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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scones and more

Yesterday’s plans were a bit derailed but my night ended up better than I could have imaged!

I had planned on attending a spinning class.  Unfortunately, when I got there, I realized I didn’t have my id with me and by the time they verified I wasn’t an imposter, the spinning class was booked and it had already started L

On a positive note: I found my id at work this morning!

Since it was too hot to go for a run outside at 5pm, I decided to flip my schedule around and baked first instead.

Skinny Chocolate Almond Scones

Buttermilk scones sweetened just to perfection studded with chocolate chips. Kind of like eating a giant chocolate chip cookie for breakfast... without the guilt.

the final product


The original recipe comes from Skinny Taste, you can find it here

Ingredients:

·         3/4 cup cold buttermilk
·         1/4 cup sugar
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 large egg
·         1 cup all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
·         1 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)
·         1 tbsp baking powder
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
·         3/4 cup chocolate chips
·         cooking spray
·         1 large egg white, lightly beaten
·         1 1/2 tbsp sugar

I made a few alterations since I didn’t have all the ingredients at home and I wasn’t going to go shopping just for buttermilk.

·         If you add a tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and you wait about 10 minutes, you can actually make your own buttermilk.
·          I also didn’t have white whole wheat flour so I doubled up on my all-purpose flour. Since I was
·         I only half a cup of chocolate chips so I added a handful of almond slivers
·         I used almond extract instead of vanilla


the ingredients I used

home made buttermilk using regular milk and lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into as many wedges as you want but make sure you cut all the way through.


as it was going into the oven

the scones are ready to cool and recut if necessary

the final product before they are placed in a gift box


Running

I was feeling pretty great yesterday after all that baking, cooking and of course Olympic trial watching.  By the time everything was put away it was 9:30pm and I was afraid that my body wasn’t going to be up for a run even if it was just a mile.

But, boy was I wrong. I started at my regular pace listening to my crazy Hispanic music courtesy of Pandora and before I knew it, I had passed the one mile marker and wasn’t tired. I pushed it for as long as I could and ended up running 1.75 miles.  That’s the longest I have ever been able to run without stopping. I am super proud of myself.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lazy rainy nights

Growing up in South Florida, it always made me wonder why anyone would want to vacation here during the summer months. It’s hot, humid and it rains for days.  I remember reading about the Everglades when we went to visit a few weeks back and the described the weather/climate in  South Florida as ‘ we only have two seasons: wet and dry’. It really does summarize our weather patterns here!

This weekend was no different.  So with the gloom and doom happening outside, it became a weekend full of movie watching and Olympic trials experiencing. Snacks were included.

Friday:

It was still raining when I got to Erick’s house after work on Friday, so I wasn’t in the mood to run. He has a treadmill in back of his house but the idea of running and getting my feet wet, wasn’t necessarily a welcoming invitation.

We ended up relaxing the whole night and watched The Rum Diaries with Johnny Depp. I still don’t have a very good idea of what the movie was about but it was strange.

After the movie, we I focused on the Olympic trials. I love the Olympics and watching those individuals pushing it as far as they possibly can in order to reach a goal is pretty amazing.  The men and women’s 10,000k left me speechless and that doesn’t happen frequently. Its 25 laps around the track and in order to qualify they had to make it within 27 minutes. The top three men did it at 60-66 seconds a lap and didn’t flinch. They were so concentrated and driven. One thing I noticed that I didn’t expect was that when they finished the race, they stopped. There wasn’t any walking period to cool down or anything, they just simply stopped and celebrated. I am most definitely not a professional athlete but I would think that after running 6 miles in less than 30 minutes that you would want to stretch a little or cool down. I guess it’s all those endorphins or it just might be that that’s the way things are done!

 Saturday:

I spent more time watching the Olympic trials and wishing I was that kick ass at anything in life. After a quick breakfast at noon, we went around town and did a couple errands and some shopping before we made it to redbox for our movie selections of the night. Erick’s choice: Our Idiot Brother, My choice: In time.  My movie selection was much much better than his. For some reason we thought ‘our idiot brother’ would be a comedy but I’m pretty sure it was an indie film. The redbox by erick’s house wasn’t well stocked, we originally wanted to watch Contraband and footloose(for me).

BTW still no running. Mostly because I was feeling lazy and then it was still raining outside so I took it as an excuse to be lazy.

