Dirty Dashin'

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Last weekend I was dirtier than I've ever been in my whole life. I'm talking literally dirty, as in I was finding dirt in places I didn't know dirt could go. But it was so. worth. it. My extended McLaws family (dad's side) had a little reunion this weekend, and keeping with McLaws tradition, it was not your run-in-the-mill reunion. When was the last time you got dunked in a pool of mud by your aunt?

My cousin Megan's purple wig looks all clean and shiny in this picture, but I assure you, she was covered in mud in about 3.2 seconds after this was taken. This is the last "mud pool" before the finish line. I'm in the front row second from the right... that shirt I'm wearing was white at the beginning.

We all registered for the Dirty Dash a while back, all being as unsure of what to expect as the next person. This race was a blast, and probably the most "easy going" race I've ever participated in. By "easy going" I don't mean it was easy, because it wasn't, I mean it was NOT competitive, NOT serious in the least, and I was the LEAST anxious I've ever been for a race.

The reason we all look relatively "cleaner" in this picture is because it was mid-race. I don't know why being muddy makes us feel like we have to flex our muscles?

Before the race started you heard a man yelling these sort of phrases over the microphone:

"For those of you stretching at the starting line, yeah, I'm going to make fun of you"
"If you ask me what your time was when you cross the finish line you are stupid"
"Water is overrated. Go drink some chocolate milk and eat donuts!"
"If you are keeping track of your mile splits, you are dumb"

I'm totally serious. I loved it. It was a 10K (6.2 miles) of hills, obstacles courses, and yes, MUD. With that said, I truly think anyone -- a runner or not -- could do this race. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will make sure to dress up and wear the nastiest shoes I can find, because the thought of keeping the shoes you wore in this race is out of the question. You can watch this video for a good idea of what the Dirty Dash really means:

* Both photos taken by my wonderful Grandpa Bob. Thanks Grandpa!

Pinning Away on Pinterest

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is this true, or is this true?? I admit that I am completely obsessed with this "social network." I even think it would be safe to say it's taken the place of facebook-ing and {most} blog-stalking I used to participate in. Even though this quote above is so true, I do give Pinterest a lot of credit for inspiring projects galore. And those recipes I actually have tried? All have been delicious. So I will keep pinning away. Some recent finds:

For a future baby shower I throw // A Shower Baby Shower

Finding inspiration for a paint color in our bedroom (so my whole house isn't gray) // Blue walls

Some day we will have a baby, and if the nursery looked like this I wouldn't mind // Amazing Nursery

Are you drooling yet? // Caramel Brownies

Getting excited for the holidays // Stockings for a Family

An entryway I would die for // Photo Collage wall to disguise the thermostat

So here's to hoping I can find some time in the near future to actually conquer some of these amazing Pinterest projects and recipes. As for now, I should probably just get back to work. Over and out.

PS. The blog got a face-lift! It was way past-due. But do not fret, I will probably be tweaking things here and there till I'm happy with it.

The Superhero in Me is Tired

Friday, September 23, 2011

This is how I'm feeling today. Yes, TIRED. It's been a crazy busy week, and I think I've hit the end of my rope, the cape stopped working, I hit the ground, you get the gist. It hasn't necessarily been a bad week, just one of those weeks where I felt like I got nothing accomplished yet ran around like a chicken with my head cut off. I think we've all been there, haven't we? I'm pumped it's the weekend, but have a sneaking suspicion I won't start Monday morning any more rested than I am now. My tentative weekend plans look a bit like this:

Tonight: Family reunion!
Tomorrow morning: As part of the family reunion, compete in the Dirty Dash -- Bring on 6.2 miles of running through mud and overcoming obstacles. I'm super excited, but also have no clue what to expect!!
Tomorrow afternoon/evening: Try to recover/clean my muddy body in time to hang out with some awesome friends from Texas who are in town!
Sunday: Church, family gathering at Russell's parents, crash
Monday: start all over again.

Is anyone else's superhero-inside-of-them a bit tired? Anyone have plans for some R&R that I can envy?

Seattle et al.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Well our girls weekend came and went as fast as you can say "it's Monday again!" We had a blast doing a whole lot of nothing. And by nothing I mean wandering around the streets of Seattle, stopping to eat whenever we wanted, shopping, getting lost... you know, the usual. I think my favorite part was taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island. What an amazingly beautiful place with the quaintest little shops. It sure was a fun adventure. These are the only two pictures I took the whole weekend... and they were from my phone. Yes. Slap a sticker on my forehead and call me LAME. Oh well, I've got those memories in my head, and you were spared from an over abundance of pictures you probably wouldn't care to see anyway. See? I was just doing you a favor. :)

If you're still reading, I have a few other things to say:

Many of you know or know of my beautiful sister seen in the picture on the right. She's one of my favorite people on this planet and probably the strongest person I know. If you happen to remember, she and her husband could use your prayers. I'm trying to build a praying army, cause prayers work. I know it.

I can NOT get this print out of my head. I feel it is especially appropriate due to my French heritage, no? It means "Choose Joy" and would be a wonderful {and pretty} reminder everyday.

Who else is obsessed with Mumford & Sons? I know I'm not the only one. I can't keep my foot from tapping when those catchy tunes come on my I-pod.

