Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NEW! Hot Corn Dip Recipe

Love this recipe that Jennifer made for our Favorite Things party.  It is even simpler thatthe other recipe I use for hot corn dip, and I could eat this stuff by the boat load.  Luckily she left me the leftovers!

1 (15 ounce) can white corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can yellow corn, drained
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with
green chile peppers, drained
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
½ t. chili powder
½ t. Garlic powder
Cilantro to taste

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.       In a medium baking dish, mix white corn, yellow corn, diced tomatoes with green chile     peppers, cream cheese, chili powder, garlic powder and cilantro
3.     Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly, then enjoy with tortilla chips!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No more menus and Favorite Things 2012

Well, as you may have noticed, I’ve failed miserably in the menu planning blog posting over the last two weeks.  It’s been a great two years (almost) of posting menus, but I think I’m calling it quits.  Of course, we will still be planning our weekly menus before we hit the grocery store, but I’m just not going to stick to posting it here every week.  Given the busy-ness of the upcoming holidays, our plans change day-by-day, hour-by-hour, so while there are groceries for meals at our house, there is no exact plan for when to fix them.  December has been an insane month for us, with the birth of our niece, the end of the semester for Ryan, and a crazy hectic work schedule for me.  I’m HOPING things settle down these last two weeks of 2012 and that we get to enjoy lots of fun with family and friends. 

Last night, I got started by hosting a fun holiday party with the girls from my job.  We had a “favorite things” party where we each picked our favorite thing and gave it to all the other girls.  We set a budget (around $5) so that we wouldn’t end up going too crazy, since there were 6 of us in the group, each of us had to buy five $5 gifts. 

Our favorite things included….
Me… Honey from The Fresh Market and a honey dipper from Mast General, along with a loaf of my homemade bread
Amy… Silver Hoop Earrings fromHandPicked
Andrea… Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer with a bedazzled carrier to attach to your purse or keychain
Jenna… fuzzy socks (confession, already wore mine last night after everyone left)
Jennifer… a cute jewelry hanger to organize necklaces and earrings

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 49 & 50)

It's been a whirlwind of a week, we have a brand new niece as of December 1st, so I never got our menu posted last week!  Here's what I can remember and what we're eating this week.  Cannot believe there are only 2 weeks left in 2012, but we are READY for 2013 to get here!

12.3.12 - Homemade Pizza
12.4.12 - Dr. Pepper Crockpot BBQ
12.5.12 - Leftovers
12.6.12 - ate out at El Chico
12.7.12 - Seriously, I cannot remember what we did for dinner on Friday
12.8.12 - Spaghetti at Home
12.9.12 - Jenny made Chili, so we ate with her!

12.10.12 - Thai Chicken Bites & Rice
12.11.12 - Smothered Beef & Bean Burrito Casserole
12.12.12 - Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potatoes  **Our 3rd Anniversary** (Not going out to celebrate because Ryan has an exam the next morning)
12.13.12 - Dinner out to Celebrate our Anniversary & End of the Semester!
12.14.12 - Woody's Pizza on Folly Beach
12.15.12 - Supper Club Dinner out in Charleston
12.16.12 - JWC of Lake Murray Holiday Social

Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 48)

If you're like me and you jut read that this is week 48, you might've had a minor freak out that 2013 is a mere 4 weeks away. (Mainly, I'm freaking out because I have an anniversary and Christmas to celebrate between now and then, and absolutely no shopping has been done!). Perhaps I should jump on those cyber Monday sales!

With Thanksgiving followed up by the big Carolina-Clemson weekend, I've done nothing but eat eat eat for the last 5 days. (Oh, and decorate my house and my sisters house for Christmas).

There isn't an exact plan for the week because we have several activities going on, but rest assured, it includes lots of lettuce!

Hopefully I'll be back in the swing for the first week in December with some new recipes!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 47)

This week I’m trying a little something different with my menu plan.  I stumbled upon this first recipe and then decided, hey, I’ll see what else she makes that looks good, and low and behold, both recipes this week are from Iowa Girl Eats.  So maybe for a few weeks I’ll pick all my recipes from a single source and let you know what I think.  These recipes also sorta feel like Fall to me, which is important since it’s Thanksgiving week! 

11.20.12 – Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves & leftover Honey-Dijon Potatoes
11.21.12 -  Leftovers/Preparing for Thanksgiving!!!
11.23.12 – Jenny’s Pre-Carolina/Clemson Party
11.24.12 – Clemson/Carolina Game

Other Recipes from Iowa Girl Eats that I want to try…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beer, Cheese & Corn Chowder

I started with this recipe from Pioneer Woman, but also wanted to add a beer in for more flavor, so I changed the ingredients slightly to accomodate for the beer.  Also, found some Shredded Kraft Pepper Jack w/ Philadelphia and decided to go for that rather than grating up two blocks of cheese (I know, laziness).  

