12.23.2011

Holiday Parties

I don't know about you, but this next week for us is jam packed with parties, hangouts and family gatherings.  I know my way around the table well enough to know what to avoid or eat moderately so my pants still fit by the time we head back to Nashville a week later, but, I've never given a thought before to the beer and wine we drink (in moderation of course).  My family is Italian and we love our wine. This article was a huge eye opener for me and definitely something I will be keeping in mind as we head home for the holidays.

If you choose to drink, here are some tips to limit the number of calories that you consume:

1. If you are going to drink mixed drinks, mix with diet beverages or fruit juices.
2. Stay away from "heavy" beers, light beers can taste just as good.
3. Remember that white wines are lower in calories than red wines.
4. Try drinking a glass of water between drinks. You will not only fight off calories, but you will keep yourself hydrated as well.
5. Alcohol slows down the body's metabolism, which means you are burning less fat when you are drinking.
6. Don't forget to exercise at least 3 times a week.


THE DIFFERENCES IN CALORIES BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER
Type of Beer
Oz.
Calories
Miller Lite
12
96
Budweiser
12
140
Bud Light
12
104
Corona
12
160
Busch
12
149
Natural Light
12
109
Coors Light
12
107
Michelob
12
156
Michelob Light
12
146
Sam Adams
12
178

THE DIFFERENCES IN THE AMOUNT OF CALORIES IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF WINE
Type of Wine
Oz.
Calories
Bordeaux, red
4
95
Burgundy, white
4
90
Cabernet Sauvignon
4
90
Champagne
4
105
Chardonnay
4
100
Chianti
4
100
Merlot
4
95
Reisling
4
90
Zinfandel, white
4
80
THE DIFFERENCES IN THE AMOUNT OF CALORIES IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF MIXED DRINKS
Type of drink
Oz.
Calories
Margarita
5
550
Mudslide
4.5
417
Long Island Ice Tea
8
380
White Russian
4.5
320
Pina Colada
6
293
Rum and Diet Coke
6
65
Vodka and Diet Sprite
6
65
Bloody Mary
5
90
Mike's Hard Lemonade
12
240
Zima
12
185


I don't know about you but at least half of my Christmas vacation is spent lounging on the couch watching movies with my family.  If your break sounds anything like that, here's an added bonus to help you through that lazy Christmas week.

We not only have a habit of enjoying a snack while we tune in to our television sets, we also tend not to pay attention to how much we're eating while we’re doing it.  In fact, research has shown that we automatically overdo portions when we snack in front of the television, especially on the foods we tend to eat too much of anyway like straight-out-of the bag potato chips.  So, we’re eating more than usual and we don’t even realize it.
Here are some tips that will help your weight loss/maintenance efforts survive your time in front of the TV this Christmas season:
  • Eat a meal as close to TV time as possible.
  • Divvy a portion of your snack into a single serving bag ahead of time.
  • Or, always use serving bowls instead of eating straight out of the package.
  • Don’t watch TV in a room next to the kitchen.
  • Keep a large bottle of water at your side and sip, sip away.
  • Snack ... but only during commercial breaks. That hand doesn’t go back into the bag once your show returns!
  • Ladies: Paint your nails. You may be looking at your hands instead of the TV or your snack.
  • Chew flavorful sugar-free gum. Pop it in at the beginning of your show. Not only will it keep your jaws busy, but if you take it out to eat, I’ll guarantee you your chosen snack food won’t be so tasty and you probably won’t keep going.
  • Choose something that takes a long time to chew like apple slices dipped in caramel or something you have to work for like peeling string cheese or shelling pistachios.
I hope you find these tips useful over the next week or so and from our family to yours,




12.22.2011

Christmas in Our Home

2 days before Christmas and I am finally posting this... I told you I would post it before Christmas! ;) Honestly though, I can't tell you how much I love this time of year (minus the cold weather although it's be like 70 degrees here the last couple of days). The decorating, the food, the decorating, the parties, the smell of Christmas trees, the decorating, the music... I could go on and on but lets get to the decorating.

