Friday, August 31, 2012

Fun Day Friday: Random Thoughts

  • I heard once if you walk instead of run in the rain you get less wet. I practiced that theory yesterday during the steady pelting rain of Hurricane Issac. I maybe walked 50 feet (let's be honest...I have no sense to judge don't take that to heart.) from the door of the hospital across the parking lot to my car, and I was completely soaked. So here's a new theory: Really steady rain drops falling from the sky will make you resemble a wet dog regardless of walking or running. Point of this: It absolutely doesn't matter. Good. Glad we cleared that up. We can all sleep better tonight knowing it doesn't really matter.
  • I baked these deep dark chocolate cookies for Susan's birthday. I'm still absolutely sure that this one recipe alone is enough reason for me to open a bakery. I'm serious. They are that good.
  • I've been spending more and more time in Conway recently. For those of you who don't know, it's my old stomping ground. My college alma mater. Go Bears Go! I have a deep love for this city and this restaurant. We went the other night before Elevation. I didn't get to eat anything. Because I have to save my money. So I can pay the bills. Bummer. Big bummer.
  • The newest issue of the Arkansas Times came out yesterday. I picked it up because why not. They always do an amazing job writing and/or promoting Arkansas history. And this issue talks about a new Roy Reed book coming out in October. My inner nerd swooned over this new book because it's going to be such an asset to my thesis.
  • Speaking of the thesis, the frequency of my library visits is about to increase so much so that I should take a cot and set up camp. Must. Finish. The. Mammoth. Thesis. Must. Set. Myself. Free. Seriously, ask me everyday what I did to work on the thesis. Accountability is the key to my success and freedom from library sleepovers. Is there such a thing as library sleepovers? I feel like there should be...for us people who would be interested/desperate for that kind of thing. Don't judge me...

  • Had a nice talk with a wonderful lady about my future job situation. Got some contacts. Made some progress. Someday I will have bylines again. I will. Even if it takes me two years of getting coffee and answering phones. I will write. I will be published. I will have bylines. I will.
  • Tomorrow is September 1. As of tomorrow I am in training. I will be a machine. Run. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Run. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I'm terrified. I think I've said that before, but now I'm about to start living the fear. Run. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
  • I've recently realized I have an affinity for index cards. It use to be Post-It notes. Not anymore. Index cards everywhere. My desk is covered with them. This is not really relevant to your day, just wanted to share. Sharing is fun. Try it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Ode to Brooks Running Shoes

In honor of half marathon training beginning next week and because I love Brooks running shoes more than any other shoe on the market, I thought it would be a good idea to write the wonderful people at Brooks a little thank you note for making running shoes that my feet love. Overpronated feet have a tough time falling in love with a shoe...But that's neither here nor there.

Dear Brooks,

Thank you for making the Adrenaline series. It is my "go to" shoe, which I think it important in this day when we, as consumers, have so many choices and opinions floating around on the World Wide Web.

A large reason I think I fell in love with running was because I was fitted for the Brooks Adrenaline 11 when I started running over a year ago. You can read about that experience here. I loved my red Adrenalines so much  I was sad I had to retire them when tread wore down to nothing and my feet began to ache. Those shoes saw many miles and lots of first finish lines.

But I got a new pair of the Adrenaline 12s when I went to the New Orleans Rock 'N Roll half marathon in March. Not long after that, I signed up for my first half marathon. Per my mom's advice, I got another pair of Adrenalines, the pink 12s, to add to my training rotation. I'm still trying to figure out a way to get the purple Adrenaline 12s in my rotation. Somehow I think it's necessary for me to have all the Adrenaline 12s made.
Not long after I got the pink ones, I read about the Pure Project. I would love to try out the PureCadence, but I'm scared my feet have too overpronated for this minialist shoe. They just look so cool. I can't help myself. I envy all the people who wear them. Seriously. I think about ways to trip them and steal their shoes...Don't tell them I said that.

Thank you for making shoes I love. And please keep making them for us broken ankled overpronated people.

