Month: November 2013

Fun Filled Weekend, Meatless Monday #3, and Thanksgiving Eve!

I am pretty sure that was one of my longest posts ever, but it was totally necessary. I have been super busy lately, which explains my lack of blogging. So here is a little bit of what is happening in my life.

This past weekend was a cold one here in Texas, which was perfect for Ryan and I to begin decorating our house for Christmas! The first thing we did was go to Target and look for our first Christmas tree!

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The rent house we are in right now isn’t that big, so we didn’t need a huge tree. We found a perfect, pre-lit, 6 foot tree. It was the last one left, so we hurried and got it before someone else did!

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We also don’t have too many ornaments yet, but we have a few, which is perfect for now! I can’t expect for us to have a ton of ornaments to start with. After all, it is our first married Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here is our tree all decorated in our house!

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Ryan’s parents got rid of a bunch of their old Christmas decorations, so Ryan and I took them since we knew we would need them eventually. It was so nice to have a bunch of things to put up in our house and make our home more festive! The tree skirt around our tree was actually Ryan’s parents. Here’s the top of our kitchen cabinets.

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I LOVE CHRISTMAS! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Saturday night my parents also came over to bring us a few things so I cooked crockpot chicken taco chili from Skinnytaste. I have made this for Ryan and I before and we always love it, so I knew my parents would too. This is also a great meal because it makes a ton! So it’s great if you have people coming over, or if you just love leftovers like me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also made these healthy homemade cornbread muffins for the first time, and they were a hit with everyone! I will definitely be making them again!

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I also couldn’t help but put on this Santa hat. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It was a fun night, and I loved getting to host my parents for dinner.

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I didn’t get a picture with my Dad, but I did get this one with my Mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday Ryan and I finished decorating our house for Christmas, and we went to our church for a couple of hours that afternoon to help decorate the church with Christmas decorations. While we were there, Ryan and I actually were asked to be Mary and Joseph in our church’s Christmas show this Sunday! I honestly felt honored that we were asked! We don’t have to do much; we just walk in holding a baby and hand it to someone else, so I am glad we don’t have any lines to memorize. So this was definitely unexpected, but pretty cool! ๐Ÿ™‚ Our church is doing a different Christmas show starting this Sunday every Sunday until Christmas, but I think we are only in the show this Sunday.

Meatless Monday #3

Monday we had our third Meatless Monday, and it was a success! I used thisย marinated grilled shrimp recipe, but I sauteed the shrimp in a skillet and cut the recipe in half since I wasn’t cooking two pounds of shrimp. I ate my shrimp with quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and then broccoli, squash, and mushrooms.

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My opinion: This was really good, and if you make this I highly recommend mixing your shrimp with the quinoa because when the marinade mixes in with the quinoa it is delicious!

Ryan ate his shrimp in a wheat tortilla with avocado and cheese and then had sweet potatoes and green beans.

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Ryan’s opinion: He really liked it! This was his favorite fish recipe we have had so far. So we will be having shrimp more. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still want to experiment with different types of fish though.

Thanksgiving Eve

I am so excited that today is Thanksgiving Eve! I have been up since 5:00 this morning (I woke up naturally without my alarm; I can’t sleep in), and I have already completed a quick workout and am about to eat breakfast. The rest of my day will be spent getting ready for family coming over. My brother-in-law (Ryan’s oldest brother), sister-in-law, and their three kids are all staying with us tonight through Saturday, and then Ryan’s parents are staying with us Saturday night, so I have some last minute cleaning I need to do. I also need to run to the grocery store to get some last minute things to make sure we have plenty of food for everyone here. I don’t have to cook anything for Thanksgiving, but since we will have people staying at our house, I want to make sure we have plenty of food so that everyone can eat here when they are hungry. Tonight we are going out to eat to Cheesecake Factory with Ryan’s whole family, which will be so nice since we aren’t all together much (Ryan, his two brothers, and his parents all live in different parts of the state).

