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Saturday Awesomeness

Saturday was one of those days that was just awesome all around. I woke up to go meet my peeps for a “long” run. I was hoping the hip would hold up to 6 miles. As I waited, I saw tons of small running groups. I was shocked we had so many runners here. Yes, I knew theoretically, they were there. But I hardly ever see them! It made me want to get out and make new friends. Anyway, Donnie wanted to run a small 5K that was going on that morning. I hemmed and hawed about it and he looked at me and said, “What difference does it make if you run in a race or now?” Uhh.. I had no response. So, we signed up.

I had already made the joke about wondering who I was… the crazy girl getting up before the sun to go run in 45 degree weather. Where did she come from?! Then, I became one of THOSE people who were running more miles before the race. Confident enough in their abilities to perform in the race after expending energy. I swear, sometimes I look around and wonder how I got to these places.

My hip hurt, by the way. I’m currently having a love affair with Ibuprofen, ice, and the heating pad. It all seems to be working.

Anyway, I ran and picked up donuts for the girls on my way home, rushed to shower and get dressed and head to work. I found out during work that I had placed 2nd in my age group– major sweetness!

I came home from work to find J had gone grocery shopping and made homemade chili… I was so pumped!!

THEN.. I saw that my new Lululemon crops had came in… YES!!! I love these things more than you should love a pair of workout clothes.


As I was putting away the rest of the groceries, (No he didn’t put everything away.. I’m a little anal about where things go) I noticed these bad boys…


Yes please!!! We straightened up the house and Donnie and Shannon came over to watch the Bama game… I was a little shocked by how much she screams. She and John were like two peas in a pod! I’m not gonna lie.. I was more than a nervous wreck the entire game.. it felt like last year and we were about to have our dreams crushed! With 1:34 left on the clock, John announced that he wasn’t sure if he could watch the rest… but then, TJ Yeldon came through for us with the winning touchdown, and I looked about like Tom Cruise with his couch jumping. We were all screaming and I was jumping on the couch like a crazy person.


I really love this.. because touch that thang, fo is something we always say.


I woke up Sunday and had some dominating coffee…


 Sunday was not really productive, and an extremely lazy day. It was awesome, too.

How was your weekend?

Did you watch the Bama/LSU game?

Did you race?

Blogtober Day 2

Today consisted of an early morning workout, clearing off my desk at work, and dinner with my Brother in Law for his belated birthday…


and snuggles from this cutie


Seriously?! She is so freaking cute.


One last thing.. Here’s my outfit, post lunch with the Hubs and our friend Mark.


White dress shirt: The Limited

Maxi skirt: Target

Turquoise bauble necklace

Our trip to New Orleans…

 Hello All! First, I would like to thank you for your wonderfully sweet comments on Claire’s birthday and her party.

We left for New Orleans on Monday, to head to the National Title Game, after dropping the girls off at school. I got to see my baby on her birthday and we got super cheap airline tickets to New Orleans! Win for everyone!

We stayed at the Clarion Inn on Canal Street, that is just a couple of blocks from the French Quarter and the Superdome. Our hotel was clean and efficient, but not in the best of areas. And it was at least a half a mile trek to go get something to eat. The walking didn’t bother me, but eventually, it got tiring to walk a mile to eat something. I would highly recommend staying at The Marriott on Canal.. it was super nice and steps away from the French Quarter. I am sure there are tons of other hotels, but that was the only other one I stepped foot in.

When we got there, we went to eat at Drago’s. It was yummy. Each meal was better than the last. People were NOT kidding when they say you can eat and drink your way through New Orleans. We went back to change and get ready for the game. Before heading out, I told J, Kyle and Ashley that I would LOVE to see us blow out LSU, like a 21-0 victory. They laughed at me and said that they would love to see that too, but it was going to come down to a field goal.

If you are my friend, I most likely abused our friendship. I couldn’t decide what to wear to the game. AT ALL. I literally spent at least 5 hours trying on all kinds of different outfits on Sunday, only to say, I was taking them all and going to decide once I got down there. The weather was iffy and I just didn’t know what to expect. Then I got down there and realized that no matter what I put on, it wasn’t crazy enough to look out of place or skanky down there.

Since you can’t really see, my shorts are a black and grey houndstooth.

Since I missed the original match up between LSU and Bama, this felt like that game to me. It’s weird playing someone you always play in a national title game… it just feels like a regular game. As we made our way to the Superdome, I saw our team bus.. and that’s when I realized, “Holy smokes. This is for all the marbles! I’m going to my watch my SECOND National Title game in three years!”

