Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa's helpers!

Hey guys!

It is getting crazy busy trying to get everything ready for our trip on Wednesday but I wanted to share my cakepops with you!

I'm invited to one of my best friend's annual Christmas party tonight so I thought I'd whip up something sweet. I originally set out to make milk chocolate turtle fudge, but after three failed attempts [which I'll tell you about in another post!] I let the scorched chocolate win and moved on to these cutie pies pops!


Aren't they sweet?!

I followed Bakerella's cakepop instructions and had a really fun time making them :)

This will probably be my last post before we travel to Florida so hopefully I'll be able to post from down south!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The cutest, bestest, cupcake giveaway!

Running Cupcake!


 Could this be more perfect? It represents my two all time favorite things! Cupcakes + Running!



Rad Runner is hosting a super duper awesome giveaway! If I sound giddy and excited it's because I really am! I just can't get over how great this little guy is!

And if you think he's cute, check out the rest of Blame the Moon's amazing art!

So, as much as I want this guy I thought you should all have a shot at winning him too! Enter here!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Let the holidays begin!

Hey guys!

12am last night I dropped my final paper in my department's mailbox and officially finished my first semester of graduate studies! It was a scary and stressful semester but I made it through! Now I can finally relax and start enjoying the holiday season, there is lots of baking and boring treadmill crisp morning runs to be had! Not to mention Hughie and I will be leaving for Florida on the 22nd to visit my parents! I'm looking forward to getting a little sun in the dead of winter :)

Garlic
The last time we talked I had a bit of a crisis on my hands, an abundance of garlic. So I took Small Town Girl's advice and cooked up some 20 clove garlic! It.was.amazing.

I some how lost half of the pictures I took while cooking so you can enjoy the visual stimulation of spices in a bowl and a pan full-o-buttah!



Who doesn't like admiring butter anyways?

You can find the recipe I used here!

And since we're on the topic of butter...



I made these red velvet cupcakes for a university potluck and they are YUMMY!

Oh...helloo.

I followed the recipe from Cook's Illustrated and added a couple extra Tbsp of Cocoa.

What are you up to during the holidays?

Alanna

Friday, November 26, 2010

Garlic Crisis.

CSN Stores

After winning a CSN giveaway over at Everyday Foodie I've been trying to decide what the heck I should use my gift code on! These guys sell everything, and I mean everything! From sling backpacks, furniture, home decor, to kitchen supplies! I think I'm going to use it towards some sort of kitchen utensil but I can't decide. What do you think I should use my CSN win on?

[It's not all about me, I'm hoping to be able to offer you guys a giveaway soon too!]

Moving on...

Friends,
I need your help! You see, I eat a lot of garlic, so when I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago and noticed they had large garlic braids I threw one in my cart full of excitement and continued on my way.

Well, it turns out I don't eat as much garlic as I though I did and I still have the full braid sans one head.

So, what I need from you guys is your best 'chock-full-o-garlic' recipes, and I'll do my best to document them on the blog! I'll try anything, aside from red meat [except for bacon, mmm bacon].  

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! [even though I'm a day late]
And, if you're heading into that Black Friday madness, be safe!

Alanna
 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Folklore

I've mentioned on the blog before that I'm completing my Masters in Folklore, and recently I was assigned to complete a photographic essay for one of my classes. The only restriction was that it had to be something of interest to folklorists, of course the foodie in me took over.

Being in part a foodie blog I thought I'd share it with you guys, however, I'm going to leave out the captions that I included in the course essay.

Since I can remember my father has been baking tea buns using the same recipe that my great grandmother created herself when she was first married, it's a simple and comforting recipe and one I intend to recreate throughout my life as well.

Do you have any recipes that have been passed down in your family?

Side note: My wonderful boyfriend Hughie let me use his DLSR and helped me with the technical stuff :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Hi bloggy bloggers!

If there is something you should know about me it might be that I ADORE Halloween!
I enjoy the whole month of October... wearing tights, crisp air, red and orange leaves, horror film reruns, pumpkins, and little dead running around!
I usually go out of my way to make a fun costume but the last couple of years have been so busy with my final undergrad year and now my first Masters semester that I haven't had a chance to plan anything.
Although I may not get to dress up this Halloween and spend some time with friends I do plan on celebrating, I'm planning a spooky themed Halloween dinner for Hughie and I!
The menu is coming along and I'll be sure to photograph the festivities and share it with you guys!

