My First Cooking Class

About a month ago I stumbled onto these cooking classes that the Higher Ed Center was offering.   It’s a series they’re doing right now called “Cooking Along the Crooked Road”.   I thought it would be something fun for a Mother’s Day present for my mom so I signed us up for one on June 1st.  It is focused on heart healthy cooking with local vegetable, sauces and marinades.  I’m excited!  This goes right along with trying to eat better so I’m looking forward to learning some new things.

I was telling my aunt (Sis) about it and she looked and thought she would enjoy one too so I signed up to do one with her as well.  We chose the one that focused on Food Truck Food.

So last night Sis and I went to our cooking class (btw, this is something else I’ve been able to check off of my bucket list this year!)

Before the class started


Sis “slivering” the onions


The rest of the class and the instructor giving tips.


Our instructor Melissa of Me & K’s Food Truck (Johnson City, TN)

Melissa was great!  She was so enthusiastic and the love she has for food and cooking is contagious!  She was quick to encourage us to play around with her recipes and she encouraged us to make them our own.

I’m not going to write the recipes on here because they’re not mine to give.  I will tell you though that all of the ingredients were fresh and as many as possible were from the local farmer’s market which I loved!  She used a rotisserie chicken for the wraps and the chicken salad so that cut down on time quite a bit.

What we made:

Chicken Salad Sandwich – I didn’t get a picture of this but I wish I had!  It was so good and I was so hungry I inhaled it before I realized I should have taken a pic!  This was some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had!  She used a crusty bread for this sandwich.  She had made her own garlic butter and toasted the bread with the spread on the griddle.  It made it so good!

Sausage Sandwich (I can’t remember the name, it was kinda like a hotdog using polish sausage and a hoagie bun) – I didn’t get a picture of this one either…clearly I was starving!  LOL  This was the least favorite of mine.  I’m not big on mustard or pickle so it was just okay for me.  I could take it though and make it into something tailored to my taste.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps


This was made with the darker meat from the rotisserie chicken.  The meat was minced up very finely.  She put local goat feta on top and the veggies were very thinly sliced.  This was such a light but filling dish.

BLT with Chipotle Mayo



This BLT was great!  It was spicy and definitely different.  The Chipotle Mayo was from scratch and could be made more spicy or less spicy depending on your tastes.

These recipes were so fresh and so easy.  I definitely learned some things and found some new flavor pairings.

I can’t wait till the next class.  I know Mom is really going to enjoy it!

The only thing I would change about it would be that they seem to only have them on Monday nights and that means no Zumba.  So since I skipped Zumba this Monday I’m going to have to work my butt off another way this week…


Weekend Recap: VIR (Virginia International Raceway) and Clarksville, VA

This weekend we traveled to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) to watch the MotoAmerica Races.

It’s about a 3 and a half hour drive from our house.  It is a beautiful drive with lots of farms and limited cell phone service…or as I like to call it “mobile stress”.

On our way we stopped at Lover’s Leap just before dark and I took a few pictures.  They really don’t do it justice.


Lover’s Leap at dusk.


This kid was so ready for bed…


Until he saw me taking pictures!


Then I started getting some good funny faces from him!


Quick family selfie while we all were snacking before the race.


He’s such a ham!


He loved running around.  VIR is definitely a great, family friendly track.


Clarksville, VA – Old buildings downtown.


You can see the lake (Kerr Reservoir “Buggs Island”) from downtown.  Jason comes down here a few times a year to fish but I had never been.


I can’t wait to go back to shop.  I found some really good deals in an antique shop and I plan on going back when I can take our covered tailer to bring everything home.  I know if I find deals like I did this weekend I’ll need it!


Really enjoyed watching Roger Hayden get 3rd in the first race and 2nd in the last race.



He didn’t even make it off the VIR grounds before he was out!loversleapday

Lover’s Leap during the day.  I took this on our way home.  The view is spectacular.