1/2 stick butter
1 onion chopped
1/2 pack bacon, cooked and chopped
3 bell peppers (red and green), finely diced
2 cans summer crisp corn kernels, drained
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 beer
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded pepper jack ( I used the Kraft w/ Philly Pepper Jack w/ Red & Green Jalapenos)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar 

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes, then add bacon, cook another minute, and add peppers.  Cook until tender, then add corn.  Cook another minute and then sprinkle flour over the top, pour in broth/beer and stir well to combine.  Allow this to thicken for a few minutes, then reduce heat and add half-and-half.  Cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Finally, stir in cheese.  Once cheese is melted and soup is hot, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve ASAP!
I didn't plan ahead and buy bread bowls, so I served mine with tortilla chips, which was pretty darn good if I do say so myself!  This recipe brings together lots of my favorite things (cheese, corn, bacon, beer, and of course a little mexican flavor with the peppers!!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 46)

11.12.12 -Meatball Gyros
11.14.12 – Girls Night Out for me, TBD for Ryan
11.15.12 - Grill + Salads
11.17.12 – USC vs. Wofford Game – Making Homemade Cinnamon Bread for Tailgate
11.18.12 - Leftovers/TBD

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 45)

We had a busy weekend, despite the Gamecocks not playing any football.... We threw a surprise party for my sister's 30th on Friday, then went to a local corn maze on Saturday.   Even with the extra hour we gained from "falling back", I'm not really feeling all that well rested! I guess that's because I've gotten up really early both days so far, so I haven't taken advantage of the extra time yet!  Here's what we're eating this week...

11.5.12 - Free Chick-fil-A Sandwiches with Church Bulletins from yesterday
11.6.12 - Election day! Be sure you vote!  We're having Baked Chicken Parmesan
11.7.12 - Pork Tenderloin & Baked Sweet Potatoes
11.8.12 - Homemade Buffalo Chicken Pizza
11.9.12 - OUT
11.10.12 - South Carolina vs. Arkansas Tailgate food... TBD
11.11.12 - TBD

Clinton Sease Farm Corn Maze 11/3/2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 44)

So we had a pretty busy weekend, and I haven't made a menu plan or even gone to the grocery store yet!   We had Sunday school dinner on Friday, celebrated Ryan's dad's b-day Saturday after the South Carolina vs. Tennessee game, then had friends over Sunday for a pumpkin carving party.

I made chicken chili and hot corn dip for Sunday's festivities, so we have some leftovers for today, but after that, I'm thinking about picking up the ingredients for several things on the Eat at Home menu from this week.  The whole week's menu just looks fabulous to me.  It doesn't hurt that she has the whole menu and grocery list ready to go for you either.  That being said, not sure yet what we are eating all week, but I'll come back and update when I figure out the plan!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 43)

We have various things happening this week, so I know what I'm cooking, just haven't decided when I'm cooking it yet.

10.22.12- Pork chops and Spicy Sweet Potatoes
10.23.12- Easy Crockpot Potato Soup
10.24.12- Leftovers
10.25.12- Ground Turkey Tacos & Homemade Guacamole
10.26.12- Sunday school dinner out
10.27.12- USC vs. Tennessee... Dinner tbd
10.28.12- Chicken Crescent Casserole

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 42)

10.15.12 - Sour Cream & Bacon Crockpot Chicken
10.16.12 - Leftovers
10.17.12 - Grill Steaks
10.18.12 - Leftover Freezer Stuffed Shells
10.19.12 - Supper Club - in charge of appetizer
10.20.12 - USC vs. Florida.. TBD
10.21.12 - Soup & Sandwiches

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ready, Set, Race Week!

If you didn’t already know, it’s RACE WEEK! I’ve had several good weeks of running in a row, including my first (and probably only) ever award for coming in 2nd place in my age group this past weekend at the Habitat for Humanity 15K. Maybe for the ego boost, I’ll run in it again next year. There weren’t too many brave souls who took on the 15K version of this challenging and HILLY course. However, it left me feeling much more confident for this weekend. Once the soreness in my quads wore off, Jenny and I headed out for the last short runs before race day on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

I tried to look back at my TNT page and blog from last year to see how I was feeling about my upcoming half-marathon, but I wrote more that week about my overall gratefulness to everyone who supported me through TNT than my actual feelings about running the race itself. Ultimately, that race was much more about the CAUSE than the running, so looking back, it makes a lot of sense.

I recall being nervously excited, but overall knowing my race was a part of a much bigger cause, therefore, however the race went, I’d be happy at the end. This year, I’m plain excited that we made it through our training all by ourselves, and hopefully I’ll have a new PR to go along with this sweet bling around my neck on Saturday! Please say a prayer for me and my running buddies that we all have a good race day and that those crazy side-stitches and any other pains stay FAR away

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday, (Year 2, Week 41)

After a great weekend (awesome race, awesome football team win), we're back and ready for the week to get started!  My sister called and asked me for a recipe today and it inspired me to pull out an old favorite to cook this week.  Then, this weekend it's finally half-marathon time so we'll be visiting some of our favorite spots in Pawley's Island!

10.8.12 - Homemade Pizza
10.9.12 - Freezer Meal - Three Cheese & Beef Stuffed Shells
10.10.12 - Zuppa Toscana
10.11.12 - Leftovers
10.12.12 - Pre-run Pasta... probably at Pastaria 811
10.13.12 - Post-race Pizza & Pitcher's at Massey's
10.14.12 - Dinner on the Road

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 40)

Week 40?  How can this be?  Only 12 weeks left in 2012, and I'm totally not ready for the holidays to be upon us, and especially not a whole new year!

