Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Athletic Training

So right now I'm in the process of completing my continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain my certifications in Athletic Training and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. On top of that, I have to work the Thanksgiving day Football game, have the family over for dinner that afternoon (thank goodness, hubby is a chef!!), and prepare for an open house in a week. Oh yeah, and I'm doing a cookie swap so I need to get the invites out and decorate the little books I will be sending everyone home with, including all of the recipes! Wish me luck!!

But this is something that I think is hilarious. If you don't know who an Athletic Trainer is, a simple, very basic description would be the person who runs out onto the field whenever you see an athlete go down. We evaluate, treat, rehabilitate, and educate the athletes. It's fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Cooking...

I've been reading blogs for a while now and I love find recipes on them that I can't wait to try! Well, for a few months now, I've seen all kinds of people posting about Red Velvet Truffles and I've really wanted to try them. I love love love making truffles, even though mine never ever come out as smooth and professional as all of the ones I've seen, but I have yet to find a box mix for a red velvet cake. I looked online for some scratch recipes, but to tell you the truth, that's where I get lazy! So I was thinking... What kind of cake would go well mixed with some cream cheese?! I actually figured out one morning, in the shower of all places!! LMAO. CARROT CAKE!!

I don't really like carrot cake, but my hubby LOVES it!! So much in fact, that one year I went to this special bakery and spent $27 on a carrot cake for his birthday... bad idea since we didn't even have a party and the cake had to weigh about 8 pounds... he ended up bringing it to work with him to share it... lol

So anyway, after looking at so many blogs with the recipe I kind of did my own. Some people used 12oz cream cheese, some 16oz, but all with red velvet... ok a few with chocolate. Here's what I came up with!! I hope someone else tries it and lets me know what they think. So far in the house, it's a hit!

Carrot Cake Truffles
1 box Carrot Cake mix
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots
1 can pumpkin puree (15oz)
1/2 cup water
16 oz cream cheese - softened
16 oz vanilla melts

Mix the carrot cake mix, pumpkin, and water together well. Then fold in the raisins and carrots. If your mix has the raisins and carrots, you don't have to add more (I buy the cheap mix and add my own). Bake it according to the directions on the box. If you would prefer, you can mix the cake the way it explains on the box (with the oil and eggs) but I always make my carrot cake this way, and have never had a complaint.

Allow the cake to cool completely. Then crumble into a big bowl. Add the cream cheese to the cake crumbles until completely blended. Then roll into 1 inch balls. Finally, melt the vanilla melts. I used a candy maker my mom had gotten me last year and it was so much easier. I can't do the double boiler thing, it always fails, so I had been doing the crock pot. It works but it's big!

Anyway, coat the carrot cake balls and allow to cool. Enjoy!! This is how a few of mine came out...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anniversary Weekend!!

Tomorrow is going to be my 7th wedding anniversary. It doesn't seem that long, but in ways it seems like forever. I mean, thinking about my life and how comfortable I am with my situation and my relationship, it's hard to think about "before us". I've already explained the start of our relationship, but if you need a refresher, here is the link for my Growing Love!

Anyway, last year was the only year that I actually took part in planning anything for this special ocassion. I'm horrible at the romance stuff... I mean just plain awful! Thank goodness Chef Hubby is Mr. Romance to the rescue! He had it all planned.

We headed out about 6:00pm with the kids at my mom's house watching "Kung Fu Panda", and sure as heck, not minding us leaving. He had informed me that we had reservations at 8:00 in Providence, RI, about 30 minutes away, and that I needed to pack an extra set of clothes to change into in the morning... Yes! It's an overnight!!! heheWestin in Providence (yes, Chef Hubby is also a hotel snob!) and man, oh man, it was nice!! I mean, seriously... you needed to use the room card to activate the freaking elevators

Anyway, we had time to check out the price list for the mini bar and laugh, before heading out to dinner. Can you believe that a 2oz can of "homemade chocolate chip cookies" was $7.50?! I mean, what kind of flour did they use?!

We caught a cab at the taxi stand in front of the hotel and headed to XO Steakhouse.. OMG!! We walked and were actually greated by the Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Lloyd. How cool is that? He was checking something on the computer and headed back into the kitchen. We were seated by an adorable hostess and were greeted shortly after by our waiter, Johnny. The feel of the restaurant was modern, sophisticated, and very comfortable. From the moment we were seated and scanned the menu, we knew we were in for something amazing

We started the evening with some water and a martini (I don't do those manly ones though... I had Flirting with Style... hehe) I don't remember which one Chef Hubby chose. We continued to scan the menu trying to figure out the perfect plan. It was a difficult choice, there were so many options that we wanted to try!! When Johnny returned, Chef Hubby asked if they did tasting menus. The reply was a quick, "Of course, how many courses would you like". SWEET!! We had the option of picking our items or having the chef choose... the latter is always the way to go!! We actually ended up tasting 8 different dishes, most of which were not even included on the menu.

I have to say, I did not have a single complaint for ANY of the dishes! Thank you Chef Benjamin and Johnny for an absolutely amazing experience!! The only bummer came between the entree and the dessert. The Chef came to our table and asked how our meal was, and then informed us that at the end of service next Saturday, they would be closing to implement an entirely new concept. Initially, it was a serious let down! I saw a TON of dishes I wanted to try and would never get the chance, but then thought, hey if the quality stays this superior, I can't wait to try a French tasting menu starting on December 1st!!

