Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 in Review

WHEW it is hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. This has been a rough year for me so I am looking forward to 2017 and experiencing all the comes with a brand new year.

I wanted to take the time to highlight some of my favorite things from 2016. When we were on our New Year's cruise last year I opened my notes app and started a list of all the fun things we did so that I could look back and remember. I am so glad I did this. I can truly look back and remember the good and the not soooo good.

January

On New Year's Day we were in Puerto Valleta and we zip lined. This was truly a different experience and I wish I had pictures to show but they wouldn't allow cameras on the trip. Let's just say that we took a boat, a SUV type vehicle and rode a donkey all before we ever zip lined. We not only zip lined but we repelled down a water fall and rode water slides on this adventure.

January 2nd we were in Cabo San Lucas and went whale watching with my inlaws and brother in law.





January 24th I ran a half marathon in the Dallas area with my friend Deidre. My plan was 2016 was 2016 miles sadly I fell off the bandwagon and didn't get many miles.



February

February 5-9 we spend in Vail, CO hitting the slopes. I am happy to say that after many hours of PT and 2 ACL surgeries I am back skiing the black slopes. While in Vail we watched the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl. It was so fun to be in Colorado and see the Broncos win!!!

 


At the end of February I left my job teaching for some personal reasons. (the beginning of a rough year)

March

March 20th I ran the Rock and Roll half marathon in Dallas, TX



March 25- April 2nd I went on a Celebrity Cruise with my parents. This is the first time I have cruised with my parents and the first time my husband, parents and I went on a trip together since my 21st birthday.

We visited a fort in San Juan and St. Kitts and enjoyed Dominica, St. Marten and St. Thomas also.

April

April 15 we went to Cotillion which is a big social event here.



April 22nd we saw Carrie Underwood in concert




May

May was a slow month, but my mom was re-elected to our local school board for another 3 years.

June

June 10-17 we spend on an Alaskan cruise with my inlaws and brother in law
We started our journey in Seattle and visited the Space Needle.





We hiked a glacier in Juneau (lost a camera), went dog sledding in Sagway and also visited Victoria in Canada.

July
??? Happy 4th of July

August

I turned 30!!!



September

I got POUND certified in Austin, TX and started teaching a local gym.




October

8 year anniversary and cruise from New York to San Juan



November

Happy Thanksgiving



December

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Let's Talk...A Monthly ChitChat

Today, I am linking up with Erika and Andrea for the last Let's Talk of 2016. The theme this week is Home Tips and Tricks.


I am going to talk about Laundry because besides cleaning the kitchen and bathroom this is probably my least favorite chore in the house.

It is also very surprising that I dislike doing LAUNDRY because my family owns coin laundrymats and I grew up in them.

I typically try to do laundry on the weekends starting on my Friday evenings and finishing the last load on either Saturday evening or Sunday morning. However, I absolutely hate folding t-shirts and socks.

I always seem to be losing socks and I have a drawer full of single socks looking for mates.

I have been reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and when I get back home (I am at parents for holidays) I plan to go through whole house and just toss the single pairs. Let's face it they are never going to find sole mates. :-)

Since reading the book, I have adopted the system of folding tshirts the KonMari way and will say I do enjoy folding a little more now.

I will be honest and tell you I never learned how to IRON properly so yes we have an ironing board but if something needs to be ironed it either goes to the dry cleaners or my husband does it. I get to impatient and create more wrinkles than I began with.

My goal is 2017 is to adopt the KonMari way of tidying my house so it is never cluttered and I do enjoy doing laundry a little bit more and have better systems of organization in my house.

What is the chore you dread doing?


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas, Love The Beasons

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Mel, Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday!!

Each month on a Wednesday I link up and answer these questions....so here it goes. :-)

What We're Eating This Week....

I have been enjoying some chili that my trainer suggested. It has lots of yummy ingredients and I am loving it especially since the weather has been cooler.

Here is the recipe...

3-BEAN TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

Ingredients
Directions
  1. In a large pot add onions and meat, sprinkled with garlic powder and cook until no longer pink (drain using a plate, if desired).
  2. Next add the green chilies, beans, tomatoes, xylitol and spices (except cilantro) and stir until combined.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Finally, add cilantro. Serve hot.
  5. You may sprinkle veggie shreds or a light cheese on top.
What I'm Reminiscing About...
There have been lots of exciting and fun things happen in 2016...I wanted to just share a few of my favorites.

