National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Installment 1

Understanding the 2nd Most Fatal Cancer of Women

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For the first part in my series on Breast Cancer, I thought it was important to first share what exactly breast cancer is.  But first here are some statistics, that I found staggering:

  • It is estimated that this year alone 192,370 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • The median age for those diagnosed with breast cancer is 61 years old.  That means that of all new diagnoses half of those women are under 61.
  • 2.5 women in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer.
  • 1 in 8 women can expect to develop breast cancer at some point over their lifetime.

The good news is that the death rate from breast cancer continues to drop about 2% a year. 

[sources: http://professional.cancerconsultants.com & http://www.breastcancer.org

Breast Cancer Basics

Here is a definition for cancer from breastcancer.org

Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. That changed cell gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it and forming a tumor.

There are two different types of tumors, benign and malignant.  Benign not a health threat, while malignant has the potential to be dangerous.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor found in the breast.  It usually begins in the milk producing glands called the lobules, or the passages draining milk from the lobules to the nipple.  The least common form of breast cancer forms in the connective tissue in the breast.

Here is a diagram from the American Cancer Society Webpage:

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[sources: http://www.breastcancer.org & http://www.cancer.org]

Types of Breast Cancer

There are different types of breast cancer that a woman can be diagnosed with, listed below are the most common:

  • “Ductal carcinoma in situ" is the most common non-invasive breast cancer, it  means that the cancer has begun in the ducts but not have not spread through the walls of the ducts to other tissue in the breast.
  • “Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma” is the most common form of breast cancer.  It starts in the duct, comes through the duct, and grows in the fatty connective tissue, at this point it can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Similiar to that is “Invasive (or infiltrating) lobular carcinoma”, which begins in the lobules and can spread to other parts of the body.

I hope that I was able to help you understand breast cancer a little better, I look forward to bringing you more information. 

Next time I plan to discuss the risk factors and things you can do to help prevent breast cancer.

If anyone has any information they’d like to share please do so either in the comments or by emailing me.

October 3, 2009 at 9:29 am 4 comments

Rushing the Seasons

Happy October 1st!  Hope you all had a great start to the month.  I still can’t believe we’re in the 10th month already. 

Tonight I went to Lowe’s with my dad and Andrew to pick some stuff up.  As soon as we walked in this is what we were greeted with:

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That’s right Christmas Decorations, 3 rows worth!  How about they give us a chance to celebrate Halloween.  I really love Christmas a lot, the day after Thanksgiving I start decorating, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies (Elf, anyone?), so it’s not that I”m a grinch or anything, but really it’s just too soon!

Other then the Christmas explosion I witnessed tonight, today was a good day.  I’m thrilled tomorrow is Friday and will be eagerly watching the clock for 5.  We have a pretty calm weekend, just a 50th birthday party Saturday night, other then that it should be relaxing.

Breakfast this morning was juice again.  I got a question if this is all I’m having for breakfast, the answer is yes.  I know it doesn’t seem like much but it really does keep me satisified until lunch time.  If I was hungry I would honor it, and go for something extra.  I’m not saying I’ll only be having juice for breakfast forever, but I feel good so far and don’t see a reason to add anything else.

My juice was the normal, head of romaine, carrot, inch of ginger, lemon, and 2 apples.  I totally forgot to add the spinach, it taste much different but the color was more orange from the carrot then green.

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I have a feeling I’m going to turn orange from all these carrots.

Lunchtime was another salad.  It was simpler then yesterday no avocado, carrots, or celery, I brought a green pepper to throw in but decided to eat that for a snack I really didn’t want it in the salad.

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Around 3 I hate the green pepper.

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For dinner Andrew and I went to the Whole Foods Salad Bar.  I got a huuuuge salad and a container of quinoa.

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Romaine, red cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, and I think a million other things I can’t remember.

Andrew got everything I love and avoiding this week for my “mini cleanse”

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Chicken parm, meatballs, sausage peppers and onions, baked ziti, and lemon rice!  It smelled amazing, it took a lot for me not to grab that chicken parm right out of his container!

NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

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October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast cancer awareness is very important to me, both my grandmother’s were diagnosed with it years ago, one of them unfortunately did not survive the battle.  My other grandmother, luckily,  is still going strong.  I’ve decided that I’m going to help spread awareness by doing different informative posts a few times a week for the month of October.  I’m working on the first post now, so I hope to be posting it by Saturday. 

