Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fancy Beach Brunch and Challenge Time!

Happy Tuesday!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  Mine is!  We’ve made some important decisions and we’ve accomplished a lot in the last few days!  But let’s go back a few days so I can show you some pictures from our delicious brunch at the beach!

On Sunday morning, we thought we would grab brunch before heading home.  With the help of Yelp, we found a really cool breakfast spot!  It had great reviews and looked really unique.  I really like unique, locally-owned places.  Croissants Bistro and Bakery was a perfect spot! 



This is definitely NOT a tourist-trap kind of place.  I think it is probably a well-kept secret!

I started with coffee…


and they brought us these cute little mini-muffins.  I let Ryan have the chocolate chip and I took the raspberry one.  Delicious!



I couldn’t decide what to get because everything sounded amazing, but I finally settled on the smothered grits: grits covered with ham, grape tomatoes, onions, corn, and bacon, and topped with two perfectly poached eggs.



This was amazing.  The flavors were so perfect together.  I’ll admit… I ate every bite.  I only wish I would have had my DSLR… the pictures above just don’t do it justice.  I only had my iPhone with me.  :(  Food blogger fail.

If you happen to be in the Myrtle Beach area, be sure to check out Croissants Bistro and Bakery.  It’s a small but beautifully decorated spot with really unique menu items.  I would say it’s a French-Southern Fusion kind of place.  They also have a great-looking Bloody Mary Bar which under normal circumstances I would have taken advantage of… but I knew with the day we were going to have that I shouldn’t start with one of those.

That’s when the day got a little crazy.  We drove to Columbia to meet my sister there and pick up a U-Haul of furniture to bring back home.  We inherited some furniture from my grandparents’ house: a new bedroom set for Sadie (that used to be my mom’s when she was a little girl), end tables for our living room, a bookshelf, and a kitchen table (used to be my parents but is an upgrade from our table).  That was a LOT of work, but it was worth it when Sadie snuggled up in her new big-girl bed!




So now… I hinted on Facebook that a challenge was coming. 

Are you ready for a fitness challenge? 

I know we are all super-motivated in January… but sometimes when February and March roll around, we start to slack a little.  Are you slacking a little? 

If so, then the 60 for 31 Challenge is just for you!

So what is the 60 for 31 Challenge? It’s simple…

  • a 60 minute workout
  • each day
  • for 31 days

Are you up for it?  The 60 minutes could be walking, running,biking,  Zumba or other aerobic class—whatever you like best.  You can also mix it up and do different activities each day of the week. 

You do get 2 cheat days for the month, because sometimes things come up.  You can also do a modified version of the challenge.  Maybe you want to participate on weekdays only or maybe you want to try a 30 minute workout for the 31 days.  Whatever version of the challenge you want to do… go for it!

If you are in for the challenge, it begins on March 1st and ends on March 31st!  If you are participating, post below, and if you are a blogger, be sure to list the name of your blog and your address! 

You can do it!!!  So rest up tomorrow on Leap Day… and get ready for March 1st!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Husband’s First Sushi

As a mom of a four-year-old, I know how exciting it is to reach milestones: baby’s first steps, baby’s first solid food, baby’s first day of preschool… but today the husband reached a milestone, too.  Details in a minute!

Last night we enjoyed dinner with friends… I had a salad and salmon with steamed broccoli. 



I had a nice surprise for breakfast:


quiche and Starbucks!  Yum!  When I headed down to the conference events this morning, I expected to find a pastry bar, but I was surprised to find quiche!  Yum!  And a bold cup of Starbucks coffee!  Perfect. 

After the conference events, I was really craving sushi.  With the help of Yelp (an awesome iPhone app!) I located a local sushi spot that had pretty good ratings: Soho.  And it was within walking distance from our hotel!  Score!  Now, I have to tell you that the husband doesn’t eat sushi, but I really thought if I could convince him to go that he would like it.  And he was a good sport and agreed.


Soho has a great atmosphere and is a cute little place.  The only negative thing I could mention is that they still have a smoking section (so weird—I thought they were obsolete!) and even though we sat in the nonsmoking section… you could still smell it.  But other than that, it was a great local spot that wasn’t overrun by tourists. (You know… I guess we were the tourists since we don’t live here… but I have been coming to Myrtle beach for so many years that I don’t consider myself a tourist.)

We started with Miso Soup and Calamari…



Both were delicious.  The miso soup was really tasty and I liked that the tofu was really soft and silky.  Even the hubby liked it!

