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Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

Food, Gym and Snow Discoveries

Good Morning and Happy New Year’s Eve!  Any crazy plans out there?

I have yet to blog about how Christmas went once we got home from Chicago, and figured some of you might be a little “over” seeing people holding gifts in front of a tree.  It is almost a week later.

Thanks to a few calls via Skype, Scott and I finally got to open our Christmas presents last Thursday night.  I will share some of the highlights with you… if it is requested.  Let’s just say someone finally got the hint from my Gift Ideas for Winter Runners post and I am a very happy (and warm) girl!

Three pairs of e-tip gloves, an extremely warm beanie and an insulated running jacket came just in the nick of time.  Last week marked my first official drive across town in the snow!

driving in snow

I did it!

It was a nervous start, since the streets in my subdivision had not been touched after a recent snowfall.  Once I got out of my neighborhood, I realized the roads were cleared and my confidence level went from a 2 to about a 9 in not time.  Taking it extra slow, pumping my brakes, and allowing an extra ten minutes to warm up my car has been key.

The timing of my confidence could not have been better, either.  My mom flew in Thursday afternoon to come stay with us for a long weekend, and I was in charge of most of the driving.

I have really enjoyed having her here, especially since this was my first holiday season sans parents.  She came on a busy weekend, however, with practices and two Pistons home games in the books.  Knowing this ahead of time, she understood my busyness and hung with me and my usual game day routine like a champ!

Breakfast

Friday morning started around 7:30 a.m. and it was nice to have someone else up and at ‘em early.  Scott is a bit of a night owl, so I usually spend my mornings on the computer, with the exception of making breakfast in the kitchen.

Being quite the oatmeal fans, both my mom and I were craving something healthy and substantial.  We made a batch of regular rolled oats and threw in a few dried cranberries, slivered almonds and a drizzle of agave nectar just for fun.

healthy breakfast

The combination was fantastic!

cranberry almond oatmea

We sided it with a slice of whole wheat toast topped in homemade apple butter.  This spread tasted extra delicious, coming straight from my step-mother’s kitchen!

homemeade apple butter

Mmmmmmm.

(Did you happen to catch my reflection in the spoon? What a creep!) ;)

Breakfast went down with a large cup of what is left of my Mocha Mint Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and kept us warm, until an unexpected adventure surfaced.

escape cat

Aspen (our grey cat) is certainly a curious one.  Every time we open the front or back door she is there.  I am talking an appearance in like five seconds – tops.

She did the same thing at our condo in Florida, but it has gotten worse ever since we inherited a backyard. Oh, and about that white stuff… apparently is not just intriguing to us.  It looks as though all of our pets are wanting to explore!

The funny part is that this was me trying to get her after she had been out for about ten minutes meowing on the porch.  Not to come in, but just to meow and discover what is around her.  Eventually, she jumped off the wood and that is when I had to go fetch her.

They are crazy I tell you!

New Gym Discovery

While waiting for our breakfast to digest, I took my mom around on a few errands then eventually made it to the gym.

If any of you have read the About page, you might have an idea where my love for living a healthy, fit lifestyle came from.  Most likely, this lady right here.

#shakeitbaby

Since I promised not to share photos of her in the gym, I settled for her agreeing to sport the latest gift from Drink Chia.  Shout out to my favorite DC crew down in Florida!

While my mom hopped on the elliptical, it was time for me to kill a decent amount of miles on the treadmill.  It has been a while since I have completed a long distance run, so I started back on the trend by completing 5 miles in 45 minutes.  At a 9:00 pace, I’ll take it.

Trying not to go too crazy before having to perform later on, I did a quick arm workout with free weights, a few sets of weighted lunges and a few sets of plank holds.

I reconnected with my mom in the stretching area, and on our way back downstairs she asked me if I ever used the stretching machines. Ummm…. those have been here this entire time?

stretching machine at gym

These are machines specifically made to stretch you out after a hard workout.  Most of the suggested positions are ones I do anyways on my own after running.

