Trail Running

I signed up for my first trail race….

Should be interesting….

I hope I don’t die!

from the website: “If the meadows of spring flowers don’t get your heart pounding, the rolling hills definitely will”  AND “A calf high crossing of snow fed water awaits all runners at Knickerbocker Creek. It’s a rite of passage”.

oh dear god.

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this and that…

I know, right!? 

WHERE have I been!?

I know what you’re thinking…. “ran off with Jack Johnson, surfing her life away in beautiful Hawaii…” or “joined forces with the FBI (hello secret agents that are likely reading my blog now since I made that reference…I hope you find me entertaining, since you’re likely wasting work time stalking my blog posts now), and must be super secretive” but the truth is…I’m just really boring!

I like to think nothing has been going on in my life, but that is kind of far from the truth.  I just haven’t felt like blogging. I’ve been reading blogs like it’s my job, don’t get me wrong…I just haven’t felt the need to post anything of my own.

My really good friend started a blog today (I’ll post it once she gets content on it, it’s likely to be entertaining!) and it sort of lit a little fire under me to post. We will see if it stays… =0)

So what HAS been going on in my life, you ask? Let’s see here:

  • My best friend got engaged (!!!!!!)
  • My brother became an IRONMAN! We had phenominal signs (imho!)….i’m pretty sure that’s what got him though the 140+miles…and not his extensive training.

I'm pretty sure everyone in AZ knew this was my brother by the end... heh...what can i say, i was proud!my brother is pretty darn cool!

we were a hit!

  • I moved (yes, again) right in time for Christmas!

  • I had a lovely “Ugly Sweater” for our work Christmas party

it's hard being that cool...

  • I ran the Huntington Beach Half marathon (2:05:28, not my best…but for sure not my worst! it was my first lone-ranger half, and it was surprisingly fun running alone with just my thoughts! It was a beautiful course, and I had my Mom and Brother riding beach cruisers almost the ENTIRE course which was nice!)

*best* pit crew EVER!

  • I went to Disneyland after the race with my entire family (yes, 4 days of Disney after running a half, not recommended but a TON of fun)

  • I ran the Shamrock’n Half (most fun I’ve ever had at a race…hands down. the brother was in full on costume).

ridiculous...

  • I visited my engaged BFF for some shenanigans, and wedding venue viewing (<3<3<3)
  • I attempted to single handedly taste-test every cupcake shop in CA.

also ridiculous....

Well, that about sums up my past few months!

So, I bet you’re ALSO wondering where I landed on my “Fall Goals” that I so boldly put out there for the whole world to see!?

Let’s see here:

Fitness:

Big Fat FAIL!

Although I have incorporated some strength classes into my routine, it wasn’t until about ONE month ago that it became a habit. oopsies.

That audacious relay goal time of under 9 min/mi… um, yeah…that happened. my time actually ended up being around a 9:40 min/mi. ooopsies again

Money:

I can proudly say I have my money in check (for once). I even paid off a CC. amazing.

Weight:

I went the opposite direction with this one.  Since, as you read above, i’m working on my goal to try every cupcake in CA…this goal took the back-burner. ;0) I like to think of it as my hibernation weight? bleh. My winter coat is not looking to hot with this spring weather… not at all.

NO DONUTS!? DID I DO IT??????????????

I think this is the goal I’m most proud of.  For almost ONE entire month straight, I turned down dounts and bagels (free! from Noah’s!) each and every Friday that the auditors were here. it was hard. I had food pusher co-workers telling me “it’s ok, just have one”… I felt like I should be in a dark alley, and that perhaps my last name was “lohan”…. but I did it.  Now if only I could implement that kind of discipline into my everyday life, I’d be golden!

Life:

DFO – don’t freak out? more like DO FREAK OUT and while you’re at it BE AWKWARD and make everyone else feel awkward while you’re at it. ugh. working on it.

Social Goals? unless you call my new friends from the upper east side (GG! Holla!) social, then no…I did not meet this goal. I don’t think Blair would approve of my sweat pants though….

Well, I can’t guarantee anything as far as my consistency with the blog. I’d like to post more, but who knows. We will just have to see where the road takes me, and what’s going on with my life.

If anyone still reads this little piece of Janna’s crazy mixed up life in writing, I hope all is going well! I’ve likely still been stalking your blogs, pretending that I run fast, cook well and can pull off adorable outfits like you! =0)

Until next time –

Janna

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Fall Goals!

I feel like January 1st was just yesterday…I know people say this all the time, and it is really cliché… but this year is really flying by! It seems not that long ago, I rang in the New Year (in my “happy place”, Disneyland) and I proclaimed that 2K10 would be a great year.   

My Happy Place!

Source  

Although it has overall been a fantastic year (I’ve spent a lot of time with friends/family, made a few new friends, ran a few races, saved some moohlah, been on vacations, started my blog, etc), there are some things I wouldn’t have minded changing (i.e. I wouldn’t have missed 2 of the 4 half marathons I registered for…only one was by choice.  I would have stuck to my goals of losing my extra lbs.  I would have been more serious on my “get out of debt” goal.  I would have put a little more into savings each payday).   

Seeing as this year is coming to an end (quickly), I’ve decided I should set some goals.  The last few months of the year tend to be more difficult to maintain balance in, and I want to eliminate that this year!  I want to conclude this year the way I had planned start/maintain the year!  Since it is typical for the last few months of the year to be a bit more chaotic when it comes to all things I want to work on (spending, saving, waistline, etc) I figured I needed to get my goals out there for  the world (or my 8 readers) to see!  