10.1.12 - Homemade Pizza (didn't make it last week)
10.2.12 - Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos with Blackbeans, Chips & Guac
10.3.12 - Leftovers (cause those tacos are awesome, and make a huge meal!)
10.4.12 - Thai Chicken Bites w/ Rice
10.5.12 - Grilling out
10.6.12 - USC vs. UGA Tailgate
10.7.12 - TBD

This is also the last week before my next half marathon!  Cannot believe it is almost here.... trying to fit in a few more short training runs (easy ones, to avoid injury), and a 15K race here at home to "warm up" for the big day in Georgetown!  So excited!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 39)

9.24.12 - White Chicken Chili  (I added cheese soup to this recipe... yumm!)
9.25.12 – 3 cheese and beef stuffed shells
9.26.12 – Leftovers
9.27.12 – Cheesy Lime Chicken & Rice
9.28.12 – Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops w/ pasta salad
9.29.12 – Watching USC vs. UK game… food TBD
9.30.12 – Homemade Pizza/Calzones

Sorry, the links for recipes are missing, since I posted from my phone. I'll fix that next time I'm at home with the computer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why I hate icepacks

1. Generally, ice packs are only used when you’re hurting. Hurting = no fun.
2. Whenever you first put on your icepack, the cold actually hurts a little worse than the real hurt.
3. Mostly, it is impossible to move around while wearing an icepack. I’m not a sit still kinda girl. (Anyone wanna be my trainer and wrap my leg up with saran wrap and ice like you see on the college athletes walking around after a practice or game?)
4. Icepacks = hurting = must rest from training. Blegh.

4 weeks away from race day, and I’m being forced to take the weekend off because of probable tendonitis (overuse injury). You might remember this happened to me last year when I was training as well! We have trained all the way up to 9 miles, and last weekend we had a GLORIOUS 9 miler. Never felt so good during run before… hoping and praying I feel that good on race day.

That being said, I’m praying for some quick healing and want to get back out on the road running next week. I’ll be hanging out with my BFF’s advil and the icepack this weekend! (oh, and that fuzzy guy in the background)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 38)

9.17.12 - Leftovers for Ryan/Sorority House dinner for me!
9.18.12 - Rush's free Burgers w/ football tickets
9.19.12 - Crockpot Potato Soup
9.20.12 - Leftovers/Salads/Sandwiches
9.21.12 - Grilling
9.22.12 - Dinner on the road back from a wedding
9.23.12 - TBD

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 37)

9.10.12- leftovers/pantry clean out
9.11.12- dinner at axo alumnae meeting
9.12.12- soup and sandwiches
9.13.12- Greek festival!
9.14.12- birthday party
9.15.12- USC vs. UAB tailgate
9.16.12- tbd

Friday, September 7, 2012

2 bad runs

This weeks' runs have been pretty eye-opening for me.

Monday, I set out with Jennifer on a 7 mile trek around her neighborhood, and I didn't feel bad before we left (in fact, I did everything normally, Mexican food the night before, cheese toast English muffin for breakfast, etc.) Perhaps it was the holiday weekend that got me, but I trudged through the first 4.89 miles, and probably stopped at least once every mile to catch my breath/walk off sore legs. We finally reached our water stop, got some drinks, visited with Jennifer's sister in law, and stretched before our final 2.11 miles. I thought it'd be better from there on out, but had to stop again in the middle of mile 6. Finally, we made it back to her road and I managed to finish the last mile without stopping, but it was pretty tough. The overwhelming reward of finishing this awful 7-miler was jumping off the end of the dock into the lake. However, one lesson learned, sore legs don't do too much for you in the treading water department. Next time we'll use floaties!

After that bad run, I really really wasn't looking forward to Wednesday's run. Jenny and I set out on our usual 4 mile loop and quickly realized, we weren't going to make it the full distance. Both of us had sore legs and quite frankly, just weren't feeling it! We pushed ourselves to finish 3 miles. Our pace was more than 1min/mile slower than usual. Not much to say other than it just wasn't good.

FINALLY, this morning, we broke the cycle with a great 4 miler. Both Jenny and I knew it was a "good run day" within the first half mile. We hit our stride at a much better pace than Wednesday, and only stopped to walk/stretch after the giant hill. I started talking about our goal to keep running after the big hill. We also discussed the hills in the Georgetown course, because Jenny is now registered to do it with us!!! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have both my running buddies with me for race day!

All this to say, I've never experienced a "bad run" on a long run day before. Nor have I experienced two "bad runs" in a row like I did this week. I just need to continue to remind myself that training is all about preparing your mind and body for WHATEVER comes your way on race day, and preparing to persevere through it, no matter what.

There are 36 days left til race day! Not sure if I'm more excited about the race, or about a weekend at the beach!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 36)

Sheesh!  Despite the holiday and short week, this week is busy!  Luckily, we're getting the hang of this crazy schedule so here's what we're eating....

9.3.12 - Labor Day Cook out... Burgers w/ Pimento Cheese
9.4.12 - Stuffed Peppers (Combining a few recipes to make a new one, if it is a success, I'll share it here later!)
9.5.12 - Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw
9.6.12 - Celebrating one of our favorite kid's b-days
9.7.12 - Dinner out with friends
9.8.12 - Making Hashbrown Casserole for Tailgate, Making a Yummy Icecream Sandwich Dessert for Supper Club
9.9.12 - TBD

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 35)

This is a strange week as we are really busy with various activities and getting in the swing of school schedule, and football! So we may not stick to this plan very well....

8.27.12- homemade pizza and salad
8.28.12- crockpot dr pepper BBQ, coleslaw, potato salad
8.29.12- leftovers
8.30.12- USC vs. Vanderbilt game
8.31.12- date night out
9.1.12- grilling and football watching
9.2.12- Sunday school pool party and helping out with USC bid day!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Race registration & training update

I’ve updated my race training schedule, and I realized I had originally left out the week of Sept 1st! Hurrah for an extra training week! We’re hitting the hills again this weekend. In other news, I’ve also registered for the Habitat for Humanity 15K the week before our half marathon. Originally, I thought I was going to have to do my training run by myself that weekend, so this will be a nice warm-up to the half marathon the following week! Also, I love the Habitat organization and in my opinion, it’s hard to pay for a race if you don’t believe in the cause for which they are raising money. Otherwise, why not just go out and run on your own for free?

