Pumpkin Granola + 2 Shotgun Halloween-Party Recipes

Pumpkin Granola + 2 Shotgun Halloween-Party Recipes

Almost every year since we've been together, Steve and I have hosted a Halloween party at our house.

I love hostessing Halloween parties because it's so fun to decorate for, dress up for - and, of course - make TREATS for!  It's also one of those really social holidays that, like the fourth of July or Labor Day, you want to invite friends, neighbors, coworkers, and all.  A perfect occasion for a big shindig!

I'm especially excited because I am now done preparing for my bikini competition, and this means two awesome things:  1. I can eat/drink the party-fare.  2.  I'll look better in my costume than I would have if I hadn't done the competition.  Heck yeah!  Party weekend, I am ready for you!

 

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Europa Expo: First Bikini Competition Down!

Europa Expo: First Bikini Competition Down!

"Who wants butt glue?!"

I never thought I'd hear that phrase, let alone be excited to hear it.

My hand immediately shot into the air as I rushed forward to get my bikini bottoms stuck securely to my ridiculously-dark spray-tanned butt.  One does not want to step out on stage with a wedgie.

This past weekend was my first time participating in a fitness show and getting excited about butt glue was just one of all kinds of new things that have happened to me.

If you've been following me throughout the last 16 weeks, you've been privy to my rollercoaster ride of bikini-contest preparation in which I played personal trainer, nutritionist, and boot camp instructor to myself.  

 

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One Day Out (+ all you got was this novel)

One Day Out (+ all you got was this novel)

People keep asking me if I'm nervous.

I halfway want to respond that I only think about being nervous when they ask me if I'm nervous.

The truth is, I'm trying to focus on being as prepared as I can be so I don't have to feel any kind of nervous.  I've been spending most of my extra time - and then some - figuring out what I plan to eat these last couple days and on the day of the competition.  I've also been spending about 2-3 hours in the gym each day doing similar, though slightly less intense, workouts to what I have been (yes, that includes the 3+ classes I'm teaching per week!)

 

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Blackened Mahi Mahi Chopped Salad + Pre-Contest Musings

Blackened Mahi Mahi Chopped Salad + Pre-Contest Musings

So little time, so much to do.

Thus is the feeling come PEAK WEEK of my bikini preparation!

With my big weekend approaching faster than a HIIT workout on 5 cups of coffee, I am reminded of all the things I had hoped to share with you along the way and all the things I have yet to do.

The latter is, fortunately, the shorter list.  Still, finding time to check everything off the myriad needs of a bikini competitior for show day has been challenging.  

Manicure, pedicure, photo shoot, assembling day-of items, packing my day-of bag, spray tan (not to mention tan preparation - yeah, it's a thing), posing practice, final workouts, figuring out the last week diet (SO many opinions out there on dieting/water consumption), figuring out when and where I need to be, getting mentally prepared... and probably several other things I've forgotten and need to do.

 

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Baja Arizona Pot Pie

Baja Arizona Pot Pie

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me and my steamy hot... 

PEPPERS!

I know you knew where I was going with that.

I knew you'd know because you already know how I love spicy food.  Give me chicken and waffles and I'll pass on the syrup and ask for the hot sauce.  Spaghetti and meatballs?  Crushed red pepper is a must!  Heck, I'll put tabasco on my salsa.  (Well... only if it's mild salsa!)

So of course, when I began thinking about chicken pot pie - SO the time of year for it if there ever was one - I started thinking that this one was going to need a little something to heat things up.

 

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