Fitness, Food and Photography

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What I Ate Wednesday: 3/6/13

Well, hello there.  How have you been??  I know, long time no blog.It’s been over a week since I even logged into WordPress.  I guess you could say I took a little holiday from social media.  Not intentionally, of course.  Life just got in the way. I wish I could tell you I was on a real vacation, but sadly, I wasn’t.  I wish I could tell you that I was purposefully taking some me-time.  Nope, just busy.

But what better day to make a come back if not on Wednesday????  Thanks of course to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the linkup!! So let’s get this party started!  First of all, let me say that I am not a workout-in-the-morning kind of person.  I am a sit-with-my-coffee-and-blog kind of person.  But yesterday, I got up early to get on the treadmill before my shower!  30 minutes of incline intervals.  After the treadmill, I jumped off and did 50 squats, 50 lunges, 25 push ups, and 25 overhead presses.  I was a sweaty mess by the time I got in the shower!

treadmill time

I didn’t take a picture of it, but my breakfast this morning was a protein shake.  I simply take a scoop of my cookies n’ cream whey protein powder, add a tablespoon of PB2, the rest of my cooled-off mug of coffee, top with water, then shake.  Yummy!! It had also snowed overnight.  Not much, but enough to delay school for an hour.

snow on my flowers

It also delayed me getting to work.As you can see from the tracks, I attempted multiple times to leave my driveway but it just wasn’t happening.  I would drive up, slide back down, drive up, slide back down.  The hill doesn’t look like much in the picture, but it definitely gets steeper closer to the road. So, funny story ….  I had a meeting at 10am at a client’s office very close to my house.  But my presentations were still sitting on my desk.  I texted my boss and asked him if he could grab the presentations and meet me out at the client’s office.  I even sent him this picture of my driveway to prove I wasn’t making this up.  Well, 30 minutes go by and I don’t hear from him.  At 9 o’clock I text him again.  Nothing.  So hubby tries to make it out of the driveway in my car.  He did it on the first try.  Whatever.  I made the path for him.  Anways, it takes me 20 minutes to get to work.  I walk in the door just at the moment we need to leave for the client’s office, and I notice he is not there.  So I call him on his cell phone, asking him what the plan was.  He said he would meet me there.  Fine.  But then I asked him if he got my text messages.  He said he had just woken up.  It was 9:30am!!!!!   Seriously??  So it’s a very good thing that I did drive all the way to work (only to drive right back to a place a few miles from my house), because otherwise no one would have had the presentations.


driveway tracks

By the time the meeting was over and I was back at my desk, it was 1pm and I was starving!!!!  I brought a salad from home.  It doesn’t look pretty. Perhaps it doesn’t travel well.  Or perhaps it doesn’t photograph well.  But it was delicious. Mixed greens, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, cheese, jalapenos, sriracha and ranch.  With deer meat. Yes, I said deer meat.  Hubby is a hunter so we typically have a venison roast in the freezer.  We recently put it in the crock pot so I’ve been using the leftovers for salads and wraps.  So yummy!

deer salad

For dinner, I was in the mood to cook.  But the only meat we had left in the fridge was ground beef.  So I made pizza meat loaf.  One of the kids’ favorites!!  (And possibly mine too).  With mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

kids eating meat loaf

(And before you comment on her lack of clothes, she won’t keep them on.  But it works out well during meal times because they she doesn’t get food on her clothes)!

my plate

So there you have it.  What I ate Wednesday.  I may have left out a few little snacks here and there.  But for the most part, that was it.Tell me – what did you eat Wednesday???  And did you prepare it yourself or did you go out?


Weekend Recap: Chocolate Wine and Cake Ballz

Once again, better late than never.  🙂  I seem to have a hard time getting a blog out on a Sunday or a Monday.  Not sure exactly why that is all about, but I’m not going to let it stop me from posting a weekend recap.

First of all, do you remember me telling you about this chocolate wine I found for Valentines Day??  I never imagined I would see it again until next February.  Well, imagine my shock and surprise when I found it at a local liquor store on Friday… AND there was a $10 mail in rebate if you bought 3 bottles.  Duh.  Guess how many I bought???  lol

chocolate rouge

That was my idea of a fun Friday night!!  🙂   And this was the kids’ idea ….  naked and playing video games.  They are so funny.  Of course, she is not actually playing that Nintendo DS, she is just pushing buttons.

kids playing

Saturday was a beautiful day!  So I had to take my daughter out for a walk in the neighborhood.  I actually started out on the treadmill with an episode of Biggest Loser, but then realized that I would be much better served to take it outside.  Our neighborhood is really hilly, so it’s a great workout pushing a stroller up all the hills.