Sunday:

Woohoo no rain but there was also no sun. But I will take it!

My dad always complains( to my mother, the man has yet to bring this to my attention) that we never spend enough time together. The real reason why we don’t, is because I am not a boy and lets face it folks, there is only so many times I can go to the neighborhood pool supply store and pretend to be entertained by what my dad think’s is interesting. In order to put some effort into the matter, I got the whole family tickets to the Marlin’s game. Of course the Marlins played on Father’s day, unfortunately it was in Tampa, so my gift has to wait a week.

It was the first time any of them had been the stadium. I must admit I much rather watch a baseball game any day of the week over basketball. The Marlin’s played really well and even won the game 9-0. They hit two homeruns and this time, I was able to see the tacky fish thingy light up.



Still no running :S

I know, I know, it was a bad decision but the laziness was still there and I had a lot of things to do around the house; laundry, bathroom cleaning, prepping for the week and lots and lots of homework.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coffee date

Yesterday after work, I was feeling a tad bit gloomy.

Earlier in the day I had confirmed a coffee date with a friend and since hate when other people cancel dates last minute, I sucked it up and drove to Starbucks to meet up with her.  

Mariana is actually my teaching assistant during the school year at the Catholic Church we attend. We are both volunteers for the religious education program they offer to children ages 5 to 18. She is also the little cousin of one of my childhood friends so I have known her pretty much my whole life. I actually spend a year of my life trying to convince my brother to ask her out on a date- no luck there btw  L.

Mariana will be graduating next year from high school and is already freaking out about college and how to apply. Since I work at a public university, she wanted me two cents on the situation and since I am new to running, I used the opportunity to gain some knowledge from her. Mariana used to run track and field as well as cross country for her high school.

Even though I wasn’t really up for it, it ended up being a relaxing night. I guess talking to someone who has no idea about you adult problems is a good distraction. When you are that young and happy, almost nothing ruins your day!

When I got home, I watched the Dream Team special on FoxSports which celebrates the 1992 USA Olympic team. It was pretty great and I would definitely recommend to anyone even if they aren’t basketball fans(like me).

Unlike basketball, I am a huge fan of the Olympics and even watch the Olympic trials at 11pm every night for the USA team. Pretty exciting stuff!!! Last night it was the men’s and women’s diving trials and I loved it!

the Olympics follows me to the grocery store!!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mini goals :)

Last night I achieve my mini goal of running a whole mile without stopping :)

I know for most runners out there that isn’t a big achievement, but for this gal, it’s a good mini goal achieved!  Woohoo!!
 
I hope I can keep it up this week and maybe by next Monday I would be able to run 2 miles without stopping.

I was so excited about my mini achievement that I celebrated by making myself a huge vanilla protein smoothie with mango’s. Mango season is in full force and there are mangos all over my neighborhood.

Its even gotten to the point that the neighborhood partners up with local grocery stores to provide them with mangos to sell. They leave two or three large buckets a few times a week and as the mango’s become perfectly ripen and sweet, you place them in the bucket and they pick them up. I know they offer some form of monetary payment but I’m unsure how much.  

After I finished my large smoothie, I baked some brownies for the Heat game. I’m not a huge fan of basketball but watching the 2012 NBA Finals has been pretty interesting and exciting. I thought the Heat were playing kinda sluggish yesterday but towards the fourth quarter they kicked some serious butt! They took the lead and are now 3-1, which means that tomorrow’s game might pronounced them 2012 NBA Champs!  



Heat 3-1



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

After reading so many articles and blogs about running and training you start to get the idea in your head that you can hit the ground running.

The problem with this is, that unless you have been blessed with an innate ability to run like the wind or be able to pick up a sport rather easily, you will not hit the ground running. Especially not with running!!

I’ve been following the novice training plan I found online and was able to modify it to my needs. Since I know I have 20ish weeks until the half marathon and most plans are 15 weeks long, I decided to repeat weeks 1-5 until I was running what the plan recommended (remember that I am not a talented runner, at all, so reaching the suggested weekly mile total is in itself a challenge worth surpassing.

Monday:  No running since I have school until late
Tuesday:  2.25 miles
Wednesday:  1.83 miles
Thursday:   1.95 miles
Friday: 1 .94 miles
Saturday:   2 miles, 2 miles walking

Total miles: 10 miles

Not bad if you ask me!

