Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween everyone from the Ninja (turtle?), Pirate (arrrr) and the world's cutest Fireman.

Are you trick-or-treating or passing out candy?  Or hiding from trick-or-treaters?  It's not too late to make some Mummy Dogs!

This is currently cooking in my crock-pot, with some minor adjustments.  This will get tossed into the oven later by my awesome mom.  We'll be headed to a chili cook-off later with the fam, followed by some trick-or-treating.  Is it wrong to hope Levi gets good candy so I can eat it?  I hope not.

Speaking of candy, here is something fun to do with your Halloween Candy and Beer.

Whatever you and yours are up too I hope it is safe and fun!

Have a spooky day!

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A Treat from Main Street Cellars {Winters, CA}

I must admit this post is a long time coming.  

Back in August, (yes, August) The Cyclist did a ride out of Winters, CA.  Before returning home he stopped for a bite with some of our friends at Main Street Cellars.  Upon his return to our house he brought me a bounty.

Multiple beers, deliciously smoked pork with cabbage fixin's and the best rolls I've ever eaten.
Seriously.  Good.  Food.  Oh yeah and seriously good beer too.

I have to give it to that husband of mine.  He is much more charming than I.  In talking to the owner, Mike Peterson, he dropped that I have a food blog and scored all of this deliciousness.  I'm sure it also helped that Mike is the cousin of a good friend of ours (thanks Jay!).

I can't even form the words to describe how good it was except to tell you that if I think hard enough I can still smell the smokiness of that pork, all the way over here in October.

Beerwise - Knee Deep's Tanilla Porter is a favorite of mine but I think I enjoyed the Cool Beanz a little better actually.  There was a nice strong chocolate-y, coffee flavor which is a great match for the smokiness of the pork.

But yeah, lets get back to my bad blogging habits and delay on this post.  I think I've mentioned we've moved recently.  Twice that is.  I swear in the process of this move I've lost many things including my mind.  The photo editing department at TCW (read: Sarah, me, this lady, TCW) is seriously backed up. Latent internet connections, exhaustion and life (among other things) have prevented my normal blogging flow.  These are all just excuses though.  The real deal is, I am incredibly thankful for all of this generosity from Main Street Cellars and I'm sorry it took so long to share it.

Beyond delicious food and the best tag-line ever "juicy wine.  stinky cheese.", Main street Cellars has a lot of great stuff happening including jazz on the patio every first Friday, Sunday Brunch, multiple events and wine dinners.  If you live in the area, you should like their Facebook Page or sign up for their e-mail list.


Not to mention, they've got a great looking patio too.  Even though we're now in Fall it would be nice on a crisp, clear day.


And, they have bocce ball.  Enough said.


If you are in, around or near Winters (or not), you should take a peek at Main Street Cellars.


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Spooky {and easy} Halloween Treat - Mummy Dogs!

Hi Friends,

We had a Halloween party last weekend with a Halloween food contest.  My husband kindly told me "they know you have a food blog so it'd better be something good!".  No pressure or anything.  To be honest my time was lacking and I wanted to make something easy.  I don't usually do theme food because it seems complicated and freaks me out, like I'll make it, it won't turn out, then I'll have nothing to bring!  Eeeek!
But, thanks to Pinterest I found something easy and fun!

That's right peeps!  #mummydogs!!  The Pinterest links are here and here.

Although a bit time consuming, these were easy and tasty - who doesn't like a spooky version of pigs-in-a-blanket??

As many hot dogs as you want (I used 16.  Soy dogs would also work, or veggie dogs, you get it.)
Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough (I used 1 large can and two small ones, there was a sale, the big guys had run out)

How To:
You can cut your mummy men into actual little men with arms and legs, but this works best if you're using a whole hot dog.  If you want to make this more of an appetizer, you can cut your dogs in half, forget about the arms and legs and just wrap the top and bottom with dough leaving eye holes.  (Check out the Pinterest links for more descriptive photos.)  Making half a dog with arms and legs was a bit tricky and some of those were not presentable and therefore had to be eaten.
Cut your un-cooked dogs.
Unwrap your dough.  I cut the dough into long skinny slices and rolled it between my hands.
Wrap and wrap and wrap your mummies!  Don't worry about it being perfect, it doesn't matter.
Cook on a baking sheet according to dough instructions*
Use ketchup or mustard on a toothpick for the eyes.
Serve up the mummy dudes.

*My Pillsbury package said to use an un-greased cooking sheet.  I would spray the cooking sheet lightly so your mummies don't stick.

Have a Spooky Day!

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Cool Thing Friday - Place Hacking + more!


