20 Before 2020

Can you believe that it is the first day of September? It is true that the older you get the time seems to move at a faster pace, and this year I feel it! This year I turned 30, which is a milestone in itself, but it is also my first entire year living in Atlanta, GA. I believe that there is so much on the horizon and I want to be ready for it, but still live in the now and enjoy this year as much as possible. So to do just that I thought I would create a 20 before 2020 list and see what all I can get accomplished with the remaining 4 months of 2019.

  1. Take an amazing vacation! – Ok so this one is something I already had planned, but it definitely counts. A long vacation is a must to reset your clock, get re-motivated for work, and enjoy time with your loved ones. Thomas and I are going to Puerto Morelos Mexico for an entire week and I plan to be on the beach with a drink in my hand for 95% of that time.
  2. Lose 10 Pounds – This may not be for everyone, but in my first year at my full time job I gained over 15 pounds and I have told myself that will NOT happen in my second year. I really blame my lack of self control when it comes to a free buffet, but I am working on that! I ultimately feel that 10 pounds is just the kick start I need to get back to my comfortable and healthier weight.
  3. Eat Vegan for One Week – With all that is going on in the world, including the fires in the Amazon, I want to continue to decrease my carbon footprint and cut out animal products. I may go longer than a week, but I feel that a week is a great jumping off point to get my started again.
  4. Organize my Office – This is a huge one for me because I am pack rat when it comes to office supplies. I have an odd love for journals and notebooks but have a weird thing about actually writing in them. I need to donate all my unused journals and office supplies to a school near me so they may actually get used for once.
  5. De-Clutter my Closet – My closet, which I share with Thomas, is packed to the absolute rim with dresses that I haven’t worn in years. I need to go through and try on every single dress and see if they will be worn in 2020 or they will be donated.
  6. Cleaning Product Revamp – I have been slowly changing out my cleaning products for all natural products that are better for the planet but I need to just go all in and make the switch.
  7. Pay off all Credit Card Debt – Although I don’t have much at the moment, but I want to be able to pay it all to a zero balance by the end of the year. We want to buy a house early next year and paying off the credit cards will get my in a better position financially to purchase a home and have wiggle room for decorating and furnishing our home.
  8. Create a Photo Book – So for this one, I want to create a phonebook of our cruise that we took in December of 2017. Yes, that was FAR AWAY, but I know I will want to create a new one for our trip to Mexico this year and if I don’t do the Cruise on now, it will never happen!
  9. Schedule a Photo Shoot – Thomas and I have been talking about doing this since we started dating (which was almost 5 years ago) and we really need to get one done! There is just something about getting all dolled up and having professional photos done to capture the love we have between us. Stay tuned!
  10. Develop Photos – How many of y’all have great photos of you and your family but they only live on IG or on your phone? I want to actually develop some large format photos, preferably from the photoshoot mentioned, and have them ready for our new home!
  11. Send out Handwritten Notes – Have you ever received a handwritten note? Doesn’t it make you feel special? Well I want to do that for people I love and make it a more regular thing for me. You should really let the important people in your life know what they mean to you.
  12. Organize my Drawers – In particular, I want to organize my workout gear drawers. I have almost 60 pairs of leggings, but only wear maybe 30 of them. Same goes to Tanks and Sports Bras. I need to get rid of the old and tattered, make sure everything that stays actually fits, and throw anything away that doesn’t make me feel beautiful and strong. I truly believe that your workout gear sets the tone for your workout. If you feel strong and sexy, you will workout harder and more often!
  13. Support a Friend’s Business – I believe that this is huge. There are a lot of people out there hustling to become entrepreneurs, myself included most days, and we really need to support each other instead of giving our money to big box companies. I have a beautiful friend, Denise, who is doing an ‘Unfilitered Sundae’ Facial Party that I cannot wait to go to! Go Check her out her Facebook page HERE!
  14. Purge Photos on my iPhone – I have an old phone that was given to my at my last job and it only has 32 GB of memory (I know 32 GB’s how do I live? but it was $Free.99 so I deal) and I swear half of it is screenshots I will never look at again, or photos that I need to save to my computer/print off.
  15. Get Another Puppy – Now this may not be a goal for everyone, but Thomas and I have been thinking about expanding our puppy family and this fall may be the time to do just that.
  16. Build Content for TMDB – This is the third jumpstart to my blog and I feel like each time I fail at it is because I don’t prepare in advance. My biggest goal is to have 6 months of content built before I even get to 2020. Fingers crossed to getting that done!
  17. Revive CFitCustoms – If you don’t know, I also make custom shirts, bags, and other cute crafts! You can check it out here. I want to come up with a line of SVG’s, custom shirts, and other fun TLT (Team Lazier Training our Fitness Brand) and TMDB (The Modern Day Betty) swag!
  18. Donate Cookbooks I Don’t Use – I LOVE Cookbooks, but I can honestly say I have a lot of them that I have never opened or plan to since we have shifted to a pescatarian/meat-less diet. I do eat meat every now and then, but I plan on limiting that more and more over the next two years.
  19. Create a Vision Board for 2020 – While trying to conquer a bunch of things for 2019, why don’t we set ourselves up for an amazing 2020!
  20. Create a 21 for 2021 – This goes hand in hand with the Vision Board. Making goals for your self, actually writing them down, and then putting a plan to achieve them is how you actually accomplish things.

