Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's been a long time....

Until tonight, it's been over 2 weeks since I last posted on my blog! Now that I'm doing boot camp Mondays are my only free night Mon-Fri! It's hectic right now, but I still LOVE boot camp!! I haven't been weighing lately, but I did weigh myself this morning and it didn't show the loss that I thought it would, but Michel and I went to Chili's last night and I ate some queso, French Fries, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, so I'm hoping it's residual from last night :) But I can tell my clothes are getting a little looser, so it's definitely working! Once summer hits, I'll eat a lot better :) I watched 50 First Dates tonight and it really inspired me to get beach-body ready for our vacation to Hawaii next summer!! I realize it's over a year away, but it doesn't hurt to start now! Once summer hits, I'll be a lot better at blogging, too! Only 10 days left of school!!!

Relay for Life 2011

For the last 4 years I have participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life with my mom. My mom is a cancer survivor herself so it's always been a special time for me to get to celebrate with her that she's one of the lucky ones who has overcome the disease (20+ year survivor!!). The relay lasts from 7:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m. (we've never made it until 7 - the latest we've stayed was 5:30!) Three out of the last four years, Michel has gotten to join in with us. This year was really pretty chilly for the month of May so we bundled up and got ready to spend much of the night outside. Unfortunately, we didn't last as long as we normally do - we only made it until about 1:00, and the relay wasn't as big as what it normally is, but it was still a great time! 

The relay always kicks off with a survivor lap. It always makes me tear up to see my mom in that lap. 

I had to take a picture of Michel and I in our team t-shirts. The rest of the team wore pink shirts with a panther on it (my mom's school, whose team we were apart of, is called the Johnson Panthers, so our team was the Pink Panthers), but they didn't think Michel would love wearing a pink t-shirt, so they got him a gray shirt with a panther on it instead :)

Around the track were bags with candles in it, and our team had paid for a bag with my mom's name on it: 

My grandmother died in December 2002 from cancer, so my mom bought a candle-filled bag for her.

Sadly, cancer has touched many people in my family, so it's so important to me to do these walks/relays/races to raise money for cancer research. I had such a great time out there supporting not only my mom, but also anybody's life who has been effected by cancer. I love you, Mom!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Pan seared shrimp in lemon butter sauce, served over spaghetti, green beans

Boston Market - need to eat light before Boot Camp! (eat half for dinner and half for lunch on Wednesday)

Chicken Helper Chicken Fried Rice, broccoli for Julie and Asian veggie medley for Michel

Wednesday night leftovers

Crawfish boil/burger and hot dog cook out at the Davises!!

Cornmeal oven fried chicken (this is a new recipe for us, but I'll post the recipe if we like it); mashed potatoes, biscuits, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Out to eat

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Honeymooners Fun Day Out!

At the beginning of every few months, our Honeymooners ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship - our equivalent to Sunday School), and we had planned on doing a couples retreat the last weekend in April. Two couples looked into it, and found that it was going to be WAAAAAY too expensive, so we decided that we would plan on spending all day on Saturday together. So the two couples in charge of planning the retreat planned an entire day of fun (and free!) activities, and they did an awesome job!

We started the day by meeting at the Dart station off of George Bush and 75. Don't you love random shots of people standing around?? :)

 Our first stop was right around Northpark Mall. We got off the Dart train at a big shopping center, and were given 45 minutes to do a kind-of scavenger hunt. There were 7 couples, and we split off into 2 groups of 2 couples and 1 group of 3 couples and our challenge was to find the MOST expensive item, and then the biggest discounted item, take a picture, and report back. Our group thought we would win because we went to Saks 5th Avenue and asked a sales associate to show us the most expensive item in the store (it turned out to be this ridiculously gaudy/ugly ring) priced at almost $12,000!!!
This was my team (Michel, Joel and Carissa Howard) looking for the biggest bargain in Saks Fifth Ave. We didn't find a good bargain there :(
Unfortunately, we were beaten by another team who found loft apartments for lease/rent for $120,000/YEAR! We had a good time, though :)

We all loaded back on the Dart to go further downtown to the Angelica theater. There, our challenge (our challenges always related to the stop that we were at) was a charades game of just movies, some with specific scenes that we had to act out. 
Sitting outside of the Angelica watching the magnificent performances of our fellow Honeymooners!
 Michel gave a very moving performance/portrayal of "Toy Story" which was quite fitting since our niece just LOVES "Toy Story" (or as she calls it, "Woody Buzz"!)

