Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goats Cheese....

I am talking today about going non-dairy again.  I was feeling very good right before Christmas.  For a few days (over Christmas) I choose to eat dairy and I was okay with it, why not? It's Christmas!  Christmas night I went to bed feeling terrible.  Headache, stomach ache, swelling in my eyes and hands.  Not fun.  It's now been four days, I have not eaten dairy since Christmas and I can still feel the affects.'s not worth it!

I talked to my brother on Christmas Day and he was a huge encouragement to me.  He hasn't been able to eat dairy since we were kids.  He knows more about eating non-dairy than anyone I know.  He told me how to make homemade rice milk and that I should be able to eat goats cheese...who knew?  First of all, I never would of even thought about "making" rice milk, second...because goats cheese is cheese, I would of never thought I could eat it, and cheese has been my favorite food since I can remember.  I went to Safeway today and bought myself some goats cheese.  I made a grilled cheese sandwich and I dipped it in tomato very good!  Oh how I have missed the cheesy goodness......I also bought some brown rice and white rice.  Today I will attempt to make vanilla rice milk, almond rice milk and strawberry rice milk.  It's very easy to make, the test will come when I'm done and taste it!  Will let you know how it turns out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simply Julie!: Non-Dairy and Loving It! Say What?

Simply Julie!: Non-Dairy and Loving It! Say What?: About a month ago I decided to cut out dairy to see if it would help my allergies (stuffy nose, headaches).  Allergies to dairy does run on ...

Non-Dairy and Loving It! Say What?

About a month ago I decided to cut out dairy to see if it would help my allergies (stuffy nose, headaches).  Allergies to dairy does run on my Mom's side of the family.  Little did I know going into this little experiment, that it really would work!  I went off dairy for about three weeks.  I didn't know how it was really working because I had had a sinus/ear infection and was on antibiotics for two of the three weeks.  The antibiotics make me feel terrible.  After three weeks, I babysat my friends kids and she brought over a pizza with the works on it...oh boy, did that pizza look good.  I thought I would go ahead and have a slice or two.  I was rather excited...I sat down and started eating a slice of pizza.  It tasted so very good.  I was quickly saddened ... before I even finished my first slice of pizza, my stomach started feeling weird and my head started hurting.  Surly this couldn't be?!  I went to bed later that night, when I woke up the next morning,  I was all stuffed up and my hands were swollen.  I don't know exactly what that means, dairy allergy?...dairy intolerance?...not sure, but I do know I am sensitive to dairy.  I just can't believe my test worked!
I do know one thing, as much as I love dairy...I love feeling better!  As long as I stay off dairy, I do seem to feel better.  I don't like that bloated feeling.  I can't stand feeling stuffed up every day.  I know dairy won't kill me, but I have found that it is worth it to feel better by cutting it out.  On Christmas I will  probably eat some dairy, but I will get right back on track!
Oh, one huge bonus...the last three weeks, I have lost six pounds with-out even trying!  Cutting out dairy has forced me to make much better choices in what I eat.  I don't feel like I'm on a diet, nor do I plan on going on any type of diet, but lifestyle changes work!  This sure hasn't been easy, but it worked!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simply Julie!: Simply Julie Design December Give-a-way.

Simply Julie!: Simply Julie Design December Give-a-way.: A few days ago I made a scarf and posted it on my facebook wall. People seemed to love it and ask if I would sell them one. So I thought...

Simply Julie Design December Give-a-way.

 A few days ago I made a scarf and posted it on my facebook wall.  People seemed to love it and ask if I would sell them one.  So I thought, why not?  I started taking orders and after two days I was thinking, "wow, this is something...people really like these."  I started a facebook page and still, people are loving them.  

I am currently doing a December give-a-way.  The first person who refers 25 of their friends to my new page, Simply Julie Design will win a scarf of your choice.   Simply tell your friends to post "Your name" sent me here, and that way I can keep track.

For an extra entry, follow this blog (that will count as five points, so you will only need 20 friends). Be sure and comment on the blog below if you follow.  This will make it easier to keep track.

Good luck.  Contest ends as soon as one person receives 25 points.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Simply Julie!: Thanksgiving Blunders

Simply Julie!: Thanksgiving Blunders: Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We spent the day at my Mom's house along with my Step-Dad Alan, and his son Andrew. My brother Jeff was going ...

Thanksgiving Blunders

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  We spent the day at my Mom's house along with my Step-Dad Alan, and his son Andrew. My brother Jeff was going to join u,s but got sick and had to stay home.  We (Jerry, Raelee, Andrew and I) started the day with a three mile run.  We passed some fresh roadkill (gotta love Yoncalla)!
My husband Jerry stopped to capture the!  My run quickly turned into a walk around mile 1.5.  I have allergy problems whenever I come to my Mom's house.  I am convinced I'm allergic to Yoncalla!

We came home and got washed up for Thanksgiving!  Mom already had the turkey in the oven.  The wonderful spells of dinner quickly filled the house.

