2013 Wish List

2013 Wish List

  • Run for fun.
  • But also PR in  shorter distances.
  • Not let my husband beat me in a 5K. (One of his goals was to beat me…)
  • Do an unassisted pull-up…for real this year.
  • Eat more natural, less processed foods.
  • Try to learn to cook better…and with more variety. (Key word here is try…)
  • Do more yoga, even if it’s just in my living room. Try hot yoga…try zumba.
  • Make a better effort to write more. Revamp this little blog.
  • Read a few books for pleasure, not for school.
  • Rock my last year of nursing school and graduate with honors!
  • Make a difference…somewhere, somehow.
  • Stress way less (maybe this will solve the gray hair problem). Laugh way more.
  • Last, but most definitely not least, start expanding this little family.

ang

2012 Wish List

  • Run two marathons.
  • Run a sub-four hour marathon.
  • Run a race that is not in Missouri or Kansas.
  • Eat breakfast every. single. day. no. matter. what.
  • Change my eating habits for the better…one small change per week.
  • Raise money for a charity.
  • Drink lots and lots and lots of water.
  • Cook a new meal once a month.
  • Pray everyday.
  • Do an unassisted pull-up.
  • Run a sub-twenty-four minute 5K.
  • Keep up my blog.
  • Take a road trip somewhere…hopefully Florida.
  • Try zumba…and hopefully fall in love with it.
  • Take a hot yoga class.
  • Rock at nursing school.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Make new friends.
  • Smile, and not worry about these darn laugh lines.

Happy New Year!

ang

Two Thousand and Eleven, It’s Been Lovely

In two thousand and eleven I…

…started a blog! Never before in my life did I have the intention of writing and then sharing my writing with anyone and everyone on the internet. However, I’ve ended up absolutely loving it, and I credit my blog along with other blogs I read for being the fuel behind two thousand and eleven’s greatness!

…started out the year with a four mile race, Love 2 Run, in February. My blog wasn’t born yet so I wasn’t here to tell you about it, but I did PR (it was only the third race I’d ever done before in my life, and the second time in this race) with a time of 35:15.

…ran my first 10K…then my second 10K…then my third 10K…each one with a PR!

…trained my dog to give high-fives.

won a local race! It was a small 5K race…a very very small race, since I won with a stopwatch time of 25:09. Nonetheless I won an awesome trophy, and it was for a super great cause to support a local little girl with osteosarcoma. The same little girl who happens to be my Make-A-Wish wish kid and who is a huge inspiration to anyone who knows her.

…greatly improved my body image.

didn’t get into nursing school.

got into nursing school!

…ran my first half marathon, which happened to be my one really big goal that I wanted to achieve this year! I also had a secret goal of running it in less than two hours…which I also achieved with a time of 1:59.10!

went to Mexico with all my amigos!

…was a blonde for awhile. Literally, not figuratively. Well, maybe both.

…ran my second half marathon and PRed with a time of 1:52.52.

…got my husband to run a 5K with me…and my mom, sister, and stepdad! It was for the Susan G. Komen race in Kansas City, obviously a great cause, especially considering my mom kicked breast cancer’s booty.

…coached middle school volleyball with some of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met!

tried mushrooms…grilled…and liked them.

…raised money for Girls on the Run as a SoleMate!

…ran a marathon. A MARATHON! A ridiculously hilly but beautiful nonetheless twenty-six point two miles all over Kansas City, Missouri, and I loved every single second of it…all four hours and fifteen minutes! I set out the year with hopes of finishing a half marathon…what I didn’t know was that I was going to fall in love with running. Once my half was completed in April I knew I needed more! Never before in my life did I imagine I’d run a marathon, but crossing that finish line was the proudest moment of my life.

This year has been amazing. However, it wouldn’t have been nearly as great had I not walked into the women’s restroom back in February and discovered a little post-it note on the mirror that said, “You are beautiful.” That’s when I discovered Operation Beautiful and the entire world of blogging…a world of inspiration, motivation, and support from some pretty amazing people.

Two thousand and eleven, it’s been lovely.

ang

Happy Holidays Indeed

I’ve spent a week filled with family, friends, a lot of working (you gotta love retail!), and cookies by the dozens. I may or may not have eaten approximately twenty cookies yesterday alone. I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

It has been an absolute blast, and when I have the opportunity to spend time with family I often walk away from it wondering why we don’t spend more time together. Seriously, when a Giambalvo met a Daleo magic happened.

Now I know why I’m getting those wrinkles…err, laugh lines.

Cutest Mamaw ever. She is pretty much the queen of this beautiful family.

Twins! For real, though.

Aunties, uncle, and momma…

I might have forced my sister to take this photo with me. Handwarmers are back baby!

Notice anything odd here?

