Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Dinners

A food pictorial of our many Christmas Dinner Celebrations.  Since I spent a good portion of my Christmas Vacation shoveling food in to my mouth, I figured why not devote a blog post to the most delicious meals of the vacation.

Christmas Eve-Eve was spent at Ruth's Chris.

I dined on butternut squash soup (with fresh lump crab meat, so good!) and my favorite: ahi tuna salad. And of course, enjoyed the company of my family.

 Mom and Jonathan

Me and Dad

Christmas Eve was spent at church, then we came home and made pizzas!

Mine is an individual on Trader Joe's whole wheat crust and fresh sauce, brick cheese, fresh Kielbasa, and green olives. So delicious!!

Christmas Dinner was a British Feast that came from Tyler Florence and the Neely's! Prime rib with horseradish rub, yorkshire pudding, and scalloped potatoes.

 Prime Rib: Before

 Prime Rib: After

 Yorkshire Pudding

 Scalloped Potatoes

Casual Christmas Table this year - not in the dining room, but not in front of the TV :-p 

This meal qualifies as 'comfort food' but not healthy! So worth it though. Everything I have eaten this vacation has been delicious, and the treats are not yet over! Party tonight at the neighbor's house, then off to the Outer Banks tomorrow to enjoy New Year's Eve at the beach (and a yummy dinner out). While I am enjoying this period of over-indulgence, my pants certainly are not - and I am ready to get back to my usual routine on January 3rd when I get back to work (and tracking my meals and working out!). 

A Friendly Reunion

One sunny and warm afternoon in NC, four friends got together for a lovely meal. They dined at Baby Moon Cafe on delicious food, and enjoyed each other's company, conversation, and the weather. We all hadn't been together since Casey's wedding in June! It was a wonderful reunion. 

It was truly a miracle that all four of us got together a few days before Christmas. Also, the weather was just gorgeous! It was in the mid-sixties, but felt warmer than that with the beautiful sunshine. 

 Casey and Meredith studying the menu - so many good choices!

I settled on the Portabello Pesto Sandwich with a side salad and ranch. Yum! 

Casey and Meredith! 

Me and John!

We need to have more of these reunions now that I am living back in NC! This was definitely one of the highlights of my Christmas Vacation. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

2011 has been a busy year for me. I moved to Charlotte, I started a new job, completed grad school, and recommitted to my weight loss efforts.

I am looking forward to what 2012 has to offer. Hopefully bringing some exciting changes at work, traveling and visiting friends and family, and continuing my weight loss journey. No more moving, and no more school! Thank goodness!!

Here are some of my new year's resolutions, and I am hoping that committing to these in writing and to the blog community will help me stick to them!

Weight Loss
  • Get down to my goal weight by the end of April - after the holidays, I am sure I have at least 15 lbs to lose now. Darn Christmas cookies.  
  • For the month of January: only eat out for lunch once per week and dinner twice per week. 
  • Oh, and stay away from alcohol as possible. Exception for January: MLK Weekend in DC. 
  • Cook more fresh and healthy foods! Invest in produce every week and get better at meal planning.
  • Clean out my freezer by supplementing fresh foods with meals I have in my freezer. 

  • Train for and run at least one half marathon (hopefully 2: one in July, and one in December)
  • Take a Pilates class at the gym
  • Learn how to strength train at the gym and at home to supplement my running efforts
  • Instead of going out to lunch, go to the gym!
  • Run at least 3 times per week (once on the weekends!)
  • Create a monthly workout schedule for January and stick to it! Continue this in to Feb, March, and April. 

  • Become an expert in sourcing marketing and communications spend at work
  • Take more training classes to complement my professional development

  • Start a food-related blog project once I reach my goal weight
  • Make something at least once a month off of Pinterest to feature on my blog

Once I make it to my goal weight, I plan to revisit these resolutions and check on my progress. Hopefully you will be seeing these again in April, just in time for bathing suit season to begin in NC.

I will be ringing in the new year at the beach! My favorite place in the whole world to be. 

Here's to hoping 2012 is an exciting year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Three Bean Turkey Chili

In the great canned goods shopping spree of October 2011, I picked up quite a few types of beans and other goodies that would work really well in chili.