In January we were on a cruise for New Years' and went zip lining...it was so much fun. It wasn't your normal zip line...there was water and repelling down a waterfall involved. Along with a boat, donkey and crazy tour guide.
 
In June, we went to Alaska and went hiking on a glacier and dog sledding.
In October, we went to the Caribbean to celebrate some business decisions being made. 
 
I am looking forward to the holidays and just relaxing and enjoying time with my parents and grandparents. 
What I'm Loving...
Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel! I love these cute little movies. They just make me smile and are so sweet. I have been trying to watch at least one everyday. I am also loving my chocolate from my advent calendar. :-)
What We've Been Up To...
 
This month we have been having Christmas parties with friends and co-workers. I have been busy baking chocolate chip cookies, reindeer food and holiday crack candy.

What I'm Dreading
Driving...5 hours 
I am very ready to see my parents and grandparents but I so do not enjoy the drive. I know I am blessed to be able to spend the holiday with my loved ones though. 

What I'm Working On...
Learning new routines for my POUND workout and setting 2017 resolutions and goals. 

What I'm Excited About...

Spending the holiday with my family. Christmas Eve we will enjoy dinner with my aunt, grandparents and parents at my Aunt's house. After dinner and present we will go to church and celebrate the birth of Christ. I enjoy the very end of Christmas Eve service because we all sing O Holy Night and light candles. It lights up the whole church and we carry Christ light out as we go home.

Every year my grandmother gives me PJs for Christmas and this is a tradition I look forward to...everybody loves a new pair of warm PJS.

What I'm Watching/Reading...

I have been watching Hallmark Christmas movies pretty much non-stop. What are you favorite Christmas movies. I would have to say mine are Elf and A Christmas Story.




I have been reading
A Man Named Ove
A GRE prep book
The Magic Art of Tidying Up

What I've Been Listening Too...

Pound music and Christmas music on repeat!!! What is your favorite Christmas song?

What I'm Wearing...

Layers, layers and more layers...it has been super cold here so I have been layering. My North Face jacket has been wonderful this season.

What I'm Doing This Weekend...

Celebrating the birth of our Savior! I am looking forward to spending time with family and eating some yummy food too. :-)

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month...

A New Year!!! I am looking forward to finalizing plans for our trip to Sweden and enjoying a brand New Year.

What Else is New... 

??? Not much....I am just looking forward to relaxing and soaking up the end of 2016.



 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekend Rewind....Christmas Baking

It was a busy weekend of Christmas parties and baking....

Friday afternoon I spent most of the day in the kitchen making reindeer food, Christmas crack, and my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday we had a Christmas cookie party exchange, a Christmas party with my Sleek Physique crew, and a Team LibFit Shakeology group Christmas party!

For the cookie exchange I made my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies. We follow the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse bag of chocolate chips but exchange butter for something else (family secret). I personally enjoy my cookies to be put in the freezer and freeze for a bit before enjoying them. I much prefer cookie dough or a frozen cookie to a freshly baked one. Everyone brought 3 dozen cookies and we enjoyed sampling them and just enjoying a low key afternoon.

I also made Christmas crack and reindeer food for my co-workers and neighbors.

Christmas Crack Candy recipe 




TOTAL TIME: 
LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 10 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

  • 35 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag red and green holiday M&Ms
  • 1 jar holiday sprinkles, your choice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan with tin foil and coat with cooking spray. Line the baking sheet with Saltine crackers. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over crackers in an even layer and bake 5-6 minutes. Top with chocolate chips, baking for 3 minutes, or until melted. Top with mini marshmallows, red and green M&Ms and holiday sprinkles. Cut into squares, then cool until the chocolate has hardened.