Love from your Adrenaline junkie in Arkansas,

And something extra I found last night while I was reading through old blog posts....This post about running and learning is a gem. I crack myself up. You will get a clear understanding of how my brain actually works.

(Disclaimer: Brooks Running did not ask me to write this. I didn't receive any type of compensation. I just wanted to show them a little love because they made shoes my feet don't hate...which in my case it pretty amazing.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asher Update: Chemo Round 5 Recap, Scans and Post Round-Up

Could this kid be any cuter?
I may be biased, but I think she is pretty special. P.S. that leopard print skirt is Asher's new hair. I think it the equivalent of curls.

Last week was Chemo Round 5 for this sweet girl. And she came through just fine. It's crazy that we have to keep her entertained while she gets chemo. And I'm so thankful she can go to Camp Wannaplay during her treatment since she can't go when her count gets super low.
This is the week where we will go in because her white blood count will drop to basically non-existent. It is one of the toughest times for us because she is not all get-up-and-go, which is her normal personality. The last time she was neutropenic (no white blood cells), she had a nine day hospital stay. So please be praying for a faster recovery of what we know is inevitable.

She is going in for clinic tomorrow and getting her second round of scans to check her progress. Last time we got good news. And I can only hope for the same this time. Please say lots and lots of prayers for this sassy lady because The Big Guy will hear us. And He has heard us.
Thanks to Paige from Approaching Joy, there has been an increase in readers on some of the Asher posts. So I thought it would be nice to do a post round-up so you can have the story all in one place.

It has been a short amount of time we have been dealing with this. But it feels like so much longer. I'm sure Justin and Susan feel like it's been years in a mere matter of months.

Dealing with childhood cancer is the biggest test of faith and patience. Each day is a journey within the journey. A test of true character. A learning experience. But it's also a showcase of unconditional love for this little girl. And one of many ways to show God's grace and healing power.

If you are new to the this blog and Asher's story, I hope that you will like The Brooklyn Project on Facebook so you can keep up with her journey on a daily basis.

But we have ways you can get involved directly if you feel the urge.

Sign up for the Show a Lil "Bit" of Love for Asher Ray 5K Run/Walk and Baggo Tournament. If you want a registration form, leave a comment at the end of this post, and I will send you one.

Get tickets to the Gallery of Hope to support the American Childhood Cancer Organization of Arkansas. Asher and her mom Susan will have art featured in the auction. If you have trouble with the link, you can call 501-420-4219.
Thank you for your support. I can't say it enough. We could not do it without you and your prayers. Please feel free to share this on your blog, Facebook page or Twitter. We love to tell her story. The more Prayer Warriors the better.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Inspiration and Perseverance: AWBU Recap

Over the weekend, I spent some quality time in Mountain View with some amazing bloggers thanks to Arkansas Women Bloggers. It was awesome to see so many women with the same love of writing that I have. And Mountian View is absolutely beautiful. A hidden gem in the Ozarks.
This is just one of many beautiful site to see at the Ozark Folk Center.

I was super nervous when I got to the conference center Friday night. I only knew one other blogger who was going. So stepping into a room of bloggers was pretty crazy on the emotional side of things.

It kinda felt like the first day of school. Sweaty palms, awkward introductions, lecture halls.
But as the weekend went on, a sense of comfort and unity was created. A we-are-all-in-this-together feeling emerged. Bloggers unite.

After listening to keynote speaker Lela Davidson's The Why of Blogging, I sat in my seat at a crossroad. Why am I doing this? Who am I online? What is the point of this journey?

I mean it's questions like those that slap you across the face and tell you to get it together. But it was not until I was sitting in a content workshop listening to a powerpoint on archetypes and a panel of experts until I get slapped with inspiration and purpose.

Kyran Pittman, author and blogger extraordinaire, was spilling her heart and soul to us about attitude and passion. "If you don't have powerful emotions about it, it's going to be weak," she said.

I sat there in awe. Mouth agape. Mind reeling. Stunned into a silence I haven't known myself capable of to this day. Clearly this woman is brilliant. The way she spoke and what she said was everything I needed to hear.

