Doing the Most French Toast

1. Cut French bread into 1″ slices.

2. Soak in milk, egg, vanilla extract and brown sugar.

3. Brown toast in pan with butter until golden brown.

4. Make your own syrup with strawberries using butter and sugar.

5. Garnish with strawberries and blueberries.

Bon Appetit!


Posted in food, recipes | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Maffé Chicken & Vegetable Dish

This delicious meal was prepared for me.  It was so good that I had to share the recipe.maffe

Serves 4-6 people


  1. 1 and ½ lbs Chicken Thighs (or one whole chicken)
  2. 3 Carrots
  3. 3 Turnips
  4. 3 Parsnips
  5. 3 Sweet Potatoes
  6. 1 large yellow Onion
  7. ½ clove crushed Garlic
  8. 1 small can Tomato Paste
  9. 3 Bay Leaves
  10. 8-9 ounces Creamy Peanut Butter (half of a small jar)
  11. 2 Lemons
  12. 4 Cups of Water
  13. 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon
  14. Salt and Pepper to taste
  15. 1 cup Peanut oil
  16. 3 cups Jasmine rice
  17. 6 Habanero Peppers
  18. Fresh Parsley (garnish)


Add ½ cup peanut oil to a Dutch Oven.  Sauté finely chopped garlic and onions.  Add tomato paste and stir.  Add water, bouillon and Bay leaves to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add all of the vegetables.  Reduce to a simmer, and cover.

Prepare Jasmine Rice.

Remove skin from chicken and sauté in a pan with ½ cup of peanut oil until brown on both sides.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Remove all the vegetables from the Dutch Oven, so only the sauce remains.  The vegetables can go on baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until serving.

Stir in peanut butter and juice from two lemons with a wooden spoon on high heat until well mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Lower heat and add sautéed chicken to the sauce.  Cover Dutch Oven, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestion:


This dish is nicely paired with a glass of Chardonnay.

Kelsie Lou

Posted in food, health, recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Louisville Loop

Happy New Year Everyone!

It has been a while since my last post.  I type this with soreness in my right hand from a fractured little finger that happened a few weeks ago.  I was finishing a 5-mile run to prepare for a 10k that I wanted to run in Florida over Christmas Break.  I tripped and fell on the sidewalk less than a block away from my house.  I twisted my left foot, had water on the left knee, a broken right pinky, and a cracked Galaxy 8.  😬

I will not dwell on my fall.  This post is about the joy that I have found over the last two months while biking along the Louisville Loop.

louisville loop regions

If you recall, last year I purchased a road bike with goals to compete in triathlons.  I raced a sprint distance where I could have placed in my age group had I not struggled in the biking section.  No matter how much I wanted to get into the sport, I could not adjust to being clipped on the pedals and changing gears.  The outdoor cycling experience was a lot harder than indoor spin classes in terms of coordination and safety.

Not one to give up, I decided to try a mountain bike.

kelsie smoot louisville bike

Ride #1:  Ohio River Valley

My first ride started at Chickasaw Park based on a co-worker’s suggestion.  I was confused about where to get on the Loop because of construction along Southwestern Parkway.  I parked at the tennis courts and rode out to Southwestern Parkway.  There were green signs for Bike Route on a side street, but I didn’t want to go into the residential area.  I continued past the construction into Shawnee Park.  I finally found the paved area for the Louisville Loop.

shawnee park louisville loop

My first reaction was excitement to see Louisville from a different perspective.  It was a little scary hearing ruffling in the woods from wildlife.  It took so long to get set up on the new bike that I was losing daylight.

I came to a sign that said the area was closed due to high water.  I didn’t see any water and figured I could ride until the path was blocked.  I kept riding and got to the Shawnee Golf course.  The next barrier was a complete road block I could not get around.  I ended up riding on the golf course.  It was cold and I didn’t expect anyone to be golfing, so I kept on peddling.  The 10-mile ride seemed short and not much of a workout.

When this section is opened, it is supposed to go all the way to the Big Four Bridge.

