Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

I think it is pretty cool to look back and see what the heck happened over the last year, especially when I feel like I was JUST looking back at 2010.  Seems like 2012 has always been a year that was WAY far in the future, but here it is, just around the bend!
Started my first full year of menu planning!  **First New Year's Resolution I ever kept!**
Started sticking to a budget to save money to replace Ryan's car & pay off school loans
Bought our first piece of furniture (all the rest we have is inherited/gifts) -- a new couch!
Got snowed in! You know it's bad when even the federal government cancels work!

Hosted our 1st Supper Club...  I made MEXICAN food (I know you're shocked!)  It was the first time I pulled out all my fancy china & crystal that we got for our wedding... all went well until the dog put his face in the sourcream :)
Celebrated Ryan's 27th Birthday
Had a long weekend at the beach & a weekend in Spartanburg for Josh & Jennifer's wedding

Helped host a wedding shower for Ryan's best bud and his fiance
I met THE PIONEER WOMAN with my sister at Ree's book signing in Georgia

Did some big projects for our backyard - new addition to deck, planted shrubs, painted the shed
Celebrated my great aunt's 90th Birthday!

  Decided to sign up with Team-in-Training for my first half-marathon
FINALLY sold the Rodeo & bought a Truck for Ryan
Had our second major mishap of homeownership & had to replace our A/C unit
Travelled to Chicago, IL and Holland, MI to celebrate the wedding of Christian & Stephanie

Celebrated with our friend's Gray & Leigh when they brought home their son from Ethiopia!
Finally got to make the Blackberry-to-iPhone switch
Watched excitedly as our GAMECOCKS rose to the top of the pack again and brought home their SECOND NCAA Baseball National Championship!

Celebrated our nephew Cooper's 1st birthday
Spent a week of vacation at the BEACH!
My friend Jenny moved back to town!

The summer of broken appliances continued with a washing machine that tried to flood our house!  Luckily we found a great deal on a new washer/dryer set at Home Depot -- our 3rd major purchase for our house.

Travelled to Charlotte to kick off the USC Football Season!
Suffered from tendonitis and had to break from training for my half marathon :(

Spent one awesome & relaxing weekend in the mountains with my college girlfriends
Resumed training and kicked it into high gear for about 6 weeks before my race.

RAN my first half-marathon in Savannah, GA!!
RESTED from all that running.
Ate TONS of food at Thanksgiving.
Decorated for Christmas... except, never got around to putting ornaments on the tree.

Celebrated the holidays by eating with pretty much everyone we knew.  And eating lots of food.  Our celebrations lasted ALL month.  
Celebrated our 2nd Anniversary with dinner at Mr. Friendly's & decided we need to go on more fancy dinner dates
Vacationed to the beach, relaxed & got all our Christmas shopping done
Spent Christmas with our families
Celebrated my 27th Birthday
Prepared to bring in the NEW YEAR!

Tons more things happened throughout the course of 2011, but I couldn't possibly remember them all. We are truly blessed and excited to see what 2012 is going to bring!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twenty Seven

On my 27th birthday, I thought I'd share 27 things you might not know about me... or you might know them already :)  In no particular order...
  • It's no secret, I'm a diet coke addict.  And I don't plan to quit!
  • I wake up early, and sort of wish my husband was a morning person, but he's not. 
  • I love a plan, a to-do list, calendars... anything organized (Read: Type A) 
  • I let my dog sleep in the bed. I thought I never would.  He usually doesn't stay all night, but most nights he is at my feet when I fall asleep. 
    •  I'm a blog stalker.  I love to get a glimpse into the lives of others through their writing on the internet
  • When I'm anxious or upset, my face and neck turn bright red.  You won't have to worry about whether you've upset me, you'll know! 
  • I love to listen to books on tape.  This started when my husband and I went on roadtrips together in college, and now I listen to books on tape nearly all the time.  I have been known to  sit in the driveway listening to a book when I've gotten to a juicy part!
  • My favorite food is mexican.  Pretty much anything that includes salsa, sour cream, and cheese is right up my alley.  
  • My second favorite food is Breakfast... undoubtedly, if I had to pick one food to eat the rest of my life, it would be breakfast (with a side of salsa). 
  • I'm the only brunette child in my family, and they once told me it was because I was switched at birth.  
  • I have more shoes than any human should possibly own. And, the shoe department is the first place I visit in any store, because I WANT MORE! 
  • My love language is Acts of Service.  This might have something to do with the fact that I really don't like to do household chores.  I enjoy gifts, but I'd love it just as much if someone came and folded all my laundry, or dusted/vacuumed my house so I didn't have to! 
  • If it was acceptable to serve chips & dip as an entree, I'd do it 
  • I consume large amounts of orange juice daily.  When I came home from college, my mom rationed it out.  It's a must-have in my fridge.
  • I hate secrets.  When someone keeps one from me, I want to figure it out ASAP.  
  • Although I spend my days making sure other people take their medicines, and take the right ones, I myself hate to take them.  This makes me just a little more sympathetic to those who I'm constantly harping on to take theirs correctly -- even my own family! 
  • I tell people that getting old must be contagious -- after all, I work with the elderly, and I always want to eat my lunch at 1130 and dinner at 530 -- however, the truth is, maybe I'm just already old at heart! 
  • Along the same lines of being old, I also love to get to bed early.  In fact, it isn't uncommon for me to jump in bed by 8:30 or occasionally, fall asleep on the couch even earlier than that! 
  • I love to roast marshmallows after we've grilled on our charcoal grill
  • I ran my first half-marathon earlier this year... I decided that day that I would love to run more half-marathons, but never want to run a full marathon.  The place in the road where the marathoners split off from us to run 12 more miles was a very scary place! 
  • I love my DVR.  Since I usually fall asleep before my favorite shows even come on, I usually end up watching them either the next morning or night.... this is alright by me because there's NO COMMERCIALS!  The two exceptions to this rule are The Bachelor and The Biggest Loser... Somehow I manage to stay up late to watch these  
  • I keep a bunch of stuff in my car.  I could probably live in there for a few days if I had to 
  • I'm the only person I know that doesn't love the Kindle.  I begged for one for Christmas last year and found out that I actually can't stand the thought of purchasing books when I can go to the library and get the real thing for free. 
  • I love to listen to music in the shower.  Luckily I'm generally alone in the house cause when there's music, chances are I'm also singing! 
  • I'd rather have flowers to plant in a pot or in the ground than fresh cut flowers... I love to plant flowers and work in the yard
  •  I love Christmas decorations & Christmas music, and I usually start decorating in mid-November to be sure we have a full month to enjoy them.  This year I never got around to putting the ornaments on our tree, but I enjoyed it with just the lights! 
  • A garbage truck once blew up in front of my house.  Not a joke. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 52!

