Grew Dat!

Happy Halloween!  I’m not much of the “dress up and party all night person.”  I think the last time I dressed up was as a Junior in high school.  My friends and I were all roaches and one of the more dramatic, comedic friends was the can of Raid.  Fun memory!

Chris (my husband) works almost every Saturday so we rarely get to enjoy a night out on the town regardless of Halloween although it may be fun on occasion.  For the most part I am a homebody, but being home today just left me in a funky, unhappy mood.  I think it largely had to do with the fact that I knew so many others were out and about celebrating Halloween, attending VooDoo Fest, and getting pumped up for some “Who Dat’in” with our Saints tonight!

My day started early with some pumpkin spice coffee and a giant pancake.

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I used 1 serving of Bisquick Heart Smart, an egg, 1/4 cup lowfat milk, and a teaspoon or so of peanut butter for the pancake.  I topped it with Greek Yogurt, Black Seedless Raspberry Preserves, and a few blueberries.  Those other small broken pieces are from dried banana sheets Mom brought me from Trader Joe’s Chicago.  The ingredient list says “bananas.”  It is much like the texture of a fruit roll-up.  My pancake was a little overcooked on the other side, but it hit the spot.

Shortly after breakfast I went to Lafreniere Park to get in some cardio.  I jogged/walked 4 miles total.  Once around the track is 2 miles so I did it twice.  My first two miles were done in 24:34 and the second two took a little longer at 28:15.  On average, that is a 13 minute mile.  Not great, but hey it’s exercise.  And like I said before, I’ve never been much for running, though I am starting to enjoy seeing what my body can do.

Once I got home I helped Chris install our new dishwasher.  Well, not brand new, but new to us.  Some close friends gave us theirs since they upgraded.  The dryer component on my old one went out so it was time for a new dishwasher anyway.  I just didn’t want to fork out the money because I hope to remodel my entire kitchen in the near future. 

By the time we were done my stomach was screaming for some food.  I blanched some green beans after snapping the ends off and ate half of a Think Thin Bar while waiting.  I added pre-cooked shrimp defrosted from frozen, mushrooms and made an Asian sweet and spicy sauce to mix all together.

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To make the sauce I cooked down low sodium soy sauce, honey with macadamia nuts, rice wine vinegar, dry sherry, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, water, and a pinch or two of flour.  I did not measure, but went along making additions by taste and consistency.  In the process of tasting I seriously burnt the heck out of my inner lower lip so be careful if using the “flavor as you taste method.”  I then tossed the shrimp, beans, mushrooms, and sauce in a saucepan until heated through.  Chris liked the sauce enough to suggest I make more to go with the fish he prepared later in the day for dinner, but I wasn’t feeling it enough to put over fish.  Maybe chicken or pork, but I don’t know about fish.

I had a Fage Honey Greek Yogurt for some snacking.  DSC00124  

Okay, my snacking did not stop there, but I did not take pictures of it all.  I also had some more coffee, a reduced fat colby jack cheese stick and some of this (maybe too much of this).

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Had to get it just in case we get some trick-or-treaters!

Chris harvested some of his veggies this afternoon–sweet taters!  While I snapped pictures.

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He also came up with this post’s title.  As a who dat fan, he wanted you all to know that he “grew dat!”

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Yesterday, hub went fishing and caught some speckled trout, so fish and of course sweet potatoes were on the menu.  Chris fried the fish in “buerre noisette” or brown butter after dredging in egg and flour. 

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Usually we are not very good at frying fish, but it came out crispy and tasty tonight.  We ate baked sweet potato fries and steamed brussel sprouts on the side.

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I would have preferred baked trout to forego all the butter used, but it was a nice treat to not have to be in charge of cooking dinner and have fried fish—which is a favorite around this city.

Okay, I am off to watch the second half of the Saint’s game.  Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat Dem Saints?  Not the Steelers! 

Don’t forget to let me know which symbol you associate with from the Personality Symbol Test.  Check back tomorrow for what the symbols represent.

Good Night and Stay Safe! 🙂

Triangles, Squares, Circles, Oh My!

