Monday, August 20, 2012

Easy Dinner and Random Shots

You may have noticed that blogging has taken a little bit of a backseat for me lately.  It’s been a crazy couple of week.  As you all know, I have a new job.  I’m still adjusting to that, and we have had close family members in the hospital, which has also been stressful.  I am happy to say that things seem to be looking up as far as medical concerns go.  I think I am going to try and keep blogging 2-3 days a week.  That’s about the average of what I had been doing prior to July.  If you’re a longtime reader, thank you for being patient! 

I have also noticed some new “likes” on my Facebook page and some new commenters on the blog!  Welcome to my new readers!

I thought I would start by sharing an easy dinner from this weekend.  I am ashamed to say that this is probably the first dinner I have cooked in 2-3 weeks.  We’ve done a lot of take-out and/or restaurant nights lately.  However, this week, we went to the grocery store and actually PLANNED out our meals again and I cooked!

Pork Tenderloin is always a go-to meal for us.  I like to watch for when they go on sale (B1G1) at Harris Teeter.  The other great thing about pork tenderloin is that there are 2 in a package.  So if we cook both, we usually have enough for two meals. 



I decided to grill it this time.  We preheated the grill and turned it to low.  I seasoned the pork with Emeril’s Original Essence and Lime Pepper (dried).  Then I cooked it on the grill, turning it approximately every 8 minutes to cook all sides evenly, until it reached 160 degrees.



We paired the pork with my new favorite summer veggie: roasted okra.


So simple.  Toss in EVOO, add salt, pepper, and Garlic Powder and roast for 15-20 minutes.  Delicious!


Dinner was done in under 40 minutes and was delicious!

I was just going through my memory card and I thought I would include a few random shots of what has been happening lately.  Hope you enjoy!

Movie date to see “Brave”



Baseball Date




Fun Zumba Times


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zumba Convention- Full Recap!

Whoop whoop!  I am back from the Zumba Convention 2012!  It was such a great trip, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!  Early last Thursday morning, a group of Instructor friends and I met at the airport and headed down to Orlando, Florida for four days of dancing, walking, laughter, and learning.

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I have been wanting to go to the Zumba Convention for a couple years, so it was a very exciting trip!  For those who are thinking about going next year, hopefully this post will be helpful for you as you make your plans.  The convention is held at 2 hotels and at the Orlando Convention Center.  The main hotel is the Peabody, but our group opted to stay at the Hilton. Luckily, the three locations are conn ected by a long walkway, which one of our instructors dubbed “The White Mile.”  (It actually IS a full mile.)

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This meant that we walked somewhere around 4-6 miles per day, which sounds like a lot, but it wasn’t as bad as you might think.  It was all in the shade and some of it was indoors.  :)

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I was able to participate in lots of Master classes and workshops, such as Flamenco, African, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Latin Pop, and even a workshop on warm-ups and cool-downs. 

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My two favorite classes were Hip Hop, taught by these two AMAZING instructors…

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… and Caribbean!  I got so many ideas for new choreography. 

I can’t wait to have some time to work on some new songs.

My last class of the weekend was Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs.  I originally signed up for this workshop because it was being taught by a mega-famous instructor, Tanya Beardsley.  However, she was not able to be at Convention.  I wasn’t really looking forward to the session, but we got a nice surprise!

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Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba stopped by our session and helped lead it.  It was exciting to have a session led by Beto.  He did a warm up to one of my favorite songs of all time, “All Night Long,” by Lionel Ritchie.  Beto’s enthusiasm really is inspiring. 

The Zumba Convention also included some fun nightlife as well.  One night we were able to attend a Fitness Concert.  (This is really the biggest Zumba class ever. 

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Can you believe we had a surprise visit from Vanilla Ice?  Yes, he came out and we were able to dance to “Ice Ice Baby” as he performed it LIVE!

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There was also a “Dancing Through the Decades” theme party one night and a concert by Daddy Yankee! 

All in all, it was an amazing (albeit tiring) weekend.  Zumba really does know how to put on a great weekend for Instructors.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to go this year.  Now I can’t wait to go again next year!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zumba Convention 2012

Hello from Orlando! I am so excited to be here in Florida for a very special event... The Zumba Instructor Convention! I have been looking forward to this trip since Winter and finally it is here!

Over the next few days, I will be Tweeting details and also adding pics and updates on my Facebook page. (See the links on the right side of the page to follow me and keep up with the journey!)

Here are a few quick pictures to give you a sneak peek. I will definitely be blogging about the experience but for now, here is a quick look!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Outgrow Yourself.

Well, hello there.  Did you think I had quit blogging?  This may be the longest blogging break I have ever taken.  I just needed to take a little time off.  These past two weeks have been very eventful for me, to say the least.  But I am ready to fill all of you in now and try to remember how to blog get back to my blogging ways!

Two weeks ago today, I had a little meeting.

Actually, it wasn’t just a meeting.  It was a job interview.  And that changed everything.

Now, I’m gonna get a little deep on you, so if deep isn’t your thing, you can tune out now and I won’t be offended.  And you can check back soon for the usual lighthearted posts.

I’ve been very happy in my job.  In fact, I am blessed to have the job I have always wanted.  About 8 years ago, I realized that I loved working with teachers and that my dream job was to be a Literacy Coach.  It took a couple of years for the right opportunity to come my way, but I became a Literacy Coach and loved it.  Working with teachers and students is truly rewarding.  I wasn’t looking for a new job.

But an opportunity found me. 

I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason.  And so when a new position unexpectedly opened up in a neighboring school district, I decided to go for it.  I thought, “If this is meant to be, I’ll know.  If it’s meant to be, it will happen.”  And it did. 

My favorite quote has always been “Risk everything.  Outgrow yourself.”  I like to think that I live by this, but true big risks don’t come my way very often.  In fact, this is one of the first times I was truly tested.  This was one of those times that I could truly “outgrow myself.”  You just can’t pass up those opportunities.  I’m still going to be working with students and teachers, but on a bigger scale.  Instead of working with one school, I will be working with several schools now.  I just keep thinking to myself, “Imagine the possibilities.”

I’m still a little amazed at the changes that have happened over the past two weeks.  I packed up my classroom, said goodbye to teachers  and administrators who have touched my heart and my life in wonderful ways.  These are the people who helped me to be who I am today.  And I moved into an office in a new school district, where I have already met countless wonderful people, who I know I will love working with.

So, that’s where I’ve been.  I’ve been packing, moving, crying, laughing, planning, thinking, praying, questioning, and learning.  I’m so excited to begin this new journey. 

Thanks for listening.  :)

Maybe I’ll cook something to celebrate.