Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Beach Resident's Vacation

   Jim and I have joked since moving here that our family would probably not get excited to vacation at the beach but rather plan trips inland to see family, historic landmarks, and big cities. With our trip to Ohio getting closer I am finding it amusing that I am feeling the same excitement about our trip to Ohio with that used to be reserved for just after school was out, week long, family vacations to Myrtle Beach! We have a lose knit plan for how the extended weekend will go but mostly the focus is watching the Buckeyes and seeing family and friends. As with everything though I have a list of  "I want to" (I am a habitual list maker).
       1) I need a Donald's Doughnut! Nothing fancy just a plain cake doughnut with pink icing. I used to LOVE when dad would wake up on weekends and make a doughnut run to Donald's. I have even more fond memories of getting doughnuts with dad and a chocolate milk. This small place reminds you how great it is to live in a small town where they have one of a kind bakeries instead of mass produced and impersonal quick stop coffee and doughnut shops. I don't eat those Krispie Cream doughnuts... or any other doughnut for that matter, they are just disappointing. I wish I could have Donald's set up a shop here in SC as well.... although maybe it is better for my diet that they don't!
2) Adornettos. Everyone from the Zanesville area knows it is the best Italian food around. (Sorry Olive Garden again the home town version wins hands down.... plus it is much better priced!). My favorite is their Tuscan Chicken. Of course you have to have a salad to start and their House Italian dressing is the best. I honestly get lettuce with nothing but dressing (they have fresh mozzarella that is good though). I could eat their lettuce/dressing every day twice a day (I would eat a Donald's doughnut for breakfast of course!) and be completely satisfied. Lucky for me they now bottle and sell their dressing so if we don't have time to eat there I will at least be buying a bottle to bring back! Their pizza is good too with it's curled up pepparonis! Mmmmm. Again I think the family that owns it should buy a beach house and open another Adornettos here!
3) Now this is not necessarily an Ohio trip but we don't have Chipotle in Horry County. :(
And this is one Jim has his heart set on. We have a Moe's here, which is good. But it isn't Chipotle and their chips don't have those large granules of salt on them...  I love to get a burrito bowl and use my chips to scoop up the rice, chicken, lettuce, and hot sauce.  Jim always gets a burrito the size of my head with just about everything but lettuce in it. His ultimate goal is to have the tortilla break when they are trying to roll it. That way they have to get a second tortilla and the ingredients all kinda mix up. You should honestly see his smile if this succeeds.
4) Jose Madrid salsa. I have my dad's taste for hot salsa (although I am a bit concerned with my recent development of heartburn). This is the best stuff. Again the problem is availability. I have been stuck eating Pace Picante salsa for months here and it is just not as good. During my time at OSU I also had trouble getting this even in Kroger in Columbus and mom would buy an extra jar to send home with me after visits.  In searching online I found that you can order multiple jars here so that may be our long term solution to this problem, but while I am in Ohio I am going to pick some up and bring it back.
5) Nyohs Buckeye Bar. Have I ever mentioned Jim and I met there? We kinda love that place! Home or away it was the best place to be on game day. They start early, go late and have great food and friendly bar tenders. We also kind love the owners. You may have seen Matt and Andrea at our wedding and in my previous blogs about The Outer Banks. Can't wait to be surrounded by fanatic Buckeye fans, maybe do a line dance or two, and see some of my favorite people!
6) There have been a lot of changes at OSU since I left. The one I am most disappointed about not getting to enjoy is the library. Let's face it as a college student you have to do a lot of studying and I while I loved my time on the top floor of the library looking out at the students cross the oval and noticing the old photos of how campus used to look, I think I would have loved this.
And this. Such a pretty and open space! Reminds me of the library in The Beauty and The Beast.
Here is about what it looked like when I graduated. Not only is it not "pretty" it impeded my route to and from classes. :(

7) The old Ohio Union was beginning demolition/construction as I was leaving OSU. It was much needed as the space was outdated and as you can imagine there are just a few student organizations and activities that utilize the Union.
Here is the way it used to look
8) Ummm I think this is a given?!
9) And then there are these people....
And these as well
Five months is too long.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Atalaya Ghost Tour

Last night Jim and I went with our friends on a Ghost Tour of Atalaya in Huntington Beach State Park.
 We had decided that ice cream was a must before we went on the ghost tour but Dairy Queen was too far out of our way and TCBY just happened to be on our route! I LOVE TCBY! (They have waffle cone Wednesdays and I don't get there as much as I would like.) My only complaint is that they don't have White Chocolate Mouse every time. :( Lucky for me they did this time! I also saw that they have White Chocolate Mouse Frozen Yogurt cakes! With my birthday coming up I now have my heart set on this! 
We arrived at the park just as the sun was setting. You can see Atalaya in the background.
The entrance to Atalaya as we waited for others to arrive and the ghost tour to start.

