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To those of you who have my mom’s poppyseed chicken recipe, you can replace all of the naughty ingredients with their cheaper, healthy substitutes. I tried it recently, and I couldn’t tell a difference:

Replace:
-butter with applesauce (preferable the plain “no sugar added” kind)
-sour cream with 8oz plain, fat-free yogurt (not vanilla, just “plain”)
-Ritz crackers with generic low-sodium “snack crackers” (that’s the Wal-Mart name for them)

Oh, and for those of you who do not have the recipe but want it, let me know!

Go healthy!

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Those who know me well know that I thrive on being busy. That said, I can’t remember a time when I’ve had just one job; I’m normally juggling a few.

That said, I’m working to regain balance since beginning my job as brand logistics expert at Gap. It’s a super fun job, but I’m trying to figure out where to fit everything else in along with my other jobs. Keep me in mind as I sort this out with God’s guidance and David’s support.

I hope to be back to blogging soon!

A brief post today to say that if you haven’t watched all three Lord of the Rings movies in close sequence, you should. David and I watched one on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it! A heck of a lot different than watching one each December as they came out. At church on Sunday, we found out that oddly enough, Joe and Amy did the same thing–except they watched all three (extended-edition) movies in a row on Saturday. That’s commitment.

Haven’t watched any of LOTR? Oh. my. gosh. Start now! Even if you’ve never read the books (I haven’t), the movies are fantastic. They’ll stir some sort of emotion inside of you because they deal with a quintessential battle of good vs. evil. Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, inherits the “one ring” of power that has the ability to destroy the human race. The ring itself must be destroyed in order to end the evil that created it by being cast into the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo and a host of eight others set out to the land of Mordor to destroy the ring encountering all sorts of evil–and some good–along the way. Spectacular tale of how far good will go to defeat evil.

There isn’t one thing about the movies that I don’t like–except maybe that there isn’t a fourth installment.

…continued from Tuesday…

A trifle can be…gasp…healthy? I hope that all of you have been able to enjoy a trifle dessert sometime in your life. The delicious decadence that is chocolate on top of chocolate on top of cool whip on top of fresh fruit, then repeated. Oh l’amour! So, how the heck can you eat it without it being sinful? Well, perhaps I’m a bit late to this bandwagon, but I’m learning the art of ingredient substitution. The cake mix calls for a cup of oil? I’m using a cup of sugar-free applesauce. And I need an egg? I’ll use two egg whites instead. The trifle needs something crisp in the center like oreos? How about fresh strawberries and blueberries? Oh and for that whipped topping, sugar-free, fat-free Cool Whip. And voila! A dessert that could have had 100s of calories and lots of fat grams–not to mention cholesterol (from the eggs) turns into a sweet, virtually innocent treat. And yes, the rules of substitution apply no matter what you’re making (i.e. I used applesauce instead of oil in our waffle mix this morning).

It’s official. We’re no longer joined to PA or SC Legally, anyway. We love all of our friends and family in both places and wish we could visit more often! That said, we’re now official resident of Georgia–Georgia peaches, if you will; although South Carolina is the real peach state, but whatever. We’ve finally gotten the tags, titles, insurance, utilities–heck, even our voter’s registration. We’re set and hope that we don’t have to move again any time soon!

July 4th sans fireworks So what is Independence Day without shooting fireworks? It’s whatever you want it to be. We went to a cookout at Russ and Sarah’s place for a cookout and met some awesome couples for the first time and got to hang out with folks we’d met before. It was a whole lot of fun, and the food was delicious. A side note: the night before, David and I were watching a movie at the apartment and heard fireworks. We walked out onto our breezeway and got to watch the last 15 minutes of the Savannah Sand Gnats (baseball team) stadium’s firework show. It was spectacular! So much so that we didn’t feel the need to buy and light any ourselves–plus it’s illegal or something.

Endangered species Last Saturday, we went beach combing with Joe and Amy. What’s beach combing? you might ask. Well, it’s when you walk the full beach front of Tybee Island beach at 5:15am looking for crawls–or disturbed sand caused by a momma sea turtle coming out of the water to lay her eggs. Sea turtles are endangered and fiercely protected here in Savannah. There are sea-turtle-crossing signs along the road on your way to Tybee, and caution tape and stakes around their nests. Well, we didn’t get to see any crawls that morning, but as the sun rose, we came upon a non-endangered species of bird, but the bird himself was in trouble. The brown pelican (very large bird) had a broken leg from what we could tell, so Amy (biologist) took off to get a box. Once she got back, she covered the bird in a jacket to keep his wings down and put him in the box. David got to carry him and loved every minute. Once upon a time (and still today, really), David wanted to be a marine biologist.

Hearts all over the world tonight Yes, from the Chris Brown song, “With You.” While yes, there are hearts all over the world tonight, there are two that stand out. My parents. They’re in Brussels, Belgium right now and headed to the Netherlands and France before coming back to America. I hope David and I can travel like them when we’re empty nesters (assuming kids come at some point, of course). Twill be fun!