Can I get a show of hands of those who googled and pinterested (is that even a word?) for hours scouring the Internet for holiday decorating ideas? My hand is  up, waving in the air.  Without these sources I'm pretty sure my house would be the ugliest decorated home you've ever seen.  I need a picture to tell me where to put what so it doesn't look like I unloaded half our belongings onto a shelf in a disorganized cluster.  

Anyway. I've decorated our house and wanted to share what I've done for all you out there who are like me and need a picture for guidance. =)  We still have no tree topper, I feel like my table is rather bare and we have no stockings but when your on a super tight budget, those things must just wait.  But, without further adieu...here is Christmas in our home. =)

*(I rushed around this morning taking pictures before I left for work so they aren't the most fabulous looking pics, but you'll get the idea).



 This year I used jute instead of ribbon for our presents. I also bought plain cardboard looking card stock and cut it into the shape of labels. Super easy and super cheap.

When using fake anything (like garland) I like mixing it with the real deal to make it look more natural.  On our mantel I mixed into our garland with some branches from our Christmas tree. 

A quick wrap of gold wire helped spruce up our candles.

Even our little birdies got festive for the season.

Obviously, still making use of the cinnamon pine cones... =)

Here is another example of mixing fake decor with the real deal.  In the vase is a mixture of plastic branches and berries with some sticks and the greenery is from our tree.

Love, love the Willow Tree nativity.

A little Christmas in the kitchen..

And that about sums it up.... there were a few smaller decorations here and there but I was too distracted by our super cute visitor to take pictures of them...

I seriously can't get enough of those chubby cheeks!

12.21.2011

Who I am.

As I continue to post exercise tips, healthy recipes and ways to stay motivated through this busy time of year, the thought crosses my mind every time, "When people read this, what are they thinking of me?" I hope that doesn't come off sounding conceited because that is not the direction I'm going with this.

I've spent countless hours over the last few weeks trying to update this blog to better represent me, the author, so readers like you know who this lady is that is babbling about scheduling time for yourself to be healthy even when you’re working full time, taking care of a family and just trying to stay sane. You can read more about me and my professional background in the "about" page but I wanted to take a moment to give you a peek into who I am and who I am not on a personal level before I published the next post in my healthy holiday tips series.

I am health conscious and do make it a daily effort to be healthy. That looks different every day. Some days it's just trying to eat a few vegetables or a piece fruit. Other days it's getting in a good workout. Most days it's both. It's part of my job. I always tell people, would you ever go to a dentist who has rotting teeth? No. So, would you reach out for wellness assistance to a person who doesn't practice healthy habits themselves? No. I believe you should practice what you preach.

I am not perfect. I struggle from time to time with the consistency of my nutrition and fitness habits too.  So while I post these tips, please do not think I do all of them all of the time. I don't think I have ever worked out 7 days out of the week and my favorite food is mac n' cheese which I eat (by itself) as my dinner probably once a week.  I believe if living healthy is part of your lifestyle, moderation is the key. 

I am passionate about health for the health benefits not for the appearance benefits. Through high school and college I struggled with an eating disorder, so I am very careful to focus on the health benefits of what this lifestyle is accomplishing, and not what I'm seeing in the mirror. I know that this is a struggle for so many women (and some men) out there and I want to be sure those who are reading this blog understand the position I’m coming from.  I'm not posting these tips and suggestions to help you look more like that super model you saw strutting down the runway during this year's Victory Secret fashion show. My motivation behind these health related posts is to help people understand the small and simple things they can do to become a healthier person one step at a time. Maybe that’s trying to drink more water each day, maybe that is trying to walk a few days a week, maybe that's incorporating strength training into your current fitness routine to prevent osteoporosis, or maybe that's just trying to take 5 minutes a day to manage your stress. The point is, it looks different for everyone and every little bit counts.