 

Well I’m going to get into bed, g’nite bloggies!

October 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm 3 comments

Counting Down the Days…

Happy Humpday!  I, for one, can’t wait for this week to be over. 

During a much needed mental break today from work, I figured out that I have just 6 more working days until I have a long weekend.  I took next Friday off to go on our last camping trip of the year. 

After I return from that trip there’s only 33 working days until Thanksgiving, and then after that just 19 working days until my Christmas week off!  This year has definitely flown right by, tomorrow is the first day of October already!.  And although I’m not a fan of cold weather I love this time of year.  It’s going to be a busy 3 months for me, but I’m excited and can’t wait to share some of our fun weekends with you guys.

Let’s get to the food though! 

My breakfast juice was pretty much the same as yesterday, just as delicious!

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And I enjoyed this out on the deck.  It was a little chilly this morning but we know there’s not going to be many more mornings we can spend outside on the deck so we’re taking advantage of it while we can.

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See that mum in the background?  That bloomed way back in August, I’m surprised it’s still so pretty looking. 

My juice once again held me over until lunch time.  I had another big salad but added avocado to it today, and some carrot strings.

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I gave it another try but I still just don’t like avocado.  It’s in the back corner to the right I mixed it up in the salad but just didn’t like it.  I ate the whole bowl but just couldn’t really enjoy it because of the avocado.  Oh well, I guess it’s just not for me.

Once again I snacked on a HoneyCrisp apple for a snack in the afternoon. 

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Once I got home Andrew got busy making some soup for his dinner, while I tried to decide what I was going to have.  I had a million leftovers from last night’s dinner so I did a little leftover spin on it.  I had lots of brown rice (and still do) I added a little water to it and then some taco seasoning and microwaved it for 45 seconds.  The result was tacos, using the rice as the filler and lettuce leaves as the shell.

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I put a little taco sauce on each one (all natural ingredients) and then used a little salsa as well.  This salsa is awesome, it doesn’t taste like any jarred salsa I’ve ever had, it tastes so fresh!

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While I was eating this I roasted up some more potatoes like last night and had those as well.

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Minus a couple that Andrew popped into his mouth while I was taking pictures:

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That plate is a dessert sized plate by the way, I don’t think anyone could eat a whole dinner sized plate of those things, no matter how good they are.

Morning Routine Makeover

I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on the blog before but I’m not an early morning person.  It just seems like my body hates getting up before 7:30.  I shower at night just so that I’m more likely to get to work on time.  I’m a big time snooze abuser.  I typically get up 20 minutes before I need to leave, get ready and run out the door.  I hate always being in a rush in the mornings, so I decided I need to change my habits.

Tuesday morning I set an alarm I have to get out of bed to turn off, (instead of the alarm on my cellphone which is right on my night stand) 15 minutes earlier, and then today another 15 minutes earlier then that.  It gives me time to prepare my juice and clean the juicer, and have a little bit more time to get ready and make sure I’m ready for the day.  In turn my drive to work is more pleasant, and I’m having a much easier time in the morning.  Tomorrow I’m going to go another 15 minutes early and then Friday 15  more, that will ensure I have plenty of time in the mornings. 

Let’s just hope this works next week as well.

Are you a morning person?  Any other tips on how to stop hitting the snooze each morning?

September 30, 2009 at 7:11 pm 7 comments

Feels Like Home

It feels so nice to spend my evening blogging!  I can’t tell you how at home I feel sitting in front of my computer recapping my day.  I’ve definitely missed this.   In my large recap I forgot to mention something I bought last week.

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Anybody love a good bargain story?  I went to an outlet with my family and Andrew last week.  It was mostly Waterford Crystal but they also had a huge selection of Dr. Weil kitchen products.  I bought this brand new juice extractor and am so happy with my purchase.  The exact one I got is The Dr. Weil 9806 The Healthy Kitchen Stainless-Steel 2-Speed Pro Juice Extractor.   If you look on Amazon the MSRP is $375 and they have it on sale for $243.   I did even better then that, much better!  I got this juicer for only 70 bucks!  And so far it has worked perfectly.  I’ve never had another juicer to compare it to, and I’m not sure if it’s better then some of the top brands, but it is good.  The pulp seems really very dry and I’ve had no issues with it. Of course it’s only been a week but so far so good.Picture 042

My kitchen essentials!

