Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Engine 2 Cadet: Holy Blonde

I posted my first blog post of they year yesterday, stating I was looking forward to new adventures, challenges and the unknown.  In addition, I announced my commitment to learn to run in hopes of running for Team without Lupus in New York.  The Polor Vortex has made it very difficult to start running, so I had to find some other ways to jump start preparing my body to run.  So last week, I began the FlyBarre Challenge at FlyWheel Sport.  For six-weeks I will participate in 4 barre classes a week (and have my measurements taken ever week).  What is FlyBarre?  The official answer is:

"FlyBarre is a total body sculpting class that blends the best of light weight training, dance, and core strengthening exercises. Using small intense interval exercises choreographed to immersive and inspiring music, FlyBarre quickly reshapes the body for lean, strong, and elongated muscles." 

My answer is a little different -- you work out ever muscle group in your body to exhaustion.  You start with a warm-up song that includes a 2 hour plank, so it's not really two-hours, but it feels that way.  You then do a whole song of abs followed by a whole song of triceps.  Then you do isolated arms where basically you pulse your arms strait out in different ways for 45 minutes.  Each monthly have a different dynamic arms, which is a faster pace dance with arms movements.  The peak of the work-out is 3 songs of thighs.  Then holla, you get a whole song of stretching.  It is wonderful, until it over because then you spend one song working on your right bum, followed by another song working on your left bum.  To finish it out you get one song of upper abs, one song of lower abs, then a song of "target" which is your instructors choice and one more stretch.  You then stumble your way to your car and pray your make it home before your legs and/or arms stop working.  

The coaches posted online about another challenge that Whole Foods  is hosted with Engine 2 Diet, you can read about the 28 Day Challenge here. So, beginning February 3rd, I will become a Fire Cadet.  If all goes well by Week 3, I'll advance to Firefighter.  I'll explain all that in a later blog when I understand it :)

If you know me, I LUV to eat really good food.  I'm a southern good so really good food is normally fried or involve some type of animal product.  So, this is going to be a big stretch.

Have a beautiful day!

Holy Blonde

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Here goes nothing 2014.....

Well, it's a new year, so it's time to try to start blogging again.  I'm so excited for 2014 because I know it will hold many new adventures!  It's starting with a two month sabbatical where I am going to learn to sew -- or at least try to learn to sew.   Painting and redoing my living room on the list as well for this time.  There will be a move to Charlotte (FINALLY) and a new contract.

I've also decided that 2014 is the year, I will run the NYC Marathon with Team Life without Lupus to benefit the SLE Lupus Foundation.   It all begins today, when I do my first day of Couch to 5K in preparation to run my first 5K in March. Throughout the year I will be running a 5K, 10K, and half marathon in preparation in for the big race in November.  I will be raising money though-out the year for my team, so watch-out for my fundraising page :)

I found out I had lupus when I was twelve.  I've been extremely lucky over all, but it's still there.  The bad days are worse then a were a few years ago, but there are still not many days of them.  Before the bad days are too many, I figure it's time to do this thing.

So, let's see if 2014 is the year for the blog as well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Made Me Monday....

Last week, I attended my orientation for Leadership Charlotte Class 35.  Leadership Charlotte is a 10-month program that develops leaders for the Charlotte community (duh).  Over the next ten months, we will not only learn about our community,  we will be exploring about who we are as leaders and taking a real look at our past, present and future selves.  My 49 classmates and I have been challenged to come to each session ready to take an honest look at who we are, who were were, and what we would like to become.  Together, we will grow as leaders, people, and friends.  I am so very excited about this opportunity.  I participated in a similar program through the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.  It was such a life changing experience that one of the first things I did when I moved to Charlotte was to into a program here.  I was extremely honored to be selected for one of the at-large spots when I applied for the first time this year.  After our orientation and having a few hours to get to know some of my classmates, I am EXTREMELY excite about what this year will hold for me.  

One of the things that we will be doing is sharing the events in our lives that have made up who we are today.  It was interesting to me yesterday in my small group, that I seemed to get more question than some of the other participants about how I ended-up as a minister and not only a minister, but an interim minister and consultant.  Each time I was asked on of the variations of, "How did you decide to become a minister?"  I could only answer that there is just not an easy way to answer that question.  Once upon a time, I would tell the story of when I was 14 and first felt God wanted me to be a minister, that I said I would not do it and how my heart was eventually changed.  Yet, the longer I do this and the more I become specialized as a consultant and interim, I become firmer in the understanding that it is not any one story that can be told to explain how I have gotten to this vocation.  

