cake decorating…

Today I attended the Basic Cake Decorating class at Give Me Some Sugar with my friend Stacy.

It was a lot of fun.  Even though I knew the basics, this reinforced how to do it right.  It started with how to frost a cake.  We also learned how to make rosettes, lines and dots while holding the piping bag correctly.  It was so nice for someone to demonstrate how to pipe frosting. The best part was at the end when we decorated our cakes with our new skills.

naked cake

naked cake

ready to frost the cake

ready to frost the cake

ta da! completed cake

completed cake

doesn't it look pretty?

EXTREME CLOSEUP

I definitely need to go back and take another class. 🙂

no shuffle…

My throat, head, sinus, etc, etc hurts. So no Shamrock Shuffle today. Really, really bummed about it too. I took Mia to dance that morning and the race went right by the building. She wanted to check them out. As I was standing there, I just wanted to jump right in. 😦

I sure hope I am healthier for the Cinco De Miler. I missed that one last year due to illness as well. Keeping my fingers crossed.

NOTE: We did go for a bike ride later that afternoon. 10 miles at the Centennial Bike Trail. We drove to Romeoville, IL. Diego did all 10 miles. Mia did a mile on her balance bike. We also found three caches along the way.

I have to say biking 10 miles is nothing like running 10 miles. lol

new bike…

I got a new bike!!! So exciting. It is a Cannondale Quick Women’s 4 in White/Green. I just love it. It is so pretty.

I took a spin on a Specialize bike but I wasn’t too happy with the quality of the ride. It felt too rigid and it just didn’t feel right. So then I took a spin on the Cannondale. It was love at first push. Completely different feel. Much more fluid. I knew that was the one for me.

I got a new handy dandy bike helmet (safety first!) and a small bag. I also got a water cage. I think I might need a kick stand, a mirror and a bell.

Diego and Eric got themselves a new bike each.  Eric has been wanting to buy new bikes since for ever and finally it has happened.  He got a Specialize hybrid bike and it is also in white.  We are matchies!  lol

I don’t think I have ever had a new bike that I wanted to ride. (I did win a 10 speed bike in high school but I never used it. 10 speed, really?)

Here is me and my cool looking ride:

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Now we are planning to the Bike the Drive.  The day before I am running the Soldier Field 10 Mile.  It just never ends. 😛

twenty freaking miles…

I did it! I did it! I finally ran twenty miles. I did the CARA Newton Ready to Run 20 Miler yesterday. I completed my run in about 4:40. My phone died when I hit the 19 mile marker which at that point in time said 4:23:36. So I figured I would walk the last mile since my legs felt like they were going to lock up. I did run to the finish line though. I survived!!! I got my shirt and I can wear it proudly.

I want to add that the run was well organized. The waves were pretty much on time. My wave was only delayed by one minute. The water stations were always ready when I showed up. The volunteers were fantastic and the bus service was great. I was probably one of the last groups to show up and they still had plenty of food for us. I would definitely recommend this run to anyone who is doing the marathon in the future.

Less than three weeks until the marathon. Hoping that my health and my body will be ready for October 7.

Wheeee!

rocked New Orleans…

So I conquered the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and have the medal to prove it. AND I also have a PR (short for Personal Record, runner lingo). My time was 2:40:19 which is almost two minutes faster than my last half. That was a nice surprise since I wasn’t trying to do anything but finish the run.

New Orleans was interesting. Good interesting. Our Saturday early morning flight was uneventful. Lots of folks who were going for the race were on the plane. Landed, found transportation to the hotel and off we went. We check into the Inn on Bourbon St. It was lovely hotel located right on Bourbon St. We walked to the convention center to pick up our packets. It was a cloudy, windy and rainy day. I was a bit worried but the weather for Sunday was going to be 60 and sunny.

So after getting our packets, we walked back and I was starving. We ended up going to Palace Cafe on Canal St. I had the Catfish Pecan with white rice and brussel spouts. OMG. I am not a big brussel sprouts eater but these were SO GOOD! I doubt I will ever eat them the same way again. Everthing was delicious.

