September 30, 2010

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Can you believe I am posting recipes? I know, I am in shock myself!

Today's fabulous grub... Slow Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo!
Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

What you will need:
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra, thawed
  • 2 links andouille sausage, diced
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice
  • 2 cups cooked rice

First you are going to want to cut your sausage and chicken, then brown them just a tad in the skillet.
While that is cooking, chop all your veggies!!
I added all my spices here as well so I could just throw it in! 

Next add 2 cups low sodium chicken broth to the crock pot.

Then add your meat!

Now throw everything else ya got, in the pot!

Add your Bay Leaves.

And your Okra!

Finally the Low Sodium Tomato Juice.
(I have used V8 and regular. The V8 adds a nice touch of flavor)

Set that Crock Pot to cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. 

Serve with rice and you are good to go on a cold rainy day!!
(Psst... we added jalapeƱo cornbread!)

September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Weenie!!!

Today my friend Erin turns 29!!!
Dance Competition 1997.
Happy Birthday Friend!! Love you!!

Congrats to my friends!!!

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays where I gush about every detail of planning my wedding! 

Today I take a break to congratulate my friends who got engaged this weekend!! Yay!!!

On Saturday, my long lost roommate Jennifer got engaged!! Congrats Jen! Miss you!! (You should leave that Texas place and come back to NYC!!) Oh, and I would love to post a picture of my dear sweet friend but I don't have a scanner. Yup... it's been that long since she came to see me! (I mean, you don't expect me to step foot in Austin, TX do you?)

And on Sunday, one of my oldest and dearest friends got engaged!! Katie is getting married!! Yay!!! 

A few Katie quotes "I am trying to talk him into an Elvis, Taco Truck Wedding." and "We are stupid happy!" I love you Katie and cannot wait to celebrate with you!!!

Some fun Katie moments!!
Here we are many many years ago in Santa Monica hanging out... (I look super fat!)
Another trip to visit Miss Katie in Santa Monica! Love her... not my brown hair!

And last October when the girls took a trip to NYC to celebrate a big birthday with their Mom and the Crazy Lady!!

Love you girls!!! Happy planning!!!

September 28, 2010

Red River Shootout

Welcome to Football Fandemonium! My twice a week rantings about all things college football! 
(Every Tuesday and Friday here at Dancing Through Life)

For those of you that have never been to the OU vs. Texas Game, it is unlike anything else. 
The game takes place on a neutral field.
The Cotton Bowl during Texas State Fair. 
Seats are split straight down the 50 yard line and it is crazy! 
The series has had its ups and downs on the National stage for sure. 
The 90s were a no good time for either team so it seemed that the winner would be a toss up. 
2000s both teams have been pretty amazing and the game, while played the 1st weekend in Oct., is considered to be the Big XII South Championship. (Not that it is always the case!) 
This years game may be a little less of a factor in the South and more of a game for bragging rights. 
Texas had an embarrassing loss at home last week UCLA and dropped from #7 in the polls to #21. (Even I think that might be a bit extreme) And we all know that the Sooners barely beat the Bearcats in their first road game. The Sooners are seriously trying to give me a heart attack. 
Who do I think will win? Well, the Sooners of course! Ha! 
The Sooners should win but it depends on which team they decide to bring to Dallas. If they bring the team that played against Utah State and the Bearcats the run a big risk of earning their first L. However, if they bring the team that played Airforce a few weeks ago, they could not only come away with their first conference win of the season but some nice headlines for the national scene. 
Bobby and the Sooners... Please bring the team that played Airforce. Please!!

With that I leave you with some pics of OU vs. Texas past.
My friends being interviewed for some crazy show in 2007 I think.

Daddy and Brian having a breakfast of champions at the State Fair in 2008. 
This was Brian's first OU vs. Texas experience. 

Getting ready for the game!! (Ou lost this one so sad)

A sea of Crimson and Cream!


Courtney and I playing at the fair. Laughing because I was barely tall enough to ride! 
And with that there is only one thing left to say until Saturday...