I cannot believe we blew them out like that. I know for most it was probably an extremely boring game to watch, but not for us! :) When Trent made that TD run and the score went to 21-0 and I said, “I called IT!! I called this score!” Philly was all, “Nah, we’ve got this extra point. It’ll be 22-0.. you were so close!” I said, “Nope! He’s gonna miss it.” And guess who has two thumbs and was right? THIS GIRL!

Is now the time to talk about the obnoxious LSU girl in our section? You know there is always one. Don’t worry, we let her have it when she continued to call for Jarrett Lee and stick her tongue out, when Mosley was laying on the ground hurt. And we most certainly let her have it as she ran down the steps to flee the stadium after Trent scored.

Of course we hit up Bourbon Street after seeing the team back at the hotel. Bourbon Street was cray cray. You couldn’t walk down it. There were a good bit of LSU fans milling around, some still chanting “Tiger Bait” at us while others congratulated us on our victory. We realized we were never going to get in a bar or have a celebratory drink, so we headed back to the hotel… at 1 am, no less.

We woke up the next morning and went to Mother’s for breakfast. I insisted on needing Starbucks, so we stopped at the team hotel, which was the Marriott, and after ordering my coffee, someone passes me who looks oddly familiar. He walked past Philly who was oblivious and I said, “That’s Coach Cochran.” I got nervous because if you know anything about me, my running mantra comes from him.. “If it feels good, you ain’t doin’ it right.” So I finally got the courage to go over and ask him for a picture and he said, “What you doin’ girl? Get those fingers up!”

I was still on cloud nine, and we were walking in the lobby to leave and J said, “There’s Maze.” He looked all sad and I didn’t want to bother him too much, so I just asked for a picture.

I scored a jacket for 50% off and we went to Jackson Square and Cafe Du Monde after eating at Mother’s and got some Beignets.

We walked around Tuesday and looked in shops. It was supposed to rain, so I didn’t bring my camera out and I should have. It didn’t rain and that was the only day we really looked around.

That night we ate at The Gumbo Shop.. it was delicious.

Wednesday morning, we had reservations at Brennan’s.. and man, oh man.. it was a 3 course breakfast. It was absolutely delicious and it is the birth place of Bananas Foster. Which is one of J’s favorite desserts. It was the best one we have ever had too! Along with a bloody mary with pickled green beans.. Yep. Delish!

Wednesday night, we ate at K-Paul’s and it did NOT disappoint. Fried green tomatoes for an appetizer.

I had the drum fish..words cannot describe how delicious it was.

Our final morning, I had to have some more beignets, so back to Cafe Du Monde, we went.

After Monday, we really didn’t do a whole lot. We would peek in shops on our way to and from meals, but we stayed in the room and relaxed. I read, John watched TV and played on the iPad. It was one of the best vacations we have had in a LONG time. Very relaxing and exactly what we wanted to do. It doesn’t hurt that we won another national title game, either. :)

I definitely think my absence at the first match-up is being blamed for our loss in November. The team just couldn’t dominate without me. ;)

Vegas… Part 3.. The Finale

In case you weren’t tired of me talking about Vegas, I have this post. Bear with me, it’s kind of another hodge podge.
When we got there Monday, we ate dinner at the hotel in the Cafe Bellagio.. Yummy! 
My Chicken, avocado, tomato wrap
Tracie’s bacon burger that she warmed her hands on her plate. 
Tuesday we ate at Serendipity.. hello yummy dessert. 
Friday, we did a girls day shopping trip… where Linda made her FIRST Louis Vuitton purchase in the form of a make-up bag. 
And we went to the BIGGEST Forever 21 in the world. And tortured Linda while we shopping around for 2 hours. Whoops. It was seriously massive. Two stories.. approximately the size of a Macy’s. 
Saturday morning.. the day we leave. Super tired and sad. 
More sleep please!
Ha! I got John mid yawn… 
Jo-Jo’s $1000 chip. That’s right. Guess all that statue feet rubbin’ came in handy! 
John borrowed his, but you get the idea.. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. 
Banana’s Foster Waffles. Yes. They were as good as they sounded… I had them 3 different times. 
I’m so glad you came into my life…
Linda went to see Barry Manilow… with her Barry shaped record. 
We went to Minus 5 Wednesday night… it was really cold. Too bad they don’t let you take cameras in there. You get to wear coats and ugg boots. And sit on ice furniture and drink out of an ice glass. 
Wednesday, we went to eat at the Pink Taco in Hard Rock… yep. You can imagine the jokes. 
It was oh, so, delicious. Seriously.

