Black Sheep Dancing

Why be like everyone else when you can be yourself?


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Samantha Brown!

So, last week we went to the AAA Vacation Expo on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Saturday was fun because Munchkin got to meet Kai-Lan.

 

There were also lots of booths with all kinds of exciting places to explore. I also filled out ten million forms so I could win a vacation. I haven’t gotten any calls yet, but I know I’m going to win! I know it! Actually, I saw people bring return address labels to stick on there. What a great idea!

 

Sunday we went back to see the Travel Channel host, Samantha Brown. It was good to see she knew where she was and started off her talk with “O-H!”. (For those of you outside of Ohio, you answer, “I-O!”)

 

 

She talked about how she got the job and about her many travels around the world. It was very interesting!

 

 

We cut out a few minutes early to get in line for autographs and ended up being right across from where she signs. As soon as she came over to the table, Munchkin started screaming, “Samantha Brown! Hi! Hi Samantha Brown! Samantha Brown, you’re my favorite!” He soon became her favorite. When we got up there she gave him a big hug and let him sit on her lap and even gave him a bottle of water. Nicest celebrity I have ever met.

 

 

 

Overall, it was a great time for pennies. Get out there and explore! The more you participate, the more fun this great city is!


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Get Your Groupon!

Groupon is fast becoming my new favorite website. Have you joined yet? Awesome coupons that are usually about half off the regular price. Today’s deal?$15 for five-visit punch card to indoor open-play area at SuperGames. It’s winter. We’re all looking for ways the kiddos can burn all that energy, and this couldn’t come at a better time!

 

Other favorites? 2-for-1 deals on movies, admission tickets to festivals, half off of food, even on spa services. It makes those guilty pleasures a little easier on the budget. So go ahead and plan date night – you can afford it now!

 

So go ahead, join today! (and let them know I referred you!)

 

P.S. They ARE available in most cities including Tallahassee!


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Went outside…again!

I know, it’s crazy. I decided to brave the cold … again! Last night German Village had their Christmas festivities. Because I wasn’t sure what to expect and by that I mean I didn’t want to hear whining about how cold it was I left the munchkin at home and headed out with a friend.

 

Our first stop was Thurman’s. Thurman’s is a local burger joint that has been on lots of television shows including the Travel Channel. Obviously, this was not the vegetarian’s choice, but they had what I craved – fried food. Mmmmmmm. Hey, sometimes you need a little cholesterol.

 

More about Thurman’s

Want to see the episode of Man Vs. Food? Check it out:

Well, there was a 30 minute wait, so while we were waiting we decided to go see some of the pretty Christmas lights around German Village. Lots of decorations and the society had lined the streets and Schiller Park with luminaries.

How gorgeous! How festive! HOW COLD!!!!! I was quite happy to head back to the restaurant for dinner. The place is a visual overload. Stuff is everywhere and looks like it has been there forever. You certainly do not want for things to look at. I got the veggie sub, which was gigantic, and onion straws. It was delicious. My companion for the evening got the Thurman burger. Yes, that huge pile of stuff. It looked pretty gross to me, but ya know, I don’t eat meat. In the end I had to take half of my sandwich home.

 

While it was fun, the 30 minutes running around was plenty for both of us, so we opted driving around the rest of the time, rolling down the window so we could hear the brass band playing. Boy, was I happy I wasn’t out there playing! It actually reminded me of a Christmas when I was in high school, our brass quintet decided to give a concert on Christmas Eve in the gazebo in the town’s square. My lips froze to my mouthpiece. Never again.


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Baby, it’s cooooooooold outside!`

Back in April when I moved home to Ohio after living in Florida, I was so excited to be near my family and around people who say “pop” and and play games like “euchre”. However, as we progress further into winter, I seem to be longing for those warm, sunny (okay, excruciatingly hot) days.

 

Last week we woke up to this:

Yes, snow. The munchkin was jumping up and down and screaming about how excited he was. As I looked outside I said, “Ugh”, as my little guy said, “Awesome!”.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good snow at Christmas. Looking out the window is so pretty, and the lights seem to sparkle more in the white blanket of snow. And them I’m over it.