The other direction there is a path that supposedly leads all the way to 17.
Unfortunately my camera doesn't take pictures well in such dim light so I gave up at this point. Our guide told us 3 wonderful ghost stories/folk tales. It was very family friendly. After three stories we walked the darkened halls of Atalaya (which is huge). When we returned to the courtyard we had time for just one more story before it was time to go home.
Jim and I stopped by the Garden City pier afterwards as they light up the water under the pier at night and you can see the fish and jellyfish swimming around. We also had this stunning view.
We plan to go back to Huntington Beach State Park to tour Atalaya during the day. They even have those audio tours available complete with commentary from Anna Hyatt Huntington who was one of the original owners. It is $1.00 to tour Atalaya and $4 to have the audio self guided tour. The ghost tour however was free and runs every Friday at 8:30 in June, July, and August.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Hero's Return

    This weekend we got to celebrate something truly amazing! A Welcome Home party for one of our friends. After eight long months he is home safe and sound. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for he and his wife, especially with having a new baby. So to think about how many many men and women are making that same sacrifice for our freedom is very humbling. It takes a special kind of person that is for certain.
     Because this was such a special occasion EVERYONE got together. This is the first group of people we started hanging out with when we moved here two years ago. Unfortunately some people have had to move away and as with most groups it usually isn't everyone all at once. It was so great to see everyone together at the same time. Especially with all of the kids. Kind of made me feel old because a lot of our conversations were about how much and how quickly all the kids are growing! This is a picture of many of the kids in the pool with the dads (the dads/men did a great job on pool duty)!
The Marine and his son. Too cute right?
I even got to hold the newest addition while his mommy was cleaning. Pure torture I tell you. Actually I'll go ahead and put this offer out there.... if any mom's need someone to come hold/play with their baby while they clean, shop, etc. Please feel free to give me a call. :) I'll even suffer through a feeding or diaper or two.... especially if it is near nap time and I can get a moment or two like this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2010 Ohio State Buckeyes Movie Trailer - The Num8er Eight

Have I ever mentioned I'M A BUCKEYE? AAAAND I got alumni tickets and can't wait to go back to The Shoe to watch the BUCKEYES play? Ummm yea just THIS MUCH excited. Watch this and I bet you will be too!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

A visit from The Fords

This past week the Ford family was here for vacation . While they were here we met up to play mini golf.... and because Jim was working he did not get to go :( We played at one of the places I've never been before, Jurassic Golf.
We chose the Ice Age course.
Usually when Jim and I play mini golf together he wins every time and I feel like I take FOREVER to finish each hole. Well... not this time. Scott was actually joking after the first few holes that he could tell who got to play mini golf more frequently! :) Not gonna lie I was kinda excited, except that usually when I feel good about how I am doing that is when I tend to start messing up.

It was a bit intimidating to play near this guy....  but he never got all the way out. "I have a big head and little arms. I don't think this was well thought out" (Watch Meet the Robinsons and you'll get it. It's a Edbrooke family joke)
There was also this guy... this one actually moved! At first I thought it was swaying in the wind a bit but then his head turned completely.
Here is Julie taking her turn.
Scott, Trent, and Nick.
This hole was difficult with the crazy water hazard. It however was not as hard as the previous hole of which I did not take a picture. We actually all ended up being close in score Scott and I had 47 then Julie, Nick, and Trent had 51 so it was a close game, which always makes it more fun.
Because Jim couldn't come with us. We went to Jim! FYI Scott is a Lt. in Ohio and Julie used to be an EMT. Here is a family picture on the fire truck.
Here Scott and the boys are checking out one of the trucks while Jim and Scott share stories.

Nick trying on Jim's gear....
Trent too!
They were surprised at how heavy the air pack was too.
We really enjoyed our visit with the Fords. Jim LOVES to talk fire and I think Scott might too. It was so nice just to spend time hanging out and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cake Night

 With our new diet and workout kick there is no real junk food. We aren't counting calories or eating super strict just making better choices. I have also cut out pop (I was drinking about 2 per day at work!). We have given ourselves a "cheat" though. On Fridays we have CAKE NIGHT! It has only been two weeks and I had seriously talked about it since Wednesday this week. I was even able to resist the yummy looking chocolate chip cookies at the CCU Cheerleaders Welcome Dinner because I wanted to save my calories for my cake. We buy those two slices of cake at Kroger for $1.99. Last week we got chocolate with chocolate icing, it was perfect-- very rich, great portion. Well this week I decided to have the same and picked up the one that looked like the same one. When I got home I realized it was German Chocolate Cake which has coconut in it. I was a little disappointed and had to eat around that part of the cake. I have decided to make my own cake this week and found this recipie on the Real Simple website. It will mix my favorite things cooking and CAKE NIGHT! Now I will technically have to make it Thursday so it will be ready for Friday. Looks good huh?



Serves 8      Total Time: 12hr 15m

Directions

1.In a food processor, puree 2 15-ounce containers ricotta with 12 ounces melted and cooled semisweet chocolate until very smooth.

2.Line an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Layer the ricotta mixture and half of a 9-ounce package of chocolate wafer cookies in the prepared pan (3 layers of the ricotta mixture and 2 layers of the cookies, beginning and ending with the ricotta mixture).

