Monthly Archives: December 2015

One Final Splurge — Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

As 2016 approaches and we think about all the things we’re going to change, adjust, aim for and/or do, it’s important to have that last little bit of debauchery to send out 2015 in a big way.  And I’ve got just the thing before the sugar goes on hiatus for the New Year!  Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding!  This stuff is so sinfully good, you’ll be wanting to stop by the confessional no matter your religion!  Here’s the best part… it’s so easy even I could make it (I don’t because I’ve got a good thing going with The Motivator being the chef, but if I wanted to, I could, really and truly)!!

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Back In The Saddle

Another Christmas has come and gone, but happily the holiday celebration continues!  We still have New Year’s Eve coming up!

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend, and Santa was super generous this year.  AJ got his very first desktop computer, but to be fair, he had saved his money and paid for half of it while James paid for the rest and bought him the monitor.  He’s one happy gamer.


And I actually got the Go Pro I asked for with a helmet mount.  I tested it out on my run today and snapped a few pictures.  I wore it on my head over my visor and it did get a little heavy on my forehead after the first hour of running, but it was tons of fun to play with.


I’m not too keen on the fish bowl effect, but I guess all you have to do is change the aspect ratio, although I need to figure out which is which.  I’m not a photographer in any shape or form, so it’s something to be researched.  On my next run, I’ll try out the video part of it.


Speaking of running, I’m completely healthy now and have recovered from whatever winter bug was going around.  Hence, back to my long runs on Sunday.  And as there are only 21 days until my Maui Half, that’s a really good thing.  I was almost concerned.  I managed 118 minutes of activity today with most of it running.  The wonderful thing is that my legs were strong, whereas last week when I first went out, they felt like floppy noodles.  I’m beginning to think I wasn’t fully recovered at that point as that just didn’t make sense when they were completely rested.  Anyhoo, I didn’t go full out, but I’m so excited that the little graph thingy shows me running more than walking.  When I first began this journey back in July, I was nowhere near that ratio, and I love to see improvement in black and white and on charts and graphs, not only from how I feel.  Again, today I am thankful for that stoopid treadmill and my forced interval training.


Go Pro Pics


Anyone ever play frisbee golf?  The above is a frisbee golf park.  I passed it on my run.  Right down the street from it is a game store that sells specialized frisbees specifically for this sport. They’re hard little disks, not the usual frisbees you’d toss for your dog to catch.  I’ve not tried it yet, but maybe one day.


Above is a charming little house out in the middle of nowhere across from the trail.  Lots of room for a little animal farm, goats, chickens, a couple of cows…


Okay, I didn’t take this one with the Go Pro… it’s just Jamesy all decked out for watching the ‘Hawks.  But we won’t talk about that…

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  Stay healthy out there… I’m seeing lots of little germy bugs going on everywhere!

What are your plans for New Year’s?  Will you be running January 1st?

Happy Holidays!


Our 16th Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Paula at Never A Dull Bling and James at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest!  We wish you much love during this blessed season!

–Paula and James

Weekend Wrap

As I decided to write whilst partaking of wine on Friday night, I actually only have the weekend to “wrap” about (hehe, I make myself giggle).

20151219_133712.jpgI went Christmas shopping on Saturday because, yes, I AM one of those last-minute shoppers! Holy Checkout Line!!  This was in Target and it stretched at least half the length of the store! However, I was totally impressed with the organization of the mass amount of people.  It was not your typical C.F.  There was no crowding or nastiness, every checkout line was open, and they got us through as quick as they could. Unfortunately, a man got right behind me, was trying to get the attention of someone across the aisle, and made one of those horribly loud whistles with his fingers like he was calling for his dog.  Rude much?!!  THAT did not impress me.  I glared.  One does not need to whistle that loudly when one is on the inside of a building, especially when standing 2 feet away from another person who is not aware that they’re about to get a hole in their eardrum.

Anyway, after a lovely Saturday afternoon nap, Jamesy and I spent a good part of the evening wrapping presents as our youngin’ was staying the night at a friend’s house.  We took complete advantage of him being gone!  We turned on my most favorite Christmas album by Michael Bublé, pulled out the wrapping paper, tape and scissors, and had a good old fashion wrapping party.  I got a great video of James singing and dancing.  He’s not letting me share it… yet… but know that I have it and will probably have it for a long, lonnnnng time (insert evil laugh here… I now own him).

