Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunset Symphony

The last event of the Memphis in May is Sunset Symphony.   And each year they have a different featured artist that performs with the symphony for a set and this year's artist was KC and the Sunshine Band.  A great way to end the events for the month.  It is held at Tom Lee Park on the Mississippi river.  I went for the first time last year.   We left my house close to 3 with a vehicle full of six people and all the items needed for a picnic.  I went with S, JF (her hubby), H, and S's parents.  We had a great assortment of items to eat too. 
This year we went prepared for rain.  Last year a quick storm came up and most of the group got soaked while a couple of us were able to get under the second tarp.  And we did get some rain and thunder during the Air Show. 



S hanging out under the tarp. 



S's parents peaking out at the air show with H. 

I didin't get any good shots of the air show. 

While we were setting up our spot H got a chocolate chip cookie.  I think he enjoyed it.



There are several artist who play on the stage throughout the afternoon until the air show.



And the night ends with a firworks show over the Mississippi River.  Which at one point I didn't think was ever going to start.  KC and the Sunshine band didn't want to quit playing. 



A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NIght of Relay for Life



Relay was Friday night.  It was a blast, even if the crowd was not as large as years past.  There is one family who has had a tent for years and we were so sad not to see them there this year.  They always sell McAllister's Sweet Tea.  But there was plenty other fun items to enjoy.  I totally admit I was not good about getting a lot of pictures.  Several different tents sold food.  My dinner came from the potato bar at one.  And of course I had to have a cupcake.  One of the school groups had a dunk tank that just intralled H.



So much so he had to sit down and watch. 

I spent a good part of the evening runnign around playing with H.  A great way to spend the evening.



And thankfully he didn't mind taking a few breaks.   Aunt Ruth isn't used to chasing after little ones so much anymore. 






Thankfully the dark cloud blew right over and didn't drop any rain.



 A few shots of the park. 

One church had a climbing wall and a couple bouncing items.  One just perfect for the little guy.



He is such a happy little guy.

The place I spent the most money was at the raffle tent.  The most poplar item and the one I put the most tickets in the cup for was a Wii.  I also put in for a basket full of scrapbooking items and one full of cooking and gilling spices.  And I didn't win a single one.  So sad!

The event raised a little more than $60,000 for the American Cancer Society.  I didn't stay awake all night.  And after I got up from my nap right before 5 am S told me that they had finished counting the last round of money so I came home.  I figured by that point Belle might be anxious to get out and she was. 



Monday, May 24, 2010

Up Next..



I decided on my next workout plan.  A kettleball workout.  I have had a couple pulled out from magazines for years and never gotten around to trying one.  For one because I never thought about buying one until I pulled out my notebook to pick a workout to do.  And then wouldn't think about it when I went shopping.  Yesterday I hit Wal-Mart and bought one for $18.77.



Not bad looking either. 

I can't wait to give the workout a try tonight.  They are supposed to give a really great workout. 
The workout I chose actually came from Self in 2008.  Yeah I am bad about hanging on to workouts forever before trying them as I am recipes. 
The attached link is to the video of the workout.  Kettleball workout   I like they have video of the workout so I can see how the moves should be done and hope I  manged to do them correctly.
Well off to workout and do some cleaning around the house.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Self Challenge Month 3 Week 4

I finished!!!!  I am so excited that I finished another Self challenge.  I always feel so good when I do.  I don't know how much I lost as I don't weigh myself.  And forgot to take my measurements along the way.  But I am seeing some changes that make me very excited.  Now to just keep the motivation going.  I will admit this week got a little crazy and I only got in 3 cardio sessions and one strength workout.  And most of that cardio involved walking Friday and Saturday at Relay for Life. 

If you haven't given a thought doing the challenge go sign up.  There is still time to sign up for the challenge this year. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amelia Peabody Series

I came across the Amelia Peabody series about 1 year ago at the library.  I was wondering the racks looking for a new author to read.   The spine of one caught my attention because it had the funeral mask of King Tut on it.  I pulled it out and the book sounded good so I got it.  I fell in love with the characters by Elizabeth Peters.   The author is now in her 80s and holds a PHD in Egyptology.  The first book in the series appeared in 1975 and the latest came out last month (yep still haven't gotten around to buying it yet).  The books take place around digs during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  One book even takes place during the year that King Tut's tomb is found.  Yes Howard Carter appears in several of the books as a character too. 
There are now 20 books in the series.  I have read close to half of them.  And this is the first series I picked up and did not pay attention to the order of the books. 