So here we go, Janna’s 2K10 Fall Goals:  

Fitness  

I’ve recently discovered that although I am cardiovascularly fit (I can run, bike, and turbo jam like it’s going out of style!) I am not “strong”.  I have been sore for 2 straight days from doing a measly 25 push-ups…girl style.  I don’t like this.  I therefore would like to incorporate some sort of “strength” activity into my workout schedule, and think that doing ~10 or so minutes daily would be perfect.  As you may recall here, I like setting “challenges”, therefore I want to ramp this same “challenge” up one last time for the 2K10 year, and begin another Superman Ab Challenge/Strong Arm Challenge.  Of course I’m not limiting myself to these exercises, but I basically just want to do some sort of strength activity for minimum of 10min a day. Obtainable.  

Additionally, as you have noted in previous posts, I have had to cut back on my running.  I am slowly easing my way back in, in an effort to keep further injuries at bay.  I have one last “race” this year, but it happens to be as a team.  I will be participating with 3 other co-workers in one leg of a marathon.  My leg will be one of the 7 mile legs, which is a totally obtainable mileage for me.  I am therefore concentrating on training “smarter not harder”, and taking it slow.  I am also working on my speed during this time, as I am not covering insane amounts of miles each week.  My goal (I can’t belive I am going to put this out there) is to finish my leg in under a 9min mile pace.  I’ve done two half marathons right at a 9min/mile pace, so again…I know this is obtainable…but I will need to work and focus in order to obtain this!  

Lastly, I need to keep my “activity” tab up to date.  I track all my workouts in a book, but I just need to keep up to date on my blog .  Right now it looks like I haven’t exercised since the end of August and that is not the case.  

Money  

I have been working hard these last few months to pay off a little debt that I have left.  I am no longer using credit, however, I still have stuff to pay.  My goal for the next few months is to pay my typical payment each month…twice.  I will therefore pay my CC each payday (bi-weekly paydays)!  Totally obtainable.  

My savings goal is to keep my same automatic deposit each payday, but not allowing myself to withdrawal from this.  I tend to give myself the “ok” to do this a little too often, it’s a bad habit.  For the next three months, NO touching my savings!  

Weight  

I hate, hate, HATE weight goals.  I think that they can be a major burden on people, and can really wear a person thin (if only that were literal…). I don’t want to set any specific weight goal. What is weight, anyway? Just numbers.  I do, however, want to get to a more “happy” place.  My clothes are snug.  I hate shopping (blasphemy).  I often cringe when I catch my reflection…I am not proud of this, but I do know that I would be much happier at a healthier weight.  My weight goal therefore is to get back to my “happy” place, by the end of the year.  Without saying numbers, I will say that this is obtainable (healthily) with a little more discipline than I have shown over the last year. 

happy place

Like I said earlier, the end of the year is tough.  There are more holiday’s with weird food related traditions than I know what to do with…but I do know that these are holidays we have EVERY year, and we will have every other year of my life (unless someone finally wises up and realizes plopping turkey and pie on our tables does not signify these days in the least….)  

Moving on… In short, it is ok to turn down food. You should not feel the need to eat every cookie, cake, etc at work…even if the office Grandma did make it, and it is delicious.  Being happy/healthy will give you far more satisfaction than a darn cookie.  Oh, and NO DONUTS.  We have our interim audit, which occurs toward the end of this year.  For some reason, the auditors bring us bagels and donuts every Friday that they are at our office during audit. Last year, I ate an embarrassing amount of those circular dough balls from heaven.  Not this year.  I am not even going to START on that downward spiral.  The donut was like a gateway food to a weekend of bad decisions.  My goal for audit: NO DONUTS OR BAGELS. not even one. They’re not even that great…the middle is missing for goodness sake! 

NO DONUT FALL!

Life Goals  

DFO  

DFO=Don’t freak out.  I recently had a bit of a stressful project at work, and after packing up late on a friday, and getting my papers ready for the following monday, I left myself a note regarding the process I was using to come up with my calculations and other notes to jog my memory about where I left off and whatnot.  I also wrote “DON’T FREAK OUT” at the top…just as a reminder that monday morning that it wasn’t as big/crazy/overwhelming of a project as it might seem.  

In short, I want to be less of a stress case…freak out less if  you will…”don’t sweat the small stuff”.  Fortunately, I do accounting.  No one is going to die (hopefully!) from decisions  make/work I do.  Freaking out does not help anyone, and will likely cause me to have zero friends at work. LOL 

DFO!

 Source

Social 

Social goals?  Who am I???? I know this may sound lame to some, but what is lame is my life. lol.  When my co-worker encouraged me to have a second cup of coffee last Friday, and then followed with “it’s ok, it’s laundry friday!” I knew that my life was officially LAME.  I had mentioned the week before that a trip to Starbuck’s during an afternoon slump was ok because I would be up late anyway, doing laundry…she remembered this, and helped me to see HOW much I need to work on this goal.  

I used to be fun! I used to go out and do stuff, and not use the “i’m too tired/i want to put on my sweatpants” excuse…My social goal is to therefore NOT turn down invitations.  Granted, I can’t take on all invitations I receive (that would be counterproductive)…but when someone asks me to do something fun/that I would enjoy, I really need to make more of an effort to give it a whirl!  I can lounge in my sweats when I’m old! 

...or I could just wear my sweatpants out....;0)

Well there you have it… Fall Goals in all their glory!  

Sorry for such a lengthy/boring post.  It does feel nice to put that out there, though!  

Did you set goals this year?  How have they gone for you?  

Do you have any fall goals for yourself? Let me hear them!!!

 

Happy Fall!

Janna

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Music Makes the World Go Round!

It’s no secret…I.LOVE.Music.

Good music can turn a horrible day into a fantastic day (just ask my co-workers! ;0).

