A Night At The Fair!

Its that time of year when its cooling off and the fair has come to town. I must start off by saying I can tell I am older because the rides are so much higher and scary! We really did not go to far out on the wild side with rides because they really are over the top now.

A sweet new friend gave us VIP tickets which meant we were able to eat dinner in the VIP room and have unlimited rides all night. It really was such a special treat! Here we are above at dinner.

Elephant ears, corn dogs, fried Oreo's, soda's, chicken on a stick, funnel cakes, and so much more! I must add we were very good and stayed away from this type of food. We did get Trey a funnel cake but overall were very good.

Looking forward to a great night.

Its fun to see Trey into cars and of course mustangs are on his list.

Taking the roller coaster on first!

My boys!!! Trey is almost as tall as Eddie!

The best husband and best friend ever! Life is so much better when you spend everyday with someone as amazing as Eddie!

I was excited to get this picture with Eddie on a ride with us.

Funny story with this one. We were watching this one drop and as it did I think I screamed louder than the people on it. I could never ride something like this!

So much fun riding everything with my riding partner!

We took on the Tornado ride!

I love this picture because I took it as we were spinning in the area!

We survived this crazy ride!

The perfect weather for a night out!

Such a fun light in the VIP room.

The room was really decorated with the best fall and festive decorations.

This is my favorite picture of the night! We really had a blast!

Do you attend the fair in your city?


Strawberry Banana Protein Shake

Strawberry Banana Protein Shake

1/2 cottage cheese
1/2 frozen banana
1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla or strawberry flavor)
2 packets of Slenda
1/2 cup of water ( little more if to thick)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
8 ice cubes

Place all items in blender and mix! Very good and run with about 320 calories which is fine since you are using this to replace a breakfast meal.


Tips for Getting Ready for a Cruise

We will be taking a 7 day cruise on the new Carnival Sunshine Ship which is the largest in their fleet. This will be my 4th cruise so I feel like I have a very good plan in place to make it the perfect vacation. You really learn as you go!

I will be sure to bring back lots of pictures because it really should be an amazing trip. We have great excursions planned and the ship is suppose to be one of the best.

Here is a few pictures of the Carnival Sunshine that we will be traveling on.

The water park for both kids and adults and yes I will be taking part in this!!!

Adult only Serenity Section.

Adventure area for both kids and adults!

A couple of tips I want to share with you no matter if this is your first cruise or 15th.

1. Always check the average weather temperature of the location you are going. You might be taking a November or December cruise and your weather is currently freezing but remember you will not need the your boots on the ship. No need to pack those heavy winter items. The ship does get chilly in the evening so always bring a sweater but just remember you are going on vacation to leave the cold!

2. Start several weeks in advance making a travel packing check list and keep the copy for all future cruises to add to or take away as you learn tips. I have a copy on my Ipad under a Numbers app which allowed me to create a checklist. I have found every couple of days I think of something new and add to it. In a future post I will share an idea of everything on my list.

3. If its possible turn your guest bedroom into a packing station. Once we get to a 2 week period before we leave I will have sections in my guest room to start laying everything out for us. This is not the type of vacation that you want to pack at the last minute. If you forget something important you cant run to the store and purchase something new, your stuck without it in most cases.

4. If you are like us we really over pack but I love over packing because I like options. If I change my mind and want to go more casual I have those items with me. Also most ships now have an open under bed storage and you can put your luggage under so it is out of the way.  I would highly recommend bringing more clothes than what you think you need.

5. Take a picture of each piece of your luggage. The last cruise I took in June with Dallas we had one of her pieces go missing and not make it to the room. The ship was wonderful with helping us find it but it would have been much faster if I could have shown them a photo of the missing piece. It also helps you make sure you have everything when you arrive to your room.

6. Bring a binder with everything printed and in clear plastic sheets. I print out all of our receipts for our shore excursions, our schedule, I place a copy of all of our credit cards in case any are stolen. A copy of our ID but the original stays in our wallet. I bring extra clear sheets so I can save our daily agenda the ship gives us. I like to be able to go back and review them and give a blog review on the events and this helps remind me of all our activities.

7. This is the time to be adventurist! We will be going to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Take a look at the excursion we are taking part in when we travel to Cozumel. Its the Amazing Secret River. This is really out of my comfort zone but I am going for it!

8. Sea sickness- I do not have an issue with this because I have found a secret that works for me. I love an inside cabin. I find that we are doing so many things around the ship and we do not sit in our room for long period of time so I love it. The center of the ship is very stable so I sleep like a baby. Now my tip here is watch the first few days when you return after a long cruise. It takes me a while to get my land legs back and for the first few days I feel a little rough but noting that keeps me from going again! I love taking a cruise and would highly recommend it.

9. Bring walkie talkies. When you are in your everyday life and need someone in your family you just pick you your cell phone and call but you cant do that on the ship. This time we will be bringing a walkie talkie so we can keep up with each other. We will not be separated often  but since my son will be with us there might be times he and my husband might go to the slides or the arcade and this will help me stay in touch with them. Just make sure you are respectful to others and not have I long conversation on them. It is just to be used to find a location. I have seen times in the past where people will talk on them like its the only time they will ever have a chance to speak to their family and I always just wonder why. When used correctly they are a great tool!