Do you have a 20 by 2020? What kind of things do you hope to accomplish in the next 4 years? What have you already accomplished this year? Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Gym Bag Necessities

When gym is life, you know that your gym bag needs to hold all of the essentials to get you through a workout safely and efficiently! See how I said safely? Certain items in your gym bag help to prevent injury and that is on the top of my list! Here’s 10 items that live in my bag that I use on a weekly, if not daily basis! This post may contain affiliate links.

Resistance Bands – Three different kinds of resistance bands currently live in my bag, ones that have handles or attach to ankle straps, long resistance loop bands, and smaller circle loop resistance bands.

The resistance bands that have hooks to attach to handles or straps are probably the most known resistance band. There are two different kinds I have, Bforce Bands that have variable resistance levels that are included in one set (which is a little more expensive) or a set that is one resistance level per tube, but may come with varying levels; similar to these. You can easily attach these to handles, ankle straps, or a door to enhance your workout.

Long Resistance Loop Bands are used for assisted pull ups, lying hamstring curls, standing good mornings and many other exercises. I love this brand of resistance bands, X-Bands, because their resistance bands are great quality and they have really good customer service. You can also check them out on Instagram at @TheXbands

The circle loop bands are a smaller version of the long loop bands. There are many options of thickness/levels of resistance which are great for adding resistance to a glute or abductor workout, glute activation, or warming the body up. They are a little thinner than the hip circle bands, but great for HIIT workouts with higher repetitions.

Hip Circles – Fabric Heavy Duty Resistance Band – This is actually similar to the circle resistance loop band, but are heavier resistance, made of fabric, and sometimes contain a slip resistant liner. This is the exact one I have and it is a great addition to my bodyweight squats.

Sliders – You can easily use the expensive ‘fitness specific’ sliders, but I buy the cheap furniture movers and they work perfect! These are great for hamstring finishers, core work, and mountain climbers.

Lifting Gloves – TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or even Target has cheap ones, just make sure they fit well and are comfortable. These help with grip but also protect your hands from calluses.

Wrist Straps – Straps really help elevate your lifting workouts by giving you extra support to lift heavier weight, but if you do not life heavy, they aren’t needed.

Padded Bar Cover – This is an absolute must for me when it comes to squats and bar bridges! I do not like to get under a squat bar without a pad because I feel like the bar puts to much pressure on my lower neck or digs into my thighs when I do bridges. Thankfully they are cheap because they seem to walk away on me at the gym (a.k.a. I forget them on the rack and they disappear) Here is the one that is currently in my gym bag.

Antibacterial Wipes – I feel that the gym’s wipes and cleaning liquid is ok, but I feel like they don’t clean the benches well enough so I like to have these in my bag available for me at anytime.

Yoga Strap – For Stretching, I bought one at a barre studio here in Atlanta called The Barre Method, and I love this one because it has multiple loops to pull closer within your stretches. This one is very similar but a little slimmer than the one I have.

Knee Wraps – These fall into the same category as the wrist straps, and are really only needed if you are lifting heavy. These wraps help with squats and leg press exercises that you want to protect your knees under heavy weight. Always remember when you are lifting heavy, wrap up no matter what. You shouldn’t start wrapping your knees when you start to feel pain, but try to be proactive and use them for protection.

Weight Belt – This is also a preventative measure for when you are lifting heavy. There are different types of weight belts, Heavy lifting belts used for lifting, a fitness belt that use can add to give a little more support, but not as strong of support as a lifting belt, and then a sweat belt to help sweat and tone skin.