Goal for the week:  reduce the amount of time I have to walk while out on a run. Right now I am able to run ¾ of a mile before I have to stop and walk a little( I then repeat the process).


Dad

Happy father’s day to the hardest working man I know!

I did not forget about father’s day!!!  I’ve just been incredibly busy with school and work that I wasn’t able to post about my lovely father’s day experience.

My dad is quite the workaholic so having a day just for himself where he didn’t have to do much was interesting.

 He knew exactly what he wanted to do even before we asked him!

 His schedule breakdown of the day included:
  •  Trip to our neighborhood pool supply store( they know him by name)
  • Grocery shopping with my brother
  • Paella making with me
  • Lounging by the pool without a care in the world
  • Watching the heat kick some butt
My dad loves paella, if he could he would make it every single weekend. Unfortunately for him, no one in the family shares the same level of devotion to the rice dish. Since it was father’s dad we humored him and ate  the dish with smiles on our faces. It was actually very good. My dad added additional spices since he knows I complain less about paella when it carries a little heat.

I even have had the leftovers twice for lunch this week at work!

my dad's paella- a rice dish with lots of seafood and saffron

my dad making his favorite dish while wearing a gator's hat- even though none of us went to UF


I know it sounds crazy and my dad hate’s it when I do it but I like adding freshly cut pieces of tomatoes to the dish. I like the difference in texture it provides.

On a side note, I asked my dad if he remembers his first father’s day with children and he said no. I was somewhat disappointed but to be honest the man barely remembers how old he is.

I hope everyone had a great father's day this year!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The weekender

This past Saturday was pretty awesome.

Erick and I woke up early and decided that since the weather turned for the positive that we should spend the day outside and go to the Everglades National Park down by Homestead.

Funny tidbit: Erick actually owns an annual park pass to the Everglades! J

We started off at the Ernest F. Coe visitor center which happens to be the park headquarters. The center has a beautiful man made lake that surrounds it. There are plenty of touristy information exhibits inside the center that show you what type of animals call the Everglades their home.    

Two or four short miles later we were at Royal Palm which is made up of two trails: the Anhinga Trail (.8 miles) and the Gumbo Limbo Trail (.8 miles)

The Anhinga trail was beautiful.

It’s a trail that is elevated over water so you have total access of as far as the eyes can see.





The Gumbo Limbo Trail seemed to be a pretty great idea until we actually started walking.  It was mosquito hell. After taking our first picture we were covered from head to toe in mosquito's even though we had used a deep wood mosquito repellent. In all fairness, the park had informed all visitors of the high levels of the pesky bugs at the entrance, but we had no idea it was going to be that bad.  




We were forced to run the whole trail pretty fast in order to survive. Although the sound of a mosquito by my ear drives me up a tree.. .no pun intended.. . it was fun to run through the trail and force myself on a new type of terrain.

We made it out of there in no time and then the skies turned gray so we decided to go eat instead.

A few miles out of the park there is a cute little store called Robert Is Here that had the most beautiful sunflowers so it immediately caught my attention and I knew that on the way out we had to stop!

It seems that Robert Is Here is very well known for their unique combination of tropical fruits in a milkshake!

I ended up ordering a Strawberry Passion(passion fruit) while Erick had the Strawberry Banana.  Unfortunately, Erick doesn’t eat too many sweets and after two sips he called it quits on his milkshake. Good thing my brother is a garbage compactor and can eat anything and stay thin. I thought my shake was a good mixture of sweetness and tart while still being creaming and rich from the vanilla ice cream.


While we waited for our shakes we walked around the store. It had everything imaginable from fresh fruit and produce to a petting animal farm in the back.  We were able to see goats, wild turkeys and even an ostrich – which I thought was very unique.











Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oats in a jar


To sweeten up my morning I made oats in a jar for the very first time.

I had an almost empty jar of Smart Balance all natural rich roast peanut butter  and decided to give it a try.

I made my oatmeal like I normally do except this time I put it in a larger container so that I could easily pour it into the peanut butter jar.

I let it sit in the jar while the peanut butter melted and heated up.

after the peanut butter melted

creamy and nutty


It was extremely rich and very smooth but I think for my taste it was a little too sweet and a little too nutty. But all in all a good and new way of eating oatmeal especially if you are on the go like I was this morning.