You do realize that you can’t take a walk without Mickey, Minnie AND George, right??

walking the neighborhood

After the walk and the shower, we were headed down to my in-laws house for an afternoon gathering.  It’s an hour-long drive in the car.  The little one wouldn’t nap.  So that made for a really evening… and night.  Why is it that if they don’t get their nap in, they then don’t sleep well at night.  You would think they’d be so tired that they’d sleep great!  Not with this one.

Dinner was Taco Soup with a variety of toppings.  It was fun watching how everyone made their soup.  Some put chips on the bottom, some on the top, and of course, mine are on the side.  Everyone’s was different.

taco soup

You know me ….  I have to take a pic of the beautiful sunset ….

sunset through the three

If it’s a birthday in hubby’s family, then carrot cake is standard issue.  It was delicious!!

happy birthday

And finally, no birthday is complete without cake balls!!  Red Velvet Cake Ballz.  (My specialty)  And a favorite with the fam.

cake ballz

Most of Sunday was spent doing homework.  I still had a massive chapter on muscles to finish reading, homework to do, discussion questions to answer, and a test to take!  But I am happy to report I got a 93 on my test!  Yipee.

It was another beautiful day so I made sure I took the time to get outside for another walk with the babe in the stroller.  My workout actually started on the treadmill with an episode of ‘The Biggest Loser’ but then decided I would be better served to take my workout outside.

Question of the Day:  Have you ever made cake balls before?  And what is your favorite treat on your special day??


What I Ate Wednesday: 2/13/13

It’s Wednesday again ….  you know what that means!!  WIAW!  Always love the linkup, courtesy of Jenn at Peas and Crayons.
So this Wednesday started a little differently than normal.  My daughter had a doctor’s appointment at 9am.  So hubby and I took advantage of the delayed start to finally go and get our blood work done.  (My company will put $1,500 into a Health Reimbursement Account if you complete a biometric screening.  It’s part of our Wellness program).  This is a fasting blood draw which means … no coffee til after it’s over.  I didn’t realize just how addicted I actually was til I couldn’t have it.

The whole plan actually worked out perfectly.  The lab was one exit down from her doctor’s office.  The blood draw was quick and easy.  When we were done, we still had 30 minutes to spare before we needed to be back for her appt.  Unfortunately our only close breakfast options were either Subway or McDonalds.  So we chose Subway, of course.  And actually, I’m glad I did.  I was worried about what kind of back-room nasty coffee they would have, but it was Seattles Best Coffee.  It was yummy!

We got a footlong and all 3 split it. (Since during the month of Feburary ALL footlongs are $5)  It’s bacon, egg white and cheese on flat bread with spinach and olives and a small squeeze of ranch.  Delish!!


Too bad I had to share….   But isn’t she a cute breakfast date?!?  I don’t mind sharing with that adorable face.

breakfast date

She was overjoyed when she realized that Mickey was on TV at the doctor’s office.  As you can see, she brought her own Mickey with her.  She is absolutely obsessed with Mickey.  I think we need to get this girl to Disney World STAT!

So you can just imagine the fit she pitched when they came for her before the episode was over….  But it was fine.  The appointment went really well.  She was approved for some speech therapy – once a week til her 3rd birthday.  I’m excited for this girl to start talking.  (Of course, I’m sure once she does, we’ll be wishing we hadn’t taught her). lol

watching Mickey

Busy morning.  I was back at work by 10am.

Since I had spent my “lunch hour” at the doctor’s office this morning, I ate lunch at my desk.  I had some carrots, an apple, greek yogurt, and some Trader Joe’s Wasabi Trek Mix.  Yum.


And all of that fiber filled me up.  I didn’t even have a desire to snack on anything during the afternoon hours, not even the chocolate chip cookies that a carrier rep brought us!!!