Ride #2:  Floyd’s Fork

The next ride was at Beckley Creek Park, which I am familiar with from marathon training and the St.Patrick’s Day Half Marathon.

kelsie l. smoot

I got there in the afternoon and it just so happened that the Louisville Marathon was getting their last finishers.  I felt bad for the runners, because it was a very cold morning for a marathon.  The park is beautiful and more ideal for biking than running because of the concrete.

louisville loop parklands mile 73.7

The path went on forever.  It is easy to get caught up in the newness of scenery and forget the same miles going out need to be covering getting back to the starting point.  I spoke with a couple at the Turkey Run Park rest area.  They mentioned how The Loop connected to Broad Run Park.  It came with a warning that there were hills in that area.  From Beckley Creek Park to Turkey Run was about 24 miles round trip.

parklands louisville loop

Ride #3:  Brown Forman Silo

The next ride on the Louisville Loop was Broad Run Park to Turkey Run.  I covered 9 miles on this ride and it was very hilly!  I was low gear for most of this ride.  Turkey Run Park is home to the Brown Forman Silo that has been transformed into an observation tower.  There are 109 steps to reach the lookout platform.

brown forman silo observation platform

louisville loop view from brown forman silo

Again, I was seeing parts of Louisville that were new to me.  I went to Broad Run to walk around when it first opened because my parents lived in the area before they moved to Florida.

Ride #4:  Ohio River part 2

On Thanksgiving Day, I skipped the Turkey Trot races and went for a 22-mile ride on the Ohio River Levee Trail.  I began at Farnsley-Moreman and rode to the Watson Lane Trailhead.  From Watson Lane, I rode until a split.  The left side goes to the Ohio River Overlook.  The right side continues the Louisville Loop to Chickasaw Park.

louisville loop path to chickasaw or ohio river overlook

louisville loop ohio river overlook

It was getting dark, and the oatmeal I ate for breakfast was not enough fuel.

louisville loop dusk

Ride #5:  Ohio River part 3

I was determined to ride from Farnsley-Moreman to Chickasaw Park.  The Levee part is okay, because the scenery is nice.

louisville loop riverview park levee

The boring part of this ride is coming out of Riverview Park.  This section is along an industrial park area of Cane Run Road.  It goes around Louisville Gas and Electric stations.

There is a part that I liked in a wooded area.  Sadly, I can tell that this section of the loop is not as respected and taken care of like the Parklands sections.  The residents in this area are to blame for the graffiti and using motor bikes.  A section of the trail was very muddy from motor bike tire marks.  I heard one behind me and pulled over to let him pass.

After the Levee Section, the Louisville Loop goes into a residential area towards an open road.  I did not like being out there on a 50 mph, two lane road.  It was very industrial with factories and 18 wheelers passing by.  Someone in a pickup truck thought it would be funny to yell out the window to startle me.  I’ve experienced jerks yelling obscenities while running, so it wasn’t a huge deal.  Some people are just ignorant.

I was happy the Loop took me back onto a traffic free area by a junkyard and going into Rubbertown.  The Louisville Loop had made full circle when I came out onto Southwester Parkway.  I must admit that I was tired mentally from the concentration and physically.  This was my longest distance for running and biking with a little over 28 miles covered in three hours.

Ride #6:  Parklands

I like riding in the Parklands because of the scenery.

louisville loop parklands views


This was a 16-mile ride to keep it reasonable in terms of going out and back in under two hours.  The trail was blocked due to high waters in some areas.  I saw a guy with a Sheriff bag on his bike and asked how did it look ahead.  He told me it was okay, but very muddy.


With the mild weather in Kentucky, there were a lot of cyclist out on my last ride.  I couldn’t help but notice how smoothly the road bikes were moving.  I got looped on the Loop!

I posted my Trek bike for sale after I failed miserably at clips, gears, and a fall.  I am glad I didn’t accept some of the low ball offers I received.  I have decided to keep my road bike!  Clipping in is going to take some time.  I plan to switch to platform pedals and see how that goes.

The missing piece to the Louisville Loop is getting into the downtown area and figuring out where to go from there with the section in Shawnee being closed.  Once I am fully healed from the fall, I would like to take new routes around Cherokee Park into Seneca Park, and possibly out of town.

