Best MIMM YET!

Happy Monday lovers!!  Man do I have an amazing MIMM for you today! I am so so excited to share something awesome that happened Friday afternoon…but first, some marvelous bits from this weekend!


I bought some new clothes spring clothes and daringly broke out of my shell and wore this super cute outfit Thursday!

outfitI love the blazer with rolled up sleeves!

Even though I can’t make Mark’s WOD on the 11th, I completed the workout Friday afternoon in my apartment’s gym:

Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD

5 rounds of 12 repetitions for time

  • M- Mnt climbers
  • A- Ab mat sit ups
  • R- 200M run
  • K- Kettle Bell Swings (KBS)
  • B- Burpees

It was tough, especially the last two rounds, but I finished just around 20 minutes.  I think if I didn’t have to keep switching from the weight to cardio rooms I would’ve finished a lot quicker.

Saturday morning I stopped by Crossfit Stafford to pick up my Memorial WOD shirt.

CF staffordI spoke with Mark’s dad for a bit and we both acknowledged how hard this complicated grief is- both of us agreeing it just plain sucks and no one should have to experience our heartache.

After picking up the shirt my boyfriend and I met my mom at the farmers market in Fredericksburg and picked up some items for dinner.  We also ran by Wegman’s for some sushi and crabs- check out our yummy spread!

crab spread

OMG addictive!!

OMG addictive!!

Momma is awesome- she always stashes her pantry with goodies for me to snack on.  New find- these oatmeal cookies from Barbara’s.  SO good with awesome ingredients, too!

omeletteEven though you cant see it, there’s apricot jam and feta in there- just like Sarah makes! ‘What the what’ you say? Trust me, the combo of sweet and savory is awesome!  The bf made this one egg-two white omelet for me and wanted the praise for making the perfect omelet.  Awesome job, babe!

trexSaw this on Instagram.  Hysterical.  If you read the T-rex trying blog -plus a crossfitter!- you know how funny this is!!  Poor T-rex 🙂

Ok ok I can’t take the suspense anymore- I bet you can’t either!!  I have to tell you that I won a giveaway Friday…and not just any giveaway

BlendI won the Blend Retreat Giveaway from Janetha! I was blown away when I got the email and I am SO SO excited to go!!  I actually wanted to go last year but felt I was still kind of a blogger newb.  I get to meet so many amazing bloggers- I mean check out the list of who’s going!!

I still feel kind of in awe- someone pinch me!! I never thought I would be going and now I can’t believe I will be in Salt Lake City in just a couple weeks!!

Needless to say this is a very Marvelous Monday!!  I hope you had a marvelous weekend as well!

Question: Who else is going to Blend Retreat?!

Out of (South) Africa Part 2 and a Recipe!

Hello and happy Monday lovers!  I hope everyone had a great weekend- we had some fantastic weather in DC and I definitely took advantage!  I took a nice long walk Friday evening with the bf and Saturday evening my roommate, her bf and mine all sat outside and grilled.  It was glorious!

First- congrats to the Rhino Bracelet giveaway winners at the bottom of this post!

Well the much anticipated Part 2 recap is here of my South Africa trip!  In case you missed it, click here to see part 1!

The very first full day began bright and early with a 5am wake up call.  After a quick muffin breakfast we boarded our game vehicle and drove to the gates of Kruger National Park.  We were super lucky- no one else signed up from our lodge for the game drive so we got an exclusive VIP game drive experience- just the two of us!

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Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for our first drive!

Game drives begin before dawn so we can watch the sunrise over the park (well, mainly because the animals are up at dawn to feed before it gets too hot, but the sunrise notion is much better, don’t you agree?).  Isn’t this amazing?

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Not 20 minutes into our drive and we saw the first of the ‘Big Five’- the holy grail of animals people fly from all over to see, which include Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.