I’ve loved experimenting with the juicer, and of course I went right to the blogger who I felt could help me the most with my new juicer and help me come up with a plan for a “mini cleanse”.  I sent Gena of Choosing Raw an email and she got back to me immediately with some great tips.  Thanks so much for all your help Gena.

I started today with my favorite juice so far.  It has all my favorite flavors and I really enjoy the fresh taste, I looked at many recipes and came up with one that tastes great.

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  • 1 carrot ( I will increase this I think tomorrow to 2 or 3)
  • 2 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 romaine heart
  • Large handful of spinach
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The flavor is out of this world! 

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I wasn’t sure if I could handle just juice until lunch time, but this combo kept me satisfied until lunch time.  It’s not the same as being full after a bowl of oatmeal, but the hunger stayed away until about 11:30 and I broke for lunch at noon.

My lunch today was a big salad, the pictures don’t really do it justice it really is very big.

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Very green!  I had another whole head of lettuce, a cucumber, and 3 stalks of celery, with balsamic vinaigrette.  Gena suggested having an avocado with my salad but there not something I ever have on hand, I’m not sure I like them to be honest, but I’m definitely going to buy one tomorrow and mix it in with my salads soon.

Around 4 I got hungry and I snacked on my first honeycrisp apple of the year!  I was so excited to see these at the store, but why do they have to be so expensive!?

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And yeah I wore jeans to work on a Tuesday, I’m a rebel.  This apple was just a delicious as I remembered.

For dinner it was kind of a “whatever sounded good to me at the time meal”

I had brown rice:

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Roasted potatoes with a small amount of EVOO (using the Misto) and sea salt:

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Greenbeans and broccoli steamed:

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All together:

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Although these pictures are outside, it was gray and cold, so I took this plate back inside and happily gobbled down every last bite.

Now I’m just waiting for Andrew to come home so I can spend some much needed quality time with him.  I also have a little bit of kitchen cleanup to take care of from dinner. 

Thanks for the warm welcome back, I’ve missed chatting with you girls!

September 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm 8 comments

Back To Basics

For me that means back to blogging.  These past weeks have been insanely busy for me, and this blog was one of the things to fall by the wayside.  I was eating really repetitively and didn’t fell it was necessary nor interesting to post my peanut butter lunch everyday.   The busier I got the more boring meals got, and the less likely I was to blog about it.  But I’ve really missed sharing things with you guys, and I’ve really missed taking the time out of my day to recap what I ate.  I realized this blog wasn’t just about food, but it’s helped me to keep track of so many important things that have happened this year. 

This afternoon at work I was thinking about my blog and getting back to it.  I decided that although I have taken no pictures of food for the past few weeks, I have a lot to share, and although I’ll start with my regular food blogging tomorrow I wanted to update you all on what I’ve been busy doing.

Shortly after the camping trip in my last post, Andrew and I took a trip out to Ohio to visit my first childhood friend, Tiffany.  We lived right across the street from eachother for about 8 years, and so many of my early memories involve her and her family.  Last summer I was honored to be a part of her wedding, and this past July she gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby boy named Logan.  I posted about him here.  We both took a long weekend and traveled out to Ohio to see him. 

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But it was definitely worth the 8 hour each way drive to hold him, and kiss those chubby cheeks.

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Andrew definitely got in on the baby loving action too.

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It took a lot for me to leave Ohio come that Monday morning.  Tiffany’s family is so much fun, she’s one of 5 kids, and they are all hilarious to be around.  Her family was very welcoming, and it felt like we don’t live hundreds of miles apart when I’m there but right across the street still.

Just a week after that was my cousin Nicci’s bachelorette party.  She decided she wanted to just hit up a local bar and that everyone, even the boys, were included.  I think it’s pretty obvious that there were lots of drinks consumed, and even more pictures taken.

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Nicci and I, what a beautiful bride!

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Group shots of Little Guinness. My favorite shot by far.

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Did I mention we were pretty much the only people at the bar?  It was like we rented it out just for her party.

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Cute couple!

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Of course 2 weeks flew by after that night and it was time for the wedding weekend!  It was absolutely beautiful and overall the day was pretty much perfect.  But we did have to spend some time partying after the rehearsal Friday night.

