Friday, November 29, 2013 we come!

Well. I am finally doing it. I'm going to run a marathon! Graham and I just signed up today for the Hogeye Marathon that happens in Fayetteville at the end of March. A mere 17 weeks away! Started off our training today with a 3 mile run. We've got a lot of miles to get under our belts in the next few months.

So I'm excited for this. I played soccer growing up (but sadly haven't played so much as a pick-up game in over a year now), so I did lots of running for that, and Graham was a cross country man. Running a marathon has always been one of my dreams. One of those feats I wanted to accomplish. Something on my bucket list (even though I don't actually have one made out), you know? After helping out with the Outback in the Ozarks 200 mile relay race this past May, I got the running fever again. Being a part of that race and getting to be around so many awesome people (runners have to be a little crazy!) just made me want to do something like that. Now, I much preferred being in a truck while helping take down signs, breaking down exchange stations, and cheering on various teams to being out there in the SNOW, SLEET, and FREEZING RAIN that happened. Yes in May. Yes in ARKANSAS of all places. Crazy! But because of that great experience I started running more by myself and with Graham. But summer heat soon won out to my poor, weak body and I reverted back to staying in the protection of my apartment while not at work. In August this year I started getting back on top of things and exercising again, but then school started and threw a wrench in the works. Flash forward another couple of months. In one of my classes we did fitness testing just before Thanksgiving break. My goal was just to get within the Healthy Fitness Zone for each of the tasks. After doing that PACER test and about dying, I decided then and there that I was going to start running again.

Graham and I talked about marathons and I looked up lots on the internet, and even though the Hogeye is pretty close we decided it was what would work best for us (mostly so we don't have to travel and add in hotel and gas costs to an already relatively expensive race). I'm not excited for training in the cold. Not at all. I'm going to be printing off lots of motivational quotes around our apartment. I know I will need them to keep me going! But I am excited for this. I'm excited to see what I can get my body to do. What I can convince my mind that my body can do is probably more accurate.

Anyone have any advice for training in the cold or ways to stay motivated enough to roll out of bed and run when it is in the teens?? Right now I am focusing on my goal and trying to just think about that. Of course, it was sunny and 50 outside when we went for our run today. Translation: GORGEOUS RUNNING WEATHER. Especially for winter training.

And I already know our grocery bill is going to jump up significantly! I'm already feeling extra hungry today. After day 1 and only 3 miles! I'm also working on remembering to be more diligent in my water drinking habits (I typically get about 45oz each day, but I know I need to increase that).

Also. Nerd tidbit for this post: today on our run we passed through a tunnel on the trail (the one that crosses underneath the road so it's super long) and it always makes me think of the scene at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Harry and Dudley are attacked by the dementors. I may or may not have talked about dementors...and said "expecto patronum"...and told Graham he was my patronus (he was running directly in front of me. Perfect position to take out the dementors!) May or may not have all happened...Just sayin'. 

Until next time.
From Marissa, with love.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cranberry Muffins with Orange Glaze

A few weeks ago I bought some cranberries because they were on sale. I bet no one else has ever done that, right? Then I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do with them... But thanks to comments from Facebook and other ideas/recipes found on Pinterest, I modified a couple of recipes to come up with one of my own (I've been known to do that from time to time, mostly when I don't have all of the ingredients listed). They turned out to be sooooo tasty! After sharing one with Graham, I decided to try a glaze on them to combat the tartness of the cranberries just a little bit more. I didn't have an orange on hand so I used some orange juice instead. Next time I make these I will definitely use fresh oranges for the glaze to get better flavor out of it.

The recipe that I altered was from here, but I'm going to go ahead and include what I actually did. This photo is courtesy of (where I got the recipe from initially that I altered, I forgot to take pictures of my tasty batter!)

Orange Cranberry Muffins (With Glaze)

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine (softened to room temperature)
3/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cranberries

Preheat oven to 375. 
I basically just threw all of the ingredients into a big mixing bowl (minus the cranberries) and combined them all at once since I'm kind of lazy even though I love to bake. **However, you could also first combine the sugar, margarine (or butter), and eggs; mix dry ingredients separately and add to sugar mixture; then add orange juice and vanilla and mix before adding in the cranberries.** After the mixture is consistent throughout, add in the cranberries and stir them in. You can either line the muffin tin with liners or spray with a little bit of butter-flavored cooking spray. Makes 18 muffins, with each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full before baking. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Orange Glaze
2 Tablespoons orange juice
6 Tablespoons powdered sugar 
Mix together and brush on top of the muffins. (For a thicker glaze use more powdered sugar). This made enough for about 16 of the muffins (we had already eaten two of them when I decided to make the glaze) and I basically just eye-balled it to figure out how much to use of each item. I live life on the edge ;) 

The tasty, finished product!

Hope someone tries this and is able to enjoy these muffins just like we did for breakfast this Saturday morning! 

And seeing as I finished GOF last night, I'm actually between books right now. But we did just go see Catching Fire today. Good movie with awesome special effects. May the odds be ever in your favor. 

From Marissa, with love. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Let's try this out

So. Here I am. ON A BLOG! I would have never really thought I would be the type of person to do something like this.

With that being said: here I am. I'm going to do this. I don't really even care if no one ever reads my posts, but it feels nice to say things and have them out in the open.

So why now? Well, after nearly a year of marriage I have finally cracked and succumbed to the desperate pleas of my husband...we have internet now. I will admit that having to go to the library or college campus or friends houses/apartments to use internet was not the most ideal situation. It feels nice to be connected to the world again, even if it does mean stretching our budget a little bit more. I love my husband and this is something that is important to him. So I'm going to take advantage of it and do something a little out of my comfort zone. Blog. (I will also be spending more time on Netflix and Pinterest if we're going to be honest.)

My goal is to become one of the people that gets repinned on Pinterest and that tons of moms and wives know. Well, sort of. I think that would be neat, but I don't know if any of the things I have to say will be that intriguing. Mostly I just want to have a place to share my thoughts out in the open, and have an extra way of documenting my life aside from my personal journal. I think this could become something fun where I can look back on all of the projects I make, foods I cook/bake, and save ideas for the kiddos that will come into mine and my husband's lives in the future.

I'm excited to see how this goes...

And, seeing as I have a VERY nerdy streak in me, I think I'll close with what I am currently reading. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Great book. I've read it many times. It never gets old.

Until next time.

From Marissa, with love