Being able to hold yourself up and use the extra body weight for resistance does wonders!

stretching on stretching machine

 Thanks mom, for that awesome new find!

Lunch

Lunch came quick after we had both acquired quite an appetite.  We found exactly what we were looking for in the cafe at our gym, and it was the perfect post-workout fuel.

My mom ordered a a salmon sandwich and I ordered a chicken, vegetable and hummus wrap.  Both came with a small side salad with their house vinaigrette dressing.

post workout lunch at gym

We got home just in time for me to shower and get ready to leave for the game.  Man, NBA game days seem to just fly by!

pistons dancers

I will be sure to recap the rest of our weekend, since it was full of more fun (and holiday inspired) discoveries.

Have a great day and rest of your 2012!

December 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

‘Twas the night before a holiday game day and I needed a quick and easy cookie to bake and bring with me.

As much as I wanted to bake a fun holiday themed cookie, chocolate and peanut butter was calling my name.

I have made regular peanut butter cookies a number of times. I usually try to get away with using egg white to make them healthier and last time I also to substituted stevia for regular sugar.  Boy, was that a baking fail.

This time, I still included egg whites, but decided to keep the regular sugar and get creative in a different way.  How about using half regular and half chocolate peanut butter?

Such a good decision.

chocolate peanut butter cook

Ingredients

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup chocolate peanut butter

3 tbsp. egg white liquid (or 1 regular egg)

1 cup sugar

prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 12 minutes

servings: about 14 cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie ingredients

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

3. Shape dough into small 1 1/4″ balls.  Place about 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

4. Flatten in a crisscross pattern by using a fork.

5. Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool on baking sheets for a minute, then transfer to rack and cool.

Breakdown

Couldn’t be easier!

I made a double batch by simply doubling all of the ingredient portions.

(1 cup regular + 1 cup chocolate peanut butter + 6 tbsp. egg whites + 2 cups sugar).

chocolate peanut butter mixture

 Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Consistency will be thick.

mixing chocolate peanut butte

Roll dough in the palm of your hands and shape into small 1 1/4″ balls.

rolling cookies

Flatten in a crisscross pattern by using a fork.

making squaures on cookies

Put ‘em in the oven for a good 12 minutes.

cookies ready for oven

Color will lighten with the chocolate peanut butter (as opposed to darken when just using regular peanut butter).

Cool on baking sheets for a minute, then transfer to rack and cool.

peanut butter cookies

Serve + enjoy!

peanut butter cookies with chocolate peanut butter

December 27, 2012

Christmas with the Chicago Bulls

I can honestly say that Christmas this year was unlike any other.  This was the first year that Scott and I were on our own, over eight hundred miles away from either one of our families for the holidays.  That concept is something very foreign to me.

The thought of missing out on family traditions I grew up with makes me a little sad, but given the situation of not having more than a few days to get away, I am confident in saying that we made the best of it.

Yesterday was my first time blogging via iPhone while riding shotgun on the ride home from a quick trip to Chicago.  I shared a little bit of how it went with you.  A little.  The full version awaits… and it is a fun day to look back on and highlight.

Welcome to my crazy life (and marriage) involved in sports entertainment, where holidays are always a possibility and often included.

Benny the Bull collage

Just last weekend, we had a surprise visit from Scott’s best friend, Barry, from Chicago.  I say best friend… but what I really mean is another version of Scott in a different body.  Anyone who has had the experience of hanging out with these two together knows exactly what I am talking about.

They are precious, and their obvious brotherly bromance love for each other melts my heart.

chicago bulls game

When a last minute change of plans concerning Christmas dinner fell through mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve, Scott and I decided to skip the production of cooking and have a quiet holiday at home.

