Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Adventure Down the Toothpaste Aisle....

Have you ever walked down the toothpaste aisle and taken a look around you? I don't mean just walking down the aisle, picking up your regular toothpaste and just throwing it in your cart; I mean start at the beginning of the aisle and take a look at all the different products that are "dentist approved", "dentist recommended", made to "whiten your teeth in just 5 days", or made to "fight off cavities, strengthen your gums, kill gingivitis, wipe away all bacteria and give you minty fresh breath all at the same time". You probably think I am crazy right now but I'm not....I promise!!!

This all started last week when Brian and I were talking about how we don't visit the dentist often enough and we really need to get better about keeping our pearly whites healthy and strong. We've vowed to maintain our brushing daily (which hasn't been a problem!) while maintaining our daily mouthwash routine (which happens more like every other day or so) and floss daily ( I'm REALLY bad about this). We also decided we should change our toothpaste to one that would help whiten our teeth gradually. We didn't really think that this would be such a difficult decision or one that would turn a quick trip into an adventurous discovery while at Target.

We had a couple of items that we needed to stock up on so we made our typical trip to Target. Brian and I went through all the aisles and, of course, picked up more than what we originally had intended to buy. All that was left on our list was to pick up a new tube of toothpaste. We didn't do any research before we went....we figured this would be pretty straight forward. We knew we didn't want our usual Aquafresh (which has been great but we felt it was time for a break so we broke it off for a bit). We were SO wrong!!

I had no idea that there were so many different types of toothpaste. I guess I never really paid a lot of attention to all the different kinds. We were totally overwhelmed.....we really were! There were toothpastes that "made you mouth sparkle", toothpastes that "strengthens your enamel", toothpastes that had confetti like strips in it, I could go on and on and on. Brian and I probably looked absolutely ridiculous standing there comparing the backs of the toothpaste boxes and having intense discussions as to what was better and the different percentages of fluoride that each package contained. We talked and compared any extra "active" ingredients and I'm pretty sure we discussed the pro's and con's of each toothpaste that was for sale at Target (which was probably around 50 different types). Let me put it this way....we were there so long, I had to take a bathroom break in the middle of our board meeting. Customers continued to walk by and stare as we pulled up the internet, on our phones, and did some online research for our toothpastes that were lucky enough to make it to the final round before approval.

After much consulting, we finally decided on our new toothpaste................... and the winner is:

Crest Pro-Health Whitening Gel Toothpaste in Fresh Clean Mint

We are so confidant in our decision that we even bought two boxes.

Next time you make your trip to go purchase toothpaste, take a look around and look at all the products that are being sold to us. It is absolutely mind boggling. This blog clearly shows how random Brian and I are but it really did open our eyes to all the different items out there for consumers and honestly, they are all so different. Seriously....take a look next time you're out!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mama's Fudge....well not quite!

My Mama (my grandmother) was the BEST cook/baker!! She loved to cook for us all the time and she always spoiled my brother, sister and I with sweet treats. Cookies, brownies, cakes, name it....she baked it. And, we ate it! Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, she would make pounds upon pounds of fudge. Chocolate and peanut butter were our favorites and I am telling you that she made the richest, most sinful piece candy that I have ever eaten (and I've eaten a lot of candy)!

Needless to say, last year, which was our first Christmas without Mama we all sat around and shared our holiday filled memories of her. Of course, I brought up how much I missed her fudge during that time of year....very selfish but so true! Mama knew how much we loved it and she would send over who knows how many tins full of this holiday tradition. Last year, we didn't make any because no one knows her recipe. She never wrote it down...never told anyone. It was her big secret. Today, I decided to crack it and I was determined to make her peanut butter fudge (my brother's favorite).