We made it, we're in the final week of 2011, and we've menu planned all the way through!

12.26.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
12.28.11 - Dr. Pepper BBQ in Crockpot
12.29.11 - Mexican dinner at Mom's
12.30.11 - Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce
12.31.11 - New Year's Eve Celebration... definitely making Hot Corn Dip and probably a few other things!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Celebrating today the greatest gift of all, a God who left His throne in heaven to become a human child, knowing eventually He would sacrifice His life to save the world from sin.  There could be no greater love, no greater gift than this.  Wishing and praying for you a wonderful holiday and all the blessings of God's wonderful gift to man, His son.  

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

love these...

Well, i'm out on my "Christmas Break", and of course that means I'm trying to finish up my Christmas shopping (if you'll notice, a few short days ago, we had only purchased 2 gifts!  2!).  We are a little further on our way to being finished now, but still have a few things to grab.  Today I was shopping in HomeGoods and spotted these beauties....

Lamps from HomeGoods
 So, I started dreaming a little more about my front bedroom re-do... I'm looking forward to hopefully giving it a little facelift, perhaps in the spring!  The room has an antique oak bed, dresser, and bedside table.... I was thinking I might like the following for bedding in either light blue or yellow:
Pottery Barn Plaza Duvet Cover & Sham

Who knows, but I'm loving these lamps.. so maybe they will inspire me to get started on the room!  I'd love to color match the lighter blue in the lampshade for the room paint, so that's making me lean toward white bedding with yellow accents.  (I'd paint the room yellow, but this room is already WAY bright with the morning sun -- my old roommates can attest to this fact -- and yellow would be a little much with the morning sun.)

Now... back to the task at hand... finishing the Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 51

Christmas week!  I decided today that we are officially on Christmas Break (since you don't get to celebrate  those things once you're a working adult in the real world) and enjoying it to the fullest.. that means eating out a lot and preparing for all the holiday meals next weekend, yum!  

12.19.11 - Pastaria 811
12.20.11 - Grilling
12.21.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
12.22.11 - TBA
12.23.11 - TBA
12.24.11 - Christmas Eve Dinner Out
12.25.11 - Christmas Dinner

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 Days Til Christmas....

Wow, amazingly enough, there are only 8 days til Christmas.  How many gifts have we purchased?

Luckily, we are on off of work for a few days (me for a WHOLE week!), but we certainly have our work cut out for us!  We have parents, grandparents, siblings, and a nephew to shop for, not to mention each other!

Ryan's wish list was short this year, he wants a new pair of sunglasses:

Since we celebrate our anniversary, Christmas and my birthday in December, which can make buying gifts for me difficult....and for the first time in a while, I actually had lots of various things on my list, for the sake of space I won't put pics of all of it! For my kitchen..... a cast iron skillet, a metal colander, a rolling pin and a few more of my everyday china cereal bowls.  For my closet.... exercise gear for cool weather running, new running shoes, a super lightweight rain jacket, dresses to wear with tights, Kim Rogers Candice Wedges,  new jeans (thanks Mom! She already got these!), and a new purse!  For the house... bedding for our front bedroom, furniture for our front or back decks, a new back door (and labor! hint hint, brother of mine, I'll buy the door if you gift the labor!).   In the last few days, I added one thing to my list, a new coat... so I've been looking around for options, here's what I've found:

JCrew's Majesty Pea Coat

Talbot's Plush Regency Coat

AK Anne Klein Double Breasted Peacoat

I guess we have our work cut out for us over the next few days, but we'll get it all done somehow!  Hopefully very soon, our tree will be surrounded with some brightly wrapped packages!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 50

Photo Courtesy of Brooke Turner Photography

It's our 2nd anniversary today... more about that later, but here's our menu plan for now...

12.12.11 - Anniversary Dinner Out
12.13.11 - Christmas Dinner with Work friends
12.14.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet potatoes
12.15.11 - Friendsthanksbirthgivingmas dinner with Ladd's & Mooney's - we're bringing S'Mores!
12.16.11 - Sunday School Christmas Party
12.17.11 - Dinner at the BEACH!
12.18.11 - Dinner at the BEACH!

Wow, you can definitely tell it is the holidays!  Trying to savor every single moment between now and the New Year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just watch...

Just watched this video and it was a good solid reminder of everything I'm learning this Christmas Season....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - week 49!

You can tell its the holiday season because we'll share more meals with friends and family than at home in the next few weeks...

12.5.11 - take out
12.6.11 - dinner out after my haircut
12.7.11 - homemade zuppa toscana
12.8.11 - grilling
12.9.11 - dinner with he haywards
12.10.11 - holiday dinner club at the sweetens

Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 48

We should probably lay off all food after a long weekend of Thanksgiving & tailgating yumminess, but we don't wanna starve, so here's what we're eating for week 48 of menu planning.  Can you believe there are only 5 weeks left in 2011?! CRAZY!

11.28.11 - Easy Potato Soup for Crockpot
11.29.11 - Asian Turkey Meatballs & Brown Fried Rice
11.30.11 - Breakfast for Dinner
12.1.11 - Baked Chicken Parmesan
12.2.11 -  REAL Mexico
12.3.11 - Grilling Hamburgers
12.4.11 - Dinner out before Glorious Modern Christmas Service at church

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sleigh Bell Trot

Last night Ryan & I ran with some friends in the annual Sleigh Bell Trot at Saluda Shoals Park.  It's a fun little race that runs through the park, and they have all the Christmas light displays lit up.  However, it was pretty warm outside so it didn't feel too Christmas-y! 
It was an eye opener for me, as my first "event" following my half-marathon in Savannah.  Going into last night, I thought, it's only 3.1 miles, I ran 13.1 miles just a few weeks ago, this is no big deal!  However, I took off at a quicker pace than my half-marathon pace, and I felt it the WHOLE way.  I guess the moral of the story is, don't think that because you finished a big long endurance event that the short quick race is going to be an easy one. 
I felt great when I crossed the finish line, completing the race at less than an 11min/mile pace (that's a whole min/mile faster than my half-marathon pace).  Since I was more focused on running than the lights during the race, we walked back to our car and enjoyed the lights a little before we left.  With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and seeing all the lights last night, I'm ready to get our house all decked out for the holidays!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - week 47

This whole year has totally slipped by me, how can it already be Thanksgiving?!

