Life As Rachel: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Holiday Prep!

The holidays are fast approaching. There are so many things to do before they get here. For me, this is my favorite time of year. The cold weather is amazing and it brings all of the family together. Here are some things that I do to get ready for the holidays.

1. Clean the house from top to bottom! If you plan on having family over. You want your house to be nice and clean and also if you plan on decorating you do not want to have to clean up every time you go to put up a decoration. No one likes dust bunnies.

2. Get ready for any baking you prepare to do. I typically buy a lot of the Halloween baking stuff that was on clearance and also I go to a lot of places that have sales on this stuff right before the holidays. If you go to buy it right around Christmas/Thanksgiving it can be a little more pricey, so stock up now and also its nice to have the stuff at your house so you can bake all those nice cookies and cakes that you want to have and give away!

3. Figure out what you plan on buying people for the holidays and start early. I started in August to get the ball rolling on this. If you wait until last minute it can be a lot of money out of your pocket and very stressful. I know August can be a bit early but I am almost done and it is not even December. I am not going to be stressed out at all come Christmas time. If you make a list of what you want to get people as well it makes buying the gifts easier than going to a store and wandering around until you find something they might like.

4. Christmas Cards. These things are dreaded and I hate doing them. Normally my mother in law adds our names to her card. I am finally going to do our own but the best thing to do is to get your cards when you see them come out and work on them early so you are not doing them all in one night. Your hand will get tired.

5. In our house my husband loves the movie  a Christmas Story. If you have a movie that your family loves, find it and make sure you have and watch it!

6.  If you plan on having a Christmas picture taken..take it soon if you want it on your Christmas card! And try to have your outfits matching somewhat. DO NOT get MATCHING outfits but just get color coordinated outfits. If you have the same shirt and pants and things like look like something straight out of the 70's. I prefer to take a nice fall photo with the leaves changing.

7.  If you are going to have a Christmas Dinner/Thanksgiving dinner. Prepare for it now. Especially if you are having a Thanksgiving Dinner. That thing is only a few weeks away. Write out what you are going to serve and make a grocery list so you know what you need from the store. Stuff that will not spoil get now.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

OCR Guide

If you follow my blog, you know I love some good dirty mud runs/OCR run. If you did not know, OCR stands for Obstacle Course Racing. It is a new and upcoming thing. Some people are very serious about it and travel very far to participate in these events. Now they are made for fun, you are not timed and you should enjoy your self. I run in quite a few during the year and they are my favorite runs. They are fun, no stress and you can go at your own pace without worrying about the stress of your time and medals. So here are some tips from me that I believe everyone should read!
1. Read what they email you. Make sure you read the e-mail you are sent before the race because it tells you the important things you need to know. EX. parking, your waiver you need to sign, what to wear, what not to wear, what to bring and what not to bring. 

2. What to wear for a mud run. DO NOT WEAR something you will miss. I always wear old running pants and a cheap tank. Nothing to fancy because I know at the is going to be ruined. I always re use the same clothes for other mud runs that I participate in throughout the year. No need in throwing it away. It washes out fairly easy and typically does not stain.I find that spandex type material is the best. No cotton!!

3. No Cleats! Wear sneakers! Yes the cleats can help you through the mud but on some obstacles you are not allowed to have them .Wear old sneakers. Typically there is a shoe donation at the end if you don't want to take them home with you. I have done that one time but find that keeping my sneakers for my next run is the best. Some people buy cheap shoes and just soak them over night in Oxyclean to get all the mud out.

4. Pack extra! Pack extra towels, flip flops, clothes, and trash bags for the ride home. They are places to get some what clean and you can change into clean clothes before you make the drive home. Unless you like being muddy and that's your thing. I typically make my backseat a changing room with extra towels. 

5. SIGN YOUR WAIVER. You can't run without this and some places charge for a extra copy of one.  Make sure you read the e-mail to see which they do. Typically they have the waiver there for you.

