Sunday, October 31, 2010


What a busy day we had today!  We started with a quick trip to Columbia to celebrate Meredith's 29th birthday.  Her birthday's really on Tuesday, but we decided to celebrate today when we could all get together. 

This is the BEST veggie dip.  Mix Sour Cream, a Ranch Dressing Packet, and bacon pieces.  Always a hit!

This fruit dip was an experiment: I mixed light cream cheese, marshmallow creme, and pineapple Greek yogurt.  Delish!
We had lots of delicious snacks and Dad made some fabulous homemade chicken salad. 

This cake was delicious.  It was called "Coconut Cream Cheese Fantasy Cake."  I believe it was accurately described. 

We enjoyed getting to be together, even if it was just for a short time.

We got home and had a few minutes to rest, and then it was time to begin the Halloween festivities!

We tried to take a family photo first, which was hard.  Either the dog was moving or Sadie wasn't looking or Ryan or I look silly...

Then our little witch posed for photos.

We headed over to Ryan's parents to see Sadie's cousins and friends.  We had dinner together and then all headed out for some Halloween fun!

We stopped by to see our friends Kati and Lucas-- and Sadie got a fun treat: bubbles!

Then it was on to our neighborhood for trick-or-treating!  This is the first year Sadie has really gone.  She loved it!  After every house, she said, "I want to trick-or-treat some more!"  She had a blast and when we got home she couldn't wait to try one of her treats.  She barely had time to finish before she was crying to go to bed.  Poor child was exhausted.  We skipped the bath and tucked her in. 

It was kind of sad trick-or-treating... not many houses had their lights on.  It was about every 8th house or so.  We were glad we took our wagon.  We wondered if it has something to do with Halloween being on a Sunday?  Or are people just participating less?  What do you think?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Boo Ha Ha... Booooo...

You want to see the hair, right?  Here's a pic...

I also went for a little different cut.  It's pretty short in the back and longer in the front.  It's taking some getting used to, but I like it.  I like doing something different when the seasons change.  I used to say that I was "going dark for the winter."  When I got to the salon last night, I really wasn't sure what I wanted, so I just said, "I don't know what I want.  What do YOU think I should do?" 

So tonight, we were heading downtown for the City of Rock Hill's Boo Ha Ha.  It is supposed to be "a safe alternative to neighborhood trick-or treating."  Basically lots of vendors hand out candy to the kids and there is music and inflatables.  I was pretty excited to take Sadie.  I knew she would love seeing all the other kids in costume and that she'd have fun getting candy.  We still planned to Trick or Treat tomorrow, but I thought this would be fun, too.

We were pretty disappointed.  What a mob!  I should have taken pictures so you could see the masses of people.  When we got there, it took us a while to figure out where the line started for trick-or-treating.  Once we figured that out and got in line, we quickly realized that we were not going anywhere.  For a while.  We stood in line for 5-10 minutes and never saw anyone move.  Who wants to trick or treat THAT way?  We ended up walking around to quickly realize that there wasn't much to do if you didn't want to wait in the hour-long line. 

Oh well... live and learn.  At least Sadie got to dress up one extra night.  She was pretty cute in her little witch outfit. 

So then we headed home and made it up to our disappointed child... with spaghetti and meatballs!  That made it all better!

And the cupcakes helped, too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Ghoul Grubfest with Sorta Homemade Soup

Preview of the soup...

Have you ever heard that blessing?  "Rub a dub dub... thanks for the grub... Yay God!"  I have always despised that blessing.  I also really despise the word "grub."  It reminds me or worms, dirt, dirty little boys... all things that I am not really into.  (Good thing I ghave birth to a prissy little girl!)  But I have to use that word today because today at school we had a "Ghoul Grubfest."  This was basically our teacher Halloween "potluck" lunch.  Everyone brought in lots of yummy treats to share with everyone.  Don't you love a pot luck meal?  It's the only time you can eat an Asian salad, meatballs, vegetable soup, a cupcake, chicken wings, cheese cubes, and strawberries all on the same plate.  Now I am sitting here completely uncomfortable because I ate too much of way too many different things.... 

One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of soups, stews, and comfort foods.  I think I could eat soup every day and be happy.  So that's what I decided to make for the "Grubfest."  I decided to do another "Sorta-Homemade" meal.   For those of you just joining me, "Sorta-Homemade" meals were inspired by Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade show on Food Network.  You can click the link on the right side to see more semi-homemade meals.

"Sorta-Homemade Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Soup" is so easy, and it's very rich and filling.  It has the flavor of a restaurant soup, but probably half (or less) the fat and calories.  If you follow Weight Watchers, one cup of this soup is 4 points and this recipe makes 10 cups.  That's not TOO bad for a cream-based soup.  The hard part is stucking to the portion size!

Here's the recipe...

