I am the 90% (on New Years Eve)

I’m  one of the 90% of Americans who claim they are staying in for New Years.  I think that says more about the people who actually respond to those polls than what people actually do on New Years.  They way I see it, I’m going to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and I’m definitely not going to be disappointed!

I’m also going home tomorrow.

Which I think is what I said when I headed this direction a week and a half ago.  I guess my home is both places.

Since it was my last day in Anderson (and I busted my tail at the gym today), I ordered something at Panera that I’ve been hankering for lately–the grilled cheese.  My mom, brother, and I enjoyed a nice lunch together.

Lunch at Panera

Of course, I thought about ways that I could make a slightly healthier version myself.  It will happen soon.

I finished off my stay in Anderson with a bike ride with my mom and dinner with the family.  I’ve had a wonderfully restful break here.  My other home hosts both new and old exciting things to tackle in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Selfie Sunday v4.0

In an interesting twist, Selfie Sunday v3.0 had a tie between the following two selfies.

Skinny Cow Selfie

Skinny Cow Selfie

photo bomb selfie

Photo Bomb Selfie

Considering there is a prize involved now, there needs to be a legit way to determine a winner.  As you vote for this week’s Selfie Sunday winner, respond to this post with a comment regarding who you think should win the tie…and why.

Here are the candidates for this week’s Selfie Sunday:

Cloud Selfie

Cloud Selfie

Earring Rack Selfie

Earring Rack Selfie

Dam Selfie

Dam Selfie

Working Hard Selfie

Working Hard Selfie

Tongue Selfie

Tongue Selfie

Blogging Selfie

Blogging Selfie

Failed Selfie

Failed Selfie

Knitting Selfie

Knitting Selfie

Rolling the Final Credits on Christmas

Colorful Post-Christmas Mess

This will make you feel better about whether or not your “house is a mess.”  When I am at home, everything has to be where it belongs or I can’t function.  On vacation, all bets are off.  The only plus is that a lot of my stuff is in bright colors so the mess becomes its own decoration. Bleh, bleh, bleh…it’s a wreck and starting to drive me nuts.christmas mess

Fun with (ridiculous and grammatically disastrous) Signs

I have a few fun photos from Anderson adventures today.  First, I’ve been working out at Gold’s Gym since I’ve been here.  During my first visit, I walked quickly out of the women’s locker room and thought I saw something odd on a sign, but then I thought there was no way it really said that.  Today, I saw it again.  I was right.  I really says that.

no boys in the girls bathroom

…and that’s not to mention lack of apostrophe! Also, just noticed the creation of the gigantic word “lockerroom.”  I guess that extra space would have just taken too much out of them.

Next, this little sign caught my eye at the mall.  Lynna stole the apostrophe from the bathroom sign, I guess.

luxuries' by lynna

One Last Christmas Dinner

On a serious note, I finished up my Christmas festivities tonight with a trip to my Aunt Johnnye’s house.  She’s a phenomenal cook.  As she was making final preparations, she pulled out a recipe handwritten by my great grandmother who was known around town for her fantastic cooking.  This is the recipe for her dressing which I will try to post soon.  There are no fruits or vegetables in this one!

dressing recipeMy great grandmother passed away when I was in the second grade, but I remember her cooking.  Actually, the thing I remember most about staying at her house was that she would let me use the microwave all by myself.  I thought I was a big thing for that.  Apparently, she had a cooking problem that I share–she didn’t like following recipes.  She cooked with a lot of “ish” measurements and “hmmm, I think I’ll throw in this.”  Love.

Once again, my family sat around the table to share stories, laugh, and eat.  I wish I could say I cooked this goodness, but I didn’t.

prime rib

The food was fantastic and made me a little sad at the thought of the little awkward time period after Christmas when the glitter and ho-ho-ho is still on the mind.  Eventually things return to normal, but Christmas is nearly over.  I’m starting to work on my list of things I want/need to do as the new year begins.  I don’t typically do resolutions; I just make a list of things I’d like to be able to say I tried by the end of the next year.  It helps with the post-Christmas transition period.  So, what do you do as Christmas ends avoid to that cheer hangover?  Please leave a comment!

(Tasty) Turkey Burger and Sweet Potato Family Dinner

My grandfather told a story tonight.

First, you must know that he cleaned–I mean seriously cleaned–my car for me yesterday.  By the visor on the passenger side was a large, brownish reddish splotch.  It was pretty gross.  On the way to work one day, I attempted to chuck my apple core out the window.  I missed.  It hit the inside of my car.  Pretty much exploded.  Rough morning.

After cleaning the car, my grandfather asked me if it was “blood or ketchup.”  Laughing, I told him the tale of the rouge apple.  He told the tale of the rouge firecracker.  Long story short, the firecracker was like the apple.  The explosion occurred between the man and the seat.  Ouch.

