Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

What I Ate Wednesday – Halloween edition

Happy Halloween, everyone!!  Time for another edition of What I Ate Wednesday!  Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the linkup!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

I started my morning with my usual kale protein shake, but today I made it a little extra festive. 😉  I drank it on my way to a client meeting.

By the time I got back to work, my head was hurting and there was pressure in my sinuses.

I refuse to get sick!

Uh oh. I can’t get sick. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  (If you don’t watch Tosh.0, then watch this clip – she cracks me up!!  This has become my new catchphrase.)

Lunch was at my desk.  (I didn’t have time to leave).  Yeah, I know that’s not a lot.  But, I was anticipating eating quite a bit of candy and stuff tonight.  🙂

So I raced home quickly after work so I could get my treats started!

Mummy Dogs for the kids.  (ok, so *maybe* I had one too)

Halloween Ghost Cookies.  (They’re really just Nutter Butters dipped in melted white chocolate with two little mini chocolate chips for eyes).

For the adults, I made the Pumpkin Gnocchi from World Market that I bought the other day.  It was pretty good.  Hubby did not like it, though.  He thought the texture was too weird.

Now for the costumes….

The two on the left are mine.  The werewolf on the right is Luke’s best friend Alexander.

We had soooooo much fun Trick or Treating.  I wasn’t sure how my 2-year old would do.  The very first house we went to, she ran inside when they opened the door.  LOL  Then after a couple houses, she totally got the hang of it.  Even though she can’t say “Thank you”, she would always turn and wave.  And as the treat basket got heavier, she insisted on carrying it herself.  She had a BLAST!!

Checking out her loot!


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October Foodie Penpals Reveal

Yay!  It’s Foodie Penpals time.

FPP post October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

I love reveal day!

This month I was paired up with a blogger from Washington State.  Grandma Loy was kind enough to send me this box of goodies!  (That’s a long way to ship some authentic Washington apples)!!

Inside the package:  Crackers, cotlets and aplets, apples, cappuccino, sweet chili sauce and a note pad to hand on my fridge (which I totally needed for my grocery list, by the way)!!

 Everyone in my family loves apples.  Sometimes we’ll bake with them – apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, apple cake, etc.  But these we just ate straight up.  Love me some apples!

Grandma Loy said this Sweet Chili Sauce by Mae Ploy was her favorite.  And I love anything that has ‘chili’ in the name!!

I had no idea what Cotlets and Aplets were.  I had to try these immediately.  There are 2 pieces in each little package.  The wrapper had me thinking it was like a fruit bar you would eat for breakfast.  But instead, they are soft and chewy little squares of… well, sugar.  It’s like a little apple flavored candy with nuts, covered in powdered sugar.  YUM.  My 7-year old LOVED them!!!


I love cappuccino!!  These came in VERY handy when we were in North Carolina weekend before last!  I had taken a box with me to enjoy in the early morning before anyone else had woken up.  Mmmm.

So thank you VERY much to Grandma Loy!!

Want to see what I sent to my Foodie Penpal?  Check out Nanci’s blog HERE.  I had so much fun making her pumpkin-themed goodie box!!


So, do you wanna join us?! Here’s the deal:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination! -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. -Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!


Super Sweet Blogger Award

Award time again.

Maria from Little Miss Cornucopia was kind enough to nominate me for the Super Sweet Blogger Award.  I love being a part of this blogging community and meeting new friends from all over the world.

Rules for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:

  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate a Baker’s Dozen (13) other blogs.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Answer the following 5 “Super Sweet” questions:

1. Cookies or Cake?   This is a hard question … depends what kind of cake and what kind of cookies we’re talking about.  If it’s snickerdoodles or peanut butter cookies, then I’ll choose cookies for sure.  But there are plenty of cookies I don’t care for.  Example: shortbread.  However, if we’re talking about a caramel cake or a red velvet cake, then forget the cookies!  Give me cake!

2. Chocolate or Vanilla?  As boring as this sounds, I’ll choose vanilla.  🙂

3. What is your Favorite Sweet Treat?  Ice Cream, always!!

4. When do you Crave sweet things the most?  After dinner.

5. If you had a Sweet Nickname, what would it be?  Well, my mom used to call me Kitty Kate, which sometimes sounded like Kit Kat, and if I had to choose a candy bar, Kit Kats are pretty darn good!!

While I am super grateful to Maria for nominating me, I am just not going to pass it on at this time.  I just recently nominated 11 bloggers for the Liebster award, and prior to that, I nominated 8 bloggers for the Blog on Fire award.  I still read all those blogs and would simply be nominating those same people again.


October Bulu Box Review

bulu box

If you don’t know what Bulu Box is yet, you need to check it out!  It’s an easy and inexpensive way to try out all the latest new health and fitness products before you buy them.  You pay a $10 monthly charge and they send you a random sampling of products (price includes shipping)!

bulu box

This About Time Chocolate protein powder was really yummy!  I would have loved to try the Cake Batter flavor, though.  Even with a 20% off coupon code, I don’t think I’ll be ordering it.  It’s quite pricey.