As we started doing chores around the house, buying groceries for the week and talking about what exactly we were going to do on Christmas, we discussed how sweet it was for Barry to come visit us out of the blue.  While he was on his way out the door, he casually extended us an invitation to drive over to his neck of the woods and enjoy Christmas and a game day with him.  So… we did.

Scott and I spontaneously decided that Barry is practically family and we would love to spend the holiday with him.

Eggsperience Cafe

When we woke up Christmas morning, I almost forgot what day it was, until the messages and phone calls rolled in.  Thank you for not forgetting about me friends and family!

We all lounged around for a little while, then finally got ourselves in gear to go grab brunch.

Have you ever been to a big city like New York or Chicago on a holiday?  Shockingly, they even become ghost towns.  While looking for somewhere to go, we stumbled upon a great little place called Eggsperience Cafe.

Eggsperience Cafe Menue

As you might have guessed, it was quite the esggsperience, and I did – in fact – end up getting eggsactly what I wanted.

While sipping on a few cups of organic coffee, I enjoyed about half of a “fluffy three egg white omelet” with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, and low-fat mozzarella cheese.  Barry and I ordered the same thing, and when the waitress brought them out I knew right away that we could have just split one.  Are you kidding me with the three egg shpeal?

huge egg white omelet eggsperience cafe - Chicago

That thing was the size of my head!

I opted to go with fruit instead of hash browns, and indulged in a small stack of pancakes instead of toast.

Eggsperience Cafe Pancak

And I thought I was not going to be miserably full this Christmas.

full after breakfast

Right.

Instead of sight seeing (like we would love to still do together another time), Scott and I headed back to the house to relax for a bit before the Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets game later that night.  A nap and time to chill is exactly what I like to do on a chilly Chicago afternoon!

Chicago Bulls Christmas Game

Scott and I have been to our fair share of NBA games.  We have both worked for two teams now, and I have traveled with him to at least seven other arenas and teams.  We love having an opportunity to see how other organizations work and *bonus* we usually get a little bit of a hook up.

Christmas Day NBA Tickets

Bulls Fans for the day: Party of Two.

chicago bulls game christm

While Barry was busy running around making sure everything was in place for game time, he invited us to come a little early and see how it happens.

He and Scott paced back, forth, and around the building comparing how “we do things”, while I stayed back to observe dancer rehearsal and player warm-ups court side.

chicago bulls warming up

Not too shabby.

The game kicked off at 7 p.m. and a few minutes later there was a loud crowd and a lot going on.

Christmas game Chicago bulls

I loved the Benny blimp!

If you are a longtime follower of this blog, it will come as no surprise for you to realize I am a big fan of NBA mascots.  Generally speaking, they are incredible performers and make me laugh until no end.

Benny the Bull just so happens to be one of my all-time favorites.

Benny the Bull with mistletoe

It was really cute when he pulled out a mistletoe pole and set it above unobservant couples.

It was hysterical when he pulled out the silly string and sprayed a fan (who kind of asked for it) with not one, not two, but three entire cans of it.

Benny the Bull silly string

Between watching his crazy antics and enjoying a salted pretzel at halftime, I had a pretty good time!

salted pretzel at nba game

Thanks for the laughs and post-game photos, Benny! You rock.

Funny Benny the Bull photo

After the game, we met back up with Barry and saw a late night showing of This is 40. I have heard mixed reviews of it, but personally, I thought it was amazing.  It was a little long clocking in at two hours and fourteen minutes, but I have to say that I enjoyed every single minute of it.  Hands down!

It felt like a whirlwind of a trip, but we had a good time spending Christmas with Barry in Chicago.  We woke up early yesterday to make the four and a half hour drive, which actually turned into a seven hour drive thanks to Mr. Snowstorm.

driving through snow storm

Umm… what?  Thank goodness Scott knows how to handle that because this Florida girls is still learning to deal.