MB christmas

We even got to watch a movie!  This is not something we usually do as we try to go to bed early in preparation for long-run Sunday.  However, we actually decided to turn a movie on after we’d had enough of the wrapping!  We watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. I thought it was wonderful! Neither one of us got tired or wanted to doze during it as it kept us on the edge of our seat.  We like those suspense movies, what can I say!


The creek overfloweth…

Sunday was a big day.  I hadn’t run for a week thanks to my chest cold, so I had to get out no matter what to see how I was feeling.  I had 10 miles on the schedule. No, 10 miles wasn’t happening.  My legs were nice and rested, but at the same time they felt quite weak.  It’s hard to believe that a week’s worth of down time could cause them to feel like floppy noodles.  I did a nice 5K, the loop around our house, and managed it okay.  It didn’t even take me as long as I thought it would with as much as I was having to walk which kind of tells me my intervals on the stoopid treadmill have paid off, because when I was able to run, I was running much faster than I had before.  Yay.  Guess the treadmill isn’t as stoopid as I made it out to be.

And it was finally perfect weather conditions for a run.  No rain, no wind… just overcast and in the 40s… normal and beautiful.  Good thing, too, because James had his time-trial 20-miler.  His goal was to run 20 miles in 3 hours.  I won’t spoil it for you on how it went… you can visit 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for the final result.  Will he run another sub-4-hour marathon in January… or has he taken his plan too lightly this time around and did he take a whole 4 hours to run the 20 miles?

Oh, and hey!  The Seahawks won again today!  We’re in the playoffs now!  Doesn’t get any better than that!!

you mad bro

Is anyone else a last-minute holiday shopper?  Who saw Star Wars this weekend? If you’re a runner, how did your long run go?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap!  Thank you ladies!  All are invited to link up and share!


Happy Hour Ramblings

It’s Friday Night Happy Hour!  Cheers!  And as it’s Happy Hour, I feel like rambling on and on as if we were having a drink together, because to be quite honest, I’m on my 3rd…

It’s been a hard week.  I’ve been sick since Monday.  I think that’s why I’m partaking in Happy Hour regardless.  I’ve heard alcohol kills bacteria, so hey, why not.  Sounds good to me anyway. Ah well, ’tis the season.  My child was sick first, so I think I’ll blame him for all my misery.  Of course, it sets me back a bit in my training for my upcoming half-marathon as I’ve not been able to do anything… and that includes breathing.  It’s horrifying to walk up 1/2-flight of stairs and become short of breath, especially when you have a 10-mile run on the schedule. This just hasn’t been a good training cycle at all with the horrid weather, being sick, and holiday-time of year.  The January racing schedule will have to be re-evaluated for next year, I think.  While we don’t have a race planned yet for January 2017, this is probably something that needs to be considered.  Running consistent long distances in November and December is proving to be quite difficult… well, at least this year it is.




The above pictures are of Daryl.  This is the bunny I babysit at work for the clinic manager.  He’s just cute, and you really can’t go wrong with cute animal pictures.  And he has those Shaka ears (his dad is the one who noticed this).  Really and truly!  When he’s relaxed and comfortable, it’s always one ear up and one down, just like the Hawaiian Shaka sign!  Anyway, I was trying to get him to take a silly selfie with me.  He wasn’t having any of it until I picked him up and held him. Then he didn’t really have a choice. Notice how his ears are back in the 3rd picture.  He’s a loving and tolerant bunny, but I’m not sure he was too impressed with all the selfie attempts. #cheapentertainment


My pretty girl Sheba’s not looking too impressed with getting her picture taken either.  She’s gotten into the habit of jumping into my car the minute I get home and open the door.  I kid you not!  Check it out!


Sometimes I don’t even know that she’s there!  I’ll be gathering up my stuff to take inside, and then all of a sudden I’ve got these big gold eyes staring at me.  Freaky.

The big news of the week… Jamesy managed to score us tickets to the Adele concert coming to Seattle in July!  I have no idea how he managed that, but he did!  While he was at work even! And then surprised me! Woo hoo!  I’m going to see Adele!  Probably a once in a lifetime event! We are over the moon!!


