A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fun Holiday Ideas

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You may remember my post a few months ago entitled Fun Fall Ideas. Read it if you want to, but I may as well spoil you now. We didn't do ANYTHING on the list. We attempted to go to the National Apple Harvest Festival but that didn't work out... so... yeah, we stink at lists of things to do! I mean, I'm really good at making them, but following through is another story!

Even so, I have compiled a list of Fun Holiday Ideas! WE WILL ACCOMPLISH AT LEAST A COUPLE THINGS ON THIS LIST!!! I promise you!!!

Fun Holiday Ideas!!

1. Millersburg's Candlelight Christmas

Well, this event doesn't have a website. Not only that, but it already happened this year and won't happen again until the day after Thanksgiving 2014. But luckily, Paul and I were able to scratch this one off our list this year and have these pictures to share with you... Sorry our camera is so crappy!

Millersburg Gazebo

Tree Lighting!


Market Street


2. Rocky Ridge Christmas Magic

This is in Rock Ridge County Park near York.

From their website: "Christmas Magic is a 0.5 mile long walking trail (accessible to anyone) that meanders through 600,000 Christmas lights, holiday scenes and five enclosed heated pavilions. The spirit of the Holiday is displayed by using animation, displays, Santa Claus, food and G-gauge train display. The trail sits among a mature oak forest nestled on a quiet mountaintop."

I know you are probably wondering why we don't just go to Hershey's Sweet Lights or Christmas Candylane. Well, it's cheaper, and will probably be less crowded. I'm not knockin' Hershey! I just hate crowds and screaming kids and... wow I sound like a scrooge, don't I? Maybe I better just bag this list and stay home in December!

3. Christkindl Market - Dec 12 - Dec 14

For a few days in December, the main street in Mifflinburg is turned into an authentic German Christmas Market. There is entertainment, food, and vendors. My mom sells her hats there- Hats by Peach! So we will definitely have to visit her if we venture up to the Market.

My Mom's little German hat shop at Christkindl Market!

4. The Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show - At the PA Farm Show Dec 4th - Dec 8th.

My mom has sold her hats here for years! If you go, check out Hats by Peach. Also, this is the first year my sister-in-law will sell her photo jewelry, photo blocks, and other unique photo gifts. She'll be right beside my mom, and her business is Debby Dabbles!

Photo: Day 1 of the Gift Show - Done!  I'm beat!

Hats by Peach at the PA Christmas & Gift Show 2012

Debby Dabbles Photo Jewelry

Debby Dabbles Photo Jewelry

This is a huge craft and gift show and a great place to do some Christmas shopping. But take an Ativan if you need to because it can be CROWDED. I always have to be sure I breathe deeply and am well fed before I venture to this place or else I get hangry.

5. Central PA Youth Ballet Presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

I am so lucky that not only do I get to see this every year, but I get to take all of my 4th Graders to see it too! This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I am in awe of the talent and athleticism of the amazing dancers who perform each year. It also reminds me of how I need to work on my flexibility and start stretching! Here's a little taste for you...

Well, it looks like since Paul and I already hit up Candlelight Christmas and I am guaranteed to be seeing The Nutcracker with the school in December, we only have 3 more things to cross off our list of fun things to do! Do you think we will actually accomplish the who list????

What is on your list of fun holiday activities?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Turkey Day & Grandma Arla's Fingers Recipe

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Our Turkey Day

Happy Black Friday Morning!

If you are reading this, you may be warm in your bed, lounging on your couch, or at the breakfast table. OR you could be standing in line at Wal Mart or something! I don't believe I ever went shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds. I'd much rather get my shopping done early or shop online. Others love the excitement and it's a tradition to get up early and fight the crowds. To each their own. 'Merica.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful. I always get a little on edge as the holiday approaches because even though it is a FUN day, it is a long day that has a timetable. But after a chest/shoulder/tricep/ab (I know, random) workout at Planet Fitness and some speedwork on the treadmill, my endorphins were pumping and I decided I would be CHILL throughout the day and I would NOT get bitchy.

I am happy to say I think I did a pretty good job, and Paul agrees!