We were able to eat and have a wonderful dinner together. I ended up breaking my "no dairy" for the first time in 7 days.  Boo hoo!  I started right back up today!  I'm not giving up.  I did read this weekend that if you get more than 15 headaches in one month, you most likely have a food allergy.  Might be talking to a doctor to get this figured out.  I went to a store today with lots of non dairy options and that helped.   We enjoyed some football and naps.  We also enjoyed celebrating Alan's birthday (it fell on Thanksgiving this year). The evening came, and we decided to load up and go to Cottage Grove to catch the opening deals at Wal Mart.  We got to Wal Mart as they were opening (10pm).   We were able to get everything we went in for.  Jerry got in line, and Mom, my boys and I went home.  Rylan said he didn't feel well.  I didn't think much of it, I knew he was really tired.  We drove home in the pouring down rain and came into Mom's house.  The dogs started barking and we find they have gotten into some blueberries.....where did the dogs get blueberries?  Rylan said, "I need a bowl."  When Rylan (age 7) says I need a bowl, he is going to throw up.  I went to the kitchen to get a bowl and can't find one.  Then I here it coming!  I went and grabbed Rylan and helped him to the bathroom as it keeps coming.  My Mom has a furnace in the floor and he puked in the furnace.  It started smoking and then the fire alarm went off!  I get Rylan in the bathroom and go to scrub up the mess.  In the meantime, Jerry, Andrew, and Alan come home so, once again...the dogs started barking!  What a night!  It's now around midnight and we all went to bed.  Rylan slept in really late today.  He needed it.  He felt fine when he woke up.  I am Thankful for family, memories and so much more.  Now bring on Christmas!!!                                                                                                                        

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simply Julie!: "My First Non-Dairy Thanksgiving!"

Simply Julie!: "My First Non-Dairy Thanksgiving!": Four days ago I posted about going off dairy for a week to see if it helps my allergy headaches. In the meantime I have had two friends (on...

"My First Non-Dairy Thanksgiving!"

Four days ago I posted about going off dairy for a week to see if it helps my allergy headaches.  In the meantime I have had two friends (one a nurse, one who has dairy allergies) tell me to give it at least three weeks.  Well, my first thought was, "Thanksgiving!"  I decided it was still worth doing, so I am four days in and going strong.  Tonight I did have a huge challenge....Thanksgiving Potluck!

Now some people have no problems "not eating" at potlucks because they are germ-a-foes.  Me...not so much. The people at my church are wonderful bakers.  The Thanksgiving potluck has the best food of all potlucks too! Tonight I knew I could eat turkey, and green beans. I was bummed! That just isn't enough!  I decided to make non-dairy mashed potatoes so I could at least have one more thing on my plate. I was a sad girl!  I have no problems eating, and eating well at a Thanksgiving potluck, not tonight!

I got in line and found a couple yummy looking veggie salads, my non dairy mashed potatoes, turkey, and ham.  I also got one beef roll thing that looked super good.  I set my food down and took my 7 year old to the dessert room.  Three large tables full of favorite!  Rylan picked out a few I walked around I couldn't find anything that didn't have dairy in it.  Crust of any sort, is sure to have dairy unless it's specially made.  Brownies, cookies, pie's, cakes....nothing I could have!  I was sad as I walked back to eat my meat and veggies.  I actually was feeling sorry for myself and let my husband know!

After I finished my plate I was surprised that I felt full.  I got home and was okay!  For the first time ever, I didn't pig out at a Thanksgiving potluck.  Wow, I surprise myself!  The great thing is I don't feel "guilty" or "bloated."  It's actually a great feeling.

In a few days we will be at my Mom's eating Thanksgiving dinner!  My brother is coming this year and he is very allergic to dairy.  Since I'm on a "non-dairy" kick and Jeff is coming, my wonderful Mother is making us "special" non-dairy food.  She has some yummy stuff planned.  I will even get pie!  I'm so excited, but wonder how in the world, is pumpkin pie going to be good with no dairy?  Who knows, maybe I will loose 5 lbs this Thanksgiving instead of gaining 5 lbs!   LOL!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cut out Dairy????

About a year ago a friend of mine cut out dairy to see if it would help her terrible allergies.  Her allergies were so bad, a few months out of the year she would have to stay indoors or she would get sick.  To my surprise it worked for her.  She was able to do outdoor actives this last year with minimal problems.

I have allergy issues myself, but even so, was not willing to give this a go....until today!

I have had a terrible couple of months with allergy headaches (not migraines ... running regularly has almost cut those completely out).  Because I have dealt with migraines for the last 13 years, I though I could handle headaches pretty good, but enough is enough!  Today I am willing to try something new!  I am sick of feeling so run down from allergies/headaches.

Dairy is something I LOVE.  I eat dairy in almost every meal, but if it works, it will be worth it (I think!).  I started a "no dairy week" this morning!  I am only posting this so I don't cheat!  I also could use a lot of support because this isn't going to be easy for me.

Easy snack ideas, recipes, and loving support wanted!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Simply Julie!: Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!

Simply Julie!: Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!: A MUST before you start a half marathon! Saturday I ran my second ever half marathon...the Runaway Pumpkin Half in Lebanon, OR. It ...

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!

