Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Independence Day

I'm posting early since today is my Friday.  I don't plan on blogging tomorrow, but I will look at posts over the weekend.  My mental health day is very needed since I don't have any vacations planned for the summer.  I'm going to need an extended break at some point, but I looked at the summer schedule and there never seemed to be a good stretch to take off.  I have some things up in the air right now, and a 1-day break will be nice to step away from it.  This means that I work 4 days this week, have a 4-day weekend, then work 4 days next week.

She's got the idea
Tonight is another painting class, and I always over analyze what I should paint.  I'm going to stick with one of the templates they have at the studio and hope I can do it justice.  My paintings are split between my apartment and work, and it's fun to have a collage of things at work.  It looks like my office is used.

Tomorrow is my massage, and I'll probably get my car washed too.  It needs to be done, and I've put it off long enough.  I love the color of my new car, but it hasn't had a chance to shine since it rained the day after I picked it up.  It's got water marks and dust all over it, and it needs a bath.  With my massage, and a car wash, it could be spa day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the first day of the track and field trials.  I'm jealous of people like Tara who are going, but I'll do my best throughout these days to watch as many events as I can.  I just wish we didn't have commercials so I could watch the broadcast non-stop.  I think we miss a lot in the longer distance races because of the commercials, and lots of times we miss the big move to break up the pack.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Independence Day.  I always miss Boston on the 4th because Boston knows how to celebrate.

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Race Frequency

Today's TOTR is about races.  How many do you like to run?  I will admit, I don't run that many races, but it's always great to have them on the schedule as motivation.  Even before I got hit with my lovely case of ITBS, I never raced that frequently.  I did a 5k to start this whole crazy thing, 10k the year leading up to my first half marathon since I needed a time for corral placement, then in 2012 I had a half marathon in February, and one in December.  That left plenty of time to unwind, relax, take break, and then start training again.  I did learn a lesson though, since I started training too early for the half in December.  I was a little burnt out by the fall, so I took my foot off the gas and relaxed a little bit more.  I got back into training with a Halloween 5k.

After that was one half marathon in 2013, and one in 2014.  Then I didn't do any races until Fall 2015, and that was 2 5k's.  Now throw in the Tink 10k, and those are my official races.  10 total since starting in 2011, and I think a good showing of different distances.  I don't have a desire to do a full marathon, and I don't know if I ever will.  That's OK.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Musings 6/27

After not getting to run most of last week, I got a run in Friday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon.  Both runs felt good, but I felt knots behind my knee, which may be making my ITB twinge a little bit.  I'll definitely point out that spot at my massage on Friday since it's part of my calf that hooks at the knee.  That's the spot that I'm feeling a huge knot, and Daniel is really good at working through knots.  These are not relaxing massages by any means.

Saturday I went to Pure Barre early on, then ran errands, and pretty much chilled until the evening when I went to a friend's house, and we watched Tombstone.  I did cave for lunch and finally got some fast food after wanting it for a month.  Then I horked it.  Sometimes you just have to give in and satisfy a craving.

Some of us skipped the FCD game because of other interests, and we started on westerns.  I'd never actually seen Tombstone from beginning to end, even though I'd seen snippets from time to time, and I knew the history about the OK Corral.  It was complete with popcorn, pizza, and Chardonnay.  the Chardonnay was from Coppola, and wasn't too oaky/buttery.  There was a hint of that, which was fine.

Sunday was even more low key than Saturday.  I got my run done in the afternoon because right now, morning sunlight comes in very strongly into the fitness room, and depending on the angle, I need sunglasses when I'm on one of the treadmills.  The first level of windows have blinds, but the second, much higher, level of windows don't, and when the sun is just right, it's right in my face.  I'm going to have to see how the rest of the summer goes with morning runs.

