Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing in the New Year

Out with the old and in with the new. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty ready to say, "so long," to 2010. It wasn't a bad year. I had fun, attained some goals (first triathlon, two century bicycle rides and managed to run every race in the Memphis Runners Road Race Series, which gave me"Road Warrior" bragging rights!), met some wonderful new friends, and managed to leave the country for a bit. So, I can hardly complain! However, I am excited and optomistic about 2011. Odd years are always better than even years!

This is how they celebrate the New Year in Scotland. :-) It made me smile.

Happy New Year to You!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...Right Now

Julie Andrews had: raindrops on roses, bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up in string, to name a few. At the moment, these are some of mine:

1. People in cars who don't speed up when you turn on your blinker.

2. Sugar Plum Spice tea.

3. Multi-functional items, like these clip earrings. They're pretty heavy, so I don't much wear them as earrings, but thought they'd be a great way to jazz up some plain old, boring flats. Whaddya think?

4. Ballade Sauvignon Blanc. It's crisp, light, and the best's really inexpensive - at about $11.00/bottle. For some reason, I'm really enjoying this wine right now. Well, not right this second, but, this season. I find it odd that when it's cold outside, I migrate towards hot chocolate with Irish Cream and crisp, cold, white wine. What a fruit loop.

5. Balaclavas. Like this one from bike nashbar. This was a Christmas present to myself. It makes cold weather bike riding (or a number of other sports) bearable.

6. Insulated Tights Another essential item for outdoor cycling in cold weather!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Ahh, the annual "Brady Cat" torture, provided by my sister a few years ago. This is the payback for waking me up by repeatedly smacking me in the face with her tail. Yeah, it was "I Whip My Tail Back and Forth" style. Doesn't this look like a happy face? I think she's plotting her revenge now; I'd better sleep with one eye open.

Happy Post-Christmas!!

P.S. I realize that my silver tree (yes, I finally found one!) looks slightly "Charlie Brown-esque." Meh, it's a work in progress. Next year will be better, I promise.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute DIY Gifts

I hope I'm not spoiling anything for my friends and family, who might be subject to getting my diy are a few really easy, fun, do-it-yourself gifts this holiday season!

Bath salts are so easy to make. Epsom salts, your favorite scented oil and a jar are all it takes. This year, I saw a recipe for Candy Cane Rejuvenating Bath Salts. How festive! Paired with a votive and loofah & bingo! You have a fabulous mini-spa gift for the hostess who sends a last minute party invite! Here's the finished product:

Candy Cane Bath Salts
1 to 2c. Epsom salts
A few drops of food coloring
Peppermint oil
Almond oil
Dropper for dispensing oils

Get three bowls, in each of the bowls add 2 cups of salts, 3 drops of almond oil & 8 drops of peppermint essential oil. Add 1 drop (or until desired color is reached) of each of the food coloring to two of bowls. You will end up with a bowl of red, green and white. Let sit a few hours.

To create the candy cane effect layer layers of each color, a layer of red, a layer of green, a layer of white, over and over until you fill the jar.

Another great, quick and easy idea, is cookie mix (or another food) in a jar. Here's a recipe for soup in a jar. The "recipe in a jar" ideas are endless! Hot chocolate would be a good recipe in a jar, too. Especially, in the cold winter months.

What are some of your favorite DIY gifts?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week In Review

What a busy week this has been and I see no signs of things slowing down anytime soon. The week began last Sunday with dinner and a movie. It's something that the Majestic Grille has been doing the last few weeks. They have a set, 3-course menu for $25.00, along with an old movie shown on the big screen. This past week they showed, "Holiday Inn." I was ecstatic to see my favorite holiday movie on the big screen. I hope they continue to offer, Sunday Night Dinner & Movie, throughout the year. It's not a great picture, but this gives you a peek at what it was like.

Then Monday night, the Hightailers bicycle club volunteered to help with "Starry Nights," a holiday light exhibit at the local park, Shelby Farms. It was brutally cold (my bike computer registered a chilly 24 degrees), but we had fun freezing out tails off. Afterward, I took my heavy, steel framed bike, "Big Bertha," for a spin through the exhibit. It was so nice to leisurely bike through the exhibit. The run/walk/bike nights are the way to go, if you can handle the cold. I highly recommend it!

Yesterday was the Hightailers annual, "Jingle Bell Ride." People were encouraged to decorate their bikes and bring a canned food entree to give to those less fortunate. I wish I had also taken a picture of the donated food. I was impressed with how much was collected! But, alas, it was cold and all I could think about was getting on with the ride so that I could warm up!

