Fitness, Food and Photography

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

Weekend Recap: Christmas Part Two and Family Game Day

Whew.  We had a busy weekend.  Hard to believe it’s over already.  We had such a good time – first with hubby’s family on Saturday and then my family on Sunday.

I wore my ‘HO HO HO’ shirt, which backward is ‘OH OH OH’.  LOL  Even though it was the 29th of December, we were pretending it was still Christmas Day.



One of my favorites parts of Christmas is always watching other people open the presents I buy for them.  I try to put careful thought into purchasing gifts and get things that I think they will really enjoy.  I could care less if I open anything.  Really.  I’m not just saying that.

more presents!!

Lunch was Egg Salad Sandwiches with chips and slaw.  YUM.

egg salad

my plate

my plate

My kids, however, were not quite as thrilled about egg salad as I was.


Well, this picture was taken BEFORE we gave them the sandwich.  They look unusually happy here.  Perhaps they don’t know what we’re serving for lunch.

present time

After lunch, it was time to open presents!!

cowboy boots

My daughter stomped around in my cowboy boots all afternoon.

sassy pants

Then she wore her new socks on her hands while she carried her Dr Seuss tote bag around.  I’m telling you … this kid is a TRIP!!!  She is constantly cracking me up.

pants on the head

Now she’s wearing her pants on her head.  (Thank you, Uncle Alan, for teaching her that!)  lol

baby lamb

And after yet another wardrobe change (into her brand new pajamas), she’s examining her new baby lamb.  I guess she decided he was alright so she gave him a hug.


Since today’s Elf4Health challenge was to do something for yourself, I tried to sneak away for a little quiet time with my hot tea by the tree.  It didn’t last very long, but it was the only quiet time I would get all day!

hot tea

Cute mug courtesy of Joy Tanner Pottery! 🙂

version5edited Elf for Health

Dinner was Chicken Tetrazzini.  I wasn’t thrilled about seeing all those carbs.  And it really just goes downhill from here!  (Might as well go ahead and take away my “Elf4Health” badge right now)!   🙂

chicken tetrazzini

Don’t get me wrong – it was delicious.  But I felt guilty for eating it.

dessert tray

I felt even worse after I had a piece of cheesecake.  Seriously, how can I resist cheesecake???  In my defense, I have not had one in over a year!  Yes, a full year.  The last cheesecake I had was the one I made for Thanksgiving last year ….  Southern Living’s Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake.  It was DIVINE! Here’s a pic:

last year's cheesecake


Who brought the chocolate????

mom and martha

I didn’t take any pictures while we were playing Apples to Apples.

Nancy and Andy

But this was towards the end of the evening when we played Scattergories.


So. Much. Fun.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite family game??  (We might need a few suggestions for our next get together)!!

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Last Things Thursday – 12/27/12

1. Last food you ate

I made a Turkey Taco Soup for dinner.  It was delicious.

Ground turkey, taco seasoning, black beans, tomatoes, corn and onions.  Topped with sour cream and jalapenos!  I should have taken pictures and posted the recipe because you’re going to want to make this!!!

2. Last beverage you drank

A little white wine with dinner

3. Last workout

A 30-minute treadmill interval that had me sweating!

4. Last thing you pinned

I love this bathroom transformation ….  maybe one day ….

Pinned Image

5. Last text message you sent

To my friend Alice to let her know that the boys were being good.  (Her son was spending the night with mine).

6. Last blog you visited

My new Elf’s brand new blog:

Yay, Alyssa!  I can’t wait to read more!!

7. Last place you visited

My office building yesterday.  And I have to go back again today.  😦

8. Last show you watched

Big Bang Theory – our new fave!

The Big Bang Theory Poster


9. Last thing you baked

That would be all the crap on Christmas.  Red Velvet cake balls, Peppermint Oreo Truffles, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars and Bourbon Balls.  Please come and get it out of my house!


10. Last photo you Instagrammed


My adorable daughter who apparently wants to be a photographer like Mommy.  🙂


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Thankful Thursday – Twenty Times Over

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge asked us to write down 20 things we are thankful for.

version3edited Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

So here goes…..  it might be a little predictable and trite, but how can I not be thankful for my family???

1.  My loving and supportive husband

2. My smart and energetic 7-year old son

3. My adorable and sweet 2-year old daughter

4. My crazy family

5. My fun-loving friends

6. My (continually improving) health

7. My job (it pays the bills)

8. My co-workers who make said job worth getting out of bed for!

9. My comfy bed

10. My cozy, warm house

11. My hometown of Knoxville, TN

12. My neighbors

13. My country

14. My freedom

15. My Nikon DSLR

16. My back deck situated on a hill (where I watch every sunset)

17. My sugar-free creamer which makes my coffee my favorite part of my morning

18. My squat rack and basement gym

19. My smart phone

20. All my faithful blog followers

I am very blessed!