Today is my third day of doing the Jillian Michaels Detox Water.  Basically, it’s 60 ounces of water with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and cranberry juice, along with dandelion root tea bag.  It doesn’t taste bad at all.  In fact, it goes down quite smoothly.  I have to split it up between 2 Nalgene bottles (32oz each).

detox water

The first day, I was really tired.  I wondered if that was a side effect of the detox.  But today is Day 3 and I feel great.  In fact, I do think I have a bit more energy.  Of course, it could also have something to do with the 40 oz of coffee I had this morning.  (That second 20-oz-er had an extra “Shot” of caffeine in it too).  lol

I had so much energy, in fact, that I raced home and jumped on the treadmill for an awesome interval workout.

treadmill workout

While I was on the treadmill, hubby was making dinner!!!  Love him!!!

bbq chicken

This is a shredded BBQ chicken sandwich with slaw and homemade sweet potato fries.  The chicken had been in the slow cooker all day.  It was delicious!!!   (Of course I have to top mine with sriracha sauce and jalapenos, cause that’s just how I roll)  🙂

So today is Ash Wednesday and I’m trying to decide what to give up for Lent.  I’m thinking either ice cream or french fries.  I don’t normally eat french fries or potatoes of any kind, but lately I’ve had a little more than my fair share.  I can’t give up coffee.  I won’t.  I’ve tried saying “all sweets” before, but that’s just too hard.  Inevitably, anything I give up, I decide it’s the ONE thing I absolutely have to have.

Question of the Day:  What are you giving up for Lent???

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What I Ate Wednesday: 2/6/13

I’ve totally been slacking on the Blog this week.  It’s been a crazy busy week at work, lots of meetings and lots of traveling!!

This morning started with a 90-minute drive to a client’s office for open enrollment meetings.  So I enjoyed my usual kale shake on the way.  (With my seat warmers on, of course).

kale shake

After the meetings were over, my client and I had lunch at the Cracker Barrel ….  Mmmmmmmm …..  Cajun spiced grilled catfish with 3 veggie sides.  I couldn’t resist fried okra.  I haven’t had fried okra in a while and it was so yummy!!!  This catfish was perfect.  I don’t normally eat at the Cracker Barrel, and if I do go it’s usually for breakfast.  But I may have to go back just to get this catfish again.  Yummers! 🙂


And I must have been hungry (or it was just THAT good) ….  but I ate every single bite of that food!!!

It was 60 degrees when I got home from work today.  I couldn’t resist taking the girl out for a walk!!  Absolutely perfect weather!!

walking workout

I think I might be getting a touch of Spring Fever!!!  I know it’s a little early.  We’ll probably get snow again before winter comes.  But I am loving this small heat wave!

Check out that sunset I saw while I was walking!

sunset during walk

When I got home from my walk, I threw a few things in the skillet ….  can you guess what I’m making???

chicken and veggies

Fajitas!!!!!!!   The only thing that would have made it better would have been avocado.


Well, that was my Wednesday.

I’ll leave you with the sweetest note I found in my son’s backpack today.  I imagine the assignment was to write a Valentines Day note.  So he chose to write his to his sister …..

valentines note

Is that not the sweetest note you’ve ever read?!?!  So so precious.  He loves his sister so much.  And she adores him.  I am so blessed!!!



Weekend Recap: Sleepover and Meatloaf

Why do weekends always seem to go by so quickly???  Too quickly.

I discovered something yummy this weekend.  Probably something I shouldn’t have discovered.  But I’ll share it with you anyways.  Well, it’s more like a confession of sorts.  I dunked these Anna’s Thins into my coffee and it was really yummy!  When I was a kid, I used to dunk cookies in milk.  But I don’t drink milk anymore.  So I really haven’t dunked anything in a long time.  I don’t know what possessed me to dunk the cookie in my coffee, but oh what a treat it was!!  Now I can’t buy those Anna’s cookies anymore.  🙂

coffee and cookies

On Saturday night, one of Luke’s friends was spending the night.  Normally we do a pizza for a sleepover, but instead I decided to do Meatloaf.  But this special meatloaf tastes like a pizza!!

Here’s a picture of the 12-year old recipe.  When we worked at First Union Securities together back in the day, my friend Chris wrote down this recipe for me.  When I got it out on Saturday night, I realized it had been a long time since I spoke to her.  So I texted her just to say hi.  We worked side by side for 11 years up til last year. And I’ve hardly talked to her this past year. It’s sad when close friends drift apart.


