Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meet Emily Gagnon

Emily Gagnon, Sports Anchor/Reporter for WTOK — TV

Emily is our Female 411 for the June/July issue.  We loved getting to know her better and think you will, too!  We couldn't fit all her answers on the page — so I'm giving you this sneak preview with all of her answers!
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If you could go anywhere in the world for vacation, you would go to… I would definitely go back to Paris — in a heartbeat! There's something about that city... It just makes me want to fall in love, madly in love. To me, it really is "the city of love." When I was there a few years ago, everywhere I went, I felt romance in the air. It was so refreshing.
 
An interesting fact we may not know about you is… I'm French Canadian, hence my last name. I speak fluent French and I absolutely love Canada. My dad still lives there and I visit him often. He's honestly one of my best friends. I couldn't ask for more from a father!

If your ipod was turned on right now, the song that would be playing is… Lil Wayne is all over my iPod. His music makes me think of Miami and I love me some Miami! If I could live anywhere, that's probably where you'd find me. Some of my best memories were made in that city!

If you could cover any sporting event, it would be… I would fly my family overseas and cover the FIFA World Cup. If you think sports fans in the US are crazy, you haven't seen anything yet. Soccer fans in other countries are insane... They'll put any American sports fan to shame. It's seriously breathtaking. I want my family to be there so they can experience it with me... Especially my sister, Amy. She loves traveling. I think she gets it from my mom who's traveled the world. They're both unbelievable women.

The one thing you seem to spend a lot of money on these days is… Well, L-Beezy (otherwise known as Lindsey Brown) and I go out to eat a lot. We both love food so much that sometimes I think we spend all of our paychecks on good food and to me, there's no shame in that! I have a serious love affair with food and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!

If you had to describe yourself in three words, they would be… Loyal. Passionate. Driven... Just like my tv hubby, Lindsey Hall!

Your favorite saying is… "The people who dream with their eyes open are the ones you need to watch out for."

One thing that is always on your mind is… Four letters: E-S-P-N. I want to make it to ESPN so bad. There's not an hour in the day where I don't think about getting there and there isn't a night before I go to bed that I don't pray about being there. My best friend, Sarah Rosario (WBRZ News Anchor/Reporter) and I made a pack back in college... We promised each other we wouldn't stop until we we got to the top... For me, that's ESPN. For her, it's CNN. So far, we've both stuck to the pack. We're not exactly where we want to be yet but we sure are doing what we want to do. It takes a lot to be in the news business but I'll give it my all to be remembered as one of the best. That's the one thing I always think about, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.

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Emily also has a fan page on facebook.  Please visit her page and "like" it, here. 

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The June/July Cover for 393 Magazine

You asked to see it, and here it is!! 


The magazines will be here the first of next week!  I know you can't wait to see all the new features we have in this issue!!  It's our biggest issue, yet!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Memorial Day

I have to admit... I loved having today off.  It was so nice to wake up without an alarm clock and stay in pjs most of the morning.  My parents asked us on Saturday to come over for lunch — so we got ready and headed over to enjoy a couple of hours with the rents.  

Where they live is the home where I raised.  Lots of memories there, but one is the fact that we always have this flying just off the front porch...


Dad outdid himself with the grill today.  We had:  chicken, burgers, brats, hot dogs, quail and pork tenderloin.  And mom was busy in the kitchen making:  potato salad, baked beans and banana pudding.

After lunch, we all crashed in the living room, but none fell asleep faster than — Mar Belle.


Now that we are back home and in from redneck sunbathing — we are about to crank up the grill again for steaks!  YUM YUM!  

Hope y'all are enjoying this Memorial Day with family and friends!
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Our story is being shared

Michelle over at a little bit of this & that is sharing our love story today on her blog.   

Two Fridays ago, we celebrated our two year dating anniversary and she read my post about it and wanted to share it with her readers.  I love our little love story and I'm so excited she wanted to share it!  

To see her post, click here.

You'll definitely want to check out her blog.  She bakes — well it's not just baking, she bakes wonderful creations and she also posts about her life and the things she loves. 

Check out her blog by clicking here.

Thanks again Michelle!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

After making the healthy brownies, I had a lot of whole wheat flour leftover.  And since we are now down to single digit countdown to our beach vacation — I wanted to use things that were already in the house and fridge like the chocolate chips, etc. 

So I searched the website for a dessert recipe using whole wheat flour and I found this chocolate chip cookie recipe and had all the ingredients in the house. 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

    3/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I only had 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use any)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. 


Stir in the vanilla and eggs. Combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda and salt, gradually blend into the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts if desired. 


Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 


Servings Per Recipe: 36
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 162
Total Fat: 8g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Sodium: 140mg
Total Carbs: 22.2g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
Protein: 2.1g

Enjoy y'all!!!
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hannah's Dance Recital 2011

Tonight, we spent a few hours at Pat Gray's dance recital to see Terry's niece, Hannah, perform.  


