Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

I hope all of you had a fun Halloween!  I’m gonna keep it short and sweet tonight!  Here’s a little peek at our evening with the cutest little Wonder Woman around. 

Costume # 1 (because we didn’t want the real one to get ketchup on it)



(I am seeing dance lessons in our future.)


The “Real” Costume


Wonder Woman to the rescue!





Do you think I could climb this wall?


One of the fun houses to visit on our street!



Here is Ryan “categorizing” the candy.  (Yeah, sure, honey.)



All in all: a successful evening of Trick or Treating!


Happy Halloween from the Confessions family!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lunch at Eli’s Table in Downtown Charleston

So… as you know… I have been busy celebrating my sister at her fabulous Bachelorette Weekend!  I just got home a few hours ago and I am absolutely exhausted.  Here are my bedtimes for the past 3 nights: 2:30 a.m., 2:40 a.m., and 4:30 a.m.  Can you say… sleep-deprived??? 

But in the end, even though I am tired… it was all worth it.  It was so much fun surprising my sister.  You may have read about some of the surprises in my last post!  But there were more.  And even though I want to tell you all the details about all the crazy fun… what happens on a Bachelorette Weekend STAYS on the Bachelorette Weekend.  ;) 

Sorry to tease you.  How about if I make it up by showing you a delicious lunch?

This weekend, we were lucky to have some time to go downtown in Charleston for a quick girls lunch.

We posed for a few pics in front of the Market. 



We were actually headed to eat at Joseph’s, but when we got there, we found that it had changed to Eli’s Table!  We thought the menu looked perfect for a light lunch.  Luckily we made it just in time, before they stopped serving lunch.







It was so hard to decide what to order!  Everything sounded great—and I liked how all the menu items were named after historical people.  Like Dolly Madison.  I had the Winfield Scott!  He was a commanding general in the US Army during the 1800’s.  And by the way—Eli’s has a cheat sheet on the table in case you’re like me and don’t know who Winfield Scott is.    We started with fried green tomatoes (which I forgot to photograph!)  They were delicious!  If you’ve never tried fried green tomatoes, you MUST try them.  They are so delicious.

I decided on a crab-veggie soup (sounds weird but it was so good!) and half a chicken salad sandwich.  I loved this chicken salad!  Charleston Chicken Salad is different than the mayo-based chicken salad you usually see.  It’s more savory and has such good flavor. 




Then the chef surprised us with the daily featured salad!  It had grilled shrimp and grilled peaches, arugula (I think), gorgonzola cheese, and pecans.  We all taste-tested it and it was delicious.  The peaches were absolutely amazing: sweet and savory at the same time and i think grilling them brought out the flavor.



If you’re in downtown Charleston, be sure to check out Eli’s Table!  The chef, wait staff, and everyone there were so friendly and attentive!

So this is where I leave you when it comes to Bachelorette Weekend details.  You’ll have to use your imagination.  :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina!  I’m so excited to be in Wild Dunes celebrating my sister Adrienne at her Bachelorette Weekend!  It’s only Saturday morning and already we’ve had a blast.  Adrienne has been in for some serious surprises! 

We kicked off the weekend with a few surprises for Adrienne.  On Thursday night, Adrienne thought that she was coming to Charleston with her friend Anna Kate… but she didn’t know that Meredith (other sister) and I were already there!  Meredith and I are the hosts, and we have had so much fun planning the weekend AND the surprise dinner.  But we had a BIG surprise for Adrienne… she definitely had no idea that our two cousins, Kara and Tammy, had flown in from Philadelphia and California to surprise her, too.  She got the shock of her life!

Meredith and I got a table at Basil in downtown Charleston and waited for Adrienne to arrive.  We started with a fun celebratory drink… dirty martinis! 




We were watching the windows and waiting for Adrienne wo come walking up to restaurant.  After about 5 minutes (and after she’d had a chance to calm down) Kara came walking in and surprised her.  And 5 minutes later, Tammy walked up and surprised her again! 





Most of us ordered Pad Thai, which was wonderful! 


And it made a great breakfast on Friday morning, too.

We had a late night, talking, laughing, and catching up! 

NOW… it’s time to kick it up a notch.  Bow chicka wow wow…

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for Fall!

