Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Resolutions....

I suck at them.
I never stick to them.
I think I make them to lofty and upon my first failure, I give up and wait for next year.

Of course my head is telling me to make the obligatory resolutions:
i.e. lose 20 lbs, run more, read the Bible through (finally!), and save money...
But what I really want this year is a challenge.
I discovered Stephanie O'Dea's blog this summer and was amazed at her challenge and how she not only completed it, but succeeded in inspiring America to make use of a long forgotten kitchen appliance.

I found Jess' blog last January and was inspired by her 21 day challenge to love running. Not only did she discover her inner runner she went on to run two marathons, countless half marathons and run 8 months of her pregnancy! Talk about amazing...

Or how about my friends Danielle. Last year she challenged herself to complete the couch to 5K challenge and ended up running the Nike Women's Marathon and inspiring 1/2 of our workplace!

So this year....without further adieu....
I challenge myself to take a photo everyday! I know its not as exciting as training for a marathon, but it will help me tell the story of my life. Here's the deal... I will take one photo a day and tell you a little story about what happened. I hope you'll still stop by All Things Republican as I document 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Date of the Month! (Mr. R's most amazing present!)

This Christmas I needed to be a bit more creative when doing my shopping.Each year I am one of those people who says I wish Christmas could last all year round. I love the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the idea of thoughtfully picking out each gift and watching the receiver's expressing as he or she opens my present.
To help Christmas last a little longer @ casa republican this year...I enrolled Mr. R in the date of the month club. (I totally stole the idea from Cher's blog, she is simply brilliant by the way!)
I had so much fun planning our dates for each month and I look forward to actually going on them throughout the year. Some of the dates reference places we have been while others are just places and things we have wanted to do, but never got around to it. I promise to share pictures as we enjoy our nights out (or in) throughout the year.
FYI: The cards were made in power point, fonts are from, and all clipart is from Microsoft office. (Don't tell Mr. R, but it only took me about 1.5 hours to put this together!)

Merry Christmas!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- Luke 2:8-14

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I believe

weather you've been
naughty or nice...
you should still believe.
believe in love. believe in magic. believe in others. believe in yourself.believe in your dreams. believe in Santa Clause...
if you don't who will...
i believe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tradtions

I think one of my most favorite parts of being married is sharing holiday traditions with Mr. R and creating a few new ones of our own. Mr. R and I grew up in very different families.

He is from a big Italian family that gathers on Christmas eve for a large dinner (known as the seven fishes) and presents, followed by midnight mass. I grew up in a small Native American family that gathered on Christmas day. We had a family breakfast, followed by the reading of Luke 2, and the opening of gifts.

Jeff's family introduced me to the Christmas story and the Griswold Christmas. Both videos are watched in his childhood home multiple times from Thanksgiving to Christmas. (We now watch them on Christmas Eve day). And my family introduced Jeff to Christmas caroling to neighbors (we just celebrated 10 years of caroling!) and Christmas present clues (he still hasn't guessed a single one!).

This year we are celebrating Christmas in Florida with my family. We have combined many holiday traditions in hopes to create a Christmas that we both will love (hopefully!).

12/23: Massive cookie baking and caroling

12/24: Shopping with my Mom, Christmas open house @ my grandparents, watch the Christmas Story as it plays on TBS for 24 hours, midnight mass, one present opened before bed.

12/25: Christmas Brunch at my house (check back after Christmas for the recipes, very excited to use my Pioneer Woman cookbook), more presents, Christmas day run (a new traditions this year in hopes to earn more activity points to be able to eat pie!), and finally traditional Christmas dinner with family @ my grandparents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

3 miles on the shortest day of the year!

I feel like Super Woman today!

I ran my three miles, wrapped my gifts, shopped for Christmas Eve dinner, visited Anthro for a bit, bought new latte bowls, (that we desperately needed!), and returned a few items to Target. We made it home before 3:30 and I begged Mr. R to run a quick 3 with me in our neighborhood. It is super chilly here, I know my friends up North will kills be for saying this! (They have 24 inches of snow!) I had to run in tights a long sleeve tee, and a tech shirt. I almost wanted to go back for my gloves! Dinner tonight was impromptu and totally inspired by Costco. They were demoing organic chicken meatballs seasoned with Basil and Parmesan. So Good!
My latte bowls are teal, turquoise, 0range and purple.
I would photograph them, but they are already in use!

Breakfast: Bagel chips with babagnoush (we are out of ALL breakfast foods here! Hence the necessary trip to Costco)
Lunch: Costco Pizza (one slice) with strawberries, sugar, and cream.
Dinner: Angel hair pasta with vodka sauce, chicken balls, and roasted garlic asparagus (served in the new latte bowls!!!)