11.21.11 - grilling steaks
11.22.11 - running in the sleigh bell trot 5k at saluda shoals, eating out after
11.23.11 - buffalo chicken pizza
11.24.11 - Thanksgiving!!!
11.25.11 - leftovers
11.26.11 - Carolina vs Clemson tailgate
11.27.11 - tbd

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend ahead...

So incredibly thankful it is Friday!  We have some good things planned for the weekend and I pretty much just can't wait to get it started....
First off, after work today, Jennifer & I are going to run at the river.  Hopefully it won't be too chilly since all of a sudden we had a giant cold front roll in.  It is only my second time running since my big race two weeks ago.  It has been a nice break to only run a few times here and there rather than 4x a week!  Don't worry though, I've been hitting the gym, just not SO much running.
After our run I'll probably get started on making up some good tailgate food for tomorrow.  I'm making hashbrown casserole again for the morning, this time with BACON!  (Let's face it, everything tastes just a little better when it has bacon in it.)  For after the game, I'm throwing together the EASIEST RECIPE EVER that Lindsey made for our supper club appetizer last weekend.  Check back for a recipe real soon.
South Carolina plays The Citadel, so it should be a low-stress game, leaving us to enjoy our beautiful day at the stadium.  It is also military appreciation day which is always special, and a little birdy told me there is going to be a fly-over, which I always find fascinating. 
Sunday, we're having a pot luck lunch at church, I'm making crockpot macaroni & cheese.... then I'm hoping to convince Ryan to head out a week early and go snag a Christmas tree!  It should be really interesting this year with Beaufort and the tree.  He has taken a new liking to sticks/twigs/branches of any kind, so we need to get started getting him used to it before we put any ornaments/lights on it.  Last year, he was small enough that we were able to just block it off, but this year we're going to really have to perfect his "LEAVE IT" skills.   
Whether or not we get the tree, I'm already listening to Christmas tunes, and I can't wait to celebrate the holidays this year :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- week 46

You like how I totally missed MPM yesterday? Yeah, we are eating, and we do have a plan, I just forgot to post it!

11.14.11 - Ryan softball, me sorority meeting (hooray for thanksgiving style dinner at the axo house! I totally miss having someone who prepares me 9 meals a week)
11.15.11 - grilling
11.16.11 - crockpot shredded pork tacos
11.17.11 - leftovers
11.18.11 - date night out
11.19.11 - USC vs. The Citadel tailgate
11.20.11 - tbd (we have potluck lunch after church, so after stuffing myself, we might not do dinner! I'm making crockpot mac'n'cheese)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My T-E-A-M in Training Experience

This is a huge long post about my recent training & completion of my first half-marathon, mainly to help me remember when I'm looking back in time someday... it is also posted over on my TNT website if you care to read more about the WHOLE experience from the beginning, but I'm not sure how long that site will exist, so I'm posting it here too!

Six months ago I embarked on a journey with 2 friends and a goal -- finishing theSavannah Rock'N'Roll Half-Marathon. When we decided to train for our very first half, I knew I would need something huge to motivate me. After all, just a few days before, I had simply walked the 3-mile course of a race for which I signed up to RUN the 5-mile course. Jennifer, Amy & I passed the TNT tent and tossed around the idea of training for our first half-marathon. I knew all about Team-in-Training because my sister had participated with the Columbia team just 2 years ago to complete her first half-marathon in Myrtle Beach. At first, I was overwhelmed by the idea of raising the money, but at that point, I couldn't even imagine the outflowing of support I would receive in the coming months. I was also overwhelmed by the task of running such a long race. Many times I had spoken the words, "who would want to run for 2+ hours straight?!?". I think the things I learned over the last six months relating to both fundraising and running can definitely be summed up in the TNT motto "TEAM - TRAIN, ENDURE, ACHIEVE, MATTER". Leading up to the race, I wore a purple bracelet with the TEAM motto to remind me what it was all about.
Best 6am picture we've ever taken... me and my biggest supporter!

TRAIN - Each and every week, our coaches provided us with the opportunity to run as a group 3 times. We had two week-night "short" runs and a EARLY Saturday morning "long" run. Of course, the main goal of these runs were to train our bodies for our eventual goal. We gradually built up our mileage, all the way from 1 mile to 12 miles. As we ran, we also trained our minds to complete our race. By the time our 12-mile training run came around, I no longer doubted that I would be able to complete the 13.1 miles on race day. I knew I was trained. I had learned many important lessons.... the importance of breakfast, what to drink before/during/after a run, how early to wake up, how much to stretch, what clothes to wear, what supplies I needed with me at all times, what snacks to eat along the way, my favorite flavor of gatorade, where to find porta - potties, what to do when you couldn't find one, and how to recognize signs of trouble in myself and fellow runners. Training as a group was a great experience for me, and a successful one. Without my teammates, I wouldn't have been able to complete the training on my own.
6 months ago, we walked 3 miles... here we are after running 13.1!

ENDURE - Our first training started with these instructions: "Run this direction for 15 minutes, then run back...go as slow as you need to go to keep running the whole way." Looking back on that day, those 30 minutes seemed like an eternity. However, they were just a tiny FRACTION of the time we would spend on the road in the coming months. To be exact, they were less than 1/5 of my total race-day run. We slowly built up the endurance to run longer amounts of time and distances. I remember clearly the first day I ran the entire 5-miles of the Riverfront trail without worrying about whether I would make it the whole way. It was such a mental hurdle to overcome. Here are a few of the simple things I've learned about endurance: (1)long distances are easier to run early in the day, specifically, first thing. (2)attempting endurance in the middle of a heat advisory = ill-advised. (3)good company is better than any itunes playlist (4)an itunes playlist can go a long way to encourage you if good company is unavailable (5)running long distances leads you to share things you wouldn't ordinarily share with strangers (6)your brain doesn't work so well at the end of long distance running...just try doing some easy math and test yourself :) Most of all, I learned that the biggest obstacle to endurance is your MIND, not your body. I have short legs and don't run very fast, but my determined spirit took me a long way in my training. Each time I ran, I knew the total distance in my head, and didn't allow myself to quit until I had it completed. My teammates and I endured through injuries, SC's famously hot weather, rain, storms, early mornings, and many other obstacles along the way, but it was definitely well worth it when we finally crossed that finish line.