Here are a few of us chatting while crossing the new pedestrian bridge at Shelby Farms. You can see remnants from the morning's "snow storm."

Well, gotta run. I have so much time and so little to, strike that & reverse it...thank you. Then off to the last dinner & movie showing. Tonight, is "It's a Wonderful Life." Indeed. It is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It Truly Is All Greek To Me

Over the summer, I discovered Greek yogurt. I've seen it in grocery stores for years, but finally gave it a try and fell in love, almost instantly. This is the first brand that I tried:

It's thick, creamy and has a smooth taste. I buy the plan stuff and add my own flavoring. Usually, it's honey if I add anything at all. I really don't like the flavoring or jam type stuff that they add into the yogurt. My need to control what goes into my body, at its best...anyway, I can no longer find Fage at the stores closest to my house. Those of you who know me well, know that I have a severe reaction when I leave my zip code, within the City. I start sweating, my heart starts pounding, and I feel like I may pass out. Not to mention the irrational fear I have of soccer moms and the like, which complicates the "don't wanna leave my zip code," thing. It's like I'm afraid it's contagious and if I spend too much time in the vicinity of soccer moms, I will wake up one day and find that I am one. Oh good grief, I'm getting light headed just thinking about it...

To make a short story long, I've tried other brands of Greek Yogurt: Oikos, Dannon, and Cabot. All of those are extremely bitter tasting to me. I was actually surprised that Cabot wasn't "like butta," because their cheese is so delicious. Of the three, I'd eat Dannon's Greek yogurt, if I had too.

Anyone else a lover of Greek style yogurt? What are your favorites?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon

Although, I missed the British invasion, I had older siblings who lived through that time. Everyone in my family adored the Beatles music and, once the Beatles split, they also enjoyed their solo music. My older brother - who is still my hero - liked Paul's music the best. I, on the other hand, have always been a John Lennon fan. He made such an impact. Not only to the music world, but also by speaking out on social issues. I've always had such great respect for him.

When I was little (beginning at 4 years old, I think), it was my job to bring in the morning paper and give it to my dad, along with a weather description. Yes, it was my job to let my dad know if he'd need rain shoes, a jacket, or overcoat. I think he saw this information on the news and just wanted me to feel important. Anyway, I remember picking up the morning paper and, even though I could only read a few words - cat, hat, etc. - I would always look at the front page and pick out words that I could read. One particular day, I opened the front page to see a picture of John Lennon. I definitely knew what he looked like, my siblings had every album by the Beatles. The title was "John Lennon Shot" - at least those where the words I knew. I recall feeling devastated. That feeling grew when I showed the paper to my brothers and sisters and saw their devastation, as well. That is a day I will never forget.

Here's one of my favorite John Lennon songs. There are so many, but alas, I haven't time to post them all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What A Weekend That Was

'Tis the season to bring the busy, I suppose. But that's ok. All in all, this weekend was great fun. It began with the St. Jude Marathon. Nah, I didn't knees are still really angry about the two half marathons that I ran last month. I did, however, meet one of my dearest friends at mile marker 22 to help her finish the marathon. Still smiles after 26.2! Amazing. I was ready to be finished after just 4 miles.

Later on, I met some friends at the new bar downtown, "Bar None." It's located where Circa used to be. Don't get me started about how upset I am that Circa moved to East Memphis. It was my absolute favorite. I. Am. Seriously. Hurt. Anyway, Bar None's set up is quite unique. There are couches, bistro tables, but mostly rectangular, copper topped, bar style tables. Since, this weekend was a "soft opening," they were not serving food from the menu, but had menu's available so that we could see the fare. Also, they had a room where they offered some of the food, buffet style. Free! :-) They had loaded potato skins, chips and cheese dip and all types of sliders. I tried the crab cake slider. Yum. The menu had a creative mixed-drink selection, as well as, a decent selection of what I would consider, upscale bar food.

Then it was off to see one of my favorite local acts, John Paul Keith and the 1, 4, 5's. If you haven't seen this band, you are truly missing out. It's rockabilly at its finest.

There was an odd mix at the show. This was happening:

Then, a guy asked me to dance, so I assaulted his feet for a while. Well, it's his own fault. I'm not well versed in country swing. Is that even a dance style? In my defense, I did warn him. Regardless, it was still fun to dance. Probably not so much from his perspective, though. C'est la vie. Nothing could keep me from having a good time. I even got to see my old pal, Anna and her fiance, Kevin.

Happy Busy Season to you all!