"Sorta Homemade Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Soup"

1 pouch Bear Creek Broccoli Cheddar Soup Mix
5 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups chopped grilled (or baked or boiled) chicken breast
2/3 cup light sour cream
OPTIONAL: cheddar cheese, bacon pieces for garnish (not included in points values)

Place 10 cups of water in crock pot.  Add soup mix and stir.  Turn heat to high.  Allow soup to get very warm/hot.  Then, add the frozen broccoli and the chicken.  Allow to cook on high for 2 hours.  Before serving, mix in sour cream.  Garnish with shredded cheese, extra sour cream, bacon bits if desired.

How easy is that???  No one will ever know you started with a mix, I promise!

Ok, one last thing...

I just returned from the hair salon... and I made a change... what do you think I did?  Any guesses???

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dinner, Katy Perry Style

The song, "California Gurls" by Katy Perry has been stuck in my head the past couple of days.  When Katy Perry released her first song, I thought she might be a one-hit-wonder, but she has hung in there, hasn't she?  I really like her songs.  Maybe I need to use that song for Zumba. 

After tonight's Zumba class at Oakland Baptist Church, I had to hit the grocery store.  Miss Priss has a Halloween Party at school tomorrow, which is sounding like it's going to be a major shindig!  I know she's going to have a good time.  I'll have to take a picture of her all dressed up as a princess tomorrow.  (She's going to be a witch for Halloween, but I don't want her costume to get ruined at school tomorrow, so she's going to get to wear a princess dress.  She'll think she's died and gone to Heaven.)  So anyway, I hit the store to pick up a few things I am supposed to send to her school tomorrow.  Now, me going to the store AFTER Zumba and BEFORE dinner has the potential to be dangerous.  Sometimes I find myself wandering the aisles, picking up things I normally wouldn't even look at, just because I am hungry.  Tonight, as I passed by the sushi counter at the deli, I just couldn't pass it by.  It looked so good!  And look!  Brown rice!

I also grabbed a POM Wonderful Pomegranate.  Since I am going to be cooking with pomegranates for my dinner in a few weeks,  I figured I should start practicing cutting them.  Last time I did this, it looked like a massacre had taken place in my kitchen.  But then I watched the POM Wonderful video on how to cut open a pomegranate and that helped.  I still need practice,  but tonight the mess stayed (mostly) on the cutting mat.  If you've ever been completely befuddled by this fruit, please take a look at this video or this guide.  It will help a lot! 

So that's my Katy-Perry-Style dinner: California Rolls and Pomegranates from California.  Sounds like an odd combination, doesn't it?  Yumm...  (No, I am not pregnant.)

Now, here's the question I want to ask all of you... do you eat the pomegranate seeds inside the arils?  (FYI, the arils are the little juicy red things inside the fruit.)  I never did, but lately, everything I have read says to eat the seeds.   They are supposed to be really good for you.  So tonight, I am (GASP!) eating the seeds inside the arils.  Do you??  Leave a comment and let's see what the consensus is.

Happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quesadillas... and some Hanky Panky!

Did that title get your attention?  Get your minds out of the gutter, people!  It's nothing dirty!

Today was a fantastic day! 

This afternoon, I taught my second Zumba class at Fascinating Rhythm.  My class grew from last week-- YAY!  Last week I had two people.  It was a great class, but it's so much fun when you have a big crowd.  Tonight, my two people came back for more (always a good sign) and I had 4 more!  Yay!  So our class grew by 150%!  Let's hope it just keeps growing!  I just LOVE teaching Zumba. 

I'm practicing some new songs that I am going to break out soon!  Here's a preview of a fun one I am working on.  I heard this song at my friend Beth's Zumba Party last week, and it's been stuck in my head since then!  I'm working on my own choreography for it. 

Isn't that a fun song???  A little risque... but I might try it anyway! :)

Zumba always puts me in a good mood.  And I love teaching a class right after school.  Then I get home at a decent hour to cook dinner.

But tonight... there was a SURPRISE waiting on me when I got home!

My sweet husband had gone to the store and gotten all the ingredients to make quesadillas!  Yummmmm... He said that I shouldn't have to rush home and cook after teaching until 5:30.  What a sweetie!  I decided to have beef, cheese, and pico de gallo on my quesadilla and made a little "salad" on the side.  It was delicious. 

So thanks to my wonderful, thoughtful husband!!!  Mmwa!

Another interesting piece of news... I was selected to host a POM Wonderful Dinner Party in November.

Basically, it's a dinner that is inspired by and incorporates pomegranates.  I didn't think I would get selected.  I even laughed out loud as I applied and wrote my possible menu.  But then this morning I had an email saying I was chosen!  So I guess I need to get planning!!!  I am excited about the challenge, though!

Happy Tuesday!!!