Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm a Little Spider

...watch me spin.
If you'll be my dinner,
I'll let you come in.
Then I'll build my web
to hold you tight,
And gobble you up in one big bite!

I'm not the biggest Halloween fan [shocker] mostly because I'm a bit of a scaredy cat. But I do LOVE themed holiday parties.

It has become an annual tradition with my fiance that we carve pumpkins each Halloween. It wouldn't be complete without candy and alcohol! 
This year we will be joined by my future in-laws, brother in-law, and his girlfriend. 

The more the merrier!

To be festive, I volunteered to make Halloween decorated cupcakes. 

[carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting]

[goodie bags filled with treats]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti...

all covered with cheese...

Nothing says spaghetti like a crisp fall day- imagine the aroma of stewed tomatoes with a hint of Italian spices lingering in the house. 

I had a craving for this comfort food and refused to settle for store bought sauce or a microwaveable inspired dish at a restaurant. 
On a whim, I decided to run to the grocery store to grab the essentials. 

Since the sauce needs a good hour to simmer and I'm impatient, I used a dutch oven to speed up the cooking process. 

For the health conscious, I used ground turkey and substituted regular spaghetti noodles with a whole wheat option.


Now all you need is a glass of red wine to complete the meal!


1 lb of ground beef or turkey
2 (6oz) cans of tomato paste
1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tbsp. sugar, to taste
2 tbsp. dried oregano, to taste
2 tbsp. dried basil, to taste
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced or garlic powder to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped or onion powder (optional)
package of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (optional)
1 lb of pasta of choice
parmesan cheese (optional)
fresh parsley (optional)

In a large skillet over medium high heat add the ground meat and cook until brown. Drain if using beef, then set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add onions if using and saute 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and garlic if using. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Combine meat, onions, and mushrooms in a large pot. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water, and seasonings. Stir together. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour, covered. 
(For a more liquid-y based sauce, add more water. For a thicker based sauce add less water)
Boil a pot of salted water 30 minutes before serving. Cook pasta 8-10 minutes for al dente.
Top with parsley and shaved parmesan cheese before serving (optional).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Live Like You're Dying

My Ongoing, Never Ending Life Bucket List

1. go Skydiving
2. train for a Triathlon
3. run a Marathon
4. cycle in a Century Ride
5. ride in the Tour De Cure
    5.7.11- I cycled 32 miles with Team Gold's Fantastic 5 in Cooksville, MD. I 
    received support with both donations and kind words of encouragement. Thanks to   
    family and friends I raised $525 for the American Diabetes Association. 

6. run a Race
    3.12.11- My cousin, Nora, and I ran the Four Courts Four Miler in 
    Arlington, VA. We were dressed in green attire to show our St. Patrick's Day spirit. We 
    were cheered on by family and close friends.

7. master Photoshop
8. have a business Website up and running
9. write a personal Blog
    6.7.11- Discovering Lee was created- http://discoveringme-lee.blogspot.com
10. try a new Class
      1.11- Kickboxing at Bally Total Fitness. 
      2.11-present- Body Step at Gold's Gym. Body Step is an energizing work out that uses 
      height adjustable step involving simple movements on, above, and around the step. 
      2.11- Body Flow at Gold's Gym. Yoga, tai chi, and martial arts are combined for a 
      challenging workout.
      3.11- Kazaxe (KZX) in Alexandria, VA. An intense fitness class infused with different 
      styles of dance.
      4.11- Bootcamp at Gold's Gym. An hour of extreme exercise including P90X, Insanity, 
     and more.
11. learn to Forgive and Let Go
      6.10.11- Post "Story of Us"
12. go see a movie at a Drive In Movie Theater
13. Trademark my business name
14. design my Business Card
15. go Hiking
16. ride in a Hot Air Balloon
17. Donate $500+ to charities
      5.11- $25 to American Diabetes Association for research and education about diabetes.
      5.11- $25 to Susan G. Komen For the Cure of breast cancer.
18. Volunteer for a meaningful organization
19. find a Church to go to
20. read the Bible in a year
21. go to a Drag Show
      4.23.11- A group of girlfriends and I attended a drag queen show at Town 
      Danceboutique in Washington, D.C. It was an exciting and unforgettable experience.

22. participate in the Tough Mudder
23. Bungee Jump off a bridge
24. donate my hair to Locks of Love
25. get a Tattoo
26. drive Cross Country
27. attend a major Sporting Event
28. Backpack through Europe
29. go on a Cruise
30. go Horseback Riding
31. ride a Mechanical Bull
32. own a Home
33. go Para-sailing
34. go Scuba Diving
35. go Zip Lining
36. fly in a Helicopter
37. learn a style of Dance
38. gamble at a Casino
39. grow a Garden
40. Rock Climb a wall
41. fly on a Zero Gravity Flight
42. visit a Petting Zoo
      5.1.10- Kent and I went to Reston Zoo in Vienna, VA. We were able to feed pot belly pigs 
      and sheep, and pet kangaroos. 

43. go on a Safari
44. Rescue an animal
45. make a Comic Book
46. go to NYC for New Year's 
47. stay at a Dude Ranch
48. ride a Motorcycle
49. break a World Record
50. participate in a Flash Mob
51. Build a home with Habitat for Humanity
52. visit a Volcano
53. vacation at Disneyland
54. have Kids
55. be Married
56. write a Book
57. live in Korea
58. be an Extra in a television show/movie
59. meet Taylor Swift
       8.3.11- So... I didn't exactly meet her per se, but I was only two feet away from her. 
       Doesn't that count? It's probably the closest I'll ever get so it'll have to do! Got to 
       attend the Speak Now Tour and it was absolutely AMAZING! If it's even possible, I 
       love her more.

60. open my own Bakery and/or Restaurant
61. achieve my Weight Loss & Fitness Goals
62. visit all the Wineries in VA
63. become a spin instructor