I am broken sinner who struggles like everyone else. We're human. The biggest lesson I learned when I became a believer (and am still learning) is I cannot do life alone and this healthy lifestyle I lead is not an exception. I have learned I must lean and rely solely on my Savior for strength, motivation and right thinking. When I do, I understand His reason behind my passion for health, to help & empower others to take steps towards a healthier life and I know I must be of sound mind to hear and do His will. When I'm not leaning on the Him and trying to do things myself, I struggle to have the right motivation and thinking behind my diet and fitness routine. My motivation becomes selfish, and the thoughts and voices that caused my eating problems long ago start to creep back into my mind. I know now to lean the Lord for that peace and right thinking but those weak moments still rear their ugly head from time to time. I'm only human.

Photobucket



Like I said, stay tuned for the next post in the holiday tips series which will touch on how to manage your calories at parties with all those festive holiday drinks.

12.18.2011

Weekend Fun

As I mentioned a few days go, my girlfriend Lindsay and her fiance were in town this weekend visiting.  It was so great to spend a weekend of fun and fellowship with these two, and of course Linds and I made sure to squeeze in some much needed girlfriend life chats too.  We met up for lunch at Mad Donna's here in East Nashville which was delish as always. If you live here, you must go! They have everything from sandwiches and burgers to yummy brunch items and on the weekends they run 2 for 1 mimosa special. Yes please.  We spent rest of the day people watching at the Opryland Hotel and searching for baby cowboy boot socks.  The people watching was super entertaining, the sock search was an epic fail.


Last weekend we met up with our friend Barrett in downtown Franklin for a quick little photo shoot to get a cute pic taken for our Christmas card we are unfortunately no longer sending out (we went a tad over budget this month). =)  At least we got a few nice pictures taken right? And hanging out with Barrett always ends up being such a great time anyway.  He is one of the first people Bobby met when he moved here to Nashville and has really gotten into photography over the last couple of years.  You can take a look at some of his photos here but I wanted to post one of the pictures he took of us last weekend because frankly, it's just awesome.  Check it out:



PS. I promise I wasn't lying when I said I would post our Christmas decor... I just keep forgetting to actually take pictures of everything! I also promise to post it before Christmas... =)

12.16.2011

Finished.

The indecisiveness has gone, and so has that old header.  Thanks for the sweet and encouraging comments, but I just wasn't feeling it.  To be honest, it kind of hurt my eyes when I looked at it... it was a bit too bright and loud for me.  I'm a loud person... but not that loud.

I'm very happy with what I've created this time around and I think it may be here to stay. Say What!?! I know! Check me out making a decision. Hah. After asking my husband if he liked it like 3 million times and changing the colors about 2 million times, I think I'm finally content. =)  I'm still learning how to add things like fancy fonts, creative gadget titles and pictures on the side bar, (especially since the merge with Google+ has removed my profile...) but those are mostly minor things that hopefully don't take me weeks to complete like this header did. Wahoo!!

Oh, and Happy Friday!!! Anyone else out there extremely happy this week is finally ending? I sure am. It's been a super long week for me but also, in less than 24 hours I get to hang out with this girl:


Lindsay is one of my close girlfriends from college and I love her.  She is a special education teacher with such a heart for those kids and is on fire for the Lord.  She also has a blog Have Faith. that you should totally check out.  Oh, and she is getting married in June! YAY!

Can't wait to see you tomorrow friend!

12.13.2011

So Indecisive

See this the header right here??

...I've been working on it the last few days (this is what I was talking about in the previous post that is consuming any free time I have). So...now I don't even know if I like it. (!!!) Talk about being indecisive. Anyway, if you stop by over the next few days an see constant change.. you'll know why. Any thoughts on the header are welcome too!