Crocodile on the Sandbank
Curse of the Pharohs
The Mummy Case
Loin in the Valley
The Deeds of the Distruber
The Last Camel Died at Noon
The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog
The Hippopotamus Pool
Seeing  A Large Cate
The Appe Who Guards the Balance
The Falcon Portal
He Shall Thunder in the Sky
Lord of the Silent
The Golden One
Children of the Storm
Guardian of the Horizon
The Serpent of the Crown
Tomb of the Golden Bird
A River in the Sky (came out in April)

Also there is one book not in the series.  Amelia Peabody's Egypt - A Compendium

The first book takes place in 1884.  Amelia has lost her father and inherited a fortune at the age of 32 (a spinster in the time period).  She decides to follow her dream and travel to Egypt with her friend Evelyn.  While on the trip the meet Radcliffe Emerson and his brother Walter Emerson, both are Egyptologist.  The two ladies marry the brothers.  Amelia and Emerson (as he prefers to be called) have one child Walter Peabody Emerson who goes by the nickname Rames.  Walter and Evelyn go on to have 4 or 5 children (sorry I can't remember how many).    During the The Last Camel Died at Noon the Emerson's take in a young girl named Nefret.  They also take in Adbullah's grandson David who ends up marrying thier niece Lia(Evelyn & Walter's daughter). 
The books happen around digs the Emersons are on in Egypt.  Each season they find themselves involved in a mystery that Amelia is compelled to solve.  Many of them are due to stopping the illegal sale of antiquities in the early days these involved the ring led by the Master Criminal who turns out to be Radcliffe & Walter's half brother Seth.    Along the way they have had several close calls with thier lives and even lost thier beloved foreman (reis) Abdullah when he took a bullet to save Amelia. 
I love reading about the time period the books take place.  And I love learning things about ancient Egypt.  And can only dream of seeing the places the characters visit and work in Egypt.  To bad if I ever get to visit Egypt things will be so changed from the time the books take place in. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Relay for Life

I have another three day work week.  Yippee!!!  Well except for all the extra work I need to put in for those short weeks.  I am off this Friday for the DeSoto County Relay for Life.  I have been involved with the event for several years.  I even spent two years on the committee.   I totally admit that I have yet to survive staying out at Relay for the whole night.  I have only managed to be apart of the whole event when we have called it due to bad weather.  I know terrible.  And the weather predictions are not looking good for Friday.  Please say a few prayers that the weather will hold out.  At least until around 2 am so that we can get pancakes and sausages, one of the churches prepares them as one of thier on site fundraisers.  I am not sure what all else will be out there this year but I can't wait to find out. 
Go to the American Cancer Society website and find the Relay for Life close to you and go out and participate

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Caribbean Chicken Kabobs



I am at it again.  I started flipping through my cookbook for something to try this week when I returned from my trip.  I so meant to make these last night.  But got caught up in watching a movie and then it was late.  And now I got home and didn't start until about the same time.  Tonight's recipe is from Betty Crocker and has been in my recipe book for 3 years.  Time to try it. 


Caribbean Chicken Kabobs

1 3/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. Caribbean jerk seasoning (dry)
1 small pineapple, rind removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

Brush grill rack with vegetable oil.  Heatcoals or gas grill for direct heat. 
Brush chicken with 2 tbsp. of the oil.  Place chicken and jerk seasoning in reasealable plastic food storage bag.  Shake bag to coat chicken with seasoning.  Thread chicken, pineapple, bell pepper, and onion alternately on each of eight 12-inch metal skerwers, leaving 1/4 inch space between each piece.  Bruch kabobs with remaining 2 tbsp. oil.
Cover and grill kabobs over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center.



I actually had some chicken left over and I put it in the freezer to thaw for a meal later.  I also got a green bell pepper because I thought it would make them look prettier. 

I am also proud of the fact I didn't wimp out and buy pineapple in the can.  This was the first time I had cut down a pineapple.  That is the one thing I wish I had done last night when I decided to wait until tonight to cook the kabobs.  It took forever to do.



It was also the first time I have grilled chicken or a kabob.

I made some couscous and garlic cheese biscuits to go with the kabobs.  The couscous turned out a tad dry.  One day I am going to get that hang of making that from outside the box.