10. Find out what special events your ship offers. Example the ship we are going on has a special Chef's Table event that reservations are required for weeks before you go on your cruise. They only allow 12 people to take part in this event and its only offered 1 or 2 nights. So out of 3500 people only 24 people can take part. There is also a Steakhouse on the ship which requires reservations. You will want to check for additional charges. Excursion also can fill up so check the reviews on them. I will be doing a post to talk more about that.

I will share my list of items we will bringing on the cruise with us because I am sure you will find it very helpful. Again each time I come back I make a note of what I should have packed so I feel I have a great plan in place.

Do you love taking a cruise?


Grilled Ranch Pizza Recipe

One dish I love to make is a grilled chicken ranch pizza. It is so easy and fast! You can actually make this inside or take it out to the screen porch to put on the grill!

1 can pizza dough
1/4 cup ranch
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 grilled chicken breast
1 tomato
1 small can chopped pineapple
2 green onions
olive oil

Start by rolling out your canned pizza dough. Then cut into squares in a size that is easy to work with. You will then lightly coat the small square of pizza dough with olive oil. Place on grill until lightly brown.

Turn over and start to cook the other side. As it is cooking put toppings on. You will start with a layer of ranch dressing. Then place cooked chopped chicken.

Layer cheese and top with tomato, chopped green onions, and pineapple.

So good!!!


Dallas Came Home From College For Her First Visit

We had such an amazing weekend because Dallas came home for her first visit since August! It was a short visit but I took in every minute!

Trey and I hit the road late Friday evening after work to pick her up. I love traveling with my family!

Hitting the road for our trip! Here we go!

We stopped by the Shrimp Basket for dinner and I have to say it was just ok.  I really should have stayed with a healthier choice but fried shrimp sounded great at the time.

Gumbo had a dark taste, not my favorite.

Fried shrimp and fried okra. I think I should have stuck with grilled shrimp and maybe a vegetable.  

After dinner snap shot and we are back to our road trip!

We were so happy to see her!!! We ran in to pick her up and were back on the road for another 4 hours! It was a long night with an 8 hour total trip and we made it in about  midnight!

Trey made himself right at home!

I love this photo because as Dallas needed to bring her bags to the car, Trey told her to carry his Ipad and he would carry them. Such a gentleman!

They did such a great job decorating the dorms for Halloween. Really puts you in the festive mood!

We did a little shopping but I had to share this tunic. It is the most comfortable top and Target has it on sale this week! I love pairing it with leggings and boots. Really cute and comfy!

Of course Trey found the way he wants me to wear it! He said I look like a priest with the collar pulled up!

The weekend was so much fun because we ordered pizza and watched movies! A short weekend we had the best time! If you have kids I must share my advice that you should take in every single minute because it is just so special!

We miss you already Dallas!!!


King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

My daughter is coming home for her first visit from college in the next few days and this is the dish she is request! Must be pretty good if its her request!

1 Rotisserie chicken or 3 boneless chicken breast
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken
2 cans rotel drained
1 tsb taco seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
3 c shredded cheese
12 fajita tortillas

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 Combine the cream of chicken soup, mushroom soup, chopped onion, taco seasoning, garlic, salt, broth and rotel. Set aside.

  Lightly grease a shallow 3 quart casserole dish. Layer 1/2 the tortillas, 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 soup mix, and 1/2 the cheese in the casserole dish.  Repeat the layers of tortillas, chicken, soup mix and cheese; pour the remaining soup mixture over the top, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


A Look Into This Weeks Fitness

This week has been full of activities to try and get ready for my January half marathon. Shame on me that I am not training for speed but just to go back to loving it. Last year after completing four I just really burned myself out and I want to go back to enjoying it!

Eddie, Trey, and I were planning on running it but Eddie is recovering from terrible shin splints that need extra time to heal. Over the last 12 weeks Eddie has loss over 50 pounds and the doctor said he did to much to fast with his running. He was on a very special monitored plan but he just needs to do his exercise a little different. This will just give him time to recover.

I hope Trey will hang in there with me and run it! I need a running buddy! Here we are at the track running hills for the week.

That's Trey taking on that hill! Awesome job!

Out until the sun was going down and felt great after. Again just going out to find the love in it again!

Tuesday was not the most productive run because I stopped to see the turtle and the sunrise but wow did I love it!

Really made me feel so blessed!

I am also putting cross training into my schedule with the gym, weights, and bike riding. I find that it breaks the routine up but still burns calories!

Working very hard to eat healthy and smaller portions and better choices. I don't think you have to give up the good stuff, just don't eat as much of it.

This is a new protein powder I started using only because Eddie uses it and I love it! We have to order it off line but its great for my mid day snack and my after noon snack!

I love these yogurts! The chocolate and key lime are my favorite! You must try these!

I am also proud to say I have cut back on the amount of cream in my coffee. That's 30 calories a day which is 210 a week, 840 a month!!!

Ok, I have to end on a sweet note! Is there anything better than the Cake Pops from Starbucks????

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