Then we went back to the room, hung out a bit and then we were off to discover the city. We decided to check out a big church that was close by. It was the St. Louis Cathedral. It was really pretty and well taken care of. Then we found the horse-drawn carriages. We decided to take a tour. Best $15 ever spent. The man gave us a great history lesson about the French Quarter. Glad he had blankets because it was getting really windy. (Weather was in the high 50’s, cloudy and windy.) He told us the ride was going to be about 30 min but it really was more like 45 min.

Then we went to look for the beignets. They were from Cafe Beignet. Yum, yum YUM! We sat outside. Even though it was cloudy, the area we were in was protected by two buildings, so we were okay. Plus they had a small outdoor heater going on. We were listening to a trio playing jazz. It was so nice. Then we went back to the hotel to get some much-needed zzzzz’s.

The run itself was great. The weather kept its promise: sunny with a slight wind. I was wearing a running singlet over a long sleeve base layer. After 2 1/2 miles I had to stop and remove the base. It was nice and warm. The scenery was beautiful. Once we hit the 8 mile mark, it just became a bit blah. Concrete and more concrete. But there was a group of people who were offering donuts and beer to all the runners. That was so cool. Once we passed the city area, we were in the French Quarter. More pretty stuff to look at. I hit my wall right before the 10 mile marker. It was getting warm and I was getting tired. So I walked a bit more. Then I kept alternating with walking and running. When I got to the 11 mile marker, I decided to just run. Kept telling myself “One foot in front of the other. Just like everyone else.” I think that mantra kept me going. When I saw the marathon turning off, I was like “Poor souls. They have 13 more miles to go.” But I kept going. Finishing was so sweet. Found my friend who also was not having a good run but she finished in 2:25. We got our medals, which rock. They have medal beads instead of a ribbon.

Then we went back to the hotel, showered, dressed and literally ran to Pat O’Brien’s. We had the biggest hurricane ever. It was so good. I also had Grits and Shrimp which was quite tasty.

Then it was time to go home. The family picked us up from the airport. Missed them so much. I think the kids missed me too since they were just clinging on my arms all the way home.

An easy race is next: Shamrock Shuffle, March 25.

running 2012…

Okay so I haven’t really had a chance to update on all my runs this year. I don’t think I am overdoing it since I have 1) ran some of these races before, 2) I have ran 13.1 miles before and 3) I am nuts!

Here is my schedule as of today:
March 4: Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
March 25: Shamrock Shuffle 8K
May 6: Cinco de Miler
May 24: Chicago Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5M
May 27: Soldier Field 10 Miler
July 22: Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon
October 7: Chicago Marathon!!!

I am game for all of them except for the last one. Not sure why but I did register for it. I always said I would not do another marathon unless it was the Disney one again.

Once the registration started, I just kept going back to the site. Then the running club at work sent out an email saying they would pay $40 from our fee. So I kept thinking about it. It was like an itch that would not go away. Finally on Friday, I did it. I felt elated. I felt like I wanted to throw up. lol

So then I texted my running buddy what I just did. She thought I was nuts too. But the next day, she fessed up that she had thought about it too. So she was going to think about some more and decide if she was going to do this too. Sure enough, later that night, she registered. Then on Monday word came out that the race had sold out in SIX DAYS! Not sure if I call it a sign but I might as well do this. And then I can say “Why yes, I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2012.”

And here we are: 8 days before my trip to NOLA and the beginning of my 2012 running adventure.

Let the running commence. Wish me luck!

potty done…

It is official, Mia is potty trained!!!!

What a wonderful feeling.  A sigh of relief.  A big girl in the making.  We thought it was never going to happen but she did it.

We managed to go out this weekend and she did what she needed to do.  Of course, everywhere we went we had to scope out the store to see where the restrooms were just in case.

We did a moment of panic when we were driving somewhere and Mia pipes up.  “I need to go potty.”  Oh oh!  Good thing we were not far from where we were going cuz she held it.

She does still us a pull-up for night time use but she wakes up dry just about every morning.  So once that supply is done, it is DONE!

It only took three years and two month for this to happen but NO MORE DIAPERS!!!

Can’t believe my little girl is growing up.  It is such a bittersweet feeling. *sigh*