Im pretty sure the people on the expressway gave me a funky look or two when they saw me eating something out of a large peanut butter jar but it made for a wonderful way of transporting your breakfast and the best part? When I was done and at work, I could easily throw it away and don’t have to wash any additional dishes. No fuss breakfast = one happy little camper.

 All that sweet and rich flavor for breakfast is now making me crazy something salty and crispy. I guess ill have to wait for lunch!


Sluggish Thursday


I have been feeling really sluggish this week. It sucks when you have no energy because everything seems to drag on- school, work, attempting to run and life in general.

I don’t know if it’s my body trying to recover from doing some sort of exercise since it was accustomed to sitting on a couch, or if taking back to back classes on Monday and working orientation a few times a week is finally taking its toll on me. Either way I have to do something, if not, pretty soon I’ll be falling asleep at the office and I’m sure that they won’t appreciate that at all.

Yesterday’s run was slow, very slow and forced. My calf’s were very tight and after almost a mile of running (my personal best! I normally run half a mile walk a little and then start all over until I’m satisfied) I had to stop and stretch out my right calf muscle. Of course while doing this; my mind got the best of me. If I can’t even run one mile without stopping or having a muscle hurt, how on earth was I supposed to run 13.1 miles in 20 weeks?

I know I was psyching myself out even before the race started but it’s a fair and honest question. I never expected it to be easy, I even admitted that publicly in one of the first posts on the blog, but I’m having some serious doubt in my abilities.

After finishing my sluggish trot and cooling down I spent some time on Pinterest and found some inspiration.



Isn’t it funny but at the same time true!

If he can do it so can I! or at least I will try.

I think that sometimes when we are doing new things or take on challenges that are bigger than we expected we wait until the first hurdle appears and then use it as an excuse not to continue. The fear of publicly failing or personal defeat is sometimes greater than the desire to success. After all how can you fail if you don’t attempt it?

I don’t want this or any other hurdle to be my excuse.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Granola two ways

I was a little disappointed yesterday when I went to the grocery store to pick up some crunchy and hopefully healthy granola to accompany the two containers of Fage Greek Yogurt 0% which I bought on Sunday. I love Fage’s Plain Greek Yogurt although their split cup with honey is my ultimate favorite. Erick on the other hand not so much since its way more tart than most greek yogurts on the market. He wants to give Chobani a chance.  

A quick and interesting fact about greek yogurt if you haven’t tried it:

It takes approximately four pounds of raw milk to make one pound of Fage. Crazy huh?


Every bag of granola I found at the grocery store had too many ingredients or was sweetened with way too many different types of juices. I just wanted your run of the mill normal granola. Is that too much to ask for?

 Instead of leaving the store empty-handed, I decided to buy a large container of old fashion oats and make my own from starch. That way I know exactly what goes into them and can control the amount of sugar. The results were amazing!

 I calculated the nutritional information to the best of my abilities just to have an idea of what I was eating. Fair warning: I am not a nutritionist nor a mathematician so don’t hate me if it’s a few more calories, but please feel free to love me if it has less calories than I let on.


I first made a Peanut Butter Granola from a recipe I found on Julies blog pbfingers and it only required 4 ingredients which I already had at home. No fuss recipe = good time in the kitchen!

Her original recipe made 4 servings of the granola but since I was going to share mine, I decided to double it up. Here is the modified recipe


Peanut Butter Granola

Ingredients
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 4 table spoons of honey
  • 4 table spoons of smooth peanut butter
  • 2 table spoons of vanilla extract

Directions:
  • Turn oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a small microwaveable container place the honey and peanut butter.
  • Heat up the mixture for about 30 seconds to a minute, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the mixture and it doesn’t bubble up.
  • Once the mixture is smooth and warm, add the 2 table spoons of vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Add the mixture to the oats and combine well.
  • Spread the oats evenly on an oiled baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
  • It is important to stir the mixture half way through to ensure it bakes well.
  • Take out of the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes.
 

Nutritional Info:
This makes 8 servings (roughly 2 or 3 table spoons)
  • 130 calories
  • 2.5 grams of fiber
  • 4.25 grams of protein
  • 20 carbs

Helpful hints

When adding the mixture to the oats use your hands to incorporate it all together. I used a spoon but half way through had to change to my hands since the spoon wasn’t cutting it for me.

