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Friday, December 30, 2011

Free shipping from Saucony

FYI peeps, you can use the coupon code FREE on Saucony's website and get free shipping on any order. Since it's after Christmas, there are lots of great sales, too!

The year in review...from Miss Zippy

Miss Zippy started this...the runner's 2011 in review!
It's generally good to finish a race smiling.
I even have this color
  • Best race experience? RnR New Orleans - I enjoyed the race and felt great the whole time. Not my current PR, but best in my book!
  • Best run? I had a really good negative-split 18 miler this fall - felt strong and fast. My goal was a 3:20 marathon and I realized at the end of the run that I hit exactly the right pace without even pushing. 
  • Best new piece of gear? I got Saucony Kinvaras this year and really like them.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? Incorporate speedwork....I think it is helping!
  • Most inspirational runner? My hubby...running a PR half marathon after only one ten mile training run! Crazy man! 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Working hard. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite gift....

Ok, I'm going totally materialistic on you here. I want to know:

What was your favorite Christmas gift this year, and who was it from?

My favorite was this computer I'm typing on because geez Louise it's tough to live computerless. But my favorite non-practical gift was The Stick from my hubby. I don't buy myself running toys and stuff, but he does - he bought me my ipod, my Garmin, and my Road ID, too!
Creating "Good Pain" since 2009

Your turn!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Races page

I've been trying to keep all my races in order and you can view the page here. 
As I cleaned this page up (I was several pages behind; forgive me, I have been without a computer for almost 2 months. SO glad Santa finally came!), I noticed that I've very steadily increased my speed over time.
Which is nice.
That's the point, really.
But it brings up a question I have for you. Would anyone be interested in a post on how I train? I don't want to sound haughty or arrogant because I honestly DON'T know what I'm doing. And I'm not a fast runner and I don't have any athletic or training background. The post would be more what works for me/what I am able to tolerate, rather than what other runners should do.  But at the same time, I have chopped 33 minutes off my half marathon time and nearly an hour off my full marathon. So if you think this would be interesting or helpful to me, let me know.
And for your viewing pleasure, this hilariousness I found on Skinny Runner's rockin' blog.
I can SO relate to this!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas...ugly pictures for you!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I worked Christmas day but I got off the day after. And it didn't matter anyway since I had a cold all weekend  :(
So much for "I never get sick"!
As my Christmas gift to you, I am revealing a few of the ugliest race pictures ever, courtesy of my husband running the Jazz Half marathon.

It kind of looks like he's being shot, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FYI and etc

FYI - Andy's comments (see last post) didn't bother me; we kind of kid with each other. I don't think he's serious with anyone.

Today we had a second line and a brass band through the whole hospital, including my pharmacy. Featured performer: Kermit Ruffin! A lady whose daughter died from cancer hosts the second line for cancer patients at the hospital each year.

There was a car fire in the garage at work, and because structural damage is inspected, we've all been forced to use another, further, sketchier garage. Tonight I saw one of the attending physicians make one of his residents go fetch his Porche from the garage for him! Curbside valet! So funny.

I'm working Christmas morning and I'm a little bummed about that.

Oh my gosh I cannot wait for Santa to bring me a new computer. I am so tired of sharing with the hubster!

Tonight I made bitter lime marmalade. So yummy! If you like bitter things that contain more sugar than an entire cake, that is.

My little brother is still sleeping on my sofa. I won the lip-piercing argument and he removed the wretched thing (he confessed that it actually drove him crazy and made eating a gross experience).

I have 20 miles scheduled for Christmas is actually my last LONG long run before the marathon January 15th! So basically my sporadic training is in taper!

I really need to cycle into new shoes. My Saucony Kinvaras have 1000 miles on them! I'm very impressed with how well they've held up - and honestly I am sure I could get more miles from them but my knees are feeling achy so I think the inner foam has broken down. I heard from a few people that the Kinvaras were cheaply made, but I beg to differ - these wore very well.

How long/how many miles do you get out of your shoes?
Are you working Friday or off for the holidays? I'm working and I think we'll be dead. Boredom here we come.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How often do YOU race?