I basically love any genre…with the exception of one. I’ll leave that one a secret, for the slight chance that one of my seven readers is a fan of it. Growing up I listened to just about everything (from The Beatles to The Backstreet Boys, and Janis Joplin to Garth Brooks….we didn’t discriminate in our house!), and may or may not have spent my teen years basically on tour with…Hanson (but that’s neither here nor there). I know, i know. In my defense though, they were/are very talented individuals, who play their own instruments and actually write their own songs….=X

Sorry, where was I…

As you might recall from this post, I recently attended my FIRST Dave Matthews Band concert. In 4 days, I will be seeing my future husband (he just does not know this, yet).

=)

surf board AND bike...*love*

Incase you aren’t up on cute surfer turned musicians, that would be Jack Johnson. So yes, another epic concert will be happening SOON!

Needless to say, when my bestie, Emma, asked if I wanted to attend a concert with her, for FREE i JUMPED at the opportunity! Emma is very fortunite in that her sis married a lovely british fella (with a super cool accent, and HILARIOUS sense of humor)…but along with all of that, he also came with a “professional chef to the musicians” brother. He is currently in the states with the british band, Muse, and was able to hook us up with some pretty stellar seats to Tuesday’s show!

I’m not gonna lie, I definitely had to download a few songs to even register who the band was. I hadn’t really been a huge fan of their music in the past, as they are a little more “hardcore” type of tunes than I typically listen to, but they had a few songs I enjoy. Definitely “pump you up” running type of music, but not something I would listen to on a regular basis!

The excitement for the show actually came when I was researching exactly where/what time they would be playing and I learned they had an opener the night of our show…and the opener happened to be one of my favorite “happy band/running tunes” bands; Passion Pit! I’m sure you may have heard a few of their more “popular” songs, “Little Secrets” and “Sleepyhead“.

Now I had even more reason to be excited; not only did i get to see my bestie, with free tickets…but one of my faves was opening!

I met Emma before the concert at Starbucks (after a failed attempt at Peet’s, which was our preference). We did what we do best and caught up/gossiped/took awkward photos and before long it was time to head to the show.

We picked up the tickets, and the lady at Will Call informed us that these were “great seats!”… they were.

Sa-weet!

While being frisked, Emma’s gigantic Polaroid camera was questioned.

blurry action shot...

Emma: “it’s a camera, i swear!”.

Security Guard: “oh, i believe you…but hey *other security guard*, take a look at this camera!” (yes Em, I do belive you were being made fun of!)

the camera in question...It takes credit-card sized Polaroids! So neat!!

While we waited for the show to start, we tried to connect with her brother-in-law(ish…not exactly sure what you call a brother in law’s brother…anyone know?), and continued to take an obnoxious amount of pictures…. Oh, we also people watched. I may or may not have captured more “random photos from my phone”, and one may or may not have been of a 65 year old grandma rocking out, but you’ll just have to wait and see! ;0)

patiently waiting!

I’m sad to say, Passion Pit sort of disappointed live. I mean, don’t get me wrong…They had a great stage presence and played my favorite tunes…I just feel that their instruments sort of drowned out the actual singing. Oh well, you can’t win them all. They are really a great/fun band, so one not so great performance won’t sway me!

Passion Pit doin' their thang.

***side note: Passion Pit has a very *different/distinct* type of background music, and during the show I was actually reminded of the Friends episode where Ross busts out his old keyboard…please tell me someone knows what i’m talking about***

Muse…oh how you surprised me.

As soon as the lights dimmed, and the pillars that were on stage lit up, I knew I was about to see something….awesome.

Muse!

The opening “scene” of the concert was the silhouettes of individuals walking up what appeared to be stairs, and as the music got more intense, the figures started falling slowly down the stairs. CREEPY is an understatement.

As the figures started falling, so did the fabric attached to the pillars and the band was quickly revealed. Unlike a normal concert (belive me, nothing about this show was “normal”) the band was actually playing up on platforms, high above the actual stage.

Muse!

Muse!

Throughout the night they went between the stage and platforms. At one point, a grand piano (so sick!) was brought out for one of their “slower” songs.

i *loved* this part!

Like I said before, nothing about this show was “normal”…toward the end of the show, these GIANT eyeball balloon type objects fell from the top of the arena and were being batted around the crowd. When one was popped, confetti/tissue paper poured out. Although the “eyeball” was disturbing (there were a lot of “eyeball themed” things at this concert) it was still pretty cool.

*creepy*

here's lookin at you!

All in all the concert was fantastic, and I would recommend seeing this band live… if you are open minded with your music. They played an awesome live show, and the lead singer is actually quite the vocalist…Not to mention he is dating Kate Hudson! You can see Emma’s review here (along with her adorable blog!).

There was also such fantastic people watching to be had….we saw (as mentioned before) ages that ranged from ~8 to ~65, we saw an individual tackled to the ground by security, we saw illegal drug usage..awkward.

Oh, Hey Grandma!

I can’t wait to report back on my next concert. I definitely saved the best for last, and have been looking forward to this one since spring of this year when tickets went on sale!

If you don’t hear from me though, it just means i’ve been whisked away to the islands with Jack….(what? he’s married you say? way to crush a girls dreams….)

Sunday I will be out at a half marathon, practicing the sport of spectating! I was supposed to be running this race, but due to my recent ankle issues (and lack of running) racing just isn’t in the cards for me. I will be on my beach cruiser, cheering my face off though!

If anyone has any funny/cute/clever sign ideas, PLEASE post them! I have a few “that’s what she said” things in mind…but I feel like those should be reserved for races in which my co-workers are NOT running! ;0)

Also, on the subject of music…what is your favorite type of music/favorite band!? Any suggestions for me, I’m always looking to add to my tunes!!