Once again there was lots of drinking, this time no shots, just lots of wine and champagne, we were celebrating afterall.

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How adorable is my cousin?

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Dance music from a clock radio and lots of delicious Italian food.

After all the wine and champagne were gone from the room we went on an adventure to find a bar.  Unfortunately the only proof I have this are horrible blurry pictures of our midnight walk.

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For some reason all bars were closed and we were left to go back to the presidential suite and just continue the fun without anymore drinks.

The next morning we were up at 9 and started getting ready almost instantly.  It was a fun but emotional day and we were all excited for the ceremony to start.  Without videos to post it’s hard for me to explain what a fun and perfect ceremony it was.  I also have pretty crappy pictures from the ceremony too.

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Mother of the Bride and Brother of the Bride.

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That’s me walking down the aisle.

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The Beautiful Bride!

After a great ceremony came a fun reception. 

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Peacock Ice Sculpture.

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The Newlyweds!

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That my Mom and me, isn’t she beautiful?

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That’s my handsome Dad!

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Soultrain!

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My handsome date and I.

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Amazing centerpieces!

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My favorite picture of the evening.  My grandma, grandpa and myself.  I blew this up and plan on framing it.

All-in-all the wedding was a great success.

Just one week later, this past Saturday, there was some more wedding related fun, this time a Bridal Shower for my friend Laura.  I was taking pictures with her camera most of the party, so I only have a few to share.

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The toilet paper wedding dress game!  Always hilarious!

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And that’s pretty much all I got!  I thought I got more then that!

Well anyway that’s what’s been going on for me.  I look forward to getting back to regular blogging, and can’t wait to start food blogging once again tomorrow night, I know this was a really picture heavy post, so thanks if you made it all the way through!

September 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm 6 comments

Smirnoff Summer Entertaining Extravaganza: Campfire Cookout

Thanks to Smirnoff and Foodbuzz my friends and I had a great weekend camping!  The weather did not hold out for us, unfortunately it rained both Friday night and Saturday night but we definitely made the best of it.
We planned on having a Campfire Cookout party Saturday night and decided to do something really different then the usual burger and hot dogs.  We decided what could be more fun than doing a grilled personal pizza party, over a campfire? 

To drink while preparing the pizzas we drank some Smirnoff drinks I brought to keep us cool.  During the day it got super humid and these were definitely good drinks to cool us down. I bought The Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade, Smirnoff Vodka Mojito, and Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini, and Smirnoff Ice Triple Black. Picture 093

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These drinks were really good but definitely strong, my favorite was the Mojito, and it seemed all the girls really enjoyed the Pomegranate as well. Michelle had brought fresh Lime Mint from her garden at home and crushing up some of those leaves and putting them in the Mojito really made them taste fantastic. 

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The one thing I recommend is definitely cutting it with something, the bottles suggested Soda Water but we didn’t have any.  We did use just regular bottled water (about a ¼ cups worth) and that really made them better.  I’m sure it would have been even better with the soda water though.

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I made the dough Thursday night and brought it with us, I made enough dough for everyone to have their own personal pizza.  I used Michelle’s mom’s recipe and it worked out perfectly.

  • 1 package yeast,
  • 1 cup warm water,
  • 1 teaspon sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon salt,
  • 2 tablespoons oil,
  • 2 1/2 cups flour. 

Dissolve yeast with water stir in remaining ingredients. beat vigorously.  allow dough to rest.  spread dough on pan.  make your pizza!  

We decided to make one pizza for all of us to share and to test it out
For the test pizza we made it with just cheese and sauce. 
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And onto the fire it went.

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It cooked for about 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile we all posed with the pizzas.

The boys:

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And the girls:

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The smoke was getting our eyes which is why Jess and I have them closed.

Unfortunately we forgot to grease the pan in any way and we kind of created a big mess.  The pizza was delicious but it was a pain to get it off the pan.

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What a delicious mess.

Michelle had brought Pam but the container was empty so we used a small amount of butter on the foil each time just to keep it from sticking.  We brought a variety of toppings so everyone got to have exactly what they wanted.
Andrew’s pizza was up first and he chose to use BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken, and bacon bits on his pizza.

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And onto the fire it went.Picture 139

We didn’t have the timing down quite yet, so his was a little doughy, it’s hard to regulate the temperature and cook it thoroughly.  The real trick is to just be patient.  The bottom is going to be super crispy but honestly it tasted delicious even if it was black in some spots.