We decided on the Spicy Tuna Roll and a Crazy Roll.  Both were great!



The hubby gave his first sushi experience a thumbs-up!  Now I can’t wait to take him to RuSan’s, my favorite spot in Charlotte!


We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and wandering. 



It is just really nice to be away and childless for a few days!  I miss my little monkey a bunch, but it’s nice to have some adult time, too!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Greetings from the beach!

After a hectic week, I am finally getting a chance to blog.  And look where I am…


that’s right—the beach!  Actually, I am here for work, not necessarily pleasure.  But work at the beach is way better than work at home.  I am a member of the South Carolina International Reading Association, and they are having their annual conference this weekend.  I was lucky to score a complimentary registration, so here I am!  I had a great afternoon thinking about Literacy Learning Stations, Vocabulary, and and units of study!  And after all that, my brain was actually overloaded.  (Could be because it was 4 p.m. on a Friday, too.)  So I decided it was the perfect time for a walk.




Still loving this app: iMapMyFitness!!!


Even though it isn’t sunny and warm, it was nice to walk to the beach and feel the sand.  I am looking forward to a night with friends tonight! 

Hope everyone is having a great start to your weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

If I didn’t Work…

Happy Sunday!  (Actually, it’s pretty late!  Most of you probably won’t read this until Monday!)  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Sadie and I have had lots of mommy-daughter time together this weekend. 

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(about to go through the car wash)

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(here comes the scary brush!!!)

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We took a trip to visit Meredith and David yesterday (and Leenie and Poppy were there, too!)  It was a nice one-night trip. 



We had a delicious dinner, which everyone contributed to.  I took dessert: strawberry shortcake. 

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The only bad part of the trip was our drive home which was yucky! 

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This weekend has been quite different from most weekends.

Usually, every weekend, I say this:

“I really need to clean up my house!” 

But then the weekend comes, and I get REALLY good at avoiding the cleaning.  I’ll do just about anything to avoid cleaning and organizing.  But the thing is, the more you avoid it, the worse it gets.  A while back, I found this cleaning schedule on Pinterest and I thought… if I could get my house clean, then I could follow this and I would not have to do marathon cleaning sessions before company comes.

But the thing is, you have to START with a clean house.  And you’ve heard about my pattern.

But THIS weekend, I decided to really do it.  (I was partially motivated by the fact that we are having our house measured for carpet tomorrow and I didn’t want strangers to see a really messy house.)  But the main thing that motivated me was that I got these new cleaning products to try out, as a part of the Daily Buzz Moms Featured Publishers program.  I received them this week and have been waiting to try them.  I’ve seen the Green Works products in the store, but had never tried them.  I have used Clorox for years, but I really hate the smell of bleach, and I have heard so many things about how bad bleach is for your body—just breathing in the fumes is awful.  So I was excited to give these a try.


I love how fresh these smell!  They made the whole house smell great!  And I thought the all-purpose cleaner was really effective and worked great in the kitchen and the bathroom!  The wipes also worked great on the fixtures—they looked like I polished them!  The toilet cleaner worked great and smelled so much better than any toilet cleaner I have ever used. 

So that got me on a roll.  I just spent no less than 3 hours cleaning my bedrooom.  It’s the room that never gets really cleaned, even when guests come over.  It feels so good to have it clean! 

I have actually learned that if I didn’t work, I think I could definitely keep my house clean.  But I work.  And as much as I would love to have a cleaning service, we’re trying to save money.  So I am going to attempt to keep up with the schedule I mentioned above.  Anyone else want to try it out with me?


Ok, now I need to sample one of these cupcakes Sadie helped me make.  Good night!

Friday, February 17, 2012

11 Random Things

Lately I have been challenged for time and energy to create interesting food.  Every week I have great intentions… but nothing has been coming to fruition lately.  But I wanted to write something, so I thought I’d have a little Q and A session with myself right here, right now.

1. What movie can you watch over and over again, no matter how many times you’ve seen it?

I think I would have to say Love Actually, Anchorman, Dazed and Confused, and Friday (although I haven’t seen Friday in years!)

2. What’s your favorite band right now?

I am loving anything with Pitbull right now, but actually that’s pretty much all the time.

3. If someone made a movie of your life, who would you want to play you?

I’ve been asked this before, and I can never seem to name the exact right person. 

