Big Weekend!

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What a crazy busy weekend that was! Friday Noah received an award at school, so we had to celebrate. He wanted to rent Goonies and have a pajama party, so we covered the floor in the couch cushions and pillows and had a huge picnic-style feast in our living room. Our boys think this is the coolest thing ever!

Saturday we had a family reunion to attend during the day. There was a really good turn out of my Mom's relatives and plenty of delicious food. The boys had so much fun playing games and running around with their cousins. They also came home with a huge bag full of goodies and prizes. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the huge praying mantis we found in the leaves. We brought it over to a picnic table so it wouldn't get trampled while the big kids played ball. It was so cool to check out up close!






Saturday night our friend, Mark came over to watch the boys so Drew and I could go to a Pirate Adventure Dinner is Buena Park. The traffic was insane because it's across the street from Knott's Scarey Farm, but we made it in on time. The seats were terrible and the food was mediocre. The show itself sucked!!! We couldn't understand a word that was said and it was just too corny for words. We actually left during dinner.
Sunday morning we went out to the Lake Elsinore Motocross Track. The weather was perfect. My brother was there to greet us and some of Mark's friends showed up too. The kids love watching their Dad race and I do too. Too bad he had a bad spill that tore up his elbow and then to top it off he took handlebars to his chest. OUCH!






Sunday evening was spent watching Desperate Housewives while we surfed the interent for house for sale in other states. We are really considering kissing the California sunshine goodbye. Our first choices are Washington, Oregon and New England areas.
This morning I was up bright and early at 4:45am to begin round two of boot camp!! The kids woke up when I got home so I didn't get to go back to bed. Instead I dropped Noah off at school, got my car washed, went to the market, took Cole out to lunch at Daphne's and went to Target. Oh, we also took flowers to Drew's grandmother. Now I am cleaning house and answering some emails before I make dinner. No wonder I am always so tired! It's all good stuff!


Pumpkins, Pirates & Parachutes

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Today Noah is on his very first field trip. It's killing me that I couldn't go along to take photos. They went to a pumpkin farm in Irvine to pick and carve pumpkins for Halloween. I hope he is having fun! I feel like he is so far away and it freaks me out a little that he isn't with me or Daddy. I guess these are the first stages of letting him grow up. I'm not ready!

Saturday is our family reunion picnic, which the kids love. They play hard and will be good and exhausted by the time our friend, Mark gets here to babysit. Saturday evening Drew & I have a hot date! Drew is taking me to a Pirate Dinner Adventure in Buena Park. I'm sure it will be quite campy but fun! Drew & I always have the best time when we are out playing without the kiddos. Here's a link in case you are interested...
http://www.piratesdinneradventure.com/california/home.html

Sunday we are taking the kids to the track in Elsinore to watch Daddy ride. Drew is going to race in the Elsinore Grand Prix next month and needs to get some extra riding time in. The boys love to watch their Daddy race around the track and cheer with every jump. They also like to play in the mud and watch the parachutes floating through the sky. (It's a popular area for skydiving.) I think I'll take my big zoom lens and try to get some good photos if the weather is nice. It's gonna be a great weekend!

By the way... I signed up for another round of boot camp which begins on Monday morning. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?


I SURVIVED! (just barely)

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As you may know, yesterday was my last day of boot camp (until I sign up again). On the very first day we were timed in a mile run (walk, jog, crawl) and I was pathetic coming in last at 19 minutes and 50 seconds. Yesterday (after 4 weeks of training) I came in at 13 minutes and 30 seconds! Not stellar in the world of runners, but damn good for me! That's 6 minutes and 20 seconds faster than the first time. I'll take that small victory, thank you very much! As if that's not enough, we had to do timed planks and count push-ups. On the first day I was only able to do one push-up and 25 seconds of planks. Yesterday I did 16 push-ups and my plank lasted 1 minute and 10 seconds!!! I really pushed myself these last few days and boy, am I feeling it! Today, I am hobbling around on throbbing thighs, screaming knees and groaning shoulders, but inside I am jumping for joy! After all, I survived and I can't wait to do it again!