I got yelled at by my "coach" last week.
Back up...
I don't have a coach. I started running on the track with Varsity (a local running store) on Mondays this fall, and the chap who leads it thinks he's my coach.
I've never been coached, and I sure don't want a coach. See, I didn't realize this, but all they do is yell at you.
I told my "coach" about my last marathon...the 27 mile one....and all I got was this:

Um, so rude!!!
Then I let it slip that I was running a half-marathon on Sunday (Old Man River half I ran Dec 18th) and I got a snide, "Yeah, like why would you ever skip a long distance race?"
Why indeed?!
I run maybe 5 marathons a year, a couple of halfs, and some other interesting distances like 10-mile or 30k. Not too many. If I were actually racing these races, as in, in medal contention, I'm sure I'd back off. But for fun, I'd rather run races than do long runs by myself. So why not?
How often do you race - and if you run marathons, how many is too many per year, and how close together is too close?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old Man River Half Marathon

In pictures...
At the start - 5k and half marathoners starting together made for a slightly crowded start
I tried not to start out too fast since the 5k crowd was pushing the pace. I kind of felt crappy for this race - cold and hungry and tired.

I ran with my (much faster) friend Celeste for the first 8 miles.
 Celeste's last half marathon was a 1:29, so she was kindly holding back and sticking by me early on. I lost her at a water stop and she ended up finishing ten seconds ahead of me in 1:30:16, which is slow for her!

Quite possibly the worst finish line picture ever! 
I finished in 1:30:26, a PR and first in my age group. Celeste was first in her age group, too!
My revolting face should tell you that this wasn't just an easy run for me. You know how some days just aren't your day? I felt like that. Cold, hungry, grumpy, etc. And my cute Santa socks let my feet slide around like crazy, so I could feel blisters forming on the tips of my toes.
Total let-down: there was nothing at the finish but bananas and oranges (I hate bananas and oranges are too hard to eat) and I was starving. This was big for a local race - 900 people - so I thought that was odd. And last year they had a pancake breakfast!

This was a good race for me to get under my belt because I have never run a long distance under 7 min/mi pace. That seems too fast for me - it's all mental - and it's good just to have done it once so I can get over that mental barrier.
Do you have running mental barriers, too? Like, "I'll never break a 2 hour half" or "I couldn't run double digits" or "Girls don't run sub-20 min 5ks"? For me it's seeing a pace under 7 - scares me! What's yours?

Monday, December 19, 2011

A long weekend!

I took off Thursday and Friday last week to make myself a much-needed long weekend. I had some Christmas activities to finish up, but mostly this was just to get rid of some use or lose vacation!
I got interrupted by a very long series of phone calls at work related to one of my hepatitis C patients - this had to be solved or he'd miss his Friday injection. Then I got called in because the alarms were going off like crazy because my sub forgot to turn off a printer.
Other than that it was a fun weekend in which I:
- Had lunch at Commander's Palace, complete with $0.25 martinis and bread pudding souffle (of course).
pic from website 

- Celebrated the end of the semester with friends who are first year law students.
- Took a walk in Audubon park to feed the ducks.
- Baked up a storm: gingerbread cookies, peppermint cake balls, more fruitcake. I tried a British boiled fruitcake recipe and it's just so-so.

- Went to the library and got some fantastic books - I love Trevanian!
- Finished shopping for David, including stuffing his stocking.
- Cleaned the entire house, did groceries, and other boring stuff.
- Watched football.
- Joined the Varsity Sports long run Saturday group for about 10 miles.
- Ran the Old Man River half marathon, 1:30:26, another PR! And first in my age group (I think 6th overall). I wore Santa socks!

And nobody noticed them  :(

- Had an intervention with a sibling who decided to pierce his lip. Since he is now living with me (interim; the semester just ended) I have the power of food to control his actions. He's totally in the doghouse right now.
- Got a brake tag on my car the day it was due; I like to avoid those late fees!
- Snuggled on the sofa with my favorite blanket, a book, and the hubby.

Overall, a fun long weekend! How was your weekend?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon race review

The Baton Rouge Beach marathon is probably my favorite race so far, although it might tie with the Harrisburg Marathon I ran last year.
The race: You have options to run the full or half; it is a small race, and more runners complete the half (only a few over 300 finished the marathon).
Registration and cost: Early registration is $65 and $75 for half and full; late registration - which can be as late as the night before at packet pick up or even the morning of the race - goes up $10. This is rather high for a small marathon, but it was so superbly done that it is worth it. 