This is what happens when I drink margaritas.. not really. Something else much worse happens.

Yummy… too bad I can’t remember the name of this 5 star restaurant in MGM… 

Friday night, we ate at the Top of the World and went to Cirque Du Soilel “O” show.. So flipping fantastic. The Olympics has NOTHING on that show. Sorry for the messed up pics…
They have roller coasters and the Sky Jump at the Top of the World.. I laughed at this sign. The dining room rotates so you can see the entire city of Vegas. Pretty awesome, even if the decor is a little 80′s. 

Yup. I got my first In and Out Burger.. it was heaven. 

E-Mealz Review and Giveaway!

Lately, I have been having a hard time figuring what to cook for supper. All of my recipes call for tons of ingredients and I am tired of listening to hubs complain about the ever growing food budget. Since I listen to Dave Ramsey a lot, I was aware of E-Mealz but wasn’t sure about actually joining- what if I didn’t like the recipes? 
Well, it turns out the recipes are delicious and it has it’s own shopping list.. organized based of grocery store sections. It is working out really well- we are able to eat the left overs the next day for lunch too- so it’s like two meals in one! 

I really love how organized the list is- say you don’t want meal 6? Well, there is a column that says which ingredient is in what meal and you can just mark out every thing needed for meal 6. Super easy! 
Plus, it gives you an estimated total of your grocery bill! 
They have low carb, Weight Watchers options, gluten free, vegetarian, low fat, couples only options.
And also store specific- Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Aldi, Ralph’s, or the any-store option. 
The recipes are delicious and for the most part- the girls will eat them. It has really changed our eating habits- dinner at the table every night. And we make Addison try it before she says she doesn’t like it. 
Don’t forget to check out their twitter, blog, and Facebook pages for more ideas, and money saving tips!
Think you’re ready to try it? 
If you sign up, you can receive 15% off through April 30th! 
I am giving away a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz to one lucky reader! 
How to enter?
Just follow my blog and leave a comment
Want some extra entries? 
Follow me on twitter( 1 extra entry)
Tweet about the giveaway (1 extra entry)
Follow E-Mealz on twitter (1 extra entry)
Grab my button (1 extra entry)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry

The giveaway ends next Thursday, April 7th at midnight. 

Back in the Saddle.. Again.

I’m glad everyone seemed to enjoy my race playlist and that I could give you some good ideas. 
I finally had my post race run. You see, these things scare me. I never know what to expect out of them. And the fact that I had been a little more than depressed last week bothered me. Does everyone else get the post race blues? John dragged me out of the house Friday night- I didn’t really want to go, but after a g-chat with my girl, Jana, I took a shower, put on a cute outfit, and some make-up. Just to try to lift my spirits. We went to Huntsville and I had a gift card to Old Navy and DSW. I got some new Wedding/Easter shoes… and got a new ruffle tank from Old Navy. The shoes cost me less than $15 with the gift card. Thanks, Jay for the DSW gift card! I wanted something to get me out of my funk. Something to get me out of my running funk. But just signing up for one race wasn’t going to cut it. Then, I found out about Half Fanatics. It really lifted my spirits. Got me right out of the funk. You can join by running either 2 1/2 marathons within 16 days of each other, or 3 within 90 days. I spent some time looking up races around here, but in the end decided they were all too close to the half I want to run, but have yet to sign up for, at the end of April. I’m afraid 3 weeks isn’t enough recovery time. But it was enough to get me out of the funk. 
I thought I might get a run in Saturday, after my photo session, but it started raining and I didn’t. And then Sunday, it didn’t happen either. I had good intentions for Monday, but by the time Claire woke up from her nap, it would be 4 by the time I got to the gym, and it’s too busy for me. 
So, Tuesday was the day. I told myself that I would 5 miles out of the deal, but I would stop before then if I felt that I needed to. I wanted to take it easy. Nice and easy. No sprints, just slow and steady. Side stitches started ailing me early on and by 2.5 miles, I felt like I could puke if I went much more. How weird is that? I ran 13.1 miles a week ago and wasn’t doing less than 5 mile runs and all the sudden, I can’t even run 3 miles? I guess that just goes to show how quickly running can turn on you. 
Anyway, it felt good on the treadmill. I missed the running. I wanted to go faster, but knew I didn’t need to and that my body probably couldn’t handle it. I proudly wore my Disney race shirt and even got a nod from the Spin Nazi who works out all the time and is in amazing shape. I guess I impressed her with my ability for a half. 
In other news.. Mr. and Mrs. Smith blogged about this amazing app and website My Fitness Pal and how she is counting calories. This thing is amazing!! It’s free and so much easier than Weight Watchers. I am obsessed with it. I have already lost 2.5 lbs on it. I really want to meet my original goal of 130… and I am about 3 lbs from it. I also want to incorporate some weights and get some toning in with the running. I was looking at some different Jillian DVD’s- but can’t decide. $10 is a HUGE commitment. (sarcasm) I am really just indecisive about it. I have the Shred, but it’s more cardio than I am looking for. 
I am still deciding on the run for today.. it’s crazy stormy outside, so I am not sure I want to get out in it. Our yard has a river in it. I am not joking. 
As always, the first week is hard on the calorie counting. I haven’t thought about cupcakes or chocolate or cream cheese icing in weeks and now? It’s in thought bubbles all around my head. I can’t stop thinking about it. But, you get more calories when you workout, so yay! Yesterday was the first day that I was actually under my calorie goal. 
Happy Wednesday, Folks!