I have been craving chili with the cold weather on its way. So, I grabbed some ground turkey and chicken sausage at SuperTarget on Friday and decided to throw some together. I am going to do my best to recreate it, but I did not measure any of my seasonings. For those of you who know me, if I am making up a recipe... I season by smell and taste - and I did not really measure anything. But, here we go...

Katie's Three Bean Turkey Chili
Serves appx. 8 - 1.5 c. servings

1 onion, diced
Few cloves of garlic, minced
20 oz 99% fat free ground turkey
Package of chicken sausages (5 links), out of casings (optional)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
Seasonings I used: medium chili powder, worcestershire sauce, oregano, cumin, paprika,, brown sugar, garlic salt, onion powder

Heat up a large pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and garlic. Saute until onions have softened.

Add ground turkey and chicken sausages, breaking up and cooking until all meat is cooked through.

Add in beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Stir until mixed. Add tomato paste. Stir until mixed through. Chili will not be very 'saucy' but more 'meaty' and thick.

This is where I started tasting and smelling, and seasoning. I started with the chili powder (probably 1 - 1.5 tbsps), cumin (few dashes), paprika (dash), and onion powder (few dashes). It needed a little sweetness to bring out the tomato flavor.. so I added in probably 1/4 c. of Splenda brown sugar. I love oregano, and it smelled like it could use some. So I added a few dashes of that. Next came the worcestershire sauce. I added probably 1 tbsp of this in to the mix and topped it off with some garlic salt (or regular salt would work just fine).

I let the mix simmer on the stove for about 30 - 45 minutes, to let all of the flavors marry together. This turned out so delicious! I sprinkled with some sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. For a meal, I serve this over about 1/2 c. of brown rice. For a snack, it is perfect served with some multigrain Tostito's.

Let me know if you have any favorite chili recipes! Next on the agenda, the white bean turkey pumpkin chili. Winter is good for one thing and one thing only: soups, chilis, and stews.

Nutrition facts: 280 calories, 28 g carbs, 5 g fat, 33 g protein, 8 g fiber, 783 g sodium

*without the sausages (and those were totally not necessary), this would have been basically a fat free chili*

Hungry Girl's El Ginormo Oven Baked Omelette

I have been in a breakfast rut! It's either an everything bagel thin with cream cheese or a light english muffin with sunflower butter and jelly. Someday's I splurge and get a Subway Egg White English Muffin or a Dunkin' Donuts coffee and the Veggie Flatbread.

Oatmeal is many people's go-to breakfast. Oatmeal does not satisfy me at all. When I finish it, I am just ready for more food. I am an egg gal when it comes to breakfast. This morning, I even cooked in some egg beater to my oatmeal to try and give it more protein, and was again reminded why I do not eat oatmeal. Blah. It is really difficult to get up in the morning and make breakfast though (hence the english muffin or bagel thin or take out breakfast). I also get to work around 7, and am not usually ready for breakfast until around 9 AM. So I need something that I can take to work and re-heat, or run out and pick up mid-morning.

This is where Hungry Girl comes in to the picture! She has an oven baked omelette recipe that was featured on her 'ginormous food' episode. Ginormous food?! Sign me up.

This is a HUGE oven-baked, Mexican-style, egg recipe that serves 4.


2 1/2 cups fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
Optional toppings: salsa, fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a deep 8" X 10" baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with nonstick spray, making sure to coat the sides as well as the bottom.

In a large bowl, combine egg substitute, milk, cumin, and taco seasoning. Whisk thoroughly.

Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and stir well. Carefully transfer egg mixture to the baking pan.

Evenly add black beans, corn, and green chiles to the pan. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in the oven until the top has puffed and the center is firm, about 1 hour.

Allow to cool slightly. Cut into four slices. If you like, finish off with the optional toppings!

Nutrition facts: 188 calories, 3g fat, 590mg sodium, 17g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 22g protein

This carried to work and reheated really well. I packed salsa and sour cream to top my breakfast with - and I still have 3 more breakfast's for the rest of the week. How easy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The week ahead

I have been a complete lazy bum this weekend. Stephany was here (we had a great time!), and left on Saturday morning. Other than that, I have basically been on the couch the entire weekend, watching bad TV. I did manage to clean the kitchen, vacuum, and do laundry. Small accomplishments, right?

