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Florida Recap: My Brother’s Film College Graduation

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Good Morning!

Yesterday was my first day back at work after being in Florida for a week.  Is it just me, or does anyone else ever feel like they need a vacation from vacation to mentally rest and prepare for getting back into the grind?

My first day back at work wasn’t too bad, except for one thing.  I had a headache lingering all day.  I had some medicine with me, and I did take it, but I am always a bit leary about popping a ton of pills in order to feel better.  Unfortunately, the meds didn’t really help and by bedtime the headache was in full swing.  I have a prescription for these headaches that I don’t like to take outside of emergency situations, and last night was one of those instances.

Lately, though, the prescription hasn’t even been working.  So, while I was able to fall asleep, I woke at about midnight with a full blown, horrible headache.  Thankfully, I was able to take another round of medicine to really kick it in the tush.  I was able to fall back asleep, and wake with no head pain.  Whenever I have one of these headaches, even if I get rid of it, I never quite feel 100% the next day.  They really take a lot of out me, and I crave one thing…carbs.  I awoke starving, and rice cakes and peanut butter sounded comforting…so before heading out to teach spin, rice cakes and PB it was.

Now, I am not sure what causes my headaches, but does anyone out there know of any remedies or preventative actions that maybe don’t involve popping a ton of pills??  If so, I would love to hear what you have to recommend or what you have tried in the past!

Now, to the fun stuff…

Florida Recap

While my family was stoked to go to Disney at the beginning of our trip, the real reason that we all traveled down to Florida was to celebrate my younger brother’s graduation from Full Sail University’s film directing program.

On Thursday evening, we were very excited for the entertainment of the night because we were attending a screening of my brother and all of the other Full Sail Film students’ films that they had made throughout their classes.

Before we could enjoy any sort of entertainment, we had some shopping to do…at Sam’s Club and Publix.  Two of my favorite stores!  My brother and his house mate were hosting a cookout after the graduation on Friday, and we needed supplies.

I love Sam’s Club, because there is bound to be a good sample that I want to try, and I am a girl that LOVES samples (and anything else free for that matter!)

Cheese please? Don’t mind if I do!

Mojito in a bag?? It was pretty tasty as well 😉

As if I didn’t already love Publix, as I was walking down the cereal aisle, I saw this little gem.

Weetabix…I ate those every single day in London, and I haven’t had them since!  If you ever get a chance to try them, I highly recommend!

Full Sail Backlot Tour

After our errands were completed and we had supplies for the cookout, Kenny gave us a tour of Full Sail which has an awesome backlot that looks just like a real little city for all of their movie making!

This is all fake

He showed us around the sets that they used while filming various projects.  One of Kenny’s projects was a cooking show in this little set kitchen!  I guess the whole food-loving thing runs in the family 🙂

He learned how to operate very high-tech and expensive equipment.  Not only did he learn how to use it, but he used this equipment to complete his projects.

Full Sail Grad Fest

After the tour it was time for the Grad Fest, where we had the opportunity to view all of the hard work that Kenny and his classmates had been putting into various films for the past two years.

Of course, they had popcorn for a little snack.

They rolled out the red carpet for these young directors and film-makers and even had a camera crew interviewing them about their experience at Full Sail.  The interviews were projected live on large TVs in the auditorium.  Pretty neat if you ask me!

The Family

The movies were amazing.  Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but all in all they were each pretty awesome in it’s own way.

Smokey Bones Dinner

We then headed to Smokey Bones for dinner with all of Kenny’s friends and their families.  The atmosphere was casual, fun, and welcoming.  Perfect for our large and loud group 🙂

I thought it was cute when they brought  out “bone bags” for my brother and grandpa when they both ordered the ribs.

At restaurants like these I always get so overwhelmed because of all of the options on the menu.  I ended up ordering the Nutty Chicken Salad, with shrimp instead of chicken.  I absolutely love salads with the sweet and savory flair going on.  This salad had dark leafy lettuce, candied pecans (such a treat!), goat cheese, strawberries, red onion, and shrimp….yum!

I thought I took a picture, but can’t seem to find it, but someone ordered a GIANT piece of chocolate cake for each of the grads.  Luckily Kenny was a little full and had to pass the plate around to the rest of the family.  Thank goodness he ordered a huge meal before his cake!

Graduation Ceremony

Friday was Kenny’s actual graduation.  It was held in the same location as the Grad Fest on the campus of Full Sail in one of their new buildings.

Because the classes were so small, each student was called to the stage with their name projected behind them like they won a game show!  I thought it was a pretty awesome effect.