Have a great weekend!

Janna

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Pumpkin Madness!

It’s fall….fall means pumpkin.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with pumpkin…all things pumpkin, anything pumpkin! I was the one kid at family gatherings that would dig into the pumpkin pie. 

It’s no wonder fall is my FAVORITE season.  I would love pumpkin year-round, but, as my Mom pointed out recently, I probably wouldn’t love it as much if it was available ALL the time. 

Right now, if you enter our house you will smell pumpkin (Pumpkin Wallflower from Bath and Body works

glorious!

You will likely taste pumpkin (in the form of pumpkin smoothies, oats, cookies, cupcakes and SOON, lasagna…): 

Hellllllo Libby's!

worth another post!

and you will likely drink some pumpkin… coffee!: 

best.coffee.ever

Source 

A couple Fridays ago, I hit up Cost Plus World Market after work (so what if i like to spend friday’s at Cost Plus…stop judging me!)  They have an ENTIRE pumpkin section, with ciders (SO bomb!!!), cookies, candles, etc.  I was however immediately drawn to the PUMPKIN COFFEE! If you know me at all, you know two obsessions of mine: coffee and pumpkin.  Give me pumpkin coffee, and I’m a happy girl! 

I still had an abundance of my regular Target “Breakfast Blend” coffee  to use up (also tasty!) so I held off on opening the coveted pumpkin coffee…that is…until this morning. HOLY TOLEDO, you don’t even need to add creamer! This coffee has such a nice pumpkin/spicy kick already, you’re good to go as is! I did, however, add a splash of this: 

i told you...O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D.

Needless to say, my morning is off to a GREAT start! 

OH yes…as promised…ThePumpkin Spice Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe: 

I spotted this recipe when Courtney from “Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life” guest posted on Carrots’N’Cake a few weeks back.  As soon as I saw it, I *knew* i must make these for work!  I just have to say, Courtney KNOWS her cupcakes!!! These were PHENOMENAL and got great reviews at home, and at work! 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients: 

1 box spice cake mix 

1 15oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 

3/4 cup egg substitute 

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1/3 cup water 

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups. 

Blend cake mix, pumpkin, egg substitute, applesauce, water, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 18-23 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. After 10 minutes, remove from pans, place on wire racks, and cool completely. 

Prepare frosting according to directions and spread evenly on cupcakes. 

Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (i eliminated the honey, but only because I was lacking that ingredient) 

-1/2 cup butter, softened 

-4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese 

-1 tsp. cinnamon 

-1 tbsp. honey 

2-4 cups powdered sugar 

1-2 tbsp. milk 

  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the honey and cinnamon, and gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Add the milk and more powdered sugar (if needed) until you get your desired consistency.

Make these cupcakes NOW, and then let me know how much you/your loved ones/your coworkers loved them… 

Now…I’ll leave you with this little gem.  I was on my way to the gym Saturday morning, and contemplated skipping my class in order to go to THIS (i kid, kinda): 

Pirate Festival! Looks pretty legit...

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend, hopefully FILLED with all things Pumpkin! =0) 

What is your favorite fall flavor/scent!? 

Janna

p.s. I ran four PAIN FREE miles this weekend, a HUGE win given my recent ankle issues/running break! two 1/10mi walk breaks and i finished in a little over 38min. Score!

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Happy fall, y’all

In celebration of the first day of autumn, I made Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting.

Words can not describe…They taste as amazing as my crappy little iPhone can make them look, times a thousand.

Full recap of my September, and the recipe to come shortly….but for now, my September in pics:

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Random…and Epic

Epic… I’ve been seeing this word around the blog world for quite sometime now, and have recently been hearing more and more people using it in real life conversations, as well. You can imagine my amusement when I was grocery shopping last week, and stumbled upon this store brand container of Greek yogurt.

EPIC

I imagine that the marketing team assigned to this product did A LOT of blog research before coming up with their slogan. Did I buy any? Sadly, I passed it up… I just couldn’t get past that slogan… as I told my co-worker, I picture young guys, tie-dye clad, stirring the vats of yogurt and saying phrases like “dduuuuuuude, this yogurt is gonna be EPIC!”. Just couldn’t do it…

Since I’ve been a major slacker on blogging, I”m going to use this post to share all the “epic and random” life of janna *stuff*…for the past week.

I had last friday off, as a day to catch up on life, use up birthday gift certificates, and relax…. It’s pretty epic when the biggest decision of your day is what color to have your toes painted! =0)

big decisions my friends, big decisions...

Friday evening, I met up with my lovely ladies, Aspen and Meredith (and BMF, but later in the evening, as work kept him late) for my very first Dave Matthews Band concert! Epic, to say the least. I’ve been a big fan for years, however, for some strange reason…never made it to one of their shows. I was in awe the entire concert, and just LOVED the way the band members feed off each other, and have such awesome stage presence! I love that they have so many different musical instruments, yet they all sound SO perfect together. Not many bands can pull off horns, not many at all…

Dave’s weird jibber-ish talking and awkward facial expressions were also pretty epic (albeit not nearly as awkward/uncomfortable/disturbing as John Meyers… you know what i’m talking about…)

Oh Dave!

Last sunday, after realizing I still had INSANE amounts of zucchini left, I got to work in the kitchen…and created some pretty epic “Zucchini Cookies” adapted from a Carrot Cake Cookie recipe that Miss “Carrots’N’Cake” posted awhile back.

They taste as good as they look!

Yum!

Yummy Zucchini Cookies!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots zucchini
  • 1/2 cup raisins craisens
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.
  3. Use a tablespoon to portion cookies on a greased baking sheet, approximately 1-2 inches apart.
  4. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.
  6. Eat and enjoy!