September 25, 2010


I know, I know... I have been bad about my blogs this week! But... I have been super busy! Busy Bee I say! Cannot wait to have a moment to breathe. But until look at my precious little dancers that were crowned Queen and Princess last night!!

Love you girls!!

September 22, 2010

The First Dance

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays where I gush about every detail of planning my wedding! 

I am fascinated with the music people chose for their wedding. I think that it says a lot about them. Did they go with a standard? Something very independent? Or perhaps just personal? There are so many to choose from!! I just love it! 

Stud Muffin and I really didn’t have to search for our First Dance Song. We have known what it would be for a while. It is a song that we loved when we were first dating and it has always just sort of been “our song”. Not that it is the most perfect first dance song or that others will love it but we do and I think that is all that matters.

Am I going to tell you what it is? Nope. I will tell you this; it is by what some people would call a one hit wonder. Me? I have heard this person’s music forever so I know better. It is a love song of sorts but not really something you would expect to hear at a wedding. And… I am using the acoustic version. One more hint it was released in 2004. That is all ya get til June.

So what about you? What did you dance to on your “Big Day” or what do you think you would like to dance to? I would love to hear!!

September 21, 2010

How Does This Happen?

Taking a break today from my crazy ramblings about all things College Football
Today, what is happening to all our football players? Why the suicide? Why the sudden death? 
Last Friday Reggie Garrett, a 17 year old high school quarterback in Beaumont, Texas, collapsed after throwing a TD pass. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause is still unknown. WHAT?!! 
How does this happen? Are these kids being worked too hard? Are they not being monitored closely enough after a hard hit? 
It was reported that Garrett had battled seizures but that it is uncommon to tell someone with seizures that they can't play football. Really??? Because it seems like a BIG RED FLAG to me! When did he begin having seizures? Could it be that they were caused by a blow to the head! And maybe they were not caused by football at all. I just think that we really need to watch these kids. Sure, I want to win just as much as the next guy (if not more!) but if you have to give up a W, a playoff game, a chance at the State or National Title to save a life... Can't we all agree that is more important? 

The NCAA took some precautions towards player safety this year but not enough if you ask me. 
*Players can no longer create the 3 man wedge on a kick off return. (This rule was used in the NFL last year and only called a few times.) The penalty is 15 yards. That's a biggie.
*No more toughing it out! Injured players must be cleared by a doctor before returning to play.
Now sure this rule sounds good but... I don't trust all those Doctors. How do you know they aren't thinking sure he can make it 2 more quarters and then we will deal with the injury?! Perhaps the kids should have Dr. and Mother approval before heading back out onto the field. 

Now, I won't harp too much on the next subject as I will just mention it because I think it is tragic. 
Studies are popping up linking head injury to suicide. Sadly, there are several suicides in the football community. While I hope and pray that my favorite Saturday activity is not what is causing these things, perhaps these findings will lead to a deeper look into the safety of those young men! 

Kenny McKinley, Denver Broncos. Apparent Suicide 9/20/2010

Owen Thomas, Penn State University, Suicide April 2010.

Let's hope that we each remember to thank God for each day and not take anything or anyone for granted.  

September 20, 2010

Packing Like A Pro

Because I live out of my suitcase most of the year, I have decided to share with you the things I find helpful while living on the road and in airports.

After reading that one of my dearest friends had 17 bags to travel with, I decided I should post about how to pack for travel on and off airplanes. (I realize I do not have children but... surely I could help in some way!) 

Today's lesson:  Packing for flight.

So... here is the deal. First thing first... you need a rolling duffel people. 
Why do I say you need a duffel and not a regular old suitcase? Weight. If your bag weighs over 50 pounds then it is going to cost ya. So, get a bag that weighs less to begin with and you will be off to a good start. 