Hanging out before the START...
See those greenlights in the background?
Green means GO!

ACHIEVE - Each week in our training, we set and achieved new goals. Before joining TNT, I had never run more than 5 miles in a single stretch. Leading up to joining the team, the longest I had run in recent history was 4 miles. We began building up our mileage from 1 mile all the way to 12 miles. Each time we increased our goal, I achieved a new personal record for distance. The sense of accomplishment each week was just enough to spur me on to the next goal and the next. We also set goals for fundraising, and it seemed like each time I set a new goal, my supporters jumped on board and helped me to surpass the goal within only a matter of hours-to-days. With the help of all my generous supporters, I raised $4107.90 for LLS. At our inspiration dinner before the race, it was a great feeling to hear that the South Carolina team in Savannah had raised over $235,000, and all the TNT'ers in Savannah had raised over $1.4 Million! I'd say we achieved our fundraising goal, and then some. Ultimately, our goal is to find cures for cancer, and that $1.4 million ought to go a long way. One day, when someone finds that cure, I'll know that I had a part in that achievement.
Blue Ribbons = My HEROES
Green Ribbons = My Supporters & Donors

MATTER - On race day, I had a ribbon pinned to my jersey for all of my supporters and a ribbon for each of our honored heroes who battled cancer. I was thrilled to share with fellow runners on the course what each ribbon signified. By far, my favorite moment during the race was being able to tell a runner whose mother had died of Lymphoma that the reason I was running was to help find a cure.During our training and during my race, I couldn't help but strive to honor my heroes through my efforts. Even when hardships showed up along the way, I knew it was nothing compared to the fight against cancer. TNT has another slogan "If you think training is tough, try chemo." Each time the going got tough, I could remember those people who were battling cancer, and I knew that I had to keep fighting. My efforts to raise money and awareness for LLS definitely MATTER to those who are in the fight for their lives. On race day, when I left my hotel room, there was a sign on my door with the pictures of all my honored heroes. It read "Good Luck Leslie! Never forget who you're fighting for. Your honored heroes are with you every step of the way." That was all the inspiration I needed to run the race of my life to honor each and every one of them.

The sign from my hotel room door on race morning!

Being a part of TNT was an awesome experience, and definitely taught me many lessons that I'll carry with me in the future, both for running and for life. My team was comprised of a few close friends, strangers who became friends, and some pros dedicated to teaching us what being part of this team was all about. I am ever grateful to the heroes who inspired me, the donors, family & friends who supported me, and the teammates that raced for a cure with me. I could never have done it without you.

My finishers medal and 13.1mile pin!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 45

With my very first HALF MARATHON finally behind me, I'm excited to change up my schedule for the end of this year, and free up lots of time for cooking and especially trying new (and some hopefully healthier) recipes.  Here's what I'm thinking for this week....

11.7.11 - Meatloaf Pillows & Broccoli 

11.8.11 - Baked Chicken Parmesan & Salad
11.10.11 - Team-in-Training Victory Party!
11.11.11 - Date Night Out
11.12.11 - USC vs. Florida game (Making this Hashbrown Casserole for tailgate) 
11.13.11 - Dinner Club

Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 44

We made it!  We ate in all our dinners in October at home except for a few freebies we scored with family, and one dinner at Chick-Fil-A after a softball game.  We plan to try and stay on this kick, except plug back in the weekly date-night-out.  We usually eat at places that are 1) relatively cheap (ie mexican) or 2) leave us with leftovers, so we get more than one meal... so we can justify that once a week treat.  Plus, my creativity in meal planning can only take so much!  We're gonna celebrate our month long eating in by eating out on Halloween!

10.31.11 - Celebrating Halloween at Real Mexico (that's right, we're avoiding trick-or-treaters)
11.1.11 - Parmesan Encrusted Chicken & Pasta Salad
11.2.11 - Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches(recipe coming soon!) w/ Potato Salad & Coleslaw -- also my sister's b-day... happy birthday marian!
11.3.11 - Leftovers (Ryan has softball double-header)
11.4.11 - Team-in-Training Inspiration Dinner in Savannah!
11.5.11 - Celebrating after Rock'N'Roll Savannah!
11.6.11 - TBD when we get back to town

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breakfast or Breakfast for Dinner - Hashbrown & Sausage Casserole

Well, I meant to take a picture, but my casserole was DEVOURED this morning in Sunday School.  I always debate what to take when it is our turn to take breakfast, because it is always so hit-or-miss what people will eat, and what you'll end up with a ton of leftovers to take home with you.  So far in our history, we've taken home a bag full of bagels and a dozen krispy kremes (not that I'm complaining), but I wanted to try something a little different today, so I made my friend Lorraine's Sausage & Hashbrown Casserole recipe. We've made this for breakfast tailgates and also "breakfast for dinner" and it turns out wonderfully, every time!

Here's what you need:
1 bag southern style frozen hashbrowns
2 cups cheddar cheese
1-2 pounds (depending on how much you like) breakfast sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sourcream
1/4 cup onion chopped

Brown sausage and onion together in a skillet, drain off extra grease.  Mix all ingredients except 1 cup of cheese and spread in greased casserole pan.  Top with remaining cup of cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until browned to your liking.

If we have another early football game this year, this is definitely what I'll be making for the tailgate!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 43

10.24.11 - Ryan's Favorite Chicken Chili
10.25.11 - Grilling
10.26.11 - Baked Ziti
10.27.11 - Leftovers or Breakfast for Dinner
10.28.11 - Pre-Running Pasta (only one week until Rock'N'Roll Savannah!)
10.29.11 - Celebrating Ryan's dad's b-day... probably grilling!
10.30.11 - TBA

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 42 (day late...)

Had a menu plan yesterday but never got around to posting it.  Good thing since the rain ruined tonight's plan to grill, so things had to be re-arranged!  Here's the updated plan...