These were DELICIOUS, brother approved, and even better the next few days!

And now…a little “Janna’s Life is Ridiculous, Volume 48” story time for you all.

Yesterday, I was heading home from work just like normal (only an hour earlier because of the holiday weekend, hollla!) when my car (the same car i had just bragged to my co-worker earlier in the day that “runs so well” and that “i love”) decided to start making this awful high pitched whistle noise. Being very in tune with vehicles, and mechanical issues…I do what any normal person girl would do and safelypull to the side of the road, and turn the car off keep driving and turn my music up over the whistle. Granted, this may not have been the best decision, but I knew that a)i would have no clue what to do had i pulled over anyway and b) i was less than 15mi from home, and a brother that would possibly know what to do.

As I pull into the driveway, I’m greeted with the dogs barking their faces off, and the brother swiftly exiting the front door to see “what the heck that noise is!!!!”. My brother informs me that it sounds like the “blahblahblahblah” is leaking, that “blahblahblahcartalkblahblahblah” and that i should take it in ASAP.

I quickly contact the V-dub dealership, and try to get an appointment for Saturday (today). They inform me that they are booked solid, but that I could drop it off and they could TRY to get me in…but no guarantees. I figure I have nothing to lose, and I NEED a car….so I cancel my normal saturday plans, and pencil in a visit to the ‘ol V-dub dealership. Splendid. After talking to my mom, she advises that should I feel “unsafe” driving, that I call a tow truck, instead.

I therefore decide to take my car for a little spin that evening, to “test” it….and it won’t go. It is sputtering like an old sick donkey.

Lovely. My car dealership is about an hour from home…my mind starts doing the astronomical calculations of what this little trip could potentially cost me, and I immediately break down in tears. I man up and put on my adult pants….and…..call my mom for advice. She says that I should try AAA, and see if they can tow me.

“Are you in a safe place?”, in a soothing southern accent are the words i’m greeted with as I call AAA. “Yes”, I answer with a smile now in my tone. “What can I help you with this evening”. I then go on to tell my sob story, and explain I will need a tow truck in the morning to get me to my appointment. “I’m sorry ma’am, but you will have to call back in the morning…we only do immediate assistance”, “oh, ok!” I answer. I then ask if it will be a problem to take me much further than a normal tow…again “I’m sorry ma’am, but your coverage only covers 5miles of towing, anything after that is $11 a mile”.

Again the imaginary calculator in my head starts going to work but before i can push “equal” she chimes in; “I would suggest you upgrade your membership to the Premium membership, and that will cover up to 200miles”.

I thank her for her assistance, and immediately go online to see how much it is to upgrade.

Can i just say i LOVE AAA? They have always been more than amazing in every situation I’ve needed their assistance (keys locked in car, flat tires, battery, tow). After putting in my information, I’m informed that they do your upgrade at a “prorated” amount, and since my membership is up in November, anyway, my upgrade cost $12.66. amazing.

I get up bright and early, have coffee and get ready to make my tow truck call. Within 45 minutes (and exactly 1:15 minutes before my appointment which is 1hour away) the big AAA tuck rolls up. In a very quiet and not disturbing manner LOUD, disturbing, and likely to induce our house getting egged tonight manner, the car is loaded onto the truck.

Now, as you know if you read the blog, I snap photos of….everything.

while i had my morning coffee, tow truck driver had his morning....cigarette? to each their own, i guess?

I once had to take a taxi by myself from the San Diego airport to a job interview…I quickly surveyed the cab for signs of “you won’t get murdered” and when my eyes grazed the Kashi bar in the center cup holder, my mind was immediately put at ease. I later told my co-worker “he had a Kashi Bar, he seemed legit”. She thinks i’m ridiculous. she may be right.

First things first, I surveyed the Tow-Truck….no Kashi bar in sight. He did have a baggie of candy, and immediately my mind went to “hey kids, want some candy”, but I quickly squelched those thoughts when we began our discussion of peanut butter…once again “he seems legit” went through my head. More on that later…

In preparation for this epic event, (ok, i was seriously nervous for this…SERIOUSLY) I posted a FB question to all of my friends for suggestions of “topics to discuss” with my tow truck driver…i kid you not. I am completely socially awkward, and knew that an hour ride, with a stranger, would likely throw me into sheer panic, if not prepared.

Fortunately (which quickly turned “unfortunately” when he began “i have to pee” (just like a 5 year old!) around 5min from our destination) Mr. Tow truck driverman was a talker. We discussed everything from bad drivers, to pets, to politics, to peanut butter (i kid you not…and no, i did not bring it up! haha). I know about his wife, kids, three dogs and recently deceased cat. We’re basically BFF.

We were around 3 miles in when Mr Tow truck driver noticed that the sun was glaring in my eyes, and I was obviously struggling to find my glasses in my purse. He quickly offers his extra pair of sunglasses to me, and I politely decline (I don’t take things from strangers….or do I?)… he then tries again, and the next thing i know I”M WEARING TOW TRUCK DRIVER SUNGLASSES! seriously? did i seriously take and wear a complete stranger’s (TOW TRUCK DRIVER STRANGER!!!) sunglasses!!????!?

IF you know me at all, you know i am a total germaphobe, and completely terrified of all things dirty (including tow trucks), yet there i was…not even 8:00am and wearing a strangers sunglasses. I blame my lack of sleep, lack of coffee kicking in, and my emotional state for the momentary lapse of judgment. I did, however, get this EPIC gem of a picture (where you can clearly see the glasses, AND up my nose).

well hello there nostrils.

You try taking a picture without your tow-truck driver knowing whats up…not as easy as it sounds, my friends.