Halloween '09




I haven't had much time to do anything lately but school work, however, I did take some time last week to bake up some cupcakes for my departments Folklore society bakesale, these bad boys are likely to induce intense sugar rush!

German Chocolate with Vanilla Butter cream
 Have you been baking any spooky treats? What are your plans for Halloween?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Entering a new phase.

Friends,

It has been a while and I've completely neglected you, don't give up on me yet :)

I've just started my Masters graduate program and I have a knot in my stomach that doesn't seem like it's going anywhere soon. It's exciting and completely nerve wrecking all the same.

Once I get organized and ease into things a little more I hope to start blogging regularly again.

My running has suffered a little as well but I managed to get in a quick two miles this morning (still on restricted distance due to injury) and hopefully I can't get back to running regularly ASAP.

For now I'll leave you with the cake I baked for Hughie's birthday, which is today!
He deserves the very best in everything, but for now he'll have to settle for a silly birthday cake and lots of hugs and kisses :)

Take care,

Alanna

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vacation!

Well hellloooo!
First!
[Geek Turned Athlete] is having a Silver Maple GIVEAWAY!
Geek Turned Athlete is one of my favorite blogs, she never fails to impress me with her seemingly endless energy and determination! and now she is hosting an awesome giveaway! Check it out here!

Yesterday marked my last day of work for the summer before I start my Masters program in September, it feels great to have two and a half weeks of me time before I jump into the next two years of my life. I don't think I've mentioned it oh the blog but I've worked in a Folklore archive for the past two years. I spend my days researching and listening to old interviews with interesting people.

I still use a switch board, sadly not for phone calls

It took a while getting used to all the equipment, but I love it

On the training front

I've been cycling up a storm, indoors. I'm a wuss and there are no bike lanes in my city [they are currently being implemented however] so I don't like to ride without my cycling bodyguard Hughie, enter Indoor Trainer.

Cycle Tacx
I bought this second hand for an obscenely great price and and thrilled with it! It took some tinkering with but I got it all set up and ready to go!

I had to change out my back wheel, I had recently put on some thicker tires so I could do some unpaved trails without blowing out a tire or falling to my death :) So I had to take off the back tire and put my skinny road tire back on.

Bike dirt
There is something about working on my bike and getting dirty that I love, it makes me feel accomplished, even if I don't know what I'm doing!

The trainer itself is a little loud once I really get going but it's smooth and I love it! hip hip hooray!

Hughie is doing a 90km ride for the provincial lung association today as we speak! Quite the endeavor, I'll be going to meet him at the finish line later today but first I'm going to watch 'Julie and Julia' (finally!) and bake some cookies to surprise the mister with at the finish.

Tomorrow we are going to a Blueberry Festival! There is going to be a 3ft pie along with a pie eating contest, think I could win!?

Until next time,

Alanna

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A runners body.

Hi guys!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend, and if you've participated in a race/event I hope you're having an extra relaxing weekend :)

While I was hanging out today with a friend I was reading through some of my running magazines I hadn't got a chance to really read since I bought them a few weeks ago and I was amazed at how many articles there were on weight loss. While I understand that us runners have to be fit and healthy to do what we do; and many new runners start running for weight loss, I am surprised at the great emphasis that is put on being thin.


Making sense?

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, we don't all look like Kara Goucher that's for sure but I see it all the time around the blog world, women striving for that "runners body", what does that even mean?

I'm not a size two, I'm not 115 pounds, but in a race I've beat the pants of girls who were.

Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not insulting anyone who is either or those things, I'd probably have a much easier time finding jeans if I were a size two! All I'm saying is that we are all different.

Don't strive for a runners body, strive to run an extra mile, or a negative split or a PB and take the body that that goal gives you.

I've had several friends who have achieved great weight loss goals and still constantly beat themselves up about an extra few pounds that they can't shed or the fact that they just can't change what their mama gave them, instead of focusing on how far they've come and what that body of theirs has achieved.

