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Category: My Girls (page 1 of 2)

social sugar cookies

my daughter just celebrated her 13th birthday and i wanted to make some special cookies for her party. i was thinking sugar cookies because they seem easy enough, but i also wanted to make them a little more tailored to her social generation, so i started with the idea of making instagram logo sugar cookies. she’s always on instagram by the way. of course, pinterest would have lots of good stuff on this topic so i found 2 really good recipes, one for the sugar cookie dough, and one for the frosting.

first, the dough. this recipe is really good.
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/06/basic-sugar-cookie-recipe-2/
it’s easy to make, and i made it all without a mixer (i’m a man and don’t own a mixer, lol). i just whisked it all together. i went with 1tsp of almond extract and 1tsp of vanilla extract for the flavoring. on my test batch, i used 2tsp of almond extract and the kids said it was too much.

i was able to use the top of a tea can (square can) to cut out the cookies for the instagram cookies. with it being square, i also decided to make facebook cookies too. my daughter also loves pinterest so i made some round cookies for that as well.

now, the icing. this icing is so delicious.
http://canterburybee.blogspot.com/2011/04/secret-to-decorating-cookies.html
the cream cheese totally makes this. just basic food coloring to get my colors (brown, blue, red, and the original white).

the square cookies cooling…

square sugar cookiesfor the instagram cookies, i used a mini oreo for the lens part

mini oreo

without going into too many details, i mixed the colors and used a plastic bottle for the white icing, for drawing the “f” and “p”. the other icing was just spread on with a plastic knife.

when it was all said and done, here’s the final product, instagram, facebook, and pinterest sugar cookies!

instagram facebook pinterest sugar cookiesi cut some tootsie rolls for the little eye viewer part of the instagram cookie. i also found some sour rainbow looking things at the dollar store which worked perfectly as well.

my mom also made some delicious cupcakes and a custom nail polish cake! i’ve watched her bake and make cakes for over 30 years now, she’s still got it!

cupcakesnail polish cake

bumps in the road

i’ve so neglected my blog…but it’s ok. it’s more of reminder of the journey i am on…a journey that includes running and diet. but no journey is complete without a few bumps in the road. recently, i’ve had a few.

bump #1 – my first kidney stone. yes, i found out towards the end of july i have a 1-2mm kidney stone on my left side. it kind of explains a lot. that pain on my lower left side wasn’t my back as i had thought. i had herniated a disk on that side many years ago and it is always problematic, so i just assumed i was having back problems. after pissing a little blood and a few doctors visits, which included a CT scan, it was confirmed i have a stone. since it’s really small, not too much to worry about, just need to make changes in my diet to avoid the formation of more stones, and drink plenty of water, which is easy because i already drink a lot of water.

bump #2 – gallstones. with my family history (on my mom’s side), the doctor ordered a gall bladder ultrasound just to ‘check things out’. turns out i have gallstones too! luckily, i’ve never had any pain at all regarding this. the surgeon said he’d remove it whenever i’d like, but since i have never had an issue, i’m going to wait. for now, more changes to the diet and some foods to avoid.

minor bump – blood sugar is a little high. no surprise there, the damn family has lots of diabetics. but on a good note, my cholesterol levels are friggin great! gotta avoid the sugars from here on out.

so i feel like i can run for a few miles, and feel awesome, but can’t out run my genetics 🙂

with all this going on, i’ve begun to follow (loosely) a new diet, a low oxalate diet. i didn’t pee out any stones, but my guess, and the odds are, that the kidney stones are oxalate formed, hence the low oxalate diet. no more nuts, beans, chocolate, and other high oxalate foods. but as i said, it’s been loosely followed to ‘ease’ my way into it. there’s lots of great resources for this diet and some great recipes as well. once i get a little more into it, i’ll share a few recipes and favorite sites.

this may have hindered my running for awhile, but i’m back at it and enjoying this fall running weather! ttfn!

the graffiti run – fresno, california

the graffiti runthe daughter and i had a blast!

nice morning run

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i’ve been a little…ummm…lazy lately. cold weather and early morning runs haven’t been on the agenda like they should. that being said i was overdue for a run this weekend and my lovely daughter joined me 🙂 she kicked out 3 miles with me and it was such a peaceful run too. here’s to more great runs!

it’s been a minute!!

bless me blog for i have sinned, it’s been 2 weeks since my last post…ok, sorry to get all ‘holy’ on you 🙂 but it has been a minute…so what’s new?!