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A white rhino munching on breakfast!  Robert, our amazing guide, told us that the Rhino was actually named the Wide Rhino by Bushmen, by contrast the very rare Black Rhino has a more narrow head.  But when outsiders started coming to the area they misunderstood the Bushmen, thus the White Rhino name stuck.

A few minutes later Robert spotted some cheetah tracks- and said they were fresh!

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We did end up seeing a cheetah for a brief moment, and I did snag a photo- unfortunately it’s really difficult to see her tiny head in the grass- they are definitely well camouflaged.  I decided to post the photo- can you spot her?South Africa 2013 130*hint- look to the left of the horizontal branch, the top of her head/ears is right in the middle pf the photo!

Even though we only saw her for a few moments, it was so neat- we saw her stand up and then lye in the grass contemplating going for a kill!

After watching the cheetah until we couldn’t see her anymore, we went off deeper into the park and crossed crocodile bridge. Sounds like a Disney ride!

South Africa 2013 125South Africa 2013 121While sitting on the bridge a herd of elephants came to the pond for their morning drink. It was amazing timing, like they waited for us to stop on the bridge to arrive!  And check out the babies!! So cute! That’s two/five of the Big Five!

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We also saw a bunch of these guys crossing the road.  Monkeys are so cute!

We drove around for a bit on some different back roads, seeing a variety of different plant life and birds, including eagles and Zazu!

ZazuUnfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the real bird…so Zazu will have to do 🙂

When we came across quite a few vehicles stopped in the road we knew something good must have been spotted!

Simba!

Simba!

And indeed- number three on the list spotted- a male Lion, basking in the sun!  There were three bachelors total, the others were a bit shy hanging out in the shade.  We watched him for a bit until he joined his mates in the shade- his paws were enormous!

After second breakfast/rest stop, we drove around the park, spotting a few more amazing animals:

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The zebras and giraffe, along with impalas, were quite plentiful in the park and we saw them quite frequently.  On our way out of the park headed back to the lodge, we saw the best sighting ever:

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A leopard!  Hanging out in the shade on the side of the road.  How lucky is this? We had seen four out of five of the ‘Big Five’!  We were even more excited/grateful for the leopard sighting as Robert said some people come to the park for weeks and never see the big cats!! He said leopards are pretty rare to see, so this was certainly a treat!

What a great way to end our first game drive!…

Or so we thought…

South Africa 2013 174Buffalo!  The last of the ‘Big Five’!  Bam!

We came back to the lodge for lunch and regaled our fellow lodge mates with our sightings, making everyone jealous that we saw the ‘Big Five’- PLUS a cheetah!!- on our very first game drive!!

The next day we planned on something S really wanted to do since we booked this trip last year- an elephant interaction including a ride!  I had never done this so I was pretty excited as well, especially when we got to say hello up close!!

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Behind the ears are super soft!

After meeting this big guy and kicking back and forth the soccer ball, we climbed aboard his mate for a ride!

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So excited!

So excited!

It was such a blast!  She gently walked through the park, pushing over trees ‘showing off’ according to her handler, and her mate behind us picked up and handed S a branch- which the handler said is a sign of affection- the handler joked he proposed to S with the branch!  She gladly accepted 🙂  Even our elephant picked some branches and handed them to her handler.  It was so cute! Stay tuned this week for Part 3- a photo sneak preview:

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Now for the recipe as promised!  This dessert we sadly only had once on our trip- but man will I remember it for the rest of my life- it was THAT good! Malva pudding!  It wasn’t like our Jell-O pudding, many other countries call all desserts pudding like we call them desserts!  It was a luscious, moist cake that was out of this world!

Malva Pudding (adapted from food.com)

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Ingredients (for the pudding):

3/4 C Sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1/2 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/3 cup milk

For the sauce:
3/4 cup fresh cream
Scant 1/2 cup butter
1/2-3/4 C sugar (to taste)
1/3 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Grease an oven dish. i used a pie pan. I suggest something with bigger sides and mine was a bit thin. 
  3. Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It’s quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick pale yellow, then add the apricot jam and blend well.
  4. Melt the butter (don’t boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
  5. Sift the flour, soda and salt.
  6. Add this mixture with the milk to the egg mixture in the mixer. Beat well.
  7. Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and center is not jiggly–depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 – 45 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes with my shallow pan).