Now, if I can just figure out how I am going to drive myself to Lake Arrowhead tonight. ugh! I am so worried that I won't be able to move at all by the time I am supposed to leave. I need a hot bath, vicodin and a massage.

Update at 4:20pm: I can't go on my scrap weekend. I am miserable. Why does getting into shape have to hurt so much?! : {


The Results Are In...

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I had all of my post-boot camp measurements done today. I am so excited! I lost a total of 14.5 inches from my arms, abs, thighs, hips and chest!!! Oh yeah!! I lost 4.5-inches from my abs alone!! That is so awesome! I am so freakin' proud of myself right now! In just 4 weeks I dropped 2.4% of my body fat. (Big thanks to Leslie for keeping me excited and on track!) Today we did a 3.25 mile hike. The first half is ALL up hill and this was the first time I didn't need to stop for a breather. It was also the first time that I was able to jog all the way back. Down hill is much easier, but 1.6 miles of jogging is a LOT for a girl with asthma. I am on top of the world with each little accomplishment.

Tomorrow is my last boot camp work out and we will do a timed mile and planks and we will count push ups. I am anxious to see how I do in comparison to the first day of boot camp. Four weeks ago I could only manage a 20 minute mile and 25 seconds of planks. I was not able to complete one single push up with good form. How sad is that?! I can do 10 push ups now. I know it's not a lot to some people but that is a HUGE improvement for me. I'm so glad I didn't ditch any of the workouts even though there were several mornings I was barely able to drag my butt out of bed.

The theme for today is... I ROCK!!


Ramble on...

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This is my last week of Boot Camp! I am so freakin' proud of myself. They really ramp up this last week and I am hurtin' pretty bad today, but it's worth it. We will meet again on Wednesday and Thursday and then it's over. Two days in a row will be tough, but I can do it. They took all my measurements, weight, body fat percentage, etc before we started and we get to compare numbers on Wednesday. I am anxious to see my "after" results. I am also considering signing up to do it again. It was hard to get out of bed in the middle of the night, but it feels good to be taking care of my health. I feel stronger and I can breathe a bit better. I only have 58% lung capacity during exercise, so the hikes and cardio are really important for me. I need to build up my lung capacity to a normal range if I ever want to get scuba certified.

I will reward myself with a girls weekend at Lake Arrowhead on Friday!! Looking forward to it and I am already packed! We are taking all of our scrapping stuff so hopefully I will get some good layouts done. Heck, I still need to scan all of my projects from the last scrap retreat. If I don't scan them as I finish them they sit on my desk forever. Sorry for not sharing more often.

Tomorrow we are having dinner with the Griffins, which is always a pleasure. We are going to this little place called the Quincy Market Cafe (http://www.quincymarketcafe.com). Nora really likes soup and they have some delicious choices there. I am fond of their chicken salad, but everything on their menu is great. Even the kids love it there!

Speaking of the kids, I really need to get going on their Halloween costumes. For several months they have been stuck on the same ones, so I feel it's safe to go ahead and start working on them. I don't think they will be changing their minds before Halloween. Noah is going to be a robot, which should be fun to make. Cole is dead-set on being... are you ready for this?... "a pink flower with a bug on it". How sorry is he going to be when he is 13 and I show the pictures to his friends?! I wonder how many people are going to think he's a girl. Ha! We tried to talk him into a Thomas the Tank Engine costume. Heck, we even bought it in hopes to sway his decision, but it didn't work. He hated it. We took it back the next day and now I need to figure out the best way to make a flower head piece. Any pattern suggestions would be appreciated.