Life sometimes takes over and gets in the way.  And the past couple of days work and sleep were more of a priority than blogging and cooking and exercising.  What’s the phrase?  A lady needs her beauty sleep, right?  ;)  Please forgive me if I do not post every single day.  I started the blog as a hobby and I don’t want it to become something that I feel obligated to do just to please others or to allow it to get in the way of spending time with my husband, Chris, or my family.  I do fully appreciate the small readership that I have gained in the past three months and hope to gain more and also that you continue to check back to read new posts. 

With saying that, I did  begin the blog as a way of tracking my eating habits and exercise, and any other snippets from my days.  Therefore, I no longer use www.411fit.com to keep my daily calorie intake and output.  On the other hand, I do try to keep a mental estimate in my head more so for breakfast, lunch, and snacks than dinner.  I try to take in between 300 to 400 calories for each of breakfast and lunch and no more than 200 calories for snacks, which I generally always have after work and sometimes after dinner.  Usually I do not eat a morning snack, but will drink coffee at work with no-calorie sweetener and powdered creamer.

Now that is off my chest, the past two days I was away at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference.  I wish I could say that it was out of town and I got to experience some other part of the country, :(  but actually it was held in downtown New Orleans at the Convention Center, about 15 miles from where I live.  I signed up to be a volunteer when I registered so each afternoon I stood outside of doors giving out presenter handouts, directing people where to sit, and making sure lines were orderly and rooms were cleared.

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Me Volunteering—well technically “the  greedy triangle” who did not want to be a triangle because his friends didn’t look like him, but I’m handing these out to participants.  I have always considered myself to be a somewhat of a triangle actually for two different reasons.  One, the shape of my body is somewhat of a triangle shape; more so prior to losing weight because I was smaller on top with wider hips like the “pear” shape.  But I think I have balanced out a little bit since exercising.  Secondly, there is a personality test where you select one of the following figures that you most identify with.  The couple of times I’ve done this I’ve always chosen the triangle—probably because of reason one above, but either way that is the shape that speaks to me most.

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Which of the five shapes do you most identify with:  square, rectangle, triangle, circle, or zig zag?  Don’t think too much into to it, just make a quick choice and leave it in the comment’s section.  I will post the meanings tomorrow.

As for my eats the past two days, here is a recap of some of my meals.

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DSC00034 Breakfast Thursday—Oatmeal with Raspberry Preserves and Cottage Cheese Stirred In and Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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Breakfast Friday—Sandwich Thin with Peanut Butter, Banana, Cottage Cheese, Raspberry Preserves and Chai Tea with Milk

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Lunch Thursday—Roast Beef Sandwich and a Diet Coke that cost $3.25 just for the drink! :/

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Lunch Friday—Chicken Taco Salad and Diet Dr. Pepper

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DSC00055 DSC00056 Dinner Thursday—Clear Soup, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Salmon Avocado Roll from Cherry Blossom at the Corner of My Street

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Dinner Friday—Chili Made with Jarred Pasta Sauce, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Lean Ground Beef according to directions on back of Chili Powder, but instead of sugar I used honey and I add a little ketchup also.  With crumbled light babybel round, greek yogurt, and pita chips for dipping.  Chris raves over this chili when he eats it and it is so simple.

A few pics from my excursion downtown:

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Mardi Gras Float Topper

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New Orleans Streetcar Artwork

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TV Monitors Outside of Every Door

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While eating lunch at the Riverwalk Mall next to the Convention Center I was wishing I was one of the people boarding this cruise ship!

While it is no relaxing cruise, it is the weekend so I am going to relax, exercise, and enjoy!  Hope you do as well!

Emphasize the Positive

Breakfast this morning was filling and easy to prepare. I satisfied my hunger with a peanut butter and seedless black raspberry preserve sandwich. I ate a sliced honeycrisp apple on the side.

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I also had some mango black tea on the side for sipping.

Lunch was provided by the school system. Last week were able to order a salad if we preferred to have one, so after three Tuesday lunches composed of sandwiches I went with a chef salad.

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The salad had lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, turkey, ham, cheese, egg, and croutons with fat free ranch dressing. I also ate the grapes and cookie for snacks.

Later on I had way too many bite sized candies that were poured on our table. After the in-service, I headed over to my sister’s house to find more sweet treats brought over by my mom.

I had a slice of pound cake and some more (Halloween) candy.