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving we are going to eat lunch with Ryan’s family, and then have dinner with my family. It works out great that this year my family is having their Thanksgiving meal at dinner so that Ryan and I can make both of our families’ celebrations, but that is so much food for one day! I am definitely going to try to not eat too much at either meal so that I can enjoy the food at both without feeling totally stuffed and gross.

Speaking of food on Thanksgiving, I want to challenge everyone to totally enjoy their Thanksgiving with their families and friends. Don’t worry that you aren’t eating the healthiest foods, just enjoy. That doesn’t mean you have to stuff your face and eat until you can’t breathe, just eat proper portions, and savor every bite. No need to stuff yourself, but there is also no need to feel guilty for treating yourself to some yummy Thanksgiving food. It’s all about moderation. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoy this time with your family and friends!

Questions:

1. Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?

2. Any different types of fish I should try? The past three weeks we have had tilapia, salmon, and shrimp. Tilapia was my husband’s least favorite.

3. What are your Thanksgiving plans?

4. Favorite Thanksgiving food? My Mammy’s dressing! She makes the best. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and corn casserole; I could make a meal of these two foods alone.ย 

5. Are you going black Friday shopping? I don’t know yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Mini Family Vacation Recap (A Little Late)

So I know I am late on this, but I am finally (one week later), doing a recap on our mini family vacation last weekend. I fully intended on doing a post about our weekend last Monday, but we got home late Sunday and I was too tired to type up a post. Then Monday I was busy doing some food prep for the week since I couldn’t over the weekend, and then Ryan got sick so I made a late night trip to WalMart to get him some medicine. Tuesday I had time to write up a post for What I Ate Wednesday, but then Wednesday night I started applying for schools and that took much longer than expected. Thursday night I had three papers to write for my last college seminar that I had yesterday, so that occupied my whole night. So here I am, finally doing this recap. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a blast last weekend though! We went to my aunt and uncle’s new cabin that they recently bought, and it was so fun because not only were Ryan and I there, but so were my parents, brother, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, cousin, and her husband and two little boys. This was such a special time, and there were definitely a lot of laughs the whole time.

Here are some pictures of inside the cabin.

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I loved the kitchen! We ate a ton of good meals, so a lot of cooking happened in here this weekend!

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The cabin was a five bedroom cabin so everyone got their own room. This was me and Ryan’s room.

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The living room was open and big, and I loved the high ceilings.

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The back porch was perfect with big, wooden rocking chairs and a hot tub! You can bet Ryan and I enjoyed the hot tub Saturday night after dinner!

This weekend we all worked quite a bit on Saturday to help my aunt and uncle make their cabin perfect! Ryan worked with my cousin’s husband, Clint, on helping put together this children’s play set outside, while the rest of us pulled weeds and vines off of trees and out of the ground.

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Here was the finished play set! They did great!

Ryan, me, my parents, and brother and SIL also made some time to go sightseeing around the cabin. We drove around and stopped at this beautiful spot to take some pictures.

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Love my parents!

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Handsome husband ๐Ÿ™‚

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Had to get everyone squeezed together for a family picture!

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I have such an amazing brother and SIL! All four of us being together is so special to me and always fun!

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Sunday morning the six of us went out for a walk with our two little cousins. The weather was perfect, and I seriously love just spending time in the beautiful outdoors! The huge trees were so beautiful!

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We also played some horse shoes whenever we had free time.

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I was pretty excited to start this book last weekend. I have to finish soon so I can go see the movie!

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All of the meals we had were amazing, but the only meals I remembered to snap pictures of were breakfasts on both days, and then our lunch before we left. Saturday morning we had bacon egg and cheese sandwiches on wheat English muffins.

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Sunday morning we had biscuits with sausage gravy, and my Aunt Nancy makes the absolute best sausage gravy! I also had an apple with mine.

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Before we left we all ate at a good pizza place close by, and my Aunt and I shared this delicious veggie pizza!

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This pizza was delicious, and my aunt and I were both able to take two pieces home. ๐Ÿ™‚ย The rest of our meals were homemade cazones, chicken enchiladas with chips and dips, and roasted hot dogs over the fire Saturday for lunch.

So last weekend we had such a fun time; family time is always the best! I am looking forward to spending more time with family this next week for Thanksgiving!