Hey friends, I have a Cool Thing Friday mash-up for you today.

First up:  Place Hacking


This is a great slideshow of people who "place hack" or find adventure in off-limits or forbidden places.  As someone who has always been curious about abandoned buildings and no-trespassing spaces, this really intrigued me.


I'll leave those involving heights to The Cyclist though.


The slideshow also reminded me of this great 99% Invisible episode.  Someday I'm going to Heyoon.
You can see all of the images here.

Speaking of crazy ridiculous photos....


The fact that the photog caught this shot and the fact that the surfer actually did this?!  Amazing.

Oh.  Remember when I told you about Hank and his bus?

Well, Remodelista is only just telling you about it.  I'm pointing this out purely so I can say:
You heard it here first!

Wow.  I'm sorry.  Let's just forget I did that OK?

Last but not least:  Who doesn't love Kate and her volleyball-playing-in-heels self?


One more thing, I forgot to give you the coupon code for the Must Have box!  You can find it the original post here.

That's it!  Happy Friday

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POPSUGAR Must Have Box. Get good things in your mailbox.

Hi friends.
We are currently in the process of moving.  Again.
This year has been a crazy town mash up of remodeling, graduating, selling, moving, looking, job-hunting, travelling and moving.  Again.
There have been numerous trips to the Goodwill, tons of full recycling bins and more cardboard boxes than I can count.
"I am SO sick of boxes", is a phrase most definitely uttered from my lips.

But 'Moving Sucks' is an old story that everyone knows.
So instead let me tell you about a box of awesomeness.

Box of Awesomeness.

Between all of those endless cardboard boxes, this was a box I was happy to see.
This is a POPSUGAR Must Have Box.
This is a box of goodness.

Let's open it together.

Hi DIY Box?!  Seriously.  I am on a mission right now to clear out my cardboard and start on the swirling mecca of DIY projects I have planned.  The Cyclist thinks I'm nuts.  I probably am.
However, I have a design bug itching and I'm going to scratch it.
It could potentially end in disaster.

Or maybe not, now that I have this book to help me!
P.S.-You're Invited . . .: 40+DIY Projects for All of Your Fashion, Home D├ęcor & Entertaining Needs*

A Shoptiques gift card.  Sweet. Shoptiques is a collection of boutique items from around the globe.

A fancy Reed Diffuser from Barr-Co.

The scent is a combination of milk, oatmeal, vanilla and vetiver.  To be honest I can't tell yet if I really love it or really don't love it.  I'm on the fence.  The scent is real though, we moved it from this table to our mantle.  I was surprised how fragrant it got so quickly.

Treats!  Of course I like food in the mail. It would be wrong if I didn't.

Super cute paper coasters from Rifle Paper Co.!

And last but not least......

Kitsch Headbands.  I'm really hoping these don't sproing off of my head.  Don't laugh.  I can hear you! I have a cone-head or something because these things usually go flying off like a sling-shot.  It is good for a laugh though.  At my expense of course.

SO!  Thank goodness for one cardboard box of fun stuff this week!  I may have gone cray without it.
You can get your box of awesome stuff here.  At $35/mo this is a super deal - based on my calculations the goods shown here would retail at over $120.  This would make a great gift too!

Thanks for opening with me.  Now I will return to my house of boring cardboard boxes, so many in fact, that my evening is filled with multiple trips to the recycling center.

****OH. MY. GOSH!!****
All of this moving has apparently really gone to my head because I totally forgot to give you the coupon code for your very own must have box when I originally posted this!  Here you go:

Legal: Code is valid until 10/20/2013 only on new subscriptions. See Must Have Terms for details.
Start: 9/27/13
Ends: 10/20/13

You can get your box HERE.


*This is an affiliate link, if you click it and buy something from Amazon a portion of your purchase goes to the blog.  Thanks!

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Cool Thing Friday - Rent the Runway

Not.  Even.  Kidding.

I first told you about Rent the Runway here, though at that point I had no occasion to try it myself yet.

Enter my dad's wedding for which I was asked to wear red, with whatever shoes I wanted.
Seems pretty easy right?  I even created a Pinterest Board to help myself out.
Alas, I was still having trouble.  And then I remembered Rent the Runway.

Here's the scoop:

  • Choose a designer gown to rent at a reasonable price.
  • RTR will ship you TWO sizes.
  • Ship the dress to your location.
  • Wear the dress.
  • Send it back.


This was honestly such a great service.  The website is user friendly and filled with reviews from real women who have rented and worn the dresses.  Most reviews include the ladies height (and sometimes weight) and what size they wore.

