My Life of Travels and Adventures: September 2013

Race Bib & Medal Holder

26 September 2013

Way back over the summer, it was Kerrie's Birthday.  I searched high and low for the "perfect" present and couldn't find anything just right for her.  Disappointingly, there were no decent broadway shows in Buffalo.  So I got creative (somewhat). 

Kerrie has been running since last fall(ish) and running races since February (Her first race, she came in 3rd in her age group.  My first race, I came in last.)

She ran Broad Street with me, we ran the Buffalo Half Marathon this past May, the Erie County 5k and the Tops 10k.

I wanted something for her to keep her race bibs in and a way to display the race medals.  

Supplies:
* Piece of wood.  I used a 
* Paint - (This is actually paint we used for some of the nursery projects)
* Hooks

I quickly painted two coats green onto the wood one afternoon. 

While the paint was drying, I printed off a template for the words.

  I just used Pages on my computer and played around with the fonts and spacing until it was something that I liked. 

Next, I traced the outline of each letter onto the wood with a pen.  

This left a little indent around each letter.  I then painted in each and every letter.  This took forever.  

Next up was adding the hooks for the bibs and metals.  

These were supposed to be screwed in but I could only get them to go in so far.  

I suppose if I would have predrilled a hole it would have been easier, but I just screwed them as far as I could, then tapped them with a hammer. 


Of course, I tried it out with my race bib and a couple of my metals before wrapping it up for Kerrie. 

I love how it turned out and Kerrie says she loves it.  

It only took her 2 months to realize that I spelt kilometers wrong.  Ooops.  

I have been thinking of making one for myself.... Now that I got all my spelling woopsies out of the way.  
Do you have medals?  How do you display them?


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Fall Wreath and Decor

24 September 2013

This past week, I have been slowly dragging out our fall decorations.  However, I quickly realized that we do not have many fall items but a lot of halloween stuff.  I just can't display jack-o-lanterns and such yet... we are making due with some minor fall decor. 

Our front door needed a fall wreath and since I couldn't find the one I made last year (packed away somewhere among moving boxes still), I quickly made a new fall wreath.
This was so simple.  I just took a few "fall" colored flowers and twisted their stems through the wreath.  
For the hook, I took a roll of this burlap ribbon I had and just twisted it around the wreath.  I secured the ends with some safety pins and called it a day. 
Simple.  No sewing, no glueing... Nothing really. 

The buffet in our kitchen/dining room has been adorned with mini pumpkins galore (and apple candles!)... 
That is the extent of our fall decorating.  


How do you decorate for fall?  When do you start putting out Halloween decorations?  Late- September is too early, right?


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Fitness Friday

20 September 2013

It has been 2 weeks since I posted a fitness update... 


Monday (Sept 9th): 1 Hour Body Pump 
It was cold the remainder of the week and I did nada. 
Sunday: 15.85 mile Bike Ride:  I pulled Reid and the trailer for the first 8.53 miles at a 10.36mph pace.  Neil pulled the second 7.53 miles at a 8.39 pace (into the wind and up a huge hill):  Average pace 9.45mph. 
Monday: 1 Hour Body Pump 
Tuesday: 6.05 mile run with Kerrie. Total time 1:24.  Average Pace 14:01/mi.  I pushed Reid for 2.64 miles then dropped him off back at the house with Neil. 
Wednesday: 1 Hour Body Pump 
Thursday: 2.20 mile run with the stroller.  Total time 29.37  Average Pace: 13:29

Saturday I am running the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon,  Wish me luck!    I am going to need it!  Yay for having to leave the house at 6am!



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Double Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

19 September 2013


This is another recipe post that has been sitting in my drafts for a while.  I have no idea why it has taken me so long to post this.  This was a hit from the get go in our house. 

Ingredients:

1 oreo pie crust
8 - 12 oz chocolate chips
1/4 C cornstarch
1/4 tsp salr
1/2 C sugar
3 C milk
4 large egg yolks
4 bananas
1 C heavy cream
cocoa for dusting

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate chips.

2. In a medium pan, whisk together the cornstarch, salt and sugar.  
3. Add the milk and whisk until fully incorporated.
4.  Whisk in the egg yolks. 
5. Over a medium-low heat, whisking often, bring the mixture to a simmer. 
6.  Continue to simmer, while gently whisking, until the mixture has thickened.
7. Simmer 2 minutes more. 
8. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate. 
9. Pour half the chocolate pudding mixture onto the crust. 
10.  Cut the bananas and layer on the pudding. 

