The Neon Run!

So, two Saturdays ago, I ran my first 5k with some friends!!

It was a super fun neon-dance-party-pseudo-rave kind of thing. AKA, untimed, and a BLAST. (But I did still kind of try to time it and I think we completed it in 40ish minutes! Which is pretty dang good in my book. Haha). It was at Candlestick Park (where the 49ers used to play), and we even got to run through the stadium at one point! Not ON the field though…that would have been cool. And not on the stairs either…that would not have been cool. Hahahaa.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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Shari, getting her war paint on

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Jayna, Shari, myself, Arica, and Brittney!

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Blacklight glow zone!

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Arica looked SO awesome. And her gel nails were glowing like crazy.

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BOOM.

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Dance partay!

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It was pretty awesome. And pretty much the closest any of us Moms are ever going to get to a rave…on a church night. Hahaha :)

Seriously, these ladies are awesome. I am so lucky to live exactly where I am, surrounded by them and countless other fantastic friends! Jayna and Shari are pretty much pro runners, Brittney has some impressive races under her belt, and Arica and I are super slow newbies. But they all slowed down to jog beside us (and encouraged us to try this whole running thing in the first place, haha)! Also I wore my craptastic old running shoes (glow paint was EVERYWHERE), and they were killing my feet/ankles halfway through. So Shari found out we wear the same size and she up and traded shoes with me so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Talk about giving the clothes off your back. Pretty sure I shed a tear for that one…or maybe that was just eye leakage from the wind in my face. Either way, I was touched : )

And as for that triathlon training….well, it’s going! This week was kind of a bust. But the two weeks prior were pretty decent! Brittney and I are training together. We run on our own, but we’ll swim and go on bike rides together after our kiddos are asleep. Actually, we’ve just done it twice so far….dang, it is so hard to feel like biking and swimming after a long hard day chasing kids. And it’s even harder to get the training done in the wee hours of the morning when your kids aren’t reliable sleepers yet. But we’ll work it out….I’m just happy to be training and to have a goal  to work toward! Someday I’ll complete a triathlon, even if I’m not ready this August.

Hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! We’re off to a family camping trip next weekend, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it ; )

love, Rach

Today in the Mother Hood

Well, today was one of THOSE days.

My darling daughter refused to nap at the usual time today, even though she was clearly exhausted. She’d fall asleep for a few minutes after nursing, and then wake up and play in her crib. Over a period of two hours, I checked on her three times and changed her diaper and her clothes once. Still no sleep, but she was playing happily by herself, so I decided to eat lunch and shower in peace.

HAH, “peace”.

When I went to check on her again, there was poop everywhere. On her face, in her fingernails, smeared into her clothes, all over her crib, and even on the wall. She was chewing on her hand. It was stinky. It could have been worse…but it was still STRAIGHT NASTY. (I took a picture, but don’t worry I won’t show you. It was mostly for posterity and for whining to my husband.)

It didn’t help that I had encountered this same scene a mere three days ago. Only then, my husband was home and helped me manage the situation, and Daisy hadn’t been quite as artistic with her excrement in the previous situation.

The next hour was kind of ridiculous, but somehow I managed to hold it all together and even get the cranky child down for a nap in a nice, clean bed.

As I was nursing her to sleep, I could not WAIT to put her down and go take a nap myself or eat a bag of chocolate chips or something. But, as soon as she fell asleep on me…I couldn’t let her go. I was overcome with the enormous amount of love I have for this little girl, and how incredible she is. I just kept rocking, and rocking, and rocking….When I gently laid her down after a while, it almost broke my heart.

Things didn’t get much easier after she woke up, but I haven’t felt this enamored with my little girl since she was teeny tiny. It’s been choking me up all evening.

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Daisy is quite an independent little thing. She hasn’t ever had separation anxiety and she doesn’t “need” me very much – even after she takes a spill, it just makes her angrier when I try to snuggle her and kiss it better. So I think I forget how much she really does depend on me, and how much I depend on her. She’s the reason for everything that I do.