I was a little leery of my plan to use RTR for a wedding.....I didn't have a back-up dress.  My RTR dress arrived the day before the wedding, which was in another state.  But in the end, I just went for it and it was so worth it.  I didn't have to cart the dress around with me in the car.  Both sizes arrived beautifully packaged in a garment bag (which I got to keep) along with some bath samples.  The dresses were returned in a UPS envelope that was provided.  RTR also sent e-mail reminders before the event, when the dresses were shipped and reminders to return them.

SO.  If you have an event - including a wedding of your own (this would seriously be so awesome for bridesmaids!!), I highly recommend RTR!  Oh, and did I mention you can also rent jewelry chosen by a stylist? And now I see RTR is also doing Halloween costumes!

BTW - this is not a sponsored post.  I paid for the dress for myself and I'm just sharing the goodness of my experience with y'all.

Happy Cool Thing Friday!!

P.S.  I kicked another item off of my bucket list with this wedding!

#9 Give Away the Groom
Congratulations Dad & Tracy!!


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Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up!

Pumpkin season has arrived!  (Even if I didn't want to admit it recently).  So I thought it would be a good time to round-up some favorite pumpkin posts from this here blog!

First off, using read deal pumpkin is always a good thing!

Check out this post on how to Roast Your Own Pumpkin!

Craving a savory pumpkin treat?

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus should do the trick!

Something sweet you say?

How about a cookie?
Disappearing Pumpkin Cookie Chews or Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Something sweet but semi healthy?

OK - Pumpkin Granola with Candied Pepitas

Something sweet for breakfast or dessert?

Here you go - Pumpkin Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze

Well my friends, have a pumpkiny Wednesday!


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Ironman Lake Tahoe 2013: Not all winners finish

There are lots of things I'd like to tell you in this post but unfortunately I just can't.  The long and the short of it is the cards just weren't in our favor on this day.  What I hope you take from this post and this story is the immense amount of pride I feel for my mom, not only in her successes but also in her struggles.  The lesson I learned this day is that the source of my pride is truly a result of my mom's efforts and examples.  It is the pain, the grind, the commitment and the strength that mean so much more than what the result board says at the end of the day.  I know this is a long post, but I hope you read it all.  These are the race stories that typically go untold, but they are just as valuable as the stories of the finishers.

On Sunday, September 22nd, my mom set out to compete in her 5th Ironman event - Ironman Lake Tahoe. For those unfamiliar with an Ironman event it consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a marathon (26.2 mile) run.  Ironman is a one day event, usually starting around 6:30 a.m. with a finishers cut-off at midnight.  As much as I know completing an Ironman is possible, even for a "regular" person, the thought of anyone accomplishing something of this caliber seems equally ridiculous.  The fact that both my mom and step-dad have done it - multiple times over - seems crazy.  Crazy, but crazy-awesome.

There are of course, professional triathletes who compete in Ironman but the majority of the field consists of "age-groupers", regular people who compete purely for the challenge.

Most people know about Ironman Kona (or Ironman Hawaii).  What a lot of people don't realize is in order to even participate at Kona, you have to qualify.  Ironman Kona is the championship Ironman event.  If you make it, you are competing to be the best in the world in your age group.  In order to qualify, you have to "win" a slot.  Slots are given based on percentage of people in your age group.  At IM Lake Tahoe in my mom's age group (60-64) there were 12 women and ONE slot.  Which meant in order to win the Kona Qualifier (KQ), she would have to win her age group.

This was my mom's year to get the KQ.  She aged up to 60 and entered a new age group.  She put in the time, bought the equipment and trained her ass off.  For months.  At altitude.  She was stronger than ever. The race was in her back-yard.  She was ready to go.

Seriously ready.

Typically Tahoe weather in late September is mild to cool.  But sometimes, weather happens and the day before the race it certainly did.  Driving over the summit it was snowing.  Hard.

It only looks like rain.

Cars were turned around.  Nick and I took our Subie and made our own path, on side roads and around traffic. I kept saying, "I feel so bad for my mom, she has to swim in the morning".  
Being a mom, my mom was concerned about us driving in the snow.

Nick said it would only be snowing on the summit, not in Tahoe.

Snow.  In Tahoe.  Boo!

Unfortunately it was snowing in Tahoe.

We text back and forth, talking about the snow and the race.

Swim.  Bike.  Banana....Poop.
Then my hubs, brother, sisters and I, like all good spectators, had drinks and a heavy dinner in celebration of the fact that we didn't have to race tomorrow.

Race morning brought 35 degree temps.  A fog layer over the lake and snow capped mountains made for beautiful scenery and weather much colder than anyone expected.