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Last Things Thursday – 12/20/12

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  I’ve also been a terrible Elf this week.  I’ve been doing my challenges, but I haven’t been taking any pictures.  This week had great challenges, too!  (I’m referring to Elf4Health challenge sponsored by The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella).  For example, I made these wonderful Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach for dinner.  But I never took a single picture to document them.  Best part was – the kids loved them!!  So I’ll definitely make them again soon.  They were delicious and I even used the low-carb wraps instead of flour tortillas.  You couldn’t even tell!!

Ok, so I figured I needed to lighten the mood after my Debbie Downer post yesterday.  And I like this ‘last things’ survey so much that I may just make it part of my weekly routine.

1.  Last song I listened to:

I’ve been looping The Dirty Guv’nahs new album in anticipation of the concert on New Years Eve!  Can’t wait!!

Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies


2. Last workout:

Sadly, it’s been more than a few days since my last workout.  This week has been so busy I haven’t made time for exercise.  Although, I know as soon as I do, it will improve my mood drastically.

3. Last Instagram pic:

mickey christmas

my daughter, of course


4. Last food I ate:

As I said above, the last food I ate was the Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach.  But I didn’t take a picture of it.  The last food I photographed was my breakfast on Wednesday morning at our work Christmas party.  There was a full buffet of pastries, biscuits, hasbrowns and more.  Instead I was very good – only ate eggs and bacon with a side of fruit.


5. Last thing I pinned:

This totally cracked me up.

Pinned Image

6. Last text message I sent:

It was actually a response to my 7-year old’s teacher.  She told me to make sure he didn’t eat breakfast on Friday because she would bring food.  I asked her if I could make anything.  She said she was brining donuts.  So I offered to bring a healthy option …. Cuties!

7: Last blog I visited:

Besides The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella’s site so I could check was the Elf4Health Challenge was today, I also checked out Nutritiously Plated.  She just posted a few really good looking recipes like Gingerbread Waffles and Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes.  I’m going to have to try those out soon!!

8. Last TV show I watched:

We were catching up on the DVR last night and watched the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother.  We love that show.  I am so sad to hear that this is the final season.  Although I am glad we’ll finally find out who the Mother is!!  Anyone want to take a guess???

But what about that ending on Monday??  Any one else see it??  LOVED IT!!!  So sweet!  Though, I still don’t think Robin and Barney really go together.  Whatever.  “NOBODY ASKED YOU, PATRICE!”  lol


What I Ate Wednesday – 12/12/12

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means …  it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday.  Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for the link up!

As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s been a SUPER crazy week at work.  I had to do employee meeting’s at a client’s office every morning this week.  Normally, that’s not the problem.  The problem was this client is a manufacturing company so they have employees on all three shifts.  So in order to catch the third shifters before they leave and to catch the first shifters before they start, the meetings were held at 7 o’clock in the morning.  That also wouldn’t have been too terribly bad except that the client was also a 45-minute drive from my house.  I had leave by 5:45 every morning this week.  That’s more than 2 hours earlier than I normally leave.  Ouch.

As a result, my meal times were thrown off.  I ate breakfast really early, which meant I was ready for lunch MUCH earlier than usual.  The first two mornings, I just grabbed a Trader Joe’s ‘This Pumpkin Walked into a Bar’ cereal bar, which is yummy.  But it’s full of carbs and didn’t fill me up.


So today I made sure I left enough time to make an egg sandwich with spinach on a Trader Joe’s whole wheat British muffin.


Since I got up before the chickens, I drove to the client’s office in the dark.  The meeting was over and I was heading back to Knoxville while the sun was still rising.  I pulled over into a cemetery on the hill to take this shot.


Since I ate breakfast at 5:30am, I was hungry for a snack around 10am.  That’s when I got out the carrots and wasabi peas.  I know it’s a strange combination for 10 o’clock in the morning, but I wanted some crunch.

spinach salad

Lunch was a homemade spinach salad with yellow peppers, broccoli, carrots, onions, sunflower seeds and southwest ranch dressing.  YUM!


And since I am also an Elf4Health, today’s challenge called for us to eat our veggies early in the day, not wait til dinner time.  No problem.  I think I successfully conquered that challenge!!  🙂

Quick shout out to my new Elf buddy, Claire, who lives in the UK and blogs over at Flake and Cake.  She is so sweet and I am having a fun time getting to know her.  She just posted her first WIAW post.  Check it out!