I'm not skinny, I'm not fat, but I am strong. I take great pride in knowing that my "thick" legs and my booty will take me where I want to go, including across that finish line.

I know this is a little out of character for my blog but I felt slightly inspired to comment on the subject. Our bodies are amazing, and they are all different, take pride in what they can do first and foremost.

and on that note, I love this Nike campaign.

Until next time,

Alanna

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two weeks today.

Hi guys!

Today marks the two week mark, two weeks since I was told I had a stress fracture and couldn't run for at least two weeks. This morning I was dead set on running this evening, just one mile, starting from scratch. But, after talking with Hughie briefly on the way to work I've decided to take a few more days off, he made the important point of just how much worse I would feel if I hurt myself further and had to take even more time off.

So, we wait just a bit longer.

I have been having a really hard time this past two weeks without running, I knew it was going to be rough but my whole mood has changed, I'm sluggish and a little down without my nightly run to look forward to. Yesterday was the Tely 10 race that I had to drop, the weather was great, record numbers registered and I missed all the fun. Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotion, I felt completely off the entire day, I just couldn't shake it. It's fascinating how much one can truly take for granted something that means so much to them. There were days pre-injury the very last thing I wanted to think about doing was running and now all I think about and want to do is run... humph.

Don't think I've been shut in and sulking for the past two weeks however!

I took another cycling day trip to Bell Island and didn't get rained out! It was a great day riding in the sun!

I bought a bicycle trainer! and a Garmin bike sensor! Now I can bring my cycling inside when the weather turns and hopefully build my endurance.

and the highlight of the past couple weeks, Sea Kayaking!

This past Saturday Hughie and I and 8 of our friends set sail with a tour group in two man kayaks!

Our friend Will captured the excitement!


Cute Starfish!


A map of our journey!
Thousands of Mussels! Not actually from our kayaking trip, but another adventure to Flat Rock recently.
Hughie has a lot of great pictures from the Kayaking trip that I'll share with you when he uploads them and so on. I had such a great time, I was completely comfortable out on the water except for a small incident with a cave which Hughie will never let me forget... I may be slightly claustophobic. hehe!

That's all for now, I have some products that I'm going to review for you asap!

Stay tuned,

Alanna

Monday, July 12, 2010

It could be worse.

Hi Guys!

Well, last time I mentioned that I was having foot troubles and was worried about possibly having a stress fracture. I went to my doctor this morning and after a jumble of different physical tests I got some good and bad news.

The Bad: It is a stress fracture.
The Good: It is a minor stress fracture.

I was told that I can't run, at least for a couple weeks and then I have to build up from a mile or two, at a slow pace. It was hard to hear, especially two weeks before my Tely 10 race and some smaller races that I had wanted to participate in.

I was having a lot of doubts about the race coming up so soon but I still had it in the back of my mind that I was going to get out and do it, now I have no choice but to drop it.

I'm definitely suffering from mild injury depression today but I'm looking on the bright side, this will give me a chance to work on my cycling :)

My doctor said I was really lucky I stopped running when I noticed the pain because it could have been a lot worse! So, lucky me!

At least it was a great weekend.

Saturday my friend Robyn and I spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and the park! Even with sunscreen on I acquired a little sunburn but I'm taking care of it.


Yesterday Hughie and I decided to go on bit of an adventure, to Bell Island. Bell Island is a small Island located off the coast of Conception Bay, about a 20 minute drive and 20 minute Ferry ride away from my house. It was a beautiful day so we loaded up our bikes on Hughie's new car bike rack and off we went.

Without a car (and just our bikes) it was only $1.75 for each of us to go to and from the Island on the Ferry, what a cheap adventure!

We boarded the Beaumont Hamel Ferry and set sail!

I hadn't been on a large boat in quite some time, it was exciting! Our bikes enjoyed the ride too.


One end of the Island in the distance!


The bad news is when we got over there our beautiful day turned to pouring rain. We ran from the Ferry to the local Fish and Chips place and ordered some dinner and waited to dry off. Needless to say we didn't get any cycling in, unless you count to and from the Ferry and restaurant.

Defeated by the rain.
Hughie snapped these photos.

