Archive for April, 2012
April 30, 2012
Have you all been wondering what the excessive amount of hash tagging (#) has been about on my uploaded Facebook photos?
Lingo Help: Originally created by Twitter, hashtags are used for words or phrases in order to label a keyword or topic in a Tweet. Simply label a keyword in your message with # before the word or phrase – without spaces – and it instantly connects you to conversations revolving around the topic.
Example: Next week’s finale looks good! I’m guessing Team Big Brother are the two trying to bypass the detour. #AmazingRace
Today ended my 30 photo-a-day challenge on Instagram.
For those of you who are still wondering what the heck I’m talking about, Instagr.am is a photography sharing app for the iPhone and Android smart phones.
I’ve seen photos with the hashtag #photoadayfeb and #photoadaymarch pop up on my feed, so I did some research on what the challenge is all about. Towards the end of March, Jill tweeted “Who’s in?” with the following photo:
Throughout the last 30 days, I have enjoyed completing a daily photo challenge and following others who do the same. It’s easy to see what other people come up with by searching for #photoadayapril on either Istagram or Twitter.
Some words allowed me to get artistic.
Day 15: sunset
Day 19: orange
Day 29: circle
Day 21: bottle
Day 7: shadow
Some of the words took me back to very fond memories.
Day 1: reflection
Day 9: young
Day 27: somewhere you went
Some allowed me to showcase my favorite fur balls.
Day 28: 1pm (playtime)
Day 26: black and white
Day 18: hair (love these little hair balls)
Day 22: the last thing you bought (dog shampoo)
Want to see more? Here’s my full #photoadayapril album.
I’m probably going to take the month of May off, and enjoy doing the challenge every other month or so. I’ll keep you updated on when I’m participating and hope to get some of you hooked as well.
Until then, enjoy the Instagram feed on my right side bar and search for me under hwglamour.
I would love to see your daily photo creations too!
Do you have Instagram?
I know there’s a ton out there: do you participate in monthly photo-a-day challenges?
April 30, 2012
On the way to the grocery store last weekend, Scott got an out-of-the-blue urge to make some kind of pumpkin oatmeal raisin treat.
I’m usually the one with the pumpkin sweet tooth around here. Has anyone noticed the only baking and desserts featured on the blog so far are Pumpkin Spice Muffins, Pumpkin Roll and Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt? It’s a slight addiction of mine, especially in the midst of Fall.
When we got back to the house, I realized the can of “pumpkin” I remember seeing earlier in the pantry was actually a can of sweet potato puree. Oops.
I was saving the sweet potato puree to try out muffin recipe, but figured we could substitute it give it a go anyways. Give it a go we did, and within less than five days the 3-4 dozen of cookies laying around were nowhere to be found.
*Disclaimer: I try to feature healthy versions of baking on the blog, but I gave Scott full control over this one. Please note there is more sugar and butter in this recipe than I normally prefer to cook with.
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 can sweet potato puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
yields: 48 cookies
option to add:
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries; roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
Add sweet potato puree, egg and vanilla extract; mix well.
Add flour mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in raisins (and/or white chocolate chips and cherries).
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
Pictured above is the first batch we made, where the cookies are a little larger. A little less dough in each spoonful worked better.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
April 27, 2012
We’ve been celebrating my birthday since Tuesday night, starting it off with Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Show.
Neither Scott or I planned out much more and I spent my birthday morning at the barre studio. I got home around 2pm and we ended up having a great day together as well as a fun night out with a few friends.
I told Scott that all I really wanted for my birthday was a pedicure. When I worked as a server for three years, I treated myself to a pedicure every two weeks. For the last few months I have restrained my
need urge to go to the salon and have done my own nails.
On the way to the salon I had a mighty hunger craving for a Publix sub.
Is that weird?
If you haven’t tried the made-to-order subs at the deli section of Publix, I strongly urge you to do so. Since it was a special day, I went all out and got the combo.
One might say I was in heaven getting my toes done while eating my sub.
I got Boar’s Head Turkey on wheat bread with every vegetable possible: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, black olives, pickles, salt & pepper and oil & vinegar.
My favorite subs always take me a good ten to fifteen minutes to eat.
The sea salt & vinegar kettle chips were a treat, since I try to stick to eating baked chips as much as I can.
They were just as good as I remember.
After another fifteen minutes I had pretty toes and I loved this Jade Is The New Black color by OPI.
Maybe jade is the new black.
Awkward Birthday Card
Scott and I agreed to keep birthday presents on the small side this year. Scott’s presents came from the heart and included a funtetti cake with chocolate chips and homemade peppermint butter cream icing.
It was insanely delicious, and I may or may not have finished half of the cake in one day. Oops.
Next to the cake was the best birthday card Scott has gotten me to date. It started with an adorable ode to HWG:
unnecessary but fun classic cross out.)
Here it is: my birthday card, with love, from my husband.
What’s funnier is Scott commenting later on how this guy’s outfit actually resembled the one I wore out – on some level. Stay tuned.
Imperial at Washburn
Since we hadn’t set any plans to celebrate, a friend of ours suggested a low-key place to grab a glass of wine and listen to live music.