A MUST before you start a half marathon!
  Saturday I ran my second ever half marathon...the Runaway Pumpkin Half in Lebanon, OR.  It all started as a idea from one of my ladies in Dallas, OR Running Club.  Several of the women were on board, but as training got more intense...the numbers trickled down.  Four of us ended up going.  Two walkers and two runners.
My goal was to break two hours.  To break two hours, it would require me to keep a average pace of 9:09 minutes per mile.  We will talk about that more later!
Myself and Tonya
Aunt Audrey, me and my Mom Donita.
 I do not consider myself a "fun" person.  I am pretty boring.  My idea of a good time is too do something low key that doesn't bring attention to myself. Today I decided to break my mold.  I DRESSED UP for the first time ever during a race.  Well, the event did encourage pumpkin costumes!  Tonya and I decided to be extra fun and go with a bright costume.  Let me tell you, we glowed out there!  People told me!

  My friend Tonya, her Mom Teresa and I started off early Saturday morning to Lebanon.  We parked and took a few pre-race photos.  We also hit the Best Pots, a MUST before you start a half marathon.  We then were shuttled to the start.  We caught up with my Mom, Donita and my Aunt Audrey to get a few photos and talk before the start.  Teresa, Mom and Audrey all were going to walk the half today.  8:30am quickly came and we all made our way to the start line along with about 800 other runners!  The air was perfect for running.  About 52 degree with a light mist and no wind!  Sadly the race started late, but soon we were off.

    I started off feeling great.  I passed a few people and then settled into a comfortable pace that was actually fast for me (8:50), but hey...while I felt good, I was going to take advantage of it.  I found myself playing passing games with these two men running together.  I would pass them, they would pass me.  This went on for like five miles.  They struck me funny because they talked and talked and talked...just like me and my running buddies do.   Usually when I see a man running a race, they are by themselves and very serious.

  I saw a nickle and didn't stop to pick it up.  There were too many people still clustered around me and it could of caused a pile-up.  Yes, I pick up coins when I run!  I am up to about $8.00!  Oh, bummer...I should of picked up the nickle!!!

  The half was described as "a beautiful scenic course, mostly flat, with all paved roads."  I read "mostly flat" as FLAT!  I should know better, but I wasn't expecting any hills.  I do regularly train on hills, but thought I was going to get out easy today.  Nope, there were small hills and they seem big when you are tired.  

  Around mile 6 here comes Tonya. We start and finish different when we race.  This was about the time I expected to see her, and there she was!  We ran together for a bit and then she took off.  The light mist was now gone and I was getting very hot.  Just me and my music.  I ran on.

  I knew I was getting close to the half way point and it was going to get harder.  I took a endurolyte pill and a goo.  Off down the road I went trying to enjoy the  mountain views, farm land, and fall colors along the course.  We ran along the  South Santiam river and I love running along water.  There is something so calming about the river!

  Soon up from behind me a lady runs by me and said, "Julie right?"  We had meet on the shuttle and she remembered fun!  She was in a orange tutu and looked adorable. 

  I ran on...getting rather tired and mad.  The race was now turning to stress and I didn't know if I would make it back in time to see my daughter run at districts for XC...ugh!  The race had started 10-15 minutes late and I knew I wouldn't be able to make up that time in my two hour goal was going to be hard as it was.  

  Soon I saw a group of women gathered around the back of a pick-up truck.  I soon realized there was a lady in the back of the truck lying down.  She was having problems from the race.  Oh I felt bad for her.  She was breathing really weird but there was lots of help, so I ran on.  You really never know how your body is going to react to running so hard, so long!  I have been very blessed to not have any major problems, lots of minor problems, no major!  

  Around mile 9-9.5 I started to noticed not only I was having a hard time keeping going, but others were too.  I paced up with a guy with a Portland Marathon shirt on.  I asked him what his goal was?  He said he didn't really know. I told him his goal is now to help me...that's right!  I told him I wanted to come in under 2 hours and get to my daughters XC meet and he was going to help me.   He had no choice but to listen to me, he was going to same pace, lol!  We got to the last 3.1 miles...he said "just 5k left."  Sounds great, wait..."we still have 5k left....UGH!"  Sure it doesn't sound like much compared to 13.1, but after running 10 already, it sounded like a long ways.  Soon I left the guy and ran by myself again.  
 Soon I saw the 1 mile sign...oh sweetness! This was the most beautiful sign I had ever seen!  Ok, I was just ready to be done!  My stomach was getting upset and my legs were tired.  I had to think, I will be done very soon, time to push it!  Problem being, I was really having a hard time pushing it.  My pace was now over a 9:09 and I was going to have to really run hard this last mile to make up the lost time.  I just didn't have it in me!  The last .25-.50 miles I hear my name again..."Hi Julie,"  It was Eve from my HTC team!  Seeing her gave me a quick burst of energy to finish strong.  We started to turn towards the crowd and I said something like, "lets finish strong Eve!"  I took off...we had to turn a few corners to get to the finish line and it was wet out.  I really tried to not slide and fall!  The last 100 meters seemed so long, but felt so good!  I could here my friend Debbie cheering for me, but I didn't look up!  I had to bet Eve!  I know, I have a little competitiveness in me. 
  I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:01:29.  Can you believe it?  1 minute and 29 seconds off my goal!  I did PR and that was good.  I was handed a awesome finishers metal and then looked for Tonya who had come in like two minutes before me...yah Tonya!  I hugged her, grabbed a water and a granola bar and took off down the trail to the car...time to race off to Albany to see my girl run at districts.  