TGIF, Friends!  You know, a co-worker and I were talking this week about how much we look forward to Fridays.  Lately, you know we’ve had a lot of planned events on the weekends, which always gives you something to look forward to.  This week, I was REALLY anticipating Friday’s arrival.  I have something VERY special planned and some big surprises!  Be sure to check back to find out:

  • where I am
  • what the big event is
  • what kind of surprises are in store!

But for now, I would like to talk about a little something called pumpkin.  I look forward to fall every year.  I love summer, but as soon as the weather starts changing, I get so excited.  Fall has the best colors, scents, and foods!  As soon as the air starts to cool down, I start thinking about pumpkin… pumpkin lattes… pumpkin pie… pumpkin oatmeal… and pumpkin muffins!


Last fall, I created this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  I made them every single week, as did a number of my girlfriends.  They were so good—and since I used no oil, less sugar than normal muffins, and whole wheat flour, I would even consider them semi-healthy?  Usually, I wouldn’t mess with a good thing, but I really wanted to play with my muffin recipe and see if I could make it even better.  I’ve been seeing other bakers using different types of flours in their baking, and I have been curious about Spelt Flour.

I started investigating and found this site, which goes into a lot of detail about spelt and spelt flour. 

From The World’s healthiest Foods web site (

Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from this fact: it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the Triticum (wheat) family. Spelt features a host of different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, a very good source of manganse, and a good source of niacin, thiamin, and copper. This particular combination of nutrients provided by spelt may make it a particularly helpful food for persons with migraine headache, atherosclerosis, or diabetes.

I also was curious about trying Spelt in my pumpkin muffins because I had heard it was a little lighter than whole-wheat flour. 

And then, I thought, “If I am going to try and make these healthier… why not switch to dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet?”  After all I love dark chocolate.  Plus, it’s a mono-unsaturated fatty acid—the good kind of fat.  And it has antioxidants.  (Seriously, it does.  I am not just using that line to justify eating the chips while I bake with them.)


The changes I made added up to some fabulous muffins.  I didn’t think it was possible to make these better, but I think this might have been the best batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins I have made!  Success!


I think the spelt did give them a bit of a lighter texture, although these muffins are more dense than a cake-type muffin.  I loved the switch to dark chocolate, too. 

I wish you could come over and enjoy coffee and a muffin with me right now!  But… I will share the new revised recipe so you can go make them yourself!  :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Spelt Flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (I use Libby’s)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)


Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, applesauce, vanilla,  water, and brown sugar.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Mix until fully incorporated, but don’t overmix.  Add in the chocolate chips.  Stir to combine.  Spoon into muffin tins sprayed with nonstick spray.  (I don’t like to use muffin cups unless they are the foil nonstick kind.  I find that with these muffins, too much muffin gets stuck to the paper cups.)  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

These muffins make great breakfasts, snacks, and desserts!  Enjoy!

Now… be sure to check back and find out where I am later, and what surprises are in store!  And if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook… you might just get a little preview… ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coins, a Goat, and Dancing!

I’ve been dropping hints the past few days about a goat I posted late Friday night.  Did you guess how those three things (coins, a goat, and dancing) fit together?

Trust me, they DO fit together. 

Last week, we had a special fundraiser at my school.  We held a “Penny War” to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Have you ever participated in a Penny War?  My high school used to do one every year.  Here’s how it works:

pennies and paper money=positive points (1 penny=1 point, 1 dollar=100 points)

silver change=negative points (ex: 1 nickel=5 NEGATIVE points)



The students worked really hard to bring in lots of change… in just 4 days, they brought in over $550!  Isn’t that amazing?  They did have a little motivation… I promised them that one of their administrators would kiss a goat on TV if their grade won! 




Yes, this goat provided lots of motivation.  After school on Thursday, we witnessed a smooch between my principal and this (cute?) goat. 

Keith Kissing Goat

So… what does all this have to do with dancing?


Well, the dance-fitness company that I work for was doing a huge Fundraiser benefitting Susan G. Komen also.  We hosted 3 Zumbathons in one day.  I was able to help with one in Uptown Charlotte at a local dance club/bar.




We had an amazing turnout!  Even my two sisters came to dance with me! 


Adrienne and Meredith 


Adrienne and Moi


Me and Meredith 


Diana, Me, and Sarah (fellow instructors)

Our fundraising goal was $10,000, and we actually exceeded it!  How amazing is that???  This money will go help to educate people about breast cancer, help provide preventative care, fund medical research, and even help people receive treatments.  What a great cause!