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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

S'mores please



I found this recipe on the Garden&Gun website last week and have been day dreaming since then.

With work being crazy demanding lately, finals on top of me and my house turned upside down(thanks, mom), I haven’t had any time to do much except study and watch the Olympics!

I love s'mores. Unforutnately, with all the Miami heat(its in the high 80s even at 10pm) and huminity, s'mores making is limited to a few weeks in the year when the temparatures are bareable and a fire can be made. This S’mores pie is on the top of my ‘to bake list’ once things calm down next week.

S'mores Pie

Ingredients:
5 large egg yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
1 Graham Cracker Crust, prebaked

For the marshmallow topping:
6 large egg whites
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Preparation:
To make the filling: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale in color. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Whisk about ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks to temper them, so they won’t curdle, then, continuing to whisk, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.

Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) and cook the egg-milk mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and melted chocolate until well combined. Let the filling mixture sit for 2 minutes to cool slightly, then whisk in the butter until the custard is smooth and silky. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the chocolate filling so that a skin does not form and let cool for 30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.

When the filling has cooled, pour it into the prepared crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.





To make the marshmallow topping: Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar in a large heatproof bowl, set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), and whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture will appear pale and opaque. Rub a little of the mixture between your fingers to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or leave in the same bowl if using a handheld mixture). Add the vanilla and, starting on low speed, whip the egg whites, gradually increasing the speed to high, until the marshmallow topping is glossy and forms stiff peaks, 5 to 7 minutes.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip with the marshmallow topping and pipe it over the entire surface of the pie, making sure it touches the crust all around. Then loosely pile the rest of the marshmallow topping on top and use a spatula to spread it in big, luscious swirls. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can do both steps using a spatula.) Toast the topping lightly with a kitchen blowtorch (if desired).





Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Fever


                                                 I am obsession with the Olympics! 

Boy, am I excited for the following two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell with my countless exclamation points?  I even had a mild panic attack at work on Friday when I realized I couldn’t live stream the opening ceremony. To my surprise not even if you had the LiveExtra Olympic App could you watch it live. Damn NBC and their two hour delay.

When I got home, I coerced Erick to let me watch unlimited hours of the Olympics without him complaining at the expense of going put for a little later that night. According to Erick, we ( and by that he means me) have been taking ‘saving money’ a little too seriously. I don’t think we have gone out with other people for the past 3 weeks :s

During the ceremony and all throughout Saturday, Erick kept asking me random questions about the Olympics. You would assume that with my strange and yet amusing and unhealthy obsession to the event that I would be well versed in all things Olympics. Unfortunately, some of the questions he asked really through me off my game. So I put on my Olympic detective hat and goggled!  

Question 1: how did the Olympic starts?

According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC (that’s too long to count). Around 393 A.D. they were banned by Emperor Theodosius due to their pagan cult tendencies.

Only free male Greek citizens were able to participate, regardless of their social status.  Married women were not allowed to participate in, or to watch, the ancient Olympic Games. However, unmarried women could attend the competition, and the priestess of Demeter, goddess of fertility, was given a privileged position next to the Stadium altar.

Question  2 started off with Erick taunting me and asking me to name the colors of the Olympic rings and in order. So…


Question 2: what are the colors and meaning of the Olympic rings?

The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. The ring colors stand for those colors that appeared on all the national flags that competed in the Olympic Games at that time.

 "...the six colors [including the flag’s white background] thus combined reproduce the colors              of all the nations, with no exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tri- colors of France, England and America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, the yellow and red of Spain next to the novelties of Brazil or Australia, with old Japan and new China. Here is truly an international symbol."



Question 3: I want to become Olympic flame transporter/holder/human participant, how does it work? (I asked this question J )

The modern tradition of moving the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue began with the Berlin Games in 1936. Months before the Games are held, the Olympic Flame is lit on a torch, with the rays of the Sun concentrated by a parabolic reflector, at the site of the Ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. The torch is then taken out of Greece, most often to be taken around the country or continent where the Games are held.
 