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Next up was Scout and Rob, we decided to hurry the process along by putting 2 at a time on.
Scout decided to make a hamburger pizza.  He cooked up the hamburger meat in some bbq sauce and then used tomato sauce as a base on the dough.  He then layered meat, and American cheese on top.  His looked really great!  Definitely creative!

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Rob went with a classic.  He used the tomato sauce, with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and bacon bits.  The smell of his cooking was really fantastic.  I think we made some of our camping neighbors pretty jealous.

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Just as us girls were about to begin making our pizzas, dark clouds started rolling in.  A severe thunderstorm warning came on the radio and the sky just opened up.

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  It poured for a few hours, and our chance at pizza over the campfire was quickly squashed.  We improvised with frying pans on the camping stove, which was sheltered by one of our canopies.  It was even harder to regulate the cooking on the stove top.Picture 172

While Rob and Scout had been cooking their pizzas, the girls threw some fruit and veggies into tinfoil and threw it right in the fire.  So we had those to use on our pizzas.

Michelle’s pizzas was fresh mozzarella cheese, sauce, peppers, and eggplants.  I have to say I was pretty jealous of her pizza, it looked fantastic. Jessica used the fresh mozzarella, sauce, and peppers. 

Michelle’s is on the left and Jessica’s is on the right

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And I used the fresh mozzarella, and pineapples on mine. But apparently I was too busy taking pictures of everyone else’s pizza because this is the only shot of it cooking I got.

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Unfortunately the bottom of the pizzas started to almost burn but the top was completely doughy, we made do by scraping most of the dough off and just eating the crusty parts with the toppings, I have to say with all the trouble, and mishaps, the pizzas were really fun to make and to eat, and we all really enjoyed it.

I think this picture gives you an idea of how hard it was raining.

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But we made the best of our time on the campground, and we definitely have some great memories.  The rain died down later that night and we were able to enjoy some time by the fire.

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And we of course had dessert planned.

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Thanks to Smirnoff and FoodBuzz for making our camping trip such a memorable one!

August 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm 9 comments

What I’ve Been Up To

Oh my gosh I need to get back to regular blogging.  It’s been so difficult and I haven’t really been home much.  We have so much going on!

I really don’t think there has been a night in the past 2 weeks where I’ve been getting home before 10 o’clock and by that time I’m just so tired I want to crawl into bed with the A/C blasting, one day I came home and it was 96 degrees in the house!

One of the things we had to do last week was some wedding related things. We completely changed the location of the ceremony for the wedding, we met with the priest at Andrew’s church and decided to have it there.   It’s a beautiful church, and after speaking with the priest we realized that we would rather have it there, then at the chapel I originally posted here.  If we have it at the chapel we’d have to have special permission to get a priest to do it there since it’s a non-denominational chapel.  Thank goodness we have so much time so we do get to change our minds.  Here’s one of the only pictures I could find on the website.

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We spent last weekend at my parents house while they were away visiting my grandparents in the Poconos, that way Bailey could stay with us and my parents wouldn’t have to bring her out there.  We got a lot of stuff accomplished that I’ve been putting off.  One of things was I had to find shoes to go with my dress for my cousins wedding.  And although they don’t look it they are actually quite comfy.shoes

There’s also been time with friends, and family, and of course lots of quality time with Andrew.

Now in just a couple hours we’ll be heading out to go camping!  We had such a great weekend last time so, We all organized another trip and included my friends Laura and Billy this time.  I’m looking forward to it so much!

 Jessica, Michelle, and I went food shopping last night for the trip and we have some fun meals planned, that I will definitely be recapping on Sunday evening when we return.  We’ll be using our new tent, and my mom decided to spoil us and bought us a ceiling fan for it! 

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I’m getting ready to leave work but just wanted to stop in and say hello! Also I’m on WordPress and I’m having lots of trouble with it.  Maybe I’ll be loading Live Writer onto this computer sometime soon. I use it at home and absolutely love it,  I forgot how hard it is to upload pictures without Live Writer.  Hope you all have a great weekend, and can’t wait to tell you all about the camping trip when I return.   Keep your fingers crossed that the weather’s wrong, because this is what is says for tonight and tomorrow as of right now.

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Either way it should be fun!

August 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm 3 comments

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