P.S. If you’re planning to participate in either of these two races, the prices for registration go up after August 31st! So hurry up and register! Also, both events are offering a 5K, and the Habitat race is also offering a 10K, so there are lots of options for different distances!

Week 1 (08/11): Long Run = 5 miles, Short runs = 3.5 miles each
Week 2 (08/18): Long Run = 6 miles, Short runs = 3 miles & 4 miles hills
Week 3 (08/25): Long Run = 7 miles, Short runs = 4 miles each
Week 4 (09/01): Long Run = 7 miles, Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills – moving long run to Labor Day morning
Week 5 (09/08): Long Run = 8 miles, Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles – moving long run to Sunday
Week 6 (09/15): Long Run = 9 miles, Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 7 (09/22): Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles
Week 8 (09/29): Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 9 (10/06): Long Run = 9 miles, Short runs = 4 miles & 3 miles, Providence Presbyterian Habitat for Humanity 15K
Week 10 (10/13): Long Run = RACE DAY = 13.1, Historic Georgetown Bridge2Bridge Half-Marathon!

And our motto for this week....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First day...

It's been a while since I had that first day of school feeling, but as I got ready this morning, I couldn't help throwing out a thousand reminders as I walked out the door.

Well, today is the first day of class for my hubby, going back to school. He’s taking two courses that I took (gasp) NINE years ago. It seems impossible that it could’ve been that long, but I guess if I spent 6 years in college and I’ve been out in the working world for 3 years, I guess that adds up to 9. More than likely, I’ll be doing lots of tutoring, so let’s all pray that I can remember everything, or that I can catch up in a hurry!

This morning Ryan told me that he thinks I’m more nervous than he is, and I believe that he’s right! Here’s hoping for a wonderful semester and baby steps toward a new and much more rewarding career path.

And, he's not going back to kindergarten, but I'm sure he'll be doing plenty of reading, just like Cocky!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 34)

Back on track this week finally!

8.20.12 - Taco Salads (never used our frozen taco meat last week)
8.21.12 - Sandwiches/Salads/Hot Dogs/Whatever
8.22.12 - Beef Kebob's
8.23.12 - Turkey Burgers
8.24.12 - Dinner club... Making Cheesy Lime Chicken, Homemade Guac, and Peach Cobbler
8.25.12 - Grilling/Leftovers
8.26.12 - TBD

It's also the first week of school for Ryan, so we should be on a much better schedule over the next few months, so hopefully I'll be able to keep up with my menu plans much better!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

crazy hills - 6 miler

We decided to take on some crazy hills for our 6 mile training run this morning.  We ran from my parents' house in Irmo, out of their neighborhood onto Lake Murray Blvd.  We ran up and down and up and down some major hills, until we reached the last 1.7mi of our 6 miles, and I can't tell you how thankful I was to reach this point in our run....

1.7 miles of FLAT trail.  It wasn't nearly as clear as this picture today, either.  It was super foggy, which I think was probably a blessing since I couldn't see too far ahead to see what was coming my direction on the hills or see how far was left on the dam.

If today is any indication of how our race day will be, I've got a LOT of work to do to conquer the bridges in Georgetown!    Luckily, every uphill comes with a downhill, and that's definitely something to celebrate.  We actually were pacing faster than most of our short flat runs, so at least we felt accomplished picking up our pace a little despite the difficulty of the uphill parts.

I think all of us were a little unsure of how this run was going to go, and although it's not always fun to wake up super early on a Saturday, we were all happy we did it when we finished.  Also, I have to thank my running buddy Jenny for telling me to keep going several times when we hit hard spots on the hills.  I think she enjoyed turning the tables on me a little bit, since normally I'm the one with the "don't quit, keep moving" mantra.

Also, by the end of our 6 miles... we were truly feeling this quote....

Happy running this week :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Menu Plan ... Tuesday (Year 2, Week 33)

Yep, so I was a little slow on the comeback from vacation, and here's Menu Plan Monday, Tuesday!

8.13.12 – Dinner on Road back home
8.14.12 – Salads/Hamburgers/Hotdogs Leftover from vacation
8.15.12 – Tacos/Taco Salads Leftover from vacation, homemade guacamole
8.16.12 – Baked Chicken Parmesan & Salad 
8.17.12 – BBQ Grilled Country Style Ribs; Tomato, Cuc&Onion Salad, Sweet Potatoes
8.18.12 – Date Night out 
8.19.12 - TBD

Have a great week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

One morning really early

It's not news to anyone that I'm an early riser. This week, despite being our vacation was no different. There were lots of early morning walks, but this was one of my favorites. Definitely up WAY earlier than normal, but totally worth it for the views. And an awesome reminder of God's beautiful creation.  The pictures don't do it justice, but it was a BEAUTIFUL sunrise to the east while a thunderstorm raged just to the west of the beach.

"You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." -Nehemiah 9:6

Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 32)

Our toes are either in the sand or walking the course for the PGA Championship this week.  We also have lots of relaxing to do, including some frozen meals made last week at home and several dinners out.  Vacation style menu plan means as little work as possible!  See y'all next week :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the run again!