While the pudding bakes:

  1. In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
  2. Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  3. Leave to stand awhile before serving. Serve warm. Attempt to not consume the whole cake yourself 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday– hopefully with some Malva pudding for dessert tonight 🙂

Question of the day: How did you spend your weekend?  What was the best thing you saw on a vacation?  What was the best dessert you’ve had that you’ll always remember?

Rhino Bracelet Winners: I had a bonus bracelet I found while finishing unpacking- so we have three!

Alison: ‘I would like to win to help bring awareness to what seems like a very good cause. The thought of poaching animals just makes me sick and I feel so many people know so little about it’

Wantsmorepuppies: ‘Really fantastic post. Be the Change for Animals had a post about elephant poaching in Thailand last month (http://btc4animals.com/weekly-cause/tell-thailand-ban-illegal-ivory-trade/), so I’m definitely interested to read more about the Rhino Force and the situation in South Africa.

Sarah @ Nourish and Flourish: ‘Wow, this post breaks my heart. I had no idea that rhino poaching was such a serious problem, but I’m now inspired to spread the word. So many people in the Western world are ignorant about practices like this; imagine if we all banded together to promote awareness and change! I’d like to win a bracelet so that I can start doing just that. Hugs! <3′

Congrats!  Email me (tinynfit@gmail.com) your mailing address so I can ship them out to you!

Rhinos and a Giveaway!

Good morning!  How is everyone’s week going so far? Let me tell you this jet lag business is no joke!  I had no problems with it while in South Africa but here…I arrived home last Friday morning and only yesterday did I finally start feeling like myself again.  It could be more work-lag than jet lag though 🙂

While driving the lovely country roads to our lodge in Marloth Park in South Africa as well as within Kruger National Park, we saw several cars sporting a funky red horns- similar to our red Rudolph reindeer nose car decorations for the holidays.

rhinose

Naturally curious, we asked our game drive guide Robert about them.  He said they represent the rhino anti-poaching movement in South Africa. According to Rhinoseday.com,”South Africa is home to more rhinos than any other country on earth, but sadly increasing numbers of these giants are being illegally killed for their horn, mainly fueled by the demand from the Asian traditional medicine trade…”.  What’s really scary are these stats on the numbers of rhino deaths over the years:

  1. 2007: 13 (about one a month)
  2. 2008: 83 (one every 4 days)
  3. 2009: 122 (one every 3 days)
  4. 2010: 333 (about one a day)
  5. 2011: 448 (one every 19 hours)
  6. 2012: 668 (one every 13 hours)
  7. 2013: 82 in the first 36 days of the year (one every 10 hours).

Is that not ridiculous?

I remember learning about the horrific elephant tusk poaching when I was younger, mainly from watching A Far Off Place a zillion times…But I digress.

I had no idea poaching was still a such a problem- haven’t we evolved beyond this?

Robert continued to say that Rhino poaching is huge in Kruger National Park, even though the park has many poacher hunters roaming the park round the clock.  My heart broke with each passing rhino horn-adorned car, and seeing these guys made it crazy clear they mean business:

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Poacher hunters on our second game drive

I wanted so much to stay and help those hunters myself, but I think my family and boyfriend would be a bit upset with my permanent stay doing something kind of dangerous.  Even though I couldn’t stay, I did find a way I could help right away:

rhino bracelet

While only a tiny contribution on my part, I believe every bit helps.  I snagged a bunch of these Rhino Force bracelets to hand out to friends to help spread the word about the rhino poaching. I really wish I could quit my job and help save all animals that are being poached.  Sadly, grad school loans will keep me at my 9-5 for another few years.  But there are still ways we can help!