This weekend will consist of cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving this week! Ryan’s brother, sister-in-law, and our two nieces and nephew are all staying with us Wednesday through Saturday, so we need to prepare for them! My parents are also coming over to eat with us tomorrow night, so I need to decide what to cook when they are here!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Questions:

1. Do you like going outdoors to places like cabins? I love it!!!

2. Have you read the Hunger Games books? I have only read the first one!

3. What are your plans this weekend?

Meatless Monday #2

Hey there! So I have been MIA lately, things just got unexpectedly busy! I had a fantastic weekend with my family this weekend on our mini vacation that I mentioned in my last post. ย I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it, but I’m not going to today. I will tomorrow. I was planning on doing an update on my fun weekend on Monday, but by the time we got home one Sunday, unpacked, and got ready for the week, I didn’t have time to blog that night.

Monday night Ryan got sick unexpectedly, so I didn’t get to blog about our second Meatless Monday yesterday. I wanted to make sure I kept y’all updated on how this is going for us, so I wanted to do this today.

So like I mentioned last week,ย Ryan wasn’t too crazy about the fish tacos I made with tilapia. This week I decided to try salmon, and it was a much bigger success! ๐Ÿ™‚ I used this recipeย for Cajun Blackened salmon, and it was scrumptious! I didn’t have cayenne pepper or white pepper though, so I omitted those two seasonings, and I didn’t have onion salt so I used onion powder instead. Lucky for me, these few deleted and substituted ingredients didn’t make any difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I enjoyed my salmon with some roasted broccoli and squash, and then some sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I LOVED this dinner!

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Ryan had everything I had with his salmon, except for instead of broccoli and squash he had green beans.

So I said last week that I promised to always give my honest opinion and Ryan’s. You already know I loved this meal, but the best news is that Ryan liked it too! When I asked him how it was, he said it was actually good! He said it wasn’t chicken or a cheeseburger, but it was still good. That’s a win in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I am a huge fan of the What I Ate Wednesdays, and I have always wanted to take part in this, so today I finally am!

WIAW

Here are a few more of my eats.

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Yesterday morning for breakfast I had veggie egg burritos in corn tortillas, topped with some avocado and salsa. I also had part of a roasted acorn squash that I cooked earlier in the week. This was a super yummy breakfast! (I also had a banana that I didn’t snap a picture of. Obviously bananas are great with any breakfast.)

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Last night for dinner I was really excited to have some spaghetti squash casserole, but as the spaghetti squash was cooking in the oven I realized I was missing two of the ingredients. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I was about to run to the grocery store to get them, but Ryan said he didn’t want me to leave and we could just eat what we had. So he had a frozen pizza, and I had these two pieces of leftover veggie pizza that I had on our way home Sunday. I paired it with some broccoli, squash, and butternut squash for some added nutrients. I was kind of bummed that we didn’t have the spaghetti squash casserole, and I knew this wasn’t really a healthy meal, but it was nice to have dinner already made so that I didn’t have to do much. And even if it wasn’t healthy, it was really tasty too. ๐Ÿ™‚

This past weekend I had a ton of good food with my family, but I’ll share more about that tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Questions:
1. Favorite salmon recipe?ย 

2. Do you like to eat vegetables with your breakfast? If so, what kind?

3. Veggie pizza lover, yes or no?

4. Tell me something good about your week or workouts!ย 

Friday Funsies!

I am so glad it is Friday! I have been looking forward to this weekend for the last month! I will share why in a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ But first, I wanted to share a few fun things this Friday.ย 

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I made this apple, pecan, quinoa stuffed butternut squash from Ashlee, and oh my goodness it was so good! I had the other half for lunch yesterday, and it was just as good leftover. All of the teachers in the teacher’s lounge were commenting on how good it looked.

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My breakfast yesterday morning was wonderful. Two over easy eggs on spinach and tomatoes, some baked broccoli, squash, and brussels sprouts, and plantain bread with peanut butter. I love getting veggies into my breakfast! I also enjoyed a banana that I didn’t take a picture of. (You can tell how excited I was to dig into this because I already started breaking my egg before I snapped a picture. Oops!)

