Tonight I went for a 4-mile walk, while listening to The Power of Habit.

I’m trying to start a habit.
Blendra habit

I’m on my ninth day of walking/running, in a row. Only 12 more and this should be a habit. Only problem with habits are they’re easy to break. The book says you need to crave the reward your habit offers in order to want to continue with the habit. So far my reward is getting to listen to this audio book! But, what’s gonna happen when I finish the book?

I’m a sucker for 4-ingredient foods. And who doesn’t like ice cream? No body, that’s who. No body doesn’t like ice cream! Mmmm.

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So when I found this recipe for 4-ingredient ice cream on Pinterest, I pinned it. Then I forgot about it, until one of my friends on Facebook actually made it. So, I did what any person would do, I found that recipe and I made it too. I had to change the recipe a bit because Aldi didn’t have cheesecake pudding. They had vanilla.

Sometimes the actual time to make is more than recipes claim, but the Seeded at the Table lady wasn’t wrong, I’ll say it really did take around 5 minutes to make. But, it was five looooong minutes spent whipping the heavy cream into stiff peaks with a hand mixer, but I feel like it was well worth it. I spent $1.79 on a pint of cream, $1.79 on a package of generic oreos (and we only used half of the cookies for the ice cream, then my husband promptly ate the rest while the ice cream was freezing), $0.79 on vanilla instant pudding and $0.99 on sweetened condensed milk. And this makes 1.5 quarts of ice cream for only $5.40. It’s a win I tell ya.

Mmmm.

Oreo Ice Cream
3.4 oz – Instant Pudding
14 oz – Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups – Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 pkg – Oreos (or generics, whatev’)

In a large bowl mix sweetened condensed milk and pudding until pudding is dissolved. In another large bowl pour cream and beat on high speed for 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold cream into sweetened condensed pudding mix until fully incorporated. Crush oreos (I used a ziplock bag and crushed with my hands) then slowly stir cookies into cream/pudding mix. Pour into a 2 quart bowl, cover with a lid and freeze for 4 hours.

 

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So, my sister made these awesome cookie brownies. She’s a baker. A very good baker. Then she graciously handed me the rest of the pan for a food day at my work. Here’s what happened.

Coworker: Those are so good! Will you give me the recipe?
Me: Umm, yeah, I didn’t make those. I’ll email my sister for the recipe. (;

Then this happened:

Cookie Brownie Recipe

CookieBrownie

After I ran my first half marathon, my husband was so proud of me he bought me this big 13.1 magnet and stuck it on the fridge. Aw. That’s sweet. But, dang, that’s an ugly magnet.

After I ran my first full marathon, I said, “well, since I have a 13.1 magnet, I guess I need a 26.2 magnet. Running that marathon certainly wasn’t easy.” But, dang, now I have two ugly magnets on my fridge.

So, with the help of two friends, we’ve created some super sweet magnets for me to stick on my fridge.

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Dang, you say, I don’t like running. As a matter of fact, I hate running. Don’t worry, we’ve created a super sweet magnet for you.

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Eh, I hate running so much I don’t want a button about not running either. What I really like to do is lift weights.

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PMC010

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Kapow.

But, I really wanted that in pink and not red? Go check out Pigeon Milk Club. If we don’t have it and you want it, just ask. We’ll probably make it. Just like any good mom would do. (:

And, because you don’t really wanna stick magnets on your fridge, all you really wanna do is pin them to your workout bag. We do that too.

Him: I guess I could get a McChuble.

Me: Huh? What’s that?

Him: You know, when you smash a McChicken and a McDouble together.

Me: Bahahahaha, that’s awesome.

Him: All the kids are doing it.

I’d give credit where credit is due, but “him” is not here to ask. So, for right now, I’ve just made up this awesomeness, for everyone to enjoy. Click the picture to enlarge, you’ll be glad you did.

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Dear McDonalds lawyers, please don’t sue me, this is not an actual McDonald’s sandwich and is intended for hilarious purposes only. But, PS, McDonald’s marketing department, all the cool kids are doing this, you should too.

Apparently, I’ve got the gift. The gift of gab, that is. I will talk your ear off, if you’ll let me. My story will start way back in 1988 and continue to 2014. And, even then (most likely) that story will have no point.

Talking is fun to me. I like to talk to people. I hate to talk in front of people.

But, really, hate is a strong word. Technically it’s not even the right word. I don’t hate it. I fear it. I fear I’ll look stupid. I fear I’ll sound stupid.

And, after last week’s ridiculous attempt at a Table Topic speech, I did what any sane person would do, I went ahead and never showed up again joined Toastmasters.