Later that evening, another blogger and I were discussing freelancing options and questioning the world of writing when Kyran sat down in a chair next to where we were standing.

It was one of those pivotal moments in life where you are terrified to say something to someone you feel is a genius, but you know you have to say something because this is the one chance to get some serious one-on-one insight into things you want to know about.

I choked down the lump in my throat and took a leap of faith. I was completely honest about my current situation. And she was completely honest in her response.

She said...and this is my interpretation of what she said...not direct quotes...but a summary.

It's not easy. You're in the place where you need experience to get experience. It's a tough place to be, but you gotta keep going. Push passed it. Don't get discouraged. If you give up and quit, you will never get it back. It's gone. So just keep plugging away and know that you can do it.

Ummm....did you hear that?!?!?!?!

If you give up and quit, you will never get it back. It's gone.

How completely terrifiying is that??!?! Then it hit me. People say that all the time, just not like that. Most people say follow your dreams. I have never ever heard anyone say if you give up and quit, it will never ever happen for you. The dream is gone. Completely gone.

I felt like I had been hit with a Mack truck. I fought back tears because I knew she was right. So incredibly right.

I've been wallowing in my depression and current situation. Basically waiting for someone to hand me the most perfect job. And it's not going to happen that way no matter how much I think I deserve it or how easy the writing comes to me.

I've been teetering on the edge of quitting and giving up with the thoughts that I can always come back to someone who gets a law degree and chooses not to practice.

The difference is I can't just come right back to it when I'm done wallowing. It will be gone because I gave up on the passion to write. And to be honest, I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I got stuff to do. Things to say. And no one can push me to move forward but me.

Now everyone raise your glass or mason jar....
Because I'm not giving up on this dream. It's not going to be easy, but it will be awesome.

Ching-ching, friends.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged #awesome

I am completely thrilled. Today's the day I leave for my first blogging conference. What an opportunity this will be for all of us attending. I am nervous-excited about meeting everyone and getting started. All great things should make you equally excited and nervous. That's how you know you really want to do it.

I would like to thank Healthy Families Now for sponsoring me with a paid scholarship. It's the only way I would have been able to attend this conference. God does provide for His children when the time is right. And he definitely provided this opportunity for me.

I would also like to thank some of the other sponsors attending the conference this weekend. Country Outfitters (even though I was tardy to the party, I can't wait to see all the amazing boots everyone picked out...Maybe I will win a pair on one of their blog giveaways), Arkansas Farm Bureau, Ziploc, All You Magazine, Petit Jean Meats and everyone else who took the time to invest in Arkansas Women Bloggers and its conference. I am truly thankful and honored you would take the time to network with all of us here in Arkansas. We are so blessed.

On the agenda today:
  • Pack bags for conference.
  • Check on Asher at Arkansas Children's Hospital. She is currently in Round 5 of chemo this week, and she should get out Saturday if all goes well. If you would like to follow Asher's journey and get to know an incredible 3 year old, like The Brooklyn Project on Facebook. It's her official page that we keep updated. We welcome any new Prayer Warrior who wants to follow along.
  • Put gas in my car.
  • Other minor things (lunch, print off directions to conference center, etc.)
I can't wait to share everything I learned with you when I get back. Get ready. Monday is going to be one of many conference recaps.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Follow me on Twitter (@ashtenbrook) for live tweets from the conference. TTYL!! (The inner third grader in me loved that. See what I did there. Ha.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Florida 2013

It's here. It's here. The time is finally here. I can officially tell you that I am going to Florida next summer.
In exactly 306 days, I will be on the beach for seven days straight. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Clearly I'm overjoyed by this thought.

I love the beach. Probably more than any other place I've ever been to...And I did travel to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France one summer in high school. The trip was beautiful, but there is just something about the white sand beaches and clear water that scream HOME to me. Pretty sure in another life I could have been a sea creature.