What items do you have in your gym bag that aren’t listed, but you feel are a MUST HAVE? Let me know your thoughts!

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin

Back with a Vengeance

Hello Everybody, I’m Back! I know that it has been awhile, but sometimes things just get pushed to the side. A lot has happened since my last post in January. I received a promotion at work, traveled to Chile for the first time, and aggressively gotten back into the swing of consistently working out.

My boyfriend, Thomas, finally moved to Atlanta full time. He’s had two bodybuilding competitions; one in Minnesota where he took 2nd place, and one in Florida where he took 1st place. We have taken a few trips, including those states, experienced a new city, and enjoyed vacation with family!

We both are falling in love with Atlanta, our new forever home, enjoying a bunch of new restaurants, meeting new people, and really starting to plan roots.

So what is to come? I plan on sharing more of our experiences together on here, while including you in on my tips and tricks to living this fit and healthy lifestyle while still channeling my inner Betty Crocker. So subscribe, follow, and take some notes!

Let me re-re-introduce myself, Christina B, The Modern Day Betty!

Organizing your life, but taking it one room at a time…

It seems like the biggest craze these days is getting organized and getting rid of the stuff we accumulate overtime. I have been working on doing this in my apartment because I am a little bit of a hoarder. OKAY, not that stuff everywhere, can’t walk in the place, could be housing extra critters than my two dogs, hoarder, but I get attached to certain things and think I’ll need them at some point in my life, a little cluttered, hoarder. (Affiliate Links ahead, please see my contact page to read my full disclaimer)

But I’m working on it! Having a boyfriend like Thomas, how loves clean lines and ZERO clutter, I have had to get outside my comfort zone and minimize slightly. And I do mean slightly, some people may look at my pictures and think I am still holding on to to much crap, but trust me, it is a process!

First room I started with was the bathroom, and that’s what I will show you today. I wish I had before photos, but like I said this has been a process over the last few months, and it slowly was more and more organized.

Bathroom Drawer

Here is my only drawer in my bathroom, I try to organize everything in a way that I can see everything, and each item has a place. My make up is separated into different categories/shapes, my lotion pots are in an area, and my smaller items are corralled into sections. I used two of these acrylic organizers in the bottom right corner to hold things such as hair ties, chapstick, make up sponges, and a few of these baskets in different sizes to hold makeup brushes, lotion pats, and items that are too long to stand straight up in the drawer. But I will say the key to keeping everything in their place is command strips! This is a must. When you open and close your drawer, the baskets move around and it doesn’t seem to organized anymore.

Since we don’t have the biggest bathroom, I try to make the items we do have look presentable and organized as well, especially when they don’t necessarily fit in a drawer or in the medicine cabinet. I keep all of Thomas an my perfumes/colognes on a decorative tray (this one matches the minimalist theme) and it makes it seem a little more put together than a bunch of bottles just sitting there. Next to our sink, I have an additional acrylic container, but this one has 6 compartments and can house little items such as flossers, q-tips, and bobby pins. I also have this soap/lotion combo because I love the smell and it looks nicer than just a bottle of soap sitting there.

Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet is not organized to the level of my drawer, but I tried to rearrange the shelves to make sure everything could fit easily, and I can grab the most important items without moving a lot of things. On the top level I have my cleaners, toners, and deodorant. On the second level I have smaller items such as face serums, face masks, toothpaste bits (if you are curious about them check out my blog post here on them – THEY ARE AMAZING) and on the bottom level I have smaller items including mouth pieces, floss, lip balm, and CDB creams/balms.

The last area, and probably the most unappealing to the eye, is the storage space under the sink. But I promise even in the chaos, everything has it’s place! On the left I have all our extra items (bars of soaps, extra deodorant, spare shampoo/conditioner) in a big plastic container on the bottom, and then I have other smaller plastic containers that house items by category. I have a mouth category which is extra toothbrushes, flossers, toothpaste, and floss. I have a medicine category. I have a nail polish category that holds all my polishes and tools to do my own manicure/pedicure and an extra category which holds my almond, jojoba, castor, and argan oils for when I want to make my own products. On the far right I have all of my hair products and a few other odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else, which is crazy to me I have so many because my hair is usually up in a pony tail or down slick straight. I used a sliding storage shelf like this one, and I fill it with products standing tall on the top, and then my hair irons and dryers are down at the bottom. I also have my grab and go items such as a big bottle of lotion right at front.