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So, today, instead of being an honored guest, I walked into Toastmasters as a fellow Toastmaster. Cool. Again, I sat down on that cold, hard chair, with sweat dripping down my back and told myself, “you don’t have to speak today. Speak when you’re ready. If that’s next week. That’s okay.”

I felt my face turn a nice shade of red and stomach started churning, as the Table Topics were announced. Last week’s fear settled right in my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breath. But, oddly enough, as time passed the topics seemed easy. Everyone was participating. And, just as soon as I had talked myself into it, I heard, ‘I’ll do one.” Whew. Close call. You almost embarrassed yourself again.

This is good. This is fine. We’ll run out of time soon. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel guilty not doing it. You did it last week.

Then, I heard, “I think we have time for another one.”

Silence.

Everyone had given a speech, except me. The guilt was now bigger than my fear.

“Alright, I’ll do it.” I heard myself say.

And then people were clapping and cheering me on: “Yay!” “Good job, Kendra!” “We knew you’d do it again!” Dang. I can do this. I can do this. But, really… can I really do this?

So, here it was, in my face, my table topic: If you could go back and talk to yourself at the age of ten, what advice would you give yourself?

“Ok. Shoot. I wasn’t supposed to say ok,”  I said as I paused. “Okay,” I said again, nervously, then I laughed.

“Um, I wouldn’t tell my 10-year-old self anything, because I can’t even remember much of my childhood at all. Not because it was awful or anything because It was awesome. And, so, anyway, instead of going back to ten, I would just go back to last week. When I was standing right here. When I couldn’t talk at all. And I would tell myself, “This isn’t so bad. Don’t be so scared. You can do this…”

And then I kept talking. Honestly, after that, I don’t remember what I said. I remember looking at everyone. I remember feeling nervous, but I kept talking. Then my head started feeling tingly. I glanced over at the time clock and it wasn’t green, but I didn’t stop talking this time. Then my lips started to tingle. I felt like I’d been standing there for longer than a minute. But, I hadn’t. Apparently, when I stand up to talk, time stands still.

My fingers felt tingly and my leg started to twitch, as I blurted out, “alright. I’m done” and I quickly threw myself in my seat.

Everyone clapped. I was embarrassed. Again. Less embarrassed than last week, but still embarrassed.

I ended table topics and it was time to vote for best speaker and best table topics. My hands were shaky and my head was spinning, as I quickly wrote two names and passed my sheet over. Just as the meeting wrapped up, I hear, “It’s time to announce the winners! And, the winner of best table topics is Kendra!”

Wait, whoa. What?! No. What? Me? I won? I won.

And, then, the president handed me this.

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I got  a ribbon! Those two things in that picture above are two things, two years ago, I never, ever, thought I could do. Or, ever wanted to do. Run 26.2 miles and speak in front of people (for fun).

I’m pretty sure I have this video to thank for that ribbon. I watched it right before I left for Toastmasters. Best video ever. Watch it.

Let’s punch fear in the ear, then that 4-star B won’t be able hear us. PS, I made up that word, 4-star B. Pretty awesome, huh?

“I think you’re gonna get up and speak today. And, then you’re gonna blog about it.”

“Maybe” is what I reply aloud. “Nope, not happening,” is what I hear in my head.

Just as I have for the past four weeks, I sit down in the same, hard, plastic chair, next to the same u-shaped table, in the same chilly room. And, immediately, I begin to sweat.

I’m able to say my name and why I’m here, without too much trouble. Then the Table Topics Master begins her normal spiel, “Table topics are random topics that you will be asked to speak about for 45 seconds to 2.5 minutes.” Easy, right? Easy for me, because I’m not speaking.

Just as she’s wrapping up, she says, “I think Kendra’s gonna speak today.” I can feel my face turning bright red as she looks right at me and continues, “it’s your fourth time here! I have a feeling!” And she smiles.

I, of course, smile back and do my classic nervous-giggle. Yeah, that’s not happening, lady.

As the main speeches near the end, I can feel my heart racing, my hands are getting sweaty, my legs are starting to stick to my hard, plastic chair. Table topics have to be soon. How am I gonna say no when she asks? I’ve already declined before.

Then, as I hear, “the meeting is running a bit behind, we’ll only have time for three table topics today.” I feel my heart start to slow to a steady pace. Whew. No way she’s calling on me, especially if she only has time for three.

Finally, I’m able to pay attention to the meeting again, “for these table topics, I’ll be giving you an undesirable location and I’d like you to tell me why you love living there.” She starts with Tom, “You live by a nuclear power plant…”

Holy hell, thank god I don’t have to actually do one of these. What in the world would I even say for that?