We are all so proud of Kenny and his friends for graduating from Full Sail.

I think that one of the great things about Full Sail is that it allows these students to study something abstract like film making, internet marketing, music business, video game design, etc and still obtain a Bachelor’s degree.  It’s a great opportunity for someone who is completely capable of furthering their education, but can’t find the program that they fit into at a “traditional” school.

Graduation Cookout

After the graduation, we all headed back to Kenny’s house to hang out and grill out with Kenny’s friends and some of their families.

My dad, and my cousin Chuck (the one who works at Disney!)

My mom picked up burgers for everyone to eat from the grill.  I have never been a person to enjoy red meat, and was about to pick up a fillet of fish at Publix to grill, when I saw a lemon dill salmon burger.  I decided that was a better option for grilling, and I am so glad that I tried it.

Seriously, this burger was so tasty.  I purposely saved half of it for dinner so that I could savor the flavor even longer and eat it twice 🙂

The graduation celebration was a perfect way to end our family vacation before heading up to Ocala and then back to Indiana.

A beer with the same name as the school!

I am so proud of my brother, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes him!

Nice and Homey

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Yesterday, I have to admit that I was a little bit overwhelmed and wasn’t quite sure if Brian and I would finish putting our apartment together.

We started with several piles that looked like this:

And ended with rooms that looked like this:

There are still some finishing touches, things to be hung, and little organizational things that need to be figured out, but for the most part it feels very homey and ready to be lived in!

After working hard to get everything accomplished, we headed to another graduation party for another one of Brian’s cousins.  We entertained ourselves with a little round of corn hole.  Unfortunately, Brain and I lost…at least we had a good time!

We then came home and got changed to head out for a 4 mile jog.  The weather was pretty warm, so we decided to take it easy and just enjoy the run and each other’s company.

Afterwards, we both felt great!  A run always makes me feel more energized and accomplished 🙂

Brian stayed home and got his hair cut by my sister, but I headed to the grocery store and found this little gem:

It is a salad packing container.  You put your lettuce and salad on the bottom, and then you can put other little goodies on the top that may make the salad soggy.

I put lettuce, broccoli, onions, and tomato on the bottom.  On the top, I put tuna salad and salsa…I wasn’t quite sure what to put in the super special extra little container on the top, so I left it empty!  Tomorrow, I will think of something.

After grocery shopping and packing lunches, it was time for dinner.  Brian’s dad made cod, squash, and onions in a parchment paper pouch.  It was deeelish!  I just love the flavor of cod, to me it is a meatier fish with a slightly buttery flavor (when cooked right).  Tasty.

On the side, a little bit of quinoa mixed with brown rice.  A perfect Sunday night meal.

Breakfast

At the store yesterday, peaches were on sale and I couldn’t wait to add them to my breakfast this morning! I made myself a bowl of egg white oats and topped them with some peanut butter and a white peach!  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that instead of purchasing egg whites I purchased egg beaters.  They are right next to each other on the shelf, and I must have just grabbed the wrong box.  I didn’t even realize until I poured them into the oats last night.  They still tasted pretty good, so I guess the little mix-up wasn’t too terrible.

I hope you all have a great Monday!  Today, is the first day of my first full week of work 😉  Wish me luck!

A New Showering Experience and Graduation Season

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Boy, have I had a busy Friday!  I woke up super early again and started my day with a smoothie made up of a little bit of Greek yogurt, strawberries, spinach, Plant Fusion protein powder, almond milk, ice, and a touch of peanut butter.  I opted for a smoothie because it seems like forever since I have had one, and I was heading to a Body Combat class at 6am and knew that I needed to eat something before hand and didn’t want it to be too heavy sitting in my stomach.  I also knew that I was teaching a spinning class about an hour after Combat, so I needed something that would hold my over.

I’m not gonna lie…my tummy felt a little full during Body Combat.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still able to perform well, I would have just preferred a lighter feeling in the tummy region.  All in all it was still a great class.

 I woke up early so that I could put the finishing touches on some crafting I had been up to.  Today, two of my good friends had their hooding ceremony for their health professional programs.  Maelyn, is now (I guess officially tomorrow after graduation) a Physician’s Assistant (hence the PA) and will be moving to Houston, TX next month!

 And Caitlin, who lives just below Brian and I, will be a pharmacist as of tomorrow (hence the Rx sign).

 I am so proud of them, and although it has been a long journey, I can’t believe how quickly it has gone.  They are both super smart and are going to rock their brand new careers!

 After teaching my spinning class, I did something that I have never done before.