The oats will continue to crunch up even after you take the out of the over so don’t worry too much if they don’t look perfectly ready when you take them out.

the warm peanut butter/honey mixture


peanut butter granola before it went into the oven



The second batch of granola I made came from my imagination.


Vanilla Protein Granola

Ingredients
  • 2 cups of oats
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • 2 table spoons of honey
  • 2 table spoons of canola oil
  • 2 scoops of whey vanilla protein powder


Directions
  • Turn oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Spread the oats evenly on an oiled baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  • It is important to stir the mixture half way through to ensure it bakes well.
  • Take out of the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes.


Nutritional Info:
This makes 8 servings (roughly 2 or 3 table spoons)
  • 125 calories
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 19 carbs

Helpful hints

This is a no fuss granola recipe and can take any other ingredient you would like such as coconut, mini chocolate chips, raisins, or other dried fruit.

If you are going to add dried fruit or chocolate, I would recommend adding it at the end of the baking process when there is less than 5 minutes left of cooking. You don’t want to kill the fruit or have the chocolate melt all over the place- unless that’s the feel you were going for!

Vanilla Protein Granola right out of the oven!


I used the Vanilla Protein granola in my breakfast this morning. I had a yogurt bowl with Fage 0%, fresh mango's(thank you Miami mango season and my neighbor for the mango's) and a serving of the granola. It was a perfect Miami summer breakfast if I don’t say so myself!

sweet, crunchy, YUM :)



Monday, June 11, 2012

Unproductivity at its best

Lately Monday's tend to be a drag, which is a shame since I have always been a Monday fan. When selecting summer classes I had the bright idea that having back to back classes once a week instead of staying late on campus multiple times would be better.

Unfortunately, I didn't take into consideration that I would be working freshmen and transfer orientation every other day, and that the university always has orientation on Monday's(the only day I have class). This means I am work at 7:30am and won't leave the university until 11pm. Pretty smart if you ask me.

Since I knew I was going to be held hostage at school until late, I set my alarm for an hour earlier with the hopes and dreams that I would be able to make it to the gym or go for a run/walk and stay on track with the training for the half marathon. But of course my brain wouldn't let me rest.

When ever I have to be somewhere extra early, my brain goes on hyper drive and a fear of being late sets in. Does this happen to anyone else?

I wasn't able to fall asleep until almost 2am so a 5:30 wake up call was no longer in my future. Instead I woke up at 6:30 and had wonderfully yummy breakfast in an attempt to prepare for the long day ahead of me. Oh our last trip to McDonald's( I know, I know, its not healthy and I shouldn't go but i can't help myself) I finally tasted their oatmeal and I fell in love. So this morning I made my own healthy reason! I used old fashion oats, a bit of cinnamon and half a green apple for some additional tartness. I was perfectly sweet and warm and a great start to my day.

Since I wasn't ale to run today, I used the free time I had to do some research on applications I could us to track my progress and the paths I was taking on my runs. As well as what type of food fuel to use during longer runners I preparation for what I hope I will be able to achieve in the fall.

In my researching efforts, I found an amazing blog, which of course I can't help but share with everyone today. Michelle lives in Alaska with her husband, Craig, and has a blog about her passion for running and a healthy lifestyle: the runner's plate. If you havent read it, I would definitely recommend it. I don't know about you guys, but when I find a blog I really like and can relate to the person, I usually go to the very first post and start reading from there. That way I feel like I actually know the person. Weird but it works for me.

Time is ticking away and as I sit here my classmates are already leaving for class, which means I have to go.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bark at the park

Before the Marlins Park opened this year, I had debated getting Erick and I season tickets. But since we aren’t that avid of baseball fans, I opted for the notion of going once in a while, especially since I was going back to school this year and wasn’t sure how much time it would take out of our schedule.
So far this season, I hadn’t been to the new stadium so I was really excited to have tickets for today’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays- another Florida team. They don’t normally play against each other unless it’s a special event since they are part of different leagues.

If playing the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t special enough, today’s game had many other special guests- dogs!!!! I didn’t bring my dog, Horacio Andrews(yes, he does have a human name), since I wasn’t aware it was a possibility but I did see many other cute furry animals.