He didn’t ask a Question 4 but I found the information interesting and wanted to share:


The Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger". The motto was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin on the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894


In case you were curious J

Summer Olympics for 2016: Brazil (same location for the soccer world cup)

Summer 2020: Madrid, Spain

Summer 2024: potential bids from: Morocco, South Africa, Egypt,  Taipei,  Malaysia, India, Qatar, Dubai, Azerbaijan Denmark/Sweden, Poland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Australia, and the  USA( Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Tulsa)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dots

While catching up with a few of my favorite blogs, I noticed that polka dots (or how I like to call them, pepitas) are making a comeback. I wasn’t aware that they had ever left but I am sure glad they are gaining some popularity. I actually own a lot of pepita clothing. They carry a bit of old fashion glam, are super feminine and go well with pretty much everything you can imagine.

how do you like to wear your dots?

Here a few of my favorite ways!

a pretty kate spade phone cover

casual in dots and mint

ice cream bowls with loads of personality

work appropriate

nail fun

dress up with dots from head to toe :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A change of heart

Week 1

S: 2 mile easy run
M: no exercise for the studious
T: 2 mile easy run
W: 2.5 mile run- longest distance to date until yesterday!!
Th: family dinner
F: 2 mile difficult and strenuous run
S: no exercise for the studious

Total = 8.55 miles

I didn't follow week 1 training plan to the tee and yet I don't feel guilty at all. I always aim for progress not perfection, and last week i progressed to running almost three miles without dying, puking or faintingJ

I genuinely feel that as a novice runner I have to be honest with myself regarding my ability to keep pushing my distances, pace and patience’s. Running is hard, it doesn't come easy to me but the best thing i can do to be successful is recognize the difficulty of the sport and keep pushing my limits without dying. After all, not dying is important.

This week, my goals are to push a little hard, and run a lot stronger. 

If you are wondering about the change of heart in the title, wonder no more. When I first decided that I was going to be an active individual who doesn’t run out of breath every time she takes the stairs to her car, the Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon sounded like a blast. Dressing up as ‘Where is Waldo(a)’ was the perfect fit in the mist of over 500 individuals running side by side. Then, last week when I was speaking a friend about the course I realized that I would be running on a bridge and well, to be honest, it doesn’t sound too appealing and sort of crazy since that’s a lot of people for such a tiny bridge. Plus, did I ever mention how clumsy I am? Sadly, I no longer felt it was a good fit L

So this is where the change of heart came in. I went with my second choice of race for the fall, the Latin Music Half Marathon which is part of the Rock and Roll Marathon series.  No bridge= no Sofia falling over! The race will be on Sunday, November 18th. The weather will be cooler and the change of race gives me a few more weeks to train and find inner strength.

And that’s not even the best part. I found out my grandmother will be flying in from outside the country for the holidays and arrives 3 days before the half marathon. It was definitely a sign if you ask me. My grandmother is my favorite person in the whole wide world and the idea that she will be here alongside me for that date is simply amazing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Have you ever made brownies in a cup?

Until this past Saturday night, either had I!
Well, to be honest, Erick was the one that made them so I guess I still haven’t made brownies in a cup.  Date night Fridays lead to Stay in Saturdays. You see, when you are a poor graduate/law students, you can only afford to really go out once a weekend and then you are forced to come up with creative ideas to entertain yourself with for the rest of the time.  

Stay in Saturday’s movie night must include bad for you food. This includes but is not limited to fast food, ice cream, chips or in this case brownie in a cup.

We followed these simple instructions that provided step by step pictures to prevent any mix ups. Not really a brownie texture but if you are in a pinch and in desperate need for a brownie fix, then this brownie in a cup is perfect for you.






Our brownie in a cup was not as fluffy as the one in the instructional picture. I must say that 1/4 of a cup of sugar was too much for my taste. Next time I would use only one table spoon of sugar if any at all. The consistency of the brownie was a bit thick, it reminded me of the times I took a batch of brownies out of the oven too early and didn't wait long enough for the batch to cool off before eating them. The brownie in a cup did get a whole lot better after you allowed it to cool completely.

