Ironman CDA 2013

Ironman CDA 1

For months, and even years, athletes in peak physical condition have been training for this one day, the Coeur d’Alene Ironman Triathlon.  Tomorrow morning, 2,600 triathletes will dive into 56-degree crystal clear water, bike along scenic US-95, and run along the shore of beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene.  It will be a day of pushing limits, as these athletes cover a total of 140.6 miles to the finish line.

Ironman CDA 2

Not only is it a big day for the athletes, it’s a great opportunity for all to dive into triathlete culture.  For any aspiring to be an Ironman competitor, interested in anything fitness, or just love the vibe of race day excitement, make sure to head over to the Ironman Expo this weekend.  It’s an opportunity to drool over expensive race equipment, try free energy bars and drinks, shop for your favorite Ironman paraphernalia, and even try to win some free stuff.

As you explore, make sure to follow @IronmanTri on Twitter and tag #IMCDAPhotoTrail for a chance to win a prize.  And don’t miss the LifeProof tent for a chance to win a free iPhone case!

Sunday is a great opportunity to cheer on the triathletes. Grab a free banner from the Expo and hit the roads with cheering, clapping, and encouraging words.  Keep an eye out for Alayna Williamson, who was diagnosed with leukemia just over a year ago.  According to KXLY.com, her and her husband, Troy, will both be competing this year.

Whether you tri or not, this weekend is a great opportunity to have fun downtown. Bring your friends and family and catch the triathlon bug.  Who knows, maybe this time next year, you’ll be one of the brave 2,600 triathletes huffing and puffing across the finish line!

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop

Sweet Frostings

Someday I will learn not to be an emotional eater. Someday… After a great week together, Tim and I dropped my parents off at the airport on Saturday. Saying goodbye always makes me a little mopey, so we decided to sweeten the sad day with cupcakes!

I love cupcakes and have been a bit disappointed with the cupcake scene in Coeur d’Alene, or complete lack thereof. Granted, we were spoiled having several delicious cupcakeries within miles of our previous hometown – a Cupcake Wars winner even. But, we had a gift card for a place that seemed promising in Spokane, so we made a pit stop on our way home from the airport drop off.

Cupcake Collage

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop did not disappoint! (How could you with a name like that…) The teal and white awning and curliqued sign looked a bit out of place amidst the grungy streets of downtown Spokane, but Sweet Frostings was an oasis for the senses inside and out.

The decor is fanciful and charming with its floral walls and large umbrella, but the main attraction is the long pastry case full of beautiful cupcakes ready to be enjoyed. The friendly saleswoman mentioned Friday and Saturday were great days to come in because they have the most flavor variety, and indeed, it seemed so with no less than 20 flavors available.

Cupcakes

After agonizing for way too long, we settled on French Toast, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Butterfinger, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. We could have filled multiple other boxes with Confetti, Tiger Tail (a lovely looking raspberry and coconut concoction), Chocolate Stout, Mint Chip Oreo, etc. A tiny tule bow put the finishing touch on our teal box and I barely resisted the temptation to break into the foursome on our way home.

My family is serious about cupcake sampling. We have a method and we don’t deviate from said method. Every cupcake gets cut into equal sized pieces and every person gets a plate with a piece of each cupcake. We try them in the same order, while drinking coffee, and make our opinions known. Tim and I carried this tradition on with our Sweet Frostings cupcakes and I’ll tell ya, there wasn’t one that got a neg review.

Each cake was moist and the frostings were stellar – true buttercream that the bakers managed to pipe in a smooth dollop. Little fondant hearts topped every cupcake in the shop. Even though I don’t like the taste of fondant, they are a nice signature look.

Cupcakey

Highlights:

  • Salted Caramel frosting – could have eaten a tub of it plain. Not sure how they got frosting to taste so perfectly salty and sweet. (Tim’s favorite).
  • Bacon topping on French Toast – a great savory foil for the cinnamon infused cake and mapley frosting.
  • Homemade butterfinger – that crunchy, flaky orange filling of the classic Butterfinger candy? Well, Sweet Frostings makes their own and puts it on their Butterfinger cupcake. Mmm…
  • Chocolate buttercream (on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake) – dense, rich, buttery. Another frosting I could have eaten by the tub full.

We will be in Spokane again on Saturday (for the Color Me Rad 5K!) and I’m not sure we will make it home without another trip to Sweet Frostings.

15 South Washington | Spokane, WA | 99201 | 509 – 242 – 3845 |

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Any other good cupcake places we need to check out? 

CYT Tall Tales

Our first experience with theater in Coeur d’Alene was Christian Community Theater’s production of Big last summer. We got to see several people from our soon-to-be church perform – most notably, Greg Washington, who played Mr. MacMillan. Not only does Greg go to our church, he’s a mighty fine realtor and just helped us buy our first house!

Greg is heavily involved in the theater scene here in Coeur d’Alene because his kids all participate in CYT (Christian Youth Theater). He is the reason we saw CYT’s Spring show, Great American Tall Tales, last weekend.

Great American Tall Tales

Honestly, after moving earlier in the week, going to a youth theater program wasn’t my idea of the perfect Saturday night; but, I am so glad we went.  Great American Tall Tales (GATT) only has 3 performances left and it is well worth seeing.

When several young kids stumble into a dusty exhibit during a museum field trip, their adventure comes to life.  Together they meet the beloved characters of American folklore like Annie Oaklee, Davy Crocket, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Annie Christmas, John Henry and more.

Through story, dance and song, they learn that history is alive and vibrant while discovering that sometimes fact and fiction work together to create unforgettable legends.