It's official, the date has been set for my next half-marathon (Georgetown, SC - October 13th), and this is the first official week of training!  The schedule is a MUCH simpler version of the build-up we did with TNT.  Since I'm not overly concerned with time/pace, and I am REALLY concerned about not becoming injured this time around, we're sticking to a 3-day-per-week training schedule.  That means 2 short-to-middle distance runs during the week and 1 longer run on the weekends.  AND, we're not exceeding 10 miles for our training runs.  I'm training with my tried & true running buddies, the Jennifers (Jennifer that ran with me in Savannah, and my best friend from high school, Jenny).  I love the Jennifers, but I promise, I have friends with other names, too!
After my first half-marathon, our TNT coach said he knew the big problem for most of us first-timers was the fact that we didn't believe we could actually complete the 13.1 mile goal we had set for ourselves.  That's why it was so important to do lots of long runs before the race, including that awful 12-miler in the pouring down rain.  However, now that we know without a doubt that we can do it, we decided to cut ourselves some slack this time around.  
I've been running two 3-milers a week for a while now, and the last two weeks I have gotten in a 4.5-5 miler on the weekend, so I'm ready to start bumping it up.  Here's what things look like (basically) for the next 10 weeks:
Week 1   (08/04):  Long Run = 5 miles,  Short runs = 3.5 miles each
Week 2   (08/11):  Long Run = 6 miles,  Short runs = 3 miles & 4 miles hills
Week 3   (08/18):  Long Run = 7 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles each
Week 4   (08/25):  Long Run = 7 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 5   (09/08):  Long Run = 8 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles
Week 6   (09/15):  Long Run = 9 miles,  Short runs = 4 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 7   (09/22):  Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles
Week 8   (09/29):  Long Run = 10 miles, Short runs = 5 miles & 5 miles hills
Week 9   (10/06):  Long Run = 8 miles,   Short runs = 4 miles & 3 miles
Week 10 (10/13):  Long Run = RACE DAY = 13.1
We also had to add hills to our schedule this time around, since our race is the Georgetown, SC Bridge2Bridge 1/2 Marathon, and we have to cross over both of the major bridges in town TWICE.  Not gonna lie, that is making me a tad bit nervous. I'm sure most of our long run routes will include hills, but we will make some plans to hit some of the bigger hills in Columbia specifically to prepare us for those bridge crossings. I'll keep y'all posted on our progress!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 31)

7.30.12 - $1 Tacos
7.31.12 - Grilling
8.1.12 - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
8.2.12 - Baked Ziti - making bigger recipe to freeze and take part with us on vacation!
8.3.12 - Leftovers/Fridge Cleanout
8.4.12 - Vacation!
8.5.12 - Vacation!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 30)

7.23.12 - Leftovers
7.24.12 - Chicken Burritos - making a bigger recipe to freeze and take with us on vacation
7.25.12 - Bacon & Mater Pasta
7.26.12 - Leftovers
7.27.12 - Supper Club... in charge of appetizer... making this
7.28.12 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
7.29.12 - Sour Cream & Bacon Crockpot Chicken

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our trip to D.C.

So, as you might have seen in our menu plan, last weekend, we took off for a few days to visit some of our very best friends who recently moved to the Washington, D.C. area.  We had lots of fun visiting our nations' capitol and are so excited that now we have both family (my uncle) and friends to see when we visit!

Leaving S.C. still a long way to go!
We started off the weekend with the long drive on Thursday, got to their place and settled in and caught up on life.  Friday, we started making plans for what to do during our long weekend, including cooking dinner, so we had to hit up their awesome grocery store, Wegman's.  I've never been in a place quite like this store.  Let's be honest, you just have to see it to believe it.  My uncle told me later on in the weekend that they are building a store in his town and in addition to all their full time employees, they are advertising 350 part time positions!  Go Wegman's - putting America back to work!  If you're up the Virginia/Maryland way and need a job, they're hiring!  (However, don't get a job there if you don't want to drool all day over their wonderful food selections!)

Washington Monument by Night

After a trip to the store, we hit the road to catch the Metro, and rode to Georgetown.  We ate dinner at an awesome restaurant, Founding Farmers.  If you're ever in the Georgetown area, I highly suggest putting this place on your tour-de-food!  All of our appetizers and entrees were delicious.  I love this quote from their website, "A collective of American family farmers owns our restaurant. We source our fresh products from family farms, ranches, and fisheries across the United States. We celebrate and share the longstanding connection between farmers — the first to lead the “green” movement — and their historic stewardship of natural resources."  And, wouldn't you believe, one of their hosts was a Clemson grad, and recognized right away that we were from the south.   After dinner, we shopped in Georgetown and then headed back to downtown D.C. where we really enjoyed walking the National Mall at night and took a few pictures at the Washington Monument.  The view of the city lights at nighttime is truly a sight to see!

Ryan & Me in front of the Washington Monument
Saturday, we headed back to town and met my uncle for lunch at Burger, Tap & Shake.  The burgers were rockin' and the milkshake straws as big as your finger helped make enjoying that fabulous shake all the better.  Yum!  Our next stop was the American History Museum.  We only toured a few exhibits, but some of my favorites included the original American Flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner, and the Transportation in America exhibit.  By-the-way, I'm a little upset that a car produced after I was born, the 1986 Dodge Caravan, is in a museum.  Does that make me old???

We spent the rest of the afternoon touring more monuments, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, The Lincon Memorial (we also checked out the backside overlooking Memorial Bridge and Robert E. Lee's home on Arlington hill), and of course The White House.   We ended our day at The Old Ebbitt Grill, another fabulous meal in the city. 