10.17.11 - Homemade pizza
10.18.11 - Smothered Beef & Bean Enchilada Casserole
10.19.11 - Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches w/ Cole Slaw & Potato Salad
10.20.11 - Country Style Pork Ribs on the grill & Roasted Potatoes
10.21.11 - Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce
10.22.11 - Leftovers
10.23.11 - Cheesy Chicken & Corn Chowder

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oreo & Peanut Butter (or Nutella) Stuffed Brownies

I have a gazillion recipe blogs loaded into my google reader.... plus, I have my sweet friend Leigh who emails me the top 10 recipes she's found throughout the week every Friday.  Seriously, there are so many great cooks out there posting their recipes, it's difficult to decide which ones to make first!  When I first read this recipe on Picky Palate, I immediately emailed it to my co-worker who loves all things peanut butter and chocolate.  Since I have a peanut allergy, I was pretty disheartened because this would add another item to the list of treats that I just couldn't enjoy! 

When I was planning dessert for our tailgate one weekend this fall, I got to thinking, perhaps there's a way for me to have these afterall!  I whipped up a double-batch, making half with peanut butter and half with Nutella.  (Pink cupcake liners for Peanut Butter, so I don't accidentally bite into the wrong one.)

This is one of the EASIEST recipes I've made lately, too. All you need is a box brownie mix, Oreos, and your choice Peanut Butter, Nutella, or both.  Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners, stack two oreos together with a dab of peanut butter in the middle and on top, then pour on the brownie mix!  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until brownies are done, let cool & serve!  We ate these at tailgate, but if I were eating them at home, I'd pour up a LARGE glass of milk to go with them!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a few things I know today...

1. crockpot shredded beef tacos are one of the best recipes i've ever found on the internet.  seriously. inhaled them Sunday night and DEVOURED my lunch plate today.
2. i may not be able to walk tomorrow.  since i've started running, all my squats/lunges/leg strengthening has gone out the window.  natalie brought that back with a bang at pilates torture tuesday today.
3. crockpot shredded beef tacos were my reward for resisting the temptation of skipping pilates and eating out with friends from work
4. on most days, especially today, diet coke saves me from my post-lunch need for a nap :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 41

I was just thinking about Christmas and how it is CREEPING up on me.  This is the 41st week of menu planning, and that means we are only 11 weeks away from the end of the year!

Our Menu this week..

10.10.11 - Leftovers & Jewelry Party, I'm making "Poor Man's Brie" with puff pastry & cream cheese
10.11.11 - Homemade Pizza or Calzones
10.12.11 - Grilling Steak w/ Roasted Potatoes
10.13.11 - PW's Chicken Spaghetti
10.14.11 - Girls Mountain Weekend - Hubby on his own
10.15.11 - Girls Mountain Weekend - Hubby on his own
10.16.11 - Girls Mountain Weekend - Hubby on his own

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back on Track - Menu Plan Week 40

We're back on track with our menu plan this week, and actually for the month of October, giving ourselves a little challenge.  In order to both save money and create some better eating habits, we're committing to not eating out for dinner in the month.  (Eating out = restaurants and to-go restaurant food that we have to buy in addition to groceries.  Free eating out is alright in our book, so we'll still do that if the opportunity comes our way.)   We hope that eating at home will also help us to pack our leftovers more for lunch at work, therefore equal less eating out for lunch, too!  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

For our first week I've included this weekend since it's part of October....
10.1.11 - USC vs. Auburn (came home and drowned our sorrows in random leftovers)
10.2.11 - Chili dinner w/ friends... and I'm making PW's Apple Dumplings for dessert (yum!)
10.3.11 - Breakfast for dinner --- one of my FAVORITE cool weather meals
10.4.11 - Grilled Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
10.5.11 - Baked Ziti & Salads
10.6.11 - California Turkey Burgers & Homemade Guacamole with Chips
10.7.11 - Leftovers
10.8.11 - USC vs. UK Tailgate food
10.9.11 - Shredded beef tacos for crockpot

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 39

It's hard to believe we're about 2/3 through this year.  We've had some crazy heavy meals in the last few weeks... sometimes two in one day, so both Ryan and I wanted to keep it light this week.  We're eating salads, sandwiches, soup, and anything we can whip up from the simple ingredients we have on hand in the pantry and lots of fresh produce.  Sometimes the best plan after eating lots of rich foods is to go back to simplicity, so that's what we're doing this week.  No plan, just keeping it simple.

We have another busy weekend ahead, so the junk food and other yummy stuff is sure to be back soon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

First day of Fall 2011

Today is officially the beginning of Fall, so I'd like to share with you a few things I LOVE about this season.... and they are in no particular order because these are the random thoughts of my brain :)
1. Soup - so if I'm being honest, I eat soup all times of year, but the best time to eat it is in the fall! Usually I've had a long break from soup (especially the homemade kind) by the time fall rolls around.  To me, there is just nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on the first few crisp days of fall.  A few of my favorites are.... Easy Crockpot Potato Soup,  Taco or Enchilada Soup,  Cheesy Chicken Corn Chowder, and of course some Chili sometimes!

2. Football Tailgates - clearly, if you know me, you know I grew up in a family that LOVES football. (Clemson football, to be exact).  However, as a proud graduate of THE University of South Carolina, my blood runs GARNET!  My favorite types of foods are all present at tailgates --- dips, chicken, biscuits, grilled stuff, and of course, DIET COKE!  And the fun times spent with family and friends enjoying food, games, and football talk just can't be beat!  Also, on a random note.... ever wonder what would be a great wedding present?  Tailgate chairs!  Our go-to-gift is a matching set of chairs for the bride & groom.  We usually try and get team-themed chairs if possible & we've had several friends tell us the chairs were their
 "favorite" or "most-used" gift.

3. Cool, but not COLD weather - ok, so I HATE cold weather, but I LOVE when it starts to get cool.  If I can sport a sweater without wearing a jacket, or longsleeves with flip-flops, I'm totally down with that.   There's also nothing like riding with the windows down in the car with the seat heater warming up your bottom!
4. Dark mornings - I love me some sleep, so hitting that snooze button becomes so much easier when it is still dark in the mornings!  Usually though, if I let it last too long, I have a furry friend all up in my business & licking my face so he can get his breakfast.  See exhibit A: 

5. Trips to see friends & visitors - We've already been to Charlotte this fall for Carolina's first game against ECU.   Usually we have lots of friends coming in to town for football games & there is already a girls trip in the works with my college friends in the fall!  Of all our college friends, we are some of the few who still live here in town.  We LOVE hosting anyone coming down (so plan your trip soon), but it is also a great time of year to make our own trips to see all those fun people who've left us behind!
6. Preparing for holidays - I'm already thinking up ideas for Christmas gifts, decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas, and just what we'll do for our anniversary this year.  The holiday months always seem to fly by with so much going on, so I'm hoping this year we'll take the time to just enjoy each moment and spend time with family & friends.   Probably as soon as the calendar flips over to October, I'll re-load the Christmas music onto my iPod.  Let's face it, I think we could add about 60 more days to the month of December, and still not have enough time to enjoy all the Christmas tunes. 
Happy Fall Y'all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 38

Menu plan for the week... hurrah for Fall, Football, & Fun!