Whether mountain or road bike, I will keep you all in the Loop!

kelsie smoot louisville loop


Posted in Cycling, fitness, health, landmarks, Louisville, Sports | Tagged | 8 Comments

More Altitude, Less Attitude

When most people refer to Gatlinburg, TN they are talking about Sevier County which includes Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley and Sevierville.  There are so many activities to do year around.  This first thing for a relaxing getaway is picking out a nice chalet such as Happy Daze overlooking Bluff Mountain:

Happy Daze Cabin

1482 Honey Oaks Way, Sevierville TN

Happy Daze Pigeon Forge

Happy Daze Rec Room

You are likely to run into some traffic during the peak seasons of summer and fall.  There was a misty rain, but it did not stop crowds of people from enjoying time with their loved ones.


Everywhere you go in Gatlinburg from restaurants to adventure attractions will have photo booth areas.

Kelsie Smoot

Kelsie Smoot (3)

Kelsie Smoot (2)

The Ober Aerial Tramway is a two-mile ride from downtown Gatlinburg to the Ski Area and Amusement park.  The ride was packed with 120 people.  The three cables will hold up to a million pounds. I wouldn’t recommend the tram ride for anyone who is claustrophobic or does not like heights.

Ober Gatlinburg

Ice Skating is one of those skills that once you learn it, you are set for life.

Ober Gatlinburg Ice Skating

For dining options, there is a newer place called the Local Goat.  It must be good because the wait was almost two hours.  A quicker place was a block up called, Bullfish Grill that did not disappoint with their shrimp and grits.

Bullfish Grill Shrimp and Grits

Applewood Farmhouse was the selection for breakfast, but they were on their lunch menu after 11 am.  Their apple fritters served with a signature julep were nice appetizers.  The Fall day called for a traditional pot pie and fried okra.

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant Pot Pie

No restaurant on the Parkway in all of Sevier County could compare to the food that was prepared in the Chalet.  No cap.  Fresh salmon, jasmine rice and veggies prepared for “Lady Kel.”

Pan Seared Salmon

No dinner is complete without dessert.

Apple Flambe

On a sunnier day, horseback riding at Five Oaks was a challenging, yet a beautiful experience.

Five Oaks Stables Horses

My horse’s name was Sally.  I let her do her own thing in terms of navigating the muddy trail.  It reminded me how teachers need to allow their students to be creative instead of being in total control of everything.

Horseback riding Gatlinburg

The trail was so muddy in parts that I felt bad for using this horse for my amusement.  I thought we were going to sink like the horse Artax on the movie, The Neverending Story.

Horseback Riding Five Oaks Stables

They said this ride was for all experience levels, but I would caution taking this excursion if you need a lot of learning reinforcement.  I was afraid most of the time, especially when the horse in front of me was getting wild near a cliff.

Pigeon Forge Horseback Riding

Like all valleys and mountains, I survived.  Ms. Sally wanted to get some food after dealing with my attitude the whole ride.

kelsie smoot (4)

When you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.



Posted in food, landmarks, restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

New Season, who ‘dis?

Fall Break from school called for a quick trip to Florida to visit my parents. The timing was perfect due to a crisis situation regarding my work as a therapeutic foster parent. Sleep has been difficult, and working out has not been on my agenda.

Somehow, I managed to run the Lake to Lake 10k in Lakeland. The course went from Lake Mirror, to Lake Morton, and around Lake Hollingsworth. I was familiar with the area from dining at Harry’s Seafood and sightseeing the architecture at Florida Southern College.

I was calm and focused at the start. I didn’t expect such a large turnout. I could tell by the conversations that a lot of people knew each other from the Lakeland Runners Club.

I would love to be in this club if I lived in Florida.  Lake Hollingsworth was selected by Under Armour as one of the top 20 places to run in the United States.


Keeping it real with my struggle face finisher pic. I sprinted the last half mile. The lady in the distance tried to pass. I wasn’t having it.


Results: 50:56/ 8:12 Pace

1/27 40-44 Age Group

8/232 Female

37/387 Overall

All participants were given finisher medals. I earned another blue ribbon for my collection.


I like how the race shirts are racer backs. More race directors should consider this functional style.


Later that night, I linked up with my homie Terrence who made the wise decision to relocate from Detroit to the Gulf Coast.