The little energy shot is just like the 5-hour energy.  Tastes the same.  Not sure it actually works – I think it’s more mental than anything.

bulu box

(Sorry for the bad pictures.)

We really enjoyed the CALM anti-stress drink.  It’s a supplement in powder form that you add to either hot or cold water.  It fizzes when it hits the water.  But it doesn’t taste bad like Alka-Selzer.

If you want to sign up for Bulu Box, it’s easy.  And here’s a coupon code for your first month free:  WOOHOO10

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Weekend Recap: Shopping and Pumpkin Carving

How is it the last weekend in October and I haven’t bought a pumpkin yet?!?!?  October totally got away from me.  I can’t believe Halloween is a few short days away.

The hubs was out of town on Saturday so it was just me and the kids.  We had such a fun day!!  First, we went to pick out a pumpkin.

My 7-year old wanted the biggest one he could find.  And then he insisted on carrying it himself.

After the pumpkin patch, we went to Party City to buy him a Halloween costume.  That place was crazy.  (Hence no pics).  Thankfully he knew exactly what he wanted so we walked in, got it and left.

From there, we went to World Market.  I hardly ever shop here, so I forget how cool this store is.  Check out this display they had:

shipyard pumpkin head

How many should I buy??

If you are looking for Shipyard Pumpkinhead, World Market has it!!  I was slightly afraid I wouldn’t see anymore of it after checking the local craft beer store on Friday.  They were out.  The Shipyard website says the closest place for me to find it is 90 miles away.  So I was really surprised when I happened upon this huge display.  I am proud to say – I only bought ONE 6-pack!  I don’t need to stock up on beer.  If it’s in the house, I’ll drink it.

The kids had fun looking at all the toys and candy in the store.

my purchases

I love anything pumpkin, so I couldn’t resist buying this pumpkin gnocchi and pasta sauce.  (I haven’t tried it yet, though.  I’ll let you know if it’s any good.)  And normally, I like to wait til after Thanksgiving for anything Christmas-related, but I simply had to have the red velvet cake coffee!!  Mmmmm.

Not sure what that move is … apparently Spiderman knows karate??

As soon as we got home, he had to try on his costume!  In fact, he’s worn it pretty much the whole weekend.  He’s already run two holes in the mask.  And then we had to have an entire discussion about why I won’t buy him another one.

HIIT Workout of the Day

While the little one was napping, I made the 7-year old do my workout with me.  I scaled it down a little for him.  While I was doing box jumps, he was doing high knee jumps.  While I was doing ball slams, he was doing jumping jacks.  He did awesome.  I was impressed.

Sunday was a total ‘blah’ day.  It was cold and dreary out, which pretty much screwed up our original plans.  So we stayed in.  The 7-year old’s favorite game is Sorry.  We played multiple rounds, all of which I lost.

The highlight of the day was cutting up the pumpkin we bought!  (And, if I’m cutting a pumpkin, it only seems appropriate to enjoy some pumpkin beer while doing so).

I purchased one of those pumpkin carving kits.  You know, the kind with the stickers and you just cut around them.  Made it so easy.

Confession time:  This is the first pumpkin I’ve ever carved!  I know – that’s crazy.  I’ve just never been really into it because of the gutting that has to happen first.  It’s all slimy in there.  And I really don’t like getting crap under my fingernails.  But this year, I sucked it up.  Why?  Because I wanted roasted pumpkin seeds!!!  Yum!!!  (Pictures and recipe coming later).


The pictures are a bit deceiving … makes it look like they actually helped.  lol


Sorry for the poor quality pics – these were all taken on my phone.

Nothing better than a big pot of soup on a cold rainy day!

This soup was so easy to throw together.  I’ll give you the recipe, but it’s different every time.  On Friday night we grilled extra chicken so there was left over cooked chicken, which made it even easier!  I found a leftover corn on the cob in the fridge too, so I cut off the corn and threw it in there.


1 can chicken broth

1 can great northern beans

1 can black beans

1 can corn

2 cans diced tomatoes with jalapenos

1 lb chicken, cooked and choppped

diced carrots (optional)

2 large handfuls of kale

2 cloves of fresh garlic

about 2 Tbsp of chili powder

That’s it.  Just dump it all in a big pot (hence the name, dump soup).  Simmer on medium for about 30 minutes, then turn in on low until you are ready to serve.  Top with cheese and sour cream, and jalapenos if you want!  🙂

There’s so much leftover, we’ll be eating on it for days.  (which is fine – usually tastes better the second day anyways).



Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

From WordPress:

Foreign. While foreign (rightly so) often brings up images of things outside of your own nation, it can also apply to things outside of or different from your normal environment, or even something which is out of place in general. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great examples of this :)  My photo is from a recent trip to Bulgaria, where my inability to understand Cyrillic characters was one of the things which made *me* feel foreign. 

Share a picture which means FOREIGN to you!

Now this one is a real challenge for me.  I’ve only ever been out of the country twice in my life, and both times it was to islands in the Caribbean.  Not really all that ‘foreign’.