I am totally not looking forward to this week. Work has been incredibly slow. Which just makes the day drag on, and on, and on. I think I am just ready to be home for Christmas vacation. Where I will recite the beginning of the below scene at least 17 times.

Due to my extreme laziness this weekend, and lack of all motivation... I am planning out my meals (through Friday) and my workouts (through next Sunday) to try and make a commitment to not be totally lazy this week. Yes, Tuesday through Thursday's meals are all the same. Don't judge. You haven't tried the chili yet. Recipes to come!

I am trying to minimize eating out this upcoming week. Last week, I ate out a lot and really need to cut back until Christmas. To try and save a little money, and to try and save some calories/sodium content.

  • Monday - 30 minutes on elliptical at gym, pilates DVD at home
  • Tuesday - 2.5 mile run
  • Wednesday - 3.5 mile run
  • Thursday - 30 minutes on elliptical at gym, pilates DVD at home
  • Friday - 60 minute run
  • Saturday - mall walking?
  • Sunday - 3 mile run

Tuesday - Thursday
  • Breakfast - Subway egg white english muffin with veggies and southwest sauce
  • Lunch - Half veggie panini, pasta e fagoli soup
  • Dinner - TBD... black bean burger? 

Hopefully I can stick to my plan and have some good success this week with weight loss!! What is on your agenda for this week? Any goals you want to accomplish?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Weight Non-Watcher - Update

Almost exactly one month ago, I announced to the (blog) world that I was no longer going to be a slave to the scale. Today, I cancelled my Weight Watchers (WW) online subscription. Here's an update to that post...

For those of you that don't know, Weight Watchers has totally revamped their Points Plus program. If I kept on it, would I have had more luck and gotten off of my plateau? Maybe. Maybe not. While Weight Watchers has been good to me, I wasn't in love with my leader in North Carolina and just felt non-committed.

I found something free that works better for me. It is a tool called My Fitness Pal (MFP), which I started using about a month ago, when I decided WW just wasn't for me anymore.

The Transition:

In my process of weaning myself off of tracking, I decided to dual track in both systems for about a week. According to My Fitness Pal, I should be eating around 1200 calories per day to lose weight + working out if I want to lose faster. WW had me eating around 1500 calories per day on the Points Plus program. Not surprising that I lost so easily in the beginning, but now that I am down to the last 10-ish lbs, it was almost impossible to lose.

My Fitness Pal counts calories... along with many other nutrition facts that you may want to track! Here is a screenshot of yesterday's totals, which was a very typical day of eating for me - aside from the sodium, this number was not correct (my Brixx pizza did not have sodium accounted for in the database.)

After quickly realizing WW had me eating far too much food, I quickly made the switch over to 100% tracking in MFP. While counting calories may not work for everyone (if this is a 'trigger' for you, please don't try it!), this plan is working for me.

Since joining the program, I have lost 2.6 lbs (this includes my Vegas trip + Thanksgiving, pizza + beer consumed on multiple occasions while hosting visitors, and dining out more often than I should). This proves to me that My Fitness Pal is a live-able plan. I would travel, gain weight, and not be able to lose it again on Weight Watchers. With My Fitness Pal, if I gain a pound or two, I need to stay on track for a week, drink lots of water, and it will have disappeared once again. With the holidays rolling around, I am just trying to maintain my weight. I don't think it is realistic to expect to lose, but I am going to try as much as I can not to over-indulge.

The tool:

Not saying that weight loss is easy by any means. It will always be a struggle for me... however, MFP is making the process a lot easier. Their food database is HUGE because it is maintained by people like you and me - almost everything I have ever searched for has been in there -and remarkable accurate (except for my own, made-up recipes of course). They have a recipe builder. And with the smart phone, they have an app that includes a barcode scanner. While I don't eat a lot of processed foods (I have realized...) the barcode scanner is really awesome. I got sushi at Trader Joe's for lunch one day, scanned it, it was in the database, and I had it tracked for lunch before I even made it through the checkout line.

The scale:

The last topic I want to address is the scale. A month ago, I was weighing myself way too much. Multiple times per day. Not healthy. I had to cut back - I restricted myself to weighing only on Friday's (my old WW weigh in day) and put the scale in the closet the rest of the week.

