Running, What Makes Me Smile

Running for Donuts

June 1 National Donut Day!! Woo Hoo!!

I knew where I would want to celebrate one of the most yummiest holidays around (move over Thanksgiving). One of my favorite donut shops, Sweet Dozen, located in Sacramento, offers some of the most colorful, fluffy, and creamy donuts.  They have bright purple donuts,  donuts with crunchy cereal on them, donuts with chocolate chips sprinkled all over, donuts with oozing jam. MMMMmmmm….

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Knowing I would consume probably a dozen on my own, I signed up for a virtual race through Moon Joggers to help keep the extra calories at bay. I signed up for the Dash4Donuts race, and you could pick between running a 5k or a 10k. I chose the 10k, knowing I would need the extra miles. The best part is 15% of every entry was donated to Action for Healthy Kids, an organization to make families more aware about healthy choices in schools and at home.

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As a runner who loves the bling, I love that I can go to Moon Joggers and find some crazy themed runs with coordinating medals. They have holiday races like 4th of July and Halloween. Holidays for National (Food) Days like the National Pineapple Day  that takes place this June 27. Races for flamingos, aliens, pets, Jesus!!  Each race benefits a different charity, too. Like Soles 4 Souls, whose mission is to creat sustainable jobs around the world. And organizations like Active Heroes who provide support to military heroes and their families.

Moon Joggers will send you a beautiful medal and race bib to commemorate your run. I was really impressed with the quality of the medal. Now that I know I can earn medals and help out a good cause, I will be doing more virtual races. Stay tuned for more amazing medals and see which charity we will be working to help next.

Crafts, Uncategorized

Easy Knit Shawl

I love knitting.  I learned fairly young and I’m glad my daughter is also picking up the hobby.  The rhythm of each stitch relaxes and calms me. And nothing better than having a finished product made by your own hands.

I bought this yarn by Fierce Fibers on our trip to Portland, Oregon last summer. It works so beautifully and I hope to make another trip to this year to spend more time in the city. It is a hand dyed yarn with a blend of Merino, Cashmere and Sterling.  Check out their bright and colorful yarns Here

I told Vanessa to pick the yarn and I would make her a shawl. The pattern I used was Simple Shawl by Jane at Hedgerow Yarns on Ravelry. I love Ravelry. Always so many fun patterns. CLICK HERE  for the free pattern.

She loves everything I make her and loves to tell her friends when I make her something. She is the hugest blessing in my life and things I make her is a large expression for my love for her.

Here is how the shawl ended up.

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Photo of the Day

Warming Up to Christmas

It was really chilly in Sacramento today making me cold to the core. Bundled with my blankie (yes, I’ve had my blanket since 3rd grade and will never part with it), I decided to watch the Pioneer Woman, my cooking idol and inspiration. She was making enchiladas and instantly I knew what tonight’s dinner was going to be.

I made my own enchiladas with Spanish rice. Nice thing about enchiladas is how you can throw a lot of your favorite in there and it will still be tasty. I might try some olives next time or use green enchilada salsa.

It warmed me up and was the perfect cozy dinner.

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Then, we spent time going over all the books Vanessa purchased at her school book fair this week. We are a big advocate of reading so we were okay with spending a little more. Take a look at her eclectic choices.

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We ended the night watching Christmas Vacation, one of my dad’s favorite Christmas movies. It was really nice watching a Christmas classic with our tree lit up, hearing Vanessa laugh, wrapped in a blanket.

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I’m starting to warm up to Christmas. It was never my favorite holiday and was always stressful, but my perspective changed when I decided to let the little things go and enjoy my time with my family.

Photo of the Day, What Makes Me Smile

Giving Back

My daughter continues to amaze me. She works hard, loves God and has a giving heart.  And I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to give back to so many other amazing kids and to let them know there are others that love them too.

Today we went to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to deliver Girl Scout cookies that the little miss worked hard to donate. The person there to receive the cookies was so lovely. She told us how excited kids are to get the cookies every year and how the little miss should be so proud of herself.

Can’t deny the smile on her face!

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We made another stop today. We delivered 18 birthday bags to the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. Our birthday bags included cake mix, icing, balloons, stickers, crayons, toys. etc.