  A little problem.  The trail back to the car was about a mile long!  Yes, it's good to walk out a 13.1 mile run, but I was in a hurry people!  There were lots of people walking both ways on the tail.  One man going the other direction yelled out to me," your costume is great!"  I was happy and kept going.  Soon another man asked me how long to the finish?  He was looking for his wife to finish the half.  I told him about 1/2 mile.  He decided to walk back to his car and try driving around.  He went on to tell me how I was in-front of his wife during the race and he had no problem seeing me out there on the course....hahaha!  I tried to run to the car, but I was starting to cramp up and I had to go to the bathroom!  Where's a Best Pot when you need one!  FINALLY I got to my van and took off to Albany!  I could almost cry now!  I knew at this time I was going to be late. After the late start and the mile long walk to the car, it just didn't work!  

  I soon arrived with a big bowl of cookies in hand.  The XC kids love my cookies and I love the XC kids!  I didn't have time to change out of costume (hehehe)....I found Raelee sitting at a bench changing out of her race shoes.  Thankfully she didn't seem embarrassed at my bright tutu presence.  I felt eyes starring at me.  Normally this would really bother me, but did't matter!  The Dallas girls all seemed to LOVE my costume!   I was only about five minutes late, can you believe it?  I enjoyed hearing all about her race.  Raelee had a great season and I am so very proud of her.  Was thankful for a few photos of Raelee's great finish! Go Dragons!  
  Finally, I got to go to the bathroom!!!  

My next planned run is Hippie Chick 2012 in May!  Two hours or bust!  That's right, I will get my goal!  The exciting thing is, Raelee is running this one with me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Women can do more than they think they Can!"

"My goal has always been to introduce other people to running, they might accomplish something they never thought they could." ~Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon runner and former world record holder.
These women just ran their fist 5k (about 1.5 yrs. ago)

I found this quote today and it has been true for me the last two yrs.  I started Dallas.OR.Running.Club to help people see that they can do much more than they think they can.  I love working with the women that come.  I have had women come, walk, run, race, and drop out.  Even if it doesn't work out for everyone, it brings me great joy when a women comes and gets stronger and starts to realize she can do things she didn't think her body could.

I started running three years ago.  I have goon though lots of ups and lots of downs.  I have had more "bad" days and more "bad" races than "good."   I have had to work through several injuries from not always doing things right.  All-in-all, though the good and the bad, I just try and stay consistent and surround myself with people who keep me encouraged.  As I look back at the last three years on paper, I see how much stronger I have gotten from year to year.  It really does pay off!

Dallas.OR.Running.Club is open to all fitness levels, men and women (ages 13+ please).  We are currently meeting on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm if you would like to check us out!  We are done by 8:00pm.  This is a free fitness club.  Be sure and bring a flashlight, it's dark out at this time now!

Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Bread

As Fall/Winter sets in, I get the urge to bake, bake, bake!  It drives me crazy because everything is so yummy.  I will have to freeze and give away some of my baked goods to get rid of temptation!  Today I was asked for this recipe...."Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins" Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

"Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Bread"

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tea. baking soda
1 tea. salt
1/2 tea. baking powder
1 tea. pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice 
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar, butter and eggs...mix in large mixing bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy (1 or 2 min).  Add in the pumpkin and bananas (1 or 2 more min).   Add remaining ingredients.

Pour into greased muffin pan or spread into 2 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans.  Muffins bake for 19 min.  Bread, bake for 50-60 min.

*Substitute 1/2 tea. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tea. ground ginger, 1/8 tea. each ground nutmeg and ground cloves.

If you would like to add a yummy glaze just combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 TBS milk, 1 TBS melted butter, and 1 tea. vanilla.  Blend until smooth and drizzle onto muffins/bread!

Eat with a good friend and a glass of milk!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"An Epic Adventure....Hood to Coast 2011"

A little over a year ago, I found out about this relay race from the top of Mt Hood, all the way to Seaside.  I was told stories about how it works and thought, that is seriously crazy!  I would never do that!  Last year I was in Seaside the day before this relay started.  They were starting to set up for the big beach party and grand got me excited.  Three of my friends ran this relay that weekend,  and that began my interest in the Mother of all relays...Hood to Coast (HTC)!

Happy Birthday Eric!
Several months ago I was asked to be on a HTC team, well how could I say no to that?  I started my training and wondered how I would get through this.  HTC is 200 miles, each runner will run about 17 miles (maybe more) and get almost no sleep for two days.  My team captain told me I was training right, so I just went with it!  I decided not to go drive the route with some of my team.  Why would I want to see the mountain I have to climb anyway?...not me! I just decided I would run on this killer hill in Dallas called Bridlewood, and run it a lot.

Decorating van 1
Thursday evening we went to Debbie's house to meet the team, eat dinner together and get the vans ready.  They weren't really vans, but that is what we called them.  Van 1 and van 2.  I was in van 1 along with Darcy, Debbie, Susie, Brandon, and Lance.  We also celebrated Beric's, I mean Eric's 40th birthday!