Definitely a recipe to keep in the back burner and give it another shot!

a little bit of wine

A thirty minute drive from my house and you suddenly feel like you have left Miami. The Redlands have the ability to make you feel as if you left civilization behind, not another person in sight for miles and nothing surrounding you but native plant nurseries and darkness.

About 15 miles later, we arrived at our date night location: Schnebly Redland's Winery. Who knew that you could make wine from avocados, lychee, mangos and guava? With our Groupon in tow, we embarked in the ultimate tasting which included a choice of five different types of Schnebly wine. A wine glass that is specifically designed to enhance the flavors and aromas of the wine you’re drinking. An additional perk, you get to keep your wine glass and if you bring it back your wine tasting is half off.

The company also offers tours of the winery on the weekend that take about 30-40 minutes where the winery provides you a brief history of the winery and takes you through the whole wine making process.  

The location has the most beautiful entrance you could imagine. It reminded me of the trip my family took to Sonoma in California a few years back. A little, tiny, almost none existing piece of wine country in our own backyard.

the winery entrance


Once you have paid your entrance fee, you are welcomed into the grand tiki, a large open space that is filled with delightful twinkly lights and evokes a romantic weekend trip to the Florida Keys.

the grand tiki room


The tasting room is opposite the grand tiki. It was full of people talking about wine, tasting wine, buying wine and thinking nonstop of wine. If you like wine, this is the place for you, especially if you are willing to try a new flavor or two. You are able to select the top 5 wines you are willing to taste( Erick and I selected the same wines based solely on their names and the fruits we actually like to eat)  and then allow the sommelier or wine steward, who is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, lead you down a new wine adventure.

the tasting room



After our ultimate tasting adventure, we selected their most popular and delicious wine to purchase for the evening: lychee. A wine whose character is described as a sweet full-bodied wine with gewurztraminer characteristics and Riesling notes. It's all-natural sugar exhibits a bracing fresh finish the delicate white flesh emits exotic floral and fruit aromas, with a hint of honey, citrus pear and of course lychee.

tasting some wine

After we selected our wine, we realized one non-crucial yet important tidbit: you are able to bring in your own food into the winery. The whole point is that you buy the wine from the winery and enjoy your own food as you watch the live entertainment. If you were oblivious to this little tidbit before arriving at the winery like we were, an array of cheese platters, crackers, hummus, salami and much more are available for purchase.

 We of course ended up purchasing cheeseburgers from their grill. Unfortunately, my hunger was not quenched so I made my way back to the tasting room and purchased a snack tray of cheeses, crackers and ham. It definitely hit the spot and Erick and I were able to munch on it for a good hour or so, or at least until the wine was over.  

pardon my lack of ability to open my eyes, bright camera flash's have the effect of me

Thursday, July 19, 2012

3 Things I find difficult about running lately

IPod/IPhone holders  

The idea of running with just my thoughts freak my out.

I start psyching myself out on whether or not ill be able to achieve my goals and then I sort of start talking to myself in my head and the conversations often get pretty weird.  Music, especially loud Hispanicy music normally gives me a kick of energy and motivation. I can always tell myself, just one more song, run for one more song and then we can evaluate the length of this job again.

However, running with an IPhone does present one giant annoyingly hot problem. The IPhone/IPod cases drive me crazy.

At first I didn’t mind but running at 9pm means that Miami is still at 80 something degrees. I know it would be worst if the sun was out but the constant heat and pressure on my arm drives me bonkers. Last night I felt like I was having someone grab my harm really really hard. I always make the conscious effort to leave it extremely loose but the heat that the IPhone gives off is also really irritating.

Does anyone have any recommendation? I think on my next run I’ll go music free until I figure something out or maybe cut a whole on the shirt and clip the IPhone case on there!

Stomach cramping up

Lately, my body has decided that around mile marker 2 it welcomes any and all heat cramps. They suck! If you aren’t well versed in the world of heat cramps and Miami heat, the Mayo Clinic provided the following information:

Heat cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments. The spasms may be more intense and more prolonged than are typical nighttime leg cramps. Inadequate fluid intake often contributes to heat cramps.