I did finish the book I bought with my Amazon credit.  I tried to make it last, but there's so much action, I needed to know how each scene would resolve itself.  The ending felt a little rushed, like the previous book in the series, and I hope the author can get back to writing the resolutions and taking the reader on the adventure.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Five 6/23

Another Friday, which actually means I'm one week away from a day off.  I'm taking July 1st off to make it a 4-day weekend.  After dropping off my rent, I'm not sure what to do.  Movies, maybe?  I have not seen Finding Dory and truth be told, I'm wary of sequels right now.  I know, I know, I love Pixar movies, but sequels rarely live up to the first movie, and I love Finding Nemo so much.  Dory may be a Netflix movie down the line.  Any other movies coming out?

Anybody receive that Amazon email saying you have a credit in your account due to that Apple Inc lawsuit over ebook prices?  I got a credit, which was enough to cover a book on my wishlist.  I bought the Dutch Girl by Donna Thorland, and now that I bought that one, I'll be all caught up in her Revolutionary War series.  I started the book Wednesday and already I don't want to put it down.  That would make working difficult, so I have to put it down :-/

I've also been getting incredibly cranky lately, and I'll blame it on the heat.  Our "normal" June temps are typically low to mid-90s, but we've been in the high 90s already, and I'm cranky far too soon this summer.  I'm usually cranky in August because we have 2 more months of heat to go, and there's no end in sight.  I'm trying to hold on for next week since Friday marks the start of the Olympic T&F trials, then I can watch the actual Olympics.

I sadly didn't get any runs in this week.  Tuesday, the entire pool area was closed down due to high chlorine levels, and the pool is the only access I have to get to the fitness room.  Just like when the fitness room flooded, there was no announcement, and there were no signs on the pool gates.  I had to talk to a leasing agent to find out what was going on.  Then Thursday, I'd been operating on 5 hours of sleep, and was completely zonked when I got home.  The past two Thursdays have been rest days, so maybe a pattern's emerging.  I think one rest day a week is good, and I use both weekend days as workout days.

I also REALLY need a massage.  My calves, or rather calf, is tight up high and near my achilles', and I haven't gotten a massage since well before my 10k.  It may be late, but I think a recovery massage is in order.  Maybe that's what I can do on my day off next Friday.  I need to call and see if the office is open that day and if so, I'll see if I can get in.

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

the Norway Pavilion

Today's Wordless Wednesday is Disney Dad's, but I'm opting for a different picture.  Frozen Ever After is now open at EPCOT, and it's completely taken over the Norway pavilion.  My family and I loved that pavilion, and my dad and I have Norwegian heritage.  I don't know if there's any nod to Norway left, aside from the same Maelstrom boats.

I took this picture the day before my first half marathon, a pilgrimage so to speak to Grete Waitz.  I have no idea if Disney kept it.

Focused on the Magic with Deb.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strange Things During a Race?

Today's TOTR is weird things I've seen at races.  I must run boring races because I don't remember seeing anything too much out of the ordinary.  I've run a lot at Disney, so of course there's going to be fun costumes and people getting into the spirit of things, but I can't really recall anything strange.  I think I run in the wrong city for that.

Last year, I was in San Francisco right before the Bay to Breakers, which is very well known for the more unusual running attire.  Like nothing at all.  Friends told me that tidbit without blinking an eye.  But then they have been in San Francisco for years now, so I guess the shock factor wears off at some point.  They have nude beaches so why not nude runners and bikers?

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Musings 6/20

Happy Monday.  We're now into late June and approaching the official first day of summer.  I'm not sure that matters in Texas, since we finally got out from under a heat advisory Saturday night, but the temps for this week aren't looking any better.  I can tell it's summer with Allie's behavior.  She's spending less time cuddled up in a ball and more time spread out on cool surfaces, from the dining room table to the bathtub.

I'm starting to really get back into the swing of running.  I hit 2 miles for the first time since the 10k, though it wasn't quite easy.  I increased the speed of my running interval, and despite doing the run on the treadmill, I was covered in sweat.  I did use this run to test out my Oiselle singlet, and I also found out something.  The Brooks shorts I've had for 5 years, including the trim, are pretty much as much of a match as they can be.  You can't plan this.