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Ryan ordered two new discs for disc golf since he lost one last weekend, and they came in today! When we both got home I really wanted to go for a run, and he wanted to play with his discs, so we compromised by both running to a nearby field/park, throwing the frisbees, and then running back home. I love living life with this guy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sorry for the blurry picture!

We agreed, if Ryan could run longer distances, he could really keep me at a fast pace. His go to pace is much faster than my go to pace, so running with him makes me go faster, but he isn’t used to running far distances, so he could only pace me for so long. ๐Ÿ˜‰

While we were at a park, we had to play around for a little bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Again, sorry for the horrible pictures!

For dinner we had a meal that we both love, and it’s super easy so that’s another major plus! Avocado chicken salad!

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I ate my avocado chicken salad on a bed of spinach leaves with quinoa, broccoli, squash, and brussels sprouts (I know, I eat the same veggies all week).

Now, Ryan prefers for me just to call this avocado chicken, because he doesn’t like to say he is eating salad because it makes it sound gross. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ryan ate his “avocado chicken” in two wheat tortillas with green beans.

I didn’t get any really good pictures of the chicken salad, but just trust me, it is delicious! I need to post this recipe soon! If you have some leftover chicken, an avocado, some seasoning, and salsa, then you can easily make this!

Okay, now on to the real fun part! I am so excited about this weekend because Ryan and I are going on a little mini vacation with my family! My aunt and uncle just recently bought a cabin, so we are all getting together there! All of the people who will be there are my aunt and uncle, my cousin, her husband, and their two boys, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and then Ryan and I. I know it will be such a fun weekend full of some great family time, and some amazing food! My mom has already told me everything my Aunt has on the menu, and let’s just say none of us will go hungry. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the same aunt who gave me the recipe for the lasagna I made last weekend for Ryan’s third birthday celebration, so basically, all of her food is delicious!

Ryan is off today, so as soon as I get home from school and can pack we are leaving! We are riding with my parents and brother and SIL down there, so I am even looking forward to the car ride. I am sure we will have some good conversation filled with plenty of laughs. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have a great Friday and a great weekend!

Questions:

1. Tell me some fun things/yummy foods going on in your life?

2. Do you have any plans this weekend?

3. Favorite thing to play on at the park? I love swings!

Trying to Improve on this Blogging Thing

So I started this blog back in January, but I look back at some of my old posts and I don’t really like them. I wasn’t showing ย my true personality, and I just really wasn’t sure what all I wanted to blog about yet. I also didn’t tell many people about my blog because I was kind of self conscious about it. I never really thought anyone would want to read my blog. Then I started commenting on other blogs, and all of a sudden a few people would comment on mine too. These comments made me so excited, and seeing comments on my posts still gets me excited!

I also have had a difficult time finding consistency with my blog. Life just gets so busy, and it was hard to prioritize my blog with all of the other things I had going on in my life. I basically didn’t blog at all this summer, and when I came back I just blogged every once in a while.

I am happy to say that I have gotten a little better, and have almost blogged two weeks consecutively every day! I know this isn’t that big of a deal, but to me it’s a big accomplishment! I love blogging, and I love all of you I have met through blogging. I really want to keep up this consistency.

Now I am obviously no professional blogger. I still have so much to learn, and I really want to work on the look of my blog. I also have several widgets I want to add, but I”m not sure exactly how. I am not very good with technology, so trying to learn how to improve my blog isn ‘t easy for me.

So this is where I want your suggestions. What are some good widgets to add to my blog? I want to add one that sends emails to people who have commented on a post after I reply back to them. But again, not sure how to do that. I would love to personalize my look some more, but not sure the best way to do that.

Did most of you hire someone to design your blog, or did you do it yourself? I would like to try to do it myself because I don’t really want to pay someone right now to do it.

Now, I know this is a short, and kind of boring post since I don’t even have pictures, but I would really appreciate any blog tips or suggestions you might have! I still have so much to learn, and I love getting tips from other bloggers!