Muscles most often affected include those of your calves, arms, abdominal wall and back, although heat cramps may involve any muscle group involved in exercise.

If you suspect heat cramps

·         Rest briefly and cool down

·         Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink

·         Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group

·         Don't resume strenuous activity for several hours or longer after heat cramps go away

·         Call your doctor if your cramps don't go away within one hour or so

The strange this is, I normally drink a lot of water. I really do mean a lot. While I am at work I drink at least a cup every hour, and at home I have a giant water container Erick bought for me at a Marlins game that holds 4 cups of water at a time. Maybe the team is too much.

This is how I look when my heat cramps start acting up, you know, except i have brown hair and i look more disheveled.


 

Miami Heat/Red Face

in an effort not to die in the Miami sun, I tend to run late at night. This freaks some people out and others(Erick) find it weird. However, I do have my reasons for the late runs. 1) no one is out at that time in my neighborhood, which implies some peaceful running. 2) the mosquito's die out after the sun goes down, so I can run without having all my blood sucked out! And last but not least 3) I like running in the dark. It gives me the opportunity to fib to myself and pretend I got up really early to run. Silly I know but it works. I normally get home and relax with my family and then I go running. Once I come back, I am full of energy and can get studying done!



The little man in my life

On October 17Th 2009 the most charismatic, genuine, quirky, adorable little man joined my life. I have always been pro adoption and I couldn’t have imagined Horacio Andrew joining our lives any other way. Horacio was an unexpected gift but one I don’t think my family could live without now.  

You see, Horacio was gifted to me by my sorority big sister for my initiation gift. She had rescued him on his last week at the animal shelter and knew that he would fit in perfectly with me and Erick. Erick ended up being allergic to him and took almost a whole year of interaction before he was able to be around him comfortably. Now and then the allergies come back but it’s too late since Horacio already won him over.
Horacio's first night at our apartment!


Horacio was an abused dog and for the first few weeks, there was very limited interaction with anyone. He would find random tables to lay underneath and wouldn’t be bothered for hours at end. The vet informed our family that that type of behavior was normal for an adopted/abused animal and that with time and patience’s it would get better. My brother Luis would sit beside Horacio and is the one that taught him how to bark and rough play.

Almost three years later and that scared dog is the center of our home. He has more personality than all 5 of us put together and demands more attention than most. He gets mad at you when you are sad, will harass you until you pay attention to him, and will even bring you a bag to go for a walk or his bowl when he would like water. He likes his grapes cut in half and loves Cuban pastelitos. At Luis’s 17 birthday party he got on top of the desert table and ate all the coconut pastelitos and left all the guava and cheese ones. I guess the dog knows what he likes. And if you tell him go to bed he walks to my parent’s room and would lay down on his doggy bed.

my mothers favorite picture! Horacio and 2 of our turtles :)

playing shy, June 2010

His first Christmas, he slept under the tree without breaking any decorations

wearing his Sunday best for New Years 2011

Horacio and I, Halloween 2011


On Tuesday night as  I was getting ready to go out for a run, I realized that Horacio wasn’t satisfied with the length of his previous walk and was in dire need for some extra physical activity, so I decided to give running with Horacio another shot. When we tried it before, the poor dog was bored with my slow pace and would want to stop every two seconds. Although it was difficult the first time around, I felt confident since a few weeks back I had read a few articles on running with your dog.

It wasn’t until the start of mile 2 that Horacio realized we weren’t going on a walk and that he didn’t need to stop at every other house to mark his territory. For being a very small dog, he sure does have a large bladder. I finished the two miles at a much slower pace than I expected but I’m pretty sure that my MapMyRun application is a little wanky since it tells me different lengths all the time. I know for a fact my neighborhood is only a mile in length but often it tells me I’ve completed a mile at the 1.5 mile marker others at the .90 mile marker. Pretty crazy stuff! At least Horacio had fun J






Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The countdown has begun!