I'm trying to work through something that feels like a knot in my low quad to make sure it doesn't tighten up and cause my ITB to tighten up as well.  This weekend has been a lot of roam rolling, stretching, and Biofreeze.  My ITB still feels slightly cranky, but maybe it was the speed and heat on Saturday.  It felt fine on my shorter runs this past week.  I'll still play around with pace while I continue to re-establish my running base.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.


Monday: strength train

Tuesday: 25 minutes

Wednesday: chiro visit, strength train

Thursday: skipped run, strength train

Friday: strength train

Saturday: 2 miles

Sunday: Pure Barre

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday 5: Randoms

After I posted my two things for ToL yesterday was when all these thoughts came charging in.  Of course, the first item arrived in the mail yesterday.

It came!  My Oiselle singlet is here!  Random question for the Volee: the washing instructions say warm water, but I never use warm water for non-whites.  Do any of y'all use cold water?  I don't want to do anything to ruin the singlet.

It's been so hot here with whatever system the weatherpeople are talking about.  I never usually listen to Christmas music outside of December, but I listened to my Christmas workout list Tuesday when I was on the treadmill.  It was either that or Frozen, for a little reverse psychology.  We are now under a heat advisory, and I decided to skip my run yesterday.  It was just too hot, and the heat makes me cranky.  I did do some corework after dinner, when it was slightly cooler.

I found another great red blend wine, from Alamos, which also makes a good Malbec.  The red blend is 3 grapes from Argentina, and may be a little too smooth.  I made tacos on Monday, and had enough for leftovers, and the red blend paired well.  The blend was a spur of the moment decision when I was buying the Malbec, and I decided to get both.

I guess I'm carrying a bit of tension through my neck and shoulders because my chiropractor had to do some ART on both sides of my neck.  We usually do a neck adjustments whenever I'm in, but this time before the adjustment he asked if my neck was tight.  It actually was tight that day, but it was the first time I'd felt it.  Holy cow!  I don't think I was breathing the whole time he was working on the knots.  Ow ow ow!  The only thing I could think was please don't bruise.

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thinking Out Loud 6/16

Here's a little Thinking Out Loud, even though I only have a couple thoughts today.

RnR Vegas released the design for their 10k, half marathon, and marathon medals, and my attention span doesn't stand a chance.  It spins and glows.  Holy cow!  The design's the same, with the center being a gambling chip, and then the Vegas skyline circling the outside of the chip.  The chip glows and the whole thing spins.  I've resisted signing up for the 10k, but I feel that resistance waning.  I just bought a car for crying out loud, but Vegas's shirt is colorful, and now the medal glows.  Damn.


I don't know how often this commercial is being shown in other regions, but I'm seeing it often enough.  Does anyone else think they need Lizard and Spock?


Thinking Out Loud with Amanda.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Focused on the Magic

I've done Wordless Wednesdays before, and after more trips to Disney, it's fun to look back at the pictures.  Today's word is water, so I bring you DCA, right before it rained:

I sadly never got to World of Color and see all the fountains, but the picture above is very peaceful.

And don't forget the backside of water:

Focused on the Magic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dry Needling

I've been asked to write about the dry needling technique I've been getting since starting PT.  It started with one needle to try to get my IT band to relax, and I would occasionally ask for one needle at subsequent PT sessions.  The whole concept of PT with ITBS is to gain strength in the hips and glutes, and get the fascia to release at the game time.  In my case, and probably many others, it doesn't release on its own, and that's where dry needling can come in.

For a quick summary of dry needling, you can check out my chiro's office page on it.  The needles that are used are the same as acupuncture, but it's a different technique from acupuncture.  The needle is inserted into a trigger point on the muscle or fascia, and it causes ripples to spread through and relax the the muscle.  I've had the needles inserted along my quad, and near my knee to get both the quad and IT band to relax.  When the needle's inserted into the trigger point, I feel a quick nerve burst, then that's it.  I can relax after that and I do feel the muscle around the needle relaxing.  I don't look while the needle's going in since I'm incredibly squeamish, but each time at PT, it was one needles in a couple different spots, and I felt better running.