Darcy at the start
Friday morning we met again at Debbie's to leave for Mt. Hood at 2:30am.  I had slept for only about two hours, as did, most of my team.  Off we went into the night, groggy, but excited for what was yet to come.  As we started up Mt. Hood (it was still pitch dark) it started raining. We began seeing runners come down the mountain.  HTC has so many runners they have a staggered start.  Every 15 minutes, so many runners were released.  As we continued up the mountain we saw lighting and heard thunder, or should I say felt thunder.  The thunder felt like it was about 10 feet from our van.  The rain was pouring down around us so hard!  Runner one (Darcy) was beginning to freak out a bit....I sure wouldn't want to run in this storm, and I know she didn't either. We got to the top, and Debbie had to check us in.  We all got out for a quick team photo.  Van two (runners 7-12) took off for breakfast and my van (van 1-runners 1-6) stayed to take more photos and see Darcy off.  As the sun came up, the storm passed.  Darcy took off in great weather.  She did get rain, but the thunder was goon...phew!

End of leg one
My first leg (leg 5) was described as... "6.08 miles-very hard.  Long leg in length over very challenging rolling hills along hwy 26 on paved shoulder."  Off I went about 10:15am Friday morning.  It was hotter than I expected it to be.  The first 3 miles I was in the sun along the hwy..then as I started up this killer hill.  I thought..."just make it to the top!"  As I got about 3/4 into this hill, I was told by a volunteer to to turn right.  Oh I was excited!  I got to go into shade and get off that stupid hill!  My Garmin was messed up, so I asked the volunteer, "how long do I have?"  He said, "uh...about a mile."  Oh joy...I was so excited.  Shade and only a mile!  I was now on a narrow country road.  My team was kinda keeping track of roadkill (people you pass in a race).  I was not getting any roadkill, only being roadkill to others.  These really fast men kept passing me.  Also two really fast women.  Why was I going so slow, and why was everyone so fast on this leg?  This mile was beginning to feel really long.  I kept having to go up these hills and I was really hot.  I went by another volunteer.  "How much longer" I asked?  "Oh, only about a mile" she said.  Uh, are you kidding me?  That's what the guy said about a mile back???  As I went on, and on, and on I finally saw a construction sign with a picture of a flagger on it.  I knew I was very close to the end now.  I could hear someone coming up behind me so I turned around and said something like "whoo hoo, were almost there."  It was two super fast men.  As I turned back around, I ran into that flagger sign.  Yes, It wasn't my proudest moment.  Sigh...I went on up my last hill.  I handed off the baton to Brandon and thew my water bottle into the crowd (no joke).  Darcy was there to take me back to the van.  Lance was there too, and picked up my water bottle for me.  I was really glad Lance got that for me.  I really wanted it, just not at the time.  After it was all said and done, I ran 6.08 mile of very challenging rolling hills at 9:32 pace, roadkill-0.   I was happy with that!

All the runners in my van seemed to have great leg ones.  It was exciting!  As the day went on it got really really hot.  Van two took most of the heat of the day, but as we took over again, it was still very hot and muggy.  

Susie suggested we go to her parents house to rest during the break time (while van 2 is running).  I think we were in the Portland area now, but in HTC land there seems to be no scene of time or place, and too tired to care.  We walked into a lovely home with lovely carpet.  Some of my team took showers.  I plugged in my phone to charge and simply laid on the lovely carpet to sleep!  I never did fall asleep, too wound up I guess, but it was nice to be out of the heat and just stretch out for about 45 minutes.  It was now time to go to downtown Portland to meet up with van 2 and start on our leg 2's. 

Downtown Portland
Leg two didn't go well for anyone in my van.  My leg 2 was leg 17, described as "7.13 miles-moderate. Basically flat terrain on paved shoulder along hwy 30."  Easy pie is what I was thinking.  This was the only leg I wasn't worried about...nice and, love, love!  I started around 9:30pm Friday night, maybe 10.  Remember, you enter another world out there with no sense of time or direction.  I'm not kidding!  It was dark.  I knew I would be in the dark.  I was all equipped with reflectors, blinkies, a headlamp and flashlight!  For some reason, runners seemed to be really spread apart on this leg of the race.  I seemed to be all by myself, but I felt great.  My pace was really good and I was gonna get this done!  My team was going to check with me around mile 4.  As I was out there, I found myself on this odd dark country road.  I thought it seemed strange that no HTC vans were going by.  Oh well, I see other runners ahead...keep going.  The road was dark, but I had a good flashlight thanks to Lance and Susie.  Up ahead I saw someone fall down.  I was so glad it wasn't me...she got up and seemed to be ok.  Next thing I know this crazy lady comes up from behind running really fast yelling, "are you sure we are going the right way?"  ....What?  "I don't know" I said, "I was just following the other runners."  So she ran ahead yelling, "HEY, ARE YOU SURE WERE GOING THE RIGHT WAY?"  Around that time, a farmer comes out and yells, "HEY, YOU GUYS ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!"  The crazy fast lady, told me and two high school students she would go ahead and get the others.  I now found myself on a dark country road with two high school students, Zac and Taylor.  Zac kept saying, "if we just keep going, we can turn right, and come out somewhere so we don't have to go back."  We were into that dark country road about 1.5 miles.  I didn't know what to do.  I was really irritated there wasn't a arrow or a volunteer back there to make sure runners went in the right direction.  We finally turned around to run out of that 1.5 hole.  As we came out and turn in the right direction we weren't even 1 mile into our 7.13 mile leg, but we had run about 3.5 miles.  Talk about the never ending leg!