Donate: Save the Rhino International Inc (SRI Inc) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, EIN 31-1758236. Donations to Save the Rhino International Inc are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Fund-raise: Make some rhino cookies and have a bake sale!

rhino coookieSource
If you’re a teacher, have your kids host a book sale!  Ask for donations at your next birthday instead of presents! (ok, I know that’s a stretch, so I’ll let it slide if you choose a bake sale instead 🙂

And for you brave and able souls: Volunteer ! Head to South Africa and fight those poachers with whatever you have!  Your curling irons, your (never used) mop!

–I kid I kid.  But the link highlighted has information on opportunities to volunteer on site.

If you’re still not convinced, read these Ten Good Reasons to learn more about why we should save the Rhinos.

In an effort to spread awareness even more (well, and to share a bit of the loot I brought back from South Africa), I am giving away these snazzy Rhino Force bracelets to two lucky readers!

giveaway

How to enter this giveaway: Simply leave a comment about why you’d like to win a bracelet!  Earn additional entries by tweeting: ” I just entered to win a #savetherhino bracelet from @Shortqtpie ! http://wp.me/p1XMjO-gK ” Just leave a second comment that you tweeted!

I will randomly pick the winners on Monday!

Good luck!!

Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD

Tears rolled down my face when I read this on facebook yesterday:

CrossFit Stafford will once again host the Mark Beiswanger Memorial WOD (Workout of the Day) on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 10AM to Noon.

MarkWOD11

The cost of participating in the WOD will be $25 and with your donation, you will receive a t-shirt and admission to the cookout following the WOD. 

Please preregister on link on the left sidebar.  This is an open WOD so you don’t have to be a member in order to participate.  All proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Bring your friends and family to support this charitable event and to honor Mark’s memory.”

I went to high school with Mark and had NO idea he took his own life- and two years ago, no less!  If you know me than you know my heart-breaking connection with suicide and passion for suicide prevention.  While we were never close, I do remember Mark’s jovial yet reserved manner, and I cannot believe he is gone.  It is never easy to learn a friend has passed, and even harder when I learned it was by suicide.

As much as I would LOVE to do this WOD at Crossfit Stafford, I will be attending a close friend’s bachelorette celebration.  However, I do intend to donate to the cause and spread the word.

*Fellow Crossfitters, please spread the word about this memorial WOD.  And if you’re in the DC Metro or NOVA area, please consider joining Crossfit Stafford for a WOD to honor Mark.  As mentioned above and on their site, its an open WOD and anyone can join.*

crossfitStaffordSideBar

You are not alone.  You matter and there is hope.  If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  You can find more information on Suicide Awareness and Prevention on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention‘s website.

Rambling Thoughts of a 5k-er

Last weekend I participated in a 5k to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer.  A- from the blog Whispering Crowns, recruited me and Michelle to
help her raise money for this organization.  Of course!  I love to help in any way I can!  Even though I am just getting back into running after a not-so-thrilling bout with Insanity, I still rocked the 5k (with three hours sleep AND a pulled quad, no less!) in just under 31 minutes!!

This was my first run since I did race for the cure back in June 2007. That race day was gross- it was one of the hottest days on record, SUPER muggy, and I just hated the super large crowds. Last weekend was the complete opposite- It was a beautiful day and I really really enjoyed my run!  I felt energized (thanks to a 6-hour energy and great breakfast) and ready to tackle it head on!

Pre-race (and non-sweaty)

Since I normally run on a treadmill watching some mindless tv show, this run I had only angry music and my random thoughts to keep me company.  I thought you may find it amusing the inner-workings and rambling thoughts of someone running a 5k for the first time (in 5 years):

Start:
-Alright!  Here we go!!  Lets keep a steady but fast pace and see if we can really kick butt!

-Ok people, get out of the way, its too early to be acting silly.

-Wow, what an outfit.  Cute you’re in the spirit, but no tye dye, thanks.

-Need new song already. Linkin Park FTW!