9.19.11 - RUSH'S w/ our game tickets for free burgers
9.20.11 - Gervais & Vine dinner with girls from work
9.21.11 - Cheese Manicotti
9.22.11 - Potato & Sausage Casserole
9.23.11 - Chicken Enchiladas
9.24.11 - USC vs. Vanderbilt Tailgate!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Saturday

Whoa, it's been a while since I posted anything but menu plans.  Waking up early today has given me a chance to really enjoy our first real FALL Saturday.

For a change, it is actually surprisingly cool for our first home football game scheduled for tonight at Williams Bryce Stadium.  I'm a little sad that I'm not out running in this fabulous weather with my TNT team, but you can read more about that here.  My leg is on the mend, so I'm hoping to be out on the road again soon!

So given that we have a cool fall day, I'm planning to enjoy it to the fullest.  We'll probably go grab some breakfast.... I'm thinking... hangover hashbrowns???

Then hit up the store for some yummy tailgating food..... perhaps buffalo chicken dip.....  and maybe some sweet black bean & corn salsa...yummm.

Maybe get a few things done around the house, then head out to enjoy some tailgating before the GAMEOCKS take on NAVY!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 37

9.12.11 - Crockpot Potato Soup -- first soup night of fall!
9.13.11 - Homemade Calzones
9.14.11 - Freezer Cleanout Venison Cookout
9.15.11 - Chicken Enchiladas
9.16.11 - Celebrating a special birthday boy!
9.17.11 - First 2011 USC Home Game.... Tailgating in our new spot at the State Fairgrounds! Go Gamecocks!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 36

Yep, it's still Monday.  And amazingly, I'm still awake.  I guess that goes to show how much extra sleep I've gotten this weekend, so I can stay up "late".  I highly recommend the 4-day weekend.  Really, think we should have one at least once a month or something like that.  Anyway, the point is, better late than never!

9.5.11 - Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches, Tater Salad & Cole Slaw
9.6.11 - Lasagna Casserole
9.7.11 - Grilled Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
9.8.11 - Leftovers/Freezer Meal
9.9.11 - Date Night Out
9.10.11 - Monthly Dinner Club & USC vs. UGA Football Party

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 35!

This is the last week of the month, traditionally my BUSIEST week of the month at work, therefore I'm looking for the easiest possible meals to throw on the table as quickly as possible.  In addition to that, I've got some volunteer responsibilities, getting a haircut, giving blood, preparing for the first Carolina football game and of course RUNNING to train for the Savannah half-marathon.  All that being said, I barely have time to think this week, and that's when DREAM DINNERS come to the rescue!  I'm not sure I could put together a yummier menu, though!

Monday - Firecracker Sliders & Fries
Tuesday - Tuscan Chicken Fettucini Alfredo & Salad
Wednesday - Pub Chicken & Mashed Potatoes
Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas
Friday - Date Night Out
Sunday - Pre-Labor Day Grilling

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parmesan Chicken Recipe

Tonight I made one of our favorite dinners.  I got the original recipe from my friend Megan a few years ago after she published it in the church cookbook.  She had us over and made it for dinner one night, and I fell in love.  I might not have all the details exactly the same as she makes it, but thought I'd share my rendition.

It is a little bit labor intensive, so I don't make it often, but I had some free time today and hadn't made it in a while.  After eating it, I remembered it is TOTALLY worth all the work.

Parmesan Chicken Recipe:

You'll need:
Chicken (you can use chicken breasts cut in half, I thawed the frozen chicken breast tenderloins)
Shredded Parmesan (I use the bagged grocery store version)
Grape Tomatoes
Goat Cheese (optional - I left it out this time because we had pasta salad with feta)
Olive oil

Beat your eggs in a small bowl with salt & pepper, dip the chicken in the eggs, then dip it in parmesan cheese, covering both sides.

Heat small amount of olive oil in skillet, and cook chicken (without flipping) until more than half-way done.

When you flip the chicken, the cooked side should be a pretty golden/brown.  Continue cooking until done all the way through.  Then, top with chopped grape tomatoes, spinach & goat cheese (if using).  Allow spinach to wilt, then you're ready to serve!

We had one of our go-to side dishes - homemade pasta salad (noodles, zesty italian, feta, tomatoes), but this would also be great with a big salad or some other green veggie.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 33 & 34

So I bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth last week, so we missed week 33. Truth is, we ate out a lot, and had our dinner club Friday, and mostly flew by the seat of our pants. Some weeks you just gotta do that.

This week though:
8.22.11 - lasagna casserole
8.23.11 - parmesan chicken & pasta salad
8.24.11 - steaks on the grill & baked potatoes
8.25.11 - leftovers
8.26.11 - date night out
8.27.11 - tbd

What are you eating????

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #32

Another Monday rolls around....

8.8.11 - Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches & Potato Salad
8.9.11 - Canadian Bacon Stuffed French Bread (DD) & Salad
8.10.11 - Out to eat
8.11.11 - Beef & Vegetable Kabobs & Rice
8.12.11 - MEXICAN
8.13.11 - Dinner with Gray & Leigh for Gray's big 3-0!
8.14.11 - TBD

I'm a little slow posting today because I just got back from my first ever private plane flight to orlando.... here's a little pic of our plane... GAMECOCK ONE.

Amazingly enough, the flight was incredibly smooth for such a tiny plane.  PLUS, flying out of a private airport, arriving just 15 minutes before takeoff, is totally the way to fly!  No pesky airport security!  If you ever have a chance to fly private (and trust me, this trip was FREE, that's the only way I could have done it), go for it!  It probably didn't hurt that our pilot used to fly for the VP of the United States!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #31

Oooh, there has been some good eating this weekend.  I made some awesome black beans to go with dinner at friends on friday, then another successful rendition of hot corn dip for dinner club on saturday.  Also, at dinner on Friday, Leigh made some awesome stuff that she's gonna be posting about soon, so I'd suggest you check out her recipe blog to see some of the good stuff we ate :)

So, our plan for this week.....