This is my scale. This is not my weight nor will it ever be.

I am telling you, that first week was so hard! I had constant urges to go and pull the scale out. In the morning after my usual 'wake up routine,' I was having severe urges to weigh myself! I have now broken myself of the habit, and feel like I have a healthy relationship with the scale again. My official weigh in day is on Friday's... I sometimes have a post-weekend 'reality check,' and really only weigh myself a few times a week. I bumped my weigh in day to this morning for this week - our work Christmas party is tonight and I didn't want to have weigh in on the back of my mind the whole time... and then I put my scale in the closet. Maybe I'll bring it out again Monday or Tuesday.

The community:

I am glad to have My Fitness Pal... as... well, my fitness pal during the holidays and after! The website has a lot of great people on it and is very similar to Facebook from a feed standpoint. You can see what exercise your friends have done, if they have logged their food, their weight loss progress, and (my favorite) if they have or have not logged in for a few days! You have the ability to comment on these posts as well! It is a very supportive community, I have found. And I have gotten some friends and co-workers hooked and they have had great success so far!

If you would like to be friends on MFP, my name is kev114. It is always nice to have more accountability partners!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Randoms

So, now that I am done with grad school (that is official on December 16th), I have all of this 'free' time on my hands. I really don't feel like I have much free time at all! How in the world did I ever fit in school? Or maybe I have been subconsciously trying to fill my time so I don't feel bored...

Work has been pretty slow - it usually is around the holiday season. So that part of my day has been dragging on and on. After work, I have been filling my time with exercising, socializing, and (gasp!) I went on a date last night. While I won't get in to the details on here, first dates are always awkward, but it did give me the confidence that I can go on more (if necessary..) We'll see how this one turns out.

Back up to this weekend, two of my dear friends Camille and Michael came to visit me! They both arrived on Saturday and it immediately felt like college all over again. We used to have so much fun together - eating pizza, drinking beer, playing cards... so we repeated all of that this weekend!

Saturday night's sunset was gorgeous. We took advantage of my porch!

Dinner was equally as amazing. I had the 'fish and grits' - so good.

We had tons of fun, and I was so sad to see them go. Luckily, there will be more visits! Camille and I live closer than we ever have since college, yay! And Michael and I have a lot more exploring to do together in Charlotte!

My friend and co-worker Courtney came in to town on Monday for some meetings, so we took advantage of the situation.

We went to dinner at Eez (yum, sushi!) and then got TCBY and spontaneously decided to go to the movies. Neither of us had been in a long time! We saw J. Edgar without knowing much about the movie at all, other than he started the FBI. It was a very interesting historical movie that took us through 50 years of history. It was very interesting! I recommend Redbox-ing it when it comes out, because I don't think it will be in the theaters much longer.

Only two more days in the work week! Tomorrow night is our work Christmas party, and Stephany will be here this weekend so we can have a repeat of her last visit.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas

Saturday was our last day in Las Vegas. My family got up extra early for their direct flight back home. My flight wasn't for two more hours, but I got up too and wandered up and down the strip to pass the time.

That hotel room was lonely by myself! I headed down to the Palazzo for coffee, and then Subway for breakfast. It is one of my favorite things. Wandering around took about an hour... then I proceeded to start heading towards the airport, which I thought was going to be super packed. The security line moved really fast, and I was able to make a direct sprint toward the Terminal D food court my gate.

LAS airport has free wi-fi which was kind of nice since the rest of Las Vegas is pretty much free-wi-fi-less. I read some on my Kindle (so much free time, so much reading to do!) and did make it to that food court for Auntie Annie's pretzel sticks and Pizza Hut - it was my last day of 'free' eating so I was going to make the most of it!!!

The flight to Memphis sucked, aside from seeing the Grand Canyon from the plane window. I was sleeping most of the time, but when I was not sleeping, we went through some pretty bad turbulence. I am usually a good flier, but I was a bit uncomfortable on this flight.

The Memphis airport was eerily quiet, and I had one thing on my mind. And that was Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ. I really love Eastern NC BBQ, but this stuff really took the cake. You know the BBQ is good when the platter is served with two slices of Wonder bread. Oh yeah.