So ultimately you just have to start; put some music on and start with a room! If one room is overwhelming to you, start with one drawer and see where it takes you. Here’s to organizing your life!

It’s 2019, let’s get Snobby about Self Care! – Feature with Soap Snob

I was working at my former part time job when this lady walked in with a box of beautifully smelling soaps and I had to ask her about them. Turns out Monica Dickerson, who I now know as the Soap Snob, made the soap herself and was donating them to an event someone at the spa was hosting. As I am starting my journey of natural products and stepping up my bath and beauty regimens, I needed to know more! I told her I would love to sit down and chat with her and get to know her, Soap Snob, and her process of becoming an empowering entrepreneur. So we linked up to have coffee and from that day on, I was sold! I am a big fan of her, her products, and her process of building her business.

Meet Monica, The Soap Snob!

“It all started with an itch and an idea’ comes from her about me section on her website, www.soapsnob.com, and in a short statement explains her whole business. Monica is a scientist by trade who works for the Centers of Disease Control and prevention (CDC) and had skin conditions that many people battle on the daily, eczema and psoriasis. She tried many different ‘commercial’ soaps but even if they worked temporarily, a change in the season would deem them a waste of money. She decided to use her skills in research, her love for crafts, and add in her passion for science to create a formula that would not only help with her skin conditions, but in the end cure them.

Can you sufferers out there with eczema and psoriasis imagine a day without itching or scratching? 

She currently offers five different soaps including Cherry Almond, Lavender, Lemongrass, Deep Detox, and my favorite the O.M.G. which stands for Oatmeal Molasses and Goat Milk). She is expanding her offerings with Detox Masks, Toners, Scrubs, and Oils to add to her already amazing soap line. The best thing about her soaps are that they are safe to use from ‘face to toe’ as she says and does not contain harsh surfactants or sulfates that strip your body of the natural oils you need to stay vibrant.

Monica does so much more than soap though. She also has a passion for helping people. This past year for the start of winter, she gave out free bars of her signature O.M.G. soap to eczema sufferers to help them prepare and battle the cold and dry winter days. She is also a part of the Charge Up! Campaign which is a ‘nonprofit survivorship campaign that supports, educates, empowers, and celebrates men, women and youth who have fought against health, social, and economic concerns.’ You can read more about this campaign in their website www.chargeupcampaign.com. Soap Snob offers a three pack of their signature soaps for $30 and the proceeds of the sale goes directly to the Charge Up! Campaign. Purchase your three here and help out this campaign today.

So not only is Monica, the Soap Snob, beautiful inside and out, she works with her community to help eczema and psoriasis sufferers like herself, she has become a successful entrepreneur while still keeping a meaningful day job saving the Earth one day at a time, but she also has a passion on providing the best product she can.

Take a moment and check her out at www.soapsnob.com, Facebook or get at her in Instagram at @soapsnob and tell her the Modern Day Betty Sent you, you will not be let down!

How to Create Healthy Habits for 2019

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2019!

This year doesn’t have to be about ‘New Year New Me’, or a list of New Year’s Resolutions, this just needs to be the beginning of a year where you make yourself a priority and follow through with the expectations you lay out for yourself.

Time and time again people sit down and right down a list of resolutions or goals to A. Never look at that list past January 5th, or B. Work your butt off through January 31st and then just settle back into your old habits come February 1.

Choose this year to CHOOSE YOU!

This may sound obvious but a lot of people get lost in the resolutions to make a change that they think is needed instead in their life and get overwhelmed by the expectations of their resolutions instead of making small changes that will end up making a big impact longterm. For example: ditch the Instagram/Facebook/Twitter scrolling first thing in the morning when you wake up so you can wake up with a clear mind and focus on the day ahead, make it a point to drink a glass of water when you first get out of bed, stretch, and start your day off the right way, cut out meat one day a week and help with your overall heath and help out the environment a little. Small things you can easily do that will end up changing your life completely. 

Remember it takes 21-30 days to create a habit and the key is creating Habits not Restrictions. I saw that quote online, and unfortunately I can’t find who to credit for it. It is a great quote. You want to start making a habit of doing positive things in your life and limit the restrictions and use of negative reinforcement to make yourself accomplish your goals. Use this first month of 2019 to start building the foundation with your new habits that you then can build off of the make your life that much better.

Here is a free downloadable PDF to get you started on brainstorming your Healthy Habits for 2019. There are three different pages within the PDF. 