For this little vacation, I am starting the saving process early. Check it out.
Florida Fundraising 2013: Save all change. No change left behind. Pennies in one jar. Silvers in another. If anyone has change that they feel is a nuisance I would be happy to take it off your hands. Change adds up people. And I'm taking full advantage of that fact.

In other news:

I visited this sweet girl and her momma last week.
Could she be any cuter...I think not! Aubrey is growing up so fast. Here is a look back to the day she was born. Really happy day that was for all of us.

While I was home this weekend, I did a hill workout with my mom and her running buddies Kerri and Lisa. There is one hill in Stuttgart....which I should mention is an overpass.
Up and over twice with a little over half a mile warm up.

Here are my stats:
Distance: 3.35 miles
Time: 40:07
Best Pace: 9:46
Average Pace: 11:58
Calories: 385

The first up and over was good. I felt good. Minor calf tightness. But once I got loose and into my stride, I felt good. The second up I started to feel it. Coming back on my finishing up and over, I thought for sure I was gonna die and be left to rice hull eating rats that are as big as cats. Thankfully Kerri stayed with me out of the goodness of her heart.

It felt good to get out there and moving. I think it cleared my mind of some the fog I've been in here lately. Running is the best mind clearer.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Tell me something good.

What are your plans for the weekend?
I'm attending the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Retreat and Conference this weekend. Pretty thrilled to get out there and meet and greet some new people. And I can't wait to learn a lot about blogging. This could be really great for me right now. Send some prayers up please.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a Major Award!

Last night I won a full paid scholarship to the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference. Thanks to my blogger friend Paige from Approaching Joy for nominating me and for its full sponsorship of one person I am going to a blogging conference. SO COOL!!! Can't wait!! Thank you for such an amazing opportunity! I am so thrilled. It's my major award (note the Christmas Story reference).

This morning has been lovely. I had eggs and avocados for breakfast.
Very tasty. Don't knock it til you try it. Best breakfast ever.

I'm going to spend some time with my friend Jodi today. I haven't seen her in forever, and I miss her dearly. So we are going to spend the day hanging out and playing with her beautiful one-year-old Aubrey! After that, I'm headed down south to the homeland. Going to spend some time with my family. It's been a while since I've been home.

I heard I may be running the overpass, which sounds like a blast... Pray that I don't die from heat and hill exhaustion.

I did find this new workout I want to try.

Thank you Pinterest for fitness inspiration!

So there may or may not be a tid bit of information I can't wait to share with you, but we have to work out all the kinks before I can say for sure. There will be a blog post dedicated to it when the time comes. Not sure you will be as excited as I am, but who knows.

The roommate has been sending me videos of the waves crashing on the Fort Walton Beach shore.

I tried to share it with you because we should all be at the beach. Seriously. I love the beach. But the stupid video won't load correctly. Whatev.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lentil Qunioa Sweet Potato Soup

And so continues the sweet potato obsession I started yesterday.

I don't know what it is about that orange potato, but I be lovin' it right now.

The other night I was scouring my cabinets for something to eat. Times are tough here at the Adamson house, but I managed to pull off a delicious recipe I think you will enjoy.

It's meatless if you are into that. And it was vegan...until I stirred in some sour cream when I put it in my bowl. So basically it is vegan...just don't do that. Or do do that. It was delicious. Sour cream makes everything delicious. But that's neither here nor there. Whatever. I'm rambling.

Lentil Qunioa Sweet Potato Soup
What you need:
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C. lentils
1/2 C. quinoa, uncooked
8 C. vegetable broth (2 boxes)
Cumin, salt, pepper, onion powder, cayenne and smoked paprika to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the diced onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Add in the sweet potato. Add in the vegetable broth, lentils and quinoa. Spice to your liking.

Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until the sweet potato pieces are soft and the lentils are cooked completely. If the broth cooks out and the soup gets too thick, add in a cup of water to thin it out.

Before serving, use an immersion blender to blend the soup a bit. This will make it thick and creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, just blend a cup in a regular blender and add it back into the pot.

Put in a bowl and top with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. If you're going for the vegan way, just eat as is.

