Game Day Par-Tay

The University of Central Florida (UCF) football team isn’t exactly world-renowned. When our team is invited to play in a bowl game, it’s a pretty big deal.

Needless to say, the UCF vs. Rutgers bowl game in St. Petersburg gave UCF fans a great reason to travel two hours south from Orlando to party and cheer for our Knights.

Girls Gathering to Cheer for Our Knights!

Taco Night

On Friday night Ryan and I headed to St. Pete to my parents’ house to do some cookin’ and bakin’ to prepare for the pre-tailgating party we were hosting with my family the next day.

When we arrived, my mom had chicken tacos waiting for us for dinner.

Taco Spread

Taco Chicken

Taco Toppings

I enjoyed two hard shell tacos and a plate full of taco toppings and chicken in the form of a big taco salad.

Taco, Taco

Party Prep

After dinner I began baking and making some goodies for Saturday’s party.

I made walnut brownies with white chocolate chips and ooey-gooey Rice Krispie treats.

Walnut White Chocolate Chip Brownies

Sweet Treats

Though I wrapped up the goodies to save for Saturday’s festivities, more than one of the sweet treats made it into my mouth before they were put away for the next day. 😀

Pre-Tailgate Party  

Our pre-tailgate party was super fun!

My mom, sister and I worked hard to get all the food in order before everyone arrived while Ryan and our friend Ross (who arrived to our house on Friday night) left to pick up drinks for the party.

Food Party Table

Puppy Chow! (Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Powdered Sugar Chex Mix)

Chips and Guacamole

Party Table

The spread featured Rice Krispie treats, walnut chocolate chip brownies, pumpkin spice cookies, puppy chow, chips, salsa, guacamole, crackers, milk and dark chocolate and M&Ms.

Thanks to my mom for buying all the black and gold plates, cups, and utensils. I loved the festive UCF colors!  

Me and My Sister

Leslie wasn’t sportin’ UCF colors because she had to leave for a wedding, but she was able to stay and hang out for a little bit.

Mah Sister and Me

Ryan, our friend Ross and my dad enjoyed some beers while we watched Sadie and Ross’ adorable chocolate lab puppy Kona play and play and play.

Ross, Ryan and My Dad

Kona and Sadie Causin' Trouble

Sadie is officially the craziest dog in the world, so it wasn’t too long before Kona needed to take a breather…

Kona Resting

…followed by a nap.

Kona's Much-Needed Nap

How cute is this puppy!? Everyone threatened to kidnap her from Ross. She is so stinkin’ adorable!

When everyone arrived, we dug into the food and drinks!

Go Knights!

Hammin' it Up

We laughed a lot when we played a drinking game involving animal noises and motions. The picture below captures our animal roles. (I was an elephant.)  

Bunch of Wild Animals

(Please notice the wild dogs who continued to cause a ruckus throughout the party.)

We also enjoyed several shots, instigated by… my father! What a guy! 😀

Merri and My Dad - Shot Buddies

Group Shots

Father/Daughter Shot

Post-Shot Love

I loved eating, drinking and laughing with some of my favorite people in the world.



Takin' a Knee

(Our group likes to take a knee when we drink… stability, you know?)

Leah and Ashley

At around 3 p.m., we finally got around to eating some burgers, hot dogs, baked beans and pasta salad.

Hot Diggity Dawg

I forgot how good simple tailgate food can be!

The Game

After several hours of partying at my parents’ house, we headed out to tailgate with some other friends before heading in for the big game at 8 p.m.

Unfortunately UCF lost, but I had a great time with my family and friends and really didn’t care too much. 😉 Does that make me a bad fan?

All in all, yesterday was a great day full of good food, family and good friends! UCF should play in bowl games more often! 😀

Shopping, Pizza, Breakfast

I felt like I was on my feet for hours yesterday! Oh the woes of Christmas shopping!

My sister, Leslie, came in town late in the afternoon and we headed off to hit up some stores for presents for our loved ones. We were literally shopping for almost four hours! I think we took the term shop ’til you drop to a new level.

During our shopping extravaganza, I picked up a decaf coffee with cinnamon to enjoy.

Cinnamon Coffee Delight

On our way back to my apartment, Leslie picked up a margherita pizza from Red Brick Pizza.

PIzza, PIzza!

We both agreed that the pizza was great! I love thin crust and the crust was doughy and crispy (and not greasy!) at the same time. All the cheeses blended together perfectly. Yum.

After hanging out for a while, it was bed time!

Leslie heads back to St. Pete this afternoon but I enjoyed my little house guest! I’ll see her and my family again on Friday when Ryan and I head to St. Pete once again. We’ll be in town for the big game!

UCF Knights!

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is playing in a bowl game near my parents’ house and we’ve got tickets! We’re tailgating and heading to the game with a bunch of our friends. Pre-tailgating, we’re having a gang over to my parent’s house for a pre-tailgating BBQ and drinks.

Any suggestions for yummy party-pleasing foods?

We’ll definitely have staples like hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, pasta salad, chips and dip, Rice Krispie treats, etc. Any other yummy ideas are welcome!


Today I woke up and hit ze gym for a good cardio workout:

  • 15 minutes stair master
  • 15 minutes arc trainer
  • 20 minutes elliptical

Breakfast was warm and gooey.

Canadian Bacon and Cheese Sammie

I made a sammie on a honey wheat Arnold’s sandwich thin with a slice of Canadian bacon and Colby jack cheese.

I enjoyed my breakfast sandwich with a hot cup of honey lemon tea and a bottle of water.

Thursday's Breakfast


Giveaway Winner

Using’s random integer generator, the winner of yesterday’s giveaway is Melissa!

Melissa said her favorite way to enjoy nuts is in “White chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies!”

Please email me ( with your address and I’ll send your your goodies ASAP! Congrats! 😀

Blogger Secret Ingredient

Please don’t forget to enter your recipe in the Blogger Secret Ingredient competition. I don’t have many entries yet, so you may have a great chance at winning. Snag some nutmeg and get cookin’!

Enjoy your Thursday!