The nice lady at the team souvenir stand mentioned that once a month the Marlins host an event called Bark at the Park, where you can come watch game with your dog. They even have a special designated section of the stadium where you and your pet can watch the game together. Erick said that they might do this just in case people have allergies or don’t want to sit by animals. But who wouldn’t want to sit next to a cute dog dressed in a Marlin’s shirt?  

On our way up to our seats we saw the fluffiest dog attempting to make it up to the high level along with his owner. Half way up the stadium, he gave up and she had to carry him. I wasn’t too slick about taking the picture but I'm sure the poor dog was grateful to have his owner carry him up the rest of the way.

one tired little pup that needed help getting to his seat

the amazing view form  our seats!

the outside of the new stadium

After the game, we were pretty hungry and decided to go to Sir Pizza on the way to the house. We ordered a chicken bacon ranch pizza and a salad. We were the only ones at the restaurant and it was nice to sit and eat without people around us.

Pretty great Sunday!

Pots and pans

Whenever we meet up with friends to watch the game at a bar or a restaurant, we always end up ordering nachos. So why not do the same when we are watching a game at home, right?

When we first attempted to make this dish a few weeks ago we added all the ingredients at the same and although it was very tasty, it was also very messy. So this time ensuring that every bite had all of our toppings- boy do we love toppings, we layered everything.
Since nachos aren’t exactly the healthiest of bar foods, I made sure we had an abundance of yummy toppings to make up for all the cheese and sour cream we were going to add. I cut up two large onions and tomatoes and added a whole can of black olives which I cut in half. A few jalapenos went on top too with a few dashes of paprika. I’ve noticed that at restaurants they always add paprika and it gives it a subtle smoky flavor. Erick wanted to use two bags of Tostito Scoops but since it was just us two, we only used one. The proportions we used were enough for at least 6 people(he might disagree with that number) but it was delicious.


yummy nachos for the game

The game was amazing and the Heat obviously dominated and beat out the Celtics to be named the East Conference Champs. After the game, we went out to bird and joined what seemed to be every single Heat fan in Miami as we celebrated another win.

When Erick told me about going, I wasn’t too sold on the idea. But boy am I glad I went with him. It was very interesting to see so many people come out and celebrate their home team’s victory. Everyone was in their cars honking away at each other and even the new channels came out to watch and support. It might be a Miami thing, but people brought out their pots and pans to make noise for hours.  



Closet makeover

The boyfriend is starting laws school at FIU this fall semester and is beyond excited to make over his bedroom closet and make it into the perfect study oasis/hide out. Erick has always had a knack of school, he's kinda of a nerd. I don't just mean that he does well from time to time and likes going to school. I really do mean her is a nerd, he graduated high school and college with a whopping perfect 4.0 GPA, but you'll never hear that from him. H is way too modest and never lets people know of his academic achievements. Good thing he has me in his life to boast about everything awesome he does( wink wink).

Here is a picture of what his closet looked like.






His recent closet makeover obsession started this past Monday and lead to him drawing out a rough sketch of what he wanted to look like on Art, he even went on the Ikea website and put everything he would ever need to pimp out his closet on their checklist. I didn't even know Ike's had that option. I always find myself leaving with way too much stuff, maybe if I had known about their list I would have saved mucho money in the past. But I can't dwel on the past now.
I love Ikea so I was obviously on board when he told me of his plan to visit the store on Saturday.

Our adventure started with a quick stop to McDonald's for their delicious iced coffees and fatty egg sandwiches. Those of you who are healthy enough to not go to McDonald's ever, I applaud you, unfortunately I am too weak. After a 40ish minute drive, we arrive at the adult Disney land also known as the only Ikea in South Florida. I don't count the one in Orlando because technically that's Central Florida.

Here is a quick glimpse at what we bought. we only strayed away from the list a few times, I had to buy some stuff for my mother and Erick wanted a salad bowl.





the goods before we purchased them

making the line to pay
The best part of going to Ikea isn't the things you could buy to organize your life away. The best part is the little food section they have at the end of the store, the one that's right by the exit door. I'm pretty sure the marketing gods decided to do this on purpose so that small children and foodies are forced to stop by on their way out of the stored. 