First Page is a layout that I like to use. It shows you four different areas where Healthy Habits can be utilized: Life, Health, Fitness, and Career. Some may say that health and fitness can be the same thing, but I am looking at it from an overall health standpoint; mental health, nutrition, stretching, water intake, affirmations to yourself. Fitness can be looked at as just that, getting in the gym 5 times a week, trying a new boxing class or yoga class once a month, getting a gym partner. On this page I have given you an area to write down your ‘Accountability Statement’ this is a place to hold yourself accountable and HOW you plan on doing that. Are you going to check up on your habits weekly, monthly, semi-annually? Are you going to reward yourself positively if you succeed with your habits come July 1st when half of the year is over? This is a great place to put your plan into action. A plan is less likely to come to fruition if you don’t have an actionable way to track it.

Second page is a blank page in the same format as the first. This let’s you focus on the four different areas you want to focus on and then room for your own accountability statement or other words of encouragement for your self. 

Third page is a blank page of the four different boxes just in case you want to have your plan within your habits. This gives you the room to really make it your own! 


Now get going, start planning out those healthy habits, and let’s have an amazing 2019!

Decorating a Christmas Tree like a Pro!

Growing up my mother always took pride in decorating a huge, 9 foot, artificial Christmas tree. I believe, if I remember correctly, that it started out with multiple colors, different assortments of ornaments and bulbs, but the majority of the years it was a a gold and white tree with twinkling white lights with a beautiful electric angel that sat on the top with lit candles that moved when you turned her on. I think the thought of having any other kind of tree, but Gold and White, would just not be the Christmas that I remember. 

My Momma’s Tree

The last few years I didn’t have a Christmas tree because to be honest, we just didn’t have the space to store it. Thomas and I lived in a couple different apartments before the one we are at now, and before now we never had ‘extra space’ in any of our closets to store a Christmas tree box or a bunch of decorations, so I was limited to a small tote that had a few ribbons and candle holders. But this year we have room! 

This year will be the hardest for me since I will be celebrating Christmas solo, well with our two French Bulldogs, but Thomas won’t be able to make it up to Georgia until New Years, so I needed to decorate just for me, you know to keep my spirits up! I told myself, ‘this year no matter what, you will put up a tree’ and did I ever! I am so proud of my beautiful tree, not only because I did it by myself, but it includes a collection of beautiful ornaments that were bought and some that were homemade from me. I’ll show you a quick one I made a couple years for the puppies’ first in a later post, it was simple and came out so good. 

Ok, so back to the tree! So the type and look of tree is completely up to you as well as if you want it pre-lit or not. I chose a Pre-Lit Windham Spruce 6 Foot tree from Michael’s because they were having a big sale after Thanksgiving and the size is perfect for our apartment. I ended up going with the pre-lit tree because my mom told me it is a better option, but I think if I did it all over again, I would have done a tree without the lights because on my tree the lights don’t go all the way up on one side and I wish that they twinkled, but in the end it looks great and doesn’t matter. 

Building a Color Scheme

Next, you have to start with deciding on a color scheme, for me I wanted Gold and White which can include clear, some silver, the more glitter the better, and different textures, but mostly all Gold and White. I decided to buy 4 different kinds of bulbs in two different sizes, some gold and white jingle bells, and some hanging gold snow flakes. I also wanted to personalize my tree with some homemade ornaments, as I mentioned earlier, so I have my ornaments I make for our puppies each year, some hand painted ornaments, and some  that I bought from the store. I specifically chose a Silver Wonder Woman to give my mom a place on our tree (she dressed up in a homemade Wonder Woman outfit for halloween when she was my age and it just stuck with her because she looked so amazing in it and she is of course Wonder Woman in so many people’s eyes) a turtle for a nod to Florida, a slice of cake that I actually received a few years back from my sister in law because of my true passion baking, a gold and silver king/queen crown for Thomas and I, two reindeer heads, and a few older ornaments I had in my tote. 

I then wanted to embellish the tree with different kind of ‘picks’ things that are on a stick that usually are used in wreaths, but can easily be used in trees to add drama and dimension. I decided on some golden stars, gold poinsettias, white and glitter dipped pine cones, and white glittery beads on sticks. These all came together very nicely to fill the tree up and make the tree full and eliminate empty space. 

