#12 Splits on the Right and Left Side

Gross Sweaty Girl Alert!  We’re all human though right?  We sweat when we are working hard.  So here’s a couple of shots of the Splits Challenge on my 30 before 30 list.  I learned that I have to be very warmed up, practically on fire, in order to get a really good stretch.  Man, it used to be so much easier when I was a teenage!  I got the right side pretty good though.  Not too painful 🙂

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The left…OUCH! Even my eyes are closed it’s so bad, haha, just kidding that was just comical timing.  Freddie kept jumping in the photo and trying to lick my sweat, so this was as good as it was going to get.  The left isn’t perfect, but I feel like I made a lot of progress.  At least it looks like a split.  When I started working on this, it looked like I was attempting a dance move gone horrible wrong.  I’ll keep working on it though 🙂

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#27 Have a Food Fight

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I turned this one into somewhat of a game. I got a few kinds of “clean” foods to use, pretzels, red hots, chocolate candies, and cheerios. Yeah it’s probably cheating, but I say it counts! I put a big bowl behind Valerie and one behind me. We had to block the bowl with our bodies and whoever got the most in the bowl was the winner. As you will soon see, this game was mostly ignored and the food was just being thrown. Warning…You may want to watch this video with the sound off because we tethered Freddie to a door and he was very unhappy about that. So the barking/alien noises you hear are his protest and horror to what we were doing 🙂

#29 Start a new family tradition

#29 has been haunting me for almost a year now.  I wanted to start something that I knew I could keep up and that wouldn’t get boring.  Then one day I was volunteering in my daughter’s class and realized a simple thing I could do with her…take her to lunch.  I also had the epiphany that I could do this with my hubby as well and possibly all of us together sometimes.  I know it sounds so “everyday”, but we really don’t eat out often and when we do it’s dinner.  But I think what will make this tradition the most memorable for my girly is that she gets to leave school and go to lunch with mom &/or dad.  I plan on doing this once a month on Tuesday since that is when I volunteer.  Easy peasy and I get more one on one time with my fam.

Today was the start of this tradition.  I hadn’t discussed this new anything with Val.  I though it would be more fun if it was a surprise.  So after I finished all my work and the kids were getting ready to go to lunch I asked her if she would like to go out for lunch and come back after recess.  She was so excited.  I’ve never taken her out of school in the middle of the day for anything except doctor/dental appointments so she was stoked.  Val wanted to go to Wendy’s, and lucky for me there is a Subway in the same lot so I could get a $5 footlong (I was starving!).  We sat and  lunched and chatted, it was so nice.  I told her that I’d like to take her out once a month and that Dad would join us when he was available.  It was like I gave her a puppy :).  I’m so glad she is going to like our new family tradition.

#29 Check

Before I finish though I have to give Valie a shout out.  She is doing so well in school I’m beyond proud of her.  She has earned straight A’s all year, reads at a 5th grade level, and is just the best daughter I could have ever hoped for.  Love her to pieces!  If she ever reads this though she will probably be totally embarrassed, so let’s just keep it between us :).

#30 Invent a New Ice-Cream Flavor

This was definitely the tastiest item on my 30 before 30 list.  To get some inspiration for flavors, my daughter and I set off to Target to browse the grocery aisles.  It wasn’t hard to find things we like, but it was difficult to find unique items that you don’t see in ice-cream all the time.  The first flavor we decide on was doughnut.  Vanilla cake doughnut with chocolate icing to be exact.  And the second flavor (because who can do just one flavor?!) was a combination of maraschino cherries, white chocolate, and toffee.  Now I don’t know if these are “new” flavors, but they are new to us 🙂

The ice-cream base I used was a “no cook” one.  I usually do a cooked base with egg yolks, but I wanted to try out something new.  I looked up some recipes and decide to just wing it.  I found a bunch that didn’t even call for cream!  Milk does not equal ice-cream in my world.  So here’s the variation I used.

1 14 ounce can or sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of milk (I used 1%)

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 Tablespoon of sugar (not sure why, but I saw several recipes with a little added sugar, so I added it too :))

You just put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until incorporated.  Then chill the mixture for at least and hour, or longer if you have time.  I couldn’t wait longer than an hour so that’s when I pulled mine out of the fridge and dumped it in my ice-cream maker.  I have the kitchen aid attachment that I keep frozen and ready to go at all times :).