After the Angelica, we walked across Highway 75 to get some ice cream cookie sandwiches from a place called Pokey-O's! They have homemade cookies of all varieties and your choice of Blue Bell ice cream to put in between. I got chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice was delicious!!
Mmmmm....cookies and ice cream! 

Michel liked it so much he was licking the paper clean!
We did so much walking that we definitely earned our yummy treat! Plus, it was really hot and muggy, so some cool, creamy ice cream really hit the spot. After we ate, we jumped back on the Dart to go further downtown to the Sculpture museum. The challenge here was supposed to be going in and finding the sculpture that you could make up the best story for. Unfortunately, the museum wasn't free, but there was one sculpture outside of the museum so we all made up a story for it and had to present it to the rest of the groups.
Michel came up with the story for our group (surprise, surprise, he was excited to come up with a story that's ridiculous and off the wall!), but it was something about Edgar the rhino who ended up in a gay pride parade. I don't know if I should claim that story came from my husband or not :) To Michel's disappointment, he did not have the most unique, creative story about the sculpture so we did not win, but he still had fun making up the story!

Since we couldn't spend as much time in the sculpture museum as originally planned, we just walked around and ended up in front of the opera house. In front of the opera house is a big pool of shallow water (about 2 inches deep, maybe) and we were so happy to kick off our shoes and soak our feet in it. The water was just the right temperature and it felt so good! I didn't take many pictures of this, but one of my favorites is a pose that the guys did:
The four guys on the left are really into it, but the three on the right: not so much
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We had so much fun, but definitely started getting tired!

However, since we still had time to kill before our 6:30 dinner reservations (where we were meeting more friends whose schedules didn't coordinate with the all-day outing) and we were still in front of the opera house the two couples decided that we needed to reenact our engagement story in opera. It was HILARIOUS!!! I recorded each one of them (sadly, Michel's and my performance was not captured on least not to my knowledge). I would have loaded them on here, but it was taking way too long and I just didn't have patience for that. So if anybody wants to see them, let me know and I'll e-mail the video clips. After the opera house we loaded up and went to dinner, but I don't have any more pictures. It was a great day and Michel and I are so blessed to be a part of a church where we have such great friends!!! Thanks Davises and Hoopers for planning such a fun day for us!!!

This post is long over-due

About a month ago, I posted the recipe for easy chicken strips that I found from a low-cal comfort food cookbook. I tried it on my own, and loved them, so I made them for Michel one day, and they've since become a staple in the Zoutendam household - they're so delicious! This time I thought I would post with pictures because everything's better with a picture :)

In shallow bowls, place:
1/4 c. AP flour combined with 3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/3 c. butter
1-1/4 c. crushed cornflakes

The recipe calls for over a pound of chicken breasts, but I knew that I was just making this for myself (it was Easter Sunday and Michel had to work - otherwise I don't normally go all out like this just for myself), so I just used one whole chicken breast.
Dip the chicken breasts in flour, then butter, then the cornflakes and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until no longer pink in the middle. When Michel and I eat this during the week, we usually eat it with a green vegetable and a baked potato because it's quick. However, I wanted some French Fries, so I served these up with some oven-baked French Fries and had a delicious Easter dinner!
MMMMMMM!!!! It's so delicious!!!
I highly recommend these to anyone who loves breaded chicken strips!