couch

So I decided to do this thing…and I may be a little crazy.

I’ve always wanted to run. I’ve always wanted to be a runner, as badly as I’ve always wanted to learn how to sing and dance. And you know when you reach that point where you just have to throw your hands in the air and do it? I reached that point yesterday at Piedmont Park. I thought about how nice it would be to just take my shirt off (bra stays on) and run in the park on a gorgeous summer day with my dog. Seeing all of the people exercising out there encouraged me to throw my hands in the air and just do it. I’m still trying to get a dog, but in the meantime I’m trying to get into running.

I learned of the C25K program years ago, and I’ve been just too chicken to try it. I hate running, but I don’t want to hate running anymore. I especially hate running, or exercising, outdoors, but that is my goal. I would love to be able to run outside on a track or in the woods (down a beaten path). You still may never catch me on a mountain trail, though, because I am not a hiker. I just want to be a track runner, or a wood runner. That would be good enough for me. I hope that by the third or fourth week of this nine week long program that I can run outside. Until then, I am staying in the cool, air-conditioned gym with the flat screen t.v. in front of me.

Treadmill

I don’t hate walking, but I don’t love it either. The main reason why I don’t like walking because I always get a bad case of runners itch, which happened to me again today. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s like your legs, stomach, and back are suddenly stung with a bunch of itchy anti-exercise baby bees. The truth is, however, that runner’s itch gets worse when you don’t exercise. I know that by the end of this week, or next week, that I won’t get that sensation anymore, and that for now I just have to push myself through it. During the 20 minute run, my runner’s itch started to kick in at about the seven minute mark. Ugh. I would scratch myself all over while I was doing the 90 second walk intervals, and by the end of the run I was going crazy. It went away after the cool-down walk. I’m pretty sure I’ll experience it again when I exercise this Tuesday, but I’ll just have to get through it. It sucks, but it’s not the end of the world.

Day 1: Was not the end of the world. My breathing needs some work, but because the workout was only 20 minutes I didn’t feel like I was going to die. I was tired, and didn’t feel like going any longer but I am not dreading going back in on Tuesday. My muscles feel a little sore but that is good. I did get a little bored with running, even though I was watching t.v. Next time I may just listen to the radio or music on my phone. I find it hard be interested in anything when I’m just exercising on a treadmill for 20 minutes, but I guess that is the difference between the gym and the great outdoors.

What I’ll do next time: Stand up straight. I noticed that my posture is really bad when I’m on the treadmill. It may be because I get tired and start to slouch, or I just have bad posture in general. I don’t think I do, but I really noticed it today my shoulders started to hunch and I felt like Quasimodo trying to do a 5K. Next time I will have the posture of a swan, not a squirrel.

This may be a bad thing to say…but I cheated during the five minute warmup. I only walked for about two minutes, and after that I got bored and beelined straight to the community gym. I know that’s bad, and it’s just another thing I’ll have to suck up and do. Warming up is crucial for preventing injuries, and it may even ease make my runner’s itch. On Tuesday, I’ll try and walk for the full five minutes.

After the 20 minutes, I lifted a few 10lb dumbells for fun and 10 crunches on the hanging crunch machine (does that thing have a name? If it does, let me know!). I want to do more research on weight exercise so that I am fit and toned on my entire body. Running is a great total body workout, but I want to make sure I’m not neglecting my abs, arms, and back. This week I may stick to 10 crunches, and next week I’ll do 20, then 30, etc…

Things I need: New running shoes, workout clothes, sports bras…and socks. I’ve been afraid to buy these things before because I have a bad habit of exercising religiously for about two weeks and stopping, but I am determined to finish this nine week program. I think I will finish the regimen this week, and buy some new gear soon. I’m excited for that 😀

Great outdoors

 

Goal: Running in the great outdoors!

 

Yes, this product is quite a mouthful.

No, I didn’t eat it. But with a name like “Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-Powder” you would think that this powder has the power to summon unicorns, or turn a pile of stones into a mountain of Benjamins.

It doesn’t do either, but then again it didn’t promise to. According to the package, the powder says it can “absorb oil and shine, and blurs away the look of pores, without settling into lines and wrinkles. It sets makeup and helps to diffuse the appearance of wrinkles and pores instantly,” which all sound like great things I’d like to happen to me.

This is the first IT Cosmetics product I’ve ever tried, and I didn’t purchase this myself. My sister handed it to me because she admitted that she would “never use it”. It came with the IT Cosmetics dual foundation/concealer brush she bought, which I would also love to have. That may be the next brush I move on to after I wear out my Tarte foundation brush.

The packaging for this product is small and cute. My sister told me that she got this “sample” with her new brush, and I hope this is just the sample size because of its size. According to Ulta.com, the powder costs $24, and I couldn’t imagine paying so much for such a little thing (not that I haven’t done that before).

IT Cosmetics powder

The powder is very fine and airy. Its consistency reminds me of the Ben Nye powders, which I love because the fine powders really melt into your makeup instead of sitting on top of it. The powder is clear, and I only used a little to pat it onto the pores next to my nose. I poured a tiny bit of it into the lid and tapped my brush into it. It was bothersome pouring the product onto the lid, because it could all spill out so easily.