Imperial Wine Bar and Beer Garden is a unique, quaint spot not many people in Orlando seem to know about. I’ve been there a few times and enjoy it more each time we go.
They only serve a few appetizers, but are known for their craft brews and boutique wines. More often than not, there will be a food truck parked out front for those who need more than fruit and cheese to eat.
I became a happy birthday girl with my Pinot Grigio atop a HB (<- my nickname, short for Heather Betty) coaster.
I’m pretty sure the 3 for $9 empanadas helped too. I tried one of each specialty flavor from the La Empanada Food Truck including chicken and pesto, beef, and spinach and feta.
My favorite was the chicken and pesto, but they were all fantastic.
We’ll be back, Imperial, we’ll be back.
After a few hours we headed over to a new lounge I’ve never been to. Hush is actually a liquor store, turned lounge to enjoy a specialty one-of-a-kind drink or two.
Erin ordered a Hush Blackcurrent Martini, which bubbled for twenty minutes straight.
How cool is that? Erin might have won on the cool scale, but my Naughty Starbucks gave hers a run for its money on the taste department.
The lounge is literally a one room hang out, providing another low-key atmosphere not many people seem to know about. Hush turned out to be the perfect way to celebrate my birthday with a few friends.
And as for my outfit, whether it looked like the birthday card or not…
That I did.
April 26, 2012
Yesterday was my 27th birthday and although it wasn’t a milestone or golden birthday, (like my 25th) I had a fabulous go-with-the-flow day and a fun night. I woke up to so many thoughtful birthday messages and texts, so THANK YOU to everyone who was kind enough to leave one.
Since celebrating really started earlier this week, let’s back up to Tuesday.
Breakfast + Barre
I started out my day waking up early, cooking breakfast and letting Scott sleep in. I scrambled a few eggbeaters with fresh broccoli, low-fat shredded jack and cheddar cheese and served it with a slice of whole wheat toast with butter.
Before long it was time to head to the barre.
You may have noticed that my running routine has calmed down quite a bit in the last few weeks. I haven’t gotten sick of it, however I’m still getting over being sick. It’s been just a few days short of two weeks since I’ve had a head cold and that makes it tricky for me to run outside for two reasons:
1) I feel wimpy and weak.
but most importantly…
2) There aren’t any tissue stations on my running path.
The worst part of my first half marathon was my stinking runny nose. I ended up carrying tissues in my sports bra that day, but if I can help it I try to take a break from running all together, until my nose is on board with me again. All this time off from running has at least pushed me to go to the barre.
I didn’t teach, but finally got to enjoy going to class and having someone else kick my booty.
By the way, if you’re in the Orlando area intrigued by this barre workout I keep referring to, there’s a Groupon running with one day left to purchase five classes for $45. Whether I’m teaching there or not, that’s a great deal and I recommended anyone at any level to give it a shot!
I just love starting my mornings here.
I think you would too.
Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Show
Scott prepared me by saying we had some kind of “mystery” dinner to get to. At first, all that meant to me was dinner somewhere only he knew.
While I was getting ready, I jokingly told Scott I think I knew where we were going. I didn’t really think anything of it and was still pleasantly surprised when our friend Megan met us for a pre-birthday dinner and mystery show.
I had never been to a mystery dinner show before, so I didn’t know what to expect maybe something similar I saw once on The Golden Girls.
Don’t you just love Sophia? Man I loved that show growing up. I especially like to watch it now because it annoys the heck out of Scott.
Back to Sleuths. We showed up around 7pm and were seated at our table a few minutes after that.
Groups were brought in one by one and we began with a salad. Because photography was not allowed until after the show was over, I wasn’t able to get shots of dinner, but it was pretty good.
You get a choice of hen, lasagna, or ribs and I can attest that both the hen and lasagna are wonderful. (Thanks for sharing, guys!)
We started with the salad while waiting for everyone to get seated and for the show to start. They have a total of seventeen different shows, and a family sitting at our table had been there six times!
Here’s the skinny on our show:
Event: Lord Mansfield’s Fox Hunt Banquet
Location: Lord Mansfield’s Mansion, England
Plot: Upon arrival you are greeted by Jeffries, the butler. Gypsies prepare a feast and Lord Mansfield is concocting a potent home brew in the kitchen. Thievery, debauchery, and magic occur as one of the characters meets an inevitable fate. Solving this crime will be a challenge for you and the entire family. – Sleuths
Around 7:20pm, we met the first character: Elga the maid, who is actually played by a man.
The stage was set and we were thrown right into the story every step of the way.
I can’t give many more details, because that wouldn’t leave much of the mystery – would it?
What I can tell you is that once we knew of the crime, we took a break for dinner and discussed the storyline with the group at our table. We were asked to collaborate, discuss possible solutions to the mystery, and come up with questions to ask the panel of suspects.
Between Scott, Megan and myself, none of our guesses were correct.
I guess they got us!
Have you ever been to a mystery dinner show?
Does anyone else encounter a runny nose problem during runs? Solutions?