At this point I was relatively unconcerned.  Us kids had brought along a forgotten squid-lid and booties, so mom had those.  She had raced IM Coeuer d'Alene in much colder water.  She would be fine.

We missed her getting into the water, so like all good spectators, we went to eat.  It would be awhile before we saw her in the bike transition.  As we sat in the restaurant complaining about the 10 people who cut in line in front of us, filling our bellies and getting warm, we giggled at the fact that we should probably feel bad that our mom was out in the lake as we sat around chatting.

We waited at swim transition looking for a red helmet and vest to come running around the corner. Waiting is the worst part of spectating.  We had an idea of when she got in the water, but it was only a guess.  We had trouble getting our phones to connect to the athlete tracker so we weren't really sure where she was.  We saw a woman with 62 on her leg, "uh-oh....but the starts were staggered so maybe she isn't really leading?"  So we waited, excited and nervous and then we saw her.

She came running around the corner and tossed her glasses at my step-dad.  A lens was missing.  He threw her his glasses and she took off, smiling all the way.

We jogged to the road and watched her pass on the bike, still smiling. We failed to get a bike pic because our camera was off.  Oh well, we'd get another photo opp in just a bit.

We started to walk back to our room, where like good spectators, we planned to nap and hang out before she passed us again.  Finally with access to wi-fi we saw the swim results, 1st Place!  One woman close behind and a big lead on all the others.  "She's doing awesome!  She's going to win!".

A little while later, the phone rang.  And just like that the day turned into a total bummer.

The number was unknown.  I watched my step-dad and listened.  It seemed serious, but maybe not?  I hoped it wasn't about my mom.  He hung up and said, "well guys, the race is over, your mom crashed".

She crashed.  She was OK, but couldn't move her arm.  She would call us back.

The race was over.  She crashed.  If you could have walked into our room at that moment you would have been able to feel the definition of bummed through every ounce of your being.  We were all so sad for her.  I was shocked.  It wasn't supposed to end that way today.  Today was Ironman.  Today was cheering at the finish.  Today was saying "you did it, you got first place".  Today was her KQ.  Today was planning a family trip to Hawaii next year.  And now, today was suddenly over.

My disappointment in the day quickly turned into just wanting to see my mom and make sure she was OK. To hug her because I know how sad she would be.  So we jumped in our cars and quickly got stuck in a long line of traffic trying to make it over to the hospital.

We finally made it.  Nick and I followed the nurse around the corner to see her, and there she was, in triage with scrapes on her face.  I lost it.  Being a mom she reassured me that she was OK.  Being my mom, she thanked all the nurses by name as we wheeled her out and loaded her into the car.  Being my mom, she cracked jokes while we waited for her prescription.

I knew the weight I felt on my shoulders, so I could just imagine how my mom felt.  But, she was more concerned about letting us down than the DNF that would show in her results or the fact that she fractured her collarbone.  None of us wanted her to feel this way, but being a mom, she did.

We rode home and made lunch.  My mom and step-dad later ventured back to the finish to pick up their friend and fellow racer who reported upon finishing that it was the hardest IM he had ever done.....he has done several.  Nick and I had a nice dinner and lamented with strangers at the table next to us.  Everyone agreed what a bummer it was.

Before I begin what I'm about to say next I want to preface it by saying the woman who won my mom's age group completely deserved it.  She was the only woman in the age group to finish.  Her efforts should not go un-noticed or ignored.  She did it, she finished, she KQ'd, it was her day.  That said, its only natural to root for the home team.  We are filled with would haves and could haves.  We are sad because we wanted our mom to win, we know she had a great chance.

In the next couple of days my step-dad asked my mom if she was ever going to cry.  It was then that she finally did.  As I sit writing this she hasn't signed up for IM Lake Tahoe 2014.  Yet.  I am wondering when she is going to get pissed.  Because, once that fire ignites in her belly, watch out.

This though, is easy for me to say.  I don't have to put in the time, I don't have to feel the pain, I don't have to train my ass off.  She does.  And it is seriously hard work.

It is when I reflect on this crappy story that I realize what a good story it really is.  Our family is incredibly blessed to have a mom like this.  A mom who can give us not only an example of toughness, commitment, struggle, strength and achievement.  But also a mom who gives us an example of grace, courage, humbleness and positivity in a super disappointing circumstance.  Someone who puts in a crap ton of effort only to get hurt and have it dashed, but worries about letting down her family, friends and team instead.

It doesn't matter that my mom Did Not Finish.  She will always be a winner as far as we're concerned.

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