I got the chopped pork with coleslaw and baked beans as my side. The baked beans had chopped pork all up in the sauce, and the side of bread was served with a side of spicy dip, that I proceeded to pour all over my BBQ and beans. I have been really in to spicy lately.

I will now be scheduling all of my flights on Delta to have at least a 1 hour layover in Memphis, so I can get this BBQ platter again. I could only eat half of it at the airport, but I surely dragged it back with me to Charlotte and reheated it after I got home and unpacked. It was just as good, and may have somehow gotten better on the ~600 mile journey home.

While I miss the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, I am lucky to have a nice view of Uptown Charlotte from my balcony (ok, the Duke Energy building and the Panthers' Stadium, but still). Withdrawal was less painful.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap of our family vacation! We had a great time, and it was fun writing down everything that we did. You can check out the rest of my pictures here.

In case you missed parts I - V:
Viva Las Vegas Part I
Viva Las Vegas Part II
Viva Las Vegas Part III
Viva Las Vegas Part IV
Viva Las Vegas Part V

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Viva Las Vegas - Part V

Friday: Last full day in Las Vegas and we needed to make the most of it!!

First things first - back to the Imperial Palace for breakfast at the Hash House A-Go-Go. It was amazing but a legitimately ridiculous amount of food... I think they should put one in Charlotte!

I got the smoked salmon, brie, tomato, and pesto scramble. It came with a side of fruit (ha, why bother), a biscuit, and some mashed potatoes. I made a pretty good dent in this plate, but felt so full that I blacked out. I think my parents may have rolled me back to The Flamingo for a nap.

Please note: I did not black out from being so full, I blacked out from the 14 bloody mary's and 3 Long Island iced tea's I had with brunch.

Second note: just kidding. I did not black out nor was there room for ANY alcohol on Friday. I think I was full the entire day... yet I just kept eating... Funny how that goes.

Of course, I wanted to wander around Las Vegas some more and see the hotels that we hadn't seen yet. One on my list was the Aria - a little bit off the strip but the hotel looks so cool from the outside. So. Many. Hotel. Rooms. We stumbled across this chocolate/french pastry shop in the Aria. They had the most beautiful display of chocolates - each one was $2. Way too expensive and way too pretty to actually eat...

I got dressed in my Las Vegas sparkly finest for the last time this year ;-) and we went out exploring again! Jonathan and I really wanted to see the Wynn and the Encore.  These were two of the most elegant hotels I have ever been in! Absolutely beautiful. There were these two gorgeous Asian girls in very expensive clothing taking pictures in the lobby - in my mind, I decided they were princesses! I saw real princesses! Hehe.

While at the Encore, I got some sushi to-go at Wazuzu - Hungry Girl recommended it as the best sushi she has ever eaten. While I don't take all of her recommendations so seriously because she likes processed foods far more than I do, I couldn't let this opportunity slip by without trying some of their sushi. I got my usual order of a yellowtail scallion roll. This was probably the best sushi I have ever had - it was all about the rice! So so good. No pictures, it was all mangled in the to-go box by the time my mom found me a good spot on the strip to chow down.

I ate the sushi while watching the Treasure Island Pirate show (again.) While no one seemed to like it the first time around (except for me!), everyone seemed to enjoy it this time. Probably because we were all sitting down on the other side of the street, and not in the middle of the crowd. Then we watched the Volcanoes at The Mirage from across the street at the Venetian! A great spot to catch the show - it was not as awesome as the Pirates or the Fountains at the Bellagio.

We closed out the night with watching 2 of the fountain shows at the Bellagio! The more I watched them, the more I enjoyed them. See below for a video of 'Santa Baby' that I took! Sorry that this it is sideways - I am not sure if I can even flip videos I take with my phone? Had I known, I would have taken it the 'right' way. Any tips on this would be greatly appreciated!!

At this point, I was exhausted and it was time for bed! I wish I would have been more well-rested (or highly caffeinated) the entire time I was in Las Vegas.... but there's always next time!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leek and Potato Soup

While reading some blogs today, I was inspired to make some Leek and Potato soup! It has been a while since I blogged a new recipe. I wasn't sure how this one was going to turn out, but I took some pictures anyway. Lucky for all of us, it is a winner!! Low in calories and very filling. Try this for dinner tomorrow night.