Some more good news!  While I haven’t lost the 10 pounds I was planning to lose for this training cycle, I have lost 3.4 pounds so far!!  Total freaking success!  And you know why it’s a success? Because it’s the holidays and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself from Halloween until now and on through the New Year!  So, therefore, I’m having cookies and decadent desserts and celebratory drinks in moderation and I haven’t gained weight!!  I have, at the end of the day, actually lost weight! While having fun!  Yes!  It can be done!  Slowly but surely!  And I am absolutely thrilled!  (Thanks to my beautiful friend Tasha at Hit Below The Belt Hard for the above meme and her Friday Funnies.  What distance runner hasn’t felt this way?!!)


We now have about 2 weeks left of the 2015 holiday season.  Be sure to make it count and make it a happy one and enjoy it to the fullest.  It seems this year went quicker than past years, and they’re only going to go quicker.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I’ll be attempting a run on Sunday… and while it won’t be a 10-miler, it’s gonna be something because I only have about 29 days until the Maui Oceanfront Half!  The up side to being sick… my legs are totally rested!

Happy Running!!


2012 05 Stuff 001

I don’t dare say who was trying to boil these eggs, but they were left on so long that all the water boiled out of the pan, burning the eggs and leaving a lovely smell in their wake.  Egg salad anyone?

In response to The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge: Oops!

Weekly Wrap

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap. You don’t have to be runnin’ to share your funnin’, so go visit them, link up, and join the party.


It’s been a weird couple of weeks training-wise.  Washington has had one storm system after another and it has not been runner-friendly at all.  I guess this is the first real winter that I’ve had to train for a January race, and I’m thinking I’m not too impressed.  One thing’s for sure… we’re getting our money’s worth out of that treadmill.


This is supposed to be a pond, not a lake.

Anyway, I’ve kept it going, I’m just not putting in the mileage I want.  I have been nailing my interval training though, pretty much every single time I get on the treadmill.  Hehe, it’s the only thing that entertains me while I’m on it.  I have noticed that my breathing is getting better at a faster pace, so that’s relatively encouraging, but I won’t know how it holds up until I can get back out on the trail to test it out.


Another fallen tree. He had it mostly cleared by the time I snapped the picture.

Today was long-run Sunday and it was rainy and windy, of course.  Shortly after I woke up, I heard a chainsaw buzzing in the neighborhood.  I couldn’t believe that someone would be using a bloody chainsaw on a Sunday morning at 7!  I looked out to investigate… yet another downed tree blocking the road.  <sigh>  I’ll be happy when we get back to normal.  While The Motivator was very… brave… to face the unnatural weather elements no matter what, I chose to stick to my beloved treadmill.  I aimed for two hours… ha.  After one hour, I called it quits.

2015-12-13-18.33.13.png.pngOne neat thing I’ve been testing is the Charity Miles app. I’m super pleased with it (my tweets say I walked, but it should say I ran…, I just never thought to change the wording).  This app works inside or outside, so that’s bonus.  At 25 cents a mile, it’s win-win.  While 5 miles may only be $1.25, over time it will add up, and I think one of my next goals will be to try streaking.  You know, take the Runner’s World Run Streak challenge.  At least 1 mile every day for 365 days.  I think that’s totally doable. Even on rest days, it shouldn’t be difficult to tackle at least 1 mile.  The treadmill and I are the best of friends now (or bitter enemies), so I think it can be done.  There are actually some people who have been streaking since the 1980s!  That impresses the hell out of me!  When AJ graduates from high school in 2023 (anyone feel old besides me?), he can tell all his friends that his mom has been “streaking” since 2016.  Yeah, that might be kinda cool.


And speaking of the boy, he just recently had his very last elementary school Christmas concert. He’s in the above picture, 4th from left, back row.  Yes, definitely one of the tallest in the school, but I think a couple of girls may possibly be taller.  He’s on to middle school next year, but I’d be okay if he stayed this age forever.  🙂

Your turn!  If you have an upcoming race, how is your training going? Ever run into wicked winter weather that slowed you down?  How do you deal with it?



