Monday, October 31, 2011

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

I decided at the last minute to try to throw this together before I left for work so that it could brew in the crockpot all day and be ready for us this evening.  It didn't take too long and turned out pretty tasty as well.  I'm not a huge chili fan to begin with because I don't like spicy foods, but I limited the spice on this version and it was very mild.  The kids, Rich, and Mike all seemed to enjoy it paired with some long grain rice.

High protein, high fiber, what else could you want? And, I suppose it is sort of festive with the pumpkin added in for Halloween!

5:30 am

Lots of colors = healthy

5:30 pm...dinner!

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

  •  1 lb of lean ground turkey
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of canneli kidney beans
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • a sprinkle of salt and cayenne pepper
  • Sautee onion and peppers until they start to brown
  • Add in the ground turkey and continue to cook until brown
  • Add this turkey veggie mixture to the crockpot 
  • Add all additional ingredients to the crockpot, mix, and set for 8 hours on low heat.  
  • Enjoy today and leftovers tomorrow! 

Happy Halloween!

I got a little lazy this year when it came to my Activity Period cupcake decorating activity, compared to last year at least, but I think the kids still enjoyed it.

We actually celebrated Halloween at school on Friday because this was the date of our Halloween Dance, so no costumes were allowed at school today.  I wouldn't have cared one bit of the kids dressed up, but I do understand keeping the madness to one day only.  I couldn't help but wear my orange and black striped tights today anyway.

Lucky for my mom, she was able to dress of up on Friday as well!  I think she should have won best teacher costume for dressing up like Miss Viola Swamp...the mean substitute in Miss Nelson Is Missing.  Anyone else get scared reading that book? :)  It is a classic.  

Mean Miss Swamp

Yep, same old budget or creativity this year.

Wouldn't want her as my sub!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Long Run

I never plan my running workouts because I never know how I am going to feel once I get started.  However, I can almost always tell when I am in for a long run because I feel fantastic during the first .5 mile.  Weird, right?  Not that I ever feel terrible during those first few minutes, but sometimes I feel like I could go on forever.  Today just happened to be one of those days that I was feeling darn good throughout my entire run. LOVE these kind of days!

Ran 7.0 miles on treadmill in 58 minutes (7.0-8.0 speed) 

Ab workout - I made Rich complete my "easy" ab day with me.  I foresee some whining from someone in the morning. 

Ummm, and burning 820 calories in less than an hour is also something to celebrate!

Scenic Route

Alright, not really a trip on the parkway, but as close as I can get right now.  One of the best things about living on this side of the mountain is that I get to drive over the mountain everyday to go to work.  Most people hate it because of the fog and bad weather in the winter, but it keeps me entertained and awake during my commute.  I'm always looking for wild animals and checking out the views during my drive. 

I decided to capture some of the fall folliage on my trip over the mountain last week without stopping to get out.  The leaves are beautiful this year, and I say "are" beautiful because it looks like there are still plenty on the trees this morning after the snow melted off.

Going up the mountain

Coming down the other side

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Roonie!

.....and Happy Birthday to Gracie, Holly, and our human friend, Megs:)

So handsome!

11 weeks old

Two of my favorite boys

Happy 5th Birthday Pups! 

The birthday boy with his new bone and favorite pillow!

Turkey Meatloaf with a twist

We made one loaf Thursday evening which was devoured by Friday, we made two loaves last night!  I hope these last a little bit longer than the first because I can eat my body weight in this stuff.  Here are the two versions from last night - one for me sans peppers and steak sauce with the addition of carrots and one for Rich with peppers and some tang.   I'm thinking about making some vegetable beef soup today since there is snow falling as I type!

