Friday, January 9, 2015

Chocolate Macaroon Cookies

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine (I use solid not soft; either will work)
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (or more) coconut
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

1. Gather your equipment and ingredients including a sheet of waxed or parchment paper.

2. Measure milk, margarine and sugar into a pot.

3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

4. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

5. While it is cooking/boiling, measure oats, coconut, cocoa and vanilla into a bowl.

6. Add ingredients in bowl to pot.

7. Stir until mixed.

8. Drop by teaspoonsful onto waxed or parchment paper (work quickly so mixture doesn't cool too much. If for some reason it seems to dry, stir in a bit of milk.

9. Let cool/dry/harden.

10. Share with friends and family.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 11 01 - Gatineau Fall Classic - Half Marathon Race Report

I was quite happy with my race, finishing in 2:02:06 which was about 10 minutes faster than my September 2013 Army half (which was about 10 minutes faster than my first-ever half in January 2010). While I hadn't vocalized a goal, I had actually hoped to come in under 2 hours, but was really uncertain about how things would play out on the hilly course; in fact, I thought I might be closer to 2:30. The hills didn't seem as steep as up near the cottage so I was able to run up (and down) the hills faster than in training runs. I did a reasonable job of tapering so I felt rested and strong.

I really enjoyed participating in the Another Mother Runner 13.FUN online training program which included some speed work and strength training as well as lots of online support and encouragement in the 13.FUN group on Strava (a running/cycling tracking/social media platform).

The race started at 9:15 from Camp Fortune up in the Gatineau Hills, about 1/2 hour drive from home. As usual, despite waking up at 7:00, I somehow managed to arrive just in time to get myself organized, go to the bathroom and walk down to the start line. I had only had a quick glimpse at the race course elevation profile online and knew it was hilly, but didn't pay attention to actual ups/downs because I didn't want to get psyched out by up hills early or late in the race. It turns out that there was a great downhill start which is a great way to warm up on a chilly day (about 3-5 degrees C, mostly cloudy and somewhat windy). I had 5 short walking breaks at the water stations along the way and had a gel before start as well as 3 along the way. So, I'd say that was a pretty good fueling strategy which left me feeling nice and strong at the end - that the last 2k or more was mostly downhill too certainly helped.

There were bananas (perfectly ripe), trail mix and water at the end which I happily consumed after a quick stop in a clean porta-potty for a pee (maybe too much water before/during race) and to change out of my wet upper layer and put on a hat, scarf, warmer gloves as well as a few extra layers. I had tied my jacket around my waist during the race and my long-sleeved shirt, light gloves, running cap and light tights seemed to be perfect for the weather. I walked an extra km after walking back up to the van from the race finish area in order to fit in my 2k/day daily walking. I did a bit of light stretching at the van then drove back home where I had a shower after my 10 min/day strength exercises then had a nap so I wouldn't be sleepy driving to/from Stefan's 2 hour 9:00 hockey game in Pembroke which is about 1 3/4 hours away. We left home about 6:00 p.m. and got back home at 1:00 a.m. They lost but Stefan had a fantastic goal.

This was my first Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) race series event, but it won't be my last. At $20, the entrance fee for the half-marathon was a real bargain, especially since it gave me 10 percent off in the store when I picked up my bib and I bought some running pants, a sports bra, some gels and some lights so I probably saved close to the entrance fee on my purchases. I didn't mind at all not getting a medal or shirt from the event because I had my 13.FUN completion package to open when I got home which contained a great medal and t-shirt. Maybe I'll be super brave and register for the marathon distance Gatineau Fall Classic race next year.

My food for the few days before the race was so-so although pizza in the car dropping Stefan off for a party last night then a bowl of Raisin Bran (before by 9:00 2k walk) after shopping at Chapters was probably not the most ideal nor were the Halloween candies and chocolate bars at work today. I was quite good about drinking water for 2-3 days before the race so was well hydrated. I could have done better for sleep since Thursday night Stefan had a 9:00 hockey game so it was 11:50 when I was oindg my 10 minutes of daily strength exercises and Friday night my 2k/day walk started at 9:20 p.m. followed by my 10 minutes of exercises at 9:50 p.m. I slept fairly soundly on Thursday night, but woke up a few times on Friday.

I felt good on Sunday morning and ran another half-marathon distance to make sure I reached my 52 km / week goal (and to get 42.2 km in between Oct 30-Nov 2 to earn the Kara Goucher Marathon Challenge Strava badge) but my legs are definitely stiffening up. After stretching after today's run, I tried my first ice bath (not enough ice or cold enough water) followed by an Epsom salts bath (not enough hot water) and am going to do some foam rolling followed by another Epsom salts bath  tonight before heading to bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple Muffins

Apple Muffins

½ cup butter – softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 apples – peeled and finely chopped
1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
Pinch cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time until fluffy.
Mix in chopped apples.
Mix together dry ingredients.
Stir in dry ingredients.
Place in muffin tins.
Bake at 350’ until golden (~20-25 minutes)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

odd-sized photos in Project Life

I have enjoyed watching the first day of Becky's 3-day creativeLIVE class. She has mentioned that she's going to talk about odd-size photos tomorrow. I've been meaning to send in a comment for quite some time now about how I've dealt with my old photos that I haven't yet scanned to get digital versions so I don't want to put any adhesive on them. One option would be adhesive corners - but what I prefer to do it to use an Exacto knife to put 4 short slits into a 6x4 card. I just put pencil dots along each edge about 1/4" from the corner then I simply lined up a metal ruler along the 2 dots for each corner and cut a short straight line. Then I slipped in the photo. I can either put it on a plain one and journal alongside or mount on a more colourful/patterned filler card with no journaling.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Makes Me Me

I am Brenda: a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. | I am a lover of the outdoors: cottaging, camping, hiking, kayaking and more. | I am active: walking weekly with friends and training for my first marathon. | I am a reader: mainly popular novels, but enjoying how bookclub is broadening my literary horizons. | I am a crafter: with way more supplies, ideas and unfinished projects than time. | I am a scrapbooker: digital, paper and some hybrid too; so thankful for a life filled with memories worth keeping. | I am a photographer: more quantity than quality but gradually improving. | I am a stasher: finding it hard to get rid of life's clutter. | I am comfortable in the kitchen: baking and cooking for family and friends. | I am partial to blue: perhaps because of my eyes. | I am a chauffeur: happily driving Heidi, Stefan and their friends about town.

Created using template from Cathy Zielske provided as part of her Clean and Simple workshop at Big Picture Classes and with a few digital elements and paper from the Enjoy Life kit (part of March 2013 Digi Files) by The Cluster Queen (Melissa) whose products are available at Scrap Matters.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Cake

On this cold and blustery night, I had a craving for a childhood favourite. It's very fast and easy to make. We like it best hot; almost right from the oven: A light chocolate cake, with pudding magically beneath.

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp oil

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

1 3/4 boiling water

Mix together flour, soda, cocoa and optional nuts then stir in milk and oil. Spread mixture into a 9x9 pan.

Mix together brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle on top of cake batter.

Pour hot water over batter/topping.

Bake at 350' for 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly.

You can serve with ice cream.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thirteen on the 13th - January

Instead of a 'Twelve on the 12th' series (that I did in 2012), I'm planning
to do a 'Thirteen on the 13th' series for 2013. This was created using
supplies from the Everyday Life digital kit from The Daily Digi that you
receive free for being a subscriber.