face and personality like his, it was a really tough choice. But after some internal debate and inquiring from friends, I decided to submit the photo with him in a hat and scarf. Cross your fingers he wins, but if not he’ll still be #1 in my heart!!

Which photo would you have chosen??

Wicked Weekend Wonders

How’s that alteration for yah? Haha
Must be the amazing weather we’re having because I am pumped about the three day weekend I have! That’s right…you have permission to be jealous. I have a THREE day weekend! :) WHOO HOO.
Ryan’s parents will be in town, which is awesome because it’s been awhile since we’ve seen them. There isn’t really anything specific we have planned with them, but the flexibility of them coming to visit once a month is a nice change of pace from the 5+ years they were in Indiana. We will of course be doing a family dinner with my parents coming over and, fingers crossed, Ryan cooking something FABULOUS!!
Tonight I believe we are going to do guys/girls nights with close friends of ours. The guys are going to do poker…blah! And the girls are going to gossip and drink wine…YAY! That’s my kind of night. I’m very excited to hang out with my lady friends. It’s always a rockin good time! Speaking of wine…
I did not do a post for Valentine’s Day but I wanted to update with a few gifts I received from Ryan. He always knows the staple gift for me is WINE! And while some may have their opinions about choosing wine, labels with an animal shouldn’t steer your wrong, I must say Ryan is an expert at getting me bottles of wine I love! My palette has changed quite a bit recently; I like to think I’m maturing, so I can now drink red & white. Here are two types of wine I am in love with, which Ryan bought for me on V-Day. 

Both are very reasonably priced, don’t like to spend a lot of money on wine, and I highly recommend them!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time to Get It in Gear

Let me preface this blog by stating that I know I have an unreasonable mentality when it comes to exercising. I cannot pinpoint the precise time it began, but it’s in full swing now…
That being said, I feel like I have really taken a step back in my exercise and eating habits. It’s truly unfortunate because now I feel very negative about myself. :( Don’t get me wrong, I am still exercising at least 5 days a week. But I’m not feeling challenged and most importantly I feel like I may be hitting a plateau in my weight loss goals and my fitness challenges. 
My eating habits haven’t been terrible, but I’ve made changes the last few weeks to correct a few things. I’m still following that regime which I’m excited about. However, I can only physically exercise so much more. I feel the effects on my body when I do too much; therefore, I need to find a new challenge or new program to work on.
My best friend has the P90X and every time I do the plyometrics video with her I sweat up a storm! I feel sore the following day which is something I don’t typically feel after my gym work-outs. So I’m considering purchasing that. I’m not sure though…it’s expensive ($140). However, Ryan and I’s gym membership is up in May and we may not be able to renew so an at home DVD set could be a great solution. Who knows…maybe he’d even do it with me? (Ha…yeah, right!)
And as I mentioned in my I need a break blog, I really wanted to do a full marathon. Unfortunately with my little break, I wasn’t able to train for the race in March but I started thinking…why do I need to pay money to run in this race? Yes, its great incentive and I’ll get a medal at the end to commemorate the run, but do I really need that? I have researched online other full marathons locally and there aren’t really any soon. So I’m thinking about setting a date, let’s say May 28th to run the marathon on my own! I’ve found a route that near my house, Indian River Road, and I’m seriously considering running it. I want to set out a calendar of runs that I need to complete, including the Dismal Swamp Half Marathon on April 16th. Given that there won’t be any pressure with an audience or other runners, I think I might feel better about running or walking the entire 26.2 miles! I’m really hoping I can accomplish this.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's Hear it For My Baby

I am so in love. I mean head over the fence and out of the park... and further than you could ever imagine kinda love and I feel like shouting it from the rooftops! Don't get me wrong, Ryan and I have our fair share of bickering spats and arguments, but majority of the time we just fit...perfectly. And I love it. Whenever I hear this song, I always think about him because the lyrics really make me think about our relationship.

Ryan is a quite man, someone who can't always express what he feels (or at least eloquently express it in words), but he shows it. Everyday in little ways, he shows me how much he loves and cares for me. And that's amazing. He's not rich, he can't really carry a tune (except for his annoying whistling) and his outfits sometimes leave something to be desired, but those are all fine by me.

I thank God every single night for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. For all our ups & downs, we have a love that continues to grow stronger with each passing day. I'm amazed that tomorrow we will have been together 8 years! I have NOT gotten tired of him yet...that's saying something! :) I love you babe!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Treats

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was taking Super Bowl as an opportunity to create another cake pop! :) This time I made cake pop footballs. I got the idea from Bakerella and my friends were all too willing to be the guinea pigs! So here are a few photos of the process and of course, the delicious final result.