The last thing to decide on is the tree topper, the ribbon, and the tree skirt. The tree topper was a cheap $5 glittery gold topper from Target, and although it looks great, I wish it was just a little bit bigger. Next year I may get one that lights up, or an angel that reminds me of my childhood. The ribbon I added to my tree, and truth be told you should probably put this on BEFORE adding ornaments, but I just didn’t have the right one I wanted at the beginning and I wasn’t going to settle, was in place of where someone would put tinsel. You could  use tinsel, or a string of popcorn/beads, or anything else that will add some extra decoration to your tree that brings your eyes around your tree and from top to bottom, I just really fell in love with this ribbon. Here I used a roll of gold and white, non wired, ribbon (I feel like the wires make it look messy after year two because it gets bent out of shape) and draped the ribbon around the tree ( and actually didn’t even cut it off the roll – the rest is sitting on a branch in the back waiting to be rolled up after New Years! ). I started from the top behind the tree topper and then draped it down the tree in circles at an angle. I personally like when it moves in an angle down and around the tree because your eyes keep moving to something different that way, but if you like horizontal circles, that works to! 

Tree Topper and Ribbon

The last and final thing I added to the tree was a tree skirt! Ok, I guess this is the first time paying for everything that went into this Christmas tree and boy was I shocked when I found out good tree skirts were anywhere from $30-$75! NO WAY! I tried going to JoAnn’s Fabrics to see about making my own, but even then the fabric I wanted was $40/yard. so I kept looking and fell upon a cheap $10 throw blanket at Kirkland’s which was the perfect size and color. Ta Da! I have a tree skirt. I actually just draped it around the base, but next year I will cut it into a circle shape and maybe fill it to make it more prominent at the base of my tree. 

Quick Recap:

  1. Pick a Tree – You can choose from Artificial or Real, Pre-lit or Without Lights, and if you are daring Green or Color
  2. Choose a Color Scheme – Good options are Gold and White, Red and Gold, Multi-Color, Teal and Silver, Silver and Gold, and Purple and Teal.
  3. Start with a base of different sizes bulbs in your color scheme
  4. Add accent ornaments, homemade ornaments, festive picks, and fillers
  5. Add a decorative ribbon or tinsel
  6. Top the tree with a great topper 
  7. Finish the tree with a tree skirt – or in my case a blanket draped to look like a skirt
  8. ENJOY!
My Beautiful Christmas Tree

So there you have it! A tree that could easily be on the page of a magazine, or top of your Pinterest board, or whatever. It is easy with a little thought, doesn’t have to be crazy expensive if you work with things you already have, watch the holiday sales, and do some shopping after Christmas is over. I hope your Christmas tree brings you as much joy as mine has brought me! Merry Christmas everyone! 

The EPIC battle of Guys vs Girls and this time Girls Prevailed!

Game Night

Game Night with our gym crew who has turned closer to family, always includes arguments over the rules, accusations of the women cheating, and hours of laughs and jokes. This past weekend wasn’t any different. I was able to visit Thomas in Florida these past two weeks for Thanksgiving and if I am in town, I want to make sure I get to see the gym fam! We hosted everyone at our friend, Laquan’s house, and I prepared my infamous Vegetarian Sheet Tray Nachos, you can check out the recipe here, along with a few other yummy goodies and a nice punch. I bought a few games, and we ended up having a great time! 

Top three games you need to have at every game night:

  1. Pictionary you may not think that this will be fun, but the inner artists of everyone comes out, and it get’s interesting! Well more like HILARIOUS! We had ‘honey bee’s with tails that looked like aardvarks, random numbers and a random hat shape that was sworn to be a taxi cab, and dinosaurs that were supposed to be kangaroos. *But note to self, get a notepad with blank paper to rip off and tape up on the wall (with masking tape) to draw on. The little boards in the Pictionary game you buy are way to small for a large group setting. 
  2. CharadesWe used the cards from the Pictionary game to make it easier than buying another game, but they were difficult and we had to write a key of the type of word we were trying to guess so it wasn’t impossible. Go with the charades game to get words that you can actually act out, it will make it a little more fun. But honestly, if you are ambitious to prep your own, make your own cards! Just write down a bunch of action words and put them in a bucket and have people draw. You can cater your words to your event, to a theme, or even a holiday. 
  3. Taboo OR Taboo After Dark (The adult version) –  Ok, now this was FUN! There is nothing more fun than seeing buff body builder men trying to have the other guys guess a perverted word without using the words on the card. The regular Taboo is a lot of fun, but the after dark version that we had bought, made it that much more interesting, to say the least! What made this game even better, we had the host of the house, Laquan, act as the game show host and manned the buzzer (for the words you aren’t allowed to say) and to keep time. But honestly, and the girls will attest, I think he was cheating to try to get the guys back in the game! 