WWII Memorial - South Carolina Column with view of
Washington Monument & American Flag in the background

Lincoln Memorial

Inside Lincoln Memorial
View of Washington Monument & Capitol from Lincoln Memorial

The White House (back side)

Outside the Whitehouse Gate

Sunday, we attended church with our friends and then had brunch, walked around Olde Town in Alexandria, and did some shopping at the nearby outlet mall, Potomac Mills.  By the time we got around to cooking dinner, we were all deliriously tired from our weekend of fun.  Somehow, not really sure how it came about, we ended up our night watching old re-run DVDs of The Cosby Show.  What a classic!  We have to thank our wonderful hosts and tour guides, Gray and Leigh, their little one A, and of course my Uncle Edwin who met up with us in the city and shared lots of great background info on all of the sights we visited.  Hopefully it won't be too long before we visit again!
In front of the Town Square in Alexandria

Me, Ryan, Gray & Leigh
photo courtesy of the sweetest 5 year old I know! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 29)

What happened to week 28??? We got out of towner syndrome and didn't make any menu plan for this past week since we knew we were spending 4 nights in D.C. visiting friends. Check back later to hear about our trip and some of the great things we did eat!

We are actually still on the road heading back, but it's been a good long trip and we've actually got our meals planned out from now until our next trip to the beach in August! Such a relief for me since every week it seems like an uphill battle to plan our menu and get to the store! Here's what we've got planned for this week:

7.16.12- $1 tacos
7.17.12- Thai Chicken Bites and rice
7.18.12- grilling out (whatever beef is on sale when we get to the store and sides to go with it)
7.19.12- homemade pizza
7.20.11- Skinny Taste Baked Chicken Parmesan
7.21.12- Dr. Pepper BBQ in crockpot with slaw and potato salad
7.22.12- leftovers

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 27)

7.2.12 - Cheesy Lime Chicken & Rice (never made this weekend)
7.3.12 - $1 tacos
7.4.12 - Independence Day Celebrations!!
7.5.12 - Turkey Burgers w/ Chips, Salsa & Guacamole
7.6.12 - Beach for me, Ryan home alone
7.7.12 - Beach for me, Ryan home alone
7.8.12 - TBD

Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 26)

Seriously, such a busy week that I totally forgot to post! We’re officially at the half-way point of the year. It is super crazy to me that July begins this weekend!

6.25.12 – Charleston for the Day/Brats & Fries at home for Ryan
6.26.12 – Premier Jewelry Party – Brownies & Fiesta Spinach/Artichoke Dip
6.27.12 – Thirsty Fellow
6.28.12 – Dinner TBA after Happy Hour for Jenny’s B-day
6.29.12 – Cooper’s 2nd B-day Party
6.30.12 – Cheesy Lime Chicken & Rice
7.1.12 - Jessica's Wedding Shower

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pound Cake for Breakfast

Sometimes you gotta eat pound cake for breakfast. Today was one of those days. I think I learned this habit from my dad. Anytime there was pound cake in our house growing up, it was understood that not only was it a dessert, but it was also breakfast! My favorite flavor of pound cake is chocolate (I always ask for a chocolate pound cake for my birthday – no icing, please!), and I love to heat it in the microwave for just a few seconds and devour it with a glass of milk. However, this weekend I made a vanilla pound cake for Father’s day, and had a hunk leftover, so guess what? Pound cake for breakfast!

And, just to make sure you have a recipe and can bake your own breakfast pound cake, here is the recipe I used:

2 Sticks Butter
3 Cups Sugar (room temp)
6 Eggs (room temp)
3 Cups Cake Flour, sifted
1/4 tsp baking soda
8oz Sour Cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Then, continually mixing, add eggs, one at a time. Alternate adding scoops of the dry mixture (flour + baking soda) and spoonfuls of sourcream. Mix well. Last, add vanilla. Pour batter into a greased/floured tube pan. Bake in a NON-preheated oven at 325 for 70 minutes. Remove from oven & enjoy! It’s always nice to have a hot slice fresh from the oven, but this cake will last for days, and if you want it hot later, just stick slice in the microwave.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 25)

6.18.12- Grilling Steaks, Corn on the Cob, and Salad
6.19.12- $1 taco night!
6.20.12- buffalo chicken in the crockpot, cole slaw, potato salad
6.21.12- homemade pizza
6.22.12- beach!
6.23.12- beach!
6.24.12- dinner on the way home

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Summer Side Dish - Tomato Cucumber Salad

I absolutely LOVE tomatoes (no kidding, my favorite food is salsa) and cucumbers are pretty much the only green vegetable that I tolerate without much whining, so this summer side dish is right up my alley!

What you'll need....

Tomatoes (sliced or diced into bite size pieces, about 1.5 cups once cut up)
1 Large Cucumber (cut in half, then sliced as thin as you can slice)
1/4 red onion (sliced or diced, however you like it)
Olive oil (about 2 TBS)
Red Wine Vinegar (a few splashes, to your taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Slice & Dice your veggies, splash in the olive oil and red wine vinegar, sprinkle on salt & pepper.  Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of your meal.  Also great the next day, but you may want to double the recipe if you plan to have leftovers, this stuff goes FAST!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 24)

And we're back! And refreshed!  And it's raining all week, so even though our favorite go-to during the summer is grilling, doesn't look like we can make plans for that this week.... here's what we're eating:

6.11.12 - Cheesy Lime Chicken w/ Cucumber Tomato Salad & Rice
6.12.12 - Turkey Tacos & Homemade Guacamole
6.13.12 - Freezer Meal - Baked Ziti
6.14.12 - Salads w/ Chicken in Thai Chili Sauce
6.15.12 - Supper Club - Taking Salad
6.16.12 - Cookout for Hilary & Kyle's BBQ Shower
6.17.12 - TBD

Monday, June 4, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 23)

So when we're going out of town for part of the week, I usually just buy a few basic groceries that won't go bad that I can throw together simple recipes on the nights we're actually at home. I'm headed to the beach for part of the week so I won't do any food shopping til I get there and see what all my mom already has stocked.