Aren’t the clouds pretty?

I also managed to get in a quick walk/run at Lakeshore Park after work today.  I wanted to do a clever 12-12-12 WOD but 3 miles was all I had time for.  Plus, I was so exhausted from all the early morning wake-ups, it’s kind of amazing I even worked out at all.

chicken noodle soup

Since I wasn’t feeling 100%, hubby made some homemade chicken noodle soup for me.  Hot, creamy soup – just what the doctor ordered!!  In case you are wondering, that’s sriracha sauce drizzled on the top.  (Love that stuff)!!  The only thing it was missing was a few fresh jalapenos.  Unfortunately we were out.  We’ll make this recipe again very soon and when we do, I’ll take pics and post it for you.

new shoes

And finally, I love my UPS man this time of year!!  Look what was waiting on me when I got home – NEW SHOES!!!  I just ordered them 2 days ago.  Now that is FAST!  I really wanted some of the minimalist shoes as my next running shoe.  But when one of the coupon blogs I follow posted this deal from, I couldn’t resist.  They were $24 shipped!!  I love the gray color too.  Merry Christmas to me.


Weekend Recap: Concert, Pancakes and Cleaning

I had been anxiously awaiting this weekend for a few weeks.  Ever since we saw the Delta Saints in Market Square and found out they were having a CD release party at Exit/In in Nasvhville, we knew we had to go!

It was a really quick trip.  We didn’t even leave Knoxville til 5pm on Friday, and it’s a 2-1/2 hour drive to Nashville.  Thankfully, you gain an hour on the drive over when you cross from Eastern to Central time.  We had planned on eating at a local place called the Tavern, which came highly recommended by a friend who lives in town.  Unfortnately, by the time we dropped our stuff at the hotel and made it to the Tavern, it was 8 o’clock central time.  The concert started at 9pm and there was an hour long wait at the Tavern.  I’m sure it would have been good, but we couldn’t miss the concert.


So we ended up at a little sushi place across from the Exit/In, called Samurai.  I ordered Saki, of course!

drinking sake

My first sip of sake

Unfortunately, my phone was acting a little crazy.  So I didn’t get any pictures of the sushi.  Nor did I get any pictures of the opening band, The Black Cadillacs, who are also from Knoxville!  But thankfully it decided to work again when I wanted a few pics of the Delta Saints …

the delta saints

This concert was so totally worth the drive!!  They killed it!!  If you’ve never heard of the Delta Saints, you absolutely have to check them out.  They totally know how to rock…  New Orleans style.  A mix of blues and rock, very soulful rhythm.  And oh my goodness, Ben can sing!!!

delta saints

the delta saints 2

You need to listen to this video…  A Bird Called Angola.  And check out their new album with ‘Liar’ and ‘Death Letter Jubilee’.  They are my new favorite band!!

signing my name

Me signing my name on their sign

We found a deal on Expedia for this place called the Hotel Preston.  It ended up being a very cool, contemporary place.  I would totally go back there.

hotel preston

Despite the way the neon sign looks, the room was really nice.  We were up on the 10th floor and enjoyed the views of downtown Nashville from the room.

hotel room

We didn’t have much time on Saturday morning before we had to head back to town to pick up the kiddos.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go shopping or get breakfast.  Food won.  After a late night out, I wanted pancakes.

line for pancakes

Do you see that line out the door??  That’s the wait to get in.  And it was consistently backed up ALL morning!  People were standing in line for over an hour ….  to get PANCAKES!  I figured they must be pretty good so we decided to wait as well.

pancake pantry

pancake menu

I chose the Sweet Potato Pancakes.  They were the BEST pancakes I’ve ever eaten!!

sweet potato pancakes

sweet potato pancakes

And yes, that is a spoonful of butter on the side of the pancake.  I watched them as they spooned it out of these large buckets to put on every plate.

See the Batman building?

See the Batman building?

We hated leaving Nashville.  So much fun.  I think I could totally live there.

cleaning out drawers

Sunday, it was back to reality.  It was time to clean the house.  I’ve been meaning to do this for several weeks, and it just so happened that the #Elf4Health challenge this weekend was to clean out your closets.  I basically pulled everything out of my drawers, put back in the things I wanted to keep and then whatever was left on the floor was going to Goodwill.  That took most of the day.  It feels so good to purge!  I highly recommend it.

Click HERE for the Elf4Health calendar for the coming week.  If you’re not already signed up, you still have time to get in for next week.


I’ll leave you with an Instagram of the sunset I took this weekend.  The sky gave us beautiful sunsets on both Saturday and Sunday night …

instagram sunset


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