3.Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. To serve, remove from pan, slice, and sprinkle with ¼ cup shaved semisweet chocolate.
Nutritional Information


Per Serving  Calories 467  Fat 28g Sat Fat 17g Cholesterol 55mg Sodium 182mg  Protein 16g
                  Carbohydrate 42g Sugar 29g Fiber 1g Iron 2mg Calcium 225mg
 
Now this is way more than I need and I don't want it hanging around tempting me anyone wanna have Cake Night with me Friday? What are your favorite calorie splurges? Have any great cake recipies?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Turkey Trot 2010

  Jim and I have several "goals" we're working towards and since I love sharing with you all we'll (... maybe someday I'll get Jim to write a post if I can find the right motivation.) be updating you here about how things are going. I'll post the detailed list later so we can start checking it off for you. Anyways, back to our first goal/goals (this is several rolled into one). We want to eat better, learn to cook healthy, work out more, and lose weight/get in better shape. (Doesn't everyone?!)
 So everyone gains weight for different reasons and usually a combination of them. I have pinpointed the exact cause and reason for our weight gain. First I gained weight because I was happy and content in my relationship and because Jim portioned out most of our meals (I do NOT need the same amount of food as him!). Then we moved to SC and I wasn't working so I ate because I was bored and had nothing else to do and didn't know many people. Once I started working I was constantly on the go and ate junk food for convenience. As for Jim... he's comfortable and happy... oh and I MAKE him hang out and cuddle with me on the couch instead of a second daily work out and I can't tolerate the strict diet he used to keep (I like my food to have flavor).
   We have both been packing our lunches lately and buying more fresh/healthy foods and less junk. Now we have gotten back into working out regularly as well. We have a membership at Fitness Edge.
 
    I get really bored when I am on a treadmill or a bike for any length of time and it always seems the only equipment open is always in front of the TVs that have CNN,  ESPN, and The Food Network (they don't cook very healthy, not exactly the best thing to watch while working out), so I look through magazines. Reading articles is impossible but I like to look through the pictures and I can read large print and short blurbs while walking/biking. I really like the little blurbs about readers who have changed their lifestyle, how, why, and their motivational tips, accomplishments, etc. There was one about a girl whose father had a heart attack (and her grandfather before that) and her doctor told her if she didn't make some changes she would most likely have one as well. Well she decided that was not acceptable and made diet and exercise changes and a year and a half later ran a half marathon!! It struck a cord with me.
  For those of you that don't know heart problems run in my dad's side of the family and it starts young. Both my dad's parents had heart attacks and my dad's mom Ruby died at 45, my dad's sister has had several heart attacks and the first of them at a young age, and my dad has had two heart attacks. This July was 11 years from his first at age 38 (just weeks from 39), hard to believe when/if you meet him. He is a non-smoker, not over weight, pretty in shape, and doesn't eat crap food all the time. His second was about 5 years later another big shock to us. I don't want that for myself or the rest of my family, the fear that comes from what doctors call inevitable. See my handsome daddy!! And that tux is even big on him...
So... my goal was set. But I don't think I'm quite ready for a half marathon so a 5k it is. I went in to my typical research mode and it turns out there is a 5k here at Market Commons on Thanksgiving Day. Jim agreed that having a goal would make exercising more fun and I love planning and preparing so it's perfect!
 Jim and I will be running the Turkey Trot at 9 am Thanksgiving morning!
We have already started planning and our workouts from here on out will be focusing on preparing for the race. I'll be updating you every once in awhile on our progress and things we learn as we go. In return I hope you'll send encouragement for those days when "My feet hurt!", "I'm tired", or "I just want to watch TV for 10 more minutes". Maybe you'll even join us in running (if you would like to participate click on Turkey Trot to register... you can also do a 1 mile fun run or 8k. If you register early you get a lower rate as well.). I can share our workout plan if you'd like to follow along from a distance or locally. Or you could even come out just to cheer us on!
                                             



What are your running tips or strategies? What about favorite healthy recipes?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Murder Mystery Dinner

A while back my friend Jody invited me to go to a Murder Mystery dinner with her. Neither of us had ever been to one and we were excited. It was hosted by Main Street Conway and was at Coppers which just happens to be right across the street from my office.
Jody and I were some of the first guests to arrive. We were instructed to trust no one and suspect everyone. We did not see anything suspicious at first but then a few of the other people began to stand out.  Like these two women who went to all of the tables and encouraged everyone to "PARTY!!". There was also a womanizer Jack and an overly helpful waitress who quickly came to our attention.
After the first murder we were introduced to our trusty detective who lead us through a series of clues as well as with a few interrogations.
After a couple more unfortunate deaths and many more clues. We all took time to formulate our guess at who the killer was and why. We did this as a table/group. Unfortunately we were a little off on our guess. There were actually TWO killers working together!
This is the excitable waitress who ended up being one of the killers!
The entire cast.
And the winning table!
I also found out that they do this regularly up at The House of Blues and you can even get them to do private events and parties. They said they do a different scenario once a month so I definitely intend to see one again. It was so much fun and very entertaining. Thank you again Jody!