8.1.11 - Chicken Fettucini
8.2.11 - Grilled Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
8.3.11 - Sandwiches/Salads
8.4.11 - Firecracker Sliders from Dream Dinners
8.5.11 - Dinner at Dawn & Jeff's (Ryan's sister&brother-inlaw) for Jeff's birthday -- it's a fiesta, so we're making our favorite Sausage, Rotel & Cream Cheese dip!
8.6.11 - Grilling Out
8.7.11 - TBA

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #30

7.25.11 - Chick-fil-A Church Bulletin Night
7.26.11 - Grilling TBD
7.27.11 - Dream Dinners Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Loin Strips & Baked Potatoes
7.28.11 - Dream Dinners All American Beef Kabobs, Salad & Rice
7.29.11 - Dinner with Gray & Leigh... pretty pumped about trying Leigh's Guacamole Bacon Burgers, we're bringing over corn on the cob and black beans
7.30.11 - Monthly Dinner Club at Meredith & Scott's, We're in charge of the appetizer... not sure yet what I'm making
7.31.11 - Chicken & Pasta Salad

What are you eating this week???

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a breeze

I normally love summer.  Even the heat that comes along with a South Carolina summer.  BUT, yesterday was the 6th day in a row of sweltering heat, so I spent most of my Saturday inside.  (Well, if you don't count the 7.43 mile run completed before 8am).    I originally had all these plans of spending the afternoon out shopping, but the heat this week completely wiped me out.

This guy is wiped, too.

We actually did venture out to lunch and to the new Mast General Store in town, and scored two $10 off coupons which I used to buy some Columbia tank tops for running.  After our lunch, however, I alternated between my couch and my bed, drinking up lots of ice cold water.

This morning, when I woke up, it was already hot, and the dog was going a little stir-crazy from being inside most of the day yesterday.  I decided to take him out back and toss the tennis ball around and when I opened the door, I felt the most glorious BREEZE!  The actual movement of air!    Just when I had started to lose all hope of it ever cooling off again!

I'm looking forward to a slightly more productive day today.  It's the little things, like a breeze, that can really turn your day around.  Any good ideas for hot weather activities?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #29

Here's what we're chowing on this week... I'm in a little bit of a cooking slump, something about being in the kitchen when it is a sweltering 100 degrees outside just doesn't appeal to me! It is just so much easier for me to thaw something from the freezer that doesn't require a lot of prep time and energy this time of year.   Anyone got any "cool" hot-weather recipes to inspire me to get back in the kitchen?  

7.18.11 - Chick-Fil-A Free Sandwiches with Sunday Church Bulletin
7.19.11 - Grilling burgers & corn-on-the-cob
7.20.11 - Lorraine's "Undone" Stuffed Pepper Casserole
7.21.11 - Dream Dinners Bruschetta Chicken & Salad
7.22.11 - REAL Mexico - our newly determined Friday-Night-Date Spot
7.23.11 - Sandwiches/Salads/Leftovers
7.24.11 - Grilling out

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Way Late Wednesday - Menu Plan Week 28

Whoopsie... got to spend some time with a friend Monday night having some yummy cupcakes and catching up on life, so forgot to post our menu plan for the week.  I'll blame it on vacation brain... I'm still working on getting back to real life after a long break at the beach :)
7.11.11 Monday - Dream Dinner Creamy Bacon Tortellini
7.12.11 Tuesday - Ryan boys night... me... TBA
7.13.11 Wednesday - Crockpot Beef Tacos
7.14.11 Thursday - Dream Dinner Calzones
7.15.11 Friday - Leftovers
7.16.11 Saturday - Grilling Out
7.17.11 Sunday - TBA

Monday, July 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week #27

No plan this week... we're at the beach :) That means the fridge is stocked with lots of good stuff to cook and we decide in the mornings what to make that night.  We hit the local store about once-a-day to pick up the necessities.  We spend HOURS on the beach everyday and maybe once in a while hit the outlets (if we're too sunburned or weather is bad).  Mostly, lots of R&R is on order. 

For the 4th, we're celebrating with BBQ Ribs and Peach Cobbler.  YUM.

Seeya next week when vacation is over!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #26

Well, we made it!  Halfway through 2011 and we're still menu planning!  This week we are getting ready for next week's vacation, so we're trying to save some money and clean out the fridge.  Also, this is the first time I've ordered "Dream Dinners" (DD), which are pre-made frozen meals that you pick up at Piggly Wiggly and all you have to do is throw them in the pan or the oven, no prep required.  I'm trying them out because they give 30% back to my fundraising for TNT, plus, you it is a pretty good deal to get an entire meal that feeds 3 for $10.  (And, there are only 2 of us).  I only ordered a few this time because I wanted to check them out, but if they are a success, then I might be trying even more next month!

6.27.11 - Leftovers & Carolina Baseball in CWS Finals!
6.28.11 - Diablo Chicken & Rice (DD) and homemade guacamole, Carolina Baseball in CWS Finals!
6.29.11 - Creamy Bacon Tortellini (DD) and another baseball game if it goes to 3.
6.30.11 - Girls Night for me, Softball for Ryan
7.1.11 - Meal TBA...but, it's my nephew's FIRST BIRTHDAY!!! (And the first anniversary of Gamecock National Championship Day)
7.2.11 - Cooper's Birthday Party in the afternoon, then it's off to the BEACH!
7.3.11 - BEACH!!

Have a great week y'all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruit Trifle Recipe

My summer go-to dessert is the fruit trifle.  Usually, I make it with just strawberries, but for our luncheon at work this week, I decided to change it up a bit and add blueberries, too!  Very "American" themed, huh?  This is the 3rd or 4th time I've whipped up this recipe in the last few months and lots of people have asked me to write it down so they could make it, so here it is!

"USA" Theme Trifle

Vanilla Jello Instant Pudding Mix + Milk to prepare
Cool Whip
Angel Food Cake (torn into lots of pieces)
Fresh Fruit

On the night before your event, slice up your fruit and top with sugar.  Allow to sit in fridge overnight to get good and yummy.  Go ahead and put your cool whip in the fridge to thaw, too!