4. One food you wouldn’t eat as a kid that you love now?

I don’t remember eating asparagus as a child, but I love it now. 

5. Last book you read?

I am working my way through the 20 South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominees.  I finished Wild River recently, and I liked that a lot.  Now I am reading The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg and I can’t stand it.  One page puts me to sleep every night.  But I am trying to forge ahead and finish it.

6. What is your favorite memory from high school?

I loved high school.  I am sure there were rough patches, but I certainly remember it with rose-colored glasses.  I think the best times were hanging out at Pete’s, a local diner-type place.  We would always gather there after football and basketball games and on Saturday afternoons.  I can’t imagine how many hours I spent there.

7. If you could have a dinner party and invite 5 people (famous or not), who would you invite and why?

It it were family, I would have a tough time because there are so many of us!  So I am going to invite non-family members so no one’s feelings are hurt.  I would invite:

Will Ferrell—for the comedic relief,

Barak Obama—because seriously, who wouldn’t want to meet the President?,

Ellen Degeneres—because I imagine that she would be fun to talk to and could get along with anyone,

Chelsea handler—because I am fairly sure she would bring Grey Goose and would stay after the others left to gossip about everyone,

and DJ Pauly D—because he’s bring great tunes, abs, and hair.

8. Scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

Paranormal Activity!  Totally freaked me out!

9. What song is stuck in your head right now?

“Shake Senora” by Pitbull (I learned new choreography for it this week and have had it in my head all week long!)

10. Quirkiest thing about you that most people don’t know – go!

I am not sure if this is quirky… but I make Ryan let the dog out every night and put her to bed and lock up.  I hate when he goes to bed first and I have to do all the night routines!

11. What do you love about yourself?

I love that I help inspire others to healthy living—through blogging or by teaching Zumba! 


So there you go… a little bit about me.  I hope to be back tomorrow with a food or recipe post!  I am considering a Dixie-Style Dining Recipe!  I haven’t done one in a while!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!  Remember me?  I used to blog here…

Lately, I have had a hard time getting motivated to blog because of one of the 2 following reasons

1.  Either our nights have been really boring with convenience foods that I just haven’t thought anyone would want to see


2.  I have been lazy about taking pictures.

For example, on Saturday night, my dance-fitness company had a big 5th anniversary party that was amazing!  And guess what?  Didn’t take any pictures.

I DID take pictures of our trip to Home Depot on Saturday when we looked at carpet samples. 


Crazy fun, right? 

So… on to Valentine’s Day.  I can’t help but think back to where I was a year ago.  Last year, we spent Valentine’s Day saying goodbye to my grandmother.  I also didn’t know it, but it was the last time I saw my grandfather, too, as he passed away just a month later.  It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since then.  I still miss seeing them and especially seeing them with Sadie.  So I guess maybe I was a little down thinking about that.  You can click here to see my post from a year ago.

A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day

But luckily I have a wonderful husband who cheered me up tonight by coming to my Zumba class tonight!  It was his first-ever Zumba experience and he was pretty nervous about it.  But at the end, he even said he had FUN!  It was fun to show him what I spend so many hours away from home doing!

AND he hooked us up with a super romantic dinner, too.  Tacos.  YUMMY! 


(note the cupcake, too.)

Sadie had fun getting treats today, too!  :)


I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When in Doubt, Scramble. With Spinach.

Lately, I have been on a bit of a spinach and egg kick.  It’s no secret that I love eggs.  Fried, poached, boiled, scrambled, deviled—it doesn’t matter to me.  I love them ANY way.  Once I read a quote by Jillian Michaels in a magazine and she said that she thought eggs were quite possibly one of the world’s most perfect foods, and I agree.

  • First of all, they are high in protein, so they’ll keep you satisfied longer and energized longer (if you eat them for breakfast.) 
  • They also are a great after-exercise food because they help your body repair and grow muscle tissue.
  • They are very affordable!  A carton of eggs costs about $1.50-$3.00, which means an egg costs around $0.15-$0.30 each!
  • They contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!  And all for only about 70 calories apiece! 

(These facts were gathered from The American Egg Board.)

Like I said, I love eggs.  But lately, I have been loving the spinach-egg combination.  A friend reminded me how great these two foods are together and this has been my favorite weekend breakfast lately. 


It only takes about 2 minutes to prepare.  I don’t think you can even call this a recipe—it’s that easy. 