Hannah and her sister, Emma backstage before one of the dances.


 She had more costumes, but we left before seeing those.  

Good job Hannah!!


We enjoyed watching you "shake a tail feather" as Emma called it.  =)

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Homemade "low calorie" Brownies

Everyone loves chocolate.  Everyone loves brownies.  And just because you are watching the calories/fat/sugar/etc — it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy something sweet.  And there are only 200 calories in one of these yummy brownies. 


    •    Nonstick cooking spray
    •    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    •    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    •    1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
    •    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    •    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    •    2 large eggs
    •    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    •    1/4 teaspoon salt
    •    1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
    •    1/2 cup butterscotch chips
    •    2 teaspoons 1% low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Melt butter with chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat, and stir in sour cream, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well-combined. Stir in flour, salt, and chocolate chips.




Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in middle of oven until a toothpick comes out clean (about 35 minutes).

Cool brownies in the pan. 

Melt butterscotch chips in a small pan over low heat, stirring (about 4 minutes). Add milk, and whisk until smooth. Pour butterscotch into a ziptop plastic bag; snip end off one of the bottom corners. Stack brownies; drizzle each stack with butterscotch.


Since this was my first time to make these and because they are low calorie, I wanted an honest opinion.  So, I made Terry a plate complete with ice cream and the verdict was — "deee-licious!!


Enjoy, y'all!!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grant money isn't free money

Okay, so I'm sure y'all remember my post a month or so back about Myrtle's new ride and the fact that I was asking questions on how these were purchased.  If you need a refresher, click here.  Well, one of the questions I asked was, "Is this what our tax dollars are going to?"  And after many people commented on how it was federal grant money, not our tax dollars — I feel the need to share this blog post from Fredie that answers the question about all that "free" money everyone thinks we are getting.

 Fredie's blog can be found by clicking here.
"I had a nice phone call with a reader today about local government. The problem: the phone call got me on one of my soapboxes.
It grates on my nerves — I mean legitimately bothers me — when people talk about grant  money, or any federal money for that matter, as if it’s free. They talk about it like it was found at the end of yesterday’s rainbow in a pot of gold.

“Thanks to this federal tax money we will be able to provide a new park for our town; no local tax dollars will be spent on the project,” an official might say.

News flash: that grant money, or federal money, is still coming from local folks. Don’t believe me? Look at your next paycheck and see how much of your hard-earned money is going towards federal income tax. Those tax dollars fund such federal grants that local officials like to talk about as if they’re free. True enough, that money may not come from the portion of your check that the state takes, or from the local property taxes you pay, or even from the seven percent you pay when you buy something at Wal-Mart — but it still comes from you, John Q. Taxpayer.

That’s like someone robbing you of $100 and then returning $10 of it to you a year later in a big box with a frilly bow. Would you be happy about that? Would you view it as a gift? Of course not. That’s precisely the reason we should be cautious in how we describe federal money flowing back into our communities.

I’m not saying we can’t celebrate it, but we need to be careful. And we certainly don’t need to act like it’s free money.

Please join me in correcting someone the next time you hear them espouse that any type of government money is free.
OK, I’m back off my soapbox for now."

Maybe folks will stop referring to federal grant money as "free" money, now that they have been educated.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

June/July Home Feature Preview

 We recently visited with this upcoming issue's home feature and I wanted to give y'all a preview of what's to come. Not only does this house have an amazing story of how it came to be, but the layout and attention of even the smallest details makes this home feature one of my favorites!
Here is a sneak peak at some of the pictures I took while out at the house.  None of the photos are of the inside — those will be kept a secret until the magazine comes out!!



The last three pictures were all of the same room, however, this is not part of the inside!!


Quite possibly, my favorite part of the entire outside of the house!!

Do you know where we are, yet?


Well, there is your sneak peak!  Don't forget to pick up your copy of the June/July issue of 393 Magazine in a few weeks!!!
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oven-Fried Chicken

I'm not sure I can find anyone who will admit they don't like fried chicken and since we are eating healthier — I thought I would try out an oven-fried chicken recipe.

It was easy, quick and delicious!!!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.  (I used EVOO — not even a teaspoon.)

Season your chicken breasts or strips with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Whisk together these ingredients in a shallow bowl:
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk

Combine in a wide, shallow bowl:
2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
2 teaspoons salt (I will not add next time.)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat with the corn flake mixture, patting with your fingers to make the crumbs adhere.  The chicken can be prepared to this point up to 3 hours in advance and kept uncovered, in the refrigerator.  Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet.  If you wish, drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted butter. (I did not.)  Bake until the chicken is crisp and golden, 30 - 60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces.  Serve immediately or at room temperature with the sides of your choice.