In case you can’t read that, here’s the recipe:

Pizza Meatloaf

1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup Mix  (optional) – I didn’t have this on hand so instead I used about 2 tsps each of Oregano, Basil and Garlic Powder.
2 pounds ground beef  (I used Laura’s Lean – 94% lean)
1 -1/2 cups of bread crumbs (mine were Italian flavored by Kroger brand)
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped peppers (combination of green and red)
1 cup pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine all ingredients except 1/2 the sauce and 1/2 the cheese
Shape into loaf pan.  Top with remaining sauce.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake another 10 minutes.  Then let it stand for 10 minutes after you take it out.
You almost can’t mess it up.  I think it would be good with olives or mushrooms in there too (or anything else you might put on top of a pizza).


Thankfully my daughter was feeling a bit better this weekend.  She loved her some comfort food – meatloaf, mashed potatoes and cornbread!!

There were veggies too …. broccoli and cauliflower, just none made it onto her plate.

family plus one

The boys LOVED it!!!!  They cleaned their plates, even the broccoli and cauliflower.

So remember all those home remedies I told you about in my last post?  Well, they didn’t work on Saturday night.  She woke up crying about 5 times between midnight and 3:30am.  Finally at 3:30am, I took her downstairs and stayed up with her.  It was the perfect opportunity to catch up on Revenge.  I’d heard a lot of people talking about this show, but I didn’t start it last year when it came out and now it’s in the Second season.  But guess what?!?  Season One is on Netflix!!  If you have Netflix, I highly recommend you start from Episode 1.  It is SUCH a good show!!  I am totally hooked!  I’m almost done with the first season.  Now I need to figure out how to catch up on Season 2.

salmon salad

Salmon Spinach Salad

So Sunday was more or less a rest day.  I still managed to get some cleaning done.  And some laundry.  Nothing too crazy.  Bathrooms require more energy than I had yesterday so those did not get done.

I did enjoy a yummy lunch with my leftover salmon.  I threw it on a bed of spinach with some mushrooms, carrots, grape tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese and jalapenos, topped with sriracha sauce (of course).  It was delicious!

After a nice nap, I bundled up the babe and took her for a walk in the neighborhood.

bundled up for walk

Yeah, she doesn’t look sick, does she???

And when we got back, we all enjoyed some warm beverages.  Hot chocolate for the kids and hot tea for me.  With marshmallows of course!  🙂

warm drinks

Questions of the Day:  1) What food do you serve at sleepovers??   2) Have you watched Revenge?   3) And what is your favorite hot beverage??


Election Day Fun

Today was an In-Service day, so my 2nd grader didn’t have school.  Hubby was out of town so I took the day off to stay home with the kids.  We had a great day!!  (Made me realize how much I might enjoy being a stay-at-home mom if given the opportunity)!

Watching the Backyardigans

We started the day out with some cartoons.  Curious George and Backyardigans, of course.

I made myself a veggie omelet for breakfast.

So it’s not the prettiest, but it sure tasted good!

I tried to finish the cleaning I started over the weekend.

Time to make my grocery list and organize my coupons!  I tried to recruit my 7-year old to help me clip the coupons but he’s a lefty and complained about the scissors the whole time.

just playin’

Meanwhile, the 2-year old is too young to help with chores so I let her play with the Little People.

Yes, I know I need new shoes! 🙂

After the chores were done, I needed a workout.  Having both kids with me, it was just easy to jump on my treadmill in my house rather than going to the gym.

The workout looked like this:

Minutes 0-5:  4.5mph at 1.5 incline

Minutes 6-10: 4.0mph at 8.0 incline

Then I did 50 walking lunges, 25 air squats, 15 military pushups, and 25 crunches.  Followed by 30 second plank.

Minutes 11-15: 4.5mph at 1.5 incline

Minutes 16-20: 4.0mph at 8.0 incline

Then 50 walking lunges, 25 air squats, 15 military pushups and 25 crunches.  Followed by 30 second plank.

Minutes 21-25: 4.5mph at 1.5 incline

Minutes 26-30: 4.0mph at 8.0 incline

And final round of 50 walking lunges, 25 air squats, 15 military pushups and 25 crunches.  Followed by a 60 second plank.

Yes, my legs are jello now!

Lunch time!  The kids love whole wheat wraps!!  Usually I make it a peanut butter and jelly wrap, but they’ll pretty much eat anything if you put it in a wrap.

I didn’t take a pic of my lunch, simply because it wasn’t anything elaborate.  I just had almonds and apple slices with peanut butter.  Nothing fancy.