Want to try it?  Here’s how.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray or olive oil.  Heat over medium-low heat.  When pan  is warm-hot, add in fresh spinach.  I like to add about a cup, tightly packed.  Maybe a little more.  (It will cook down to about 1/6 the size.)  Add a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook until just wilted.  Then throw in 1-2 scrambled eggs.  Cook until eggs are scrambled to your liking.  Enjoy!

Tonight when I got home from Zumba, I tried another variation. 

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When I added in the eggs, I also added in about 5-6 grape tomatoes, halved, and 2  Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese.  SOOOOO delicious.  The feta, spinach, and eggs were a great combination!  I remember a time when I didn’t really like feta, but lately, I am loving it on salads and with veggies and hummus!

I also added some sliced avocado on the side.  Another favorite food!

These spinach-egg scrambles REALLY help me to feel satisfied longer than other breakfasts, and they are just delicious!  If you decide to try them, let me know how you like them!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dip, Baby, Dip

Who watched the Super Bowl?  I don’t know that you could call what I did “watching.”  If I am being honest, what I did was catch up on some of my favorite blogs, browse Pinterest, and play on Facebook and Twitter, while pausing for a few funny commercials and the fabulous Madonna halftime show.  I just really wasn’t interested because I don’t have any ties to either team.  A few years ago, the Carolina Panthers were in the Super Bowl and that was pretty exciting.  But the husband watched the game.

Even though I am not really that into football, I do like tailgate food.  ;) 

On Sunday, the husband and I took a little trip to Trader Joe’s and we stocked up on some goodies.  While we were there, we sampled a super-easy but tasty dip with only 3 ingredients.  I thought it would make great football food.  This dip would also be great for parties!  It comes together in a snap with only about 2 minutes of micro-cooking! 


Start with these 3 ingredients: soy chorizo, a container of whipped cream cheese, and a can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes.

Mix the three ingredients together.  I only used half the sausage and half the tomatoes, because I thought I might be able to use them again in another recipe.  Mix well and microwave for about 2 minutes, or until warmed through.  Give it a final stir to be sure it is evenly warmed, and serve with chips!



Ta-da!  Great dip in minutes!  I also would like to point out that Ryan did not have any idea that the chorizo was SOY chorizo OR that there were tomatoes in the dip.  :)



On a different note, I went for my first real visit to the chiropractor today!  You may remember that I went for scans and x-rays 2 weeks ago, and today was my first real visit.  I had my first adjustment, which was no big deal (I was kinda nervous about that part) and then I started some of the treatments for my back and neck.  I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have severe pain and I am not unable to do anything, but I get a lot of headaches and I do feel pain in my lower back at night.  I will continue to let you know how my treatment goes!  I had a treatment today which actually felt really good.  I am looking forward to going back! 

Now… I’ve got to get back to The Bachelor.  I just can’t help it.  I love this show.  Very dramatic.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birthday Weekend Number Two

I know we had a special birthday weekend last weekend!  Sadie turned four.  This weekend it was my turn!  Sadie’s and my birthdays are just 5 days apart, so we do a lot of celebrating this time of year!  I thought I would do a “weekend highlights” post today.  We had a busy weekend as usual around here!

On Friday, we had our 2nd annual “Souper Bowl Tailgate.”  Last year we had a soup/chili cookoff, and we decided to do it again this year.




I liked the “shots” of soup!  This method lets you try lots of different soups!


I think my favorite was the chili made with venison. 

Friday afternoon, we took Sadie for her very first gymnastics lesson.  She absolutely loved it.  She was able to practice walking on the balance beam, do a forward and backward roll, and start working on a handstand!





From there, we headed to our church for a silent auction to help raise money for Global Missions.  We had lots of fun socializing, eating some delicious food, and I even won a basket of goodies, including a manicure!  I am looking forward to using that! 



On Saturday, we celebrated my birthday!  I spent the day at a dance-fitness workshop, and then enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant with Ryan and Sadie.  Of course we had cake afterwards! 




Carrot cake!  My favorite!

Whew!  What a packed weekend!  Tonight I am looking forward to relaxing and watching The Super Bowl halftime show and commercials.  I don’t really care about the game!  I’ve never been too into football.  This is one of the first times we have ever just been at home for the Super Bowl!  I am planning to make a fun dip I sampled at Trader Joe’s and also some oven-fried chicken nuggets with BBQ dipping sauce.  How about you?  Any fun plans for tonight???