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Changing it up for the better

Two weeks ago, I started working out at a gym.  I've had more energy than ever before and I can already tell a difference in the way my clothes fit and the way I feel.  However, the change wasn't just in going to the gym — it was also the things that are going into my mouth.  I'm fortunate to have the wonderful support from friends and especially Terry.  Surprisingly, I'm loving the change.  And why this change now?  Because I felt it was needed and because I'll be thirty soon.  Nothing like a milestone birthday to get the brain working.

Everything that goes into my mouth is being accounted for.  And since I'm counting and watching every.single.thing — I'm also aware of the lack of vitamins I'm missing.  The main one — potassium.  

So today while Terry and I were at the D.G. (dollar general), we decided we both need to be taking a multi vitamin everyday and I added two more mine. 

I added Potassium and a B-Complex + Vitamin C.

With the addition of these, I'm hoping to boost my potassium intake and get those other nutrients I am lacking.  And now, it's time for our walk.  

Hope y'all are having a great Saturday!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

How we celebrated our two years together

We both worked today, but made sure the late afternoon and evening was ours for the taking.

I got home a few minutes before he got off, so I showered and got ready for the evening while he was heading home.  Once he arrived home, I received these...

  Complete with two red roses for the two years we have been together.

And then we exchanged gifts.  He got a new Polo shirt and this...

A Fossil Mississippi State watch.

And this was my gift...

That's right, a Tiffany bag with a Tiffany's box inside the bag — and inside the box...

A beautiful Tiffany necklace.

Then we both finished getting ready for the dinner reservations he made.

Almost ready to go.

He didn't tell me where our reservations were, but we ended up here...


The food was delicious and somewhat intimate.  The table beside us was a little loud, but their conversations were interesting.  And their waitress — let's just say we were happy she was theirs and not ours!

And now we are back home.  It has been a great evening of celebrating and I look forward to a lifetime of more celebrations with him.

We haven't perfected the self iPhone photos in the bathroom yet (haha)— sorry it's blurry.  =)

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Two years ago today...

I woke up on a humid Wednesday morning excited and nervous about the day.  Why so nervous, and yet excited?  Well, that evening at six o'clock, Terry would ring my doorbell to take me out on our first date.  

We were set up through a mutual friend who said we would be perfect together.  Considering saying no, she promised he wasn't "weird or a freak."  I agreed to a date, but I told her I was old fashioned and if he wanted to go on a date, he had better make the first move.  Later that day, he asked me to be his friend on facebook to get my number.  A day later, we sent each other text messages during my cousins dance recital and after the recital that night on the way to their house, I heard his voice for the first time.  

   Two years ago, as the day dragged by so slowly — the time finally came for him to pull in my driveway.  As soon as I heard his truck door shut, my heart stopped beating.  And as the doorbell rang, it started again and was about to beat out of my chest.  After changing clothes over and over again, I answered the door in jeans and a black and white top.  As I slowly opened the door, there he was — standing there in jeans, a teal blue polo with horizontal stripes and a beautiful rose.  However, I was fixated on his dimple, his incredible smile and his shy, yet adorable eyes.  I honestly couldn't take my eyes off of him.  

Like a gentleman, he opened the passenger door to his truck and helped me in to head to Crescent City Grill.  We got there early and were one of few people already seated to eat.  Of course after we ordered, he excused himself to the restroom to wash his hands — as he walked away, I figured he was leaving me.  However, I was relieved when I saw him walking back to the table.  After a wonderful meal and great conversations, it was time to head back to my house.  Once back at the house, he walked me in and left a few minutes later.  As we said our goodbyes, I had butterflies and I didn't want the night to end.  He gave me a hug, lightly kissed me and walked back to his truck.

I secretly watched him leave from the guest room window.  And immediately, I got on the phone with my friends who knew about the date to give them all the information.  I wondered would I hear from him again?  Did he enjoy the date as much as I did?  Could this be the one? 

My first and second question was answered about twenty five minutes later when he sent me a text message telling me he had made it home and how he enjoyed our date and looked forward to many more.  And in the same text, he told me to sleep good and he would talk to me soon.  The next morning on my way to work, I heard my phone ringing and answered to hear him tell me good morning.  Since that day, if we aren't together, he calls to tell me good morning.  There hasn't been a day in two years that I haven't heard good morning come from him.

The third question has also been answered.  I know he is the one.  He is my best friend.  He is my soul mate.  He is the one I call when I have good news or bad news.  He is the one I want when I'm sick.  He is the only one I ever want to wake up.  He is who I plan my life with.  He is the one.  

Since today is our two year dating anniversary — I hope to remember today just like I still remember our first date.  I'm sure one thing will remain the same, as long as we spend it together — it will be another one of our perfect days. 

Our first picture together just a few weeks after our first date.

Now look at us... 2 years later. 

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