The strawberry cake crumbles

The handmade football shapes...don't hate! :)

Football pops successful! 

I have to state, for the second time I had difficulty dipping these cake pops. I'm not sure if it comes with practice or what, but I needed to take a break to get both sides fully covered. Even with that, they weren't smooth looking like those on Bakerella. That wasn't the only issue I encountered. The white piping pen that I was using decided to clog up! I could not get it out, so I had to Jerry-rig the the pen by cutting off a corner and manually pipe it. Luckily the yellow pen was nice and smooth. Worked beautifully which gave me inspiration at the end of a long baking event.

So those 'hiccups' really made for a long day of baking but it was well worth it! I think the final results look  handmade but still were too cute for words. At the party people are really enjoying the delicious cake pops. Makes it all worth it! :) Stay tuned for my next cake pop adventure. Ryan wants me to try orange cake with dark chocolate. YUM!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It’s Now an Obsession

I recently posted my first Cake Pop Adventures blog…. we’ll I’m at it again. I find myself looking for more ways to perfect my creation. I have already cleared it with “the boss” (aka Ryan) about doing more this weekend. He loves my lemon cake pop creations, so he’s happy to let me practice. Now I’m thinking of reasons to make them (can’t just have these sugary treats in my house all the time). My first thought, this weekend is SUPER BOWL!
We’re going to a friend’s house to celebrate this year, so I think I want to make football cake pops. I saw a few tips from this wonderful website, Bakerella, and I’m going to try my hand at making them this weekend. :)

Will pipe with Green Bay & Pittsburgh Steelers colors

I’m really very excited about it. When discussing cake options with Ryan, I mentioned my desire to try and mix things up. We thought a strawberry cake with chocolate coating would be delicious. I’m pretty pumped about trying them again this weekend; I’m thinking this could become my latest obsession. They could be my go-to treat/gift for holidays, birthdays, or random Wednesdays! LOL. As I mentioned in my Cake Pop Adventures post, I am yearning for an opportunity to be creative so this fits the bill. I will post pictures when I’ve completed my football treats.
In addition to these cake pops, told you I’m now becoming obsessed, I want to make cake balls (without the lollipop sticks). I figured if I made these to look like truffles I could do them as gifts for Valentine’s Day as well as my parent’s anniversary. I’m not typically a red velvet kind of person, but I think the spirit of Valentine’s Day would be terrific for the flavor. A delectable red cake for my Ry-bear! It’ll be a surprise because he doesn’t read my blog, so I’m excited to see how those turn out as well!
Goodness, with all of these sugary sweets around me I will definitely be ‘upping’ the amount I go to the gym!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is it Habit or Passion?

Lately I’ve not been as passionate about my faith and getting in the word. I pray every night, speak to God throughout the day (about everything not just because I need/want something) but I’m feeling that I’m doing this more out of practice versus being passionate about my relationships with Him. This concerns me.
Sometimes I get in these moods; I practice something so much (i.e. exercise) that I feel compelled to do it but not necessarily the desire. Does that make sense? I hate that my relationship has become stagnant! As a side effect, because I feel that it’s habitual rather than craving it, I’ve not been diligent about reading his word.  I think I need to shake things up a bit!
To get my butt in gear, I can think of a few things that will jump start my enthusiasm. First, we are mixing up our Power Hour group. This is an amazing group of girls who get together and discuss certain readings from the bible. We have been doing this (almost) every Thursday for the last year. We started as co-workers, but are now very close friends and have even kept the group sessions up through people leaving our company or moving to a new state (thank goodness for Skype)! :) We’re going to incorporate some study questions for our readings so we can discuss more in depth what each person gets out of the chapter/passage. Second, I’ve asked my dearest friend if I can borrow the book The Prodigal Son which she has shared a few excerpts with me.  I feel that reading this book will humble me as I mentioned before, I am having a relationship with God through practice and habit versus the true reason I should be…desire. Third, given that some things have shifted, I am now going to commit myself to visiting a church more regularly. Every time I go to the Crosscurrent Church in Virginia Beach, I enjoy their sermons. I want to make a stronger effort to attend regularly. 
I am hopeful that these changes will bring my spirit back up for 2011. This year is going to be a BIG year for me and I look forward to it all!