After running on and off for the past few weeks and being able to continuously run for 2 miles without dying( a huge accomplishment if you ask me!) this week marks the beginning of my 15 week countdown to the Halloween Half Marathon occurring on October 27Th.

I’m still very nervous that I won’t be able to run that far, that fast, or that well for the matter but I will give it the best shot I can. I hope the best I can is to finish the race without having to be taken out in a stretcher. Pretty good goal, right?

I am following a simple novice training plan that gradually adds to my weekly mileage and builds up my endurance.  The whole point is to build up strength and find the motivation to keep going. Ill share my weekly accomplishments every Monday. Here's hoping everything goes as planned.

Week 1:
Sunday - 2 miles
Monday - day off because of school
Tuesday -  2 miles
Wednesday -  3 miles
Thursday - 2 miles
Friday - 3 miles
Saturday - 3 miles

So far, Ive been able to accomplish Sunday's running goal and I am seriously motivated to tackle today as well :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday mornings on overdrive


Sometimes Monday mornings are more productive than expected.

I had an incredibly hard falling asleep last night. My mind just wouldn't rest, and for some strange reason I couldn't stop thinking about throwing Erick a birthday party but his birthday isn’t until November so my party planning needs will go unmet for a while.

Maybe I'll throw a barbecue or something soon to get over my need to be a party planner. I found some great ideas on Pinterest for a mini burger bar full of delicious toppings and sauces. I envision little cups full of homemade sweet potato fries and a tartlet made with seasonal fruit.

So far my day consisted of attending freshman orientation to recruit individuals to be volunteers for my disability volunteer program at my office. It’s exciting to see how many volunteers i have been able to recruit throughout the past few months I’m so glad to see that so many people are willing to donate their time and effort to help out complete strangers so that they are successful at school.

After working orientation i had some quite time for breakfast. A friend gave me a few south beach diet protein fit cereal bars because she didn’t like them. I had the chocolate protein bar; it has 9 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 140 calories.  It wasn’t as chewy as I expected. It was actually a little stale and reminded me of a rice crispy bar without any sugar. Of course my breakfast bar was accompanied by a cup of coffee.


The best part of my breakfast was that I found out that one of the ladies from the cafe got promoted to floor manager. I love when great things happen to good people. Lorry is so sweet, always has a smile other face and is willing to help you with anything, even if it’s not part of her job.

There is only 3 more weeks left in the summer semester which means I'm in full study mode. I reviewed for my quantitative statistic final exam and finalized my budget presentation for tonight for another class.  I had to create a budget for an imaginary city of 19500 people. It's actually a lot harder than it seems. You would assume that you just go down a check list and say how much money goes to each subdivision of the city by with all the red tape and bureaucracy it gets pretty tough.

I also got some great news from the English Department but I don’t want to jump the gun and share too much information in case it doesn’t pan out. Crossing my fingers!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A little Cuban and a lot of suits

We are currently t-minus 28 days until Erick starts Law School.

This means books have been ordered and school supplies will be purchased soon enough.  But what would a lawyer be without a good suit? A lawyer in casual attire but Erick wont have that.

After work on Friday, we headed over to Macy’s for their suit sale. According to Erick this occurs only every 3 months and it was a priority we headed over right after work because by Saturday morning, all the good suits would be gone( btw, the bit about all the suits being gone by Saturday were lies, because we also went on Saturday and they were all still there)

While he was on the search for his feature “I’m a serious law student” look, I was trying on men’s suit jackets and got a new perspective of what my life would be like if I had to wear suits every day to work. I think I look like one of those bank tellers on tv- a whole lot of boring and not a lot of sass.

After almost 4 hours, we decided to call it a day because we were hungry. We ended up going to some Thai place on 107th and 7th but it wasn’t anything out of the world and definitely nothing I would blog about.

Saturday, we invited Erick’s parents, especially his dad to tag along with us and search for the “I am a serious law student” look. There are a few things Erick does not take my advice on: shoes and dress attire. After all I am a woman and to me all men’s dress shoes look the same and how much suit shopping can a girl really take? For some insight, I actually don’t like going shopping for myself either, I much rather go to a bookstore or a home goods store.