  I am 34 years old running along with two high school students at a pretty good pace mind you, as they both proceed to tell me they aren't even runners!  Zac said, "I don't even run, I'm a football player.  Do you know how hard it is to carry around this 250lbs?"  He's not a runner (but he's keeping up with me!).  Taylor was a sweet girl.  She was the one who fell down earlier.  She is a sophomore and goes to the same school as the kids on "Little People, Big World."  She told me she isn't a runner, she is a soccer player.  I told them, "I am a runner and I have been training my butt off for this." Oh, to be young!  Finally Zac said, "hey, I'm gonna stop at that mini mart and go to the bathroom."  I think he just needed a break, but I have my first "roadkill, yaaaa!

  Taylor and I moved on at a nice steady pace.  We were both so thirsty.  My team waited for me around mile 4, but moved on to the finish thinking they just missed me in the dark.  Next thing I know Taylor goes,  "hey..there's a bottle of water!"  She quickly picks it up off the road.  To our surprise it was a unopened bottle of water a runner or van had dropped.  Taylor and I decided it must of been sent from heaven just for our time of need.  She poured half into my water bottle carrier that Lance saved in my first leg and kept the rest.  Finally after running about 10 miles, we came to our 7.13 mile exchange, passed off to the next runner and let our teammates know were weren't lost in a ditch somewhere along the course.  My team was walking back to the van to look for me, as I came running in...phew, just in time! All-in-all, not a good run, but got 1roadkill. Not sure if I'm happy with that or not!

After our next runner came in, it was time for our "break" while van 2 ran.  We had plans to go sleep in a field in Mist.  I still don't know if Mist is a town or just an area, but apparently it's misty there.  We were happy to know we would get to stop for about 3 hours.  As we drove on, and on, and on it got later and later and later.  Traffic for HTC had gotten so backed up, we weren't moving how we should of been.  We finally got to a field, I don't know if it was Mist or some other field, but it was our next exchange area.  We got to rest for about 1.5 hours.  I don't think everyone on my team rested as well as me.  They told me Saturday morning that people were being very loud.  Glad I slept well.  When I got up, I did, amazingly feel better.  I even saw a falling star just before I crawled out of my misted over sleeping bag. 1.5 hours of sleep, does a body good!

I was worried about today.  My whole van had a hard time with our last runs and now we were even more tired.  You should of seen us trying to get in and out of the van while sore, tired and just out of it!  Darcy took off!  At our check point for her, she seemed on fire.  She didn't need anything, not even a little water.  She looked happy as can be!  This good running went on with all the runners in my van.  Finally it was my turn, ugh!  This was my most dreaded leg...the one I really trained for.  It makes my stomach hurt just writing about it.  Leg 29 (my leg 3) described as "6.11 miles-very hard.  Very challenging up and downhills through winding wooded section of hwy 202."  From the map I knew it would be about 3.5 miles up a mountain for starters, then down hill for the rest of the run.  I went into this leg just saying to myself, it's only 3.5 miles...that's all I have to worry about.  You see, I knew if I could only make it up, I will make it down with no problems.  Right?  Right, it worked as planned this time, for once, it worked out as planned!  I ran up that mountain and loved almost every minute of it. This is where all that training on Bridlewood paid off!  As my van passed to check in on me around mile 2, told them I was good, go on to mile 4 or so.  I must of been rather excited, I yelled, "this is awesome."  The look on Susie's face was priceless.  I was owning that mountain.  I was even making roadkill!   As I got to the top of the mountain I knew I was done!  I sore down that mountain and it felt very good.  As I came in on my last mile the HTC vans started backing up yet again.  I was just thinking, what if Brandon isn't at the exchange?  I started watching for my van, surely they would send Brandon off early?  With about .25 mile left, there was my van with the window rolled down.  I yelled, "he better be there."  They said he was, so I kept going fast.  Was so happy to see Brandon there to finish off van 1's last and final leg!  Leg 3, best run ever...5 roadkills.  Perfect end to my H2C runs!

Our hitchhiker!
Brandon handed off to van 2 and we drove on to Seaside to take showers and head to the beach for our big finish.  There was a accident so we were stopped in traffic a lot.  As we were stopped a lady standing by a HTC van started waving her hands at us yelling, "can I have a ride to Seaside?  I am a runner too."  As weird as this was, we let this hitchhiker lady into our already crowded van and she didn't stop talking until we got to the beach.  On and on she went about leaving her van to get to the beach cause they wanted food and coffee and blah blah blah.  She was so funny!  We dropped her off and went to shower.  Ah, nothing like a good shower after two days with no showers and running over and over again.  We had to walk about a mile to the beach.  We were a sight walking or should I say, limping down the path.  It was good to walk it out some.  

It was about 70 degrees in Seaside that day, the sun was out and there were people everywhere. We decided to split for an hour then meet back for our big finish with van 2.  I spent most of that hour in the bathroom, don't ask!  When we meet back, we had gotten a call that yet again, traffic was backed up and our van 2 would have to be shuttled in.  We had to wait another hour or two.  Finally they arrived and we ran through the finish line together and then were given our medals.  It was so hard to run through that sand, but yet so awesome at the same time.  They corralled us through and then took a team photo.  We did it!  