On our breakfast trip to McDonald's Erick had asked me if I wanted a fruit parfait. I  too eagerly said no thank you. The reason of course was because I wanted an Ikea Frozen Non Fat Yogurt on my way out of the store. It was perfectly not too sweet and cold and it didn't melt too fast either. Half way through his yogurt, Erick got bored and offered me the rest, I of course accepted and enjoyed his too. I'm certain he just gave me his yogurt because he knew that deep down I was too ashamed to order another.

Here is a picture of me enjoying my first yogurt.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Going to the races


I did it, I finally signed up for a half marathon!


For the past couple of years, when New Year’s resolution time came around, running or at least attempting a half marathon would always make its way into my list.  

But by the time school starts in January the excuses start following: too much homework, it’s too hot, and my favorite sad excuse of all times, I can’t run. But not this year! I decided to push aside all my fears and concerns about attempting this feat and go for it.


After reading the newbie runners tab on the active website, I found the motivation I was looking for. They even had a list of events near me. Since I’m neither an avid runner nor a great runner (at least not yet, but I’m working on it!) I decided that a longer training session might be what I was looking for. This way, I have more time to learn what works best for me and I get to do it at my own pace.


If I’m going to commit to participating in a marathon might as well look forward to the race, right? The Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon looks like a blast. Everyone is wearing a costume and since it is scheduled for the last weekend in October the weather in Miami won’t be that bad (hot). Plus October is my favorite month.

Here are a few pictures from last year's race.


2011 finisher medal, it even glows in the dark! awesome


the costumes get pretty crazy



Running is hard for me. Actually, running is extremely hard for me. I am easily out of breath and my body starts to hurt. It’s not something I was gifted with as a child.

In order to be able to train, I had to face a few realities.
  1.  I'm not going to set any type of record, I'm simply going to do my very best and learn a few things on the way.
  2. It will be very hard
  3. It will be very hot
  4. And my training plan will be one day at a time and a slow increment which hopefully will celebrate my modest triumph- like running a solid mile without dying in the Miami summer heat.

A training plan for me

Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Guide - Novice 1 Program which can be found here sounded promising if you could run 3 miles on your first day of training. A task I cannot. So I went ahead and altered it to meet my needs. For the first two weeks, in order to build up my endurance and push my idle body, ill attempt to run/walk 2 miles instead of 3. I will still keep Saturday for my long runs. I’ll add one more mile to Saturday’s run than I was able to accomplish during the week. So if I run 2 miles during the week, I’ll run 3 on Saturday. Pretty simple, right? For my sake, I hope so.   



Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Graduate


Last night was quite exciting; Luis looked dashing in his cap and gown!


Yesterday was also exactly 5 years since I graduated from high school. It was a nice walk through my mental memory lane, remembering my graduation and the four years I spent learning things the hard way.


As I promised, I have plenty of pictures to share. I decided to only leave you guys with the very best instead of uploading almost 100 pictures from last night.

luis shaking some pretty important people's hands

the family

congrats class of 2012

After graduation, I proudly gave Luis his card and gift. I'd like to think he was beyond ecstatic for my gift and appreciated how thoughtful it was but because he wants to be a tough boy he just kept it all in side. After finishing his late dinner(after all graduations do take forever) he gave me a hug and a thank you. What else can a girl ask for, right?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Its Graduation Day!!!

Today's blog post tittle deserves 3 exclamation marks because my little brother, Luis, is graduating from high school tonight!

How exciting right? To be honest, there were a few times that I didn’t think this day would ever come, but I’m more than ecstatic that this day has finally arrived and that I will be witnessing my little brother walk across that stage tonight. I'm one proud big sis, what can I say.


For the past two weeks, I’ve been driving myself and those around me pretty crazy in my efforts to try to figure out what to get him as a graduation gift. I did some research and nothing! Then I remembered what I was given by a good friend as my high school graduation gift- Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.



Although Luis is the most carefree person I know and doesn’t worry about tomorrow, I think he’ll like the message.


I love Dr. Seuss’s books and all the quirky drawings and fun personalities of the characters. Plus, every time I read one of his books, I feel like signing the words in my head. I obviously don’t do this out loud, if I did, I’m pretty sure I would get some funny looks.  


If finding a gift wasn’t hard enough, trying to figure out what motivational or funny statement I should put in his card is a whole other problem.  Suggestions please!!!!


I promise to post pictures.