 

Well, it was about 30 degrees today, but we had been trapped inside all day and we were both going bonkers from being inside so we headed on out to Millstone Creek Park to brave the cold. Well, that is after running tights, jeans, tall boots, two pairs of socks, long sleeve shirt, wool sweater, fleece pull over, winter coat, scarf, gloves, and a horribly tacky hat that is nice and warm.

Other than it being SUPER cold, it was an awesome park. There are all kinds of slides and things to climb that are different than your average playground, and I love that squishy base that makes it soft in case they fall off. There is a nature area where, in the summer, the kids can explore the creek and swamp up close. They even have xylophones and chimes to play! Of course it would probably be more fun when it is a bit warmer when the nature areas are open and other kids are there, but we had a great time. It was worth the drive.


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I love hummus

So there is a new restaurant in town that I keep seeing pop up in various places, so I decided to check it out. I go through phases of loving to cook, and it seems I am phasing out right now. What does that mean? Time to eat out! The restaurant is called Mazah’s and serves quick mediterranean food. We all know I love me some Greek food!

Since it was a new spot, I opted for the large sampler, which included hummus, fava bean dip, baba ghanoush, 3 bean salad, cabbage salad, med. potato salad, falafel, rice and fatayer. The helpings were generous, the food reasonably priced, and it is a quick meal that is actually healthy. They also designate on the menu if it is gluten free, vegetarian or vegan, so you can take your veggie friends and know they’ll be eating well without having to create a new menu when they order. To top it all off, the service was quite pleasant. I think I’ll be going back. Now if only I can convince the munchkin beans are yummy!

Aren’t you just hungry looking at it???

In other news, munchkin went to the doctor and needed eye drops. Have you ever tried to put eye drops in a 4-year old kid who weighs half as much as you that REALLY doesn’t want them? It took a good 20 minutes to get one drop in and I’m pretty sure we are both scarred for life. I’m TOTALLY looking forward to tomorrow when we get to do it again. (Sarcasm – gotta love it!)


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Metro Parks and Muffins

It was another lovely weekend in Cap City. We decided to forgo the couple of festivals this weekend and have a more laid back time. Saturday was started off like most weekends – with a big cup of coffee. And not just any coffee, whole bean coffee from Stauf’s. I’ll admit it, I’m a coffee snob.

Coffee from Stauf's

After that it was a fun day at Sharon Woods Metro Park. We are slowly working our way through all the parks, which has been a lot of fun. Sharon Woods was no exception. The trails were very pretty and the playground equipment was great.

Watching Geese

Best of all it was close to shopping, so we got a little retail therapy in on the way home. The munchkin got his Halloween costume and has not taken it off since. He put it on as soon as we got home, slept in it, wore it today, and is still in it. Hopefully, I can peel it off before school tomorrow.When someone commented how he looked like Batman he replied, “I’m not dressed LIKE Batman, I AM Batman.”

Sunday I was itching to bake again. I made up a vegetarian breakfast bake. Yum!

Breakfast bake

Good Morning Grandview Breakfast Bake

Good Morning Grandview Breakfast Bake:

Ingredients:

1 cup tater tots
5 eggs
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 bag veggie ground beef crumbules (I used Boca)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 pan and cover bottom with a single layer of tater tots and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, wisk eggs as set aside.
  3. In a skillet on medium heat the oil and then cook the garlic until slightly brown. Add in onion and burger crumbles until well heated.
  4. Add onion mixture to eggs. Stir in shredded cheese and season to taste. Carefully spread in 9×9 pan on top of layer of tater tots.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until eggs are cooked and top is slightly browned. Garnish as desired.

And because I can’t go a week without baking some sort of muffin, I found the Empire State Muffins on my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes.

Empire State Muffins

Empire State Muffins:

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded tart apples
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Gently fold in cranberries, carrots and nuts. Combine dry ingredients; add to mixing bowl. Mix well to moisten dry ingredients. Combine eggs and oil; stir into apple mixture. Fill 18 greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from tins.

I followed the recipe exactly except I used dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen since that is what I had on hand. They were very moist and I love that the munchkin is eating some veggies!