This was one of the most famous pictures of the night…the tallest member of the family with the shortest members. My family gets a pretty big kick out of my husband’s tallest…which makes sense since our average adult height is probably around 5’0″!

Some dancing ensued…

Too much fun!

This was only the beginning of my Christmas gatherings, but unfortunately there were not eighteen italians running around with cameras at all of my other festivities. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family. I love each and every one of you! And before any of you (family) calls me and asks me to take one of these pictures down (because I know what you might be thinking)…my answer will be no (well, except maybe the shake weight picture!) You all look amazing and beautiful and gorgeous in each and every one of these, so I don’t want to hear otherwise!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too!

ang

I’ve Been Smiling A Lot

My goal for the month of December was to enjoy life and smile a lot. I must say, I do think I have been very successful achieving my goal thus far. Between laughing it up with my husband, spending time with my family, and catching up with friends, I could not have asked for a better month.

However, I have only logged a handful of miles in my old Asics, and I think they miss me. It always seems like such a great idea at night to wake up at the crack of dawn…or actually, before dawn…and get a good run in. When the morning rolls around the the idea sounds much less desirable. Much. Don’t get me wrong…I am missing hitting the pavement, too…but I’m definitely enjoying life a little bit longer in my warm bed!

And, I’ve been more than lacking in the food/cooking/eating well department. Between my peppermint bark rice crispie treats, and the cookie party I went to, I’ve eaten dessert for breakfast more times than not. I justified the rice crispie treats by reminding myself that rice crispies are cereal after all,  however it’s much harder to justify a sugar cookie.

But, sugar cookies and rice crispies make me happy, so I’m not going to worry about it! I call that a successful month!

I have big, big goals for two thousand and twelve, though, so prepare yourself. In the meantime, I’m going to live it up for the next eleven days and spend every happy moment I can before school, work, and running invade my life to the fullest. My 2012 wish list will be coming to the blog very soon, and expect to see a lot more about my running plans, my running goals, and eating and cooking well. You heard me right…cooking well. Oh, and running a sub-four hour marathon.

Oh wait, did I just say that?!

ang

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

“Who made the chocolate cookies with the hidden cherries?????”

Why, that was me!

Let me rewind. Last Thursday evening I went to a cookie party at my lovely aunt Terrie’s house. Everyone brought three dozen of their cookies of choice. We all set out our cookies and admired everyones’ work. Then we formed a conga line (quite literally due to my aunt Andrea!) and went around the kitchen taking two of each different type of cookie and putting them in our own cookie boxes to take home.

A sweet tooth’s dream.

I have a big italian family, so there were many people at this feast of sugar, so most of the cookies, aside from my sister’s super-creative melting snowman cookies (ummm…cutest cookies EVER…definitely deserved best in show!), went pretty anonymous.

That is why I was ecstatic when I received an e-mail from my auntie on Friday demanding, “Who made the chocolate cookies with the hidden cherries?????”

Me me me me me me me me me me me!!!

They were not the prettiest cookies there. Definitely not. They were just brown blobs. The icing was brown and crackly instead of smooth and beautiful looking. The cookie part itself looked dull and not at all enticing. They probably appeared overdone, although they were not. Somehow though, someone was not afraid to bite into one, and that is when the surprise was revealed…

…a maraschino cherry!

You all know that I am not creative in the kitchen, so I cannot take credit for the recipe…I can only take credit for recreating a much uglier version, but still just as good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, reserve juice
  • 1 (6-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed mil

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda, blending well; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth and well blended. With hands, shape dough into one inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet. Press down center of dough with thumb. Drain maraschino cherries well, reserving juice. Place cherry in the center indention of each cookie.
  • In small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the reserved cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the topping over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. If frosting seems too thick, thin with a little more cherry juice. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove to wire rack to cool.

I’ll admit it. I forgot to add the salt…but what difference can 1/4 of a teaspoon make, right? And at first my dough was too sticky so I just added an unknown amount of more flour. I was confused at the fact that you put on the frosting before you baked the dough, and I almost didn’t do it…but then I remember what usually happens when I make up my own directions in the kitchen. Maybe all these little facts contribute to the overall less than appealing aesthetic of the little cookies…

…but at least they tasted delicious!

Thank you to all those who braved my cookies and then actually loved them. I do believe I am going to make them again!

ang

An Extra Special Merry Christmas To…

…Sarah from Once Upon a Lime!!! Merry merry merry Christmas girl! You are my giveaway winner and will be getting a stack of four Soap It Up soaps (and maybe some extra goodies!)!!!

(Please e-mail me at a.habermehl@yahoo.com with your mailing address!)

First of all, congratulations on getting married this year and celebrating your first married Christmas! That is way too fun!!! Second of all, cucumber cantaloupe and peppermint cocoa are two of my favorite flavors (okay, so they all might be my favs) and you will be getting BOTH of those! Woohoo!

