Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chosen Half Marathon

Today I completed one of my goals in life...I ran a half marathon!! I ran the Chosen Half Marathon in New Braunfels and it was AMAZING!! The purpose of the Chosen Marathon is to raise money for adoption....what a wonderful cause!! 

Families participating in the race posted pictures of the children they had adopted on this board. 

One thing I loved about the race was all of the encouragement along the way. I can't think of a better way to encourage someone than through scripture. Several teams had shirts just like this:


Here's some more encouragement!! You can't see their shirts in this picture, but they say "I was chosen." Another poster I saw said "I was adopted into a Christian family, thank you for running for me today."


The race also had beautiful scenery and a challenging course. Here are some pictures of the course.




I just loved running along the river!! 



I saw this sign on the course...hahahaha.

Finally, made it to the finish line!! I completed my first half marathon without taking a break to walk!! Yay!!


If your interested in running a beautiful race that supports a good cause visit their website:



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spray Painting Furniture





I recently bought two new pieces of furniture. I was in a rush to get them done so I tried a new method...spray paint!!! I was hesitant to try this method, but I'm pleased with the results.


Supplies for cleaning the furniture:
TSP cleaner
gloves
eye protection
sponge
old towel
plastic tray
tarp

Steps for cleaning the furniture:

  1. Lay the tarp under the piece of furniture.
  2. Remove any knobs/handles.
  3. Follow the directions on the back of the TSP bottle. My directions said to pour the TSP in a plastic tray. Use the sponge to rub the TSP on the furniture. Let the TSP sit for about 5 minutes, and then clean off the TSP using an old towel. The purpose of the TSP is to clean the furniture and help prepare it for painting. Also, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection for safety when using TSP. 


Supplies for refinishing the furniture:
Spray Kilz Primer (about $6 at Walmart or Lowes)
Spray Paint (Rust-oleum or Krylon work well)
Polyurethane (must be clear)
Sponge brush

Steps for Refinishing the Furniture:

  1. Find a good location to work on your project. I tried to do mine outside, but the wind blew something onto my furniture (ruined the entire project). I would recommend a well ventilated garage.
  2. Lay the tarp under the piece of furniture.
  3. Spray paint the piece with Kilz Primer and let it dry for several hours. I normally like to wait a full day in between coats just to be safe. 
  4. Next you are ready to spray paint. I spray painted the chest "Rust-oleum Ultra Color 2x Black" and the other piece "Krylon Ocean Breeze." 
  5. You may need to do two or three coats of spray paint, but let each coat dry before adding another coat.
  6. As a finishing touch, polyurethane the piece using a sponge brush. Be careful not to leave any streaks or bubbles. Polyurethane is great way to protect your furniture. I'm going to use the black chest as a coffee table, so I definitely want to protect it from water marks and scratches.
  7. You will probably need two coats of polyurethane.
  8. Once the piece is completely dry, put the knobs/handles back in place. If you don't like the original knobs/handles you can either spray paint them or buy new ones. 








Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gruene Wine & Music Fesitval


 My friend and I went to the Gruene Wine & Musical Festival this weekend!! It was wonderful....I actually thought it was better than Oktoberfest!! The atmosphere was relaxing, the music was great, and the wine selection was AMAZING!! 



The tickets cost $20, which paid for five wine samples and a wine glass. We must have looked poor because several other people gave us their wine sample tickets...hahaha. We sampled several different wines, listened to some good music, and then ate dinner at the Gristmill. The Gristmill has a nice atmosphere, a great view of the river, live music, and yummy food!!


After dinner we walked around Gruene and found a few more concerts just out on the streets. I can't wait to go back....we're actually talking about getting a room at a bed and breakfast next year so we can stay the whole weekend!!






Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sharpie Mugs

My girlfriends and I got together this week to make some cute little mugs!! We bought the mugs at Goodwill for $1 and then decorated them with Sharpies.  Once we were done decorating, we placed the mugs in the oven and then turned on the oven. We baked the mugs at 425 degrees for 40 minutes. We then turned off the oven and left the mugs inside to cool. 



Helpful Tip: When writing words it's helpful to place a piece of tape on the mug (I can't write in a straight line otherwise). 



Before my friends came over I did a few test runs to ensure a successful craft. On the first test run, I baked the mugs at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (like most of the websites say to do). Unfortunately, those websites are wrong because the design washed off. On the second test run, I tried to seal the mug with a spray sealant (another suggestion I read online). Again, this suggestion was a failure and I had to throw the mug away. If you would like some good tips on decorating mugs I recommend this website: http://www.diyopolis.com/tips-and-tricks-to-the-diy-sharpie-mug/




Saturday, October 5, 2013

Oktoberfest

My coworkers and I took a little road trip to Fredericksburg for Oktoberfest!! It was about a two hour drive, but well worth the trip. It cost only $7 to get in and we spent about $15 on food and drinks. We spent a few hours at the festival looking at the stands, eating some yummy German food, and listening to some nice music. It was so festive...I just loved how the town came together for the event!! After the festival we walked around downtown Fredericksburg and did some shopping...such a wonderful and relaxing day!!