{Show description from CYT website}

GATT has an engaging storyline carried by talented young performers. The 2 1/2 hour show was full of quality song and dance with enough unpolished charm to make for some old-fashioned entertainment.

Highlights:

  • Solos by Joy Weadick (Sally Ann Thunder), Landrie Elstad (Annie Oakley), and Avalon Robinson (Miss Peele).
  • Katie Ann Schini (Sloane) is a renaissance young woman! Beautiful, clear voice and confidence that belies her 14 years.
  • The other young field trippers did a great job – especially Devin Latreille (Derek).
  • “A Man is Just a Man” is a wonderful number that showcases Michael Dundas’ deep voice.

The Kroc Center is a nice, intimate venue without a bad seat in the house. Stage design was simple but artfully done. The CYT team infused the Western theme into intermission by offering pie by the slice near a chuck wagon photo op.

Showtimes:

  • Saturday, May 25th – 3pm & 7pm
  • Sunday, May 26th – 3pm

Tickets will be sold for “at the door” price at the Box Office Window. The Box Office Window will open one hour prior to the start of each show. Visa and Mastercard accepted.  Go to their website for pricing info.

Great American Tall Tales is worth fitting into your Memorial Day weekend plans.

 

Buying and Selling Online

Shop and Swap

I am a garage sale fan – both having them and shopping them. However, I know many people are not so enthusiastic. Tim and I bought a house so we have been packing up a storm the past couple weeks. In the process, we’ve culled some things we don’t need to move to the new place.

So, what do you do when you want to earn a few extra bucks but don’t necessarily have enough items to have a garage sale?

Shop and Swap!

Whoever came up with this concept was a genius. They have combined people’s desire to buy and sell with a social media platform. Shop and Swap CDA is an open group on Facebook that operates as a virtual marketplace. People post photos of items they want to sell in a myriad of categories. Interested parties respond via comment. I sold 4 items in an hour.

Example Categories

Read through some rules and instructions before you begin and then start listing your items – It’s that simple. Shop and Swap is a great venue to sell some extra stuff and shop for low-priced things you may need.

Click on the link {above} for Shop and Swap. Click on Join Group in the right hand corner. Wait to be added by the Shop and Swap administrator and then start listing your stuff!

The Donut House

It’s Saturday which means it’s donut day for Tim and I. We celebrate the weekend with sweet treats from The Donut House in Hayden. It took us a couple months to land on the perfect place for our Saturday treat, but Donut House was the clear winner.

The Donut ManI (Emily) worked at The Donut Man, a world-famous donut shop, for several years and Tim was a most willing donut consumer and even appeared in The Donut Man’s stint on The Cooking Channel. So, we aren’t without donut judging credentials!

Our friends, Zach and Lauren, introduced us to The Donut House via their amazing Maple Butterbars. Who can resist a fluffy, moist donut with a thick layer of sweet maple icing? We couldn’t and that became my regular donut choice as we started making Donut House a Saturday tradition.

The Donut House

Our favorites have evolved over the weeks as we’ve tried different donuts. Tim started getting the Chocolate Old Fashioned and I discovered I could get the perfect icing to donut  ratio by getting a Maple Old Fashioned {my current favorite}. I love eating the irregular prongs off of old fashioned donuts first and then eating the inner ring. Donut House is generous with their icing which is a huge plus.

Some of our other favorites:

  • Crumb – a delightful blend of crushed cake, cinnamon, and sugar clings to fluffy raised or traditional white cake donuts.
  • Strawberry Chocolate Chip Fritter – Oh man, these are incredible! Real strawberries and large chocolate chunks riddle the tender raised dough creating a beautifully colored and incredibly tasty donut. Apple and blueberry fritters are also good.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter – Not for the faint of heart. A thick layer of creamy peanut butter is housed in a rectangle of raised donut with a drizzle of chocolate frosting on top.
  • Sugar - I (Em) tend to like sugar raised better than glazed raised. Donut House has delicious versions of both, but is generous with their sugar, which creates a perfectly sweet crust over the tender raised donuts.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip FritterSome other things we love about Donut House:

  • They are open “almost 24 hours” a day. We have yet to figure out what hours make the almost in that statement.
  • A recently redone eating area includes new red couches which makes for a homey, modern touch.
  • The owners always decorate for the current holiday or season.
  • A few games, including Scrabble – a Gardner favorite, are available to play while you’re eating.
  • They now accept credit cards, though there’s a $5 limit.
  • Donuts are really well priced and high quality!

Bakers DozenDonut House offers a good variety of drinks including coffee, hot chocolate, juice, and bottled water. There’s a separated room from the main eating area that would be perfect for a business meeting. They also have a drive-thru.

Keeping with the time, Donut House now has a website with all the essential information plus some tantalizing photos of their donuts. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter, too!

the Donut House website

The Donut House 8761 North Government Way | Hayden | 83835

Construction Zone

IMG_2375The plans for McEuen Park near Tubbs Hill are pretty awesome, but the path towards a completed park is anything but smooth. Months and months of construction, especially during the busy summer, are causing quite the parking nightmare. Not to mention it’s a bit of an eyesore in the midst of Coeur d’Alene’s beautiful landscape.

IMG_2378Despite the inconvenience, Tim and I are really excited about the finished product. We just wish it would be done sooner.

Poor Mudgie has such an ugly view…

IMG_2376The good news is… Spring is here, especially on Tubbs Hill! It’s worth maneuvering around the construction to take in all the new growth.

IMG_2379