After two hours at one mall, we left and went to the Macy’s we visited on Friday night. Erick ended up buying the suit I told him and all is well. The boy looks amazing in a suit, very dapper if I might say so myself!

I had to force him to let me take a picture


this is his "enough pictures sofia" look

A candid shot of Erick trying on jackets

another candid shot

dont i look all professional?

After all the suit shopping, we were hungry and just in case Erick doesn’t get enough Cuban food at home, we ate Cuban food at a local restaurant. I wasn’t very hungry and opted for a Caldo Galleo which is just fancy talk for a soup with white beans and bacon pieces from Spain. My dad makes this at home during the colder months.


Erick’s parents got the same main dish but with different sides- masitas de Puerco or little pieces of pork. I’ve seen this prepared a few times at my house. You normally cut the pork into chucks and season them really well, you fry them for a while until a good crust is formed, then you place them in the oven to continue to cook until they are succulent and moist in the inside and crispy on the outside.



Erick is a sandwich man! It seems he never gets tired of eating a sandwich even after he eats one every single day for lunch at work.  He ordered something called a Calle Ocho(8th street) and it was layers upon layers of ham, and other meats topped with Swiss cheese, loads of mayo, tomatoes and bacon! Everything was delicious.


Tiara's and titles

Talk about an emotional overload. Last night was Miss Florida USA 2013 and my little sister, Lelany was competing as Miss Miami Beach 2012. Although I couldn’t be there with her in person as she kicked butt in the competition, I was with her in spirit from Erick’s house.

I have to admit that I cried not once or twice but three times yesterday while watching the live competition. It was so nerve-racking watching her. Last night was her forth pageant ever and she made everyone so proud. I annoyed everyone on facebook with my hundreds of status updates as she exceeded her own expectations and was named one of their top 16 semifinalist out of 73 young women who were competing.

Although she didn’t win Miss Florida USA, she got one step closer to her ultimate goal of being a great role model and leader for young women and for her community. The best thing about Lelany is that she doesn’t care about winning as she does about the experience. Obviously she would have been much happier taking home the crown and representing Florida at the Miss USA 2013 Pageant but she was ecstatic that she made it this far in such a short amount of time. She is truly one of the most genuine and beautiful(especially inside) that I know.  


evening gown walk

being called at top 16, Miss Florida USA 2013 is to the right

hard work at the gym paid off :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Motivation


Sometimes it takes more than hopes and dreams to get me out of the door and especially to exercise.

Yesterday was the first time in almost 2 weeks that I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement. If I'm being bluntly honest, my mini vacation kicked my butt off my training schedule and since then, I've been having the hardest time getting Back on track.

My lack of motivation last week is a respond to my body not wanting to let go on my vacation state of mind and my lower spine hurting from so much scooter riding. The last two weeks have also been hard emotionally and the idea of running wasn't as appealing as staying in bed and catching up on TV.

This week I decided no more. I have roughly 16 weeks until the half marathon and I refuse to let my laziness and my emotionally status interfere with me accomplishing my goals.

Here are a few imagines that i stare at when I'm trying to get my motivation levels up, I hope you enjoy them too!




Rain Puddles


Miami weather is so fickle. Never trust a weather man in Miami. They say that we will have a lovely day with great weather and then half way through your work day it turns out we have a monsoon being formed outside for our windows. It's so dark right out that I am afraid to walk to the vending machine outside of my building to go get a diet coke.

A few weeks back, on a pay day Friday afternoon, five minutes before we left work the weather made a turn for the worst and the perfectly sunny day turned into the perfect storm. I refuse to turn my pretty flats into pretty wet and ugly shoes, so I did the unthinkable and made a run of the garage barefoot with Stephanie.