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Once the vanilla base was ready, I divided the mixture into 2 containers and mixed in the doughnuts, cherries, chocolate, and toffee.  It was still really soft and had to harden up in the freezer.  The waiting is the worst.  Especially for a 9 year old bottomless pit.  Oh what am I saying…I’m the one with the sweet tooth…it’s worse for me.  I cannot confirm or deny licking the ice-cream mixer and not sharing.

100 minutes later (because that’s how long Val’s tumbling class is with commute time),  ta da   ICE-CREAM!!  This one is the doughnut.

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This one is the maraschino cherry, white chocolate, toffee.  We tried to come up with a name for this one and couldn’t agree on anything.  I wanted to call it ValieGirl, but that’s what I want to name pretty much all our inventions.  So that was a no go.  And Val likes crazy names like unicorn butter, go figure.  Maybe we should have combined names and it could be Valie’s Unicorn Butter. Hmmm, I think we’ll have to go back to the drawing board later.

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So the verdict on our ice-cream was that we prefer a cooked base verses a non-cooked base.  The non-cooked just isn’t as smooth, rich, and creamy.  But still tasty if you don’t have all day (or can’t stand waiting).  My fave was the doughnut.  It was so good.  The doughnuts don’t get hard, just firm, and the icing was super fudgey, deliciousness.  Valerie liked the cherry, white chocolate, toffee best.  I knew she would though since she is obsessed with maraschino cherries.  I liked this flavor as well, but I think next time I would go for making a white chocolate ganache and drizzling it in.  That way it doesn’t harden up like the chunks of white chocolate and would stay smoother.

Hope you all have a SWEET day!!

#6 Donate Blood

This Valentine’s Day I not only ate lots of Chocolate, but I also checked #6 off of my 30 before 30 list.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I donated blood!  How very festive of me to give my red sugary blood on Love Day :).  It was actually very spur of the moment.  I was out buying treats with my daughter and mom and we were about to drive by the American Red Cross and suddenly my mom pulls right into the parking lot.  She said I should go see if I can make an appointment.  Ok, what the heck.  I go inside and there is no one in there giving blood, just a bunch of employees.  Of course, because most sane people don’t think about doling out blood instead of candy.  The nice ladies working there told me I could make an appointment or I could just head on in since there was zero wait.  Well, it felt silly to not just do it since I was standing there, so I agreed.

They signed me in, gave me a cute sticker and some reading material.  After I looked over the information about donating, I went into a little cubicle to get my blood pressure checked, a finger prick, and fill out some medical info.  Then I was off to the comfy chair to relax and do a bit of bleeding.

Here I am!  I bet they don’t get many people wanting to photograph their blood donating experience :).

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After I was finished donating my pint of blood I raided the snack and beverage area.  I was quite thirsty after.  I downed a couple bottles of water and some pretzels.  One of the tips for giving blood is to go after you’ve had a meal and are well hydrated.  I had had a giant frozen yogurt and lots of candy right before, I supposed that worked since I felt fine.

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This is me embarrassing my daughter.  Look, I even got a red bandage for Valentine’s Day!

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Giving blood was such a simple and relatively painless task.  I was a tired that evening, but that could have been because I ran 5 miles that day, was out completing errands, and then cooked our traditional Thanksgiving for Valentine’s meal.  Yeah, that was probably the real culprit.

I mentioned that donating blood was on my 30 before 30 list to Miss Nancy who was working at the Red Cross.  She thought I should speak with their PR guy, John, and get some info to share on my blog.  I was very flattered when he actually asked me to write a little article for their newsletter about my experience as a first tome donor.

The next time I donate blood I really like to have company!  So if anyone would like to have a little blood party with me, all are welcome.  Come on you know you want to 🙂

You can visit www.redcrossblood.org for information on where, how, who is eligible to donate.  It really is an easy form of service and you can save up to 3 lives with each donation.