6. Bring ID. They won't know who you are from Jo blow! (also you can't drink after with out it)

7. Run with a team. As you go on some obstacles, you will find some that are hard. Some that a push up one something would help. I always run with 3+ people on these. You help each other out the entire course. 

8. Run. Yes it is a fun run but you need a little training. I also run before hand and try to eat somewhat healthy. 
9. Rinse your clothes out afterwards before washing them. You will be surprised the amount of sand you have in your clothes. 

10.. HAVE FUN!

Any tips I left out? Let me know below!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Goals and Dreams

Everyone has goals and dreams. Everyone has different goals and dreams. Mine have changed over the past few years and some have stayed the same. Some are small easy goals, dreams and wishes that can be easily attained. Others cost a ton of money and some are out of my control all together. I wanted to share some of them today!
1. Become a published writer. I have always dreamed of writing a fiction novel. I hope one day I can make it come true and put pen to paper and love what I have wrote. 
2. Work for Nascar. I know this is a odd one but I would love this. Even if it is just for one day. Just let me in!!

3. Get my Masters degree. This one is the most realistic of my goals and the only thing stopping me is $$. I would love to further my education and maybe one day I can. 

4. Become a mom. This one...this is the hardest one. I feel like it is out of my control and I can't do anything to fix it. Hopefully one day, it will happen.

5. Meet some of the cast of OUAT. Once Upon a Time is my all time favorite show. It is a really good fiction show that has some great actors. I would love to meet some of them. 

6. Own a pair of Hunter Boots. I mean..who doesn't want a pair of these? 

7. Buy a new car. I want a new Ford Escape something fierce. I do not want a car payment nor do I think I could even afford one. I wouldn't say no if Ford sent me one though?
What are some goals and dreams you have? Let me know below! I can't wait to read them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Photopgrahy Fun

Over the weekend I decided to try my hand in photography. I wanted to take family pictures but of course, that did not work out. I took a ton of pictures of my amazing niece though. I am very surprised at how they turned out and I wanted to share them. They are not edited, they are not perfect but for a first time taking pictures like this, I am extremely proud of them. It also helps to have n beautiful niece to be able to take pictures of. Hopefully with some practice, they will get better and I can learn how to edit them. 
Let me know what you think of them below!

Monday, October 19, 2015

PEDIGREE® at Sam's Club

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PedigreeGives #CollectiveBias

 My dogs are my world. I may be a bit biased but my pups are the best dogs in the entire world if I do say so myself. They have the biggest personalities, they are sweet and lovable and drive me up the wall sometimes. If you are new to the blog, I have 2 dogs. Let me tell you a little bit about them!

Zoey is the older of the 2. She is almost 5 years old. Zoey was a gift to me on my 1 year wedding anniversary from my husband. She is a lab/pit bull mix.She is the biggest spoiled baby in the world. She wants to cuddle non stop and is always the center of attention. At night, she HAS to be sleeping beside my husband or she is a very grumpy puppy and will not let you get a wink of rest. 

Itsy Bitsy is a 3 year old pit bull and she was the runt of her litter. She was only 5lbs when we got he and we were worried she would not make it. She survived and is now a whopping 50lbs! We definitely misnamed her.She is my sweet heart and my baby. She is a big scared-ey cat. She is afraid of bunnies, her own farts and if anyone yells. All I ever want to do is cuddle with her on the couch and sip some coffee. That is the perfect day.

Now I love my dogs with all my heart. To me, they are my fur kids. I could not imagine life without my babies. To me, the deserve only the best. I want them to have everything and more. When it comes to their dog food, I only want what is good for them. Thankfully, Sams Club has just the right food that I need!

PEDIGREE® Adult Dry Dog Food is great for my dogs. When you have 2 50lbs dogs, you can go through dog food pretty quickly. PEDIGREE® Adult Dry Dog Food comes in a 55lb bag and let me tell you, it takes them forever to eat all of that bag. Also, even though it is a dry dog food, it is soft and chewy and they do not have any issues eating it.