This past week, I went for a full treatment instead of the one needle at a time approach.  I definitely needed this check up because two of the points were tight.  I had 3 needles along my quad from about mid-way, down to my knee, then a needle on the inside of my quad, near the knee cap.  Then she hooked up the two lower ones to her mobile stim machine to work on everything relaxing.  I felt the inner quad relaxing more than the other spot, but it was relaxing along the entire leg.  I'd had stim before in college, but that was with pads that stuck to the skin.  The stim does the same thing, to get the muscles to relax.

I don't know which plans cover dry needling, but my plan does cover some.  It's not something I'd do every week, but she said I can come in as needed.  I currently see my chiro once a month to keep up with maintenance, and depending how this results, I may consider dry needling for monthly maintenance as well.  Despite my run being crappy on Sunday, my knee felt pretty good.  I have another run coming up today, which should be oh so much fun.  We are currently getting Houston-type humidity in Dallas, and it's awful.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Musings 6/13

This week was still low key, though I am getting running in more often.  I'm still not training for anything, so if I want a rest day, I'll take it.  I still do all my strength training, but now I'm trying to get more running days in the schedule.  I had 2 while training for Tink, now I'm trying to have 3.

I had my very first full dry needling appointment Thursday morning.  The dry needling I got during PT was one needle at a time, just getting my ITB to relax as I worked on building up strength.  This time, it was 4 needles at once, with two hooked up to a stim machine to really work on getting my muscles to relax.  I definitely needed this session because a couple trigger points were quite tender, but I started relaxing after the needle was set.  The one place I felt this the most was actually not the needle at the base of my ITB, it was the needle on my inner quad, down near my knee.  That's the spot I really felt relaxing during the 5-10 minutes I had.  After that it was foam rolling, and I was good to go.

Before the session I did check in with my PT to see how I'm doing on my own.  I am making progress, which was really good to hear.  My glutes and hamstrings are much stronger, and while my hips do have a little give on the strength test, they're also stronger.  My hips are definitely the weak spots, but I'm making progress all around.

The good news about my run on Sunday was my knee didn't bother me, but the bad news is that was a very tough run.  The air was extremely heavy when I woke up, so I knew the run would be on the treadmill.  No problem, summer running means running inside, but I had waffles for breakfast, which was a bad idea.  I felt like I had this brick in my stomach, and I couldn't find a rhythm with my intervals.  I expected this type of run when I started back up, but hopefully that kind is now out of the way for a while, and no more waffles before a run.

I did watch quite a bit of the NCAA track and field championships, and I don't remember them being shown as much as they were this year.  It was a warmup for the Olympic trials, which starts July 1.  Both competitions are held at Hayward Field, which brought back memories of the Eugene half marathon I did in 2013, both good and bad.  Hayward Field is the best track I've ever run on, but I was in too much pain to enjoy it.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.


Sunday: 20 minutes treadmill

Monday: strength training

Tuesday: strength training

Wednesday: 20 minutes treadmill

Thursday: dry needling, strength training

Friday: rest

Saturday: Pure Barre

Sunday: 1.6 miles

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Meals

Now that we're two weeks in to June, it's really starting to feel like summer in Dallas.  We had a lot of rain this spring, and this is the first stretch of week where it was dry and sunny all days.  Yesterday was the first day I thought it really was summer, between there still being a little bit of light in the sky after 9pm, to a little bit of light in the sky at 6am.  Plus there was no breeze yesterday so the air was a little stagnant.  Granted, I left my apartment late because of my dry needling appointment, but summer's coming.

That means my mind has shifted from the heavier winter dishes to lighter summer dishes, and lots of time, that means seafood.  I didn't realize how many seafood recipes I have until I was making my grocery list this week.