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Mom and I took my nephew, Jett, to the park to feed the ducks and walk the track. We walked 2 miles pushing Jett along in his jogger stroller. It was a bit tough because the tires were flat, but we managed.

Finally, we arrived back at my sister’s house to enjoy her home cooked dinner. She made baked tilapia marinated with lemons, butter, and artichoke hearts in individual foil packets. Side dishes included sautéed spinach with almonds, cucumber salad, and macaroni-n-cheese. I passed on the mac and cheese, but lapped up the fish and veggies.

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Dinner was so tasty! The tilapia, lemon, artichoke combination went very well together. All too often I forget how simple and tasteful fish can be to cook and eat; I need to cook it more.

And for dessert—

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On another note–At my in-service today a point was made as it relates to a teacher’s focus on students and their behaviors. As I was listening to the presenter, my mind went slightly on a tangent and her words reminded me of something women (I) do so often to themselves. Too much emphasis is put on the negative!

I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED!! I so often point out my flaws as I look at my reflection in the mirror getting ready in the morning. “My hips look big, my thighs look big, that dimple is disgusting, what is with that crinkle in the middle of my nose, my eye looks lazy!?!” I could go on and on about things I dislike about myself and I have been doing it since I was a kid. I cannot fully pinpoint when or why it started, but I know I have suffered with low self-esteem for quite some time.

This negative behavior of mine is something I am trying to work on, to be more accepting of myself and to be appreciative of what God has given me. But in the back of my mind I wonder if I will truly ever be fully satisfied with myself. I have started to accept myself more since becoming more fit and comfortable in my own skin, but the negatives are still prevalent in my mind.

I have read many other blog posts among the healthy living community that all send a message to counteract those negative thoughts or fat talk as one puts it. I agree that we so often bash ourselves and pick out our flaws; however, like those blogs strive to do, WE NEED TO EMPHASIZE THE POSITIVES!

Here are some blogs that strive for acceptance of oneself. They help me to focus on positivity rather than dwelling on the negatives.

· Caitlin with Operation Beautiful

· Heather with Faces of Beauty

· Tina with Faith, Fitness, Fun

And for your viewing pleasure, my new hairstyle by Mom…

Ignore my outdated (woops, positive) Look at my antique? kitchen. 😉

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In Different Lighting and Angle

Oh wait, that crinkle in my nose is characteristic of my French nationality. Well in that case, I like it! 🙂

Please share one positive comment about yourself to emphasize the positive!

She Made Me Over and I Made Her Oatmeal

I’ve been going to the same hair stylist my entire life since birth and actually did not step foot in a salon to get my hair done by someone else until my wedding day.  Thankfully, Mom has been in the industry for over 29 years.  Yesterday I went to Mom’s house to get my hair colored and cut because I had so many grays peering through at the front of my hair line.  What can I say?  It runs in the family (on dad’s side).  Take ‘em or leave color ‘em, right.  ;)  She also cut it a little bit, but I’m still not sure if I want to go short like the picture to the right.  That was summer of 2009 and it has grown out a bit since then.  No pictures of the new hair cut yet because I honestly haven’t really fixed it.  Maybe I’ll get to that at some point this week. 

In exchange for the hair cut, well not really an exchange, more so because neither one of us had eaten breakfast I whipped up a batch of oatmeal.  Turns out that old fashioned oats are so.much.better.cooked.on.the.stovetop.  They get much thicker and creamier.  I did it that way last Friday and man oh man was I missing out by cooking them in the microwave.  Not to mention I lost half of the serving in the microwave anyway.  DSC02206 Sunday Oats for Mom and I

DSC02219 In the mixture for two:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • cinnamon

All of that was heated on the stovetop simmering for about 5 minutes while stirring.  Then I added the following to each serving:

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon raison peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. seedless black raspberry preserves (got Mom to buy this from the other day’s post)
  • sprinkle of oat and honey granola

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Plus some coffee on the side.

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Onto this morning….

For breakfast this morning I attempted to make a layered parfait layering Fage Honey Greek Yogurt and some of the Pumpkin Bread I made yesterday because I had canned pumpkin opened in my fridge (Hub gave some to the dogs mixed into their dog food) and wanted to use it up.