My team was part of the largest relay in the world.  We were with 15,000 other runners.  We were thankful for all 4,100 volunteers, especially George, Bob, and Laird.  We were suppose to run 200 miles, but are over achievers and  ran 203 miles, ha!  My team was made up of 12 truly amazing people.  We had a firefighter, a doctor, a physical therapist, and the ordinary me. We had a couple from Newberg, a man from Michigan and a man from Arizona.  Nobody knew everyone on the team.  Some were friends, some were strangers, but something happens when your stuck together in such an environment.   My van came together and took care of each other and worked as a team.  It was simply amazing. It didn't matter who we where, or where we came from, we all were there together like a little family lost in time for two days!

 Well team, don't let the meatballs take away our Lance!  Great job!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bella Joy Creations is coming to Dallas Oregon!

About two years ago I went to a craft fair and was introduced to Bella Joy Creations.  The jewelry caught my attention.  At the time, it was only the square and rectangle pieces of jewelry.  This was the beginning.  The next summer I went to the same craft fair and Bella Joy had expanded to the various shapes, sizes,  plus rings, earrings, and bracelets.   I took a business card so I would have access to order on-line sometime.  This fall, they also started adding some home decor items and just recently started doing another style of jewelry using washers.  Bella Joy is on facebook so I found it when I got home.  I just love the jewelry.
I talked to the owner of Bella Joy Creations a few times using e-mail.  Her name is Megan.  Megan hand-makes each piece of jewelry and take great pride in creating something unique and beautiful.  The name "Bella Joy", means "beautiful happiness."  What an appropriate name.                                                    Megan generously donated two necklaces as give-a-ways to two of my coupon classes and yet another one for a local 5k I was putting on to raise funds for "Stop Child Trafficking."  I gave the first place female the running necklace that Megan donated.  There were other female runners who liked the necklace too.  It was such a fun gift for the winner.
Just last month Bella Joy Creations had a facebook challenge so I entered.  I was very excited to win and get to pick out a piece of jewelry for myself.  I picked out a really cool ring.  I was even more excited when it came in the mail.  It is such a fun ring.
Bella Joy Creations  was featured on groupon back in February.  It was really fun for this small, online business, and it did very well selling a little over 100 groupons that day.  Megan also has her necklaces in two stores in Florence, OR.  On Your Feet and the The Herb Jar.  She is hoping to soon approach some local businesses and get some interest.  She also sells off her website here along with facebook here.  Bellas Joy Creations does custom orders whether it's her photo jewelry, or special requests.  She also does some beautiful bridesmaids sets, etc.

I was excited to find out her first show this summer will be "Art in the Park" coming July 31st in Dallas, OR City Park from 8-4. If you are in Dallas, come see Megan with Bella Joy Creations during her time here.  Be sure and tell her "Simply Julie" sent you!

You can e-mail Bella Joy Creations with any questions at ...

My Children's Closet....Dallas, OR!...Consigner's wanted!

Dallas friends.....there is a new consignment shop in town.  Michelle has opened a store tentatively called "My Children's Closet" in Claire's Mercantile.  The address is 240 SW Washington St. Dallas, OR.   Right now, Michelle is trying to get stocked up for Summerfest coming the end of this month.
She is asking you to bring in your children's good quality clothes (no stains, spots, tears, etc).  She would like you to bring in summer and fall clothes, right now .....especially girls clothing. 
Michelle is currently working Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday's in the mornings. So stop by with your kids outgrown clothing and start earning your credit for new school clothes!
Don't forget to tell her "Simply Julie" sent you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"16 Years"

Today is Jerry's and my 16th anniversary. The "anniversary gift for 16 years is Silver Holloware.  I didn't even know what Holloware was so I looked it up....
"Holloware (or hollowware[1]) is a term that refers to table service items such as sugar bowls, creamers, coffee pots, teapots, soup tureens, hot food covers, water pitchers, platters, butter pat plates and other metal items that went with the china on a table. It does not include flatware. Holloware was constructed to last a long time. It differs from some other silverplated items in being made with thicker walls and more layers of silverplate.
Holloware is the traditional gift in the UK[2] and the modern gift in the US[3] for the 16th wedding anniversary. Holloware is the traditional gift for jubilee or wedding in Russia. Holloware from Bulushoff is elite gift of political and economic establishment in Russia and France."
........"Holloware was constructed to last a long time", 16 years is a long time, but it's been a great 16 years.  I am stronger than I was 16 years ago.  Jerry has helped me see myself in a much more positive way.  He balances me out so-to-speak. "Holloware does not include flatware."  This is a good thing, because most of our flatware has goon missing over the years.  When we moved to Dallas, Jerry was very irritated that we hardly had any!  I picked some up at Goodwill.  Now we have a nice variety of mix-and-match flatware.  I've noticed our spoons and table knives are diminishing!  Might need to pick some more up before the year is over...hehehe!

Marriage isn't always easy, but nothing in life that comes easy is worth fighting for.  My marriage is worth fighting for, in the good times and the hard times.  In the hard times, we have always come out closer and stronger. 

Thank you for loving me Jerry!  I love you!

"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
— I Corinthians 13:7
"I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each others gaps."
— Rocky
"A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences."
— Dave Meure

"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD." 

                                                                                                                            -    Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"CEP Compression Sock Review and Giveaway"

 I was so excited to receive my CEP Compression Socks from Sports Compression.  I couldn't wait to try them out.  I have never worn any type of compression socks so I didn't know what to expect. They fit nice and snug as compression socks are suppose too!  I went out for a run in them and didn't care for that.  Some people love them on a run, but me, not so much.  On the plus side, they did stay secure, had nice ventilation and didn't cause any blisters.