Jamaican Me Crazy Pt. 2

These series of pictures are the ones that the fine people of Sandals took of us. And the ones that I determined that I don’t look at stupid in. In this first one, I look 6 months pregnant. It was enough to make me put down my Chinese food. 
Wonky eye.. what are you doing?  P.S. I am totally ROCKIN’ that side pony.
Dinner at Elenor’s
Pool pics…everyone called Nick Saban on this trip. And people told us “Roll Tide” every time I turned around. If we met new peeps, they would be like, “Hey, there’s some other Alabama fans around here…” and we’d be like, “Hey, yeah, they are with us because they are our family.” 
Kissy Kissy..
Why is Casper in the middle? It seems unfair. I can’t help it that I can’t tan. One of the ladies at the spa told me not to try to “catch up” with Tracie, b/e my “skin was too thin, she could see it from here!”
Dinner at Guiseppe’s
Casablanca Martini Bar
More Kissy Kissy.. they love the mushy stuff around these parts

Happy Turkey day!

My Nanny feels that it is important for my sister and I to at least know how to make her dressing for Thanksgiving, if not the whole meal. And let’s be honest, we are NO Martha Stewarts, but I have been known to rival Rachael Ray. Sarah, though? She is completely hopeless. Tuesday was Thanksgiving 101 from Nanny. Now, Nanny is an old school, country cook, so, THIS. IS. NOT. DIET FOOD.

And here is my attempt at a Ree Drummond-type post. God have mercy on my soul. I may lose some followers after this post, but, please, give me another chance!!

First things, first for my Nanny, is to put on your wig.
I’m not kidding.

Nanny had already boiled the fat hen until tender( approx. 3 hours for a thawed hen) She also gave us the tip of boiling celery and an onion with the hen. My sister was grateful for the tip because apparently, boiling a hen makes your house smell like a “butt”.
Nanny had already made the two pans of cornbread also.

The meat. I should probably put the disclaimer in here, that I am a slight vegetarian and DO NOT deal with raw poultry well, at all. Eggs? Sure! Ground white turkey? Bring it on! Chicken on the bone? I will vomit in my hands.

I wanted as far away from this as possible. I cannot describe to you how disgusted I was at this product. John said I would never make it on Survivor, and he is right!

You will want to save some of the meat for the giblet gravy. (Vomiting some more)

Sarah, crumbling the cornbread. Nanny also says to do some loaf bread in there and she even threw in some biscuits she made for us. Nanny had also already boiled and peels 7 eggs and you just crumble those up with the cornbread.

Finally! Something I am completely at home with! Chopping onion and celery. Me and fresh veggies are BFF. This was right before Nanny informed me that my hair “looked like a cow had sucked on it” She is sweet like that. She would never want us to be self conscious in any way.

I was able to give a tip on chopping onion, if you put in the refrigerator, then it won’t make you cry.

You boil the onion and celery together until translucent.

Oh Sarah. You crack me up! Nothing like a big sister to try to gross you out every step of the way.

Pour in the cream of chicken soup.

Then, the onions and celery.

