Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

I'm sure y'all have heard of Superstorm Sandy and the havoc she has wreaked across this part of the country.  Well, on Monday Halloween was cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday November 3rd.  As you know we're supposed to be in New York City for the marathon.  

Luckily, my kids dressed up last Friday for a scavenger hunt at the local grocery store and they wore their costumes again tonight at a party at my friend Tracey's.  Here are the pictures I took from last Friday.  

Ella is Katy Perry, Nicholas is Jase from TV show Duck Dynasty and Jack is Atom from the movie Real Steel.

When Ella told me she wanted to be Katy Perry, I immediately got excited.  When I looked up the costume online, however, I was disappointed in the costume for the price.  It was almost $50 (plust the wig) and it was cheap and ugly.  So Jami and I came up with this creation.

I really loved the way it turned out and, most importantly she did too.

 If you don't watch Duck Dynasty you won't appreciate Nicholas' costume.

Here's Jase in real life for a quick comparison.

He makes a good Jase, I think!

Then there's Jack.  He was Atom the robot boxer from the movie Real Steel.  I really didn't like his costume, but he was so excited to about it.  I wish I could have made his, but I'm not that creative.  That and no one knows who the hell he is anyway.  Someone at school thought he was a trashcan.

Right, left...

Right, Left...


Happy Halloween from the Tirch kids and Sadie!

I'm just trying to finish this little contest in the top 25.  If you could take the time to click the link and then the thumbs up next to my blog name I'd be forever grateful.  Here's the link... click here
I know these contest don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but the Type A in me can't finish in 27th place.  Thanks friends! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Circle of Moms Top 25

I'm just trying to finish this little contest in the top 25.  If you could take the time to click the link and then the thumbs up next to my blog name I'd be forever grateful.  Here's the link... click here!
I know these contest don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but the Type A in me can't finish in 27th place.  Thanks friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Make Caramel Popcorn

I have spent ALL day making this popcorn.  Like I started at 1:00 pm and I'm STILL working on it.  Five special people will be receiving said popcorn,  however, and I hope it will make them happy.  

I've posted this recipe in the past, but it bears repeating.  So here it is.  Make it for a Halloween hostess gift or make it for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.  


  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 cups brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 quarts popped popcorn  (I actually doubled this recipe so what you see is times two)

  • Directions:  
    • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl. (I didn't wind up mixing in this bowl because it's plastic.  I'd suggest something that can sustain the heat.)

    • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.

    • Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

    • Boil without stirring 4 minutes.

    • Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla.

    • Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

    • Place in two large shallow baking dishes (I used a cookie sheet) and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour.

    • Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.


    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Carving Time

    Tonight was pumpkin carving night at the Tirch household temporary living situation household.  Everyone picked out the design they wanted (for George to carve) and we got started cleaning everything. 

    Nicholas doesn't really love the whole cleaning process.  I think he just pushed a few things around and waited for me to finish up.

    Ella actually seems to enjoy it, however.

    She's more willing to get her hands dirty even though she thinks it's a little gross.  

    Jack was enthusiastic about the process.  Apparently last year I let him "carve" the lid so he couldn't wait to do it again this year.  Basically he stabbed the lid to his pumpkin with one of the plastic carving "knives" from the carving set.  It made him happy.

    George always does the carving and as you can see (after painting all day at a rental property we own) he was not overly enthused about carving.

    Pretty soon he was all alone and the kids told him to call them when their pumpkins were ready.  Haha.  Poor George.

    The kids (now changed into their mismatched jammies) were so happy with the results.

    Another successful year of the kids George and I cleaning and carving pumpkins.


    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Yurbuds Inspire for Women

    Today I got to do something really awesome and that was to host a little running "party" and give my friends some cool stuff.  

    The people at Yurbuds sent me the new Yurbuds Inspire for Women (available exclusively at Target) earphones for all my friends and I to try.  If you're a long time reader, then you know I own Yurbuds and have used them in the past.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE them and am convinced there is no better/more comfortable earbud.  So, I was beyond stoked to share these with all my friends. 

    One of the reasons I write my blog in the first place is for inspiration-- to both give (hopefully) and receive.  My personal biggest source of inspiration is always other women.  Women just like me (and maybe you), women who are mothers, women who work, women who are wives-- just busy women in general.  

    I think it is VERY important for women to lift up each other, to support one another and remind each other that a bit of inspiration isn't that far away.  If we join together, we can inspire and lift up one another.  There is NO reason for women to continually bring down other women.  

    Part of the philosophy at Yurbuds is also to INSPIRE people-- to inspire people to push themselves beyond the wall.   So I figured I'd ask my biggest sources of inspirations (my girls, my friends) what inspires them to go BEYOND THE WALL.  And because we can't ALWAYS be there for one another, what song they'd like to hear in their Yurbuds to help get them there.  