Time management crisis Help. There, I said it. I need help. David and I want to work out 4-5 days per week, including an hour or two of running for two or three of those days. But when? Between David working nearly 60 hours a week at this point, me working for Clemson and for Gap, church, errands, friends, enjoying Savannah, oh and sleeping and eating, etc, we haven’t found the best time. Today, we ran at 4:00am. Not ideal. Please pray that we’d be able to get a grip on our time management, please!

And on that note, it’s time for something that trumps working out–date night!

What’s universal? Bad dancing and the smiles and laughs associated with it. I’m taking a brief break from the “playing catch up” posts to ask you for a favor. Take five minutes to watch the video that I’m about to describe.

Matt set out on a mission to dance all over the world. He went to 42 countries over 14 months and created an incredible video commemorating it. As the clip goes on, more and more people join him dancing. It’s really motivational and encouraging to see people from all over the world…from different backgrounds…that speak all different languages…dancing together with Matt.

It’s like no matter how different we are, we can all have a crazy fun time together.

When you open the video, click beneath it to “watch in high quality.”

Here’s the link: Where the Heck is Matt?

So, I’ve been busy. David’s been busy. So life goes, right? At least we’re busy with things we love, and for that, we’re truly thankful.

To get you up to speed, I’m doing a couple of posts about what we’ve been up to in the past month. It’s been a whirlwind!

Ooo! Horses! On June 14, David and I redeemed a “free, private carriage ride” coupon that my parents gave us. With Ladybug (our Amish horse) pulling, Diana, a student at SCAD, steering, and our “Just Married” sign fixed squarely on the back of the white carriage, we were off. Yes, it said “Just Married.” It was fun to ham it up for the tourists! We got a great tour of the historic district of downtown Savannah filled with funny quips and trivia facts from Diana. Afterward, on the recommendation of a former professor of mine, we ate at Vinnie Van Go Go’s New York-style pizzeria. It was fantastic, by the way, but they only take cash. Plan ahead!

I know them well. My parents came to town during the third week of June for a speedy visit. They’re just as busy (if not more so) than David and I, so we take any time we can with them. My mom drove down on a Tuesday night, and my dad flew in on Wednesday. We went to a church softball game, ate dinner at the Crab Shack, walked out to Tybee Island beach, enjoyed the boardwalk in our backyard, went shopping (which led to something I’ll talk about later), and got all caught up on the happenings of everyone. It was a wonderful, wonderful few days.

Believing in God vs. Believing God. I just started a Beth Moore Bible study with some gals from FBCI called “Believing God,” and it’s all about trusting that what God says is truly what He means and that he comes through on his promises. It looks to be an interesting study, for sure. I’ll keep you posted.

Sample 25 food items? We’re there! David and I went to our first ever Tastefully Simple couples party at Travis and Kristy’s house. What is Tastefully Simple? Essentially it’s a home-based business where the consultants sell these little seasoning packets that you add to one or two other things to make delicious dips, marinades, breads, cakes, etc. At a TS party, you get to sample a bunch of the items that you can buy, and it was delicious. Too bad most all of the seasoning packets had to be mixed with one of the following: sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise (depending on the type of dip/spread, etc you were making. No wonder everything tasted so lovely! After the TS part of the party, the 15 of us had a cookout (oh my stomach!) and played Guesstures until we got super tired and left. Fun times.

Don’t go! My cousin, Jennifer (mother of my first cousin once removed for those of you who’ve read this blog for a while), is leaving Georgia and moving back to Virginia Beach. A series of events out of her control led to the move, and I was bummed. David and I decided, though, that before she left, we’d drive up to Athens to see her and meet Marlee. We’re so glad that we did! Marlee is adorable and can stare you down, and Jennifer looked great. It was good to see her mom, Susan, as well. A mini family reunion! On top of that, David and I got to have eight+ hours of in-the-car time to talk about everything under the sun. We treated it like a mini vacation–good move, I think. It was a blast!

When you live near a beach…yes, you go to the beach all the time. But for us, it’s all about walks on the beach–especially after dinner. We’ve had a beach day that I’ll talk about later, but for the most part, we get our fill of sand on our walks and soak up the sun by the sand-free pool at our apartment. Woo!

On the road again. David’s in a couple of our friends’ wedding this summer, and the groomsmen all had a bachelor weekend in North Carolina at the end of June. I hitched a ride (ha!) with David up to Greenville to spend the weekend with my parents and friends while he went the rest of the way to the “Bearly Ours” cabin in NC. Based on the pictures, the guys had a great time hanging out, whitewater rafting, playing cards, etc. I enjoyed seeing some friends and getting to spend time with my mom, dad and brother–not to mention go downtown. I miss downtown Greenville so much sometimes! Downtown Savannah is pretty awesome, though, and is giving Greenville a run for its money.

Would you like to open a Gap card? Remember that shopping trip I mentioned earlier? Well, when my mom and I were in Gap looking at shorts and jeans, the manager (didn’t know that’s who she was at the time) suggested that I work at Gap. I had been small talking about my job with Clemson and how I wanted to have an additional job outside of the home. Anyhow, a few days later, I opted to apply. A few days after that (while in Greenville), I got the call that I had an interview. During the interview, the manager threw me a curve ball by not interviewing me for the position that I applied for. Instead, she was interested in training me for a higher position. No complaints here! So, I started yesterday, and love it. I look forward to seeing where the job takes me!