The receiving home can house up to 80 children, and provides many programs and activities for the children during their stay. We hope these birthday bags will bring joy to each child, and we look forward to more volunteer opportunities here.

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Photo of the Day, Travel, What Makes Me Smile

California’s Gold

Things have been busy and I knew I needed to steal a little time to get away. So after we picked up the little one from her amazing VBS, we headed to the foothills to Coloma.

It’s a town famous for James Marshall finding gold along the river in 1848, and Troublemaker (infamous to Sacramento river rafters). Boasting a population of 529, there is a lot of charm packed into this micro-town. It includes a blacksmith, a post office, a handful of  places to grab food and listen to live music.

After parking, our first destination was the farm-to-fork restaurant, Argonaut Cafe. Our sandwiches were filling and the cookies sweet and warm. It was the perfect place to fuel before we headed for the Monument Trail.

I’m a huge Yelper, and here is a picture of us in the back room of the cafe.

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The Monument Trail leads you to the old jail, the catholic church from 18oos, the cemetery with gravestone markers going back to the time of the Gold Rush (I’m creepy like that), James Marshall’s cabin, and the monument erected in his honor in 1890.

Along the trail, we were greeted with this lovely little sign:

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We definitely kept our eyes out on this quiet trail. We didn’t see any other hikers, so we decided to sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt with the thought it would keep unwanted meetings from occurring.

After the hike, we crossed the Coloma bridge (my family is silly), built in 1915, to grab an ice cream at the Coloma Resort, the place I camped every year as a kid. IMG_0496

After putting our feet in the river to cool down, it was time to come home. It was a quick trip but enjoyable and full of history. Check out Coloma and lose yourself for a little while.

What Makes Me Smile

My Dad

I’m not one to talk about “feelings” and hugs and kisses make me nervous. I’ve never been one to say ‘I Love You’. Not that I don’t feel it, I just struggle to say it. I know my dad knew it, even if I didn’t say it much, but I loved him very much. And each day, I strive to be more like him as a parent, friend, sibling, spouse (one day).

Each passing year has not been made easier that my dad isn’t here to be praised for Father’s Day. I’m not sure it will ever get easier. You just get better at dealing with the pain. But today, on Father’s Day, I reflect on what made him such a great Dad!!

He showed up and participated in all our activities. He was there at every soccer game (even though I was sometimes cranky), every talent show, and every concert recital (where he had to sit through 4th graders on wind instruments). But he was there.  I never had to worry when I looked over in the stands during my rugby games, or the bleachers during band concerts if he would be there.

He wanted us to have great experiences as a family. We were always going on trips, big or small. We would camp, small trips to Solvang, and, of course, DisneyLand. In fact, my parents started taking me to Disneyland when I was a baby. Now it’s in my DNA.

The quality of our home life was important to him. Summers he bbq’d while we swam. Winters we would cut down trees and watch homes movies. When I wanted to redecorate my room, he was there to help me paint all my books shelves in crazy colors. My childhood sometimes feels like a dream.

He didn’t get much time with my daughter, but I know that if he was here, he would still be at all her cheer games, all the talent and fashion shows, and each trip we take to Disneyland.

I miss him a lot still, and I wish I spent more time telling him how much I appreciate everything he did for us.

There are thousands of pictures of my dad being an awesome dad. But I thought I would post some that really conveyed the kind of emotion he had for his kids. He did so much for us and never a complaint. He did it all with his heart.

 

Photo of the Day

Perfect Popsicles

It’s never fun when your kid is sick. Mine was sick with a running fever for 10 days, a sinus and ear infection. It was a long week for her; missing her last week of school and end of the year parties. On top of that, she lost most of her appetite, and foods she usually loves she no longer had the desire to eat.

The other day, as she started to feel better, we headed to the one place that can cheer any kid up (and me) – the Disney Store. We browsed all the new shirts (my closet is full of them), stuffed animals (her bed is full of them), and items I’ve never seen the Disney store carry before (my kitchen will soon be full of them). The kiddo grabbed these adorable Mickey popsicle molds and I knew we had to have them.

We made some popsicles right away with some fruit juice. She still isn’t eating much, but at least I know she’s hydrating.

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