Some sage. (Which Sarah informed me that nursing mothers need to be careful with as it has a drying effect on your milk supply. Who knew?)

Poultry Seasoning

Black pepper and salt.

Nanny had no respect for the picture tutorial and poured in the chicken stock before I could capture it. So, you just pour that in until its the right consistency.

Claire had to try it. YUM!

I think she is a fan!

Claire trying to open Nanny’s cabinet and getting into trouble.

I debated on telling you this. But I am all about full disclosure and have total blonde moments. But, if you can’t love me for me and all of my hair-brainedness, then it’s probably for the best. I totes thought( but since, I would NEVER boil a hen anyway, how was I to know?) that a hen and turkey were the same thing. Hello? It’s poultry! Anyway, I understand if you leave me.

Nanny was very adamant that you couldn’t use canned chicken or bouillon cubes.
Anyway, on with Nanny’s recipe for Turkey and Dressing:
  1. Boil fat hen until tender( approx. 3 hours.) Don’t forget the celery and onion to keep the stench away! Keep the broth!
  2. Crumble two pans of cornbread and about 1/4 of loaf bread.
  3. pick the meat off the bones and save some meat for the gravy.
  4. Boil and peel 7 eggs and crumble with bread crumbs.
  5. Chop 2 cups each of celery and onion and boil until tender or translucent. Add to mixture.
  6. Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup.
  7. Add approx. 6 tablespoons poultry seasoning and half a bottle of poultry seasoning.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add the broth to the mixture until the right consistency.
  10. Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.
*This makes A LOT. Enough for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Nanny splits it up and freezes half for Christmas.
Hope you guys have a safe Thanksgiving. I am gearing up for my first Black Friday. I will be at Old Navy at 2am to stand in line for the store opening at 3am. Wish me luck!
Rambled By Rachel

I’ll just Have It My Way…

It was brought to John’s attention a couple of weeks ago that you cannot order a McChicken with cheese from McDonald’s. So, John being John, cut in line at McDonald’s to ask the girl at the register. She informed him that mostly definitely, you could not order a McChicken with cheese.

John wanted to speak to the manager. The manager tells him that there are certain sandwiches that are “as is” and they will not add anything to them. Not cheese. Not lettuce. Not tomato. John informs him that was the stupidest thing he had ever heard of( he is really a passive person and would never insult anyone like that. NOT.) The long of the short is, the manager tells him that you could order a McChicken and then order a cheese burger and take the cheese off of the cheese burger and put it on the McChicken, if you wanted to. John tells him to stuff it.

He will just go to Burger King, where he can have it his way.

A Taste of Heaven

John and I love food.

That is the understatement of the year.

I am finding that I am becoming more adventurous in my palette. I will ask for suggestions from the wait staff and actually listen to them and surprising enough, its been great! So, it was no different this weekend when John and I did our normal anniversary celebration and spent the night at Ross Bridge. Instead of getting out and going to Panera Bread for breakfast, like we normally do, we went with the suggestion of some friends, and ate at the restaurant in the hotel. John got the buffet, which I must say, looked like a feast and had my heart not told me to push through and order from the menu, I totally would have craved and ate my weight in breakfast potato patties. One of the hardest things I have ever done was to walk past the omelet station. They had fresh prosciutto for cryin’ out loud!

Anyway, the Lemon Souffle Pancakes came highly recommended from Steven. I’ll be honest, I had my doubts when I came through the buffet area.

John was already finished eating by the time my pancakes came around. The chef hadn’t been happy with the way they were rising. They looked like a thin pancake topped with powdered sugar with raspberry syrup on the side. By the way, I must say, that the only raspberry or strawberry flavored syrup that I have ever had was from IHOP, and I almost didn’t put it on there because that syrup is so gross (I apologize if that is your favorite syrup). Anyway, the pancakes were very hot but, OH. MY. WORD. They melted in my mouth. It was pure heaven. The lemon in the pancake was so slight and mixed perfectly with the raspberry syrup. I told John it was like food art. Who comes up with this stuff?!!? It was the highlight of my weekend.

I also did what any self respecting blogger would do.. I took a picture to share with y’all. I didn’t want to any of these pancakes to go to waste. They were too good to have to go to the garbage. THEY. WERE. THAT. GOOD.

The moral of the story is, if you are ever in the Birmingham area, stay at Ross Bridge and eat the restaurant, Brock’s for breakfast and if you have a great hubby like mine, then he will sneak you some grits and breakfast potato cakes.

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