Christmas is a comin'!

Hello blogger world!  I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones!  Thanksgiving was really special to me this year because I was able to be with my parents, sisters, brother in laws, and neices and nephews. It is rare to be able to have EVERYONE there for holidays. So, we did something extra special this year and hired a photographer to take family photos for my parents as an early Christmas present... also to get christmas card pictures!  I told Jesse that I wanted to do a card every year with a photo of our family since the year we got married.  I'm excited that this year we have an addition to our picture thanks to Mags, our growing lab pup! I think it will be neat to have a collection of cards over the years to see how our family grows.  :)  I have been looking at christmas cards online and my favorite ones that I have found have been at Shutterfly.  Here is the link to all of their holiday cards.  I just think they are adorable! I love all of their options.  And as a plus, they are doing a promotion for bloggers- check it out! http://blog.shutterfly.com/5358/holiday2010-blog-submission-form/

They have Christmas photo cards:  http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards
Some favorites:



Personalized holiday thank you cards:  http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/thank-you-cards
Some favorites:
And calendars, too!  http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars (which make great gifts!)

I'm really excited to see the pictures from the photographer... should be getting them back hopefully tomorrow!  Once I pick out the perfect picture, I will be picking out the perfect christmas card from www.shutterfly.com!

As for now, I am sipping on hot apple cider and watching Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on CBS.  I love the holidays!  




So, my work travels today took me to Tupelo where I got to meet up with some dear friends for lunch.  Casey and Laura Zumwalt have been friends of ours for quite some time now, and we love them dearly!  We had lunch at a great place in downtown Tupelo, Cafe 212.  I had the chicken salad BLT and it was devine.  Even better than the food was the company.  Casey and Laura are two of the most creative people I know.  They do photography for weddings/senior portraits, etc, graphic design, and Laura is an amazing cook.  They always amaze me with the new things they have going on.  I got to go upstairs (above Cafe 212) to their studio where they do photography consultations as well as their photo edits.  Way cool.  If you are in the market for a wedding photography, I highly recommend these two.  They shot our engagement photos.  Check out their website: http://lovelyunion.com.

This picture is from my first 5k that I ever ran.  Laura was the reason I ran my first race!

Here's Casey and I the beginning of my sophomore year of college.

I hope they are ok with me posting this, but I'll leave you with one of my favorite engagement photos taken in front of the courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama.


Terrific Turkey Chili

So recently in the food world at the English household, we have been cookin' up some "good eats" as Alton Brown would say.  Recently on the menu: chicken florentine, poppyseed chicken, whole wheat baked ziti, lentil stew with deer sausage, and tonight, "terrific turkey chili."  The name for tonight's dish doesn't do it justice... just sounds silly for such a fresh, full flavored dish!  We tried to think of a better name, but never came up with anything.  Recently, I have been so impressed by the recipes I have been getting off of allrecipes.com.  Some of my favorite new dishes have come from this website. Amazing! I also love the reviews.  Anyways, back to tonight's dinner.... when I first saw this recipe and read zucchini, I was like, zucchini???......in chili???... Hmm, lets give it a try.  Oh my goodness was it good.  Jesse loved the fresh veggies in this chili.  The only change was that we added corn.  Black beans would be a nice touch too, but didn't have those this time.  This chili is far from your average ground beef, tomatoes, beans, and chili seasoning... takes a little bit more time, but ooohh the flavor!  I also made Beagle Bagel chicken salad tonight for lunches this week... yum.  Have I ever shared that recipe? I'll save that for another post.  On the menu next week: tomato basil soup with grilled cheese. Anyone want to join??  

Speaking of all of this eating, yes, I have still been training for the half-marathon.  Did 6 miles last night, which I as so proud of (farthest I have ever run), however, still a long way to go to 13.1!  December 4th is fast approaching, so trying to stay on schedule- 8 miles on Thursday. eek.

I'll leave you with the recipe from tonight, compliments of allrecipes.com.  Hope you enjoy!

Terrific Turkey Chili



  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (7 ounce) can salsa
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
  2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
  3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
  5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.