i’m still running, so i’m happy to report that. i’m typically doing three 3-mile runs per week and have been trying to throw another day of about a 20-30 minutes indoor workout routine. on that note, i totally love having a darigold refuel after a workout.

darigold refuel

darigold refuel

it really is so damn good tasting! i think i workout or run just to justify having one! 🙂

with the holidays around the corner, things have been a little busy. been looking at the holiday schedule and trying to plan some extra time with the kids during that winter break. maybe we can go somewhere or visit some place new…i always like to explore a new area.

my next 5k got postponed till february so i need to find another one before the end of the year. for now, i’ll keep running.

to change the subject a bit, i’m kinda / sorta becoming a bigger nerd than i thought i could be haha. my co-worker has turned me onto these poster / pop-culture / prints from a few sites. i’ve been ‘perusing’ for a couple of months now and have recently seen a few prints i liked. i ordered my first 2 posters last week 🙂

i ordered ‘they keep calling me’ by joshua andrew belangerorder online here – which pays homage to the movie “the crow”. i think it’s totally badass!

They Keep Calling Me by Joshua Andrew Belanger

They Keep Calling Me by Joshua Andrew Belanger

i can’t wait to frame this…i’ll post pics of this print once i receive it and have it framed 🙂

first 5k down!

skechers go run ride

my skechers go run ride with LED lights 🙂

i completed my first 5k and it was awesome! i’m so glad my 11 year-old daughter got to experience it with me as well, it was her first official 5k too. we participated in the neon city run which was held in porterville, with proceeds going to valley childrens hospital. here’s how it went…

race time was set for 7:30pm, and being that the event was about a 35 minute drive for us, we took our time getting ready and prepped. my daughter was a little nervous it seemed but i reminded her it was a charity event and not a competition event. i had a feeling that once we got started, being surrounded by other people running would bring out that competitive nature that we all have anyways.

we got on our shirts and shoes and took a few pics 🙂

skechers go run ride

running shoes

daddy daughter first 5k

first 5k together!

we packed up some powerades, clif kid zbars, some nature’s bakery fig bars for me and headed out.

when we got there, it started to cool down quickly. the weather was changing and although rain wasn’t in sight for us, the wind was kicking up (the wind would kick up during the run, more on that later). they also had done a great job with the event as well. there were bleachers for sitting, a dj and some pre-warmup zumba-style routines being done on stage, vendors with food, and plenty of people sporting their neon colors and glow-in-the-dark wear!

race time was a few minutes away so we started getting our glow on!

glow in the dark sticks tucked into our shoes

glow in the dark sticks tucked into our shoes

my other daughter supporting us with LED hair attachments

my other daughter supporting us with LED hair attachments

ready for the neon city run 5k

ready for the neon city run 5k

the race start time was delayed about 15 minutes due to the amount of people still getting there and registering. at 7:45pm, we hit the ground running!

we were right at the tape at the beginning when they released us. my daughter hit it at a pace faster than what we usually run at. i think the excitement and the people all around us made her hit it strong. i could see her pulling ahead of me right from the start, maybe 20-30 yards ahead of me. i was concerned she would burn out fast since during our practice runs, she always needs to stop about the 2 mile mark for a little walk break. but she would prove me wrong…

our first turn would place us running directly against the wind. i learned from the news that evening that winds were in the range of 20-30 miles per hour. believe me, we felt it, and it dried my mouth out so quickly. i was starting to feel thirsty already! and the terrain had quickly changed from asphalt road to some rocky and jagged path, against the wind mind you. by then my daughter had slowed to my pace, which was already faster than my normal start pace, but against the wind and that terrain, i was thinking we were going to get gassed. i looked over at my glowing daughter and reminded her to watch her footing and that the best thing about this wind was that it would be at our backs during the end.

people began dropping off by around the 2k mark (i’m estimating as i didn’t set my gps app for timing). we were still going and although i was thirsty, my legs and body weren’t tired. the cool thing was that every k or so, they had groups of people at a ‘station’ handing out additional glow-in-the-dark lights that you could grab as you passed by. they would cheer so loud as the people ran by. it was crazy that their cheering sort of took away any tired feeling i was having and it seemed to re-energize me…it really was something to feel that excitement and push hard as it just re-fueled you.

about the half-way mark, they had a water station and it was perfect timing. we grabbed a bottle of water as we zipped by. we found out quickly that it’s damn hard to drink and run at the same time, haha! i was dropping water all over my shirt and shorts but it was enough to quench me.