Warning they set my mouth on fire.  I need to come up with something to go as a side that will cool my mouth down.  And yes firey mouth or not I will make these again.  Not so sure about taking them for lunch at work.



One skewer is 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. 





Monday, May 17, 2010

Queen City


I spent a long weekend in the Queen City visiting one of my besties and her kiddos (aka the niece and nephew).  It was the  last chance we would get to see each other before they move to Tokyo. 
After getting settled in Thursday when I got there we headed out for a trip to Starbucks and to pick Maddy up from school. 



Yep all three of us had some Frappacinos.

After picking Maddy up from school we hit the grocery store for the ingredients Beth needed for Taco Quesidillas.  They were so yummy!   And I can't wait for Beth to post the recipe on her blog over at Southern Blossoms. 
We did hit up Amelie's Friday afternoon after picking Maddy up from school.  The place was packed so we didn't get to hang out and enjoy the place. 



I took these during my visit in October.   The bakery is decorated so cutely.  We picked up treats for movie night.  Maddy picked out The Goonies for us to watch.  I still love that movie.  And we had a bunch of snack foods spread out all over the living room floor.  It was a great way to spend some time just us girls.  Saturday night we did another movie and finished up the leftovers.  I took The Confessions of a Shopoholic. 

We spent Saturday in Concord, NC at thier Festival of Arts.  We were not sure what all we would find while there but when Beth went on thier website to find directions there was no doubt we would go even for one thing.  I will confess all three of us girls have huge sweet toothes and listed as an item was Fried Oreos.  Yep even if we left after partaking in those it would have been worth it.  And they were the first thing we did once we got there.  So worth it!!!  They had several cute booths and I tried some Chipsticks.  They took a potato and put it in a spin cutter and then fried it on a chopstick.  The lady at the booth said that she was the second person in the US who had bought into the booths.  We also spent some time exploring the cute shops along the street the festival lined.  One was a shop called the Chocolatier.  A cute chocolate shop that even listed the wines to go with each item.  We all enjoyed the treats picked out.  Beth got the Oreo cheesecake and I got a chocolate peanut butter torte. 



What you can't really see is that Jaxs has it all down one side of his John-John too.

We also hit up a cute gift shop where I picked up a pewter napkin holder (the ones that go on top the square boxes when outside) in the shape of a Margarita.  And a drink huggie that says Someday my prince will come.  He just took a wrong turn, got lost, and is to stubborn to ask directions.  I wish I had picked up the one that said There is to much blood in my alcohol stream.  That was something heard a lot on weekends during college.   I don't know if I completely believe the huggie but it was cute for a single gal like me. 

It was so sad to leave yesterday.  Especially not knowing how long it will be before I see all thier smiling faces again.  But more than likely it will be for my first trip overseas. 


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Self Challenge Month 3 Week 3

Wow! I have one more week left in the Self challenge.  I can't beleive how fast time has passed.  I did great with my workouts before leaving for Charlotte.  I was hoping to get in a third strength workout before leaving but it didn't happen.  I did well with eating until I hit the lovely Queen City but then I knew I would not be eating that well while on vacation.  But more on that later this week.
With beginning my last week of the challenge today I am thinking about what my next goal will be.  Shape magazine has a 5 month bikini body challenge I could go back and start.  Or to start the one month bikini body challenge from Fitness magazine.  I need to look through both again to decide.  Or I can go back in work on Jillian's 30 day shred again.  Something to really think about this week. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flying Away

I am flying away to Charlotte this morning.  I am looking forward to a long weekend in the Queen City with three of my favorite people before they leave to join the fourth in Tokyo. 


My beautiful niece and eldest nephew



The Southern Lady and Jaxs


I do know my niece has planned for the three ladies to enjoy a movie night together again.  I am looking forward to seeing what movie she has picked out.  And what the menu will be tomorrow night. 

My only wish is to visit Amelie's again.



Don't these sweets look so yummy.  And trust me they are. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Self Challenge Month 3 Week 2

I didn't manage to get in all my workouts in this week.  I got in all my cardio but was only able to get in one strength workout this week.  Oops!!!  I am going to work hard to get in a third strength workout this week before leaving for Charlotte.   Cardio is always easy for me to get in.  I love to put in my headphones on my Ipod and just listen to music and before I know it the machine is telling me that my workout is over.   As of late I do spend part of my time chattign with a co-worker who goes to the same gym.  It is nice to have someone to talk to about everything going on at the office since the buyout.  And we talk a little about cooking and family. 
I am seeing more changes and this week was able to buy a small size in a dress from Ann Taylor Loft.  So excited about that.  Now if the muffin top would disappear even more.  I know it will take a lot of work and when I get back from my trip I am going to throw in more ab work. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ModCloth

I don't normally click on all the advertisements on the side of Facebook but tonight I did.  Only because the dress pictured was so cute I had to know where to get it.  The link took me to the ModCloth website.