Check out the website to register online; oddly, the website is amateur and silly, but the rest of the race is impeccably organized. 
Free stuff!!!!!!!!

Swag: A ridiculous amount. First off, there is dinner - free - at packet pick up with salad, pizza, jambalaya, and beer. Second, "swag bag" takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that the swag is in an awesome bag! A duffle bag! (Half-ers got a string back pack). The swag included bright wicking socks with the running club's cute silly chicken logo, throw-away gloves, a coozie, a magnet, a temporary tattoo (also the running club's logo) and nice samples like Aquaphor. The shirt is a Brooks technical T, and it has no advertising on it - which I like. The medals also have the goofy chicken logo on them, and our awards were sturdy little plaques. I like the smaller size. I feel bad throwing out race awards but big ones are...awkward. 
Course: You wouldn't think I'd rave about a double loop course, but I am! It's just a great course. There are patches of mild hills and plenty of tight turns, but overall it is flat and easy, and it is quite varied (neighborhoods, LSU campus, and the pretty LSU lakes). Variety is key for me, and even on the second loop it didn't grow dull (Maybe because I got lost and threw in some new stuff!). The course is sort of open to traffic but there are police at intersections. Nice mix of sun and shade.

Support: This is such a smoothly organized race, I'd recommend any race director visit this marathon for tips. Packet pick up the night before was easy and took no time at all; there were shuttles from parking areas to the start the morning of, which went without a hitch; the race started on time and the awards ceremony was quick and I didn't have to wait forever. Most of the water stops had entertaining costumes and silliness and were run like they ought to be - water and Powerade separate, volunteers even offering blue or red Powerade for the picky! There are not many spectators (maybe because finals are about to get underway at LSU?? But I thought more people would be out in the neighborhoods) but the volunteer support was top-notch.
Post race: Beer - and I mean your choice of bud with lime, bud light, bud 55... maybe more! - soft drinks, etc. and a spread of pastalaya, jambalaya, fried fish, french fries, mozzarella sticks (!) and more. It's in a pretty location - on the lakes in a park - so it is a great place to hang out afterwards and knead your hamstrings. 
Awesomely, finishers times are printed and displayed within literally minutes of crossing the finish line, so you can immediately see how you did. Results are posted online the DAY of the race, and the race pictures were emailed out the next day! Which was a Sunday! 
Etc - The race is chipped, and there is a discount hotel option with the race. If you register late you *may* not get some of the fancy swag like socks and gloves (I registered late and still did). The halfway point runs right by the finish line, so if that demoralizes you perhaps you should look the other's a 7:00 am start, which I like, but which disgusts others. The weather can be anywhere from 70's to 40's this time of year. 
So overall? Run it. It is awesome. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cooking dinner

Dear PicktSweet: Can I please have some florettes with my stems next time? Thanks.
You only get two florettes per bag, and thats only because it's family sized. Regular bags only get one.

Dear Premium Sausages: Are you seriously touting real pepper?! Who the heck uses artificial pepper? Is that the only good thing in your sausages that you could think of to brag about?
They aren't expired, I froze them, I promise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I never get sick!

Well, maybe sometimes I'm a tad under the weather.

Tonight I actually warmed up for speedwork, struggled hard not to throw up, then went home. This is honestly the first time I can remember quitting a run because I felt sick. Not because I'm Superwoman, just because I almost never get sick!
Are you the type with a stomach of iron and immune system of steel? 
Or does every little germ make a cozy home in your lungs and tummy?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ten Reasons I hate the Mississippi Coast Marathon

