super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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Run, eat, nap, repeat

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5k on the first morning of the year

The good news is that we’re over 72 hours into the new year and I haven’t completely mucked it up yet. I’m just really glad that none of my new year’s resolutions included losing weight or watching what (and how much) I eat. Otherwise, I’d have failed 2013 by now and should be sent to the back of the 2012 class and told to change my ways. Instead, I’m sitting at my laptop with my third cup of coffee of the morning and a cupcake, because cake for breakfast makes me happy and this is not a proper healthy living blog.

It hasn’t all been bad, though. I ended last year with a run on the last day (a fairly decent one too, about 13k, with a 13k walk back home) and decided to start 2013 with a morning run on the first day of the year. Things got a little derailed about 12 hours into the new year when I had scorched almonds for lunch (I may have gone a little overboard with my scorched almond purchases over the holidays and have a surplus I need to work through). But whatever, it was ok because I ran that day. And the next morning, I ran again, mostly because my bright lime green Pro Compression socks arrived in the mail and I couldn’t wait to take them out on the road (don’t ask me about how many scorched almonds I ate afterwards, though).

Bright and tight!

Bright and tight!

On the third day of the year, I felt slightly burnt out and thought taking a rest day would probably be a good idea. Runners World agrees (see resolution 7 for serious runners). So I sat on the couch, being all serious runner and totally fulfilling the non-running part of the running goals. And I napped. Oh, how I napped. I’ve realised I’m so good at it I’m tempted to add it to my resume. If you want expert tips on napping, I’m right here. Just don’t try to reach me between 2pm and 3pm because I’ll likely be practicing my napping skills.

That is until Tuesday when I have to go back to the world of full-time employment. If this was a fiction book, this would be the bit where the lead character is faced with intense emotional distress and where the reader and the lead character bond over the pain and suffering the character is going through. Except this isn’t fiction and I’m really back to work on Tuesday.

I realise it’s all been a lot easier because I’ve been on holidays at home with no plans in the last few days (hadn’t done this in years and it has been nothing short of blissful). Things will get harder from next week when a whole 10 hours of each day will be taken up by work so I’ll need extra motivation. Kiwi entrepreneur Vaughan Rowsell has challenged himself to run 1000k (1 million meters) in 2013. He’s inviting everyone else to join his 1 million meters challenge in any way people feel like joining, whether that’s walking, swimming, cycling, rollerblading, etc. I love the idea because it can be taken up by anyone and can be as easy or difficult as you decide it is (admit it, 1 million meters walking is definitely a lot easier than 1 million meters running in a bear suit while balancing an egg on your head and playing the ukulele). I reached 1000k running last year so trying to keep up with him will be a way to guarantee I stay on track. I also challenged myself to run 4x a week this month (right now, the count is at 2/16) so that should help my motivation.

gratuitous breakfast cupcake photo

gratuitous breakfast cupcake photo

The marathon is, as of yesterday, less than two months away (an email from S. as just reminded me of that). I’ll get right onto worrying about it, just after this next cupcake.

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vanilla cupcakes with passionfruit icing

It really must be true what people say about how running leaves you full of energy because, following the run of death, I ended up having a fairly productive weekend.

On sunday morning, I was out of bed by 9am and, since my legs were too sore to go for a run in the morning, I stayed home and got a bunch of stuff done. And then I made cupcakes. These only took me like 10 minutes to make, plus the 15min to bake and the time to let the cupcakes cool down before icing them (if you look at my icing job up there, you can tell I didn’t wait long enough for them to cool down). Anyway, I’m a big fan of anything delicious that only requires about 10 minutes of work so I thought I’d share the recipe here.

For the vanilla cupcakes: mix 125g of melted butter with 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and half a cup of sugar. add two eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. fold 1 cup of self-raising flour into the mixture and then add 1/4 litre of milk and mix well. bake for 15min at 180 degrees celsius.

For the passionfruit icing, I just used 5 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar (which turned out to be enough to ice 12 cupcakes) and some delmaine’s passionfruit dessert topping that I had already bought for another dessert (that I’ve since forgotten to make). I’m not entirely sure how much passionfruit topping I used but it was quite a bit, maybe one third of the bottle. It was quite passionfruity (what a terrible made-up adjective for a journalist to use, I know) so I think next time I’ll add some butter to it.

Enjoy!


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cupcake mania

 

In the beginning of this month, I decided to start referring to it as Awegust rather than August. Because this has to be the most awesome month of the year. These photos are some of the evidence. Lots of homemade sugary treats, birthdays, a half-marathon (and plans for another one)… and to make it all even more awesome, running the risk of completely blowing up the awesomeness scale, I’m writing this post from Portugal, where I arrived yesterday for a much overdue catch up with family, friends…and summer!

So yeah, July and all the months before that, sorry but Awegust is kicking your butts. September, whatcha gonna do about it?

 

 


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cheeseburger cupcakes

We had a cupcake competition at work a while ago and I used it as an excuse to finally try to make the cheeseburger cupcakes I had found numerous tutorials for online. I didn’t take any photos of the process because, well, I forgot. But probably also because I was convinced this first attempt was going to be a massive failure. They turned out quite cute and, even though I haven’t tried making them again since then, I still think I’ll give them another go for a special occasion.

Anyway, here’s a step-by-step tutorial, with no photos. I’ll try to remember to take some next time I make them.

1. Bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes.

2. Bake a batch of vanilla cupcakes.

3. Wait for them to cool down and then cut the top and the bottom of the chocolate cupcakes so you get a flat(ish) slice from the middle. Set that aside.

4. Cut the vanilla cupcakes in half.

5. Squeeze some orange juice on top of the vanilla cupcakes and then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top (the juice will make them stick).

6. For the icing, you can use whatever flavour you want. I used lemon juice for all of them mainly because I was a bit sick of being in the kitchen when it got to that stage and just wanted to get it done. Get some lemon juice and icing sugar together and make a fair amount of icing (I know this isn’t very specific but I really don’t know how much icing I ended up having to make). Then divide the icing into 3 separate bowls. Add some yellow food colouring to one of them (this will be your cheese), some red food colouring to another one (your ketchup) and some green food colouring to the third one (which will be your lettuce).

7. To keep it easy, I used two different piping bags instead of my fancy icing syringe (which I would have to keep washing otherwise). I put the yellow icing on the bottom of the chocolate cake, to help it stick to the bottom of the vanilla cupcake. I then squeezed the ‘lettuce’ on top of the chocolate, using a bigger nozzle to give it a bit of a leafy look. Then I squeezed the ketchup, using the smaller nozzle.

yum!

p.s.: if you’re looking for a video tutorial, this is a great one.