I do LOVE my compression socks after a run.  The next time I went for a run, I came home and put them on.  It was instant relief.  They felt so nice.  The aches in my legs felt better. I also like to put them on after being on my feet for several hours as my job requires of me.  They makes my legs feel so much better.  

CEP Compression  has lots of great information on their website

For all Runners and Endurance Athletes
~The scientifically optimized pressure flow provides your muscles with the maximum amount of oxygen and energy during performance and recovery.

The times are over where the sole purpose of socks and stockings was to protect feet from blistering. The CEP compression sportsocks are the first functional sport socks with a unique compression profile that provides a scientifically proven increase in blood circulation and a consequent increase in performance.

Achilles Tendon Support:
 ~Additional support of the Achilles tendon protects and prevents irritable tendons.

Padded Foot Soles:
~The special support of the foot sole prevents irritations caused by pressure spots.

Ventilation Channels:
~For a pleasant foot climate.

3-D Fit:
~The socks adjust to the anatomy of the leg and foot for a perfect fit thanks to the three-dimensional manufacturing process.

~Shin Splints 
~ Achilles Issues
~Fatigue, Micro Muscle tears
~ Vibration trauma
~Blood clots from travel

As you can see, there are many benefits to wearing compression socks.  I encourage you to check them out now here. CEP Compression offers a 30 day money back guarantee.  

CEP Compress is offering you a one time discount on your purchase from their website.  Just use this coupon code at checkout...BLOG15 to receive your 15% discount.

I look forward to having my new CEP Sports Compression socks after I come home from running, especially when I go over 5 miles or run a race.  I am really glad I will have them for my upcoming relay, 2011 Hood to Coast.  We will be traveling and taking turns running.  I will be wearing my sports compression socks in-between my runs to help with fatigue and cramps.  Oh, I do believe this is a must for anyone doing Hood to Coast!

 Would you like to win a pair of compression socks for yourself?  

Here's how to enter:  

Each item will count as one entry, so be sure and leave separate comments.


     1.  Follow Sports Compression on Facebook!  Go here and “like” Sports Compression. You MUST leave a comment on their page saying "I love and are here because Simply Julie sent me". Then come back to this blog and tell me in a comment below. 
·         2.  Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment to let me know.  

     3. Go to CEP Compression's website.  Tell me what color you like best and something you learned about their products...comment below.
     4.  Like Dallas OR Running Club on facebook and tell them "Simply Julie" sent you.  (You don't have to be from Dallas to join this group). Comment below and let me know you did this.
·         5.  Post this giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter, and comment here to let me know. (worth two entries)

I was given a pair of CEP Compression socks from Sports Compression to test in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way
A winner will be picked on the evening of July 19th, after Dallas OR Running Club group run.  

Good luck and spread the word!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cash Envelope System Review...Make budgeting fun??

Not too long ago I saw a link to these Cash Envelope Systems. It really caught my eye because my current envelope system was a mess.  I just used regular white envelopes.  They got tossed into my purse and away we went.  The problem is, they would end up getting bent up, the flap would get in the way and I was constantly  having to toss out the old bent up envelopes for new ones.  When I saw this option I was really excited.  I contacted the seller and got one to try out.  I was even more impressed when I got it than I thought I would be.  It fits perfect into a little wallet I had just bought the week or two before.  The cash envelope system is about 6.5" wide x 3.5" tall.  It has a front flap to slip into the "check-book" area of some wallets if you choose.  I prefer to just have it it my wallet purse.   This cash envelope system could be used in a number of ways. 
One option would be to use it to budget your funds out for the month.  An example of this would be to get your ten envelopes labeled something like this...groceries, fun, hair, eating out, gas, date night, gifts, ect.
  Another option would be to use it for organizing coupons. An example would be something like, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens, Albertsons, (any place you use coupons at).  You could plan your trips before you leave to shop, and have your coupons all in place so you are organized for each store. 
   I use my Cash Envelope System with a combination of these two ideas.   There are ten envelopes, so I picked to label mine... groceries, eating out, fun, house cleaning (this is my part time job), coupons (for planed trips to the store I'm going to that day), and one envelope for each person in my family.
   You may order your envelope system "laminated."  I would recommend paying a few extra dollars to get the laminating done.  This will ensure your envelope system last and last for a long time.
After you order your envelope system you simply send Kelleigh a note telling her what ten categories you would like, and she does a really cute print up for you. They are added to your envelope system before it's mailed out to you.  The tab-tops are really easy to see when I open my wallet to get cash or coupons out for my transaction.  I highly recommend you checking this out!
  Visit Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs on facebook here.  Be sure and "like" her, and then post "Simply Julie" sent you!
  Next, visit Kelleigh's Esty shop here and pick out your favorite Cash Envelope System. Her Envelope Systems come in lots of pretty colors and designs.

Using a cash envelope system is a fun way to get started on a budget.  The last year my husband and I worked very hard to get some bills paid off by using a budget.  It was very hard at first, but it is paying off.  We now have two credit cards completely paid off!  I now feel like we have control over our money instead of our money having control over us!