1. I hate that I hate this race. It's dirt cheap, it's nearby, it's small, and it's got a homey feel. Both times I ran it I placed. But I hate it.
2. What the heck is it even called? Everyone calls it "Stennis" (it is on the Stennis station grounds) but that ain't its name.
3. The course makes you want to slit your wrists. Double loops of boring roads next to deserted highways. No spectators (Ok, this time I saw one family, twice - I was so glad to see them I creepily chased their little kid down for a high-five). After the half you're pretty much alone.
4. The director lies about nutrition. This is the second year in a row he has claimed that there was Gu on the second half and no aid station had any (yes, I asked).
5. The freakin' Gatorade is watered down. Last year the Gatorade was miserably watered down; a volunteer told me that someone didn't show up with half of it and they had to dilute it. Liars, again! This year it was just as pathetically watered down; you could barely taste it and instead of being neon colors it was just kind of off-clear. This was SO dangerous this year - the temps were high and the humidity higher and runners couldn't replace electrolytes.
6. The start is late. We started at 8:30. That sucks.
7. The course support is sucky. Here I am bashing volunteers again. I have never run a race in which the volunteers made you fight and scramble for your own water. This year was slightly improved, and some volunteers even called out, "Water or Gatorade?" which is always helpful. But by the second loop the stops were kind of ghost towns. At the last water stop before the finish, no one even acknowledged me - I helped myself while the volunteers played a board game!
8. The after-party leaves half the runners out. The average finish time for the marathon was 4:52 and that's skewed by the fast male winner (right under 3 hours). The beer was gone by the 4:30 mark; the food had been packed up and ready to go by 5 hours. The WATER was packed up at 5 hours! People who finished later than that were exhausted, wet (it had finally rained), dehydrated, and starving - and all they had was water from nearby water fountains. "Stennis" is a slow field, but the race doesn't take that into account.
9. The lack of support is dangerous. This year as I was getting ready to leave an older runner suddenly went pale and passed out. I ran over, elevated his legs, and noted his very feeble pulse and low body temp. I called EMS for the race, got his wife to bring me his sweats, and called for Gatorade. Guess what? We were out of Gatorade and water. He obviously needed sugars and electrolytes - his blood pressure was nonexistent - and we had NOTHING to offer this man. We were all out of food and drink. Luckily EMS was there...or not! The EMT assessed the situation and ordered ICE! That is the last thing this shivering, shaking, low blood sugar and low blood pressure runner needed! I got angry and told the EMT to shut up and go get glucose, and he told me that all he had was IV and he didn't feel like starting a drip. Nice. The gentleman had revived and someone had a spare Gu and a Poweraid; he sipped and started reviving. I didn't leave until his color returned and he could stand without feeling faint.
10. The photographers take crappy pictures. Joking.
What am I doing with my facial muscles here?! 
Caveat: Some people love this race, and they aren't divas like me (kidding. I'm not a diva. But Ginny is, you know, more hard core than me!)
Final word: If I mention running this race next year someone please kick me in the stomach and talk some sense into me. 
*Edit* - It would help to know that this race only costs $35 with early registration. Like I said, dirt cheap. That is, cheap for a marathon...pricy for what is essentially a long run with a long-sleeved cotton T. The T-shirt was pretty this year, though! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Foody Friday: Christmas Gift Boxes

This Christmas I decided to rely on edible gifts for several family members in an attempt to prevent the "stuff" build-up that Christmas brings. I have a large family (there are 11 of us), so if everyone gives everyone else a gift, we are looking at a whole lot of presents (I remember Christmases growing up which involved 4-hour gift opening marathons. We always sedately and maturely took turns, politely thanking the giver, and it could take forever!)
My table covered in food for packing! 

Food gifts are usually welcome and are gone before you have to store them, so they work well for my family.
Packing up boxes in Priority Mail flat rate boxes

This year's boxes included:

- Brandied fruitcake, which should be nicely aged by the time the packages arrive. Tip: Soak the dried fruit (not the candied fruit) in your alcohol of choice for 12 hours prior to cooking; make sure you add all the alcohol to the batter, too, since it carried a lot of flavor. The cakes will seem dry when first done, but grow moister with age - do not serve for at least one week.
- Cranberry chutney. Tip: Although delicious on turkey or pork, chutney is also a fantastic appetizer spread over goat cheese and served with crackers.
- Peach preserves
- Grapefruit marmalade. Tip: Cook it when fruit is in season and store for Christmas!
- Flourless chocolate walnut cookies. Tip: If you are mailing cookies, choose a recipe that produces a crisp outside (for sturdiness) and soft inside (for freshness). FYI this is the best cookie ever invented. It is extremely easy to make and has just a few inexpensive ingredients, and the finished product is heaven in your mouth.
- Caramel candy corn as packing material - it's like a beanbag!
Festive dollar store ziplocs. The zips on the red bags did not work - the two sides were identical instead of locking together -  so I tied with ribbon. 