Thinking Out Loud Thursday

I’m kind of in the mood to babble about nothing in particular, so I’m linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons for TOLT.  Thanks Amanda for the creative outlet!!

thinking-out-loud.jpg1.  Winter Munchies.  Ella at Instinctive Fails talks about how animals fatten themselves up for the winter, so maybe humans do too?  I’ve decided I’m going to adopt that theory to explain my winter weight gain.  Think about it… our ancestors probably did have to bulk up to stay warm in the winter just as animals do.  So it would make perfect sense that our bodies instinctively store fat for the winter.  Well, it sounds good anyway. It has absolutely nothing to do with the extra cookies or fudge or egg nog that I treat myself to during the holidays… it’s really just pure instinct.  Necessary for survival.  During the holidays.


2.  Pinterest.  Yes, I’m older and not so social media savvy, but I just don’t get it!  I want to understand it, I really do, but right now I just can’t wrap my head around it.  What is the purpose?  What does one do on Pinterest?  It sounds like something Microsoft came up with before it released Windows 8 so everyone could get used to the idea of “pinning” things.  Or did Microsoft copy Pinterest?  Ooooo, conspiracy theory perhaps?  I should probably consult my 11-year-old and figure out how to use Pinterest.  No, actually, I think I need to watch a YouTube video on the ins and outs of Pinterest.  Is there a book out there called Pinterest for Dummies?

3.  I’ve noticed quite a few people have created the illusion of snow falling on their blogs.  May I just say this is a super cool feature!  I would love to have snow falling all over my blog during the holidays and winter months.  But why didn’t I get the memo on how to make the snow fall?  Can anyone tell me how this is done?

pass closed

4.  And speaking of snow falling, I hope no one is trying to get to Seattle via I-90.  I’m of the understanding that parts of the pass are closed.  For weeks I heard how mild our winter was going to be because we had such a hot summer and El Nino is going to last until 2016, blah, blah, blah, but noooo, we’ve had one storm system after another come in and practically drown us.  Did you hear that the governor of Washington has declared a state of emergency because of all our rain?  We haven’t got snow where I live, only rain (#thankful), but it makes for some pretty awful training runs, whether they’re on the trail or on the treadmill.  I’m so sick of running on the treadmill.  Ugh.  Ohhh wellll… suck it up, buttercup. You’ve still got a few weeks of training left.

5.  Meep.  He’s a cat.  To the Nth degree.  I don’t have much to say about him other than I really just wanted to share some silly pictures of him that I’ve taken recently.  (shameless plug, I know)


Step awayyy from the tree…


He probably had done something wrong which is why he’s showing me his tummy… or just stretching, he’s probably really just stretching… he sooo needs to be messed with…

20151205_190205_001.jpg 20151209_191129.jpg

6.  And finally, the above is just a small sampling of how I’ve been preparing myself for winter survival.  And the holidays.  Yeah, I’m definitely going to say it’s total instinct.

I’ve babbled enough for today.  Do you have anything to babble about?  How does your body prepare for survival through the winter?  Got snow?  On your blog?  Got a cat that you love to mess with?


Eye Spy… A Window Strike


This little pygmy owl was carrying his prey, wasn’t watching where he was going, and slammed into my sliding glass door, knocking him out for quite a while.  If this ever happens to you, give the poor animal a couple of hours to come out of it.  If it’s not in harms way, just leave it be.  If there are dogs or cats or other predators around, then put it in a box, keep it quiet and safe, and leave it alone for a couple of hours (do NOT keeping peeking in at it).  Yes, it may very well take a solid 2 hours to come out of it.  If, however, you see signs of injury such as blood, it needs to be taken immediately to your nearest rehab & rescue center.  The same holds true if it’s still not able to fly after 2 hours. It may have suffered head trauma.

One final note, sometimes when we see an eagle or other bird of prey on the ground, we immediately think it’s injured.  This is not always the case.  It may have just eaten and is not able to take flight yet. Keep an eye on it for a couple of hours.  If you’re able to approach it after a couple of hours of being on the ground, then it’s time to call your nearest rehab & rescue center and ask their advice.  As always, if you need help finding your closest rescue center, contact me. I can help.

In response to The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge:  Eye Spy.

As for the pygmy owl above, he was out cold and laying on his back, opened his eyes eventually, flipped over onto his feet, regained his senses, then took off after about 30 minutes.  I had the extreme displeasure of cleaning up the headless prey that he left behind.