In a weird way, today was exactly what I needed. It was a hard day, and I could feel that I had the help of angels and answers to prayers for peace. And thanks to that help and those prayers, today was able to remind me exactly how much I love this little stinker. It reminded me why I’m doing this whole Mom thing, and why I love it. It could have been a total disaster – and maybe some would still consider it a disastrous day if they saw the state my house is currently in – but it wasn’t.

this outfit, however, was a little more of a disaster. totally 90s! accidental crop top!

this outfit, however, was a little more of a disaster. totally 90s! accidental crop top!

I love my baby, and I can’t wait to have a bazillion more just like her.

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“taste safe” moon sand! …that I accidentally dyed poop green. hah. click through for the recipe!

But I really, truly hope that the poop obsession ends soon — or at least that sensory play helps fulfill that desire in a more sanitary manner! Haha.

love, rach

Who AM I??

So, let me tell you all about how my life got flip-turned upside down…

Okay so it’s not really THAT dramatic. I didn’t get into any fights and I’m not moving across the country. I’ve just had a major change of heart.

Allow me to wax nostalgic on you here for just a sec.

When my sister was in middle school, she joined the track team and ran hurdles. I was inspired by her athleticism, and decided I should start running too. I had always hated running, but had gotten to the point of ALMOST not hating it once, when I had a friend to jog with in gym class.

So, I decided that my sister would run with me and that I would totally be the star of my high school track team next year. I started off with a great runner’s high!

I made it less than two blocks before being completely and totally wiped out.

And no, I’m not talking about city blocks. I’m talking neighborhood blocks, in our funky Seattle suburb, which really amounted to less than 100yds. More or less. I had no desire to go on, or to push through the pain, and I developed shin splints.

That story basically sums up my lifelong relationship with running.

But today – I find myself having gone running consistently for two months, beginning triathlon training today, and running my first 5k on Saturday. Also I went to a fancy running store and told them to tell me why my feet were hurting and then bought some expensive shoes (which I love).

WHO DO I THINK I AM?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?

Now, this does not mean I am fast or athletic. I am down to a pretty consistent 12 minute mile, and that’s probably where I’m going to stay. I rarely run for over a mile, 2 miles is my max at this point, so yeah I’m a little nervous for that 5k. I still have little desire to push through the pain — I think my pain threshold might be slightly altered after bearing/birthing a child and this is why it’s easier for me ; ) Also, I have the raddest group of friends here, who are always encouraging me to be healthier and joining me for slow-stroller-jog-walks!

ANYWAY. Just wanted to let you all know I’ve apparently lost my marbles. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a break from my insanity often enough to update you on my adventures! Thanks for reading this blog of mine. You’re the best.

love, rach

TQFTMDMCCIC: In Space! [and a GIVEAWAY!]

Okay, so this won’t be nearly as exciting as Muppets In Space, or as intense as watching Gravity in IMAX, or anything like that…But it’s still pretty dang interesting.

I have eaten astronaut food, without even leaving the atmosphere. Or my own kitchen, for that matter. And you can, too!

I give to you: Astronaut Ice Cream.

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THE DISH: Freeze-dried mint chocolate chip ice cream! It is packaged in slitted paper sleeve, sealed within an air tight pouch. It is often already broken into pieces upon opening, which is not a bad thing, as you don’t really “bite” into it. Well, you could, but it would just break a piece off rather than giving you a clean bite. It’s definitely not a texture I’ve ever encountered in something edible before.

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THE EXPERIENCE: It melts in your mouth! Since it re-hydrates with your saliva [ew, but really that's what happens], it’s like getting all of the deliciously melty bits from the bottom of your sundae bowl. Without actually eating the cold ice cream first. At first you’re kind of like “Oh my goodness, did I just eat CHALK?!” but then it melts and tastes pretty darn good and you’re no longer worried about that whole chalk-thing. If you suck on it, it simply melts into a puddle of sweetness. If you chew it, it can get stuck in the surfaces of your teeth, if you like that sort of time-release-candy sort of effect. It can leave your hands slightly sticky, but doesn’t leave a residue like unto Cheetos or Doritos, so never fear!