Of course, Tom’s already talking and it’s funny, “the best part is soon you’ll start to glow…” I was laughing and certainly relieved I didn’t have to give a speech. After all, I am a guest and they don’t pressure you into anything at Toastmasters.

As Tom takes his seat, she looks around and says, “Well, I did say I thought Kendra would speak today. So, Kendra, would you like to do the next table topic?”

Was that my name? That was my name! Oh my god, that was my name! Am I hyperventilating? No. I’m fine. I’m fine.

As I hear her saying, “You don’t have to do this. We don’t pressure you into anything.”  I stand up.

Wait, what?! Why in the hell am I standing up?

I smile and with a nervous giggle, I sputter, “Um, make it an easy one!”

“Oh, I will, it’s so easy! You live in Garden City. On a farm. Everyone knows how awful it smells in Garden City, we’ve all driven through it. The cows, the…”

She continues talking, but I’m no longer listening.

Everyone is looking at me. I can feel their stares. I’m not looking at anyone. I can’t focus on anyone. Except the timer. When is he gonna start the time? I wonder if he’ll start it if I just stand here? I don’t hear a click. Maybe I should just say one word and he’ll start it.

“Ummmm”

Nope, he’s still not starting that damn timer. Think. Think of something to say. Don’t just stand here. Maybe in a few seconds something will come to me. Yes. Think. Think. Think. Nope. I can stand here all day. Not saying a word. SAY SOMETHING!

“Okay, Um, Garden. Uh. City. I uhhhh”

I stop talking and continue to stand. Face burning. Head spinning.  Thoughts running through my head, but nothing is making sense…

Shit, I don’t even know where Garden City is. Does that matter? I’m still standing. Still not talking. Not looking at anyone except that timer. Still not talking. That damn stoplight timer will not turn green. Which, why would it turn green? I’m not talking. Time is not moving. Kendra, just say something! Anything.

I look up, my voice quivers as I blurt out, “Okay, IIII’m, uh, done.” Quickly, I sit back down and put my hand up to my face. Embarrassed.

15 seconds. That’s all it was. 3 seconds of talking and 12 seconds of standing.

My face is burning. I can feel the sympathetic stares. And the sweat, as it drips down my back. Sheesh, really?

Silently, I sit. I pretend to listen to the final table topic, but I’m just listening to the voices in my head. Don’t cry. Don’t leave. Don’t cry. Don’t leave. Keep smiling.

And, then it happens. The meeting is over and the supportive stories are thrown my direction:

“I started out just like you, I could barely say my name in front of a group. It’ll get easier!”

“We’ve all been right there, that’s why we’re here!”

“I shouldn’t have singled you out. I’m sorry. I’ll feel so bad if you don’t come back next week. Sometimes all you need is that one push.”

“It took so much courage to even stand up. Most people wouldn’t have even stood up. I see courage in you that will pull you through this class. In two years they will bring this up again, and then they’ll say, look at you now!”

I could have cried.

I could have walked out.

I didn’t do either, but I definitely thought about it.

Most of all, I could have stayed sitting in that same hard, plastic chair, as I had the four weeks prior, and just said, “no thanks, maybe next time.”

But, I didn’t.

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Samuel Beckett said it best, “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”

There’s really no recommended serving size for fruit, right? It’s fruit. And, if it fits in one bowl, you’re good.

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In the past three days I’ve written three blog posts. First post, too long and boring. Written. Re-written. Sent to draft folder.Second post, do I sound arrogant? Written. Re-written. Sent to draft folder. Third post, who cares. Publish.

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Life’s too short to worry about what everyone thinks. It’s your life. All in one little bowl.

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Your life can get eaten up by you or everyone else. They’re your grapes. Don’t you forget that. Now go eat those grapes before everyone else does.

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So, I bought these cute leopard print boots. Only problem, I couldn’t seem to find anything to wear them with.

Enter Pinterest.

There were lots of cute chicks wearing their red skinny jeans (which I totally just bought last week) with some sort of leopard. Leopard flats. Leopard heels. Leopard scarves. Leopard shirts. I got this.

Or do I?

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Some days you win. Some days you fail. Some days you win even when you fail.

Wondering how I won? I tried.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Good advice, Eleanor Roosevelt. I did that today. Sure, maybe, it was only an outfit today. But, I wonder what it’ll be tomorrow? Maybe I’ll actually speak at my Toastmasters class. Who knows.

So, here’s my last piece of advice, “Don’t be ashamed. Embrace your true self… even if it dresses itself oddly.” I didn’t say that, someone said that to me. Today. After he laughed at my outfit. Don’t worry, I made fun of his sweater vest.