FYI: Coleman makes the chicken meatballs I was raving about. They are organic, but I wouldn't exactly call them WW friendly.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm easy like a Sunday morning...

or maybe Sunday morning is easy like me?

On today's schedule: trip to Target, outlet shopping, lunch with Jeff, 3 mile run, afternoon nap, present wrapping, puppy walk, and Christmas movies. It was a bit chilly today so it was an amazing treat to stay bundled inside our new quilts until late morning.

I thought I would try to get back on track posting my daily eats and fitness plans. Better late then never right?

Breakfast: Coffee & Trade Joe's Pumpkin Waffle. This mix was purchased in San Francisco and I have been wanting to use it, just didn't have the time. I am kicking myself for waiting so long. The waffles were so good! Mr. R and I each had one and the pups managed to polish off 1/4 of a waffle too.

Snack: I got a bit hungry during outlet shopping and I forgot to pack a snack. I shared a container of pretzel nuggets and a water with Mr. R. It was just enough to keep the real hunger at bay and still keep shopping.

Lunch #1: We got home and yup, still hungry. I made a plate of babaganoush, spinach dip, pita & bagel chips. I also shared this with Mr. while I waited for our real lunch to heat.

Lunch #2: Yesterday in my crock pot craze I also made BBQ pork tenderloin. I served this sandwich style with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. The recipe is super simple and I plan on making this often. It makes a ton so plan to freeze about half.

Dinner?: Does coffee count as dinner? I am saying it does. Mr. R and I are also trying to get our latte budget under control, much like the family on the commercial that is currently airing on all TV stations. I love Starbucks, but seriously $3.50 for a latte is a bit much during a recession. So I made my own, in the crock pot. Using Stephanie's recipe I made skinny gingerbread lattes, (and then deskinnied them with homemade whipped cream). So good!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

you are my fave...

Just discovered this blog. The author is so stinking cute and I love her ideas and her faves... maybe she is my long lost twin?

I am totally stealing this idea for Valentine's Day, (a girl can plan ahead can't she?)... who wouldn't want s'more love on the 14th of February... If you are part of my inner circle expect some coming your way.

Christmas Clues...

In my family it is not enough to just buy Christmas presents, you also have to leave clues about the presents and wrap them in deceiving boxes to throw the receiver off and keep him or her guessing about what's inside.

I am very pleased with the gifts I found for Mr. R this year. He is a tough guy to shop for and never gives me any clues about what he would like for Christmas. I know what he needs, i.e. socks, dress socks, underpants, and new brown shoes, but those gifts are NO FUN!

I can't very well reveal what I bought for Mr. R here on the blog, because he does stop in every now and I will leave for you his Christmas clues.

#1: "...much easier to wrap than a pineapple." (This is clue is an inside joke between us, but make reference to a popular TV show on USA network).

#2: "I am Batman! or maybe spiderman... no wait the Flash..."

#3: "because you can never have enough dihydrogenoxide" (yes, we have already well established that I am a biochem nerd).

#4: "You can never find yours, and I figure why not just give you more."

#5: Rock On!

December 19th: My first Saturday off in ages!

Mr. R and I had planned to be out of town this weekend. A trip to NJ and NYC was in the works. At this time today I should have been visiting with friends, shopping in China Town, and seeing Rock of Ages on Broadway.With everything that happened last weekend, we decided to postpone our trip and stay closer to home. It turns out we had the right idea because as I type this my hometown is being pelted with snow! 24 inches to be exact.Since we were supposed to be out of town we didn't have any plans for the weekend. We NEVER get weekends off here in casa de republican so I jumped at the chance to sleep in. I did a little shopping, visited with my Grandmother, took the dogs to the pup park, and busted out the crock pot.

I think it is well known that I have a bit of an obsession with my crock-pot. I love how I can spend 10 minutes in the morning prepping dinner and then come home to a fully cooked dinner later that night.

Tonight we ate jalapeno corn pudding (made in the crock) and BBQ chicken salad. The jalapeno corn pudding was amazing. It is spicy, gooey, cheese and delicious. Also it can be made weight watchers friendly which is the ultimate bonus for me.

Pictures courtesy of crockpot365 & recipezaar. (My camera is on the fritz, sorry!)

Good News!

My Grandmother is doing so well! She was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon and had been resting at home. Her surgery went very well and she has very little pain. I think her only complaint is that she did not sleep well in the hospital. (I think it was all of those 2 AM blood pressure and vital sign checks). She gave us all a scare, but the doctors have been very positive about her pacemaker and promise that her heart should not fall below 60 beats/minute. This holiday season I really have so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


No pace maker today. The surgeon was overbooked and my grandmother didn't want to transfer to the other hospital for the surgery. She is scheduled for surgery @ 11:45 tomorrow. Once again prayers, please.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prayers please...