Aw...this old man tried to ring the bell!! He didn't make it, but he had so much enthusiasm!! 


 My yummy bratwurst!! 


And a nice refreshing beer!! 




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oreo Layer Dessert


Ingredients:
1 pkg regular Oreo's
1/2 cup of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding 
2 (8oz) cool whip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Crush the whole package of Oreo's. 
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crushed Oreo's. 
  3. Pour the remaining Oreo crumbs into a 9x13 dish. Melt the butter and pour over the crumbs. Mix the butter and crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to form the crust.
  4. Make the chocolate pudding according to the package instructions. 
  5. In a mixing bowl blend the cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix. Once the powdered sugar and cream cheese are well blended, fold in one of the cool whip packages.
  6. Top the Oreo crust with the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Top the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate pudding.
  8. Top the chocolate pudding with the other cool whip package.
  9. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of Oreo's (you set aside earlier) on top of the cool whip. 
  10. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Moscato Punch


1 can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate 
2 bottles of Moscato (I used Barefoot)
3 cups of sprite

I made this punch for Bunco tonight and it was wonderful!! Sssooo yummy!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bunco

Bunco is a dice game, but it's really more of a time to socialize. We just had our first Bunco night and it was a BLAST!!! Our Bunco group meets once a month (first Tuesday of the month), so each player will be hosting Bunco once this year. Every player that signs up for Bunco, must host Bunco. Hosting is a shared responsibility, but it's nothing to hard. 

Bunco Basics:
You need 12 fun individuals for Bunco. Four players sit around one table, so you will need three different tables (table 1, table 2, and table 3). At each table there should be a whole punch, notepad, pencil, and 3 dice. Partners sit diagonally (in other words they shouldn't sit right next to each other). One person at each table is the "score keeper". The scorekeeper is the first player to roll the dice. During round 1 the players are trying to roll a "one". If they roll a "one", their team receives a tally mark and they can roll again (you receive a tally mark for every "one" you roll, unless it's a Bunco then you receive six tally marks). If the player doesn't roll a "one", the dice get passed along to the next player. If the player rolls 3 one's at the same time, they yell out Bunco. The player with a Bunco will hold onto the large "B" (until someone else gets a Bunco), mark a "B" at the top of their name card, and their team receives 6 tally marks. Everyone continues to roll until one team at table 1 receives twenty-one tally marks. At that point, table 1 rings the bell to let the other tables know Round 1 is finished. Whichever team has the most tally marks at table 1 receives a whole punch in their name card for winning that round. The same goes for tables 2 and 3. The winners from table 3 will rotate to table 2, the winners from table 2 will rotate to table 1, and the winners from table 1 will rotate to table 3. At the new table partners will switch, so that more socializing can occur. Before the next round begins, players are encouraged to grab some food and enjoy one another's company. When table 1 is ready, round 2 begins. Round 2 is the same as round 1 except this time players are trying to roll a "two". The game continues through 6 different rounds. At the end of the night, winners are selected and the prizes are distributed. 

Bunco Bag:
The Bunco Bag contains 3 pencils, 3 notepads, 3 whole punch, 9 dice, 1 bell, 1 large "B", and 1 folder. The folder contains information for the host (contact information, set up procedures, etc). The bag travels from host to host to make planning/set-up easier.

The Host Duties:
The host is in charge of setting up Bunco night, contacting Bunco players, finding subs for those players who cannot attend, making name cards, providing food and drinks, and buying the prizes. Every Bunco player is supposed to bring $5 to help reimburse the host for the prizes.

Prizes:
The winner (player with the most whole punches) receives a $25 gift
The player with the most Bunco's (B's written at the top of their scorecard) receives a $20 gift
The player with the large "B" at the end of the night receives a $10 gift
The Loser receives a $5 gift

Subs:
If a regular player is unable to attend, it is best to find a substitute to take their place. If a sub cannot be found it's not a big deal. Instead of playing with four people at a table, you will have one table with only three players. Two players will be on one team, and the other player will be by themselves. The player by themselves will roll for themselves and for their "ghost" partner. 

The name cards to keep score on.

This month's prizes!!

Our large "B" for when a player get's a Bunco!! 

Here are some of the yummy foods we ate at this month's Bunco:


Creamy Bacon & Cheese Dip


Ingredients

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (3 ounces) bacon bits
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 envelop onion soup mix
  • crackers
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together sour cream and cream cheese. Fold in cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions, and onion soup mix.
  • Pour into a 2-quart baking dish ( 8 x 8 dish). Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

Broccoli Dip


1 pkt Knors Veggie soup mix (dry)
1 small box frozen chopped broccoli (thawed and drained)
16 oz sour cream
1 cup mayo

Combine all of the above ingredients. Let chill for 2 hours (so flavor blends) and then serve with Hawaiian sweet bread. I like to put the dip in a bowl and put the bowl in the Hawaiian bread.