We started off at this Jamaican club in Tampa, then we club hopped in Ybor City.


I flew back to Louisville with the smoke settled on the unfortunate events I faced before I left.  The only way to go is up…to the 16th Floor for a nice dinner and conversation at Ruth’s Chris.


“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

At the end of the day, my Smootents show me love.  I owe it to them to be a whole teacher for 175 instructional days of the year.  Period.


“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

I’m not running ‘from’, I’m running ‘to’.


Posted in Education, fitness, Florida, health, running, Travel | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration

The Black Expo in Indianapolis, IN is a celebration of African American culture.  Underserved communities have a one stop shop with over $2,000 worth of free health screenings, job applications, voter registration and supporting black owned businesses.

Indy Black Expo Convention Center

Being in Indianapolis is like a homecoming for me.  From the ages of 17 to 23, I lived in Fort Wayne, IN while I earned my B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Indiana Tech.  After my first interview, I was hired as an Industrial Engineer at Ashley Industrial Molding, INC.  There was not much to do in Fort Wayne, so the short drive to “Nap” was where most of the entertainment was.

Downtown Indianapolis

The first Black Expo I attended was in 2001, when Alicia Keys and Jill Scott emerged as new artists.  It was also the time I fell in love with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse after looking for a place to eat dinner.  From the sidewalk, I admired the fancy table settings and décor, not knowing what those menu prices were looking like.  My brother Jason said, “Never let Kelsie pick the restaurant again.”  That’s OK, because I’m still picky.

Fast forward to 2018.  It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation.  My foster daughter Brandy, and Savannah whom I have provided respite care for over the last two years got to experience their first Black Expo.

Brandy is entering her senior year, so we hit up all the college booths first.  I wanted her to practice speaking with people about her career goals.  She and Savannah enjoyed the STEM projects provided by Cummins.

Black Expo Cummins STEM

Cummins STEM engine

IU Indy Black Expo

“Royalty Lives in Your Blood”

Indy Black Expo Royalty Stage

Indy Black Expo Queens

Cultural Arts Gallery

Indy Black Expo Art Exhibit

ArthenticFit Indy Black Expo

Indy Expo Cultural Arts Pavilion

Indy Black Expo ArthenticFit

Indy Black Expo Cultural Arts

Indy Black Expo Art

Indianapolis Black Expo Art

New Jack Swing Concert

New Jack Swing Concert Indy Black Expo


I wanted the girls to meet my Mentor, Steven E. Babcock.  Steve is my go to for financial, career, and relationship advice.  I admire him for his 43 years as a Federal Mediator.  His talents are irreplaceable as he mediates cases across the U.S. and in Europe.  On top of that, Steve is a real estate investor with eight properties ranging from single family homes to triplexes where he mainly rents to people needing a second chance.

Steven E. Babcock Indianapolis

Speaking of #GOALS, my little brother Brad purchased a home just outside of Indianapolis.  I had to pull up on him and check out his renovations.  I’m proud of my Army Vet brother and his accomplishments.Bradford Smoot Kelsie Smoot

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, concerts, Education, family, foster parent, health, Indiana, Indianapolis, landmarks, mothers, Travel | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Don’t Worry, Beach Happy!

Summer should get a speeding ticket.  I’m trying to get the most out of Summer Break without doing too much and defeating the purpose.  I flew to Florida for a week to cool off from the 108° heat indexes in Louisville.  My Mom and Dad took me to Treasure Island Beach to watch the fireworks.

Phillip and Alice Smoot

Phillip L. Smoot

It was nice to experience a beach setting for the Fourth of July.  The fireworks were not as extravagant as we had expected.  Later, we found out that the company hired to put on the show had some issues.  To their defense, there were some storms in the area.

St. PETE BEACH Fireworks.gif

Another show on my agenda almost got cancelled due to Chris Brown’s arrest in West Palm Beach.  Thankfully, C-Breezy settled his legal matters so my Mom and I could enjoy the Heartbreak on a Full Moon concert.


Alice Smoot

Chris Brown Tour

We were seated in the second row behind the orchestra level.  I added valet parking to the ticket order for a treat to my Mom.  I was impressed with the stage set up being that his Heartbreak on a Full Moon tour is in amphitheaters instead of stadiums.