So it's a vacation from menu planning & a much needed few days off from work! Hopefully I'll come back refreshed and with some new summer recipes to try! If you know any good ones, send them my way!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 22)

It's a holiday week which means a day off for my federal employee husband, so we kicked off the week by grilling out burgers.

Otherwise this week, several of our meals are leftover from last week, and since we were lazy on our grocery trip this weekend, the other few days are TBD!

5.28.12 - grilling
5.29.12 - tacos
5.30.12 - baked ziti
5.31.12 - leftovers
6.1.12 - date night out
6.2.12 - tbd
6.3.12 - tbd

Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 21)

5.21.12 - Grilling Steaks & Baked Potatoes
5.22.12 - Baked Ziti
5.23.12 - Date Night Out
5.24.12 - Ground Turkey Tacos
5.25.12 - Pork Chops & Pasta Salad
5.26.12 - Birthday dinner for Leigh!
5.27.12 - TBD

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beaufort meets Zeke

This weekend, we were so excited to introduce Beaufort to a new family member. A few weeks ago, we saw that our breeder had a goldendoodle that needed to be adopted! Turns out, Beaufort and Zeke have the same dad, so they are half brothers! Since Ryan's parents adopted him, we've started calling him Beaufort's br-uncle (brother-uncle).

It was so fun to see them play together and watch how their personalities are both similar and different. They were worn out after an evening of running, playing ball, and wrestling. One thing is for sure, they're both people lovers and will do just about anything for a treat!

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 20)

5.14.12 – Grilling
5.15.12 – Leftovers
5.17.12 – Boys to Baseball Game & Leftovers at home
5.18.12 – Dinner Club at Byars’ House
5.19.12 –  Elizabeth & Billy’s Wedding!!
5.20.12 –  Pork Chops & Spicy Sweet Potatoes (Links to me and leigh)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 19)

5.07.12 – Leftovers
5.08.12 – Date Night Out (Celebrating end of semester for Ryan!!)
5.09.12 –  Baked Chicken Parmesan & Pasta
5.10.12 – California Turkey Burgers & Homemade Guac
5.11.12 – Travis’ Graduation from Clemson
5.12.12 –  D’s Wings after Sunday School Bowling
5.13.12 –  Mother's Day Dinner

Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 18)

5.01.12 – Dinner Out
5.02.12 – Buffalo Chicken Pizza (made w/ Leftover Chicken from Monday)
5.03.12 – Bacon & Tomato Pasta 
5.04.12 – Grilling
5.05.12 – Mary Elizabeth & Gabe’s Wedding Reception!!
5.06.12 – Thai Chicken Bites w/ Rice

Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 17)

4.23.12Easy Crockpot Potato Soup & Salad 
4.24.12 – Leftovers/Salads, etc.
4.25.12 – Homemade Pizza/Calzones
4.26.12 – Grilling
4.27.12 – Dinner Out
4.28.12 – Taylor & Peter’s Wedding!!
4.29.12 – Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To our friends....

Well, probably the few of you who still read this blog know that some of our very best friends are moving away this week.  While we are extremely excited for them to move to a big city, pursue their dreams and God's plan for them in a new place, we are still sad that we won't have them just a hop-skip-and-jump away anymore.  We have been so incredibly blessed to share life with this couple and  our friendship with them means more to us than we could ever describe.  Not often do you find the kind of friends where you never worry about how your house looks and whether or not appetizers are acceptable in place of a meal, where you show up in sweat pants and don't think twice about your appearance.  The guys are always willing to pitch in and share big projects around the house (including helping pack the Uhaul that will carry their stuff away this week), and usually the girls can be found taking in the latest bachelor episodes, figuring out whats to eat, and sharing all the latest happenings. 

During college, Ryan was friends with Gray from involvement with church and their shared interest in politics.  We all hung out and did double dates during college but I didn't REALLY get to know Leigh until after they got married.  (In fact, at one point, Leigh went from blonde to brunette and I thought Gray had a new girlfriend!)   Leigh asked me to join her Bible study group during the summer before we got married, and I cannot believe how much our friendship has grown since that time.  I remember clearly the night that they shared with us their heart for adoption, God's call in their life to bring a child into their family -- I thought they were going to tell us she was pregnant, but an even more beautiful story unfolded.  We have learned from them what it looks like to truly seek out God's will for your life and to be ready and willing to follow it when He unveils something that is known to be a difficult path.  We celebrated lots of ups and downs during their adoption process and it has been our joy to watch them grow as a family since bringing their little boy home.

I will miss our double dates and triple dates, nights by the fire pit, grilling out, tailgating & watching Gamecock sports, screaming over episodes of the bachelor while the boys hang out and shake their heads at us girls.  We'll miss their dog jumping into our laps when we arrive at their house, and the excitement of their little boy greeting us to show us his new favorite toy or a picture he has drawn.  Luckily, their family is still here in SC and we plan to visit them in their new town, too.  (Leigh's mom has already offered me a ride so she won't have to make the drive alone!)  Not to mention, all the silly emails I'm sure we'll continue to exchange on a nearly daily basis.

Now, for tonight, it's off to help them pack to get on their way, and hopefully holding off the tears because this isn't goodbye, it's only seeya later.  Gray & Leigh - we love y'all and know God has great things in store for you, and can't wait to continue to share life together, even at a distance!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 16)

We are on a tour-de-food with our friends who are moving next weekend to eat at some of the best places in Columbia before they move, so our menu plan is up in the air for the week! Last night we had Pawleys... The tour continues through a few more nights!