I normally park in the further garage because of those days that I feel extra lazy, the walk does me good and gives me some time to relax before my long drive home. Unfortunately, with all that rain, there was no way I could make it in one piece to my car. The moral of the story: I am in a dire need of rain boots and should always remember to not lend out my umbrella to people who are witty enough to look outside of the window.
Btw I'll let you in on a big secret down here in Florida that a lot of people don't know unless you are a native. Summers in Miami= wet season. I always thought that people who come to vacation in south Florida during the summer months are crazy, it's hot and humid one moment and then you are getting rained on the next. It's crazy weather but at least they make tiny umbrellas for purses and you can always catch up on your favorite TV show series instead of going in the rain.
Since its still raining today, rain-boots were purchased and i am currently wearing them. I didn't was full fledged rain boots that go almost reach my knees, I found a pair that go half way to my calf. They are navy blue and have a zipper in the back that is PINK, which obviously meant that I had to purchase them due to my mild obsession. I.love.pink




Don't you just love the box and and the very stylish green carpet at my job? I showed Erick the boots and he said I looked like a boy, then a random student walked by and told me I looked like a construction worker. I'm not quite sure what to think about the construction worker or the boy comment but I think they look lovely.
What do you guys think?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Caramel drizzle

I am excited to share with you that I have accomplished a silly long time goal of mine today!!!!

Since I was in middle school, I have always been addicted to coffee, thus the wonderful name of this blog: coffee and sunflowers - sunflowers being one of my favorite flowers, they have power to make any day better with its bright summery colors and large blooms, but that's a story for another day, so back to coffee.

It was so serendipitous that I could hardly believe that it was happening to me. Part of my morning routine is that when 10 o’clock in the morning rolls around, I make my way to the cafĂ© on the second floor of our building. The ladies who work at there have become a second work family. We stop there for coffee in the morning, soups for lunch (they have the most delicious Italian wedding soup and chicken wild rice) and then when our days a little more than we expected, another cup of coffee to pick us up.

I had been trying to convince them to let me behind their counters and give making my cup of coffee a shot for almost a year. They had always told me that during the off season if I really wanted to, that if I asked nicely and there weren’t many people around, that maybe, just maybe, they would allow me. Well folks, today was the day!!!!!!

Stephanie (my coffee partner in crime) was running late so I already had my Grande extra hot nonfat latte and was simply waiting for her to arrive to place her order, when I got the perfect idea. Sometimes I can’t help myself, like when I am heating up my food and there is really good music playing and I get the urge to dance( in public). Don’t get any ideas, it’s not like I’m breaking it down or pretending I’m in an episode of So You Think You Can Dance, it’s more like an enthusiastic wiggle. Erick likes to pretend he hates it or that he is embarrassed but I know he secretly wishes he would wiggle in public. I know I know, I am getting way of track so back to the story we go.

The whole point is that they said yes! I was finally allowed to go back there and get a shot at playing barista for a whopping 5 minutes and make Stephanie’s coffee. I forgot my phone so I had Stephanie take some pictures. They aren’t the best and I have horrible, simply the worst posture ever in these pictures so I apologize beforehand. You  would imagine that these people had some faith in me making a simple cup of coffee but they weren’t. In one of the picture you could actually see the fear in their faces that I might either burn the place down or kill Stephanie will the cup of coffee. Stephanie on the other hand wasn’t too excited with the amount of caramel I added to her Whole Milk Caramel Macchiato. I don’t drink anything with caramel or other flavorings but I thought the best part of a caramel macchiato was supposed to be the caramel? You would assume so, but according to Stephanie there is such a thing as too much caramel drizzle. There is never such a thing as too much chocolate so I thought the same thing went for caramel. If you disagree, I am more than happy to inform her and defend the caramel drizzle.

Please enjoy the process of making Stephanie's coffee


place the cup on the mark so that the espresso shot doesn't miss


add 6 packets of sugar(Stephanie likes it sweet) and the caramel syrup

smile!

mix and pour steamed and frothy whole milk

make a cute design with the caramel drizzle

"have a great day" with my favorite Barista: Shelly


I didnt want to leave so I made a Passion Tea Lemonade for a customer

Update: Stephanie’s coffee was perfect and no one died because I was behind the counter. This means, I can still go get coffee there every day and if I ever want own my own Starbucks, I now have the experience.