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  Having to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other.

    What Inspires Her: Knowing what that feeling is like when you cross the finish line. You push through the pain to get there. And it's all worth it. 

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  "Lose yourself" by Eminem, "Crazy Train" by ozzy ozborne, "Mr. Brightside" by the killers


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  Usually when I start crying.

    What Inspires Her:  Passing people in front of me.

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  Keep the faith by Bon Jovi 


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  The infamous "wall"!  I remember my first marathon in Columbus and getting to mile 20 thinking - well, here we are - where is that damn wall???  But we had trained really well and I didn't feel horrible until mile 23.  Struggling beyond that wall point helps tremendously if you "bring along a friend"!  It isn't always easy to find someone you run so incredibly well with that you can stick together for 26.2 miles but sometimes it does happen and it is the best!  Lean on each other, support each other, talk to each other and encourage each other and before you know it you are past the worst of it!  A totally different "wall" moment was at the Philly marathon with Kristy and Michelle.  We did Hal Higdon's training together and were well prepared.  I started having foot issues during the latter part of training but figured I was ready.  Well this time I hit the wall (foot first) at mile 13.  I told the girls to go on ahead because I anticipated some major problems for me for the second half.  And I was right.  Hobbled and cried my way through the second half pushed on by the fact that I had signed up for and trained well for this 26.2 miles and gosh darn it I was going to finish it!  An xray at the doctors after we got home showed a stress fracture (metatarsal - right foot).  Aha - that would explain the pain!  

    What Inspires Her:  I think it is truly a mental thing going into these long runs and races.  Even in training, you set a number in your head in the morning and that is what you do regardless of whether you feel crappy or have to walk a lot.  (I think runners may be a bit OCD

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  I use all my spin playlists when I run.  Sometimes a slow song will come on that I use to climb a strong hill with and depending on my mood I may listen to part of it but if I find it is dragging me down I just skip it.  I love techno type music with a really good strong beat!


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  Finishing my first marathon. The last few miles were tough, but all of my training paid off when I crossed the finish line. The tears started flowing and I felt such a sense of accomplishment. I pushed myself to do something I never thought I would.

    What Inspires Her:  My inspiration is just to be the best I can be.  When I start to struggle during a run or a workout, I think about what my body is able to do and that pushes me even more.

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  Proud Mary by Tina Turner and How Far We've Come by Matchbox Twenty


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  Hmmm...that's a tough one because I don't have many (any) really big runs under my belt but, I'd have to say that the time when I really had to push myself to keep going was just last weekend when I had 7 miles planned and was on my own for a change.  Since 7 miles was as far as I had ever gone, I really had to dig deep to keep myself moving.

    What Inspires Her:  The desire to prove to myself that I can actually do it.

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song: "Rock that Body" by Blacked Eyed Peas - how can a person not be motivated by those words?!?!


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  My "beyond the wall" moment came at around mile 16 of the 2012 Pittsburgh marathon. I was hot, tired, nauseated, had lost my run group and realized I still had ten miles to go. I wanted to quit. I actually called my husband, who told me my family had just parked to meet me at the finish line. I kept walking, regrouped, put my music on for the first time during the race, and finished my first marathon!

    What Inspires Her:  My inspirations are my friend Sara and my son Brendan. Sara is a soon-to-be three time Ironman who gives me support and motivation through every work out, even when the workouts suck. And I run for my son Brendan. He is the sweetest, most loving boy God ever created. He also has severe autism, which makes his life a constant challenge. He works hard every day. When I think about his life, I realize any workout is possible. 

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  Move Along by The All-American Rejects


    Beyond the Wall Moment:  This is a tough one.  I often dread the actual work out/run/race, but I know that I'll feel so much better after I do it so I don't give myself the option to back out.  This is actually why it's better when I know that I'm going to be meeting someone for a workout because I know that I don't want to let the other person down by not showing up. 

    What Inspires Her:  Honestly, it's my friends.  I know many other moms, [Susan] included, that make fitness a priority and show that you can be a great Mom and also not feel guilty spending time taking care of yourself.  I want to set a good example for my daughters in setting a goal and achieving it.  That's why I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon which I'll run next Spring. 

    Her "go to" Inspiration Song:  My favorite running/work out motivating song is extremely cheesy - Eye of the Tiger.  There is something about having grown up in the 80s that when I hear that song I am reminded of dance parties in the basement with my sister and cousins.  I think that I actually run faster when I hear the song. 

