Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life lately

Isn't it funny how sometimes you just get a little carried away with life and your blog goes a month without an update?!

I've been super busy ever since we got back from Colorado... between baking orders for Sara's Sweets, training for the Columbus Half-marathon, and getting back into the swing of school. (We've already been back for 7 days... just 173 to go! Heh.)

Systems of equations, anyone?

School started last Tuesday, and we have had some pretty big changes. Instead of 95-minute blocks and semester classes, we now have 50-minute periods and classes that last all-year long. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but I like it so far. (Except for the whole four different preps at the same time. That's a lil' rough.) I've got several of the same students from last year, and they're a fun group.

We're also acclimating to the new Common Core standards which is loads of fun. (Or not.)

Some beautiful sugar cookies to lessen the blow of heading back to school... I mailed some to my BFF Talen and tried to surprise her, but she was unable to check her mail for a week. Cookie fairy FAIL!

Running has been going well - I've been meaning to get some sort of training recap together. I'm currently in week 6 of 13 for the Columbus Half. I'm getting in an average of 55 miles a week, with some crazy speed workouts. Just last week, I ran a 6-mile tempo with a 6:32 average, which is just insane to me. I can remember when running a 4-mile tempo at 7:00-pace was a miraculous feat. I am so, so excited for my fall races. (I'm also running a 10km + 15km this fall.)

I also ran a 5km the first weekend in August, and was the first female. I unfortunately did not get to take home that honkin' trophy, but I did take home a $25 Olive Garden gift card. Which was way better in my opinion. :)

Because I've been so busy, I've made a commitment to getting all my runs in before school. Which requires a 5:30am wake-up time. So far, I'm 7 for 7! It supposedly takes 21 days to make something a habit, so hopefully by the middle of September it will be second nature. It also probably helps that I've been going to bed at 9:45pm like a lil' old granny. 

On the foodie front, I've kept busy with my Rays blogging gig. (Check out recent recipes here.) I've even done a couple in-store demos, which is super fun. I could talk to people about food all day.

Sara's Sweets has also been a lot of fun. I just love baking cupcakes for people... everyone is always so happy when you give them cupcakes! 

My favorite Toffee Crunch... well one of my fav's.

And here's some exciting news on the cupcake front - I will be making cupcakes + desserts for a new restaurant opening here in the Bean Town! The Met will be a gathering place featuring wine, beer, spirits, and small plates. The owners are currently refurbishing an old building downtown, and it is so neat. I cannot wait for it to open.


Shooting this video was so much fun... when else do I get the chance to ramble on about cupcakes as much as I please? Love it. 

[Random side question: Any suggestions on what else to toast with the kitchen torch? Besides creme brulee. I'm at a loss!]

What else have we been doing? Just soaking up the last few weeks of summertime weather, with lots of trips to Pete's ice cream. We also had my favorite visitors last weekend, so much fun. :)

Sweet Maggie

Mom & I at the Dierks Bentley concert! Plus random dude in the background.

I hope to be back before another month passes by!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Wild, Wild West

July was a crazy busy month. Two weddings, a 4th of July party, a vacation to Charleston, SC, and Calabash, NC, a 5k down in Columbus... and a short little trip to Vail, Colorado. (Currently sitting in the Denver airport waiting for our flight home.) What would I do if I had a job where I had to work in the summer?!

I'll start with our Colorado trip, since it's the freshest in my mind. Each year, my Business Man has the opportunity to win a vacation with his company, and this year it happened to be an escape to the beautiful mountains of Vail. 

We flew out Sunday morning, and arrived in Vail just in time for some exploring. Our resort was located about 2 miles from town. There is an awesome little trail that connects all the resorts & shopping/dining areas, so we walked that a lot into town.

View from one of my runs

Monday morning, we decided to be all athletic and take a hike up the mountain. It was only 3.2 miles, and labeled as "intermediate", so we thought we would breeze through it. Hmmmph. (And, we didn't want to pay the $25 fee to ride up the gondola instead. $25! For a 10-minute gondola ride up the mountain. Insane. Pretty sure I would be disgusted with the price to go skiing in Vail.)

just the start of the ginormous mountain
The hike was fun, but a lot harder than I expected. It felt like we climbed basically straight uphill. But the views more than made up for it. Wowza, it was so peaceful up there.

ready to hike!

Before we were even done hiking up, we (or at least I) had already begun to dread the hike back down. Seriously, I was so scared that I would fall and be sent rolling down the ravine, never to bake a cupcake again. Luckily, once we reached the top, we discovered that it was FREE to ride the gondola back down! Such a sweet reward for making the hike up.

view from the gondola ride down

my Business Man's mad Instagram skillz

That night, we had a tasty pizza dinner at Blue Moose Pizza. Salad, BBQ chicken pizza, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, we drove over to Glenwood Springs to take a dip in the hot springs pool. It's a huge pool that is filled with water from the Yampah spring, full of 15 types of minerals that are good for you. (Or so we think.) The water comes from the spring at a temperature of 122*F, and they have to reduce the temperature down to 90*F before it goes in the pool.

I could get used to this view.

It was seriously the biggest pool I've ever seen. We spent the afternoon lounging & swimming, because the water was so warm. The sun was out in full force which made the day that much better.

We explored the cute little town of Glenwood Springs before eating dinner at The Pullman. This was easily my favorite meal of the trip. And it wasn't outrageously priced like most of the restaurants in Vail.

So many choices, and what did I go with? The burger. (I know, come on.) But it was the best burger of my life. Grass-fed beef, with caramelized onions & white cheddar, all on an over-sized homemade English muffin. Seriously, so good.

didn't even need ketchup!

My Business Man had the braised pork shoulder with smoked mozzarella grits. It was gone before I could even ask for a taste! (He has since requested that I learn how to make grits... hmmm, might need to consult my girl Paula Deen.)

We finished up the night eating a pint of ice cream from the market at the resort and watching the Olympics in bed. Perfect in my opinion.

Now we're back in good ole' Ohio and plan to stay put for the month of August. Ugggh... how can it be August already?! School starts in 20 days...

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