We didn’t get home until probably around 11pm and I had somethings to do to get ready for this week.  I was able to get in bed around 12:30am so I feel okay today, probably better than I should.

It was a great trip and I can’t wait to do it again.



Pretty Routine Here Lately

Other than working, normal family stuff and working out I’ve not had a whole lot going on.  We are planning a trip to VIR this weekend to watch the Moto America races.  This will be Rylan’s first motorcycle race.  I think he’ll like it since he is so motorcycle obsessed (every time he sees one he starts yelling “Bike!” “Bike!” and pointing haha) but with an almost two year old who knows how things will go?  I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!

I have started my extra workouts this week.  I decided not to just add walking but weights as well.  So far so good.  I’ve also really tried to watch what I eat.  I did some meal prep Sunday but I’m going to have to work on that a little more.  I’ll figure out what works for me before long.  I’m sure I’ll see more results now that I’m moving more and eating better.

Okay, on to some cuteness!

20150502_160705Telling a big tale.


This face.  It is just too darn cute.

20150503_113028Ava decided that she would just blend in with the toys.

We had lunch at Salsarita’s for Mother’s Day.  I didn’t want to do anything big and I wanted to stay close to home since I had so much to do.  I really do love that place, though.  Delicious, fresh, fast Mexican food.

20150510_134127He’s dipping everything these days.  He’s such a big boy….  My heart just swells with love for this perfect little human.

20150510_134140Like father, like son.


Every weekend should be like this one

We had such a good weekend!  I wish every one could be like this…it was just so nice.

Saturday the weather was great.  Beautiful and sunny.  We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then took our Little Man to the park.



This is the first flower I’ve gotten from my sweet boy!  Of course I kept it…  He’s such a good hearted kid.  He really makes me proud.

Jason had to do some work at the church Saturday evening so it was just me and Rylan for a few hours.


After I mowed and picked up around the yard I took him outside to play.  We hit the sandbox first off and played in it.  Our dog Izzy was making him laugh while she was trying to catch bumble bees in the air.  When he finished with the sandbox we wrestled all the dogs in the back yard and then we had to wrestle them in the front yard too.  He had to look at the chickens and then “ride” the tractor, the lawnmower and the boat.  Since he was in a riding mood I got his 4-Wheeler out and let him ride it all over the yard.  Considering his age he does really good on it.  Then….we did it all again!  By 7:30pm, Mama was worn out and Little Man was getting there.  I brought him back in for a bath, something to eat and finally bed.

Sunday was a rainy day so we stayed inside pretty much all day.  We played, watched cartoons and cuddled.  I didn’t think to get any pictures but it was so relaxing and much needed quality time with the two men in my life.

Today being Monday was back to the grind of work.  It has been a good day though.  Work was busy but not overwhelming and then I had Zumba afterward.  It was great as usual.  I feel so good when we’re finished!  It is always nice to see Anna Ruth and our instructor is just great!  I’m getting to know a lot of other women in the class too and they are really nice ladies.  I’m so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it.

When I got back home I gave Rylan a bath.  He absolutely loves bath time!  We have these little color tablets by Crayola that turn the water different colors and he loves them!  He also just loves splashing and playing until I drain the water and force him to get out!  Haha!


After his bath he didn’t seem nearly tired enough to go to sleep so we put on music and danced around the house (one of his favorite things to do, the kid’s got rhythm!) for about an hour.  By the end of the hour he stuck his thumb in his mouth and came up to me and hugged my leg.  I picked him up and he laid his head on my shoulder.  I knew it was bed time.

I stayed up long enough to pin a few things on Pinterest and then I was out too.


Weekend Fun and Gardening!

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous!

We had a great time being outside most of the weekend.  Saturday Jason had to work some and he had to miss my Momaw’s birthday dinner.  It went great though!  I was able to see all my aunts and uncles and of course spend some good time with my Momaw!  Rylan was able to play with everyone and enjoy himself too!  As always, he steals the show!

20150412_130332-1Rylan loves the tractor!

20150412_124908If he can “drive” it he wants to be on it!