My second favorite thing to use when packing:  Ziploc Bags!
And yes, I label them.
First of all, Ziploc makes so many different sizes it is fabulous! You can put all your little things together which is nice. All my socks in one bag. All my tanks in one bag. My dance shoes always get a bag because they are stinky. When traveling for a weekend to judge dance competitions, I normally put each outfit in a ziploc and the very best part... when you get them in there and no air is with it.... NO WRINKLES!!
You can fit so much more in your bag with the ziplocs. Plus, they stay organized. 
Notice that I labeled how many leotards where in the bag... That is so I come home with the same things I left with. I need to be kept in check sometimes. 

  • Always check to see if you can do laundry where you are going because that saves TONS of space.
  • When packing your shoes, keep to the basics unless absolutely necessary as they weigh the most. 
  • If you are going to be gone for a long time buy your shampoo and things when you get there. 
  • Read and understand the airport security rules. Nothing is more annoying than the guy that packs his toiletries in the carry on and then loses them all. 
  • Write down everything you want to take versus what you NEED to take. 
  • Try to limit yourself to one bag as a carry-on. Put your laptop inside another bag that can be used as a carry on so that you are walking around with less at the airport. 
  • And for the LOVE... Please do not put your coat in the overhead until everyone has boarded the plane. Because if I need the space I WILL move your coat! 

September 19, 2010

25 Things Random About Me!

I have seen several blogs this week with this title! So… I decided to hop on the bandwagon!

25 Random Things about Me!
  1. I have been to 49 of the 50 United States. I only lack Alaska.
  2. On Thursday September 16th I realized I had been at home for an entire month!
  3. I have not been at home for more than 4 straight weeks since sometime in 2008.
  4. My apartment is one room. That’s it. And it seems to be all I need.
  5. In my first NYC apartment, the shower was in the kitchen.
  6. In this apartment, I sleep next to the stove.
  7. I love NYC and don’t mind my living situations being strange.
  8. I HATE WINTER with a passion. HATE IT!
  9. Snow makes me want to cry.
  10. I love hot chocolate and could drink it every day.
  11. I was a Yankee fan BEFORE I met Stud Muffin and BEFORE I moved to NYC.
  12. I always laughed at girls who were consumed by wedding planning… then I got engaged!
  13. I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment.
  14. I never wanted to get married until I met Stud Muffin.
  15. As of today, I still do not want to have children. I love my SCD Kids and that is good enough for me! I would jump in front of a bullet for them.
  16. I am crazy clumsy. (I broke 3 things in 3 days time this week.)
  17. I feel like something is missing when I go more than a day without speaking with My Mom.
  18. Sitting in traffic does not bother me one bit if I am alone in the car.
  19. If I had tons of money I would spend it to expand the arts programs in my hometown.
  20. When women breast feed in public it makes me extremely uncomfortable. Not saying it’s wrong, it just makes me all jittery.  
  21. I think the fact that my parents supported my crazy ideas and dreams my entire life is one of the greatest gifts they could ever give me!
  22. I love being from Oklahoma!
  23. If I couldn’t dance and sing for a living I would want to be a College Football Analyst.
  24. One of the happiest days of my life is when I got my reduction! (more on that later, I promise!)
  25. I was once told I would never make it in this business because I had a great childhood. If that is the case, I am okay with that. My Daddy and Mommy are the best & I am ultra fortunate to have the childhood I had!

September 17, 2010

Sorry Friends!

So sorry that I missed todays football post friends! 

I have WAY TOO MUCH TO DO!!! I promise to post Tuesday and Friday next week!!


September 15, 2010

Cheeca is A-mazing!

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays where I gush about every detail of planning my wedding! 
At the end of July, Stud Muffin and I headed down to the keys to see our wedding site. (ya know, since we had already paid for the thing and all) We were NOT disappointed at all. 

We were in an oceanfront room with a king size bed. It was delightful.

All the balconies are screen in and lovely.

When we arrived (well before check in time) they didn't have a room available quite yet. We were given some complimentary champagne and souvenir glasses while we waited. 
We only waited about 5 minutes!
This was the beach under our room.
The lagoon to snorkel in on property.
The pool (with full bar and wait staff) was my favorite place!
More lagoon.
Pic of the main lodge from the 525 foot pier!
Complimentary Gazpacho Shooter at dinner!
The beach just after the sun went down.
The Pier. So pretty.
We had a great meeting with our fabulous wedding consultant and a wonderful time on the property. So happy we went and checked things out. Now I know that our guests will have a grand time!