And I’m not going to lie …  my favorite part of the whole day …  NAP TIME!  Yes, I napped.  I’m not ashamed.

And, I have to share my successful shopping trip with you.  This might be one of my best yet!  I am not an extreme couponer, but I do clip the coupons that come in the Sunday paper, I print coupons off the internet, and I load e-coupons onto my Kroger card.  I also like to pair the weekly sales with coupons to maximize my savings.  It worked well this week.

As you can see from the receipt, I saved more than I spent.  And I have to tell you …  I bought plenty of produce, as well as shrimp, pork chops and ground beef (which there are rarely coupons for).  I also stocked up on laundry detergent, shaving cream and vitamins (because of good coupons).  For example, the Nature Made vitamins were on sale – buy one get one free.  So I found two bottles that were $11.49 each.  I also had 2 coupons for $2 off one.  So, for the 2 bottles of vitamins, I would have paid $23, but instead paid only $7.49.  I get really excited about deals like that!

And, I racked up my fuel points!  I love Kroger!!  🙂

My grocery helper

Question of the Day:  What is the best deal you ever got at the grocery store?


Fashion Attempt #2 and Froyo

Yesterday, in my What I Ate Wednesday post, I showed you a picture of what I wore for the day.  In another attempt at being slightly fashionable, I went shopping, bought a new dress and matching boots.  What do you think?

Don’t worry – I’m not heading to the runway any time soon.  It just beats the boring black pants with a boring one-tone sweater.  I’ve really got to stop being so boring!!  🙂

So after another long day of meetings, I was excited to relieve a little stress on the track.  The weather was beautiful, so I set off with my headphones on.  I covered 4 miles.  Not running the whole way, not even really half way either, but enough that I was feeling pretty good.  And my mind was clear.

Breakfast casserole

For dinner, we used the leftover Johnsonville sausage patties that I told you about yesterday to make a Breakfast Casserole.  Ingredients:  egg, sausage, cheese and hashbrowns.  YUM!!  The kids devoured their portions!!

And after dinner, we wanted to surprise the kids with a little treat…  Frozen Yogurt, of course.  We decided to try a new place.  (Well, it’s not that new – I think it’s been there for a year, but we’ve never been there before.)  It’s called Koolioz.

Lucy sat and ate her own cup.

Sadly, though, it really wasn’t that good.  In fact, it was the worst of all the Fro-Yo’s I’ve ever had.  The texture was weird, and it varied between flavors.  Some were thick, others runny.  I think Menchie’s is still my fave.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite place to get Frozen Yogurt?  And what is your favorite flavor??



What I Ate Wednesday – 10/10/12

The day started at 4:30am when my alarm went off.  I had to leave the house at 5:45am to be at a client’s office by 6:15am for employee meetings that started at 6:30am.  I am NOT a morning person.  You would think 75 minutes would be enough time to get ready while the chickens are still asleep.  But after hitting the snooze button a couple of times and taking a longer-than-normal shower in hopes that the water would wake me up (instead it put me to sleep), I was running a little behind.  So I quickly darted out the door with only my coffee in hand.  I did, however, manage to grab a banana and this protein shot, and shove them into my purse.

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t have time to eat them.  The meetings ran long and I had to quickly dash to another meeting right after this one.  I was almost too busy to think about food….  UNTIL …  my stomach started growling (very loudly) while I was conducting the 11am meeting.  I was afraid my stomach was louder than I was!

So embarassing!

As soon as the meetings were over, I quickly found the nearest Chick-Fil-A and ordered the Southwest Chargrilled Chicken Salad.  Ahh..  Finally.

I had a few minutes to catch up on things while I sat and ate.

So I notice other bloggers posting pictures of their wardrobes.  I’m not huge on fashion…  but I’m not a slob either.  I try to buy clothes I like without much regard for the current fashion trends.  If I like it, I wear it.

So this is my attempt at being fashionable.  Like the space boots?  lol

Anyways, by the time I got home, I was exhausted.  BUT, it was a gorgeous day so I still managed to get in a nice 45 minute walk in our hilly neighborhood, pushing my daughter in the stroller.  When I got home, I did a series of pushups and pullups (5 of each, for 5 rounds).

Dinner time.

I found this box of patties at Kroger.  They were on clearance and looked pretty good.  It even says right on the box ‘Better than your ordinary burger.’