#11 Grind Wheat & Make Bread

I checked #11 off my list the other day.  I’m getting close to the big 3-0 so I better make a plan of attack so I can make sure all my items get done!  I think I may try #6 (donate blood) and #30 (invent a new ice cream flavor) in the next few days.

Sunday was cold and snowy, perfect day to spend in the kitchen.  I’ve been looking at the wheat grinder my mother in law gave me for a couple of years now.  I guess I was waiting for it to come alive and make me some bread :).  But alas, it never did, so I suppose I better chop to it.

Here it is all shiny and new.

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And here’s my big ol’ bucket of wheat.

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Hmmmm, so that’s what wheat looks like.  I can’t be the only person who hasn’t ever seen actual wheat up close before, right?

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The process of grinding wheat was super easy.  Now I feel dumb for never doing it before.  You pretty much just plugged in the machine, filled it up, and turned it on.  Then after a great deal of noise…ta da, wheat flour!

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I decided to try out my favorite artisan bread recipe with the flour.  Here it is rising 🙂

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And here is the final product.  Crusty whole wheat bread.  This one did end a bit more dense than I like so I’ll have to play around with the recipe, but it was pretty tasty.

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#11, check!

#18 Try Zumba

The item I chose to check off my 30 before 30 list yesterday was #18, Try Zumba!  Let me just say that it was nothing at all what I expected.

I decide to do Body Pump before Zumba since they were back to back and I was feeling particularly motived.  So as I’m putting away my Body Pump gear I look over and tons of people just start pouring into the studio.  Ok, Zumba is popular, good sign.  I picked the second to the back row, it seemed safe enough.  There were probably 50-60 people there!

The instructor gets up on the elevated platform thing and the music starts.  OMG everyone starts getting their groove on to this choreographed dance!  It was simple enough but I was still surprised.  Lots of people were also wooing and whistling and really getting into it.  Out of comfort zone, check.

Now lets talk about the demographic.  There were lots of retired aged ladies and gentlemen, younger women, teens (male and female), and plenty of middle agers as well.  It was so diverse, awesome!

The thing that I couldn’t get over were the type of moves in all the dances.  I guess I should have expected it to be very salsa like, but the booty shaking I was not prepared for.  I also could not believe how much rhythm some of these people had.  The 65 year old grandmas were completely awesome.  I was totally out of my league.  My butt just doesn’t do the things they were telling me to do apparently.

Overall opinion of Zumba, it was fun to try.  Will I be returning?  Not anytime soon :).  Was it a good workout? Not really for me.  I am too inhibited to really let my inner salsa girl loose in a big crowd.  But I can now check that off my list and say that I at least tried!

#1 Spend a Day Relaxing in PJ’s

About a month ago I accidentally completed #1 on my 30 before 30 list.  I wasn’t planning on staying my my jammies all day, it just sort of happened :).  It was a frigid, gloomy Sunday and the tv was calling my name.  I probably should have been running or cleaning or something, but I didn’t.  I did however take a break from tv in order to shower.  But I realized it was already 6pm!  So I just put my PJ’s back on, heated up leftovers and continued with my tv marathon.  There was also some book reading and homework helping.  I think my family thought I was ill, haha.  But my daughter definitely enjoyed hanging out with me on the couch all day.  #1 Check!

My birthday is 33 days away!  Oh my, I better check another one off today.  Maybe #18, or#11, ooo #30 sounds good.  I’ll let you know what I decided to do tomorrow.  But now I need to get my butt up and go for a run.  The Superbowl was actually just the Snackbowl to me.  I don’t do football at all, but I do snack…it’s one of my favorite pastimes.

#13 Take Family Out For Breakfast

Today and Monday I’m checking off #13 on my 30 before 30 list.  I decided to split this one into two so I could spend quality time alone with both my hubby and my girly.  The unfortunate part of taking my daughter to breakfast this morning is that she’s sick.  But I couldn’t think of a better way to cheer her up than to stop for a treat.  This is seriously the first time ever we’ve stopped for breakfast besides when we’re on vacation.  I think this is because we aren’t a family of early risers and I’m just cheap :).

Now I’m off to burn off that breakfast food.  3 miles and cleaning the house ought to do it.  Oh wait…I had a biscuit too…dang it…better add a few more miles, ugh.