I started by researching different peanut butter fudge recipes. Who knew there would be so many different ways to make peanut butter fudge?!?! I just kind of winged it and took note of the ingredients that I used. It was really simple and it turned out pretty good....not the same as Mama's because I think she just had the special touch :)

You'll need:

4 cups of sugar
1 cup of milk ( I used whole milk even though we drink can't have fudge made with skim milk!!)
whole stick of butter ( I was going to use just half a stick but then I went all Paula Deen and just threw the whole thing in)
about 7 to 8 oz of marshmallow creme ( I just used the jar kind)
12 oz of peanut butter ( again...we eat reduced fat but I used the real thing for this recipe)
2/3 cup of flour


1. I used a 9 x 13 in baking sheet and put wax paper on it to keep the fudge from sticking.
2. Mix your marshmallow creme and peanut butter together in a bowl.
3. In a saucepan, mix the milk, butter, and sugar.
4. Bring these ingredients to a boil and let it boil for a few minutes. ( I boiled mine for 5-6 minutes).
5. Remove saucepan from the heat and pour in the peanut butter/marshmallow creme mixture. Stir.
6. Gradually add in the flour.
7. Once everything is mixed well, spread the mixture on the baking sheet and let cool. I actually put mine in the fridge to cool.

I think next time I'm going to add a pinch of vanilla extract to give it something a little extra.

I can't wait to share this with my family and next up I'm going to start working on Mama's chocolate fudge. Yum!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My First Blog Award!

How cool is this?!?!? My very first blog award....I'm so excited. Thanks to Courtney from, The Nitz Family, for this great award. I have known Courtney for a few years now and she is a glamorous young woman....a newlywed, a strong woman grounded in her faith, and a former beauty queen (we used to compete with each other in Miss KY and we were even co-queens one year....yay talent awards, haha)!!

Sooooo....I guess it's my turn to nominate some of the blogs that I think are glamorous. And the nominees are:

Thanks again Courtney for this sweet award!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's Go Generals!

So proud to report that my girls received 1st place this past weekend and I was awarded with the Best Choreography award. I can not be any happier for my girls and for all of their hard work. They had one of the highest scores out of the ENTIRE day!!

Way to go Lafayette Generals!!!! Looking forward to our next competition :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My New Hobby

Well....I've found a new hobby! I am going to take up knitting and I am so excited to take on a new challenge. I was actually inspired by one of my dance students, Lauren H., and I am officially signed up for a knitting class. Lauren is oh so talented and so well rounded and she shared her love for knitting with me and I've finally got my supplies and I'm ready to go!

I'm looking forward to making gifts for others....mittens, scarves, hats, baby gifts, etc,....

I guess I shouldn't jump ahead of myself...I should probably learn the basics. Haha :) I found a great knitting store, here in Lexington, KY, called Magpie Yarn. Their website is great and that's where I found a class that was perfect for me...Basic Knitting. I'll learn all the things I need to know for basic to cast-on, knit, purl, and bind-off. After this, I should be able to do a number of different, easy patterns.

They have a wide variety of classes that range from beginner ( like me!) all the way through advanced. They even have specialized classes where you focus on how to make a certain item, such as mittens or even sweaters. I can't wait for my first class and spending some of my down time, over the holidays, exploring my new hobby!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Y'All Ready for This?!?!?!

We're ready for this!!! "This" being the Winter Jam Dance Competition that is being held here in Lexington, KY. My dance team girls have been working EXTREMELY hard this week and the hard work continues until Saturday.

This past summer, we qualified for UDA nationals. This will be held the first weekend in February and we started our two routines in September. We are competing one of our dances, for the first time, this weekend at a local competition. I am anxious to see how we do and to get the judges opinion on our routine. The girls usually compete a pom routine but when I signed on as coach I felt it was time for a change so we are taking a jazz and hip hop dance. This Saturday we will be competing our jazz dance.

This dance is....well....I guess the best word to describe it is.....unique. a good way!! I choreographed the dance myself and of course I just can't help myself and I turn it into some bizarre dance with crazy music and with a crazy concept. But....that's what I hope will help my girls stand out. This is not your average, cookie cutter dance team!! These girls are here to leave a mark and to tell a story. Isn't that what dance is all about....expressing emotions and telling a story to captivate your audience??? That's how I grew up and that's what I hope to pass on to my students. Dance isn't just a bunch of movements thrown together ( well, it can be). To me, it's so much more than that and I'm looking forward to my team's first performance of this routine.

I'm keeping certain details to myself such as song choice, costumes, and choreography. I can't give all our secrets away!!! Maybe I'll post a video before we leave for nationals....don't want other teams getting any ideas right now ;)

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers this week. I'm praying all the girls stay healthy and confident this week and perform to the best of their ability this Saturday.

I can't wait to report back about how we did!!!!