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Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Lady Bird Lake

One of the best things about Austin is Lady Bird Lake.  We LOVE to walk or run around it every chance we get.  Yesterday was even better because I got to walk around it with a few of my favorite people.  I’ve never really walked with a little girl before, but it was hilarious.  She would RUN really fast to a set point and then tell us she was tired.  We gave her jobs to do like counting the turtles she saw or the dogs she saw.  That kept her pretty happy until she fell.  Poor thing nearly died!  Really it was just a scratch, but to a five year old, that’s pretty traumatic.  She got to ride in the stroller on the way back, so all was good.  
When we got to the end of the walk, we decided to do some lunges.  I’ve gotten obsessed with lunges and try to do them at least every other day.  I’m at about 110 lunges on each leg.  Next week I think I’ll bump it up a bit.  
Once we finished the walk, we had to wait on our super athletic friend that went around it twice in the time it took us to do 2 miles.  While we waited we played a game of Fitness Simon Says.  We did jumping jacks, stair steps, squats, prison squats and knee ups.  That really kicked our work out to a different level.  
After we got our fitness on, we went to one of my favorite places:  PLUCKERS!!!  I’m pretty sure all the hard work we did was negated by the few hours we spent enjoying ourselves! 

 The dogs love to chase balls in to the water at Lady Bird Lake!
 RUN!!!! 
 Running buddies!

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Head of the Class

Cooper FINALLY started his first day of puppy school!!   After having lots of issues with the Petco training class, the manager at PetSmart invited us to try out their training classes.  I’m pretty sure this could be one of the luckiest breaks Cooper could have gotten!!  Their trainer is amazing!!  She kept the class informative in an engaging way!
We got there a little early, so we walked around the store. Since they had a scale there, we decided Cooper needed to be weighed!  Our boy has really grown! He is now 29 lbs!!!  When we finally got in to the classroom area, Cooper proceeded to pee twice.  We’re so proud!  lol! He just gets really excited.  

 Cooper started out very shy.  He had to be near Mike, I’m not sure if he thought he was protecting Mike, but I think that could have been running through his mind.

There are three dogs in the class.  Cooper and two dogs named Charlie.  Black Charlie looks a lot like Cooper, but with shorter hair.  That was his best friend during socialization time.  Brown Charlie really was kind of nervous with the other two. 

 The trainer seemed to like Charlie and used him as an example a couple of times.  She said that he is an English Lab, so Mike and I will have to start speaking to him in a British accent! 

By the end of class, Cooper was beat!! He had a great time and we learned a lot. I can’t wait to do some of the things that the trainer taught us!!

Screw You, Father Time!

I am not one of those people that wants to grow old gracefully.  If there is a way to stay young, I want to find it. For years, I’ve used skin moisturizers that claim to reduce wrinkles.  I think it’s been pretty successful because I don’t think I really look 45.  I’m kind of cheap, so I’ve stuck with brands that can be found at the grocery store.

The morning my beautiful niece was born, we were watching the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty infomercial and they mentioned that it helped with Rosacea.  My husband has that pretty bad, so I thought I’d order it for him.  I figured I could try it too, but it was mostly for him.

Since there is more than one step involved in this beauty system, my husband bailed on it, but I have kept with it.  I am happy to report that one of my biggest lines is barely noticeable anymore.  I’ve been using Meaningful Beauty for almost a year now, and I really like it. As an added bonus, it’s really not very expensive. They’ll try to up-sell you, but you can tell them no. I did. Every once in a while they send you a free gift, too. I would recommend Meaningful Beauty to anyone!

Monterrey Chicken Casserole

I’m really trying to be prepared for the week in advance.  I don’t really like to wait around to eat when I get home, so I’ve decided casseroles and soups are the way to go.  They last well and they are easy to make.  I found this recipe and thought it was worth a try. This should be good for at least 3 – 4 days between my husband and me.  Mike REALLY liked this one!! 

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 6 inches corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges 
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken 
  • 1 cup loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn 
  • 1 16 ounce jar salsa verde 
  • 3 tablespoons light dairy sour cream 
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup crumbled Mexican Chihuahua® cheese or crumbled farmer cheese (4 ounces) 
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Light dairy sour cream (optional) 
  • Snipped fresh cilantro (optional) 
  • Chopped tomato (optional) 
  • Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional) 
I don’t have any pictures, but you need to bake about 6 tortillas on 350 for about 5 – 10 minutes or until brown to put on the top of this casserole.  


 Cube up the chicken.  I cheated and bought a pre-cooked chicken and just cut up the breast

Mix the chicken, corn, salsa, the 3 tablespoons sour cream, cilantro, and flour

 Put mixture in a casserole dish and cook on 350 for  20 minutes


 Add baked tortilla chips to the top of the casserole 

 Cover with cheeses 

 White cheese

 Bake another 5 – 10 minutes until heated through

**If desired, garnish with additional sour cream, jalapeno slices, cilantro, and tomato. 

Trudy’s Brunch

Trudy’s is one of those “Austin” places that everyone has to try.  We’ve gone to the one off Guadalupe for breakfast tons of times, but today was our first time to try the one off Burnet.  I’ve heard all my friends talking about their brunch for years, so when our friends came to town and wanted to do brunch, it seemed like the perfect place to take them.  For only $12.00, we had so many choices, I don’t even know where to begin.  They had migas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, waffles, chicken, tres leeches cake and so much more!  We got there early and they had more breakfast items than lunch but the waiter told us they add more lunch menu items as the morning progresses.  They had mimosas, bloody mary’s and a few other drinks for $2.00.  It was a delicious brunch for a bargain price!!  We sat on their patio and had a great time!! I definitely recommend Trudy’s for a Sunday Funday Brunch!!