When you're ready to put it all together, use a glass bowl or trifle dish (this makes for a pretty presentation, but it would definitely be just as tasty in any other dish), tear your angel food cake into lots of little pieces, then get ready to layer:

angel food cake - fruit- pudding - cool whip - angel food cake - fruit - pudding - cool whip

You always want to end with cool whip, then use a little bit of fresh fruit to decorate the top!  

side view to show the yummy layers
I've made it with both vanilla and cheese cake flavored puddings.  I think it would be GREAT with peaches, and can't wait to try that later this summer.  If you're wanting something light & cool, this is your dish!  You can change up the size by using more fruit, larger boxes of jello mix and a larger container of cool whip.

I've gotten lots of compliments on this recipe, especially on hot summer days.  Trust me, you won't ever have leftovers!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #25

OK, so this past week was a little bit nuts, and since I'm always late posting up our menu plans anyway, I decided to go ahead and jump on board with all the other bloggers who love the alliteration with Menu Plan Monday. 
This is officially week #25 of menu planning for me, so we'll be at HALF A YEAR next week.  That seems so stinking crazy.  Anyway, this weekend we went to Charlotte to greet our friends returning from Ethiopia, and while their flight was delayed, I got to share the joy of the Midwood Smokehouse with my hubby and our friends.  It was a hit.  Then, of course, yesterday we celebrated Father's day with both our dads, so it was an all-day grillfest with burgers for lunch and pork chops for dinner.
Now, that we're caught up, here's my first Menu-Plan-Monday:
6.20.11 Monday - Ryan dinner at church, Sandwich at home for me
6.21.11 Tuesday - Calzones
6.22.11 Wednesday - Creamy Chicken Crescent Casserole
6.23.11 Thursday - Leftovers
6.24.11 Friday - Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potatoes
6.25.11 Saturday - Monthly Supper Club at Wes&Kate's - taking salad
6.26.11 Sunday - Grilling out
For you who wonder what's been keeping me so busy, go visit my Team-in-Training fundraising site at to learn about my involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Also, there's a prize up for grabs for the next person who makes an online donation... that could be you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Planning - Week 24

Here's what we're munching on this week....

6.11.11 - Pizza & Watching Carolina Baseball
6.12.11 - Lorraine's Stuffed Peppers from Supper Swap
6.13.11 - Baked Ziti w/ Italian Sausage
6.14.11 - Leftovers/Dinner on your own
6.15.11 - ZPizza Fundraiser for Team-in-Training
6.16.11 - Jennifer's Burritos from Supper Swap
6.17.11 - Grilling out

It is a busy week for us, but looks like we're getting used to our new schedule and getting the hang of planning our meals around it again.  Summer is officially in session :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Return of Memory Verses

I got away from blogging about my memory verses a while back.  Probably, because I got away from memorizing them weekly when our last Bible study ended several MONTHS ago. (New Year's Resolution FAIL).  I tell you, accountability is KEY to help keep you on track!  We're back started now, reading an incredible book Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur.  But anyway, back to memory verses. 
Currently, I'm working on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  I've written the whole passage here, but it'll probably take me a few weeks to get the whole thing down by heart. 
"Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory which far outweighs them all.  So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal." 
When I read this passage this week, it hit me that for the last little while, my mind has been focused on the "light and momentary troubles" we have been facing lately.  I've written and erased a few whiny posts about things that have been going on in our lives, because ultimately, as this verse reminds me, those things that have been troubling me are just temporary, and the things that should fill my mind are things that have eternal significance. 
I feel so incredibly blessed to serve a God who uses His word to remind me at just the right time.  In fact, I am over a month behind on my "Read-the-Bible-in-A-Year" plan, and if I was on schedule, this verse may not have spoken to me quite as much.  So God can use every situation for good, even my failure to fulfill my committment to daily Bible reading.  That's the beauty though, when we fall down, He picks us up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Menu Planning - Week 23 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: OK, now that things are coming together for the week, I fixed up our menu plan.

There's absolutely no plan for this week.  We have been totally spinning for two weeks in a row and things are just gonna have to settle down before I can make my brain think!  Perhaps I'll share a little of what we're up to this week and that'll help inspire me on what we'll eat.  I'll update the plan whenever I get to the grocery store and decide what's cookin'.

6.4.11 - Dinner was wedding reception food
6.5.11 - Village Idiot Pizza with Gray & Leigh while helping get some stuff together around their house
6.6.11 - Pilates class for me after work... haven't been in a few weeks and definitely need to get back!  We'll probably eat a freezer meal from supper swap.  These are the kind of weeks supper swap saves me.  Seriously, if I didn't have these frozen meals tucked away, we'd be eating lots-o-sandwiches, cereal and the like for supper.  (We ate Leila's Manicotti w/ Meat Sauce -- YUM!)
6.7.11 - Group run with TNT, Country Style BBQ Ribs on the Grill w/ Mashed Potatoes
6.8.11 - Bible Study, Out to eat
6.9.11 - Group run with TNT, Buffalo Chicken Pizza
6.10.11 - Dinner at The Melting Pot - celebrating with our friends the Ladd's who are FINALLY bringing home their sweet boy from Ethiopia

Maybe you have a suggestion of something good you're making this week that I should try sometime soon?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Menu Planning - Week 22

Here's our menu plan for the rest of this upcoming week .....

5.31.11 - Mission Dinner with Team-in-Training @ Carolina Wings
6.1.11 - Freezer Meal from Supper Swap
6.2.11 - Sandwiches, Salads, Leftovers
6.3.11 - Grilling Out

We've been eating a TON of great food on our trip, but I'll be happy to get back home and eat some lighter fare.  We are so excited to celebrate with our friends Christian & Stephanie tonight as they begin the adventure of marriage!   Happy wedding day y'all!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Zpizza fundraiser!

As you know, I'm training for the Rock'N'Roll Savannah Half-Marathon and racing for a cure with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team-in-Training. 

Join us for lunch or dinner on Wednesday, June 15th at Zpizza of Columbia, SC OR Lexington, SC! Just mention our code word "TEAM-IN-TRAINING" and 25% of your total sale will be donated toward our fundraising goals! 

The goal of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to find a cure for blood cancers, and you can know that your money is going toward a great cause. Plus, you have to eat lunch or dinner anyway, right?

Need another great reason to go? On Wednesday night, KIDS EAT FREE! Take-out counts, too, so grab something for lunch or dinner on the go!

So, come on out and help us ROCK'N'ROLL toward a cancer cure!