Anyway, I made it safe and sound to my dealership, and within a speedy dreadful 5 hours of waiting, el coche was done and i was on the road again!

Wait, did you really think my day would end that smoothly? WHO do you think I am, anyway!?!

Rewind to 10:00 am. After jealously watching person after person go up to the mechanical coffee machine, and watching each one happily walk away with their hot chemical laden sweet sweet cup-a-joe, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I HAD to get some. I walk up to the machine, and stare blankly…so.many.buttons. I finally figure out the “mocha” option, and push “Start”. Moments later the machine stops and I stare, disappointed, at my 1/2 full cup. *hmph* I take the cup and pout the whole walk back to my seat.

Right as I’m sitting down, I hear a loud sputtering noise, and then dripping…not normal faucet dripping though, it was more like a sink’s spray faucet….I turn around and see that the machine was NOT in fact done making my coffee, and was now showering the waiting room with the remainder of my cup-a-joe.

I survey the area, notice that almost everyone is engaged in their reading material/iPhone/etc (except for the guy watching tv, who is snickering…i pretended it was a funny show, but lord knows the only show he was watching was the shit show” – starring Janna going on in the waiting room). Luckily they had dark flooring that my spill did not damage TOO bad, and after a quick wipe down, all was well….

Or so i thought. Right as I was packing up my stuff to go pay for my services, two of the services guys saunter up to the machine and start chit-chatting…i casually listened in: “yeah, it hasn’t worked since this morning, and it has this display message about the overflow drawer” “oh, lets just unplug it and see if it needs to be reset”….meanwhile, i’m sitting there in horror knowing *I* was the cause of the “error”. Epic. Instead of fessing up, i decided to do what i do best, and make a photo op of the situation.

the men, surveying the damage....

still working on it...

It’s no wonder ridiculous things happen to me. with the amount of “sneaky” photos i take, and sarcasm in my daily life, i should be thankful that wearing dirty gross sunglasses is the least of my problems, shouldnt I?

As I walked out to my car, I relayed the entire day to my brother over the phone, and ended with “why were these two days so ridiculous!?!?!” to which he replies “they weren’t, they were just typical Janna days!”. Touché, brother.

In other NOT so epic news, I’ve been sidelined from running for a bit due to some ankle pain I’ve been experiencing! =/ no bueno. I hope to be back SOON, though!

I hope you all have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Weekend!

Janna

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Bikram Running & RPFMP

When I left work today, I was once again greeted with triple digit temps:

nice and toasty!

I did not want a repeat of my Peachy Keen “dehydration monday“, so i decided my run today would be a Treadmill run…I just forgot one small detail.

Brother: (as he walks in from work) “ummmm, do you want me to turn on the air conditioner???”

Me: *gasp* “NO! Bikram *gasp* Running!!!!”

It’s my new thing. It’s going to be BIG….just roll with it!

So let’s talk about my run real quick, shall we? I am pretty sure no treadmill is accurate, but for the sake of making me feel good about myself for a second, let’s pretend they are *spot on* with accuracy! I ran the first 4 miles in a speedy 35:29!!! I then jogged an easy .5mi @ 10min/mi pace, and then walked the last .5 for a total of 5mi/47:48.

Now let’s get to the good stuff! If you’re a new reader, you can read about RPFMP here. First though, I would like to give you a little “imaginary picture” of sorts…

Picture this, if you will:

The brother calls yesterday on his way home from training to tell you that his friend will be coming by to drop some parts for the house boat off….and that he is running late so it would be great if you could help him unload these if he doesn’t make it home in time…”they’re not heavy, just awkward for one person to move”.

Ok, no big deal…easy enough.

Keep in mind, I am in my mid-twenties and my brother is in his mid-thirties (sorry bro, I just outed you!)…so most of his friends are a)sporting the “mid-aged” look, and not well or b) happily married.

Due to these two factors, I saw no need in changing or trying to put myself together…at all.

knockknockknock“. I open the door, fully clad in my yoga pants and Cow-Town marathon shirt (if you were to guess what is covering this shirt, I’m sure you’d be right…COWS) and I immediately want to punch my brother for not warning me. It’s all fun and games until your brother’s “friend” actually turns out to be a)not mid-aged, b) not ugly and c) not married (i did the ring check) and you’re wearing a shirt with cows on it.

I did my best to “play it cool”, but seriously…how cool can you look with a shirt that showcases three cows with race bibs and tennis shoes on it….?

Lovely. Thanks, Brother.

Now that I painted that imaginary picture for you, how about some real photos? Some RPFMP (Random Photos From My Phone), perhaps? Bueno!

Let’s see where we left off…oh yes, the mid-day polka band!

what more would you expect on a Saturday afternoon though, really?

Around 15 minutes after this photo was snapped, I start hearing the oh so familiar “dun nah nah nah nah nah nah” beat and immediately recognize the “Funky Chicken” song being played… I turn around, and see this:

ok, things just got strange....

But then, what more would you expect from a place that stamps your hand with this upon showing your ID at the door:

best.handstamp.ever.

After a brief discussion with my friend Aspen, she tried to convince me that pay phones were obsolete….I had to prove her wrong:

A very classy pay phone/urinal in downtown Sac. Although not functional...they DO still exist!

Some Monkeys, just *monkeying around*…. or something:

oh dear! cover your eyes!

If you know me in real life, you know I have an mild obsession/unhealthy habit….Go-Girls. You can imagine my amusement when I stumbled across this beauty while apartment searching last fall!

i contemplated hijacking this vehicle...it's pink, and probably filled with the magic elixir.