It wasn’t.  It was weird.  It tasted like a breakfast sausage.  Don’t get me wrong – I love breakfast sausage.  But not on my burger.  So with the leftovers, we are going to chop them up and use them in a breakfast casserole tomorrow.

And finally, no hard day would be complete without a few bites of ice cream.  🙂  I also took a chance on this new product I found at Kroger.  Pumpkin Pie ice cream by Turkey Hill.  Oh my!  I am in LOVE with this new ice cream.  It doesn’t beat Blue Bell, but it comes VERY close!!  If you see this in your grocer’s freezer, I highly recommend you take a carton home with you!!

So that was it – What I Ate Wednesday!  I can’t wait to see what everyone else ate too.


What I Ate Wednesday – 9-26-12

Peas and Crayons

Once again, thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for the fun linkup.  I look forward to this every week!!  This is the last Wednesday in September.  Gasp!  Can you believe October will be here next week?!?  ….And then it will be Thanksgiving before we know it ….. and then Christmas shortly after that…. and then a brand new year!!!  Oh my!!  Let the 4th quarter panic attacks begin.

Deep Breath.

It will be okay.

Baby Steps.

How about I just show you What I Ate today!  🙂

Of course, I started out with my usual cup of coffee.  I love coffee.

kale protein shake

Yeah, I’m predictable …  I had the usual kale shake for breakfast.  But oh wait, it wasn’t kale today – it was Spinach!  Ah, see – I’m shaking things up!  🙂

And notice the University of Tennessee cup ….  GO VOLS!!!  🙂

morning snack

Morning snack.  I love raw veggies.

For lunch, I headed out for a few errands and ran by Trader Joe’s to grab some produce.  I love Trader Joe’s.  (Apparently there is a ‘love’ theme here).



They have a tiny little deli section where there are all kinds of different salads, wraps and other things that were all very reasonably priced.  And also very fast.  I’ll have to remember that for another day.  The buffalo chicken wrap looked awesome.  But I’ve been craving sushi for a while now.  In fact, I told my hubby I wanted sushi on my birthday weekend, but we just couldn’t fit it into all the other fun.



I couldn’t eat too much.  It really filled me up.  And that tiny little white packet full of wasabi was awesome.  It was exactly the right amount of heat, which for me is a lot!  If my nose doesn’t hurt while I’m eating sushi and wasabi, then somebody didn’t make it right!  The hotter the better!

About 3:30pm, my sweet tooth wanted a treat:

It says it’s infused with spicy red chili.  Hmm.  Well, if it is, I can’t taste it.  Although it could be that my taste buds were burned off with that wasabi earlier.  (kidding)

After work, I had to give blood for cancer research!  No, really!  How cool is that?!?

I am proud to participate in a 20-year cancer research study by the American Cancer Society.  The study is still open all across the country.  I heard they were looking for a total of 300,000 to participate.  If you want to know more about how you can help, click this link.

After taking my measurements and giving blood, I headed over to the Duck Duck Goose consignment sale to pick up my check and my unsold stuff.

From looking at the load I put back in my car, you would have thought I didn’t sell a thing.  The pile looked the same as what I took in there.  My husband was not too thrilled about carting all that unsold stuff back down into the basement.  BUT, I actually sold $202!  (Then you take out their 30% cut and my $15 participation fee), and my check was for $126.  That’s cool.  I’ll take it.  I only spent $84 at the sale, so I call that a WIN!

By the time I got home, it was 7pm and I was STARVING!!!

But guess what?!?  Hubby had dinner waiting on me!!! How sweet is that?!?


Homemade fajitas.  Chicken, onions, peppers, cheese, broccoli slaw, avocado and hot sauce!  YUM!!!  He did such a good job.

After dinner, we took the kids for a walk around the neighborhood, just to get everyone’s wiggles out.  My son didn’t have a very good day at school yesterday.  So we used the time to talk about his actions.

When the kids went to bed, the hubs and I plopped down on the couch and watched the latest episode of ‘Parenthood’.  Do you watch this show?  I used to love it, but my goodness, it’s gotten deep.  Every episode is a tear jerker.  The writers need to bring a little joy and happiness to this family or they are going to lose me.

I needed a little sweet fix.

I saw this flavor at the grocery store and couldn’t resist buying it.  I was hoping it would be as good as Blue Bell’s Red Velvet Cake.  (Read my review HERE)  It was NOT!  In fact, it couldn’t hold a candle to Blue Bell.  Sadly though, you can’t find Blue Bell’s Red Velvet Cake right now.  (One can only hope they will bring it back for the holidays).