IT Cosmetics before/after

I did not notice a huge difference after applying this powder to my face. It was a pretty big let down, and I don’t think that this powder does anything that Benefit’s Porefessional already doesn’t (note: I was not wearing Porefessional today). It did make my face look less oily, but I’d have to wear it all day to see if it holds up. And my face did look a little “softer”, which I supposed would look good in pictures.

I am going to finish the rest of this powder namely because it was free, and I’d like to test it out for a few days to see if I like it any better and to see how it holds up throughout the day. But at the moment, I can’t rave about this.

Tell me: Do you see any difference in the pictures? Have you tried this powder before?

 

I like apples.

I also have a tendency to dive into some late night baking. I saw this Apple Crisp Pizza recipe on (you guessed it) Pinterest, and I just had to make it. It’s been sitting in my Desserts board for a long time, and I finally got around to trying this thing out.

ApplesThis may be a surprise, but one thing you need to make an apple tart is apples. The recipe called for four, but I really should have used about two or three. It depends on the size of your pie pan, and mine was pretty small. My apples were overflowing!

I cut them into little square-rectangle pieces (and ate some of them…yum). I think I used Gala apples. They were sweet, but not too sweet.

Apple Toss

Mix the apples in a bowl with some cinnamon, sugar, and flour. I added a dash of vanilla for fun.

Apple Toss Coated

And toss it all together. There was a lot of loose mixture at the bottom that didn’t stick to the apples. I didn’t add that to the pie.

Apple on Pie Crust

Glorious! I used a pre-made Pillsbury pie crust for this. I probably should have gone 100% homemade, but I’ve never had much luck when it comes to pastry dough. The pre-made dough wasn’t that great in the end. It was really thin and tasteless. (But the finished product was still great!)

 

What I love about apple pie, is the crumble. It’s the best part in my opinion. The crumble for this crisp is mostly brown sugar and oats, two things that I love to eat (especially together). But, my pie pan was really small, and I should have cut down the amount of crumble I added to the top of this. When it was finished baking, the top was still a little white, and not golden brown. And the crumble wasn’t cooked through all the way in the thickest parts.

 

Enjoy this with a drizzle of caramel syrup, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This tastes great when it’s nice and warm! Yum!

 

Are you ready for the best mac ‘n cheese you’ve ever had? Are you ready for justified hyperboles?

Good!

Last week I was craving some mac ‘n cheese, but wanted to try something different. I’m also in the process of “cleaning” out my Pinterest, which means I’m going back to some of my older pins and making the recipes that have been sitting there for a long time. This recipe I pinned to my board sometime late last year, so I thought I’d give it a go. Thanks to The Comfort of Cooking for the recipe!

It. Made. My. Week.

Well, it would have if this lasted a whole week. I ate this whole thing in just about three days. I’m sorry (not sorry).

Cut VeggiesThe star of this dish, no surprise, is the roasted veggies. I used broccoli, red pepper, and carrots. You could also use squash, zucchini, or different colored peppers if you’re feeling it.

They just get cut up and tossed on a baking sheet to roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I like to get that out of the way before preparing the cheese sauce.

Roux has always been tricky for me, but this sauce turned out very good. You saute a chopped garlic clove in a little oil, and flour, and gradually add some milk until and mix until smooth. I was a little skeptical that the recipe only called for sharp cheddar cheese, because I’m used to eating mac with two or three or four different cheeses. But this sauce was great! If you don’t use Sargento sharp cheddar, you are doing it wrong and you should stop it right now.

Cheese Sauce

The sauce is seasoned with some red pepper flakes (which is a MUST!), black pepper and salt. I did things a little differently though and only used half of the cheese for the cheese sauce. Read on to find out what I did with the other half…

Mac N Cheese

I mixed in the roasted vegetables with a package of cooked whole grain pasta, and added the cheese sauce.

Yummy, yes?

Cheese on top

I then poured half of the pasta into a baking dish, and sprinkled the other half of the shredded cheese on top. If you want a really cheesy, melty pasta bake, do this!

Parmesan Layer

Then, pour the other half of the pasta on top. I also added about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Do this!

The best thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t bake in the oven too long – just about 5 minutes will do it. And you’re done!

 

ENJOY!

 

I’ve been duped. I’ve been scammed. I recently started reading this book, Predictably Irrational, and now I feel like my whole life is a lie. Well, not really, but it is fascinating to see how well advertisers and marketers have managed to shape our decision making so much. My mouth was halfway open during the first chapter of this book. What I really like are the scenarios that the author asks you to respond to. I like to think that I wouldn’t fall for such obvious marketing tricks…that are only obvious to me in the next explanatory paragraph.

One good thing is that I am naturally (irrationally?) cheap, and I don’t go for the lures to pay more money for anything anyway. But man will I be looking out for the decoy effect now where ever I go. I see you now, anchors! I see you!