Now that it is 3 hours past my bed time, (yes, that makes my bed time 9:30pm) I'm must go to bed.  I can't remember the last time I was up this late during the week.  This is what happens when my husband travels and I get bored.  Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

12.12.2011

Shout out to Chicago!

Cool Music is heading north as my husband makes is first ever debut in the Windy City! Wahoo!  If you live in the Chicago area, like country music and your in the mood for some live entertainment, head out to the Elbo Room!


What's that you say? You wish he would come play in Iowa?? Well, today is your lucky day my friend! Bobby will be in Bettendorf, Iowa Tuesday night playing a Christmas show at The Clubhouse Indoor Golf & Lounge.  Click here for more details.

PS. Things are (obviously) under construction over here... sorry for the mess.  Updating the blog it is taking much longer than I expected.  Bear with me... =)

12.07.2011

Keep on Truckin'

"It's too cold", "I'm sleepy", "It's too cold", "I'm too busy", "It's too cold", "I need to spend time with the family"...womp, womp, womp. Any of this sound familiar when the thought of exercise pops into your head this time of year?  My husband hears at least one of these every other day.  But! I know how great it feels once you get finished with that run or yoga class or whatever work out you enjoy, and I also know how not so great it feels when those already puffy sweaters start to make me feel like a marshmallow, so I do my best to keep on truckin' through this miserably cold time of year.

Here's are some tips if you can relate...
  • Plan ahead.  Seriously though, plan ahead. Plan ahead. Catch my drift? =)  Spend a few minutes working out a training program that you will be able to follow during this time, even if it changes week to week.  Simply putting pen to paper and taking it along with you (in your purse, wallet, etc. especially if your traveling a lot this month) will help keep you stay focused and on track.   This doesn't need to be anything crazy so relax. =)  Focus on maintaining your current level of fitness instead of trying to improve during this time.  This will take some pressure off and make it easier to adhere to your plan.
  • Try to get your exercising in early in the morning.  As the day evolves, you are more likely to get involved in other activities, chores, facebook, pinterest, etc. that could lower your motivation to exercise.  Also, I don't know about you, but with it getting dark here at 4:30PM, I feel ready for bed at 5:30PM and so the last thing I want to do is work out.  If an a.m. workout isn't doable with your schedule (or you are not a morning person--join the club), going directly to the gym from work (no pit stops at home, the grocery store or where ever else) has made a huge difference for me.
  • When your out of town for the holidays (or have visitors): include your family and friends in your training program.  Involving family and friends will make it easier for you to get out there every day, and also benefit the people who come with you.
  • Find a buddy.  I promise you are not the only one who is lacking in the motivation department right now.  Recruit a friend or two, or drag along your better half, and go together. Knowing you are meeting someone will help keep you accountable and makes it much harder to convince yourself not to go.
  • Set small targets.  If you wake up tired and you cannot face the thought of going out for your daily exercise, bargain with yourself.  Tell yourself that you will only walk for 10 minutes.  Chances are that once you start, your head will clear; you will get into a rhythm, and end up doing your normal time anyway.  If that 10 minute walk is all the happens, pat yourself on the back for getting up and moving and continue along your merry way.  It maybe wasn't what you "should" have done, but you didn't stay in bed and skip it all together, so kudos to you my friend! (I am all about the small victories if you haven't noticed).
via


Any other suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

11.28.2011

Hanging At Home

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  We had a great time back in Atlanta spending lots of quality time with both my family and Bobby's.  It was sad to leave everyone but always happy to be back in my own home. 

Speaking of being back in my own home... I've been home from work all day today, and will be home again tomorrow. I wish it was just because I decided to take a few more day's off from work but apparently, according to the NP at the Doc in the box, I have shingles. I'm not really sure if I should be sharing that on the internet... but I have no filter, so oh well. I plan on going to a primary care physician tomorrow just be on the safe side, but as of right now, that's what their saying. If you've never had shingles (which I hope you have not) it is not fun. By far the most painful thing I've ever experienced. There's no way to avoid the pain either... sitting, standing, laying down.. it doesn't matter.  So, since I'm stuck at home in aganizing pain and discomfort I thought I might as well get going on decorating for Christmas! So that's what I've been doing.  We only have a few things here... the rest we accedently left at my husbands parents house (big bummer) but my amazing mother-in-law is so fabulous that she is mailing them to us this week. =) My plan is to get this all finished by the end of the weekend. We'll see.