Speaking of my sister's husband, you Utahns out there should come to the Velour tomorrow night to help Fictionist celebrate getting signed by Atlantic Records. We're all pretty pumped, I assure you.

And last but not least, have you ever seen The Sing Off? I watched it last season and was surprisingly into it. Well I am for sure watching this season since I know someone on it! For real! BYU's singing group Vocal Point is in the competition, and a guy I work with is in the group. And I may just know how it ends, but also may not be able to say anything. My lips are sealed.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

My bags are packed

Thursday, September 15, 2011

image via Ruche

... and I'm ready to go! Ok, not quite yet. I most definitely will be racing home from work to throw this-and-that in my suitcase, but I catch a big jet plane this afternoon to Seattle for a much needed break from reality. There's nothing like an old-fashioned girls' trip with my mom and sister. This trip was totally last minute, but when my sister proposed that my mom and I meet her up there (she's going for work) and Russ said we had a voucher that needed to be used, I figured "what the heck?!" Life is for living. We have nothing in particular planned (which sounds amazing) but will most likely be doing lots of eating, shopping and talking. Have a fantastic weekend my friends. See ya on the flip side!

PS. In case you haven't heard yet, go HERE for some exciting news about some guys in a band I know. You wouldn't want to be a stranger in the dark, now would you? (Ha! Get it?)

Trenches to Dig and Berry Tarts to Eat

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How and why do weekends fly by at an alarmingly fast rate?! It's Sunday afternoon and we are trying to soak up any last amount of relaxation we can before another crazy-busy week starts. Today is September 11th, ten years after the day. We are watching memorials and documentaries about the fateful event that changed, well, everything. I am feeling so grateful to be an American. I am grateful for my freedom. I am grateful for opportunities. I started this post wanting to whine about the fact that every spare second we have had as of late has been digging trenches in our yard for sprinklers. And then I thought, "I'm healthy and alive. I am safe. I am lucky to have a yard to dig trenches in."


We are now to the point of covering up all the sprinkler pipes to get ready to spread top soil. That means Russ got the sprinklers to actually sprinkle! Yahoo!!! One step at a time, people. Russ is calling this adventure "one big experiment." And that it is. Yesterday Jace came over to offer some additional manual labor, and he even was lucky enough to see the big black truck come and dump piles and piles of top soil. It's amazing how all men will literally stop what they are doing and stand in awe at a truck. It helped that it was shiny and black, I'm sure.

We did stop and have a bit of fun yesterday. We had some {new and awesome} friends from the neighborhood over for a BBQ, and to watch the BYU football game. Sadly, they lost... by one point. Next time, cougars. 

I was lame enough to get only one picture of the evening -- the dessert. I call this the "End of Summer Berry Tart." Mmm mmm good. I would highly recommend whipping it up, it really was simple and fast.

{The End of Summer Berry Tart}
Adapted from Betty Crocker

10 oz. animal crackers, crushed in a blender or food processer
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 pint blackberries
1 pint raspberries
1/2 strawberry jam
1 Tbsp orange juice

Heat over to 350. In medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, butter, cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp sugar. Press into bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. 

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice on low speed until combined. Add whipping cream and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Spread onto tart crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

Microwave strawberry jam for 30 seconds or until warm. Add orange juice. Drizzle glaze over berries. 


Disguising the Green Stuff

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Russell's parents have an amazing garden that is producing loads and loads of delicious tomatoes and zucchinis. We are some of the lucky beneficiaries of this garden. :) Before this summer I've really only used zucchini to make zucchini bread. I guess you could say I was a novice to zucchinis, so I've started looking for other ways to use this vegetable. Last night I made some yummy waffles for dinner and a after a few bites Russ exclaimed "what are these little green specs??" Mwwahahahaha! Besides the green flecs here and there, he couldn't even tell that I loaded one extremely large zucchini into those waffles. I do love vegetables, but I love them even more when they are disguised in some scrumptious waffles slathered in syrup.

So if you have zucchini's that need to be used or feel the need to disguise some greens in your family's diet, I dare you to try this recipe. Zucchini may become your new favorite food. 

// If you do happen to try this recipe, I ended up adding another 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of flour. The first few I made were a little limp and were asking for some more substance. Just a tip. //

Hello September

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Isn't it ironic how we always want what we can't have? I'm mostly speaking in terms of the weather this time, but I think it would be safe to say that statement applies to many other aspects of life. Anyway, the point is that I am so excited that today brings in September! Queue the autumn weather please!!! While it's been lovely and hot outside, I cannot wait to wear some cozy sweaters and boots. But come next March when we've been inundated with snow for months on end, I know all I will wish for are some 90+ degree days like we've been experiencing as of late. Such is life, I guess. 

With that said, I was browsing the Shade website and was quite smitten with some of their new fall looks. It made me that much more excited that September has come. 

Even though I could stop by the store, for you non Utahns I did happen to see they have free shipping & returns. Pretty sa-weet, don't you think? So what do you guys think? Any items you would add to your wish list? Or am I the only one excited for fall weather? (I'm especially thinking of my friends down in Texas -- you've got to be feeling that fall fever...)