Archive for December, 2011
December 28, 2011
Since the day Scott and I really started talking, we have shared a mutual love for Gavin DeGraw‘s music. Before I even met Scott, I had been in love with the Chariot (Stripped) Album and would listen to it every single night as I was falling asleep – literally – for at least a year. Although Gavin became popular for more upbeat songs like “Chariot” and “I Don’t Wanna Be” his voice on this album in particular is very soothing, soulful and calming.
I LOVE his music.
Fast forward a few years and there I am on a 20+ hour plane ride to China, with Scott sitting next to me. Eventually, we got to talking and I was curious to what he was listening to in his ear buds…
Lo and behold, it was the Chariot (Stripped) Album. Who would have thought? Right away, I asked him to share and for the duration of the trip we both listened to it, pretty much on repeat.
Although I love every single song on that album, if I had to choose a favorite, it would definitely be “More Than Anyone.”
Well…what do you know…that’s someone else’s favorite too. To make a long story short, fast forward another few months and Scott eventually sang that song to me when we first starting dating as our phone conversations came to a close, almost every night.
THIS was our song.
When it came time to choose a first dance song at our wedding, I immediately turned to it. I found it very odd that Scott refused to agree, but didn’t think much more of it. For months, we debated back and forth and eventually agreed on “Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher.
So where did “More Than Anyone” come into play?
His ring. I wanted to engrave something special in the inside of his ring and rather than going with the standard “Scott + Heather 7.22.11,” I decided to engrave “More Than Anyone 7.22.11.” I’m sure you can figure out why…
*Ignore the PROOF on these 2 photos. Both came from our wedding photographer: Elegant Imagery and we are still, very patiently waiting to get our photo CD in the mail.
After the toasts, Scott surprised me by singing the song to me, in front of everyone. I laughed, shocked that he pulled this off without me knowing, cried because all of those emotions of falling in love resurfaced, and became smitten with my new husband: +100 brownie points for you, Mr. Hesington.
To avoid doubling the post size of this one, I’m going to give you a preview of a complete surprise that Scott pulled over on me…this time, it was worth +500 brownie points.
The full story to come tomorrow….
To be continued…
December 28, 2011
When I post recipes, I like to include a step-by-step photo example how to make things. This recipe, however, is so simple that step-by-step photos would seem silly. It literally takes under a minute to make.
I decided to make Pumpkin Whip Dip for a Christmas Ornament Exchange Party. I got inspired by one of the blogs I follow and decided to put her recipe to the test! Looking for more amazing dips, baked goods and unique party dishes? Check out her site…it’s filled with them: Love Veggies & Yoga.
It was a hit. Okay, it was more than a hit… they LOVED it and I think you will too!
Pumpkin Whip Dip
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
2 cups of Cool Whip (I used Cool Whip Lite)
1/2 cup of brown sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
*serves enough for a large party of people.
To make a smaller batch, reduce all of the ingredients in half:
1/2 can pumpkin, 1 cup of whip, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, pumpkin spice & cinnamon.
prep time: 5 minutes
The recipe is SO easy, I don’t think I really needed picture how-to’s anyways. There are several different versions out there that includes adding cream cheese, vanilla pudding, or yogurt to the base and even nutmeg, cloves and caramel sauce.
Although all of that sounds deliciously sinful, I had a goal to keep this dip more on the healthy side. The worst thing involved is the brown sugar, and you could replace that with splenda, truvia, or stevia if you prefer.
1. Thaw cool whip by placing it in the refrigerator before hand, or out to room temperature.
2. Mix whip and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add in brown sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin spice and cinnamon until well blended.
4. Stick dip in the fridge to cool, or serve immediately!
I served this dip with red and green apples because I like the taste of sweetness combined with fruit. Pumpkin Whip Dip would also go great alongside gingerbread cookies (more Holiday flare), sesame crackers, pretzels or graham crackers.
If you have a minute, you can have all the whipped pumpkiny goodness you can handle. Enjoy!