Alright, enough procrastinating by blogging. (Yes, I use my blog to avoid doing stuff. Don't you?) I have got to get my grocery list together, load up the boys and head to the market. I think I'll swing by the Starbucks on my way in the door. It's a latte kind of day!

Have a great week!

PS Here are couple of cute photos of the boys having s'mores at our bonfire on Newport Beach. Great fun!


The HOT Men of LOST & Grey's Anatomy (spoilers)

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Who is your favorite?

LOST first... I love this show! They season opener was so exciting and I can't wait for more. Josh Holloway is so freakin' HOT! I asked Drew how I could get a Sawyer cage in our backyard. I would feed him much better than fish biscuits. I promise!

Jack Shephard would be way hotter if he wasn't such a fussy brat. The brooding thing works for him only sometimes.

Grey's Anatomy... ummm, how many hot guys are they packing into this hour? Geesh! This show is smokin'!! Patrick Dempsey is well... McDreamy of course. The way he looks at Meredith is so delicious!

Love, love, love that Dr. Mark Sloan (McSteamy) is back in the picture. I really like looking at him and that dirty smile he gave Addison when she slapped him gave me chills. That man is something else. Can I get a second cage for him?

Even Alex is a pretty cute guy. Kind of a jerk, but they seem to be softening him up a bit. I like him!

Fin, the goody goody vet, is very cute, but kind of wimpy. I hope they make him a bit more aggressive in future episodes. Although he looked great in that dream Meredith had about being in bed with him and McDreamy! I hope it's a recurring dream. I admit to rewinding and watching that again.

I didn't care for Preston at first but his charactrer has really grown on me. He looks great in jeans too. I like Dr. Burke a lot!!!


Maui Boot Camp

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I know a lot of you girls are totally interested in my boot camp experience so I thought you might like to know about this...
http://www.mauibootcamp.com/
That's right!! They are taking boot camp to Maui! The trip is all-inclusive (airfare, hotel, all organic meals, etc.) and will happen six or seven times each year. Can you imagine? A hardcore workout each day, followed up with a surfing lesson, horseback riding or an ATV trip in paradise and then a massage!! I would love to do it, but I just can't imagine going to Maui without my sweetie and this trip is for women only.

By the way, boot camp is going great! I am even taking an extra hike with them tomorrow morning just for fun! I have one week left and I am so much stronger. I am considering signing up for another month of brutal exercise. I love working out in the cold morning air before the sun comes up but the alarm going off at 4:45am is not so fun. I get home at 6:45 and then shower and try to crawl back under the covers until the kids wake up. Some days I actually fall asleep for an hour before the chaos of the day begins. Good stuff!


Leslie Ashe ROCKS!

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For those of you who aren't familiar whith her greatness... Leslie Ashe is one of the sweetest, funniest and inspirational people I know. She inspires me on so many levels. I am so glad we have become such good friends. She is my cheerleader and my confidant. She is my giggle-box pal who is always there for me. I wish she didn't live all the way over in Texas. I need her to be my next door neighbor really bad! We would have so much fun together. I think the other neighbors would get upset at our howls of laughter though.

I love this photo of her flashin' the big "30". We have agreed to set a goal to each lose 30 pounds by CHA. I can't wait until she and the fabulous Ms. Wendy Reed get here! We are taking our skinny bodies out for a great big martini and dessert-laden dinner while they are in So Cal!! Oh yeah!! It's gonna be great!

If you haven't checked out Les's artwork lately, here's a link....
http://www.scrappersblissmb.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=215&sl=l

Love ya, Les!!!!


Happy Fall To All!

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I love Fall and especially Halloween. I am anxious for the cool crisp evening visit to the pumpkin patch this year! We all had so much fun there last year. We rode the train, walked the corn maze, the boys and Dad had a straw war and we even went through the petting zoo. Sadly, that pumpkin farm is gone now, so we will have to find another one (which shouldn't be too difficult). We have Halloween costumes picked out already too. The boy's have been set in stone for months about their costume choices. I'll reveal more about that another time though.