For now here is a sneak peak on what's been in the works..

11.23.2011

Healthy Tips for Thanksgiving

Did you know that 3500 calories equals 1 pound of fat?! With a holiday focused around food, it can be real easy to go overboard on Thanksgiving without even realizing it, so here are 7 tips to help you make some smart choices and still enjoy all your favorite dishes this Thanksgiving.

1.  Eat breakfast! So many of us think that by skipping meals we will "save calories" for the rest of the day. Wrong! Skipping nutritious foods will make you hungrier and almost always leads to over eating.  By starting your day with a small meal consisting of lower calorie choices, such as fruits or high fiber cereal, you'll help curb your appetite for the rest of the day and avoid over eating at dinner.

2. Start with Soup. If this is an option at your meal, start off with a small bowl of broth based soup. This was something we really encouraged to clients when I was working at Jenny Craig. A hot liquid, like broth based soup, can help fill you up on very few calories and make it easier to avoid over eating later.

3. Check your portions. When it comes time for dinner, find your favorite foods and take small portions.  This helps avoid the feeling of restriction which can so often lead to over eating. By taking smaller portions, your able to still enjoy your favorite dishes, but keep calories under control. Select additional options such as fruits and vegetables to help bulk up the rest of your plate.

4. Eat Slowly.  Enjoy the food  your eating, don't plow through it! This helps people mentally feel satisfied but more importantly it allows your stomach the time it needs to communicate with your brain that you are full (about 20 minutes).

5. Get Active! This does not mean you need to throw on your running pants and go for a jog or leave all that family in town to hit the gym! Take a family walk or coordinate a friendly game of football or basketball.  You'll be able to spend more time together while burning some calories (and help with digestion!).

6. Floss or brush your teeth. Kind of strange, but, flossing or brushing after a meal has been shown to help you stay away from food for about an hour!

7. Drink water! Before you reach for that second cookie or piece of pie, have a glass of water first. Many times it's hard for our brain to decipher between being hungry and thirsty (until we get that dry mouth feeling when we're dehydrated).  Water (or even decaf tea) is a low calorie way to help curb your snacking. Not only that but it also helps flush out extra sodium in your system from dinner and helps promote digestion!

As a bonus, here are two yummy recipes that are low in fat and calories that can also be made ahead (always a plus!).

Chunky Cranberry Spread

1 8-oz. package low-fat cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese
1-2 Tbsp. low-fat milk*
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds or other nut
1/2 tsp. orange zest, preferably fresh

Place cheese in a medium bowl and allow to soften at room temperature. Mash and work with a fork until texture is light enough to combine easily with other ingredients. *Gradually add enough so cheese is easy to spread.

Mix in remaining ingredients.   Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead, or let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend and mellow.

Spread on whole grain crackers or apple wedges.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Per 1 Tbsp. made with low fat cream cheese: 36 calories, 2g. total fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 3 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. protein, less than 1 g. dietary fiber, 29 mg. sodium.


Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9" square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
 
Combine sugar, pumpkin, egg, egg whites, and oil in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended.  Add flour, baking powder, cocoa, and spices.  Beat on low until batter is smooth.  Stir in morsels. Spread into pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Serves 16.
 
Per 1 serving:  100 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 25% daily need of vitamin A.
Recipes are from www.aicr.org. More tips to come as we continue on through this holiday season!

11.21.2011

Happy Monday My Friends


Happy, happy Monday my friends! =) Why so cheery on this rainy and dreary Monday you ask? It's a 3 day work week! Whoop Whoop!!!