And in these festive Christmas ziplocs, we have:
- Maple-walnut brittle. Tip: To keep brittle brittle (especially when humid), make a pouch of dry white rice in a square of tissue paper and toss it in the bag. It acts as a desiccant to prevent the candy from softening.
- Christmas Spice coffee. Tip: When flavoring coffee, you can rub flavoring oils in, but alcohol-based flavorings like extracts will just evaporate. If you add cloves, be careful; clove oil is potent and can actually eat away at plastics, like storage containers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Olde Tyme Pharmacy

I'm at work right now, laptop plugged into guest access since my company blocks my blog (ha!), thinking about how much pharmacy has changed even since I started in this profession. I became a pharmacist in 2009, but my second job was in a pharmacy, so I've been doing this for 12 years (And that is why I know more about your insurance than your human resources manager. I am the THIRD PARTY QUEEN).
So much has changed in pharmacy since I started. Back then, only young white males abused Vicodin and Lortab (now every single demographic does). Manufacturer coupons for prescriptions were rare (now every brand name fights to offer a better deal .... mostly by playing on your hypochondria). You almost never had to contact a doctor for prior authorization (now I do it many many times a day, effectively giving insurers the right to make your health care choices!).
Back in the day drug reps used to bring pens,  pizza, and pill trays (now they are prohibited. I miss my pens. I joined pharmacy for the free pens).
A few weeks ago out state gave us the go-ahead to consider scanned rx images as the legal record. What the heck?! It used to be all about the "hard copy", the actual prescription that the doctor wrote. It was golden. Now it's trash.
I am nostalgic for the hard copy!
I've decided that I practice olde tyme pharmacy - I still know your name. I probably know your date of birth. I definitely know your health conditions and your insurance.
I'll break the law for you. A little. I mean, I wish you'd pay attention and quit running out of refills on Friday night, but I'm not going to let you have a heart attack just because I couldn't give you a few metoprolol.
I get it if you need a vacation supply. I get it if you want me to pretend to put fairy dust in your kid's antibiotic. I get it if you can't afford your Crestor and need me to call and get it changed. I get it if you quite taking your psych meds because they made you sleepy (I'll still tattle on you, though. I know who your case worker is, too).
I kind of like to count by fives, and I am happy to throw in 2 or 3 free pills to use up an old manufacturer we don't carry anymore.
I'm getting so carried away by nostalgia that I just bundled up my hard copies in groups of 100, just like the old days.
Then someone came in and tried to pull the wool over my eyes about an early refill on a controlled substance, and a doctor copped an attitude with me (PUH-lease, you are so new to this darling, do not try to correct me about Louisiana Medicaid!) and I decided that olde tyme, new time, whatever time pharmacy could just all go to heck.

And how was your day?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running the extra mile: Baton Rouge Beach Marathon recap

This weekend was another PR for me, 3:22:18, which I am happy with. This is the first time I've run marathons back to back weekends, and the course was slightly (mildly) hilly. And that time is for 27.2 miles!
As you probably assumed from my last post, I got off course during this race. I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say I need to be more observant ... and police directing traffic are not course officials, so don't ask them for directions!
But the extra distance and messed up time, although not thrilling, doesn't really bother me. Remember, this race simply took the place of a long run, and I am very happy with my time and pacing for the race. My overall pace was 7:26 min/miles for all 27, but if you exclude the slow mile when I was lost and back-tracked (I stopped, looked around, asked directions, etc) my pace would have been 7:23. 
And even with that slow mile, I hit 26.2 at 3:14:38!
So, while I would like to be able to claim a 3:15 PR, I am more just delighted to know that I have the ability to run a 3:15 - or faster. 
Yes, I am totally showing this picture to PROVE I can run a marathon under 3:15; I am pretending I don't really care but obviously I do, LOL!

I spent the night before the race at a friend's house. BIG MISTAKE. His housemates didn't leave the house to "go out"* until 1 am, and since I had the couch, I had to stay awake. I finally turned out the lights, but I was miserable thanks to allergies. They have two dogs and I was having a very bad reaction to them, worse than usual. I was tired and slept anyway - until 3 am when housemates returned, flipping on lights and making horrific noise. They didn't head to bed until 4, and I got some fitful sleep, but my alarm was at 5 am so I was back up in no time. I was SO exhausted and my eyes and face were itchy and puffy with allergies.
This picture was actually taken AFTER I got lost and got back on course: almost finished!  Look at how pretty is was!