This next one is going to make me seem like a horrible person….but let’s pretend this is a “judgment free zone” for a second and just roll with it:

I know you're probably jealous you don't have a resident bum that hangs out outside of your office building....with his 40 and jar of pickles.

anddddd last but not least:

Off to go wash off my “Bikram Running” stank,

Janna

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Peachy Keen…

It’s funny how something like this:

hot as hades!

Can make your day go from this:

it's all fun and games.....

To this, in a short amount of time:

....until you start sweating your face off.

You know what’s not peachy keen?

  • Deciding Saturday night that you would rather a) sleep in b) shop c) go to the movies instead of getting up early Sunday morning to run (in the cool weather) with Aspen.
  • What else isn’t peachy keen is….deciding to forgo a Monday morning run, with the thought of “doing it after work” running through your head.

When i got off work today, it was a nice and toasty 100*, but I had already put off my run twice, so i knew it *had* to be done.

Also not peachy keen is…

having this beat down on you....

  • feeling like your face is literally sweating off your skull

having your vision impaired from sweat and sun in your eyeballs, and running into this prickly bush!!!!!!

  • running out of water before mile 5
  • starting to see black spots around mile 5, not knowing whether it’s from the mascara you forgot to wash off quickly making it’s way into your eyeballs…..or the beginning signs of severe dehydration.

running in places that look like scary movies should be filmed there...

  • taking so many walk breaks, you lose count
  • having a rabbit pass you at mile 6... not peachy keen.

    You know what *IS* peachy keen?

    • Finishing a run you set out to do, even though basically all odds are against you and you do NOT feel like doing it, not even one bit! Peachy Keen!
    • Feeling FANTASTIC after accomplishing said run you set out to do

    and last but certainly not least….This.Smoothie. This Smoothie is certainly Peachy Keen!

    yumtastic.

    Peachy Keen Power Smoothie

    • 1c Ice
    • 1/2c plain NF yogurt
    • 1/2c unsweetned almond milk
    • 1/2 scoop protein powder
    • 1/2 tbsp xanthan gum (this makes it SO thick!)
    • 1/2 frozen banana
    • 1 small fresh peach

    So, I set out to do 10 miles, thinking “i’ll probably do like 6. it’s so effing hot.”. I ended up finishing with a major negative split. I did the first 7miles in a disappointing 77 minutes, which translates to an 11 minute mile (from all the walk breaks i took). The last 3 miles, however, were finished in…….26:38. That is an 8.79min/mile average for a total of 10.33min/mi average (i actually can’t guarantee this is correct…accountant or not, i suck at math after 10miles!). I am honestly not sure where/how i pulled out those last three miles. It must have been the visions of “Peachy Keen Power Smoothies” dancing through my head, because there really is no other explanation.

    worth every drop of sweat.

    So, what did we learn here today?

    Basically, when you are lazy/selfish and forgo your scheduled (cool) morning run, you will achieve the following:

    • you will sweat like a man
    • you will be passed by animals
    • you will suffer from possible severe dehydration/mascara eyeball poisoning (it really could go either way)
    • you will run into prickly bushes
    • you will probably still finish your run, because even though you flaked momentarily…you are not one to flake on something altogether
    • you will feel better after you get your run(or other exercise) in

    and…………

    • thick ice cold smoothies make everything better.

    I would walk 500 miles for this bad boy....

    I hope you all got something profound and life changing from this post.

    Laaaaata,

    Janna

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    Life is Peachy…Pie

    Anyone else remember that song, “Peaches” by The President’s of the United States of America? Every time I purchase peaches, this song runs through my head (“millions of peaches, peaches for me!”). Thanks a lot 90’s music.  I won’t lie though, my bestie and I  *might* have snuck into her older brother’s room to “borrow” this CD, along with “Bone Thugs N Harmony” in the 6th grade…don’t judge….and don’t act like you didn’t jam to “Crossroads” a time or two in your life.

    After X-Bike today, I decided to put on my big girl pants, ignore the fact that I was a sweaty disaster, and check out the Farmers Market just down the street from my gym that just recently started.  Boy am I glad i packed my big girl pants (and had cash in the pockets!) because this market, although small, was off the hook with good stuff!  Plus, the weather was *perfecto* for a nice cool-down shopping spree after my workout!      

    those kids playing were SO funny...

    just gorgeous out!

    I ended up with some pretty good loot!       

    holla!

    I picked up some sort of funny looking squash in the left corner (the man told me the name, but for the life of me I can’t remember), zucchini, pluots, asian pears (my FAVORITE! they are like a cross between an apple and pear…uber good!), nectarines and PEACHES!      

    come see how good we look!

    The sort of “blemished” asian pear was gifted to me by the nice lady at the booth.  She said that because it had the blemish, no one would buy it so I could have it…for free! Sweet!      

    After my excellente farmers market haul, I arrived home.starving. I quickly chopped up and devoured one of the blemished asian pears (un-pictured), but also threw together a quick and dirty veggie burger sandwich (with laughing cow, pineapple and BBQ sauce), and a white peach!  I’m telling you, adding pineapple  a “burger” to ANYTHING is BOMB!      

    LOVE white peaches!

    also LOVE BBQ sauce, obviously!

    It never fails that half my x-bike class I’m thinking about food (ok, who am i kidding…half my life i’m thinking about food).  Ever since Jenna @ Eat Live Run posted her “Peachy Keen” pie the other day, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  I have no desire to EAT the pie, I just want to make it (is that weird, or what!?!???).  I’ve never made a pie from scratch (isn’t that sad???) and really want to attempt this.  After my major haul at farmers market (which featured many more un-pictured peaches), I knew that this weekend was officially going to be “Life is Peachy-Pie” weekend.      