In addition, anyone who knows me, knows that there is no better way to make me angry than to put me into the box of minister.   While minister is part of my vocation, it is just one part of what I do -- personally and professional (I just signed-on to help a friend of mine run the campus rep program for his family clothing business).  For me, if you really want to understand my vocations, you must understand and know the many pieces that make-up this girl.   

So, I have decided to take a bit of what I will be doing in Leadership Charlotte and apply it to my blog each Monday by starting Make Me Monday.  Each Monday, I will share a story from yesterday, 10 years ago, or many moons ago -- stories from my past that have made me who I am today.  I hope you will enjoy reading all the crazies pieces of my life that have made who I am today.  

Have a Great Week!

The Holy Blonde

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Super Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Pie

When I was a kid, I loved Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake.  My mom would special order me a cake every year to the bewilderment of the employees in Baskin Robins.  What 5 year-old wants a Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake? It would be me.  A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with some extra Mint Oreo that I knew I would never eat so I decided to make a pie.  It was super easy and tasted much better than I could imagine.

1 Carton of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

3/4 a Carton of Cool Whip

1 Sleeve of Mint Oreos

1 Gram-cracker Crust

Extra Mint Oreos for Garnish

Let Ice Cream soften for 5 - 10 minutes on the counter.  Blend together Ice Cream, Cool Whip, and Mint Oreos on medium for 2-3 minutes, then whip for 3 minutes.  Spoon mixture into pie shell -- smoothing the top with a spatula.  Place in freezer for 2 hours.  Before serving, using a pastry bag, put stars of Cool Whip around the edge, sprinkle Mint Oreo Crumbs on the inside the Cool Whip Boarder.  Serve with on Oreo on the side.


The Holy Blonde

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Laughing and the Little Things

At the beginning of 2013, I decided that everyday, I was going to be intentionally thankful for something.   I have an absolutely amazing life filled with so much many things that I should be overflowing with Thankfulness.  Yet at the end of 2012, I found that I had lost sight of the many, many things I have to be thankful.  You see, the one thing I have always desired most in my life and that it  seems that there is nothing I can do to change, is still missing.  I was allowing that one little missing thing (OK to me it is not really little, it is huge, but the size is beside the fact it is one thing compared to the million of other things I have) to cloud my vision to the point that I was missing the things that were happening all around me that made my life so amazing.  So, since January 1st, I have been intentionally thankful for something.  As I began keeping track of all of those things, I have found that more often than not, it is the little things that I have the most gratitude for in my life -- often it is even the silly things.  As the year has gone on, I have realized that it is the little, silly things that add up to the amazing life I have been given and made since moving to North Carolina.  So as I continue in this blog, I think it is only fair to warn you, that sometime my Thankful Thursday may seem little or even a bit silly. My hope is that as you read the menagerie of my thankfulness, you will collect one of your own.  On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for all the little things that bring a smile to my face. I'm sure in the future, I'll be sharing some of these little silly things, but for today I am just thankful that there are so many in my world. 

Wishing you lots of little joys in this day!

The Holy Blonde 

The Big Cut...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE my hair.  I am very blessed with thick, strait blonde hair.  I've always had long hair, except for one moment of insanity when I was in 2nd grade.  Besides that, my hair has always been at my shoulders or longer.  I am also very, very attached to my hair and not just because it is attached to my body. 

When I was younger and I thought about what would be the worse thing someone could ask me to do, it was to shave my head.  I had dreams about someone holding a gun to my head asking me to choose between shaving my head or getting shot -- I would have to stop and think for a long time before making that decision.  I'm so thankful that has never been a real life situation. 

A few years ago, I decided that I would grow my hair, so that I could donate it.  I felt I'm so lucky to have this amazing hair, the least I could do it share it.  My goal was to grow it to my hips, so that when I cut the minimum of 8 inches it would still be long.  Earlier this year, I began measuring it to see how much longer I had to go before I could cut my hair and have it not be short.  I had decided that the 8 inches were there and it would not be too short.  So, I made an appointment in March.  The day before the appointment, I canceled it because I just could not give-up my hair yet.  I needed to grow 4-5 more inches, so it would not be too short. 

In June, a little girl from my hometown - Pensacola, FL, who's parents are just a few years older than me was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that occurs either in or around the bones.  I found out about her diagnoses through friends from Pensacola who started liking her facebook page Praying for Carolyn.  I visited her page and the story was so moving, that I had to like it as well, so I could follow her updates.  Within a week of liking her page, Carolyn started losing her hair.  As an adult I cannot imagine that reality, I could not even begin to think about what it might be for a child.  I decided right then that now was the time.  I contacted Carolyn's family through the facebook page and asked where I should donate.  They said they had been working with Children with Hair Loss  out of Michigan.  I contacted them to find out that they were in desperate need of blonde hair (which Carolyn would need) because there are so few people with natural blonde hair to donate (hair cannot be processed). 