My grandmother is getting a pacemaker tomorrow. She is not getting enough oxygen. Her heart is not pumping enough blood to sustain her. I know she needs this surgery and I know she will have better quality of life once its installed. I am just scared. My family is already small as it is and we can't lost another member.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

January dinner....

This summer I read Julie and Julia. I fell in love with Julia Child. And the idea that blogging can help you discover yourself and change your life. Now I am reading my life in Paris by Julia Child. She is endearing, wonderful, lovely, and most of all real. Today I watched Julie & Julia. (I missed it in theaters this summer.) It made me want to cook and eat and then cook some more.I am already scheduled to cook dinner for 12 tomorrow. At my house. The menu is old school Italian and the ingredients have already been purchased and are taking up every piece of open space in fridge. If I could, I would change my menu in heart beat and serve French food in Julia's honor.

My husband would kill me If I actually did this, so instead I am daydreaming about a dinner for 10 that I will host on a cold January night sometime after New Years. In case you can't attend, here is a rundown of my plan.

Dinner for 12:
French Onion Soup with garlic and Gruyere toasts.
Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon (in the crock)
Whipped mashed potatoes with crock-pot juice gravy
Crock-pot tomatoes & goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette.

My goal is to only use two crock pots and serve 10 people.

I want to listen to french music, make use of my terrible french accent, and spend an evening with the people I love.

Also each guest MUST bring a sinful piece of dessert to share!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Red Line

I am catching up on Biggest Loser episodes, thank you Comcast-On Demand. Tonight's competition featured the dreaded red line. Each contestant, scared of going home worked out harder than ever before to avoid falling below the red line and going home.

As I watched the show, from my comfy couch and not the gym on the treadmill where I should have been, I thought about the things in my life that are motivators. What is my red line?

I have a goal in my head to be a size 8 again, but I have very little motivation to actually make my goal. Danielle and I were talking recently about letting go of size and number goals and focusing on being healthy. After all, if I am healthy with a BMI below 25, I will reach my size and number goal.

So I think I have finally figured out my red line. My red line is the LBD that hangs in my closet. This week that black dress symbolizes my goal of a size 8, my desire to see a big number loss on the scale, and the plan that I will stick to so that I will reach my goals.

I realize this post is a lot of talk, but I promise I am making a plan to take these words and turn them into actions.

A few changes around here...

A co-worker gave me the south beach diet book today. I am an avid weight watchers user, but I like the idea of using already completed meal plans and not having to count points. Also Jeff wants to get fit and I am considering giving him boot camp classes for Christmas. I month's membership is only $40 and I know we can swing it. I just hope he would actually enjoy the classes. Any thoughts?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

25 days of christmas

Each year I try to record our days from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I LOVE the holidays so much that sometimes I get caught up in the daily grind and forget the Add Imagespecial things I do each day that make the holiday season so fun and worth remembering. Here's a few of our daily doings that I think are worth recording.Jeff's Grandparents: Anderson, SC

Thanksgiving: Jeff and I have been married for three years and each thanksgiving has always been different. We hosted the first year at my mom's house. I shopped and cooked, ,both families dined, and Jeff joined us at the last minute after taking the train from DC late on Wednesday night. Year 2: I relocated to Florida, Jeff was still working for the man in DC. He drove 13 hours to spend the holiday with me in our little rental house. We made up for lost time, if you catch my drift, needless to say a turkey dinner & pumpkin pie were the last things on my mind. 2009 marks our 3rd thanksgiving and we spent it apart. Yes, you read that right, apart. Jeff's family was gathering in South Carolina and my grandparents were staying put here in Florida. I didn't feel up to a Martin reunion, I had bronchitis, and the pups do not do well with cats. Jeff left early Thursday morning for Anderson, SC and my only plan was to relax and shop the ads, until my mid afternoon dinner at two. I missed him, but I think we made the best choice.

My adorable Grandmother and her beautiful Thanksgiving table.

Black Friday:11/27
3:30 - Wake-up call.
4:00 - Leave for Walmart
4:15 - Search for a parking space and end up parking in the rental car lot. (Praying I didn't get towed!)
4:30 - Find my cricut, put it in my cart, and head for checkout.
4:45 - Find a digital frame for G&P
5:00 - Checkout, I am the second person in line!
5:15 - Arrive @ Target
5:30 - Shop for Jeff, the Cubbages, & Nicole
5:45 - Quick coffee stop @ Dunkin Doughnuts
6:00 - On to Michael's! Yay for cricut cartridges & a 40% coupon!
7:00 - Home! 1/2 of my shopping is completed & my bed is calling my name.