I took a shuttle to the start, hit the port-a-potties, and chatted with some runners in my Monday track group who were doing the half. We started on time and I immediately noticed the rolling hills - I run in such flat conditions normally that the even minimal hills were noticeable.
The miles just flew by this race. I ran the first 6 right around 7:25's, and I reasoned I could shoot for a 7:30 pace or maybe a 3:15 race, depending on how I felt after the half. The course is a double loop, so we actually passed the finish line at the half. I cheered on the runners I knew, who finished just seconds before I crossed the half mark. I still felt just fine, so I decided to run 7:25's until mile 20, then speed up a little. I actually ran the next 7 miles under 7:25, and although I felt great, it was after 20 that I got lost. That was an awful feeling. My stomach dropped when I realized I didn't recognize the route and I would have to turn around! When I got back on course I had to pass two women I'd passed many miles before, and I admit my attitude sucked a little at this point. Knowing you are a full mile behind is so draining! Plus I took my last Gu at mile 20 - ok if you have 6 miles to go, but not really enough for 7!
Nonetheless I kept trucking - my pace for the last few miles was slower than I'd like, about 7:30 to 7:50, but I hit 26.2 in under 3:15, proving I CAN run that pace! After I finished, other finishers crowded around me. I had passed them and then suddenly vanished! And they wanted to know what happened. Let's just say it gave me plenty to talk about!

What was awesome: This pace didn't hurt or feel difficult, even with mild hills and slightly warmer temps than ideal (although it seemed like the North Pole compared to last week's inferno). I loved this race, and I enjoyed myself.
What sucked: It is a huge demotivation to go off course. I usually enjoy the final miles of a marathon - I'm almost done, it's fun to cheer other runners on, spectators are very encouraging. But this time my heart was not in it. I actually considered dropping out when I saw I was a mile behind.

I stayed long enough after finishing to get my age group award - first - and see that I was third overall. The post-race party was awesome, so I enjoyed that, but I missed my hubby and headed home after a little while.
Time aside, I loved this race. It ranks right up there with the best and I can't wait to review it. I had the best time and made some friends!

Question for you: have you ever run off course? If not, please lie and say you did so that I will feel better about my imbecility.
*What does this term even mean? It distresses me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What marathon?

I bravely chose these heels to wear to dinner Saturday after my marathon that morning. I personally think it's good to work the ol' quads out a tad after a long run anyway.
My feet probably think I hate them. 

Please ignore my blotchy face disaster. I stayed overnight in a house with dogs, to which I am very allergic, and my face is reacting. Combine that with two marathons close together (wind and weather irritate my skin), and you have mild angioedema accompanied by stinging, raw, peeling skin. GROSS.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Garmin says it all

Look closely....notice anything unusual? (Broad hint: it's the distance).

Explanation of the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon to come Monday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Off to Baton Rouge!

I'm heading to Baton Rouge tonight to stay with my dear friend Brett, who used to be my roomie. We do not take serious pictures together.

Funny story: I lived with Brett, his twin brother BJ, and their mom when I was in college. I worked with Brett at Walmart pharmacy. I worked with BJ at a hospital pharmacy.
And I stayed with BJ for Thunder Road marathon last I'm staying with Brett for the Baton Rouge Beach marathon!
I did decide to run BR Beach even though I ran a race last week. I am just going to treat this one like a training run, too. Hopefully not as many things can go wrong this time!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December 1st!

December is here and I'm all about the Christmas spirit. I kicked it off early last night cooking up a storm!
I made fruitcake...
Waiting to be brushed with brandy

Of course I had to sample it, even though it isn't aged yet!
half a pan, gone in a flash!

Canned some cranberry chutney...
peach preserves, pink grapefruit marmalade, and cranberry chutney (l-r)

And prettied-up jars of peach preserves and grapefruit marmalade for gifting.
I used wrapping paper to cover the jar tops - cheaper than fabric squares

Question for the day: What is your stance on fruitcake?
I personally love it, especially with a cup of tea. I am about to go hide those little loaves from myself.