DSC02237 DSC02235 Mango Black Tea + Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait

DSC02241 Pumpkin Bread

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Those dark brown spots are where I failed to mix in the dark brown sugar because it was so hard and chunky, but it turned out just fine.  My hub ate two huge chunks right off the cooling rack.

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup dark brown sugar packed

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1 tbsp. butter, melted

1 egg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup cinnamon almonds or other nuts, crushed (I used Trader Joe’s cinnamon almonds)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray bread pan with cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients through salt in mixing bowl.  Mix canola oil through pumpkin in separate bowl.  Combine the two mixtures and stir until evenly distributed.  Fold in crushed almonds.  Pour into pan and bake for 55 minutes to an hour until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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I continuously opened the oven from 30 minutes up to 60 minutes, so it may have taken longer than it needed to.  By the end of the hour, it was done.

For lunch today I ran to the grocery to pick up a bite to eat since I rushed out the door this a.m. without a lunch.  I really went to the store to get some of the pre packaged sushi rice rolls, but they were all out.  So I opted for a chef salad, fruit, light blue cheese dressing to replace the ranch it came with ( nowhere near as good as Ruth’s Chris dressing), and a Diet Dr. Pepper (just one of those quick check-out decisions which I only drank half of and stuck the rest in the fridge in my classroom).

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DSC02245 I had to pick through the lettuce because it was brown and old.

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No joke, I lost half my grapes on the floor trying to get into this packaging—sheesh!  I did leave some of the melon in the fridge, but ate most of the other stuff.

Okay, so lunch wasn’t all that great, more of a fail actually.

After work I made my way to the gym without a snack, but I wasn’t all that hungry.  I completed 15 minutes on the bike to start, 25 minutes of weights with very little rest time between sets, and 15 minutes more on the bike.  My quads and hamstrings are still sore from the race on Saturday so cardio was very light on intensity.

Once home I heated up some of my Round II Recipe concocted on Saturday with leftover chicken from my Spin on Mexican.

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Saturday Photo Shoot of Lunch

On Saturday for lunch, I gave the chicken a little makeover of my own turning it into a quesadilla of sorts.  I took the leftover breast, chopped it up, threw it along with half a can of reduced sodium black beans, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder plus a tiny bit of water.  I then layered the heated mixture between two fat free tortillas with some salsa verde.  I topped it with peach salsa and two crumbled reduced fat colby jack cheese sticks (one used on the inside and one used for the top).

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I then baked it for ten minutes or so.

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I had 1/4 on Saturday and 1/4 tonight along side a scrumptious salad.

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Salad included:

  • spring mix
  • roasted butternut squash (also from last week)
  • sliced baby portabella mushroom cap
  • tbsp. feta (reduced fat)
  • cinnamon almonds
  • honey drizzle

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Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm, tasty!

I think I’m going to have some more pumpkin bread before the night end.  Perhaps with a schmear of peanut butter since I haven’t had any yet today!?!

Question of the Night: What do you tend to do with leftovers?  Eat them? Toss them? Remake them into something new?

My vote is for Round II Recipes all the way.  I watch Sandra do that all the time on Food Network’s Semi-Homemade and Money Saving Meals.  Good idea for sure!

My First 5K and Family Steak Dinner

The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was held this past Saturday at New Orleans City Park.  A few weeks ago some of my coworkers were discussing that they were signing up to walk the race.  I eagerly informed them that I too was interested since my Aunt Susan just found out she has breast cancer and has recently begun treatments.  So I wanted to support the cause. 

Early Saturday morning my husband dropped me off to meet a couple of coworkers so I wouldn’t be alone waiting for the 5K to begin. 

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This crew passed as they threw beads reminiscent of Mardi Gras as they walked with the 1 mile walk/race prior to the 5K.

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Starting Line

For the first ten minutes I walked with the two people from work, but then parted ways to do a light jog and told them I would meet up at the finish line.

This picture is with less than 2 miles to go.  On the other side of the canal are tons of people behind me.

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In front of me during one of my walk breaks out of three.

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The finish line at 41:59.

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I did not train for this, but know my my time could have been better had I not walked the first ten minutes with these two ladies.