Reindeer Food...I used Mix and Match Mama (Shay Shull's) recipe for this one. :-) 


Shopping List
1 bag of popped popcorn (about 4 cups total)
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
8 oz white candy coating or almond bark
1 (9 oz) bag Peppermint M&Ms
1 (9 oz) bag milk chocolate red and green M&Ms
2 cups Peppermint Crunch
Red sprinkles
Lay wax paper down over your kitchen counters to pour your Reindeer Food on.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your popcorn and Chex mix together.
In a microwavable bowl, melt your candy coating, stirring every 45 seconds.  Once it’s melted, quickly pour it over your popcorn mixture and toss.  Working quickly, add in your M&Ms, Peppermint Crunch and sprinkles and then pour the mixture down over the wax paper to dry (about 10 minutes).  Once it’s dried, store in an airtight container.
I personally suggest using more than 8 oz white candy coating..but that was just me.
What is your favorite holiday recipe?!
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stranded...Christmas Movies

 
Today I am linking up with Mix and Match Mama (Shay) and A Little Bit of Everything (Erika) for STRANDED. Today's edition is which 3 Christmas movies would you take if you were stranded on a desert island. I love Christmas movies and pretty much have the Hallmark channel on if I am home. They play sweet little Christmas movies pretty much non-stop during the holidays. It is crazy to BELIEVE it is only 11 days until CHRISTMAS. This year truly has just gone by sooo quickly.


So if I had to pick 3 Christmas movies to take with me and watch on repeat they would be....

1) A Christmas Story...this play 24 hours on TBS Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and I always look forward to watching it. I typically don't watch it before then because I know it will be on repeat. I love the leg lap, the tongue getting stuck to the hole, the BB gun, the bunny costume...just everything about it is great and I ALWAYS end up laughing.

 
2) ELF....Ok Will Ferrel plays the role of ELF prefectly!!! I love the maple syrup on everything. Papa Elf, the magic of believing in Santa to make his sleigh fly...the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!!! SANTA!!! I know him!!!
 
 
3) Home Alone...this just reminds me of childhood!!! I love all the crazy shenigans that happen!! I mean how would someone forget their child at home during the holidays?!?!
 
 

 
 
I also enjoy always watching...
 
Charlie Brown Christmas
The Grinch
 
 
The Holiday
 
and of course Christmas Vacation!!!
 

 






Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekend Rewind...Christmas in the Sky

WHEW and WOW what a weekend it was. We've all gone mad...was the theme of an event my husband and I attended this past weekend. Christmas in the Sky benefits our local Arts council here in Shreveport. Every 2 years they host a big event and it truly is the party of the year.

This year's theme was Alice in Wonderland so as you can guess Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat were all in attendance. The event is set up at Harrah's Louisiana Downs were they typically race horses and it is also a casino. The downs is 3 floors of decorations, food and beverages.







Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift Ideas for Men

Today, I am sharing some of my favorite gifts to give the men in your life. I find my father in law, brother in law, dad and husband can we hard to shop for!!! Why you ask? Because, if they want something they go buy it themselves.

My husband recently bought some Bose Headphones for travel. The particular pair he bought for he and I are noise cancelling and quite pricey but great for a traveler or techy man in your life! They come in both black and silver. We recently used them on our trip to New York and they were amazing. My husband uses them when I practice my POUND workout at home and they block out all noise!!! We bought our pairs on Amazon but you can find them at Best Buy also.

Have a fitness guru in your life or someone who wants to see how active a lifestyle they lead?! I suggest a FITBIT. I particularly love the one that shows you time, steps and heart rate. My mom started the FITBIT craze in our family and since then my husband, I and my mother in law have bought them. I love wearing mine daily and that I can track my workouts and sleep also.  Bonus you can buy different color bands so you can fit them to your personality.

Every year, I purchase a pair of PJ pants for my father in law. He enjoys the POLO brand but one year I did get him some Baylor pj pants. They are so soft and warm and stand up through the wash. These are especially great for the holidays because it is colder.
 
 

YETI CUPS!!! Need I say more?! These make great gifts for the men in your life. My dad and husband both have one that they drink out of daily. Yes you have to hand wash them but it truly isn't that bad and I guarantee that if you need to drink more water then you need a YETI cup. It will keep your ice for about a day and a half. I personally love really cold water.

Northface Jackets...My husband has about 10 jackets I kid you not! However, he really loves the NorthFace brand. In 8 years of marriage I have had 4 Northface jackets. I have a rain coat, a light weight jacket and a fluffy jacket currently.

These are great for when the weather gets cold and you need a light layer on or for when a restaurant is cool. They hold up and wash well also. Yes you can wash them in your washer!!

Hopefully you get some good ideas and can cross off some shopping items on your list!!! Merry Christmas!!!