  Now, here is the fun part about this. When you PEDIGREE® products at Sam's Club during the month of October, the PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need. Also if you upload a photo of the dog you love to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #LaterShelter, you have a chance be featured on The PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food for every upload as well! To me, that is awesome! It is super easy so go upload a photo now! 

Let me know if you upload a photo in the comments below and also don't forget to tell me about your amazing pup!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stuffed Shells Recipe

I was thinking last night about a easy recipe that I could make that is also yummy and quick. Stuffed Shells!!This is one of my favorite meals. It is easy, quick and so tasty. I also make extra and freeze half of it so I can have it another night by just popping it in the oven!

Stuffed Shells Recipe

1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes (I use any type of spaghetti sauce and mix it with hamburger meat!)
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
2 egg, beaten
1 cup / ~5 oz grated mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced
25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells
Oil a 13 x 9-inch / 33 x 23-cm baking pan, or equivalent,  Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle.
To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. (This is also where you would cook your meat and combine it with your hamburger) 

Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant - you don't want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don't want to burn your tongue). Let cool. 

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.
Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water - until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands - see photo.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through.Then enjoy!

Let me know how you like this recipe or share one with me that you love! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rugged Maniac Fall 2015

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know I love me some OCR and Rugged Maniac is by far my favorite race! I ran Rugged Maniac back in the spring and decided to run again over the weekend. It was a little dreary and I was worried about it being to cold. The minute we got going though, it was perfect weather and I had a blast. I ran with one of my friends who had never ran before. She did amazing. 

Rugged Maniac is one of those things, it is not about your time. It is about going out there and giving it all you got and just finishing. If you are worried about an obstacle, overcome your fear and just go for it. You can't be afraid of the unknown. You have to just do it.I am banged up, sore and achy but you know what? I would do it all again. I love this feeling. I know that I did my best and I gave 110% when I was out there. Every bruise, bump and scratch was totally worth it. I have such a since of accomplishment!  
So for now, make sure you go register for this race! Just click here. Also below are some pictures one of my friends took during the race. I will have more once the official photos are posted!! Also let me know in the comments if you have ran this race before. If so, how did you like it?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Joy

I am so excited for the weekend to be here. It feels like it took forever to get here and I couldn't be happier for it to be. I have a super busy weekend coming up and I am pumped for it. I am running Rugged Maniac again. If you are new to the blog, I love running. I don't always get to do it but when I do, I put my entire heart and soul into it.I ran Rugged Maniac back in the spring. I am so glad that I am able to run it again.  

I am the third from the right in the above picture!! Wish me luck on this one! Fingers crossed I do well!!

On Sunday I am going to a Apple Harvest Festival that is here. I go every year. It is a blast. They make fresh apple butter, there is a ton of food including apple butter donuts and kettle corn. There are vendors and apple picking. I love it. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the festivals, the decorations and the weather! 
With such a long and exhausting week, I am looking forward to a nice fun weekend. I am ready to go run my heart out, get scratched up and get some stress out! I also want to thank everyone for their support on my post on Wednesday. It means so much to me that I am able to come to my blog and post what is going on and how I feel and to receive such positive thoughts and love from it. My blog family means the world to me. 
I hope everyone has a good weekend! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Pregnancy Struggle.

Today is one of those days where I am sad, depressed and I want to cry every chance I get. Trying to get pregnant should not be this difficult.We have been trying for 15 months. That is a little over a year. That is multiple doctor visits, lots of sex, blood work, only a few periods and a ton of tears shed. I never thought I would be that person that would struggle to have a child. My entire family, looks at a man..BAM...pregnant. Me, nope. I was excited when we started this journey. I was nervous and happy and so ready for everything. I couldn't contain my joy. After this first few months I was still excited but nervous. Now, I am defeated and broken. 