We ended up going home with a doggy bag because although we were served two incredible desserts, a Creme Brulee Trio and a Hot Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ice Cream, we couldn't leave without sampling the Bread Pudding with Maple Ice Cream. That was sooo yummy later in the evening... hehelol! I know, I can't believe I was hungry still!! We got ready and headed to the Concierge in the Lobby to find a place for some good food. Being only 8:50am we were informed that most spots were not open until 10... BUT there was a little place about a 10 minute walk away, if we were ok with that. Heck yeah, bring it on!

It was a beautifully quiet walk in the city that morning. The air was crisp but clean and all of the storefronts seemed so calm and welcoming without the bustle of midday. We took a wrong turn but eventually found the spot, DownCity.

Upon, entering we grabbed seats at the bar and once again scanned the menu. It was so hard to choose. Why do they make it so difficult?! I ended up asking the bartender what her favorite option was. I hesitated a moment before taking opinion, because as any good employee should, she tossed out without hesitation, the priciest item on the menu... the Downcity’s Uptown Crab Cakes Benedict, two poached eggs with hollandaise on a bolo over crab cakes and sweet potato homefries. It was actually the choice I was leaning towards. Chef Hubby opted for the Our Slow Braised Corned Beef Brisket Hash, served with 2 eggs, toast, and sweet potato homefries. We also ordered a Blueberry Banana Sour Cream Muffin and some coffee.



Yes, they were as yummy as they look!! Oh and as huge!! Neither of us came close to cleaning the plate, but it was fun trying... lol! My clam cakes were perfect, moist and sweet, but not soggy. OMG!! Even the hollandaise is amazing, nice and light and creamy... mmm!

Chef Hubby's Corned Beef hash included potatoes and carrots and he thought it was phenomenal! Well, we finished what we could. I grabbed a bag for my muffin to bring home to my mom... I knew she'd love it! and we headed back to hotel to get the car and head home... to reality. Oh well, we knew it couldn't last forever, but I can't wait to get back!!

Have you gone anywhere special lately?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Blog

I started a new blog! This one is going to be about weight loss, nutrition, exercise and just plain feeling good! If you're into that kind of stuff, feel free to check it out!! Hope you like.

One with the Scale

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Before I was a Mom

I was checking my email tonight and a very close friend sent me the following message. It really touched me and actually when I was reading it aloud to my mother, I even teared up a little, thinking about it. Anyway, I thought it was something special you might enjoy.

Awesome Mom

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Cooking

I don't know about anyone else, but my hubby and I love love love the holidays!! Actually, my hubby will be cooking Thanksgiving for my family this year. I get out of all the cooking and cleaning stuff that day because I get to stand in the cold, on the side of the football field, hoping that no one gets hurt so that I don't have to actually work!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me! Thank goodness for Mom though, because while I'm working and Chef Hubby is cooking, she'll be dressing and monitoring the kids. It's a great little setup.

Then that weekend my mom and I get both houses all glammed out for christmas! Follow that a week later with a HUGE holiday party complete with food, drinks, and great company... did I mention we have a two tenament house? My mom lives downstairs so we open both houses and let people roam... fun! Then we finish up before Christmas with a cookie swap, the following weekend.

I've actually started decorating little books I got at Target. I figure that I will give one to each person who comes with all the recipes, and a few extras that will be served at the parties. Phew... wish me luck!! Keeping watching for some of those recipes!! I start posting some of them!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss me?

Man oh man do I need to start blogging more!! I have so many in mind, even have the pics, but for some reason everytime I sit down to post something comes up. Hopefully with the day off tomorrow I'll be able to throw a few up.

Just a small preview of the things we've been up to:

My loving hubby took me to see the So You Think You Can Dance Tour!!
Payton turned 2yrs old this week!
I've been doing some cooking!
And then we have the boring stuff like work, but I won't be getting into that... lol

More to come, very soon... I promise!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance!!

This was the Ballywood dance... I think I spelled that correctly, if not, you know what I mean!!

Yes, I am a total geek, but I absolutely love this show!!! So much, in fact, that my loving hubby bought me tickets for their tour. He even bought two extra tickets so that I could have a friend come (of course, she brought her hubby to keep my hubby company too... hehe)

Well, not only did he get me tickets and let me bring my buddy, but he went on the website and blog and found out that they sign autographs at the end of the show... SWEET!! So after an hour and a half waiting in the cold... once again... Sorry Brian and Jenny!! I got to meet them all! BUT most importantly, I got to say "hi" to Twitch. He's been my favorite since he tried out for the show last season.

He's really down to earth and super cool. I know I sound like I'm about 16 yrs old right now, but oh well!! I actually searched and found the t-shirt he wears all of the time, but I'm struggling with spending 20 bucks on a t-shirt. It's cool though... it has a big "T" in the superman emblem on the front, because he likes to fight villians... lmao!!
Here he is... Twitch!!!

I'm really bummed though because I cropped out two other dancers and then saved the pic under a new name... so I thought! I actually somehow managed to delete the other pic so no more pic with Gev and Jessica.

Anyway, that was the start of my week last week! It was sooo much fun!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just Vote!!

Ok, this is my little plea for everyone who's registered (those who aren't, well, I'm not gonna go there!!) be sure to get out there tomorrow and VOTE!! I know that everyone has different views and opinions on this election and that's what is so great about our country... that's what is supposed to happen!!

So which ever Candidate you think is the right choice, VOTE! Local and national, it's all important to have our voices heard. Oh yeah, and if you don't actually make it to the polls, please do me a favor and don't complain about the outcome. You had your chance.