Shrimp - shrimp is versatile, and I made a corn risotto with shrimp.  I can get the frozen, uncooked shrimp from the store, and thaw them out as I go.  I thawed a full bag of jumbo shrimp for the Buffett tailgate, but normally I'll thaw 7-8 at a time.
  • Shrimp salad with citrus and greens.  Any field greens, plus orange and grapefruit slices, grilled the shrimp after drizzling with lime juice
  • Shrimp pasta salad with citrus.  Very similar, but instead of salad, cook pasta
  • Caribbean island lime shrimp, add whatever you want as a side, fruit, salad, or rice, or all 3
Fish - Since I can cook fish on the stove, it's another versatile option, and there are many options of fish too.  Tilapia, sea bass, mahi mahi, even salmon.

I really try to avoid using the oven as much as possible, and even when cooking in the skillet, limit time with that too.

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Geeking Out Hockey Style

I can't believe it!  Two of my favorite things are colliding: the Red Wings have announced the Hockeytown 5k!  It's both exciting and sad, because this kicks off the Joe's (Joe Louis Arena) last season before the Wings move to Little Caesar's Arena.  It just doesn't have the same ring to it.  While I most likely won't be able to go in person, they do have a virtual option so I can still participate and get the shirt, bib, and medal.

The Joe holds so many special moments for me as a Red Wings fan.  I know the Wings struggled throughout the '70s and '80s, before the Norris family finally sold them to the Ilitch family.  I was 7 when I chose them as my team, and there are so many events since then that stand out:

* Steve Yzerman's goal in game 7, double OT to elminate the Blues in '96
* the Brawl in Hockeytime, '97
* Defeating the Colorado Avalanche to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, '97
* Winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, at the Joe, '97
* Winning games 1 and 2 of the '98 Stanley Cup finals, on their way to the championship '98
* Defeating the Colorado Avalanche to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, '02
* Winning the Stanley Cup '02
* Yzerman's retirement ceremony '07
* The 2008 Stanley Cup finals, games 1, 2, 5
* Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement ceremony '14

It's so disappointing I won't be able to physically be at the Joe, but I intend to the virtual run.  As a huge fan, I can't pass this up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How Much Race Gear?

How much workout gear do I have?  I certainly have more outfit options than I do for work.  I've always been like that and frankly, I think I work in the wrong profession.  I should've gone into the fitness industry because then I'd had a solid budget for that gear.  I was the athlete in college who wore sweatpants and sweatshirts to class.  If it was cold, I'd throw a jacket over the sweatshirt.  The classrooms were chilly anyway, so the layers kept me warm.

It kind of carried over into the workforce, and I'm definitely one of those who looks for sales for work clothes but I won't hesitate to buy workout gear at full price.  I automatically have ideas for Christmas and birthdays.  There is even a whole side of my closet for my workout clothes, between the tank tops, shirt, sports bras, compression, and Running Skirts.  It's bigger than what I have for work pants, shirts, and dresses.

In my defense, it's easier for me to find color and cuts in workout clothes than it is for work clothes.  Workout gear doesn't seem to be affected by what's "in".   Fashion drives me crazy.

I can keep the smaller gadgets in my dresser, but my calf stretcher, weights, and barbell are kept in the front closet, but not the foam rollers.  I keep those out since I use them all the time.  I try to keep things neat, but sometimes that's a lost cause. 

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Musings 6/6

I'm getting the itch to start running again.  If only the weather will cooperate.  I was all ready to get my first run in on Wednesday, because what better day than now Global Running Day?  I got home from work, I changed into running gear, dropped my monthly rent off at the office, then walked over to the fitness room side, and it was closed due to flooding :(  What?!  There were no details, just that it was closed.  But, I was ready to run.  I guess I wasn't running on Global Running Day then.  I headed back to my apartment and did my strength training routine, which could be longer since hey, no running session.

I did get 20 minutes done on Friday and Sunday, which is all I wanted.  I haven't run for almost a month, and 20 minutes each was fine.  My ITB did feel slightly cranky during both runs, so I'll call my village, aka my chiro's office, and make an appointment for some quick dry needling.  If it's tight from rust, or anything else, it'll be good to get it to release and let me do these easy runs.  I could also check in with my PT since she does the dry needling, and see how this month of training on my own has gone.