The Crazy Lady did good on this one!! 

September 14, 2010

Heist or Heisman?

Welcome to Football Fandemonium! My twice a week rantings about all things college football! 
(Every Tuesday and Friday here at Dancing Through Life)

First a small recap of last weekends games.
GO SOONERS!!! They pulled it off. I have to admit they had me plenty worried about the Florida State game but they kept the home winning streak alive with a 47 - 17 victory over the Seminoles!! 

I would also like to thank Virginia Tech for failing to arrive to their game against James Madison! As of today, Va Tech will be the ONLY ranked opponent for the Boise State Broncos. So, do you think that an undefeated Boise State deserves to go to the BIG GAME? NOPE!!! 

Way to go Kansas with an upset over Georgia Tech! But sadly, you did still lose to North Dakota State last week so don't go getting all cocky or anything! 

Moving On...

The Heisman Trust is set to meet today to talk about Reggie Bush and his Heisman trophy
Unless you live under a rock, you are aware that Reggie took gifts and oh, a house, from agents while playing at USC. The NCAA has taken away the wins from the school during that time but should his Heisman be taken away? 
Me? I say, No. USC chose to look the other way while Reggie was playing there. The gifts could have quite possible been part of Bush's decision to play for USC over another school. Did the gifts off the field make Bush a better player? No. Was he going to run all over everyone without the gifts? Yes. I say let him keep the trophy. And then, maybe good ol' Mack Brown and Vince Young can hush up!

September 13, 2010

I'm too old!

Well folks, the VMAs were last night and thank God for DVR because I was way too bored to watch them in real time!!!

I had high hopes for Chelsea Handler but a good portion of her jokes seemed to fall flat. 

Florence +The Machine had some fabulous dancers with them so I liked that. 

Taylor Swift bored me to tears but I loved her set. 

I love Linkin Park so I am gonna say yay for them.

Lady Gaga wears me out. I mean, really, do you need to change clothes that often. Really?

Stud Muffin almost fell out of his chair watching the Jack Ass Trailer. 

And... I cannot believe I am gonna say it... Justin Beiber had a pretty sweet performance. (I still refuse to buy anything he records). 

Needless to say, I realized I am too old to watch MTV and True Blood was far more entertaining! 

September 12, 2010

Mexican Casserole

Look at me! I am cooking!!

Brian and I try to eat pretty healthy. So, as a challenge to myself I am trying to find tasty recipes to try out each week that are low cal! I found this recipe on Eat Better America.  The website has some great options as well as cooking for 2 options!! I love not having to make 8 servings!! 

This is my version of the recipe. For the original recipe click Here.

1 Tablespoon Bisquick Heart Smart Mix
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 1/2  cups cut up cooked chicken breast
1 small can diced green chiles
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup fat free milk (or lactose free milk)
4 tablespoons fat free egg product or 2 egg whites
1 1/3 cups Bisquick Heart Smart Mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. And then cook your chicken!

Then take 1 tablespoon of the Bisquick Heart Smart Mix and mix with the reserve liquid from the tomatoes.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans. 

Then add tomatoes, corn, chiles, kidney beans and chicken to the bisquick tomato mixture. 
Stir this mixture together very well and then microwave for 3 minutes.

While that is in the microwave add the 1/2 cup fat free milk, 4 tablespoons fat free egg product  & 1 1/3 cups Bisquick Heart Smart Mix to small mixing bowl and blend with a wire whisk.

Then pour tomato mixture into a casserole dish and pour Bisquick mix on top.
Cook for 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until top is golden brown.

Doesn't it just look delish?!!! It is going to become one of my new staples!! I LOVED IT!! And so did the Stud Muffin! He defeated the purpose of low cal when he went back for his 3rd serving!!

It turns out that this dish is very similar to My Mommy's Chicken Pot Pie!! Super easy to make and super good!!


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