The Devil Wears Prada And So Do I

A couple of weeks after Cooper ate my glasses and I finally went to the eye doctor.  It turns out that I have a lot more issues with my eyes than I realized.  Vision is not the only thing that determines if your eyes are healthy.  I have some kind of thing like a skin tag on my eye.  The doctor said it’s caused by sun and wind.  I never wear sunglasses and he told me I have to start.  They have to have UV A and B blockage, so that means I’ll be buying some fancy sunglasses soon!

I also have some weird angle thing that could be because I have small eyes or it could be that my eyes are unhealthy.  He showed me scans of my eyes compared to his and it was crazy how tight mine were.  He said if I start getting really bad pressure head aches, I need to come in immediately.  
After all that, he got to my vision.  I no longer have the luxury of having one prescription for my eyes.  If I got one pair, they would have to be progressive lenses.  Since my vision isn’t that bad, he said he wouldn’t make me get those, but I would have to get new reading glasses for sure.  
I didn’t like any of the frames there, so I went to Lenscrafters because they have better choices.  I tried on the Burberry ones like I had, but I really wanted something else.  I tried on the Prada pair and fell in LOVE!!!!  Of course I have to have special lenses that have to be ordered, so it may be two weeks before I get them.  
The saleslady fit my new glasses for my face.  It’s really neat how they do it.  They take a picture of you in some dorky looking glasses case over the ones you are buying and then do all these measurements on the computer.  The lady showed me my measurements and said my eyes are spaced symmetrically perfect.  I laughed and said some sarcastic comment, but she said that it is really rare.  She said most people’s eyes are all over the place.  I’m pretty sure that makes me special.  
While I was there, I asked her to go ahead and put my chewed up lenses back on the Burberry frames, so I have something to read with over the next couple of weeks.  I’m going to only be able to wear them when I ready though, because all the scratches are kind of annoying.  It will be nice to be able to read again.  Maybe I can finally start reading the Hunger Games!

Not on a Saturday!!!

Today is Saturday!! When I think of Saturday, I think of lounging around the house, going shopping, going to the lake, running errands, finding new places to eat, and mostly a day that’s all about ME and what I want to do!!  What I don’t think of on a Saturday is spending my day in a professional development training.  Well, that’s what I’ll be doing today.  I can’t even complain about it because I was one of the ones that voted to have it today and get last Monday off.  Seemed like a great idea a month or two ago.  Actually, if there was going to be a Saturday training, today would be the best day for it since Mike has to work today, too!!

I’m having the hardest time getting motivated today.  I need to get up and take Cooper for a walk, but I’d rather spend a little more time sleeping.  I’m going on my 3rd day in a row with really bad sleep.  I didn’t walk yesterday, so I guess I can’t skip today, too!!

I guess I better get going!  Hope everyone has a great day!! I’ll just pretend that my PD is on a beach today!  That should help! Right?

Corn Bread Casserole

We are having a soul food luncheon at work tomorrow, so it is time for me to practice my easy cooking culinary skills again. I asked for suggestions on my Facebook page and I got all kinds of interesting suggestions.  My favorite one was from my friend, Leanne.  She told me about this amazing, EASY corn bread casserole recipe.  Don’t even think about counting the calories on this one, or you might not want to eat it. Ignorance is bliss, because this is one tasty recipe!!!


1 can kernel corn
1 can cream corn
1 box jiffy cornbread mix
1 stick of butter
8 oz sour cream
shredded cheese 

 Dump it all in a bowl

 Mix it up (juice and all), use as much cheese as you like!

I mixed cheese in the casserole, then after I put it in the pan, 
I sprinkled more cheese on top.


Bake it on 375 for 45-50 minutes. If you have a lot of people to feed, it doubles easily. It’ll still look jiggly in the middle, but the cornbread will look done around the edges.  



I really like cheese, so I may have put too much cheese on it! On the other hand, is there really ever TOO much cheese?!?! 

Lookin’ Good!

Today I was really excited when one of my friends gave me some new dog clothes!  There’s just something about dog clothes that is so entertaining!  It doesn’t really matter if they are in season or not.

Is there really a season when a santa outfit doesn’t work?  
 All dressed up and no where to go!
Please go on a date with me, Santa Girl!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love cooking in the crockpot.  It has to be the easiest thing ever.  You just throw everything in and wait until it’s ready.  I found this really easy to cook chicken tortilla soup online, so I thought it was worth a try.  The most stressful part of the whole thing was going grocery shopping.  Since my husband was at work, I had to go myself.   I hate going to the grocery store.

I think that the biggest thing I learned from this is that our crockpot is really too small.  The next time I see a bigger crockpot, I think I will go ahead and buy it.  All of this BARELY fit in the one I have.


Ingredients

2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Ro-Tel 
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder*
1 Tbsp chile powder*
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
1 Tbsp dried cilantro*  (I used fresh cilantro because I like the cilantro a lot)

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

*Instead of these spices, you could include a packet of Taco seasoning if you prefer.*

For this recipe, the only real prep work that I had to do was chop the onions and even that took a couple of seconds!!  Since I used fresh cilantro, I had to chop that too, but you can use the pre packaged stuff if you want! 

Put chopped onion, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir. Put chicken breasts on top of mixture and make sure they’re at least partly submerged in liquid. Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. Before serving remove the chicken breasts from soup and shred it before returning it to CrockPot. Stir to combine.




To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if you like. It’s delicious!  Enjoy!



The original recipe also called for beans.   I don’t like beans, but you can add them if you want: 
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained




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