Chris Brown Concert

Chris Brown Tour Stage

The next day, I recuperated poolside with ensalada de frutas con chile.  Later that night, it was Giordano’s in Orlando for deep dish pizza and a shopping spree.

Giordanos Mexican Fruit Cup

Because Florida is my second home and future retirement destination, I am always looking to explore places off the beaten path.  Florida is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs on the planet.  We picked Blue Spring State Park this time around.

St Johns River Cruise

We reserved a two-hour ecological cruise on the Saint Johns River to learn about the native plants and wildlife.  St. Johns River is unique because it flows north.  We spotted alligators, alligator nests, owls, egrets, eagles, and herons.

St Johns River Cruise Blue Spring Park

Blue Spring State Park

After the cruise, we walked on a boardwalk towards the Blue Spring swimming area.  My master swimmer Mother said she was not getting in that water!

Blue Spring State Park Swim

There were park rangers monitoring an alligator that was swimming nearby.  The swim area is very clear and we could see gar, catfish and a manatee sharing the same space.  I always thought manatees were slow mammals, but they actually swim 5 mph.  Michael Phelps tops 6 mph, which puts that manatee lifestyle into perspective.

Blue Spring Swimming alligator, gars, catfish

The spring water temperature is 72° year-round.  It felt so refreshing.  I wish I could have stayed longer and taken photos underwater.

I figured we would stop by Bethune-Cookman University as I had mentioned in my Memorial Day post about Daytona Beach.  I wanted to take a tour of the Mary McLeod Bethune Home, but it was closed due to a high-profile interview taking place.

Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial

I was a little disappointed, but June 10th is Ms. Bethune’s birthday and there was a huge block party to celebrate.  The atmosphere was like a family reunion with a free food buffet, music and activities for children.

We did the typical eat and run.  Ten minutes later, we were driving on Daytona Beach.

alice smoot kelsie smoot

It was very sad to leave Florida, but the beach ain’t going nowhere.  Sea you soon!

Daytona Beach Florida

Kelsie Lou

Posted in concerts, family, Florida, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Biltmore Estate

The highlight of our Smoky Mountain road trip was taking a tour of the Biltmore Estate.  Kelsie L. Smoot Biltmore Estate

George Vanderbilt took his inheritance from his father’s railroad and steamboat monopoly and invested in 125,000 acres of land in Asheville, NC.  The Vanderbilts enjoyed this view designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead from one of their balconies.

George Vanderbilt Land in Asheville, NC

My favorite room of the house is the Banquet Hall which features a seven-story-high ceiling.  Mr. Vanderbilt was very generous and loved to entertain family and friends.

Biltmore House Banquet Hall

As a P.E. and Health teacher I can appreciate his dedication to recreation by having a home gym, a 70,000 gallon heated indoor pool and a bowling alley.  Mr. Vanderbilt also made sure to have plenty of private changing rooms for his guests.

Biltmore Estate Gym

On the lower level of the home is where the servants lived and performed most of their duties.  There was one servant per guest who stayed in the home.  The female and male employees lived in separate areas of the estate.

Biltmore Estate Servants

With 250 rooms and 43 bathrooms, the Biltmore has several kitchens, pantries, and laundry areas.

Biltmore Estate Tour

The Vanderbilts had separate bedrooms to suit their personal tastes.  They were also adhering to the social standard of it being inappropriate for servants of the opposite sex to enter into the bedrooms.

Mr and Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedrooms

The estate’s library is a reflection of George Vanderbilt’s love for books.  I was impressed by the thousands of books and the size of the fireplace.

Bitlmore Estate Library

Every room is full of detail from floor to ceiling.  There are hidden doors to avoid disruption in the decor.  These photos show a seating room, the breakfast room, the organ loft in the banquet hall, and the music room.

Biltmore House Asheville

There is a portrait of Fredrick Law Olmstead in the Second Floor Living Hall.  The 50 feet tall, iron chandelier weighs 1,700 pounds.