We started our garden this weekend.  I wanted to do raised beds only this year so the Husband began planning and constructing the beds based on the dimensions I told him I needed.  I wanted 3 – 4X8 beds and 1 – 8X8 bed.  He was able to finish two of my 4X8 beds and he is planning to finish the other 4X8 and 8X8 this week or this coming weekend.

He used treated 2X12’s for the sides, weed blocking fabric stapled to the bottom, PVC pipes cut and screwed into each corner as well as the middle of the long boards, and chicken wire stretched around the PVC to keep the dogs, deer and other critter out.

20150412_124141Daddy’s little helper!

20150412_124341He’s figuring it out!

20150412_095247Chicken wire.

20150412_095302Adding the PVC to the corners.

20150412_095338Filling it up with dirt.

20150412_105924Spacing out the plants

20150412_114414Tomatoes, green/red/yellow bell peppers, jalapeños, habanero peppers, onions, rosemary and thyme.  I added the rosemary and thyme just because I had space for it.  It wasn’t exactly planned for this bed but I knew it wouldn’t hurt anything.

20150412_170602Leaf lettuce, head lettuce, romaine lettuce and mustard greens.


Quick Update and Photo Dump

Okay, I had a few minutes to do a quick update and put some pictures on here.

I’m still going to the Y and taking Zumba twice a week.  I’m still loving it!  I am losing weight and toning up but most importantly I’m feeling great!


Me and Anna Ruth.  I look weird but whatever…we’re having fun!

I leave tomorrow for NYC and I’m so excited!  I think I have everything ready.  I’ll do one last quick check but I should be good to go.  I think I will do a packing video as well as try to do some vlogging while I’m there.  I don’t know though, I’ll just have to see when I get there.


The skeptical shopper.


Ava Braun Crowder giving Grumpy Cat a run for her money!


My baby in a rare cuddle mood.


Hanging with Dad




In Richmond for the weekend and Rylan decided that the ice bucket was a great toy and hat.


He loved the Krispy Kreme hat!


Climbing all over his Uncle Jerry.  This reminds me of my childhood because I would do the same thing!

20150311_152644Falling asleep on his Sis….so sweet!

I wish I had gotten a few pictures of Momaw with him.  I was able to get video but forgot pictures….smh.  Oh well…next time!


Playing with part of his Easter Basket from Momaw.  He has a whole collection now of handmade wooden trucks and heavy equipment thanks to our buddy Jimmy.



He loved to hug the soft rabbit.  He’d say “Awwww…..” and hug it so tight!


Running around the yard like a wild man!

So far it has been a great start to spring!  When I get back from my trip I plan on starting on my gardening and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of posts on it.


End of the day cuddles

We were watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, winding down before changing into our pajamas, and I just happened to get a picture of this cuteness!


These are some of my favorite moments with my Little Man.  I love cuddling on the couch with him at the end of the day, listening to him laugh or watching him pet Izzy.  Spending any time I can with him just makes my life better.


2015 Snow

Winter hasn’t been really bad for us until this past week.  Monday (February 16) it began snowing and we ended up with about 15 inches here at our house.  Wednesday we had a polar vortex that brought the temperatures down to crazy lows for us.  Tuesday night/Wednesday was -7 and then Thursday night was -15.  Our power went off Thursday morning but thankfully we have a whole house generator so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience.


When the snow first began. This was Monday around 11:30am.

The snow was gorgeous even if it was quite treacherous.  A farm in the snow is just beautiful!


Snow, snow and more snow!


This was after everything started melting…


First time playing in the snow!


He loved it!


Love my baby boy!




He couldn’t walk through the snow so he began crawling toward my 4-Runner yelling “Car!” “Car!” “Car!” He’s obsessed with anything with wheels, motor or steering wheel.


We had to hang out on the tractor since we were outside!


Winter isn’t horrible for me but honestly, I’m ready for spring.  I’m ready to start planting my garden and feeling the warm sun on my face!