I see so many pregnancy post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I want to be able to post one and say the same thing. But I can't. My body just won't work. I go month after month, hoping, praying and wishing it would happen. It never does. Month after month goes by and I am still not pregnant. I keep getting told to be patient, don't stress over it, just have fun. It is not that east to do those things. It is not that easy to let go and not worry if you are able to produce a child and make a life. I can't not stress about it. I can't just forget about it. I can't act like I am not envious of others when I find out they are having a child. At this point, I try to be supportive of friends. I want to be there when they are on this amazing journey. It is hard and hurts some but it is not their fault I can't get pregnant. I want to be a good friend and be there. I am still allowed to hurt and feel pain though. 
When we first started trying, I made secret Pinterest boards of baby stuff, announcement ideas, party ideas and baby room decor. When I had started, I thought those boards would become un-secret quickly. I rarely get on Pinterest now because I don't want to see the boards. I don't want to keep getting my hopes up month after month. I was hoping when we started trying, I would be pregnant by Christmas. Of course that didn't happen. Now, another Christmas is coming and we are still not pregnant.

My husband is amazing. He is there for me through all of this. He knows it hurts me and he deals with all of my crying and fits. I don't know if I could have done this without his support and caring. I know this affects him just as much as it does me. This is not just my journey, it is his too. He is just as much as a part of it as I am. He is hurting just as I am. We both want something we can't have yet. 

I think one of the hardest parts is when I see people having kid after kid and they can not take care of them selves. I see some parents who don't want their kids. They want to be out partying and not being a parent. I would give anything to be a parent. I would make the child's life above my own. I want to be able to provide and give a child all the love in the world.
Not every day is struggle. Not every day is hard. Not every day sucks. Not every day is good. Not every day is happy. I have my ups and downs. I have moments where it doesn't bother me. I have moments where it kills me and tears me up inside. I have also had to make myself understand that some of the people who are pregnant now, went through the same journey as I am. They went through all the pain, tears, and sadness that I have. 
One day, I hope I am able to post a happy post regarding this. I hope I am able to say that I am pregnant and that I am thrilled. I don't know when that day will come but I hope it does. I can not give up hope. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Things I Need To Do

I have found myself lately wanting to do certain things or buy things, and I have yet to do any of it. I have a nice ole list of things, have I done 1 of them? Nope! I figured maybe if I shared it on here, it would make me do more and actually cross a few things off my list.
1. Buy a GoPro. I know..nothing fancy but I want one bad. Like real bad. GoPro..send me one please.
2. Learn how to contour. I love the look when people contour their makeup. I have tried on my own and failed. I really want to go into Ulta or Sephora and be taught what to do. Why has no one came up with a beauty salon, where people teach you makeup techniques for a set price? Does this exist already? 

3. Watch Pitch Perfect 2! I am such a lazy butt on this one. I have yet to see this movie. It took me at least 6+ months to even see the first one. Hopefully I don't want this long to watch this one. 

4. Learn how to do sexy curls. You know what the sexy curls are. I want the Victoria Secret models curls. The hair is getting longer. There is no reason why I can't do this. 

5. Read more. I have really slacked in the reading department. I really need to read more books and more often. 

What are some things you have put off and want to do or need to do?? I would love to hear! Comment below and let me know!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Fall Style

Most people who know me, know I love some riding boots and pants/leggings. Now that it is finally fall, I get to wear them without being hot, all the time. It is 50 degrees here today. I also finally convinced Chris to put my mirror up and I am so glad to have a full length mirror again. I was really missing it! 

Now back to the point of the post. I NEVER EVER post outfits on here. I rarely show all of me. I figured it was about time to show some of my outfits for fall! They are in no way fancy, expensive or super awesome. I am a very plain and casual person. I don't like complicated at all! I don't buy things from high end stores, I shop on a budget. I love my look and that I am able to get it on a budget,

Sweater and boots-Maurices Pants-JCPenney Scarf-Country Couture

Dress, Cardigan and Boots-Maurices. Leggings-Country Couture

Dress-Red Dress Boutique
As you can tell, I love boot, leggings and dresses in the fall. I am a sucker for them! Let me know what your favorite fall style is. What is your go to item when it is fall? Let me know in the comments below.