You really get to see the levels of competitiveness of everyone when the game is on the line. Thomas and I are EXTREMEMLY competitive and we always battle on rules, cheating, and turns at game night, but truthfully we just love the game! It is all in good fun with everyone and I love the energy of everyone in the room. The best is when it is a difficult word and you hear people yelling different things, the guys walking closer and closer to make it easier to see what is going on, the girls yelling out time to make sure they don’t slip in an answer after the time has run out. We even had a time where Laquan was trying to get everyone to guess ‘Falling in Love’ by kneeling in front of me taking my hand and gazing into my eyes, the guys just couldn’t get it! So the ladies yelled time, I pushed him over and then the guys yelled out ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ we got it, give us our point! But of course it was already after time and they didn’t hear the lady yell time, and this went on for a good 5 minutes, we ended up giving them their petty point and moved on. Oh to be a guy!

Big thanks to everyone who came out, without all of you we wouldn’t have had an epic time! And guys remember, girls won fair and square – until next time y’all! 

Battle of the Sexes! Score Card Never Lies.

Girls Won by a Landslide!

Vegetarian Sheet Tray Nachos

Thomas and I had an impromptu game night at our house a few months back and needed a quick and easy appetizer that was not only easy to eat while playing games, but easy to make! I had the idea to make a vegetarian option and a meat option because Thomas and I try to limit our meat intake, and while nachos with ground beef or shredded chicken are great, nachos with black beans and veggies are amazing!

So let’s set the scene: we have Thomas’ sister who is vegetarian, a few of his buddies from the gym, their wives/girlfriends/friends who all eat meat and then Thomas and I, who like I said earlier are trying to eat less meat. When I say the shredded chicken nachos were BARELY TOUCHED, I mean it! The vegetarian nachos were the winner of the nacho off and trust me, no one missed the meat.

One of the best things about nachos, isn’t the actual chip and cheese part, it is the toppings! So before I tell you what I put on the actual chips I will let you in on my secret to perfect nachos. In small festive dishes, this pack comes in a set of 6 in green, red and yellow to get you in the Nachos mood, I put sour cream, guacamole, (spicy and mild) – Thomas is weak when it comes to spice, and me on the other hand loves it so we must have both, salsa (again spicy and mild), diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and black olives. The key to having one appetizer feed a large group of people is giving each person the ability to make it their own.

Now for what you have been waiting for, the nachos topping. I am sorry y’all, but it is actually crazy easy! First off, set your oven to 350 F. Now get out a large pan, and gather your ingredients. Depending on how many people you are having over, you can add to the amounts given, so don’t fret on the exact measurements and just trust your judgement. I used two cans of black beans, rinsed and drained, two cans of corn, defrosted, a packet of low-sodium taco seasoning, 1 a small can of rotel chopped green chiles, salt and pepper, a tsp cumin, a tsp of paprika, and a tsp of garlic powder. Throw everything into your pan and squeeze 2-3 limes into the mixture, depending on the juiciness and size of your limes (you can also add the zest of one of those limes to add even more citrus flavor). Add a 1/4 of a cup of water and cook on medium-high till the ingredients are combined and the taco seasoning is cooked into the black beans and corn. Meanwhile, slice up a drained can of black olives and set them aside.

Now take two large baking sheets and start lining up your chips. I use these baking sheets because they are HUGE, 15 in. x 21 in. to be exact, so make sure they fit your oven before ordering. I use these large sheet pans for everything from roasting a half of a salmon, to multi veggie roasting, to these nachos! Make sure you lay out the chips in a way that they aren’t overlapping each other a lot; it is best to get each chip covered in topping and cheese**. Now evenly distribute the black bean/corn mixture over the chips and sprinkle a heavy hand of shredded cheddar cheese over the that then sprinkle on some of the black olives. Now repeat! I say two layers is good for the most flavorful nachos, but you can do one, three, five… whatever your heart’s desire.

Put the trays in your preheated oven (about 350 degrees F) and set your timer for 15 minutes, but don’t necessarily set it and forget it. Depending on your cheese, it may melt faster OR like mine, get a little crispy on the edges, and you have to put foil on it to make sure it melts and doesn’t harden. But, normally with shredded cheddar, 350 degrees F for 15 minutes should be perfect. When cheese is melted all the way through the layers, and the flavors develop, take out your pans and serve them immediately with your prepared toppings. Now sit back and watch while your guests devour them, well after you get your plate of course!

