Sam Costa 2017

This morning was the Sam Costa Quarter and Half Marathon.  This was our second year running, and we opted for the quarter marathon length.  Sam Costa is one of the most organized (if not the best) races around.  Packet pick-up is so quick, the course is very well marked with volunteers at every turn, water stations are plentiful, and there are cookies at the finish.

I started the race strong hoping to get a 10k PR, but hit a wall after only mile 2.  Mile 3 was awful.  I almost starting walking because I couldn’t breath very well.  I have been battling the flu all week and had trouble breathing on some runs earlier this week, but had been feeling better and had high hopes of a fast race.

I managed to finish in under an hour with no walking which became my new goal during mile 3.  One neat thing about the race is that overall winners, course record holders, and age group winners get their names on the back of next year’s t-shirt.  Drew placed first in his age group with a respectable time of 40:58 or 6:16 pace.  He wasn’t thrilled with the time, but I thought he still did well.  I finished with a time of  56:20 or 8:37 pace.  Somehow this was good enough to earn me first in my age group.  I was so surprised, since last year I ran quicker and was not first.  There were other women in front of me in my age group, but they were overall winners.  The overall winner of the race was actually female this year which isn’t something you see often.


Note that Drew made the shirt this year 🙂


After the race, we went to Taste of Havana for lunch.  A delicious choice.


Plans for the rest of the day include planting these beauties ❀❀❀




Carrot Dogs and a Celebration

On labor day, we “grilled” carrot dogs.  I saw the recipe in Shape magazine and clipped it a while back, because it sounded interesting.   (For the record, I don’t know why I receive Shape, but somehow I have been receiving since we lived in Twinsburg).  I didn’t have high hopes, but I figured I would give it a try just for fun. You basically boil carrots, let them sit overnight in a marinade, and then cook them in a pan.  After I made the marinade, my hands smelled just like hot dogs.  It was crazy.   They turned out much tastier than I thought.  Drew and Newton enjoyed them as well, so we will probably make them again.  Here is the recipe if anyone wants to give it a try.


Carrot Dogs

4 carrots (washed and ends cut off)

4 T chicken stock

3 T soy sauce

1 garlic clove (minced)

1/2 inch piece of ginger (chopped fine)

2 T white vinegar

2 t liquid smoke

3 t brown sugar

Simmer the carrots in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and place them in ice water.  Mix together remaining ingredients for the marinade.  Place carrots in a shallow dish with marinade and let sit overnight.  Saute carrots in 1 teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Turn carrots frequently and drizzle with marinade as they cook.  Place in buns (I recommend higher quality buns) and top with ketchup and mustard.  Enjoy!

Drew took vacation this week so we could get lots of yard work done.  A few weeks ago, one of our trees lost a huge limb during one of the many storms.  Our yard also flooded repeatedly.  To prevent future floods, we (read mainly Drew) has been putting in some drainage pipes.  Here is a preview of the progress so far.


Newton is greatly enjoying all the dirt.  If you look close enough, you can see it on his tongue.


As a break from all the yard work, we went on a 10 mile bike ride to downtown to celebrate.  We have been talking about eating lunch at Wildwood Market for months.  Each day they feature one sandwich and one salad.  Today’s sandwich creation was smoked brisket, kale dressed with smoky sauce, caramelized leek dressing, and cheddar cheese spread on a pretzel bun.  So yummy and totally worth the bike ride.


We ended lunch by going down the street to Amelia’s for big cookies :D, but while we were eating our cookies, the tube in my back tire popped :(.  Luckily, we were able to catch the bus back home.  It was our first time on the bus, and the bus driver was super nice and helped us secure our bikes to the rack right before it started to downpour!  Busting a tire turned out to be not such a bad thing.





New Shutters

Monday night, we finally installed our new shutters!!  Before we bought our house, I looked at many pictures of it on google street view.  We decided that we were not a fan of the black shutters.  They were so boring and too small for the windows.

For the new shutters, I knew I would only want them on the outer two windows.  I wanted to draw attention away from the middle encasement window.  It is too close to the door to have proper sized shutters.  We started building the new shutters a few weeks ago using a  design from Lowes.  The diagrams were easy to follow, and we love the results!  When we were getting the paint mixed, the lady mixing the paint nicely told me she thought I was crazy for getting such a bright color in exterior paint ha-ha.

Before pictures:

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In the process of hanging:

Our adorable helper:

After pictures:


We painted the garage door window trim and mailbox post too.  The mailbox post is so bright you can see it from the end of the street.