Leek and Potato Soup


1/2 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, diced
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts chopped and rinsed
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 c. low sodium chicken broth
1 c. skim milk
Season to your taste: I used salt, pepper, celery salt, 
cayenne pepper, and some Zehnders all purpose seasoning

In a large soup pot, take onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add diced and rinsed leeks and saute for another 5 minutes. Once all of these veggies are soft, add in the potatoes and broth. Make sure that there is enough broth in the pot to cover all of the vegetables. 3 cups should do it!

Add any additional seasonings that you desire. Bring the pot to a boil and cook until the potatoes are done - 15-ish minutes? I forgot to time it...

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and blend with the immersion blender right in the pot! Or transfer to a blender or food processor and blend it up that way. I left some 'texture' in the soup by not blending all the way. 

This recipe makes 5 hearty portions (about 2 cups each) and is a really good fall/winter comfort food recipe. Enjoy!!

Serves 5
Calories - 123, Carbs - 26, Fat - 0, Protein - 5, Fiber - 2, Sodium - 380 

Viva Las Vegas - Part IV

November 24th, 2011. Thanksgiving Day. My 24th birthday. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Based on how much I like eating, this should not come as a surprise to you. However, when Thanksgiving falls on my birthday, birthday wins. This was the least Thanksgiving-y Thanksgiving that we have had as a family. But hey, it was pretty great. Ate lots of good food, took at least one good nap, drank plenty of good drinks, and saw one good show. That is the brief summary - here are a few more details...

I woke up and promptly immediately put on the 'It's my birthday' necklace. You know, in case my family forgot.

Then I got dressed in my sparkly birthday dress and we went exploring (to the Mirage, in case anyone was wondering). 


By this time we were all hungry, and the birthday girl was getting cranky. So we stopped at the first breakfast place we could find. This place was an NY deli sort of place - I had pierogi's for breakfast. It was a toss up between that and the stuffed cabbage. A polish girl's dream!! 

Then Dad wanted to watch the Lions game (they lost) and I proceeded to take a nap in the middle of the Mirage sports book bar area. Ehh. Whatever. It's my birthday and I do what I want!! Then I woke up and ordered a dirty martini.

Phew, time flies when you are in Las Vegas! By this time, we decided to head over towards the Venetian where we had Thanksgiving dinner reservations.

I wanted to go into the (tacky but awesome) Imperial Palace to purchase tickets for Divas Las Vegas. This is a drag show/concert starring Frank Marino (as featured on Millionaire Matchmaker). I had to drag (pun-intended) Mom to go with me... Oh look, I got Divas tickets AND a frozen drink at Imperial Palace!

We finally made our way to the Venetian and wandered around the Canal shoppes for a while before going to dinner.

The Thanksgiving dinner looked really good, and that is why we chose Canaletto for dinner; however, the regular menu looked particularly good. I ended up ordering off the Thanksgiving menu anyway. I am not a big turkey lover, so I was fine with skipping it on Thanksgiving.

Bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar - so good

 My Thanksgiving dinner - butternut squash ravioli with walnuts and fried sage. I had taken a bite and realized I needed to take a picture! Oops.

Me and mom with my birthday dessert

Oh yeah! We watched the pirate show at Treasure Isle. I liked that one!!! Now it was time to wander back to the hotel to get ready for Divas! Look how excited she is to go.

Too bad. Deal. With. It. We went over to yet another completely classy trashy Las Vegas casino. I really just like the trashy bars... I can't help it. It's who I am. O'Shea's was maybe my favorite casino. It even has a Burger King. Oh yeah, it had been like a full 4 hours since I last ate. Gimme that Whopper Junior!

Time for the show! Please note: no mothers were harmed during the dragging to the drag show. Turns out, she loved it!!!! You can see pictures of the entire show and all of my other Las Vegas pictures here. My favorite drag queen was Britney Spears! And Frank. He's so nice.

Because I hadn't eaten enough burgers that day, after we got back to the Flamingo and I played birthday slots (I think I won like 2 dollars)... we went to Johnny Rockets and I got a mushroom and onion with cheddar cheese burger. It was really good. I went to bed full and happy! Birthday successful.
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