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THE PROS: I imagine this could be a boon to people with sensitive teeth! No cold shock. And if you’re prone to dripping/melting ice cream cones, Astronaut ice cream leaves you with no fears on that front. It will not melt one bit. Also, the chocolate chips in this flavor melt at almost the same rate as the ice cream, which is a cool mouth feel! Also, the novelty of the thing is just….awesome. And if you’re planning on having an anti-gravity adventure any time soon, this would probably be a good snack option. Just sayin’.

THE CONS: Well, it’s not the best MCCIC I’ve ever tasted. But it isn’t bad! I could survive astronautic life if this were the only ice cream option available to me. And it’s such a fun experience. I will admit it was almost too weird at first, but it grew on me. I sampled some with my family around Christmas as well, and their experiences were similar! Distinctly odd, but the time it was gone we all wanted more.

OVERALL RATING: 3/5
It’s fun and weird and worth trying! But I do live on earth, and I prefer ice cold ice cream, and it is kind of pricey to have as a regular treat. But it would be a freakin’ awesome party favor at an outer space/astronaut party!

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Giveaway is now closed!

AND HERE’S THE KICKER: I have two pouches of this funky fabulous treat to give away to one lucky reader!! The flavors are neapolitan and chocolate-chocolate chip. Both quite delicious in their own right!
TO ENTER, simply leave a comment telling me what you think the weirdest part of living in outer space would be.
Giveaway is open to any resident of the United States of America — however, if you are under 18, please ask your parent/guardian’s permission and use their email address to post a comment. Be sure to enter a current/working email address in the comment form! The winner will be drawn randomly [using random.org] and contacted by email for shipping information. I am able to view the email address you register your comment with, so it is not necessary to type your email in the comment.
Giveaway will close on Saturday, June 7th, at 12:00am PST.

So, have at it! Tell me what you think about an astronautic life! Tell your friends to tell me too! Because picking a random number between 1-3 is not very much fun, you know ; )

love, Rach

DISCLAIMER: I bought this stuff myself and am not being compensated in any way! Is for fun. If anyone could be thanked for “sponsoring” this post, it would be my bro, Jacob. He is a pretty cool dude. 

[see previous ice cream reviews here!]

 

TQFTMDMCCIC: Ding Ding Ding, We Have A Winner!

One of my best friends came to visit about a month ago, and on a trip into San Francisco we were set on hitting up the Ben&Jerry’s store along the waterfront. Until we came across this signage:

Norman's | Thin Mint

 

I took the bait, and boy am I glad I did! I’ve found a five-star flavor!Norman's | Thin Mint

THE SCOOP: Thin Mint by Mitchell’s Ice Cream. A  fresh, natural-tasting peppermint ice cream with dark chocolate shavings.

PROS: EVERYTHING. Light, fresh peppermint flavor that isn’t dyed green and doesn’t taste fake. With the most amazing texture. And high quality chocolate chips, that are the perfect texture to melt in your mouth!! Oh my. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Loved every last second of this cone.

CONS: I can’t purchase it just anywhere. The closest grocery store that carries it in the freezer section is Draeger’s in San Mateo! And if I ever move away from the Bay I’m straight outta luck.

OVERALL RATING: 5/5
And now my palate has been tainted, because I’ve finally tasted something that qualifies for five whole stars. My apologies for any further ice cream reviews – I promise I’ll try not to let my judgment be altered but I figured it’s only fair to let you know that it might be ;)

Since this was such a special find, I have a couple bonus categories/photos to share with you!

 

Norman's | Thin Mint

THE FELLOW TASTE TESTERS: This was the first time my darling daughter actually enjoyed ice cream! Before she’s just made nasty faces because it’s cold. Or maybe because it just wasn’t as delicious as this stuff. My BFF Maye was also here and taste-tested too!! But for some reason the only photographic evidence I have of our trip into the city together is the fact that you can see her shoes in the photo I took of the ice cream cone.