Hopefully you all have some wonderful gatherings planned for this Thanksgiving weekend. Our plans every year (the past one year..) involve heading back to "the retta" (Alpharetta, GA) where both our families live.  Knowing how distracted I get when I go back home, I know I'm not going to post again until maybe Sunday night so I thought I should probably go ahead and post about Thanksgiving today...

So like I was saying, both families live in the same area so we always split the day between the two. As hectic as the preplanning portion of that can be, once we get there it is so awesome getting to spend every holiday with both families.  My parents spend Thanksgiving with 4 other families we're super close with (one of which was my dad's college roommate!).  I absolutely love this group like they were my own family and they are absolutely a hoot to hangout with.  Bobby's family always spends Thanksgiving at his Nana's (grandma). I must say, I LOVE THIS WOMAN. She is so sweet, so funny and most of all so loving! She has treated like one of her own grandkids since they day we got engaged (maybe even a little before that). ;) That said, we made sure to prepare for our busy weekend by doing absolutely nothing this past weekend (and by nothing, I mean doing mounds of laundry). Bobby actually took a picture of it... that's how behind we were in doing laundry. He was so astounded by the heap of clothes he was inclined to photograph it.... ! I should be embarrassed right? He wanted to post it on Facebook but I had to explain to him how mortifying that would be for any girl, especially his wife, so obviously he did not. I could go into a whole list of excuses about how busy we have been and blah blah blah (even though we really have been!) but the truth is we got lazy, and frankly, I hate loathe doing laundry. ANYWAY.

Heading into this delicious day of giving thanks, I wanted share just a couple of thing on my heart I'm thankful for this holiday season... I am thankful that our families live so close to each other that we can spend every holiday with the people we love. I'm thankful for a husband who loves my family as much as I love his. I'm thankful for this beautiful marriage I have been blessed with. But most of all, I'm thankful to be eternally, unconditionally loved by an amazing God and beyond thankful that His love cannot be removed from me under any circumstances and by no power.

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~Romans 8: 38-39~




11.13.2011

On the Radio


Hello my friends! I have some pretty exciting news to share tonight! My fabulous husband will be on the RADIO tomorrow (Monday)!! Wahoo!!! I know! I am freaking out!!

He'll will be performing live in New York at the Evolution Sound Stage for the taping of 103.9 WRCN's The Real Radio Show.  The show will be broadcast live on their website (www.therealradioshow.com) Monday (11/14) at  **6PMEST** (**5pm** for all you central time zoners).  You need to click on "Live Studio Camera" to watch and listen.  Though 103.9 WRCN is Long Island's Classic Rock radio station, the Real Radio Show is a multi-genre format which is why they've asked Bobby on the show!  He's a guest along with a few other groups/artist's so he won't be on the entire time, if we get more details about when exactly he'll be on, I'll be sure to update the post.

I am so proud of Bobby and so thankful for this opportunity God has given him and am still trying to wrap my around the fact that I will be listening to him on the radio! Crazy!! 

So, if you're living in NY or have access to a computer, tune in!

11.07.2011

I'm still here...

I promise.

Somehow I blink and an entire week just flies by. I have every intention of sitting down each night to finish one of my 3 million post's I've started but lately my time has been consumed with catching up on mounds of laundry after having a broken washing machine (I'll spare you the picture), as well as...

road trips with him

to surprise this her,

dancing my socks off at our YoungLife glow sticks club,

getting ready for her to come visit this weekend (yay!!!),

and way more time than I'd like spent creating this fabulous program,

to help people stop killing themselves with these,

random.

So between all of that, and trying to update my blog (please excuse the work in progress and my missing background!), and about a million other things that I figured I wouldn't bore you with, somehow it ends up being way past my bedtime and blogging must be put off for yet another day.  I do promise, however, that the next few posts will be filled with decorations, recipes and whatever else I can come up with. =)

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this:
Yes that is a mustache and that would be Bobby "turned off".