11/30: Biltmore Estate - America's largest privately owned home. It's even more beautiful at Christmas. The home belonged to George and Edith Vanderbilt's and boasts 250-rooms. It is located in Asheville, NC only a 90 minute drive from Jeff's grandparents home. Walking the halls takes over two hours! Jeff raved about the gorgeous library with over 10,000 books and the dining room that was the size of our home. Pictures are prohibited, but you will see an original Renoir, Napoleon's chess set, a 20 foot Christmas tree in the dining hall, 65 fireplaces, and finally an indoor pool, and bowling.

12/1: I heart eggnog! I really don't enjoy egg nog by itself. In fact a few years ago I detested it! Then my mom stepped in and found a way to mix eggnog with my favorite food group carbs! Introducing Egg Nog French Toast. A Jill Fisler secret recipe. It's amazing! And I bought enough eggnog to be able to make it for the entire Christmas season. Yum!

12/2: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The tree is up and it is beautiful!
I love looking at all the ornaments we have collected over the years. I have two new favorites this year. The leg lamp from "A Christmas Story" and my hermit crab ornament from Ocean City, NJ. I am so excited to be going home in three weeks.
Me with the new haircut. I really like my bangs.

12/3: Season of giving. We made a third trip to Target this week, (my 3rd in three days!), to shope for Joey our giving tree child this year. Joey is a six year old boy who loves action figures, Disney movies, and books. I found him an awesome outfit to make him a styling at school this January. And Jeff was way excited to shop for the transformer's action figures! He will be so excited if we have a boy.12/4: What a day! Science fair, fossil quiz, parent helpers, project judging, (It's much harder than it looks! They are all so good.), ice cream sundaes at the staff meeting, and not getting home until 5:30. Jeff had a rough day too. I think the crazy clients are starting to get to him. We settled for a Publix catered dinner of mojo chicken (so good), couscous & peas. We ended an utterly awful day with dinner, a ridiculous movie , and red velvet cake. I really loved the cake!

12/5: We have a sick Sophie. Sophie threw up twice today. It was projectile and big and gross. She is on a broth only diet for 24 hours and we have endure her cries of hunger. It's awful & I feel terrible. I don't think we are ready for kids yet. Let's hope she feels better tomorrow and we can still head to IKEA.12/6: IKEA: I fell in love with IKEA my sophomore year of college. We have had a long successful romance and I still swoon when I walk through her doors. Today my mission consisted of two sets of curtains for the TV room, new sofa pillows featuring colorful accents, and two throws that will keep me toasty in this winter season. Jeff tried to keep me on task, but as per usual, we came home with a few more things. A new quilt for our bed, red lanterns for the front walk, and an embrodiered floral pillow for the living room sofa. We also visted the Mall of Melinia, I wanted to see the Christmas decorations. The tree and whimsical Santa's village were gorgeous! It almost made up for missing the tree lighting @ Rockefellar center. We also made a quick stop to Anthropologie where OUR BEDDING WAS 70% OFF! Double score! To celebrate our lucky break we had lunch at PF Changs where the crispy honey shrimp are outstanding. Sophie is feeling better today and was able to keep down broth & grits. I think she is on the road to recovery :)12/7: Christmas cards! They are printed. They are awesome. They will be in your mailboxes soon.

12/8: Science fair, Christmas concert, and a date with my grandparents oh my! It was a great night filled with family and the sounds of Christmas.

12/9: I can (w)rap with the best of them.

12/10: A pre-Christmas dinner Benni Hana style. I am in love with the Hibachi restaurant on 210.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm sorry I have been MIA.

Yes, I survived the marathon.
No, I haven't gotten around to blogging about it yet.
Yes, my life is still out of control.
No, I haven not mastered this time management thing.
Yes, I am back in the blogging world and yes, you should expect regular posts coming your way on a daily basis starting tomorrow.
No, please don't delete me off your readers yet!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crazy busy week.

I keep attempting to post each night and then I get distracted with grading, packing, laundry, and husband time. You will have to excuse me for my absence this week, I am leaving for the MARATHON on Thursday and I am bit preoccupied. I hope you all have great weeks and will say a little prayer for me on Sunday, actually I will take prayer anytime this week. Pray that we have safe travels and that our luggage makes it with us. Pray that we run injury free and take time to really enjoy our trip. Pray for the husbands and families that we are leaving behind, keep them safe in our absence. So in short thanks for reading my blog, excusing my lack of posts, and saying a few hail Mary's or heavenly shout outs on my behalf.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Belly full of chili...