It did take me a day, but I made an appointment for that week with my friend Mal's hairdresser at .  I had e-mailed Carolyn's family and Children with Hair Loss that my hair was coming, so there was no backing out this time.  On a Thursday afternoon, I arrived at All About You Salon in Charlotte to make the big cut.  I had not had my hair cut in a salon for almost two years -- I had just been going to the Aveda Institute because it was such an easy cut while I was growing it out.  I was more than a little nervous. 

Kayce was amazing and helped me measure it out and pick a style.  We put my hair in three pony tails and she made the big cut.  The side pony tails did not make a huge difference, but when she cut the one in the back, it was an immediate difference -- I felt like 20 pounds have been taken away. 

While my hair is very, very different -- I have received great compliments and it is so easy to style.  I'm not sure I'll keep it this short, but it is good to know it works short as well.  The greatest part of it is, there is a little girl who will have hair while she fights a horrible battle. 

The Holy Blonde

Little Miss Carolyn

My hair on Christmas Morning
After the Big Cut...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

30-minute Bruschetta Chicken, Bruschetta Pasta, and Creamed Garlic Spinach - Tasty Tuesday

It's summer time, which means there are tons of fresh veggies and herbs to be had.  This is is one of my favorite meal to whip-up in the summer.

Believe it or not, you can make this meal in 30-minutes, depending on how fast you are with a knife and how quickly your grill is!  Balsamic Vinegar Chicken topped with home made bruschetta, bruschetta pasta, and garlic creamed spinach.  So, easy and SO GOOD!

Start with a pound or so of thinly sliced chicken breast two hours before dinner.   These are something I just discovered, but I love them!  They cook so quickly.  Take each breast, dash balsamic vinegar on each side and sprinkle Italian seasoning -- let sit in fridge until ready to put on the grill. 

Begin by wilting the spinach -- you don't want to cook the spinach all the way, just put a little bit of water in the bottom of a LARGE cooking pan with a few cloves are garlic cut in half and toss the spinach while the water is boiling -- this should take too minutes. Drain Spinach.  If you have a charcoal grill, go start you coals now.

In a smaller cooking pan, put 2 clicks (Tablespoons) of butter and 4 cloves of chopped (or pressed) garlic in the bottom of the pan.  While the butter is melting, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.  In about the time it takes you to put the water on to boil for the pasta, the butter should be melted.  Add the spinach, and other four cloves of chopped (or pressed) garlic, and 1 small container of whipping cream to the pan -- cook on medium low for about 20 minutes -- it is going to boil and the liquid is going to cook off. 

Next you are going to put the chicken on the grill, if it is charcoal, it should be ready, if it is gas, it is always ready.  While chicken is cooking, begin chopping 6 roma tomatoes and a jar of Sun-dried tomatoes for Bruschetta (I normally do this outside because then you can watch the chicken).  Once you are done with this, the chicked should be ready to be flipped, the water should be ready for the pasta, and the spinach should be stirred. 

Add a bunch of chopped Basil, 5 cloves of chopped, a package of pre-cut Pico De Gallo veggies (it gives it a little extra kick).  Toss all the ingredients with 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 1/4 a cup of balsamic vinegar. 

At this point, the chicken should be done, the pasta is ready to be drain, and the spinach stirred.  Take two pieces of chicken and put on each plate to serve -- top with the bruschetta.  Toss the rest of the bruschetta with the pasta (you may need to add a little more olive oil).  Add a scoop of pasta and spinach, top with Italian blend cheese and serve! 

OK, for my readers who want more of a "recipe" to follow here you go:


6 Roma Tomatoes
1 Jar Sundried Tomatoes in Oil
1 packaged of Pico De Gallo
5 Cloves of Garlic 
1 Bunch of Fresh Basil 
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil (I free pour, but this is the best I can tell)
1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar (I free pour here too)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop tomatoes, basil, and garlic.  Combine with Pico De Gallo.  Toss with Olive Oil and Balamic -- salt and pepper to taste (HOW EASY IS THAT!!! And there is SO MUCH you can do with this!)

Creamed Spinach

10 Cloves of Garlic -- two halved -- eight chopped
2 Bunches Fresh Spinach
1 Small Container of Heavy Whipping Cream (A Cup I think they are)
2 Click (tablespoons) of butter

Wilt Spinach in pan with the two halved garlic cloves.  Melt Butter and 4 cloves of garlic in a pan, add spinach and cream when melted.  Cook on medium low heat until the cream is firm and not liquidity.    For a little extra something, you can add some Italian Cheese).

I don't think you need a recipe for the chicken and pasta, but if you want one let me know, I'll be happy to post it.