    Thank you so much ladies for sharing your stories and inspirations. You all continue to inspire me and hopefully you'll inspire a few readers too. And thank you to Yurbuds for bringing us all together today.

    What is your Beyond the Wall Moment? What Inspires you?  
    What is your go to motivational song?

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Ask Susan

    I would imagine if you write a blog you probably read a few as well and I'm no exception to that rule.  I read a LOT of blogs and they're probably the same ones you're reading.  Meaning, they're popular.  Well, they're always saying "a reader asked me this" and "someone wanted to know this".  Well guess what?  No one ever asks me shit.  Ok that's not really true.  I do get asked things from time to time, but it's not a daily occurrence or even a weekly occurrence.

    Feeling a little pathetic left out, I wrote a Facebook post asking all my faithful readers to ask me a question so I don't feel like such a loser.  Y'all made me feel so good asking me your questions, even if most of them were a little tongue in cheek.

    Well I'll show you because I'm answering them anyway.  So here goes.

    Did the cake pops go over good or are were they for tomorrow? 

    The cake pops I made went over quite well.  The teachers, other parents, and of course the children all loved them.

    How do I break my diet coke habit?

    I have a feeling the asker of this question is being a little facetious. Clearly I have NO IDEA!!!

    How many Diet Cokes did you have today?

    Seriously, another Diet Coke question?  FOUR!

    When was the last time you ate at Moe's? 

    I ate at Moe's last week (or was it the week before??).

    How did you get so good at baking and decorating cakes? 

    I'm not good at cakes to be honest, but I think the key to being successful at anything is twofold--  First, fake it 'til you make it and second, never say can't.

    Why don't you write your blog 7 days a week?

    I used to write my blog 7 days a week, but it got to feel like such a chore.  Not because I don't love to write and share my life, but because some days are just downright boring and I'm really not that interesting.  I decided to take Fridays off and I'll occasionally take off Saturdays too.

    How do you find time to write a blog @ all?   

    I write my blog every day pretty much as soon as my kids go to bed.  It's a routine, just like anything else I do that is important to me.  If you WANT to do something you'll find the time to do it.  I don't watch much TV and prefer to write my blog or play on the computer in the evenings.  I also don't do any household chores after the kids' bedtime (except occasionally or laundry).  So basically my evenings are ME time and I chose to use that time to blog.

    How do you remember every last detail of a run/race so clearly?

    I blog in my head while I run.  Honestly I do.

    What are your kids' Halloween costumes?  Did you make them or just buy them like the rest of us mere mortals?

    I can not reveal the details until the big day.  I made one of the three (and it's my favorite).  

    How do you find time to do all that you do?

    I honestly don't believe I do MORE than the average person, but it goes to what I said about making time to blog.  If you want something in life badly enough, you'll MAKE the time.  Period.  There is ALWAYS time, you just might have to make sacrifices.  I also don't have a job.  My job is to take care of my children.  So yeah, you might spend 8 hours a day working, but I take 2 hours to make cake pops and that still leaves me 6 hours to workout!  I also know what's important to me and I focus on making time for those things.  I generally don't sweat the small stuff (like dust bunnies).

     Are you geeked for the MS150 next year?

    Oh I'm totally geeked over the MS150.  I can't wait to ride over 100 miles for charity with friends and family.

     What are you wearing for NYC? 

    I know you're not going to believe this, but I don't know what I'm wearing.  Eek!  I do know I'm going to wear my compression capris, but I haven't decided on the top yet.

    I need to know the weather first I suppose.  Just in case you're in charge of these things I'd like 55 degrees with a little sun and a slight breeze.

    What are your tips to do your best at a race (assuming someone wants to improve and not just finish)?

    Well that's easy. (Just FYI this is one of those do as I say and not as I do moments).  In order to run faster you have to... run faster!  Speed work it KEY to improving your speed.  Either run shorter distances faster or run a distance longer than your race at a slower pace.  If you're used to running 10 miles at a 10:00 minute mile, then when you go to run your 10k race (for instance) you'll be able to run at a faster pace.  There's no doubt about it, however, speed work is key.  Also stick to your training plan.  Overtraining can be just as bad as undertraining.

    how exactly does one accidentally PR?

    Read all about it here.  I swear, it was an accident!

    I also received a bunch of question from Allison (clearly she was bored today) and I'm not sure she REALLY wants to know the answers.  I'm going to choose to answer my favorite.

    If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?  
    If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint? 
    If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
    If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
    If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
    If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
    If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
    If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
    If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
    If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
    If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
    If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
    If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be?
    If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
    If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

    I'd love to learn to sew.

    Pick one of Allison's questions (your favorite) and answer it in the comments section.  
    Do you have a question you want me to answer?  Ask in the comments section.