I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t like it very much.  It meant that I didn’t eat very much.

So there you have it.  That’s What I Ate Wednesday!  🙂


Weekend Recap: Birthday Celebrations

Sorry I’m a little late in posting this weekend recap.  I guess I had a little too much fun.  I’m still recovering.  🙂

It’s so much harder to get away for the weekend when you have kids, which is why we don’t get to do it that often.  Greg wanted to take me on a trip for my birthday, but we only had one night without the kids.  In less-than- 24-hours, we tried to pack in as much food, photography and fun as possible!

Growing up, I lived a stone’s throw from Chattanooga.  We went shopping in Chattanooga almost every weekend.  If you wanted to go to a nice restaurant, you went to Chattanooga.  So to me, Chattanooga is not that exciting.  But over the last 15 years, they have done a LOT to that area to make it exciting!  Downtown is bustling with people – families and kids – walking all over, from the Tennessee Aquarium to the Discovery Museum to the Walking Bridge and Coolidge Park.  So many interesting things to see – the buidings, the art, the water.  It’s beautiful!

We arrived downtown just in time for sunset.


downtown chattanooga

We parked on the Coolidge Park side of river so we could walk across the walking bridge to get to all the downtown attractions.  Downtown Chattanooga is alive –  it’s hopping, it’s cool.  Almost makes me wish I lived there!

Our first stop was at a restaurant called Taco Mac.  It had been probably 7+ years since I’d been to a Taco Mac, and I remembered it being really good.  Unfortunately I either remembered wrong or my tastes have changed.  It was just ok.

They have a HUGE beer selection, but it was crazy expensive.  I started off with a Magic Hat #9.

If a place is known for their buffalo wings, then what should you order?  The Buffalo Wings, of course!  The hubs and I split a half dozen.

taco mac buffalo wings


hair of the dog

From there, we were enticed into an English pub by a British flag door.  I wish I had gotten a picture of it.  The name of the bar was Hair of the Dog.

It was here that I discovered my new favorite beer…..  Pumpkinhead by Shipyard.  Seriously yummy!!  Almost doesn’t even taste like beer.  Apparently it’s hard to find, so I’m hoping that some craft beer stores in Knoxville have it, or at least know how to order it!!!

best beer ever!

best beer ever!

After this, we found some live music – a guy and his guitar, so we sat and listened for a while.  It was obvious that the college students were pretty drunk as they all went completely nuts when he started the intro to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and started dancing where there was no dance floor.  I wish I had gotten a video for you.  I didn’t even think to snap a pic, I was so enjoying the people-watching.

We finished the (very late) night at a German restaurant, Brewhaus.


We ate bad and drank more beer…  isn’t that what birthdays are for??

This was my attempt at a nightscape.  It’s a little blurry.  Perhaps I should have used a tripod.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have drunk that much beer.  LOL  Either way, the pic is a FAIL!

The next morning, we just walked around, enjoying the scenery… and the quiet.  We were enjoying the fact that we weren’t having to yell at anyone to calm down, stop running, leave your sister alone, etc etc.  You get the point.

Here’s the walking bridge in the daylight.

Birds and butterflies…. some of my favorite things to photograph!

Do you see the crane watching those board surfers?

Too many things to photograph.  I could take pictures all day.

Time for (a very late) lunch.

I love Greek food.  So this cute little restaurant called Taziki’s caught my eye.  (I had no idea it was a chain.  I’m thinking Knoxville needs one)!!

The food was fresh and delicious.  I had a Greek Salad Gyro with chicken.  The hubs had the Chicken Gyro with a “side” salad.  Seriously, that was a side salad – it was HUGE.  I would definitely go back there!

After our lunch, we didn’t have much time left before we had to pick up the kids.  No time for our previously planned hike.  That’s ok – I wasn’t too sad since we’d been walking all morning.

We headed up to the top of Lookout Mountain.  The houses up on the mountain are gorgeous.  Just check out that view!!  It’s amazing.

Yeah, I could live there!  🙂

Time to get back to reality….  and to healthy eating …..

But not before one final birthday celebration.  My mother-in-law made her famous carrot cake.  Yum.

It was an eventful and exhausting 24 hours.

Question of the Day:  If you had only 24 hours without the kids, where would you go and what would you do??



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