December 28, 2011
I’m sure by now most of you know I was in The Singing Christmas Trees production at First Baptist Church of Orlando this year. I dance at church with the Rejoice Dance Ministry and had the pleasure of performing with the Dance & Drama back in 2009 and again this season.
*All of the photos I used in this post are from a very talented photographer and member of our church, Tim Smith.
All photos are from HONOR Photography.
The shows went GREAT! I had a lot of support from my friends and family, and someone I knew came to see the show, every showing. Kudos, Orlando friends!
I’m excited to say the Trees will be aired on television, beginning this Sunday, December 18th. The show is just under 2 hours long, but for those of you who would like to see the shorter version, there is a snippet “episode” of the show at the bottom of this post.
The main part I dance in is a number called “Gotta Buy,” which is an original song about going shopping on Black Friday. I’m wearing a green dress and you’ll see me mostly in the front left.
Things you should take note of:
This video doesn’t show our “Sleigh Ride” snowflake dance. Even though it was short, I really liked that part and thought it was adorable.
After “Gotta Buy” it goes into “Jingle Bells” which is made up of around 120 kid elves! Every time we ran through the show I rushed out to see this number because they were SO stinking adorable.
My FAVORITE one…by far…is a little nugget named Elliot all the way on the right side of the stage (on the stairs), and you’ll see him late in the dance come up on stage.
Oh wait, I almost forgot….maybe my favorite is this one!
It’s a tough call, because Elliot was also Jesus as a toddler.
The show is filled with traditional choir, a full orchestra, and an entertaining storyline. One of my other favorite parts is when a fellow dancer, Xio got to do a quick solo in the snow during “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”
Here are a few more dancers in “I’ll Be Home…”
I loved EVERYTHING. Mary, Joseph, and all of the soloists were great!
And of course, the flashback scene. This is where Grandpa tells the little boy Max how he met his grandmother.
I had such a great experience dancing in the show and I’m hoping for an opportunity to be a part of it again.
Great Job Singing Christmas Trees 2011!
You will be able to catch the full show televised, starting this weekend. As promised, here is a 25 minute snippet of what you can expect to see from the show, a video I pulled off of YouTube:
Full Show Showtimes:
WFTV (Channel 9 in Central Orlando), Bright House Cable 7 and HD 1090, 2 hour version with commercials.
- Sunday, December 18th @2pm
- Saturday, December 24th @1pm
WTGL-TV, (Channel 19 in Central Orlando), Bright House Channel 45
- Saturday, December 24th @3pm
Hope you can catch one! Alright…I’ve got to go finish some Christmas shopping…”Gotta Buy!!!!”
December 28, 2011
I looked at the bag, saw they were gluten-free and decided to give them a try. Although I don’t have a gluten allergy, I enjoy GF products because they taste lighter and I feel like I can enjoy a larger portion of the snack without feeling weighed down.
I’ve always enjoyed veggie chips, Eat Smart Naturals has been my front runner for some time.
I enjoy the Potato, Tomato & Spinach flavor, and a few months ago I found a similar version at Whole Foods called Veggie Sticks. The flavors are the same, but the veggies are in a stick, straw-like crisp.
I really could eat an entire bowl of them…
Guess what? You can! A serving size is 2 cups for 140 calories.
Now that’s my kind of snack. Although the Veggie Sticks aren’t Gluten-Free certified, they still taste like a light. For a few months I could only find the sticks in stores, so I’m grateful they were there for me to purchase.
It’s been a while since I’ve bought both the crisps and sticks because I can’t find them! I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the product…but they seem to be MIA at all of the stores that I used to buy them from.
I’ve found a few other versions like Sensible Portions Veggie Straws, which are great.
Just like the veggie sticks, you can have a lot in one sitting:
Okay, I guess that will do…for now. I just want to know where my beloved crisps went???
All 21 chips a serving of them…
I was thinking they might have been discontinued, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. They’re still listed on the website and it looks like you can purchase them online.
Hmmm…I might just have to do that.
- Any Veggie Sticks, Straws or Crips you swear by?
- Have you seen my Eat Naturals Veggie Crisps + Sticks in stores? Where?