Even with the rain and not getting to cycle it was still a lot of fun! I love little adventures!

So, here is to future adventures and coming back a stronger, better and injury free runner!

Take care,

Alanna

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Training Pause.

Things have been really busy!

I started a new job position this week and my days have been flying by. My training has been next to non-existent (which I feel terrible about) and I'm having strange pains and numbness in my big toe on my right foot, of course I'm fearing the worst... the dreaded stress fracture. I'll be seeing my doctor on Monday, hopefully I get the green light to keep on running, until then I'll be cross-training.

So, I hate to be a bore but I don't have much to update you on.

When all else fails, bake cookies!


I'll be back in action soon, promise!

Take Care,

Alanna

Monday, June 28, 2010

Triathlon Itch.

Hello!

It was quite the exciting weekend!

Friday was a cross-training day, I did a hot and sweaty 60 minute group ride class and then spent the evening relaxing on the couch with the mister. Saturday morning we woke up to a beautiful day and I whipped up some chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes, I used the pancake recipe from the joy of cooking but forgot to take a photo of the final product. Fail. We had them with some strawberries and real maple syrup, yum!

After Hughie had taken his bike out to run some errands he returned home and we got ready for our first run together! I was so excited I completely forgot to capture the moment on film, so I'll have to get a picture next time.

It was a really hot afternoon and we set off to run some trails at the neighborhood park. We ran an easy 2.5 miles and walked around a bit, overall we covered 4 miles. It was so nice to have him out there by my side and he did so well! He enjoyed it too!

Later that evening we went to a friends house to enjoy some good company and maybe a few too many beverages, which didn't lend itself well to getting up early the next morning to go cheer on our friend Keith at his first triathlon.

We dragged ourselves out of bed around 7am and made our way to the Tri location, what an exciting event! I've never been to a triathlon before but the atmosphere was excellent and everyone seemed to be excited to be there!


It was a chilly morning and I was glad I wasn't the one in the water, the event was sold out with 200 participants.

I had the most fun watching everyone run for the finish after the 5k, there I am with the red hair, clapping my heart out!

Keith did great in his very first Tri. Looking strong the whole time!


The big finish!
All photos courtesy of TriNL.

It was so much fun, I now have a serious itch to train for my first Triathlon next year!

I skipped my long run yesterday because I was so tired so I'll be heading out for a nice long one this evening.

Take Care,

Alanna

Head over to Shut Up and Run!'s blog to enter a great giveaway!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A new running partner.

Training: 6 Miles, 52 Min.

Hello bloggies!

I had a great weekend, it was completely laid back. Friday morning I did two classes at the gym, the first was a body active group which KILLED me, it was my first time taking the class and it took every last bit of energy I had to get through it. It was a class based entirely around weight training and full body work, I was shaking like a leaf!

I thought about skipping the group ride class the was right after it but I had already set up my bike and put my towel and water bottle on the bike to save it, so why not!

I could barely hold myself up on the bike for that 60 minutes. After I left I couldn't raise my arms above my chest, I haven't pushed myself that hard in quite some time.

Later that evening Hughie and I had supper at our favorite Indian restaurant and made a little trip to our local running room. Hughie is a cyclist, and that's that. I've teased him off and on about coming for a run with me sometime but he had no interest, at all.

Until a week ago, we were talking about my race coming up in just over four weeks and how I'm feeling a little behind in my training and all of a sudden he said he would train with me!

This is a big deal ladies and gents, a BIG deal.

He's a keeper :)

He had a foot mapping done and bought his very first pair of running shoes!

I can't wait to run with him, it'll be a whole new running experience.

While at the Running Room I picked up a new hydration pack, a Camelbak. It's very small, only holding 1.5 liters of water. It'll be great for those longer runs and hopefully it doesn't chafe, my only worry.

I also bought this pineapple Gu, which didn't go down so easy,


Also, over the weekend I baked some cupcakes for the 'Sparks' of The Girl Guides of Canada's for their 100th anniversary. They were a hit and were apparently gone in minutes :)



Today is suppose to be a rest day so we'll see how it goes, maybe another installment of 'The Joy of Cooking June'?