How cute is this dress



Of course I had to check out others on the site and found a few others to fall in love with.  And they all have such cute names.  This one is the Limerick Lass Dress



The Kennebunkport.  It also comes in purple.  And I can't decide which color to love more.



Brunch with Ms. America



Crewel to Be Kind

The site also has jewelry, shoes and home.  I could go on forever if I pull stuff from each category.  I love that their is a flat shipping rate too.


This little fashion citation pad cracked me up.  I know there are days when people would love to give me one of these.  And I know a few friends who would have way to much fun with one. 

all the picutres come from http://www.modcloth.com/

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dresses

In the last couple weeks I have been doing some online wishing and I keep gravitating towards dresses.  Not sure why I don't wear them very often and never really have.  I grew up a tomboy and still can't deal with wearing a dress very often.  But lately I have been wanting one or two.  I even saw a couple cute cocktail dresses.  I so wish I had a reason to buy one but there is not event on the horizon to wear one too.  Though a friend did remind me football season will be here soon and I could wear one there.  It cracks T up that we dress up so much for a football game. 






There was one I tried on yesterday at Ann Taylor Loft that is not on the website but it is a beautiful blue one shoulder dress.  And I was so closte to buying it yesterday with the dresses on sale for 40%.

Sometimes getting the sale emails from Ann Taylor Loft is so dangerous.  I saw this cute dress that could be for work or a night out and went to get it. 



I tried it on and it was a tad to tight at the bottom.  Got to love being pear shaped.  Maybe it will fit by the time the put it on sale for new merchandise.  I am so keeping my fingers crossed on that one.  And I was going for it in black. 

I did pick up this on Friday.  And I have to admit I seriously thought about returning it when I got the email Sunday about the 40% sale on all full price dresses this week. 



I think I am going to pull it out for work tomorrow. 

I picked up this one yesterday during the sale when T & I went.



I love the green of this dress.  And it might be what I wear on the plane to Charlotte next week.



all pictures from Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropology

Monday, May 3, 2010

Self Challenge Month 3 Week 1

I finished up the first week of month 3.  I got in my second strength workout Saturday morning.  With all the storms happening in the area there was no way I was able to get out to the gym.  I was really looking forward to a long cardio workout.  But oh well.  So with sirens going off I put on my workout gear and did the strength workout.  After doing the workout twice last week the Figure 4 Firmer move that I was worried about last week really didn't give me any trouble.  But for some reason the Reshaping Reach bothers me. 
Eating went well last week too.  And I have started the week of well so far.  The fajitas last night were great and low in calories and fat.  Now if I can keep it up all week. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Garlic LIme Chicken Fajitas

I know everyone has seen the McCormick commercials talking about the packages with a recipe and the seasonings needed.  About two weeks ago Kroger had the packets on special and I picked up the one.  I love the idea of them packaging the spices for a couple recipes to try so that if you hate it you don't end up with a bunch of spices you might never use again.  And yes I realize it is a big win for McCormick too because if you like the recipe you will go out and buy the full size bottles.  I finally got around to trying them tonight. 

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

1 tsp. micned garlic
1 tsp. minced onions
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/4 c. each lime and orange juice
2 tbsp. oilive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
8 flour tortillas (8 inch)


Mix juices, oil, all of the spices, and salt in a small bowl.  Reserve 1/4 c. of the marinade.  Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or glass dish.  Add remaining marindae; turn to coat well.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.



Cook and stir chicken in large heated skillet on medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from skillet.  Add bell pepper, onion, and reserved marinade; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.  Return chicken to skillet.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes or until heated through.
Spoon chicken mixture into warmed tortillas.  Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.



I was trying to decide what to make for a side dish.  And while in the grocery store this morning I found Chicken Fajita Rice-A-Roni and gave it a try.



I wish I had thought before hand to make Apple Enchilidas for dessert.  That would really have mad the meal even more perfect. 
Yes, I will be making these again in the future.  First I need to buy half the spices that I don't already have.