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Virgie and Pam

Pam, herself, is a cancer survivor just completing treatments last year.  I hope for Pam, my Aunt Susan, and others alike that a cure will soon be found to this disease taking the lives of many.  It was quite mind awakening to run behind others with signs pinned to their backs…"in memory of my mom, in memory of my aunt, in memory of my grandma”… followed by their names.

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Virgie and me meeting up at the finish line.

I felt such a feeling of accomplishment once I was done and I hope to support more causes in my future by participating in other races.  Maybe I’ll even start training for them since I know I now have the stamina and endurance to complete them as I never would have been able to a couple years ago.

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When I got home I was feeling a bit “I Am Woman; Hear Me Roar!”

After the race I took it easy and  iced my hip that was in some pain, but didn’t hurt during the race.  Later that night the hub and I had plans to join my dad and sis for Michelle’s second birthday celebration.  We went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

We started with some appetizers of

BBQ Shrimp

I had one of these plus some crusty french bread for dipping.DSC02154

Onion Rings that look more like doughnuts which I had half of one with the sweet and spicy dipping sauce. These were too thick and doughy for my liking.

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Plus Stuffed Mushrooms which were eaten quickly so I couldn’t get a picture.  I had one, but completely forgot about a pic. (Picture below from website.)

Hub and I split a wedge salad with crumbled bacon and blue cheese.  I never used to like blue cheese, but have become a fan of it.

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They split it onto two plates prior to bringing it out so it looked a bit messy, but tasted delish.

I can’t go to a place known for steaks and not get one, so I had the petite filet cooked medium with a side of fresh asparagus. 

I did not use the hollandaise sauce because it was too thick and I do not like the taste. (Asparagus Pic from Website)

IMG_0151 The steak is swimming in butter, but the flavor is phenomenal and the texture is as smooth as butter.

I also had a few bites of hub’s lyonaisse (sautéed potatoes and onions). (Pic from Website)

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Hub and I

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Jett (my sister’s son), Cheryl, and Dad

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Michelle and Duke (He obviously didn’t want to take a picture.)

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Happy 29th Birthday to Michelle!

Thanks for sharing the dessert.  I had the fruit and cream sample cup.  Yummy!  It was a fun and filling dinner with the family.  Thanks to Dad for treating us to such a nice meal!

Spur of the Moment Birthday Bash

On Thursday October 21st, my 10 month older sister, Michelle, celebrated her 29th Birthday.  Yes, we have been 28 together since I turned 28 in August.  When we were little people would ask how old we were and if it happened to fall between August and October we would chime the exact same number in response to their questions.  The response was always, “Oh, you’re twins!”  Nope, we sure are not.  My parents wasted no time as you can see.  We are technically 9 months and 20 days apart.  I was born a month prematurely though.  My poor mother was pregnant for practically 18 months straight and she claims it would have been easier just to have twins. 

So in honor of Michelle’s birthday, on a whim at about 1:00 pm on Thursday her husband decided to plan a birthday party for Thursday night.  Being such a spur of the moment party, it turned out quite nicely and quite a few people made it to the party.

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Here is Michelle with her son, Jett.

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Chocolate Cake with Strawberries Made by Family Friend

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Michelle with her Newborn, Breelyn

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Some Friends

Michelle’s husband, Duke, ordered the food. 

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Pastalaya (Jambalaya with pasta instead of rice)

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Ham and Turkey Finger Sandwiches—I ate way too many of these, but skipped the cake.

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Fried Chicken Drummettes

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My plate + many, many more sammies

Oh and there was this crazy lady who I don’t really know.

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Go older lady bustin splits!  I couldn’t do that.  

I wish I would have gotten more pics of the guests, but I didn’t want to be the crazy obsessed woman aggravating people with snapping their pictures.  Besides, I did take some pictures with my sister’s camera as well.  It turned out to be a fun week day party, which my family very rarely does during the week. 

I like the week night events because it definitely breaks up the monotonous work week.  My only problem was the day after on Friday I was so exhausted and the work day went by incredibly slow.  I went straight home Friday and crashed on the couch after stopping at Academy Sports and Outdoors for a couple of workout items to prepare for my first 5K.  More on that tomorrow!  Now I’m going to ice down my hip and enjoy some of the beautiful weather.  I hope you have a great weekend!