let me backtrack a bit. a movie i really like is drumline. i bought it on dvd many years ago. i like music and drumline was always a cool movie to me, especially that final scene with the drum-off battle. earlier that morning i was flipping through channels and it was on so i was watching it that day, for maybe the 50th time.

ok, fast forward, our turn to where the wind is now at our backs, is lined with a band drum line. these guys are busting out some drums and it’s freaking electric to me! i start into some, what i can only explain as a groove-run. i’m feeling it. i’m re-energized once again and ready to rock n roll!

we’re moving forward, pushing, and by now i can feel that the quick pace we started at is starting to wear us down. i look at my daughter, who is right at my side this whole time, and ask her how’s she’s doing. she says her side is starting to hurt and her throat as well. the air was cold and i know her tonsils do bother her from time to time. i remind her to breath through her nose so that the cold air isn’t hitting her throat directly. she doesn’t want to stop either. so we keep pushing through the dimly lit trail, which by now is desolate. nobody has passed us at this point. we can see a few runners glowing up ahead, but it’s quiet and dark as we keep running through the night.

it’s the last station before the finish. i’m assuming it’s the 4k mark. we can see it glowing as we approach it. i can hear the music…”don’t stop believing”…ahh yes…journey!! people cheering “you’re almost there, keep going!” once again, i’m feeling good! we’re almost to the main road to where we started and i tell my daughter that that should be the final turn as we head back towards where we started. we hit that final turn for the home stretch…

the hard-seasoned runners are hitting it hard that final k. a few pass us. we’re maybe 250 yards away. i glance over at my daughter and say “you got anything left in the tank?” she says “yeah dad” and starts into a sprint. i’m super impressed! i give it all i got as well…and she’s still pulling away from me! and she’s the one who always wants to take a break at the 2 mile mark during our training?!? i was so proud of her!

completed: first official 5k

completed: first official 5k

we cross the finish line and our first official 5k is done. such a great feeling. more importantly, my daughter had a great time. i had a great time just experiencing this whole event with her. she looked over at me and thanked me for everything…proud moment.

back to school

school 2013

another weekend with the girls and it was a doozy! doozy = $$$ 🙂 they start school in a little over a week so we went shopping for clothes. i think it took us a little over 2 hours to get everything, which i think is good time…although i wouldn’t know since it takes me 5-10 minutes to find something when i shop HAHA! i know it was a long time cuz my feet were hurting. but as we’re checking out and the lady is ringing up the clothes one by one, my middle daughter is watching the total amount grow…she lovingly pats me on the back and says “sorry dad”. LOL!

what made the pain easily go away this weekend is the realization that football is starting!! go 49ers!

running with the daughter

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i always run by myself, but today my daughter joined me for a 2 mile journey. she ran track here in visalia, competing in the 800 and 1600, so she is no stranger to running. it was really cool to have her go with me, as we chatted a bit and shared a few laughs along the way….so simple yet priceless for me.

hugs

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an unexpected hug is always something to be grateful for

santa cruz beach boardwalk

my girls and i spent last weekend in santa cruz, as an early birthday party/gift for my youngest daughter. a first time there for them and they had a blast!

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it had been many years since i had been there, but i always remember the giant dipper and the loggers revenge. those two rides just made an impression on me as a young kid and i’m glad my kids got to experience them and enjoy them as much as i did. i remember my dad riding the rides with me, especially the loggers revenge. being as he passed last year, it brought back some good memories just being at the boardwalk again.

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the day was beautifully clear and warm. we couldn’t have asked for more so we spent all day enjoying every thing we could at the boardwalk.

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the chocolate covered bacon at marini’s was a hit. the kids had seen an episode on some food show about this place at the boardwalk. they had seen it like a week prior to us visiting so this was a MUST in their minds. they headed straight for the chocolate covered bacon, so of course, we had to dig in and try it!

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my younger two attempted to conquer the climbing wall. the height proved a little more difficult to overcome, but i gotta give it to them for trying!

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of course we spent a little time on the beach too. they kids buried each other…that’s not really her feet in the picture above, it’s where we stuck the shoes, she wanted to appear all short 🙂

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the drive back the next day was horrible but we made the best of it. we stopped at the casa de fruta and loaded up on some sweets. we hung out for a bit before heading back to the valley heat.

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our final stop for dinner was at zamora’s in fresno for some bomb mexican food. this place really is pretty darn good!

great weekend with my kids and hopefully we made some memorable moments for them.

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