VEGETARIAN NACHOS RECIPE



Ingredients:

2 bags Tortillas Chips

1.5 cans black beans, rinsed

1.5 cans corn

1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning

1-2 limes
1 can green chiles

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of garlic powder

salt & pepper

1/4 cup water

1 can, drained and sliced, black olives

2 11oz bags shredded cheese** (you can use cheddar, colby jack,
pepper jack, Mexican style, or any other cheese you like on
nachos.



Instructions:

Throw everything (except the chips, cheese, and black olives) into
your pan and squeeze 1-2 limes into the mixture, depending on the
juiciness and size of your limes (you can also add the zest of
one of those limes to add even more citrus flavor). Add a 1/4 of
a cup of water and cook on medium-high till the ingredients are
combined and the taco seasoning is cooked into the black beans and
corn. 
Meanwhile, slice up a drained can of black olives and set
them aside. 



Now take two large baking sheets and start lining up your chips.
Make sure you lay out the chips in a way that they aren't
overlapping each other a lot; it is best to get each chip
covered in topping and cheese**.
Now evenly distribute the black bean/corn mixture over the chips
and sprinkle a heavy hand of shredded cheddar cheese over the that
then sprinkle on some of the black olives.
Now repeat! I say two layers is good for the most flavorful
nachos, but you can do one, three, five... whatever your heart's
desire.

Put the trays in your preheated oven (about 350 degrees F) and set
your timer for 15 minutes, but don't necessarily set it and forget
it. Depending on your cheese, it may melt faster OR like mine, get
a little crispy on the edges, and you have to put foil on it to
make sure it melts and doesn't harden. But, normally with shredded
cheddar, 350 degrees F for 15 minutes should be perfect. When
cheese is melted all the way through the layers, and the flavors
develop, take out your pans and serve them immediately with your
prepared toppings.

**Now these can EASILY be made into vegan nachos! I used a Mexican style shredded cheese because we have multiple people eating these, but if it were just Thomas and I, I would use the melt-able vegan mozzarella cheese.

The Perfect Finger Foods for Game Night

When we can, we like to get our friends together to do a game night, and when you have a bunch of competitors, their girlfriends, wives, and friends together we need food! (bodybuilders stay hungry!) Here is my, not so healthy – but delicious, top five perfect finger foods. 

  1. Sheet Tray Nachos – we like to do them vegetarian with black beans, corn, green chiles  and all the fixings on the side. Check out the recipe HERE
  2. Veggie Platter – to save you time and effort, go to your local grocery store and grab an already made tray with carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and a ranch dip OR make your own. You may end up saving some money, but it will just be a little more effort. Choose 3-5 different veggies, you could add a sliced cheese, a cracker, and then a really delicious dip. If I am making it homemade I like to adda packet of powdered ranch dressing to a container of low-fat sour cream, just stir and serve. Easy Peesy and Delicious!
  3. Roasted Nuts – you can choose between a mixture like pecans, almonds and cashews, or a bowl of seasoned almonds, or honey roasted pecans. 
  4. Seasoned Popcorn – This is also an easy app to make and people love popcorn. You can grab a few bags of Vics ready to eat popcorn, or my favorite BoomChickaPop popcorn that is sweet and salty. But if you eat a lot of popcorn, like myself, the best thing is to get is an air popper! You put in popping corn, and let the hot air pop your corn! Then you can add different popcorn seasonings, or my favorite melted butter and hot sauce, and serve. It doesn’t use oil or butter to cook, so it can be a very healthy treat if you limit your portion.
  5. Something sweet! Let’s be honest, everyone loves to have something sweet to nibble on at any event. I like to make cookies, stay tuned for my upcoming recipe of my infamous and CRAZY EASY funfetti cake mix cookies. But you can also grab a few festive cookies at the grocery store, or cheesecake bars, or even make up a thing of puppy chow! I introduced this to Thomas this past year, and he loved it. 

Game night is fun, so don’t stress yourself with creating a huge buffet of food. Remember, you want things to be easy to eat while playing games, you can always loop people in to bring things so you don’t have to buy everything, and get a good mix of bought and prepped items so that you can enjoy the game night as much as your guests. 

Enjoy!