First, we hit up my cousin Stephanie's house in Mechanicsburg where my Dad's whole side of the family was celebrating Thanksgiving. This is the first time in my whole 31 years of life we were not at my Grandma's on Thanksgiving Day! But our family has grown a lot in the last 10 years and it was time to celebrate in a bigger space. The best part of our time there was playing Catchphrase. That game can bring families together or tear them apart!

Then, we headed home to feed the kitties and grab some food I forgot. (I did not flip out, I was very chill, remember??) After that, we headed over to Middletown to have dinner with Paul's family. Both dinners were divine. I ate well yesterday and look forward to leftovers! I had fun talking with my nephews and playing Bubble Talk! We will definitely have to bring that the next time we hang out with them!

Some pictures of our day...

My niece, Ellie

Chillin' after the meal

Family shot

Paul and Zay show their game face

Tickle fight!

Eden, Zay, Uncle Paul, and Aunt Megan

 Grandma Arla's Fingers Recipe

Me and Grandma Arla.

My Grandma Arla hates to waste things. When you grow up with 13 brothers and sisters, you learn to make do with whatever you've got. There is a use for everything- it need not be wasted. It's a totally different mindset from the way the world is now. People buy IPhones and then buy new IPhones a few months later when a new one comes out... etc, etc, etc. We CONSUME.

But not Grandma Arla. She operates under the same philosophy she grew up with. The biggest thing she hates to waste is food. And that's where this recipe comes into play!

Grandma came up with this recipe because she wanted something to do with the dough she would have left over after making pie crust. That's where Fingers come from. Here is the recipe.

Grandma Arla's Fingers Recipe

Since I never make pie crust from scratch, I never have leftover pieces to use for Fingers.
I buy the rolled up pie crust that's already made.

I use a rolling pin to flatten the dough out a little bit more.


Then I slice it into thin pieces. I arrange the pieces on a baking sheet. 

They await the Yumminess I'm about to spread over them!

(There should not be milk in this picture.
Milk is not used!)

Yumminess: melted butter, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon. It should be sort of thick so that when you spread it over the pie crust it doesn't drip all over. You'll still have some that drip. That's okay.

Caution: SPRAY THE PAN REALLY WELL. The more the Yumminess drips onto the pan, the more likely the Fingers will stick to the pan and be a bitch to scrape off!

Spread the Yumminess on the Fingers. Try not to use too much because 
when you pinch the Fingers up, it will seep out.

Pinch up the Fingers and sprinkle more cinnamon on top. 
Use LOTS of cinnamon!

Bake for 12 minutes at 350. But of course watch them so they don't burn!

If the Fingers break in half when getting them off the pan it's no big deal. 
You can have some short Fingers and some long Fingers. They all taste the same!!

My fingers sort of flattened out. Oh well, they still tasted the same!

Important Note: If there are small pieces of Fingers that stick to the pan and you have to them scrape off, save them in a little plastic baggie. They will taste divine over vanilla ice cream!!! Or think of something else to do with them. The whole point with Fingers is to not waste anything. Just like the Native Americans liked to use every part of the buffalo, you should try to use every part of the fingers- Grandma Arla style!

Do you have any other yummy ideas for the Finger remnants I collected in my plastic baggie??

Did you go Black Friday Shopping this morning?

Where did you spend Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Thankful & A Thanksgiving Recipe

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Happy Thanksgiving!

So Thankful

This year has been crazy. It was the worst year of my life, that is for sure. Of course, a MILLION wonderful things happened as well, many of which I've documented in my blog and you have read about. But getting over the first huge hurdle of my husband's health condition and brain surgery was horrible, to say the least. I am so glad life has finally calmed down for awhile. And I am SO THANKFUL he is healthy and thriving. Even though it was a difficult road, I am thankful that things turned out so well. So it was the worst year in that we had to endure a lot, but it was the best year too because we made it through!

Some more things I am thankful for...

My favorite person in the whole world.


These guys.

Memories of this sweet girl.

My friends. You know who you are.

The healthcare professionals at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

My health.

My favorite place in the whole world.

Now, A Thanksgiving Recipe!!!!

The dish I take to Thanksgiving Dinner is Green Bean Casserole.

I love Green Bean Casserole! My recipe doesn't reinvent the wheel or anything. And I have virtually no measurements to tell you. I just make it up as I go along. If I'm in the mood for cheesey, I add more cheese. If I'm in the mood for healthy, I skip the french fried onions. But here's what I do. Everyone usually likes this dish!