Dana's Sweet Potato Turkey Meatloaf
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
  •  1 tbsp.  mustard
  •  1/4 c. ketchup
  •  1/4 c. barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic salt 
  • 1 tbsp. agave
 Rich's Sweet Potato Turkey Meatloaf
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (can substitute ground beef if preferred)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. little sweet bell peppers
  • 1/2 tbsp. A-1 sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp.  mustard
  • 1 tbsp. agave
  •  1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic salt 
 Directions for both
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook sweet potato. (I do this by wrapping a sweet potato in a damp paper towel and microwaving it for 7 minutes on high.)
  • Remove sweet potato peel before or after cooking, depending on cooking method. (I just scooped out the sweet potato flesh when it was done cooking.)
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and place meat mixture in pan.
  • Cook for approximately one hour or until meat is done.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday was our annual Hornet Hustle, a 1.5 mile run to raise money for the school.  I found coverage for my class and joined in with 350 or so students, parents, and faculty to run the race.  I should have learned my lesson from the 10k that starting out in front is the way to go, but all of those bunched up people made me crazy so I started at the back again.  It took .5 mile to get out of the crowd so that slowed my time a bit, but it wasn't terrible.

The best news about this race? I placed 3rd among the adult females with a time of 10:53, which is about a 7:30 min/mile pace.  Not too shabby for someone who hates these shorter distances.  I feel like I am just getting warmed up and the race is over.  Anyhow, it was so nice to have a gym full of students screaming my name when I went up to collect my prize:)  I could have easily sprinted past the pretty blond parent with a huge rock on her hand, I'm not jealous or anything, but I decided that might not look good at the end of the race.  So, I happily took 3rd place;)

My other great news is that I finally hit the 118 lb mark yesterday and I'm holding steady at that weight this morning. Woohoo.   This is the weight that I was before I had my catastrophic arm injury in 2007, and the last time I was in really great shape. 

This morning I got in a nice leg workout and 4.0 miles on the treadmill at 7.0 (34 minutes).   Here is to more progress over the next few weeks!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dinosaur Bash!

Happy, happy 4th birthday Miss Hay Hay!  Today we were able to finally celebrate with a few close friends and family.  After staying up half the night trying to tie up loose ends, Hailey said that her dino party was better than her princess party last week.  If that isn't enough to make it worth while, what is? She could hardly contain herself last night when I was making her cake and starting to decorate the house.  Suprise, suprise, she was up bright and early with her dinosaur costume on running around the house with excitement. 

Can't take off the costume for bed...

Dinosaur egg in process...

Goody bags

Personalized dino t-shirts

Cutest dinosaur I've ever seen.

The weather was perfect for a few outdoor activities including; digging for dinosaur bones, finding a huge dinosaur egg that got left in our backyard, watching Rich go crazy on his motorized vehicles, and working hard to crack the dino pinata. 

We found the egg!

Dinosaur egg hunting

Jack-o-saurus, Maggie-cer-a-tops, Hailey-o-saurs, and Ty-Rex

Miss Maggie and Addie

Glad Rich is supervising this one.

Found one!

Digging for dinosaurs

Big cars!


I think Rich has a new best friend!

We dined on some "dinosaur eggs"- meatballs, "dino crunch"- chex mix, "raw veggies with dino dip", "dino chicken nuggets", and "fossil cookies".  Well, the adults also had their share of a few other dishes including peanut chicken skewers and asparagus in blankets.

Fossil cookies


Dino Cake

Hailey got lots of new stuff for her kitchen including a chef's outit, cupcakes that she can decorate, and a new shopping cart!  She got lots of puzzles, toys, and clothes as well!

Dinosaur from Papa.

Gift time.

New shopping cart!

Pinata time!  I think we need Jack to help us break this thing open.  Too bad we forgot about it until after Maggie and Jack left:(


Get it Land-o-saurus!

Ty-Rex getting a big hit in.

Tough girl.

Addie and her daddy.

Step into it.

Roonie making friends.

Three of my favorites:)

Bringing in the big guns.
 Other crazy pictures from the party....starting it off right with this one of Becky or "Bucky" as Hailey would say...

Yikes..that is a scary dinosaur.

Too much fun.

Silly girl with Grandma and Papa.

My favorite little dino.

Chef Hailey

Cupcake queen


What a good looking bunch:)

Mimi and Hay Hay

Glad I only put one candle on there.


Maggie chowing down.

The bakers.

Dino hats for all. :)