I showered at the gym.  

And it wasn’t too bad!  I was able to get completely ready in 30 minutes…I don’t know about you, but for me 30 minutes is pretty darn quick.

I then drove to Butler for the hooding ceremony and snacked on an apple that I had stashed in my bag.  Thank goodness I packed that because as the ceremony went on, my hunger continued to grow.

 It is such a perfect day outside for celebrating these ladies’ huge accomplishments!

Maelyn and Me

Caitlin and Me

After the ceremony, I came home and quickly made myself lunch.  A nice large salad topped with salsa, plenty of veggies, cottage cheese, and an unpictured side of celery and peanut butter. Delish!

Now, I am off to tackle some things on the to-do list so Brian and I can have fun tonight!

Questions of the Day:

  • Have you ever showered at the gym?  Was your experience pleasant? Any funny stories?
  • What is your record “get ready” time (ladies only for this one!)

Zucchini Artichoke Quiche

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This morning started out bright and early so that I could make it to church in time to sing.  For breakfast, I had another slice of the zucchini artichoke quiche from yesterday along side a bowl of Greek yogurt mixed with a little barley, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and Nunaturals stevia.  I always feel like Sundays deserve a savory breakfast or pancakes.  To me, those meals just feel more “special” than the average bowl of oats or smoothie, so today’s breakfast was perfect for the Sunday occasion.

 

Last night, after attending the graduation ceremony (which was shockingly quick!), playing some board games with Brian’s family, and snacking a bit we headed out to a nice Italian restaurant in Bloomington called Grazie Italian Eatery.  It was a nice restaurant with a cozy feel and walls full of wine racks.

After looking at the menu for quite a while and asking our waiter a couple of questions, Brian and I decided to split the sea scallops and get two side salads.  And boy was I glad with my decision!  The scallops were perfectly cooked and seasoned with a delicious pesto, and the white bean salad served alongside was the perfect pair.  I think this may be a “fancy” meal that I attempt to recreate sometime!

And now, just as I promised yesterday, here is the recipe for Zucchini Artichoke Quiche

Zucchini Artichoke Quiche (Original recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers)

 

Yields:  8 slices

Cook time: 55 minutes (not including prep)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked pearled barley
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 15 oz can artichoke hearts (non-marinated), drained
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small chopped zucchini

Directions:

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Combine barley, two egg whites, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Stir together and spread in the bottom of a greased 9 inch pie plate.  Bake for 5 minutes.

Place artichokes on the bottom of the barley crust.  Top with the rest of the cheese.  Combine the eggs, a little bit of salt and pepper, milk, dijon mustard, and zucchini.  Pour the egg mixture over the artichokes and cheese.

Bake for 55 minutes, and allow to cool and stand for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

Nutrition (per slice)

Calories:  126.6  Fat:  5.2g  Carbs:  10.6g  Protein:  9.5g

 

 

 

Graduation Festivities

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Good Morning!

Last night was full of family, fun, and celebrations.  Brian’s brother graduates from Indiana University today, and Brian’s birthday is on Monday, so we spent the night celebrating both occasions.

The theme of the night was a martini party, and Brian’s brother, Adam, played bar tender making us tasty cocktails all night.  The first drink was an “antioxitini.”  Full of berries and deliciousness.

We enjoyed caprese salad:

Shrimp cocktail-tinis:

An apple-cinnamon martini:

Crab stuffed flounder:

Brenna, my sister was even able to join us!

Attempt number 1

Much better!

Brian’s dad even made a meatball-tini!

 

For breakfast this morning, I whipped up a Zucchini Artichoke Quiche for the family to share…recipe coming soon!

After our delicious breakfast, Brian, his Mom, and I all headed out to Body Pump.  It was Brian’s first class ever, and he did great!  It was a great way to start the day.  Now, it is time to shower and get ready for more graduation festivities.

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Great Family Afternoon

Brenna’s graduation was very special and my family and I are all so proud of her!

 

She was recognized for the numerous teams she was a part of.

I am so happy that I was able to go see my sister graduate with the rest of my family!

Brenna decided to be difficult and not smile

Brenna then picked our family’s lunch destination…a Chinese restaurant that I can’t remember the name of.

I ordered the schezwan vegetables with bean curd…aka tofu with white rice on the side.  I originally asked for brown rice, but the waitress made a mistake of brown rice meaning fried rice…so I got white rice!!

It was super tasty, but I literally had enough left over for another meal….so Brian gets a special treat tonight for dinner while I work!

Speaking of work!  Off to work!!