Meg's Green Bean Casserole


Frozen whole green beans
Sliced tomatoes (I like plum)
Cream of mushroom soup
Shredded mozzarella cheese
French fried onions


Mix green beans, tomatoes, soup, and some cheese in a bowl. 

Then pour into a baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Add more cheese on top and French fried onions. 
Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

(I'd show you a pic of the finished product but this puppy isn't going
in the oven until 10am! You will just have to use your imagination...
or, I will have to come back and post a pic later!)

Voila! Enjoy!!

What do you take to Thanksgiving Dinner?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Interesting??? Things About Me

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I have been seeing the Facebook status "10 Interesting Things About Me", "11 Interesting Things About Me", "9 Interesting Things About Me" etc, etc, etc. At first I was ignoring them, because they were just too long to read! But then I started reading them one day and WOW did I learn some interesting stuff about my Facebook friends!

So I'm jumping on the bandwagon! Here are "10 INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT ME". I hope they are interesting enough for you!

1. When I was 17, I was an extra in the film Girl, Interrupted. All I did was send my picture in and they picked me! I was in a party scene that was filmed at the Waterworks building on Front Street and I was also in the graduation scene that was filmed on the grounds of the State Hospital. It was very, very interesting to experience a little piece of how filming a movie works. Oh, and I also got to be up close and personal with Winona Ryder and Jared Leto (he came over and talked to me and a few other googley-eyed gals!), which was pretty cool back in the day!

2. My college voice teacher tried to get me to switch majors when I was a sophomore. He didn't think I would ever make it as a music teacher and wanted me to switch to elementary education. I was devastated to say the least. This all came about because I had one crappy jury that I ended up failing. I had to re-do my jury, which I passed. I obviously didn't switch my major, and things turned out okay. (A jury is when you have to sing 3 songs in front of all the vocal instructors and they grade you. It's just you on stage and the instructors in the audience. The rest of the recital hall is empty. It's TERRIFYING.

3. I've run 7 marathons and three of them I ran in the exact same time: 3 hours and 53 minutes. How does that happen!?

Flying Pig Marathon- 3:53:?? !

4. I've only had two boyfriends in my life. My high school boyfriend who I dated about a year and a half, and Paul.

Circa 2006.

5. Paul and I dated for 3 years but were only engaged for 2 and a half months. We didn't want a huge wedding, so it was easy to git 'er done in a short amount of time!


6. I hate flying. It terrifies me. I have flown twice in my life- once to Boston and once to San Francisco. For the Boston flight I simply manned up. For San Fran, there was Ativan involved. I do not know how I am going to survive a 13 hour flight OVER THE OCEAN when we go to Hawaii. I've already had nightmares about it...

7. I've never been to Florida or Disney. I would like to go to Florida but you couldn't pay me to go to Disney World! I hate crowds. Case closed.

8. I will never have kids. There is not a single bone in my body that wants one, and I will never change my mind.

9. When I was a kid, I LOVED to read. I read all the time. When I got in trouble, I got grounded from the library- because that's all I did!! My favorite series were The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins. I also loved anything by RL Stine, Christopher Pike, Judy Blume, and the Anastasia Krupnik books.

10. For this last one, I asked Paul to name something interesting about me. "You clench your butt while you're driving," he said. It's true. For some reason, I just can't relax my right butt cheek while I'm driving. You'd think this would make for a lopsided back end but I think it's pretty proportionate.

Tell me something interesting about YOU!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How To Make It Through the Thanksgiving Calorie Fest (relatively) Unscathed

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Wondering how you can make it through the Thanksgiving Calorie Fest unscathed?

Welp, I'm sorry, but I don't have the answers for that! For people with food issues, Thanksgiving is THE anxiety producing holiday of the year. I mean, the whole day is based around FOOD and EATING. It's usually not just one meal, either. For married folk, it can be two meals at two different houses. DOUBLE ANXIETY.

There were years I went into the day with the mentality, "I will be good. I will eat only healthy foods and small portions." There were years I said, "Fuck it, I'm just going to eat whatever I want." Then there were years my philosophy would hover somewhere in between those two extremes. It normally didn't matter what my strategy was, I'd usually end the day feeling guilty and like I needed to run 13 miles ASAP.