I loved reading all your comments on why this time of the year makes you smile…you all made me smile! I wish that I could send a soap package to each and every one of you because I appreciate you all so much, but unfortunately going back to school has made me poor. I’m sure you understand. But…I will try to send you a bunch of Christmas cheer through my blog…did you get it yet?!

For now, I have to go get ready to do some Christmas shopping, get my cookies ready for my cookie party (YUM!), and wrap up my gift for my girlfriend’s gift exchange tonight!

Ho ho ho ho ho!

ang

Christmastime Makes Me Happy

I am having the best time reading all your comments on why the holiday season makes you happy! I would definitely have to say that getting to spend time with family seems to be the top reason, and I would have to agree one hundred percent! There is still time to enter the giveaway…all you need to do is go over to this post and leave me a comment telling me why the holiday season makes you happy! (You must live in the US, and you cannot be a relative! Sorry!)

This photo of my sister and me is from my most recent family get together this past weekend! Of course we had a blast visiting with the whole big italian family!

Because I have asked you to tell me why the holiday season makes you happy, I’ve decided that I’ll tell you why Christmastime makes me so happy.

Reason number one: Spending time with my family! Duh!

Christmas is one of the only times of the year when I get to see my entire family all in the same place at the same time. So many of my favorite family memories dating all the way back to when I was a little girl come from this time of the year.

Reason number two: Cookie parties!

Umm…you get to bake a ton of cookies, go to a party, eat a bunch of cookies, and go home with a ton more. This needs no explanation.

Reason number three: Giving presents!

It’s truly a fun feeling when you know you got something (or made something) for someone that they absolutely love! Many of my gift recipients have gotten (or are going to get, HA) homemade soaps this year, and I’m pretty sure they adore them. (If you don’t then you are crazy and should just give them back to me because I am now a soap hoarder!)

Reason number four: Getting presents!

Just admit it. You love getting something that you really really want. I was super stoked when the husband got me my new running shoes for Christmas…even though I picked them out, typed in the credit card number online, and opened the box when it showed up on my doorstep.

Reason number five: Peppermint flavored things!

I drank way too much coffee on Sunday and that was because my mom-in-law had peppermint mocha creamer at her house. I made some peppermint bark rice krispie treats for dinner club, and I also have a bar of peppermint soap that I’m going to have to show great restraint to use it for washing and not for eating.

Reason number six: Giveaways! Have you entered yet?!

Reason number seven: Christmas lights. Prettiness!

Reason number eight: Winter break.

Since basketball season has started I feel like I never get to see my bundle of 6’8″ handsomeness anymore. At least when he breaks from school I will get to see him more and we will get to sleep in together a few mornings!

Reason number nine: Spending time with friends.

This can probably be added to number eight, but many of my friends are teachers so I get to spend more time with them throughout the holidays as well. Please bring on the dinner clubs, cookie parties, gift exchanges, wish list parties, and New Years Eve parties galore!

Reason number ten:  Last but not least we cannot forget the true reason for smiling this holiday season. We get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

Woowoo!

ang

Happiest Time of the Year Means Time For a Giveaway!

The happiest time of the year is among us, and I wanted to celebrate and show my appreciation for you. I was doing some Christmas shopping over the weekend and I had a great thought. I have shared so much of myself here on this blog over the past several months which has been amazing for me, so I wanted to share some happiness with you!

If you’ve been stopping by this little blog at all for the past few months, you know that I’m a big believer in following your dreams, and I really think that anything is possible. That is why I am so proud of my beautiful mother for starting her own soap business this year. She found something that she loves to do, she made a plan, and she took a risk. I’m extremely happy that she did, because I have probably never smelled better than I do now. This home will never be without a stack of ridiculously delicious soap.

And now, one lucky reader will also get the opportunity to smell magnificent over the holidays because I am giving away a stack of four Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di! I’m warning you though, you will most definitely want to eat the soap they smell that good. I would probably advise against it, even though they are homemade. Yes, homemade! The soaps make excellent stocking stuffers or little gifts, but you’ll probably want to keep them all to yourself!

There are three very easy ways to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment telling me what is making this the happiest time of the year for you!
  2. Like Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di on Facebook and leave a comment telling me  you did!
  3. Purchase a Soap It Up soap online (here) and leave a comment telling me you did…(and tell me which scents you picked because I want to know because I love them ALL!) Leave a comment for each soap you purchase!

You have until the end of Wednesday to enter (you must live in the United States…sorry!), and you must leave a comment for each entry. (I know that many of my family members like to read my blog, and I am really, really grateful for that. However, I know that my family also has easy access to these soaps and probably a stack at home already, so I’m excluding family members from this giveaway!)

Merry Christmas from My Pinky Toes and from Soap It Up!!! Thank you for being a part of my blogging journey so far!

ang