Weekend Project: His and Hers Edition


A creeper to use while changing oil and to move Miss Figgy (0ur fig tree) in and out of the garage in inclement weather.

Buying supplies

Miss Figgy and N


In progress


The finished product

Note:  This picture isn’t posed, he is actually changing the oil 🙂


A spring apron using this pattern and fabric from my favorite fabric store.  The pattern is pretty easy to follow and uses french seams (which I love!).  The only issue I had was that the straps were super long.  I would suggest starting with shorter straps.  I had to trim them down by at least 18 inches.

The supplies


The finished product

More Newton birthday celebration pictures:


Happy Birthday!

Today is Newton’s 6th Birthday!  He is celebrating by doing all his favorite things – going on a walk, playing ball, snorting in the dirt, playing with the  hose, chewing his bone, and napping with a large fluffy friend.  Here is a look at his 5th year of life.  Note how he manages to look cute despite the terrible haircuts I give him.


Here he is enjoying a game of birthday fetch. It is perfect weather today – sunny with a strong wind to keep a fluffy puppy cool 🙂


Weekend Project: Pavers

Our new place has such a nice deck area out back with stairs leading up to the rail trail, but the side yard is not so nice.  It is lumpy, has a crazy amount of sticks all over, clumps of chives growing randomly in the middle of he yard, and barely any grass.  The biggest problem is the barely any grass.  When it rains it becomes a giant mud pit.  We are talking so muddy that even Mr. N won’t walk through it to go potty.  He will either try to jump over it or teeter on the edge of the retaining wall.


This past weekend we decided to tackle the muddy walkway by the fence.  A few weeks ago we purchased the paver base.  We calculated that we needed 34 bags, so we headed out to make our purchase.  We loaded up the Focus with all the bags and someone walking by commented that we should be careful because it looked like we had a heavy load.  Sure enough the back of the car was coming down on the tires.  IMG_20160220_201705289_HDRWe evened out the weight by putting the bags all over the car, not just in the trunk.  This meant even in the passenger seat.  I had no where to sit, so I wandered around Menards for an hour while Drew drove the load home and came back to pick me up.  I think I walked up and down every aisle in the store.  Menards has some pretty interesting items for sale.  I enjoyed looking through the greeting cards and spotted this giant garden gnome.


Needless to say, we opted to have the rest of the   supplies and pavers delivered during the week.  Saturday we leveled out the dirt and started putting paver base. Newton enjoyed digging and snorting in the dirt all day.  He is really good at removing tree roots.  He yanks them out of the ground and then gnaws them off.

Sunday we finished laying the paver base and sand in the morning and then laid the pavers in the afternoon.


It is supposed to rain quite a bit in the upcoming weeks.  We will see how it holds up.  Now we need some flowers in the garden and a nice rain barrel.IMG_20160309_110649433_HDR

I almost forgot – Saturday at the market there were kumquats for sale!  🙂IMG_20160305_111517254


One of the first things we did before moving in was paint.  We started with the pantry/laundry room area as practice.  We had originally decided to paint the whole house one neutral shade of white and then change it later.  I took a trip to Sherwin Williams and picked up many paint sample cards of pale neutrals.  There are so many shades of white available.  After holding up and comparing all the samples, we decided that white was kinda boring.


We went back to the paint store and ended up picking out Aquamarine for the laundry/pantry area and a shade of sky blue for our bedroom.


After seeing how bright and fun the Aquamarine was, we ended up painting the other two bedrooms in bright colors as well.


The blue paint we chose for the bedroom didn’t cover in one coat, so we had to get more paint.  We ended up going with Behr Marquee for the rest of the rooms and love it.  It is a little more expensive, but worth it to me to have to only do one coat.   The bedroom is C’est La Vie to to go with our navy and white bedding.

Drew chose the office color to be Balsam.

For the sewing room/guest room, I wanted mint. Pageant Green ended up being my choice.  The ceiling was originally brown, so we used leftover paint from the living room to make it gray.


For the living room, we were strongly considering Electric Blue, but decided that a neutral gray with bright furnishings would be better.  We ended up choosing Gray Shimmer based on many internet recommendations of how it is one of the best neutral color choices for any home.

We also used the gray in the hallway.  Previously the hallway was three different shades of gray brown, so having it only be one color makes it look much cleaner.


After all the painting and moving of boxes was complete, there was a celebratory cake.  A funfetti dinosaur cake, of course.IMG_20160127_165641584