This is the mentality I am going to try this year. I will let you know if it worked for me! I don't suggest these tips will work for you. They may or may not. A lot of people have food "issues" but they are quite complex. So if something I say resonates, try it! But I came up with these ideas for me, not the masses.

1. Eat what I love and ignore the food I can eat any 'ol time. Example: I'm not into mashed potatoes and I eat sweet potatoes all the time. I won't eat them on Thanksgiving. But stuffing? Oh you better believe I will have some stuffing!

2. Remind myself: There will be food tomorrow. This is not the last day you will ever be able to eat. There will always be another meal!

3. Food is fuel, but it is also meant to be enjoyed. GET OVER YOURSELF AND EAT LIKE A NORMAL PERSON FOR ONE GOSH DARN DAY. (By normal person, I mean a person that doesn't obsess over food.)

Please share your own tips for surviving Thanksgiving! What works for you????

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up- List format

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I'm feeling anxious, ADD, and overwhelmed. When I'm feeling this way, a blog post in list format is the best way for me to get my thoughts down without going bonkers.

Happy Monday!


1. I ran 6 glorious miles in the morning.

2. I made it through a long day at work. Only two more work days until Thanksgiving break!

3. I went to the Capitol City Mall in the search for skinny jeans. I had no luck. Not even at Express.

4. We went out for Sushi! The best sushi on the West Shore, hands down, is Sapporo East on the Carlisle Pike. It's so good. When I win the lottery, I will eat lunch there everyday.

5. I watched a couple Datelines and hit they hay EARLY!


1. I went for a gorgeous 13 mile run. The weather was perfect and the company was perfect. This was my longest run in several months. It was a real confidence booster!!!

2. Running like that makes me ravenous. It wasn't until I consumed 2 bowls of Fiber One, 1 bowl of Cheerios, a turkey sandwich, and a huge veggie omelette that I started to feel refueled.

3. We took Jelly to the vet. Don't worry, he's fine, but Friday night I noticed little beads of water dropping from his mouth. It was actually very cute, but we needed to figure out what was wrong. He got a full oral exam and the vet determined he probably ate something that wasn't actually food (like cardboard from his scratch pad) and it upset his stomach. He got some meds to settle his stomach. Hopefully it works!

4. I got some good 'ol quality STUDYING done!! I am getting very excited! I'm almost done with all the hard stuff in my personal training book. Coming up are chapters more focused on how to run a business, laws, insurance, etc. I will soon be a personal trainer, people! And by soon, I mean March! (That's soon to me!)

5. We had a big date night! We got some Christmas shopping done at Kohl's and Ross. And we went to Wegman's to use our gift card on dinner (dang, talk about the gift card that keeps on giving!), except Paul forgot to USE the gift card. It's okay, we laughed about it. And I had a
glorious dinner:

6. Oh, and I found skinny jeans at Kohl's for $19.99!!!! People, you need NOT drop a ton of cash on jeans!

I  have a crappy camera but you get the idea!

 7. Oh, we played Monopoly Deal, too. And I drink wine again.

Wow we need to dust the table.

Chrissy taking it like a man.

6. We spent the evening catching up on our TV shows we missed this past week- Parks and Recreation, Hostages, American Horror Story, and Survivor!


1. I woke up at 7am with a 15lb kitty on my legs and an 18lb kitty on my chest. Our house was 58 degrees. Ugh.

2. I went on a run that I anticipated would be freezing cold, but I was actually overdressed! It inspired me to write a post about how to run in the cold weather. Stay tuned for that one, folks!

My Under Armour pants were dirty.
And my good headband.
And my good gloves. That's why I look like a clown.

3. I studied hardcore. Two days in a row. This is getting ridiculous.

4. The rest of the day was just a lot of blog writing (I have some good things in store for you!), dinner and Freaks & Geeks with Paul, and a super early bedtime. I'm planning to go into work an hour and a half early tomorrow (That means a 4:15am wake up call. BOO!) to make up some time we had off due to a power outage. Hopefully I can get a lot of work done and December won't be super crazy!

What were you up to this weekend?