In the spirit of the season, here are some great Fall recipes. Easy and delciious! Enjoy!

PUMPKIN BARS

2 c. flour – do not pack
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cloves
1 c. oil
16 oz. can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 can prepared cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 10”x13” pan. In large bowl, blend all ingredients at low speed until moistened. Beat an additional 2 min. at medium speed. Pour into pan. Bake for 25-30 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread on cream cheese frosting. Cut into squares & serve with a big glass of milk.
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PUMPKIN SCONES

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. brown sugar – firmly packed
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
About 1/2 c. butter or margarine - cut into chunks
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. plus 1 T. milk
1 large egg yolk
1 T. granulated sugar

In a bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Add 1/2 c. butter and with a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in until pea size crumbs form. In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin and 1/2 c. milk until well blended. Add to flour mixture and stir just until dough is evenly moistened. Scrape onto a lightly floured board, turn over to coat, and gently knead just until dough comes together, 5 or 6 turns. Pat dough into a 6" round 1 1/2” thick; cut into 6 equal wedges. Separate wedges and place on a lightly buttered 12”x15" baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and 1 T. milk to blend, brush lightly over tops of scones (discard any remaining egg wash). In another small bowl, mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 t. cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over scones. Bake in a 375 oven until scones are golden brown; 25-30 min. Transfer to a rack; serve warm of cold.
Makes 6 scones.
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APPLE STREUSEL BREAD
 
1 1/2 c. oil
4 eggs - beaten
2 t. baking soda
2 t. vanilla
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
2 c. apples - chopped
 
Streusel Topping:
4 T. sugar
2 T. butter
4 T. flour
3 t. cinnamon
 
Mix bread batter and pour into two large (or six small), lightly greased bread pans. Combine topping ingredients and cover loaves with streusel.  Bake at 350 for one hour (or 45 min. for small loaves).
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PUMPKIN BREAD

Gut pumpkin. Cut pumpkin into four large wedges. Cook until tender, peel and mash pumpkin. Mix with 1 t. sugar and 1 t. lemon. (Can be frozen in freezer bags.)

3 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t ground cloves   
2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t salt
3 t cinnamon
2 C pumpkin mash (not canned)
1 C crisco oil
3 C sugar
3 eggs
1 C chopped walnuts
1 big cup rasins

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray two large loaf pans with non-stick spray. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, mix all wet, sugar,  pumpkin, raisins, nuts, oil, eggs in second bowl. Mix both dry and wet ingredients together and pour into prepared pans. Bake 55-60 minutes, insert toothpick in center if comes out clean its done...cool 15 minutes before slicing.
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MULLED CIDER
 
2 qt. apple cider
3 large cinnamon stick
zest of 1 large lemons (or 2 small)
2 dashes clove powder
5 dashes nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to simmer. Strain & serve.
Makes 8 servings.


Letting go

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The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.
- Max Lerner

I really like the way I am growing up.


What happens at Scrapper's Lounge...

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STAYS AT SCRAPPER'S LOUNGE!!! All I can say is this.... we ate lots of good food, drank too many margaritas and laughed our butts off. I got very little actual work done, but I had a great time with my friends. I can't wait until our next getaway weekend! Here are just a couple of the layouts I made. Not my most spectacular work, but I was in a bit of a tequila haze and they looked great at the time. Yes, I sort of cheated and repeated the pattern on two but they are for different books, so nobody will ever know (unless they read it here). I completed nine layouts, two cards and three gift boxes, but this is all I can share right now. By the way, I highly recommend www.thescrapperslounge.com for your next getaway weekend.



About me

  • I'm Karen (Cupcake) Carter
  • From Orange County, California, United States
  • I am happily married to my best friend and proud to be the Mommy of two sweet little boys. My world revolves around these three handsome guys. Everything I do is for or because of them. I am happy to the core!
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