    As you’ve gathered from the last few weekends, I enjoy baking. I like having a recipe to follow, step by step (which is also how i like life…lists galore!).  I enjoy baking for others,  most of all.  Luckily, my family likes to test my recipes (and take most of the goods off my hands!).  My dad now looks forward to not having to purchase his nightly desserts, and I enjoy people enjoying my efforts.      

    Although I followed Jenna’s recipe for the filling, I went with the tried and trusted crust recipe from my Mom’s cookbook.  She was gifted this cookbook from her Mom when she got married back in 1973.   When we perused the cookbook tonight, we noted that the copyright was 1947! I have no clue what cookbook this even was, since the Cover is clearly missing (and replaced with what I could put money on being *my* handwriting with the word “Cookbook” scribbled across the front!).       

    you can't go wrong with the big green (burnt corner) cookbook! all kinds of awesome can be found in here!

    Clearly excellent meals were produced from this cookbook, as the cover is burnt, the pages are stained with various liquids and some are even torn out…all signs of a well used and loved cookbook, in my opinion (or signs of a frustrated young mother, ripping out pages of failed recipes….it could really go either way).     

    moving on…      

    THE CRUST:      

    The crust recipe called for the following ingredients:      

    2c All Purpose Flour (plus a teeny extra for rolling the dough)      

    1tsp Salt      

    1/2 tbsp sugar      

    1/3c shortening      

    "The Big Green" and all the goods

      You will also need a good/funny movie to have playing in the background:     

      

    our movie of choice. hilarious!

      Step 1: Whisk the flour, salt, and sugar  together in a medium size bowl.     

      

    whisking away, like a pro.

    Step 2: With a pastry blender(a fork will do), cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.    **please use your imagination, as I did not picture this.** 

    Step 3: Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.     

      

    ice cold water!

     **Please note the highlighter on the right…crucial to a nerdy accountant/step follower good baking.**     

      

    Step 4: Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.      

    we are gathered here today, to make a pie.

     Step 5: Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate.     

      

    my mom's first (and only!) "rolling pin". pretty baller, if you ask me!

    the ONLY time i'll ever be "rolling in the dough"

    apparently I was doing it wrong, because before i knew it, the mom was grabbing the makeshift rolling pin from my hands to "show me how". "from the center OUT and NEVER back and forth"... my bad!

      Step 6: Gently scoop up the dough (using a spatula) and quickly place into the pie tin.     

      

    easy does it!

      Step 7: Once dough is placed into the tin, gently shape the dough as desired      

    i learned the "poke and pinch" technique. we're very technical.

     **apparently, according to google, this is actually called “fluting”. i prefer “poke and pinch”, thanks.**    

    Viola!

      Step 8:  Score the dough, in order to allow steam from the pie to escape (ok, so this is technically for the top, but i am not sure why you score the bottom…just do it)     

      

    SCORE!

      Step 9: Cut strips of dough to use after the pie is filled.  You will notice the lack of strips i produced here…and you will see how this was remedied at the end! ;0)      

    humor me and pretend these are even.

    THE FILLING:     

      

    For the filling, I followed Jenna’s recipe almost to a T. I accidentally skipped the fresh lemon juice (even though i made a special grocery store trip JUST for the darn lemons!)      

    The filling called for the following items:      

    3 peaches, sliced      

    1/4 cup sugar      

    1.5 tbsp cornstarch      

    juice of one lemon      

    dash of ground cinnamon      

    Step 1: Pre-heat oven @ 400 degrees, and bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Drop in the peaches and simmer for ten seconds. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and peel back the skin. Rinse each peach under cold running water and then pat dry.      

    I put the peaches directly into cold water after the par boil...it didn't seem to mess things up though!

    the peeling went just peachy!

    Step 2: Slice each peach in half, remove the pit, and then slice.      

    the inside of peaches gross me out.

    Toby doodle offered his assistance. He even washed his paws.

     
     

    sliced to....perfection?

    Step 3: Toss in a bowl with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon and cinnamon. Stir to combine and set aside.      

    sugar

    cinnamon

    goodness

     Step 4: Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork (I did this during the “crust” portion) and then pour the peach filling in the dough. Set aside.      

    things finally starting to come together!

    all up in that biz-ness!

    Step 5: Grab your other hunk of dough from the freezer and roll out. Cut into long ribbons with a pastry cutter (or just a knife) and weave on top of the pie. Cut extra dough off the sides and mush together with your fingers. Weave previously cut strips on top of filling….      

    good thing i'm not a professional pie crust weaver!

    As you may have noted when I cut the strips, I was lacking….Well, friends, what else can you do in a situation like this besides pull out the dino cookie cutter!? and that’s exactly what we did…      

    this pie is now DIN-O-MIIIITE!

    Step 6: Make an egg wash with one yolk and a little warm water and gently brush all over the top of the pie.      

    it's an art, really.

    all egg glazed and shiny!

    into the oven goes the dino-pie!

    Step 7: Bake at 400 degrees for about 34 minutes or until golden.      

    I kept checking because i was just certain I would overcook and ruin it!

    nope, it turned out absolutely perfect (and adorable, i might add!)

    so stinkin cute!

    i would be lying if I said devouring the pie didn't cross my mind!

    But alas, it remained intact when I left my mom’s, another dessert gift for mi padre when I see him mañana…

    I MADE MY FIRST HOMEMADE PIE, and it wasn’t a disaster!!!! I don’t know what has come over me lately, and why I have felt the need (and enjoyed) this whole “being domestic” nonsense…perhaps it’s all part of my quarter life crisis? he he he      

    What have you been baking lately!? Any *must try* recipes to share? 

    I hope you enjoyed this most recent “Recipe by Photos” post! I am off to go dream of pies…and dinosaurs.    

    Later!      

    Janna

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