I discovered this video from Jimmy Kimmel because Grace Slick was trending on Facebook.  For those not interested in Alice Through the Looking Glass, P!nk covered White Rabbit for the trailer, and frankly I'm really really hoping her cover will be released as a single.  It's not on iTunes yet.  Grace Slick said P!nk has the power to sing this song, which is high praise coming from her.  This would be such a great hill song, what do y'all think?

I've had it at occasional repeat on my comp at work and home.

I finished reading the book I bought, and am ready for the next one.  I have a wishlist going on Amazon, and next up is a novel on Lucrezia Borgia.  The author is one I like to read, and he writes about women that history has painted in not the best light, and he dives into his research to try to figure out what exactly happened.  A lot of times it's a woman in a man's world, and women didn't write history.  Lucrezia certainly doesn't have the best reputation, but is it real or myth? 

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Five: Chardonnay

Last Thursday was national Chardonnay day, and even though this Friday Five would've fit perfectly last week, I already had my post ready.  As y'all may know, I'm a wine enthusiast, and I love either deciding on a wine, or dinner, and then pairing it with the other.  It's a challenge I love, and since I love to cook, and cook with wine, it's fun!  Plus, with summer coming, I like white wines to pair with lighter dishes.

I'm very picky about my Chardonnays, and I don't like ones that are heavy, oaky, buttery, or a combo of that.  If anyone has seen Sideways, you'll know Miles doesn't either.

"I like all varietals. I just don't generally like the way they manipulate chardonnay in California. Too much oak and secondary malolactic fermentation."

For those not in the know, secondary malolactic fermentation is a process where lactic acid bacteria is introduced to the Chardonnay, and it consumes the Chardonnay's natural malic acid (which produces the lighter, crisper Chardonnays), and the lactic acid produces the buttery, caramel, oaky taste.  I like my whites light and crisp, so I MUCH prefer Chardonnays that are allowed to keep their crisp taste.

Here are my favorite Chardonnays, in no particular order.  I tasted the Montelena, Rombauer, and Fort Ross on my Napa trip last year, bought a Grgich Hills and Sanford, and was gifted the Buehler. :-)

1) Grgich Hills

2) Buehler

3) Chateau Montelena

4) Rombauer - the heaviest I'll go on the Chardonnay scale

5) Fort Ross


6) Sanford

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What I Made: Buffett Tailgate

This might be the first time I've done a WIAW inspired post, and I'll put a little spin on it.  This'll be for the food I made for the tailgate since people were asking what my pictures were.  I made a shrimp recipe, inspired by a mass email from Margaritaville, and key lime bars from Martha Stewart.  If I'm at a Buffett concert, I gotta have key lime bars since Jimmy started this whole empire in Key West.  The graham cracker crust makes these bars.

The recipe I used for the shrimp can be found here.  I found it last fall when I was looking to make something similar to jerk shrimp, but a little different.  I finished it off with pineapple chunks, white rice, and the cheddar biscuits from Red Lobster, since they sell the mix.  I liked it, and only omitted the curry powder from the marinade since I didn't have it.  I didn't miss it either.  The mass Margaritaville email had their jerk shrimp products on chunks of pineapples, held down by tooth picks, so that's what I created with this recipe.  Jumbo shrimp, marinaded for 30 minutes, and cooked in batches so the shrimp would cook evenly.  Cut up a whole pineapple, get tooth picks, and voila!

These were very popular at the tailgate, and they didn't last long.  I did save 5 for me for a dinner later since I had 5 leftover after a full tray had been done.  5 wasn't enough for me to bring out another tray, and I didn't want to waste them.  Leftovers for dinner!

The key lime bars come from a recipe from my Martha Stewart cookie book, but can also be found here.  I did not make the whip cream, but I bought some instead.  I do make short cuts whenever they're available.  Stores also sell graham cracker crumbs in the baking aisle, so I didn't have to crush up whole graham crackers.  Another short cut :)  If you buy the pre-squeezed key lime juice, this recipe is pretty easy to make.  These were also popular, but I think next year I'll omit these and make more finger foods, like the shrimp dish.