Norman's | Thin Mint

THE SHOP: Norman’s Ice Cream and Freezes. It’s adorable! Hidden in a little corner of a courtyard (in the Cannery), with that fantastic signage. I’m pretty sure the owner, Norman, is the one who served us, and he is a gem. “It’s a lovely day, huh? But not as lovely as you ladies or my beautiful wife!” Totally tipped him. You *can* purchase Mitchell’s ice cream at other locations, but I love this little place so much.

All in all, I’d say this day was one of the best days ever. It was enough to get both the “Best Day Ever” and “Everything Is Awesome” songs (a la Spongebob and The Lego Movie) both running through my head, because I am so mature and grown up when it comes to my mental my-life-is-awesome soundtrack.

love, rach
disclosure, again: ain’t nobody paying me to write this bidness.

[previous ice cream reviews can be viewed here!]

118 | 365

Rachel:

Slightly behind schedule edition of TQFTMDMCCIC (because I’ve misplaced my laptop charger and haven’t been able to write a proper post…) BUT here is this delightful review from my friend Keli! It’s a post from her 365 day photo blog – she’s taking a photo a day this year. She hasn’t missed a day yet and her photography is wonderful! Check it out, and thank you Keli!

Originally posted on Kel's 365- 2014:

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118 | 365, a photo by kelsimad on Flickr.

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Today’s photo is for Rachel and her TQFTMDMCCIC (The Quest For The Most Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream).

I have never liked mint chocolate chip ice cream and I hadn’t really thought about why until a few weeks ago. I just never wanted it. Well, someone in the house picked this flavor of Safeway’s Private Selection ice cream and I LOVED IT! I realized it was not the unnaturally green color or the mint that I didn’t like. It was the chocolate chips. I hate chocolate chips in ice cream. I hate how hard they are and how they stick to my teeth. This brand has crushed Oreo type cookies and swirls of fudge instead. DELICIOUS! Another funny thing is I only like Oreos in ice cream. I…

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TQFTMDMCCIC the 5th

OKAY, OKAY, I KNOW.
I have been seriously slacking in my ice cream critiques. Not in person – I definitely have been glutting myself on creamy ice-y minty goodness. But the actually sharing my findings here on this good ‘ol blog?? Well. The crickets speak for themselves.

So, onwards and upwards! I have some exciting reviews coming your way – including a little giveaway [my first one, ahh!] and an actual 5/5 star amazing I-could-eat-this-every-day find that I came across yesterday!!! I am stoked.

But first up, this intriguing find from my grocer’s freezer. Technically, it IS a gelato and NOT an ice cream. What’s the difference??? I have no idea except that I think it has something to do with the temperature it is frozen to (gelato is frozen colder..?) and that temperature has an effect on the overall texture. But I have yet to actually do any real research on the matter and I’m basing that conjecture solely on the types of ice cream makers I used to memorize spiels about while working kitchen retail. BUT that is neither here nor there – I give you gelato!

Talenti Gelato | Mediterranean Mint

TALENTI GELATO | MEDITERRANEAN MINT

THE DISH: A light green, mint flavored ice cream (uh, gelato) with flat, non-uniform rectangular chunks of semisweet chocolate.

Talenti Gelato | Mediterranean Mint

THE PROS: Very smooth! The texture is wonderful. The ice cream gelato portion is very high quality. An interesting mint flavor too – not like anything I’ve ever had before. It really grew on me, though! Reminds me more of the flavor of peppermint tea than the traditional “mint” flavor in your run of the mill MCCIC. Also, check out those ingredients! I love seeing something so simple.

Talenti Gelato | Mediterranean Mint

 

THE CONS: While the gelato base is unconventional but lovable and of an exceedingly high quality, the chocolate is disappointingly sub-par. With a dessert such as this, I expect quality in every ingredient. It cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.00 for one pint, which is not the most expensive frozen dessert I’ve ever purchased, but it’s certainly more than a pint of Ben&Jerry’s and every B&J’s flavor I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying has had better chocolate than this. You’d think they’d be able to source a better ingredient, it would make their product truly sing!