Super tasty. Super easy. You could even throw everything into the crock pot and forget about it.

Hope you guys are having a fantastic weekend. I've been watching the Olympics like it's going outta style. I mean it is not going to come on again for the next four years. The upside to that is I will forget how un-athletic I am until 2016. #priorities

Friday, August 10, 2012


I love iced soy chia tea lattes from Starbucks.
I thought I had kicked my Starbucks addiction, or least had it in a more managable state. But then my friend Casondra came to visit, and she introduced me to soy chia tea lattes on ice. They taste like fall. It's cool, creamy and perfectly spiced. Oy, I want one right now. Anyone have a Starbucks gift card they aren't using?? I will gladly take it off your hands.

Another recent obession, well it's really not an obsession since I already loved them so much, is the ole sweet potato. I have two sweet potato recipes you must try. I'll share one today and the other tomorrow.

Breakfast Sweet Potato Hash

What you need:
1 onion
1 bell pepper, color of your choice
2 garlic cloves
1 medium sweet potato
2 T. coconut oil, or whatever oil you want to use
1-2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Dice up the onion, garlic, bell pepper and sweet potato into small pieces. This will help it all cook fast and at the same time. Heat the coconut oil on medium high heat in a saute pan. Toss in the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Cover for 5-7 minutes so veggies steam. Remove the lid and cook on medium high heat until veggies begin to brown up. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan. Crack an egg. Cook the egg to your liking. I let the yolk stay runny, which I would recommend because it gives the hash a nice yolky deliciousness.

I know what you're probably thinking...I don't want sweet potato as a hash brown. But it is so good with the onion and peppers and eggs.

This recipe would serve two people modestly, or one hungry person. So if you have more people than that just make more. This hash could also be served as a side dish. It is so yummy.

****Running Update****

I have been running. Hills. Speedwork. Long runs. The whole nine. Getting ready for official St. Jude training.

BTW, I have raised $715 for the St. Jude Heros Program. You can donate online or send a check to support me and my quest to help the children at St. Jude's Hospital. Please help me reach my $1,000 goal.

Doing a long run tomorrow morning. If you wanna run with me, let me know.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Official Job Application

This whole job hunting/searching/waiting thing has taught me that there are lots of things one leaves off of a resume.

So in the spirit of fun and entertainment (and my desperate attempt to find a job ASAP), I'm giving you my dear blog readers My Official Resume.

Ashten B. Adamson
Can't give you my address or phone number, but you can have my e-mail.

Do Work.

UALR Master's Degree in Journalism - pending 2012 due to thesis.
UCA B.S. in Journalism with a minor in Marketing - 2010
Stuttgart High School honor graduate - 2006

Journalistic writing/PR writing
Grammar enthusiast
Minor Web site design skills

***NOTE*** Now this is where I'll add the stuff most people would leave off for a professional resume submission. But I told you I was making it official.

Additional Skills:
Personal Training (if you're interested in running)
Dog walker/caretaker
Cleaning Nazi
Personal shopper
Swimming lessons instructor

Available upon request

Now let's get serious for a minute. If any of my additional skills are of interest to you, I would be willing to work an infinite amount of odd jobs because I enjoy all those things I listed above.

I am looking for a job in the field I am trained in. But that doesn't mean I can't use my additional skill set to make my current situation a little brighter.

So here's the deal, if you are interested.

I'll create ready to eat meals for you to heat and eat.
I'll help you start working out and create a novice running plan just for you (and go on the runs with you).
I'll take care of your pets.
I'll clean your house til it's spotless.
I'll watch your kids.
I'll tutor your kids.
I'll be your personal shopper or assistant.
I'll teach your kids how to swim.
I'll organize all your stuff.

So if you interested shoot me an e-mail. I feel like my favorite thing to attempt would be heat and eat meals....but it's all open for discussion. I would be helping you and you would be helping me.

***Yes, most of this post was written in fun as a way to relieve my stress. But if you feel like you need my additional skill set, I would be willing to work with shoot me an e-mail.***