I'm planning to have simple stuff at home (salads,etc) to fix in between dinners out. Nothing fancy, no set schedule. I'll be back next week with a better plan!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Weeks 14 & 15)

Whoa, totally skipped out last week after I said I would be more reliable.  I have no excuses really, the truth is, we are pretty stinkin' busy these days.  So here's our menu for last week and our menu for the upcoming week, but as always, you never know what all is going to happen so it's subject to change.  I have a feeling this next few months full of weddings/parties/etc is going to fly by and it is going to be FALL before I know it. 
4/2/12 - Leftovers
4/3/12 - Breakfast for Dinner
4/4/12 - Homemade Pizza
4/5/12 - Rockaways Pimento Burgers
4/6/12 - Homemade Stuffed Peppers
4/7/12 - Leftovers
4/8/12 - Wild Wings Take Out
4/9/12 - Chickfila Church Bulletin Sandwiches/Lunch leftovers
4/10/12 - Grilling Burgers
4/11/12 - Thai Chicken Bites w/ Rice
4/12/12 - Girls Night w/ Leigh
4/13/12 - Leftovers
4/14/12 - Dinner Club
4/15/12 - Dinner w/ Ladd's
and that's that.  At least it's a menu plan on a Monday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 13)

3.26.12 - Saucy Porkchops for Crockpot & Rice
3.27.12 - Plans with Friends
3.28.12 - Leftovers for Ryan / Dinner w/ Jenny for me
3.29.12 - Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos & Homemade Guacamole w/ Chips
3.30.12 - Leftovers
3.31.12 - TBD

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear Person...

who left your 3 Musketeers Bar in the fridge at work, you must be very trusting. Especially since every non-peanut chocolate choice has been removed from our vending machine. Lucky for you, there is nothing that makes me more angry than refrigerator theives so I probably won't take it, but I can't speak for the rest of the people who work here. Your candybar is an endangered species, so please come claim it immediately!

Your peanut-allergic chocolate-deprived coworker

**it has been brought to my attention that I've been a blog slacker. I have absolutely no excuse except perhaps laziness but, thanks for coming back anyway! I'll try to do better :)**

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 12)

3.19.12 - Monday night wings!
3.20.12 - Bruschetta Chicken Bake
3.21.12 - leftovers
3.22.12 - date night out
3.23/24.12 - girls beach weekend
3.25.12 - grill out

Monday, March 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 10 & 11)

Bet you wrote off hearing from me last week!  We did menu plan but somehow I just never made it over to the blog to update you on what we ate.... so here's a double dose:

3.05.12: MONDAY - Baked Chicken Parmesan
3.06.12: TUESDAY - Girl's Night - Made Sausage Rotel Dip
3.07.12: WEDNESDAY - Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
3.08.12: THURSDAY - Taco Ring
3.09.12: FRIDAY - Bellacino's Date Night
3.10.12: SATURDAY - Dessert for Supper Club - Strawberry Shortcakes
3.11.12: SUNDAY - Mellow Mushroom PIZZA

3.12.12: Monday - Girls Night - Leftover Shortcakes
3.13.12: Tuesday - Chicken Strips & Macaroni
3.14.12: Wednesday - Grill Out
3.15.12: Thursday - Date Night Out
3.16.12: Friday - 2nd Annual Sunday School Chili Cookoff
3.17.12: Saturday - St. Patty's Day OUT
3.18.12: Sunday - TBD

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 9)

2.27.12 - Breakfast for dinner
2.28.12 - Girls Night
2.29.12 - Asian Turkey Meatballs & Brown Fried Rice
3.1.12 - Baked Chicken Parmesan
3.2.12 - Out
3.3.12 - Out
3.4.12 - TBA

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 8)

2.20.12 - Potato Soup
2.21.12 - Girls Night at Leigh's, Boy's Night at HunterGatherer
2.22.12 - Lasagna Casserole (never made last week)
2.23.12 - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
2.24.12 - Ryan's Birthday!
2.25.12 - Celebrating Ryan's Birthday w/ family
2.26.12 - TBA

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 7)

Sorry for the messed up links, will update when I can get back to my computer!!

02.13.12- Pizza & Salad Take Out from The Villa

02.14.12 - Thai chicken bites with rice

02.15.12 - crockpot shredded beef tacos

02.16.12 - Girl's Night for me, Leftovers for ryan

02.17.12 - Valentine's Dinner

02.18.12 - Grilled "Country Style" (boneless) Ribs with crispy skillet potatoes

02.19.12 - Lasagna casserole

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 6)

Here's hoping for a little bit quieter week!  (Well, except for my big trip to NYC for the weekend!)  Happy Monday Y'all!

2.6.12 - Crockpot Apple Sauce Chicken & Rice 
2.7.12  - Bacon & Mater Pasta 
2.8.12  - Church Dinner for me, Ryan Take-out
2.9.12  - Date Night Out
2.10.12  - NYC Girls' Trip, Ryan home alone
2.11.12  - NYC
2.12.12  - NYC

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Menu Plan Monday (Year 2, Week 5)... A day late

To tell you how crazy this week is and just as an example of why I'm posting this on Tuesday, it's my lunch break and I'm posting from my iPhone. That's right, CRAZY week here. And not much of a menu, just too much going on!

1.30.12 - Dinner w/Leigh & Leigh for me, Chick-fil-a Freebie for Ryan before class
1.31.12 - Home Owner's Association Meeting @ Za's 
2.1.12 - Soup/Sandwiches/Chinese Takeout/whatever we can get our hands on before Bible Study & Class
2.2.12 - Sorority Alumnae Meeting @ Mellow Mushroom! (bringing to-go home for Ryan)
2.3.12 - Grilling Steaks & Baked Potatoes
2.4.12 - Supper Club at Our House - Grilling RIBS & Chicken
2.5.12 - Super Bowl Party - can't decide what to make