11.02.2011

A Chance to Give

If you've been hanging around the Cool Living corner for a while, you're very familiar with my random mentions of my friend Laura and her blog Twirl [lbr].  If you aren't familiar with her or her blog I HIGHLY recommend you check it out (you may want to wait until you have a few free hours).  Her outstanding writing skills, awesome DIY projects and precious little family will suck you in.

In her most recent post, The Grace Project, she relives some of her time spent in Africa and the sweet woman she met while she was there.  The way she spoke of Grace and her family was so similar to how Bobby speaks of his "family" in Peru and how his heart yearns to go back to visit that it quickly struck a chord in me. I knew I couldn't move on to the next blog on my reader list without posting about this great project, even if only one person reads it.

If you have the time, stroll on over to Twirl to read more about The Grace Project and how you can help support this beautiful family.

"For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have." 2 Corinthians 8:12

10.17.2011

Weekend Guests

This past weekend we enjoyed the company of Bobby's sister, Casey and her fiance Michael. We really missed his youngest sister, Jamie, but still managed to enjoy our short weekend together! (Next time J, for sure)! They rolled into town Friday night to catch Bobby's concert out in the middle of nowhere in the cute little town of Mount Pleasant, TN.  Unfortunately I had to work, story of my life, but Casey made sure to take plenty of pictures and videos for me to feel like I was there the whole time and Bobby brought me home some fish taco's to help me feel included in their fun family dinner I missed. =) Thanks guys.

Saturday morning we enjoyed Chef Bobby's pancakes (a staple breakfast in our house if you're ever a guest) made with olive oil (accident) and then headed out to explore Nashville's farmers market. Here's the gist: farmers market + a love for cooking + no money = farmers market blues.









I did try to convince my husband that we desperately needed at least two pumpkins to show our Halloween spirit to all our trick or treaters we'll have this year because no one ever goes to the houses that aren't decorated, duh. And everyone knows you are supposed to buy one pumpkin for each person in the family (pets included) so clearly we could not just buy one.  Apparently I was pretty convincing.

We ate a delicious lunch at Puckett's Grocery, a Nashville must if you like southern food, and then headed off to the UGA vs. Vanderbilt game.  I didn't take any pictures. Sorry. It was fun.. but very long. But fun.

Sunday was fun day. We got in pretty late Saturday night so we all slept in, ate a little breakfast and headed down the street to the park to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.  Ever played Can Jam? Me neither, until yesterday. If you like tailgating games, you'll enjoy this one. Here's how it works. You have two "cans", a frisbee and a partner. You and your partner stand on opposite sides behind the cans. Then one at a time you throw the frisbee towards your partner who tries to hit it into the can.  There are points associated with where the frisbee goes but I never really pay attention to the details so I don't really remember that part. Anyway, Bobby and I dominated the first game but got worked by Casey and Michael in the second.




We decided to continue the competition will some good 'ole fashion hill rolling but found out that Bobby doesn't know how to roll... (?) so we had to teach him before we began but he quickly caught on. The sequence Casey captured is pretty funny, at least we think so. If your friend or spouse or sibling doesn't know how to roll, here's the lesson:
First laugh and explain they should probably be a little sad that they didn't have more fun as a kid...
Then tell them to tuck and roll. Easy peasy.


They may be confused so you will probably have to talk them through the first one.
Squat
Tuck
 Roll

They may not get it the first time, so you might also have to help them through it.


Then they're ready to compete.







We finished with a quick engagement shoot of the cute couple.... clearly in love...

Casey ate grass while rolling down the hill...

All good fiances pick grass out of your teeth.



and finally a self-timer family photo because we're weird like that. =)

All in all it was a great weekend and we were sad to see them go. Hopefully they had enough fun rolling down hills with us that they'll be back to visit soon.
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