The hubby and I love exploring, but it’s hard to go too far with small kids.

Earlier this year, we took a weekend trip to Helen, Georgia.  If you’ve never heard of Helen, it’s a super cute, quaint little German town in the mountains of North Georgia.

helen, georgia

helen, ga

helen ga

helen ga

Enjoying German beer!


When in foreign land, ALWAYS play mini-golf. 🙂

I took about 1,000 photos that weekend.  I wish I could share them all with you.  This is just a small sampling of the ones that looked the most “foreign”.


Weekend Recap: Part 2

(This is a continuation from Part 1.  You can read it here.)

So, we’re still in NC and it’s Sunday morning.

Check out the gorgeous trees in the background.

Since the house they are renting now is a bit small, it’s become a tradition that we pitch a tent in her front yard.  Fine with us.  It satisfies hubby’s need to go camping, and I suppose can rough it for two nights.  🙂

This was our view from the tent on Sunday morning … so peaceful.

Both my kids love her dog!

That face is too funny, but what you don’t see is that she is actually looking at the fire and “blowing” on it.

Sweet pic of my kids.

After breakfast, we walked over to the field next to her house to feed the horses a few apples.

My kids kept picking flowers out of her yard.  Sorry, Joy.

Time to harvest some tomatoes!!  Look at that bounty.  Little Lucy couldn’t stop eating them.  I think she may have had about 12.

Then we headed to Downtown Bakersville to check out their new gallery.  Both my sister-in-law, Joy Tanner, and her hubby, Will Baker, are potters.  They are owners in this Gallery, Mica.

Will Baker and Joy Tanner

After a quick lunch in the park to let the kids run (sorry, no pics!), we drove up to Roan Mountain.  Yes, we are conquering two mountains in two days!


View from the top of Roan Mtn

Notice the hat, gloves and scarves??  It was very chilly up in the higher elevations.

We must have worn the kids out because they both slept the majority of the 3-hour car ride home.  (Hallelujah!)

I wish I could share with you all the photos I took, but I’m afraid I would exceed WordPress’s upload limit.  So I’ll just leave you with my favorite one…


Weekend Recap: Fall Break and Mt Mitchell

Hubby’s sister lives in Western North Carolina.  It’s been a tradition every year to spend a weekend at their house during the summer.  This year, she was too busy during the July weekends to host us, so we put it off til October.  Boy, am I glad we did!!  This was the most PERFECT weekend to drive to North Carolina!  The trees were at their peak, and the colors were magnificent.

(I took over 400 pictures during the course of the weekend, so it took me some time to go through them all, edit them, and get them ready for a post.)

We drove up late Friday afternoon and didn’t arrive til after 7pm.  The kids were pretty good little travelers.  My 7-year old falls asleep pretty much every time he gets in the car.  But my 2-year old doesn’t like to miss anything.  She got a little mad that brother was sleeping instead of playing with her.

The fall colors were beautiful!

While drinking our coffee on Saturday morning, we made our plans for the day.  The first item on the agenda was a short little hike to a gorgeous waterfall.

hiking trail

waterfall roaring fork falls

Roaring Fork falls, Western NC

family photo time

Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway

We stopped for lunch at little picnic table by the water.

My kids love Subway!

Random photo op at a campground

We drove up to Mt. Mitchell, which is not only the highest point in North Carolina, but also the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.  The temperature at that elevation dropped at least 20 degrees from the valley.  And the wind was fierce.  We were seriously FREEZING!

mt mitchell

We hiked pretty much the whole day on Saturday with some driving in between.  A LOT of driving actually – on curvy mountain roads.  But I didn’t mind – there was so much to see.

Spooky forest on top of Mt Mitchell

View from the top of Mt Mitchell


And that concludes Saturday’s adventures.  Stay tuned for Part 2!  Many more photos to come!!  🙂


Monday Motivation – 10/22/12

Time for a big dose of inspiration.

(I need this today after a really fun weekend.)


Why is it so easy to get out of the habit and so hard to get back into it?

Question of the Day:  What new habit will you start today??

(My answer –  I am going to set my alarm for 20 minutes earlier so I can get a quick workout in before my shower.  Every. Day. This. Week.  No excuses.  I want this to become a habit).

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

From WordPress: SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them. My silhouette of the Colosseum in Italy I think still shows off the ancient landmark while bringing other details into focus.

Share a picture of a Silhouette with everyone!

I would say most of my “silhouette” photos were not intentional.  Backlighting trips me up sometimes.  I don’t usually intend to make it a silhouette unless I’m shooting my favorite subject, the sunset.

My best silhouette photos were from sunsets.  Hope you enjoy.

sunset over chickamauga

Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga, TN



Sunset and Canada Geese

These trees frequently make appearances as silhouettes in my photos.  They are in my backyard and usually blocking my view of the sunset.

Taken off my back deck

These two pictures were taken on the same night, within 15 minutes of each other.  It amazes me how much the sky can change in a matter of minutes.



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