OVERALL RATING: 2/5
Once again, I am overly critical, especially after sampling SO many types of the same flavor combination. But the price point coupled with the disappointing chocolate left me extremely unimpressed. I would, however, be willing to sample more Talenti flavors….provided they did not have any chocolate mix-ins ;)

Stay tuned for weekly ice cream installments! Giveaways and five stars and consistency, oh my! And once again, ain’t nobody paid me to write this bidniz. I am a simple person who has a passion for mint chocolate chip ice cream, makes a point to buy all of the kinds I deem worth my time (with my own monies), and thereby ingests copious amounts of minty chocolate-y frozen treats. Sometimes I even share them with my family or friends.

Today has looked like this:

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Those three small scratches on side my nose (by my eye…) are from my daughter. One is actually from a few days ago, when she clocked me in the nose with a mug. Today she took the scab off and added a couple more because I was only able to clip her nails on one hand today, and she tried to pull my nose off with the un-clipped hand.
She also used the hand with clipped nails to reach inside my mouth and tear that little flap of skin connecting your upper lip between my two front teeth. So I guess the nails don’t make a huge difference…

She is a busy one, that kid. Busy busy busy. I do love her.

Also I never took off my makeup last night, haven’t showered, we’ve watched movies all day….but I DID fold and put away an entire basket of laundry, so there’s that.

Sometimes you just have lazy days after long busy weekends, you know?

Here’s hoping the rest of the week turns out nicely : )

Love — Rach

The Quest For The Most Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: the best yet

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to…..

Haagen Dazs Mint Chocolate Chip.
Shoot dang, I can’t find my pictures. I’m publishing this anyway. Here’s a photo I stole from the Internet:

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Oh yes and a photo of the ice cream too!
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THE DISH: A white mint ice cream base with dark chocolate chips.

PROS: DANG. Definitely made from quality cream, this is good stuff. And the chocolate chips?? Practically perfect in every way. The texture is such that they melt in your mouth at just the right time and in the right way (no chewing!).

THE CONS: I wish the chocolate was a little more dark/bitter (I’m like a 80% cacao person), and that the mint was slightly stronger. That would be my idea of complete perfection.

OVERALL RATING: 4/5. Just because 5/5 is reserved for the best of the best in my book. But I would definitely fork over the cash for this ice cream again, no questions asked.

love — Rach

*Valentine found on failblog.com. I like to surf the “g rated” tag :) and ice cream is an image from the Haagen Dazs website!

TQFTMDMCCIC: IV

This week I’ve got yet another Ben&Jerry’s flavor for you!

Ben&Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie

Ben&Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie

THE DISH: A white mint ice cream with crumbled chocolate sandwich cookie bits. Think cookies n’ cream, but with a mint ice cream base.

Ben&Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie 2

See that right there?! Almost a full cookie. So beautiful.

THE PROS: Substantial cookie chunks! I don’t know about you, but I consider it a very good omen when I’m able to root out an entire cookie still in tact from my carton of ice cream. It is the ultimate archaeological dig. And I found two in this little pint! I love that, and the fact that the cookies stay soft and give you more of an immediate chocolate flavor, unlike chips which need time to melt on the tongue. It’s a nice subtle minty flavor, almost like mint Oreos blended with vanilla ice cream (instead of the other way around). It’s quite pleasant overall.

THE CONS: I wish it was “mintier”, if you eat the entire pint in one sitting (oops) you kind of grow numb to the mint and can’t taste it by the end.

OVERALL RATING: 3/5. The subtle mint just doesn’t do it for me. Again, very good ice cream, nothing “annoying” about eating it, but simply not worth it for the price point. I’m happy someone finally made a mint cookies n cream, because it is a BRILLIANT idea, but I’m not going to buy it unless it’s on sale. Come on off-brands, let’s see some knock offs!

Stayed tuned next week for HAAGEN DAZS!!!

love — Rach

previous reviews [1] [2] [3]