11. Top with the remaining pudding mixture. 
12. Place a peice of plastic wrap directly on the pie and refridgerate for at least 4 hours (up to one day). 
13. Before erving... Use a beater to mix the heavy cream with 2 Tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form. 
14.  Spread the whipped cream over the pie.  
15.  Dust with cocoa


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Finger Paint Frames

17 September 2013

So way back at the beginning of September was Grandparents Day.  Did you remember?  

According to Neil, holidays like this are all made up by Hallmark.  Which probably is somewhat true.  I don't remember Grandparent's Day when I was younger.  So who knows. 

Anyway, about this year's Grandparent's Day...  

I asked Reid what he wanted to do/make for his Grandparents.  Since he is not really talking yet, and had no idea what I was talking about, I decided we would make picture frames.

I found these frames for less that $1.  Score!
  Next up I stripped Reid down and whipped up a batch of Edible Finger Paint, ie: Instant Vanilla Pudding and the fun began.  
Yes, it was messy.
Big shout out to the clean up crew!  Did you see my two helpers in the pictures above?
Reid had a lot of fun with this craft.  Who doesn't love eating while working?
I let these dry overnight, then sprayed them with a glossy clear coat (twice).  
I ordered a few recent pictures of the little guy and loaded them up.  
I almost went with this pouty face picture but decided on an action shot instead!
So there you have it.  Our super simple (and cheap) Grandparent's Day presents. 


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French Toast Casserole

16 September 2013



I love fall! Who doesn't? 

The weather is getting cooler (although 39F at 10am is cold!), the leaves are changing, the kids are back in school.... Ahh, Fall!  Fall also means the end of barbaque season, the days are getting shorter, and crazy hectic schedules...  Ugh, Fall!

With these changing schedules, I always seem to be short on time around dinner.  There is rarely enough time to get dinner prepared and in the stove before Reid has a meltdown which means usually dinner is not ready until well after Neil gets home from work.  So quick and easy recipes become my go to dishes.  

And this French Toast Casserole is no different.  Quick.  Easy.  Tasty.  Perfect!


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C County Crock Spread, melted + a little extra to coat the dish with
  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Loaf French Bread, cut into 1" thick pieces
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 C Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
Directions:

1.  Coat a 9x13 pan with Country Crock Spread.  Be sure to get the corners and edges too. 
2.  Combine the brown sugar and 1/4 C Country Crock Spread
3.  Use the brown sugar mixture to coat the bottom of the dish.  Press to form a firm bottom later.  
4.  Arrange the french bread slices, alternating and overlapping. 
5. In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. 
6. Pour the milk mixture over the bread.  
7.  Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for for at least 3 hours.  This can be refridgerated overnight as well. 
8.  When ready to bake, preheat the over to 350F.  Remove, the casserole from the fridge and let warm on the counter. 
9.  Bake for 35 minutes.  
10.  Enjoy.  

Casserole's are definitely on my fall menu plan...  Especially ones that can be prepared ahead of time!  Great "trick" to save time during those busy evenings.  
If you are looking for more yummy casserole recipes, be sure to check out these Casserole Boards on Pinterest.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

12 September 2013

I made these Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes for a family reunion/party last month.  They were a hit and looked great.  Andplusalso they had a strawberry surprise inside!

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
6 eggs
2 cups butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tsp vanilla
36 strawberries

For the Frosting:
16 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla
4 cups heavy cream
12 strawberries


Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Line cupcake tins with 36 cupcake papers
3. Combine eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.
4. Slowly add the baking powder, flour and sugar
5. Mix until well blended.
6. Fill the cupcakes papers half full. (Do not fill more).
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. Let cool completely.
9. Once the cupcakes have cooled, scoop out the middle.

10.  Insert a strawberry with the top cut off.  (I used frozen strawberries!)

11.  Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and heavy cream until well blended.
12.  Cover each cupcake with frosting.

13.  Top with the slices of the 12 remaining strawberries.

Store in the refrigerator.

Original recipe found here. 

What are you favorite kind of cupcakes?  Fruity or Chocolate?



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