In the mean time, I will be enjoying it at home… or what used to resemble the streets leading up to it.

neighborhood snow

I guess you can say we have officially been introduced to living in the snow! Wish us luck as we head out to the Detroit airport to pick up my mom, who gets in for a visit early this afternoon.

I am very much looking forward to spending time with her and showing her around our new city.  Oh, and we finally get to open the rest of our Christmas gifts! So much excitement!

Have a fantastic day, and be sure to drive extra careful for those of you who aren’t enjoying the “high of 62 degree weather” down south.  I don’t feel sorry for you.

;)

December 26, 2012

On the Road Back to Christmas

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your holiday was fantastic! Ours is going great and is just beginning over here…

This is my first time ever blogging - literally – from the road! Thank you, new handy dandy WordPress app for that. Writing was a breeze, and I am excited to learn it is now an option. I do think it to be humorous, however, that resizing photos required a few cross multiplication equations. It took me right back to middle school, but I think it is very reassuring to know I’ve still got it! Booyah.

After a spontaneous trip over to Chicago to see our friend for a few days during Christmas, we are on our way back home to get our holidays started!

20121226-114220.jpg
There are still presents under our tree, family to be seen, and good times to be had waiting for us when we get home. We did not plan on being gone for Christmas, but when some last minute dinner plans fell through for Christmas Day, Scott and I found ourselves twittling our thumbs.

I have not been on the blog to update you guys on much, or even wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! Yikes. I hope that you will forgive me and that you found my well wishes via Facebook and Twitter instead.

While sipping on my lightened up Turtle Mocha coffee and egg white + turkey bacon ciabatta from my first ever Caribou Coffee trip, I am now ready to share a story or two.

20121226-114508.jpg
I will be sure to highlight a full trip recap soon, but for now I wanted to at least check in and say hello. Helloooooo!

It all started Friday night, mid-Detroit Pistons game.

20121226-114954.jpg
I felt good after a solid halftime performance and was making my way to the stands to enjoy the rest of the game. As I walked out to take my seat, I saw a few familiar faces. One of them came as a complete surprise, and it was Scott’s best friend from Chicago, Barry! Now that he lives less than five hours from us, it looks like we will be getting to see a lot more of his crazy self.

20121226-115030.jpg
We had a great weekend with him and when he left Sunday afternoon, he joked with us that is was now our turn to come visit him and come to the Chicago Bulls Christmas Day Game vs. the Rockets. Yeah… sure. ;)

After brushing it off for a day, Scott and I found ourselves lounging around and doing anything but the traditional Christmas activities on Christmas Eve. We had planned on cooking a holiday dinner for a few friends who are in town performing with the Harlem Globe Trotters, but they ended up having a practice and late night event instead.

“Welp, I guess it’s just us this year,” Scott said to me. “Yup, it’s definitely a different feeling,” I replied. “Let’s go to Chicago!” we both thought out loud directly after. And just like that, we were out the door and on the road quicker than you could ask Roadie if he wanted to go on a road trip.

Ironically, we hit our very first snow storm on the way out. Luckily, Scott grew up in Arkansas and is a professional at driving on icy roads.

20121226-115050.jpg
A little after five hours later, we arrived in the Windy City ready to spend some time with Barry. It was a wonderful few days of a getaway and like I mentioned earlier, I will be sure to recap all of it soon.

For now, enjoy the randomness of these two.

20121226-115123.jpg
We are now about three hours from home and it isn’t going to slow down when we get there! I have practice for Friday’s game later tonight and am going to be getting ready for my mom to come stay with us. She flies in tomorrow morning!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to spend the day with loved ones. With that, I am going to sign off and I will see you all bright and early tomorrow! :)
20121226-115224.jpg
Merry (Happy) (Belated) Holidays! Feliz Navidad!

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I'm Heather, a 28-year-old blogger, writer and NBA dancer who recently moved up north from down south. Housewife Glamour is a spirited blog that follows my love for health, food, fitness, beauty, and finding the every day "glamour" in life. ♥
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