-Man its such a gorgeous morning.  Wonder if they have any good snack foods at the end…

-Ha ha, they blocked the traffic lights.  You guys will be stuck forEVER!  Muah ha ha.

-I just even laughed to myself.  Keep running, idiot.

Reaching the 1st mile:
-Hmm, haven’t seen any signs for mileage markers yet.  Maybe they don’t have them.  Its has to have been a mile already.

-Ok, this part is uphill so lets go ahead and walk a bit, have to save our energy for the last 2+ miles.

-Crap, there’s the mile 1 marker.  I could’ve made that.  Damnit.  You slacker….no no, It’s ok, it’s ok, you needed that break. Still recovering from your quad pull…you’re doing great!  Now find a good song, take a deep breath, and…..GO!

Nearing Mile 2:
-Man, there are a lot of flipping hills on this course.  Who the heck chose this route? No worries, I will walk the up and run on the down.  And run faster than normal on the straightaways.

-Ok, that little kid is going faster than me. You can beat him.  Well, running anyway, geez don’t want to actually beat him up.

-Now I’m really sweating.  Should’ve worn an headband.

-Oh wait, I have a wrist-sweat band.  Duh.  Use that.

-Stupid little kid, stay behind me.

-Ha ha, still stuck at the traffic light– suckers!  Watch me lazily walk past you while you’re stuck.

-Hmm, wonder what shirt I should wear for the concert later.  Something white in case it’s hot and I get sweaty.  Which you still are, right through this shirt.  Should’ve chosen the black sports bra instead of the pink one…in a white shirt.

-Random energy surge- go go go!!  Yeah, you GOT THIS!  I CAN RUN THE WHOLE THING!  Watch out!!  Wooooo!!!

Source

 

Halfway through mile 3:
-Seriously, these hills suck.  And nats, where did you come from?  I don’t see any ponds anywhere.  Bleh, I think I swallowed one.  Good protein though.  Wait, why are you thinking about getting your protein from a bug??  Gross.

-Must choose new song. Need something to keep me pepped.  Starting to flounder.  Ha ha, I don’t like flounder…I do like sushi.  Mmm sushi.

-Woo Papa Roach- Last resort…whaaat. Love this song. We can totally go faster now.

-Yeah we are rockin’.  Boom.  Take that women-whos-been-pacing-me.  And your stupid glitzy headband.  It’s kind of cute…Im Jealous.  Nah, I
don’t need a fancy headband.  Stupid headband, its ugly.

-Oh yeah that breeze is nice, keep ’em coming.

Nearing the end:
-Man, this wasn’t too bad.  I could do this again!

-Well, only if the conditions were right.  It was good weather today.

-Ok, maybe we should wait until we are fully healed before considering another run.

-Oh wait, the color run in September!  Yeah I can do that.

-Stupid kid, why are you passing me again??

Coming to finish line:
-YES!  I can do this!  Pass that woman, go go go!

-Ok wait, need a good finish song.  Where are my Britney songs…

-Alright, Britney song on and now go go go!!

Crossing finish line:
-Boom!  Take that three hours sleep!!  Boom!

This is not me…

Source

-Whew, ok, time for water.  Wheres the water…

-Water found.  Oooo and bananas!!  I could use one of those…

-Hey, you have a cookie!  I want a cookie!  Screw paleo, I earned a damn cookie!  I just ran a 5k on 3 hours sleep bitches!!

-That wasn’t too bad.  I did way better than I thought I would!  Yay go me!!

–Ok, now I wonder if I can get a nap in before the concert….doubtful.
——————————

And that was pretty much my entire stream of thought during the race!  I know, I’m a bit crazy 🙂

That’s me- the short one in the shadows! Go team!

Source

So there you have it!  What do you think about when you’re running?  Or exercising in general?  Run a 5k or charity race recently?  Ever heard of the color run??

Rock on lovers 🙂 I am headed to NC this weekend on a roadtrip with a couple of my girlfriends!  Woo!