We all have a great time when we sit to eat and tell stories.

family dinner20131227-204955.jpg

Spinach Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potatoes

Dinner was pretty easy, but I think everyone enjoyed it.  Here’s what I used:

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 packet of zesty ranch
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • sliced reduced fat provolone cheese
  • whole wheat buns
  • Hamburger toppings (sliced onion, dijon mustard, light mayo, etc.)
  • 6 sweet potatoes (one for each person)

Cook the sweet potatoes at 425 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Click here for some helpful tips on cooking sweet potatoes.

Finely chop the onion.  I used my food processor and pushed pulse until it was the consistency I wanted.  Mix the chopped onion, the ranch packet, and the two cups of spinach into the ground turkey.  It is ok that the spinach leaves are big.  They will be smaller when you cook the turkey.

Use a 1/3 cup scoop to get just the right amount of meat for the burger.  Scoop it out of the bowl and onto a separate plate to prepare to cook.

turkey burger pattiesNow, there are two ways to cook these things.  If you have access to a grill, GRILL THEM.  It makes the burger leaner and won’t smoke up your house.  Tonight, it was cold outside, and my dad wasn’t here to do the whole gas grill thing.  I decided to cook these in a skillet on the stove top.  Not my best decision, but it worked.

Turn the heat to medium/high and cook the burgers on each side for about five minutes.  Make sure they are cooked throughout.  Before you take them off the skillet, melt a piece of reduced fat provolone cheese on top.

turkey burger

They couldn’t even wait for me to take my picture before they started digging in!

Serve the sweet potatoes with whatever you like on top of a sweet potato.  I like salt and sour cream.  My brother ate greek yogurt on top of his, and my grandparents were happy with some butter.  Everyone got what they wanted.

turkey burgers and sweet potato

Finally, there was a little dessert, but that recipe will have to wait for tomorrow.  It’s been a busy day! UPDATE: See the recipe here!

holiday chickpea cookies

Season’s Greetings

Greetings to those who seek health through the eating of good food and the doing of hard exercise.  I send you tidings after a workout at Gold’s Gym these two days before Christmas.

I’m bad.  Today, is not only Selfie Sunday, but also visit-to-my-home-church Sunday.  It’s always interesting to go there not only because of all the familiar faces but also because of the great happenings.  Today’s sermon featured a piece about the importance of salutations which is why there is such a heartfelt one at the beginning of this post.  As I waited for church to begin, I created a little ditty which will be familiar to all the 2 Chainz fans out there.

The last 48 hours have been a hodgepodge of Anderson/Kay family goodness.  I, of course, unpacked first.


On Saturday, there was shopping and lunch with mom at Panera.  I highly recommend the black bean soup.  At only 170 calories for a small bowl, it’s a satisfying and tasty lunch!  It’s even better accompanied by the four cups of hazelnut coffee that I drank.

20131222-111722.jpg 20131222-111708.jpg

Which reminds me…

Two things became painfully (and gloriously) obvious the last two days of school:

  1. My friends and students know me well (made evident by the copious amounts of coffee gifted to me).
  2.  I have a coffee problem (made evident by the copious amounts of coffee gifted to me).

I am so appreciative of all the wonderful gifts I received at school.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

…Saturday night featured a new family tradition–the Christmas shrimp boil.  I think we are all kind of tired of traditional holiday food.  My uncle does a great job making the meal.  The food was fantastic.  Most importantly, my mom cut the sausage!


My family know me just as well as my students and co-workers, apparently.  Let’s just say neither Starbucks nor Dunkin’ Donuts will be missing me this January.  I also received this jewelry case.  Oprah featured the product , and it really is as cool as Oprah says.  This little case has about fifteen individually zipping compartments inside so all my necklaces don’t get twisted together.  You can order one for yourself here!


And of course Saturday leads to Sunday.  Sunday can best be explained in a list of things everyone should do this holiday season:

  1. Take a church selfie.20131222-111621.jpg
  2. Make a list of things to post about on an envelope in the pew.20131222-143552.jpg
  3. Take a picture of your mom in a church robe.20131222-143603.jpg
  4. Buy a gingerbread house kit.20131222-141923.jpg
  5. Put your gingerbread house together your own way.20131222-141929.jpg20131222-141941.jpg
  6. Play Awkward Family Photos with your family.20131222-221259.jpg
  7. Fall asleep.20131222-221054.jpg


Selfie Sunday v2.0

Thank you to everyone who sent a selfie! Find some new recruits for next week! Today’s selfies are full of Christmas joy. Vote for today’s best selfie…


Helmet Selfie


Pony Selfie


David Lee Roth Selfie


Fudge Selfie


Safety Selfie

Church Selfie

Church Selfie


Holiday Cheer Selfie

Santa Hat Selfie

Santa Hat Selfie

Diet Coke Selfie

Diet Coke Selfie

Close-up Selfie

Close-up Selfie

The winner of last week’s selfie Sunday was…


Sock/sleeve Selfie

 Congrats to the taker of this selfie.  It’s unique angle and focus made it the winner of Selfie Sunday v1.0!