I am very full today.
I have a belly full of homemade chili that was fantastic. I actually had two bowls.
I have a heart full of love. I am a very lucky girl to be married to such a handsome man who makes chili, walks the dogs, runs with me, and does laundry.
I have a bed full of puppies who are like little heaters and keep my feet warm so socks aren't necessary.
I have a head full of thoughts and I am not sure I am articulate enough to get them written here on this little blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday to do list:

Run 6 miles.
Pick out paint for media room.
Have brunch with Mr. R.
Walk Simon & Sophie to the lake.
Dream about having 4 beautiful babies with blue eyes. (My biological clock is really ticking!)
Paint media room.
Bathe dogs.
Scrapbook my week.
Make a dent in my never ending laundry pile.
Send out a few thank you notes.
Write packing list for San Francisco.
Nap, if needed.
Date night @ the Greek Festival tonight... I hear a gyro and some dancing calling my name.

What happened this week?

I was a terrible blogger this week. I was also a not so great person. It was a rather selfish week for me at Casa Republican and I was all about feeling sorry for myself. I wasn't excited about cooking dinners. I didn't want to clean. My laundry pile has reached epic heights. I don't know how Mr. R put up with me.

I don't have many photos to show you this week, actually for this post I don't have any. But for those of you who care enough to keep reading... my week in words.

Tuesday: Block day. Finished teaching the scientific method to the children. We culminated the unit by completing my favorite lab, See Jane Date. They actually have to use the scientific method to find a date for my friend Jane. This results in crazy matches and lots of laughs. I had a mondo headache all day and ended up eating leftovers and heading to bed early.

Wednesday: In class review day, fruit for all three meals, 5 mile run with Mr. R, Mad Men watched on On Demand.

Thursday: Test! I graded all day long. My "in box" is now empty. Go Me!!! Shopping with Kristin & Danielle for marathon necessities. I got a really cool running belt to keep my hydrated on my long runs. I have decided I need cute running clothes like Kristin. I also need her body shape too. (More on that later).

Friday: On to the weekend!!! Afternoon snack with Mr. R, Reality TV watching, dinner that I did not make, late night kisses, falling asleep while quoting Brian Regan, Mr. R softly snoring next to me. Reminded that I have a very awesome life and should be eternally grateful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quote of the night:

"I would very much like to be your baby daddy". -Mr. R

Be back later with a recap of the week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday, monday, bah dah bah dah dah...

Monday, monday can't trust that day...

Mondays are block days so I only see three of my classes as opposed to six. Classes are twice as long and I don't have to be as rushed. (Once I get to work). This morning was another late morning for me. I woke up late, showered late, got dressed late, and left late. It was as if I was unconsciously trying to see how late I could make myself this morning. I did however discover that if I leave my house at 7:10 I can get to work before the kids come beating down the door. (Good to know in case I encounter another case of the Mondays in the near future.)

The downside of leaving late and being rushed is that I don't get breakfast. I drank my coffee while driving and had an Odwalla smoothie in first period.I was starving my second period so I dug into my strawberry chobani yogurt. Thanks to Costco I have plenty to choose from. Lunch was leftover mac and cheese with fresh fruit. Turns out Costco's fresh fruit bowl is way better than the Publix bowl. (I think its a bit cheaper too). Plus it has mango in it!
My classes went smoothly and I left work on time! I'm making progress people. I have a major headache tonight so I plan to spend most of my afternoon in bed with Advil and the lights off.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The weekend recap...

Saturday: breakfast, run, paint the guestroom, movies, GYROS!, drinks, dessert.

Yes, you read that right I found a Gyro place in Saint Augustine. Oopa! They taste exactly like Eric's from home. (Shout out to Jersey!) I was in heaven. We decided to only order one and split it, but after the first bite I could have eaten three more... so good. I think we have found out new date night place.

Me eating my half of the gyro. Loved it!
Me in my awesome 3-D glasses. (I think they look like old school Ray-bands).
Do you think Sophie looks embarrassed of me?

Mr. R rocking his 3-D glasses. (Believe it or not this was pre-drinks).
Dessert! Tonight's meal was a taste of Mediterranean.
Gyros from Greece & cannoli from Italy (or Publix?)

Sunday: church, Costco, Jo-Anne fabric (cause I am cool like that & I can roll with the grandmas in the cat sweatshirts), grilled cheese & soup, scrapbooking, homemade mac & cheese, cider and a soak in the tub. I think I am ready to face a new week.