Biltmore House Chandelier

The lower right photo shows the exterior view of the staircase:

Biltmore Estate Exterior

We walked outside to the Italian Garden where there is a concentrated display of Chihuly glass artwork.  There are Chihuly exhibits throughout the estate which took two years to plan and install.  The glass exhibits will be on display until early October 2018.

Chihuly Biltmore Italian Garden

Kelsie L. Smoot

This a view of the Biltmore home from the Italian Garden:

Biltmore House view from Italian Garden

We were in awe when we caught our first view of the four acre Walled Garden after walking through the Shrub Garden.  The beauty hits you out of nowhere.

Biltmore Estate Walled Garden

The conservatory was designed to nurture exotic plants and flowers.

Biltmore Estate Conservatory Hot House

Biltmore Estate Conservatory Cool House

Admission to the Biltmore Estate includes wine tasting that is about a 10 minute drive to Antler Hill Village and Winery.  I was surprised that minors were allowed at the bar.  The girls enjoyed their sample of grape juice while they tried to tell me how to swirl, smell and sip my wine.

Biltmore Estate Winery

Biltmore Estate Wine Tasting

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimension” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, Education, family, foster parent, landmarks, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Road Trip: The Great Smoky Mountains

Visiting the Biltmore Estate has been on my travel list for about a year.  My Foster Daughters and I decided to make some stops along the way to make the most of our drive through The Great Smoky Mountains.

Kelsie Smoot

Our first stop was in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Food was first on the agenda.  I normally eat at Paula Deen’s, but I wanted to try another top ranked restaurant called The Old Mill.  The Old Mill was good, but the food at Paula Deen’s is more of a flavorful, down-home type of cooking.

Kelsie, Brandy, Cassie

What I liked about The Old Mill is getting a full course meal included in the menu prices.  We needed to-go boxes for the left overs that went to waste in the hotel’s refrigerator.  This is something to think about when people complain about Paula Deen’s family style dining that does not allow take outs.

The Old Mill Pigeon Forge

After dinner, we walked down the Pigeon Forge Parkway and enjoyed the change of scenery.

Brandy, Cassie

Pigeon Forge Go Carts

From Pigeon Forge, we made our way to Asheville, NC for a day at the Biltmore Estate.  I will follow-up with those photos in my next post.

We stayed overnight in Asheville by the outlet mall, if you want to call it that.  It was the smallest outlet I have ever been too.  The Nike store was weak!  The girls were happy with Forever 21.

The next morning, we drove to the Asheville Visitor Center to catch the Gray Line Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley.  It felt good to let someone else do the driving.  We enjoyed learning about the history of Asheville.

Asheville Montford Historic District

Homewood Castle Asheville

The Grove Asheville, NC

First Baptist Church Dome Asheville

The Cathedral of All Souls Asheville

Asheville, NC City Hall

Asheville River Arts District

The tour started with the painful history of the Native Americans in the area and how they were moved West.  The guide mentioned there being a Cherokee Museum in Cherokee, NC.  I decided that we would stop there on our way back to Kentucky.  The Cherokee Museum is only an hour drive from Asheville.

Cherokee Indian Museum

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Chamber of Dissenting Voices

The Five Civilized Tribes

Proclamation of 1763

The burning belt, Sequoyah, Thomas's Legion

Cherokee Women Walini, Agnes Welch

After a beautiful drive along Highway 441, we bypassed Gatlinburg and stopped in Knoxville, TN for dinner.  Sweet P’s BBQ is one of the top ranked in the area according to Trip Advisor.  The food was great, the servers were friendly, and we left full for our final stretch to Louisville.

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Art, family, food, foster parent, landmarks, restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fit & Fabulous

Summer is officially here!  I am excited to near the completion of my capstone project for a certificate in Diversity Literacy from U of L.  This means no more project deadlines, and I can focus on 2018-19 lesson planning.

The school year ended on a good note.  I was recognized for being “Fit and Fabulous” and given one of four awards from the Multi-Tiered System of Support team.

Kelsie Smoot Stuart Academy

2018 will be a “go with the flow” type of summer break.  I spent the first week attending the JCPS Deeper Learning Symposium.  It was good to reconnect with my friend Brandi, whom I’ve known since my earlier years of teaching at Job Corps.

JCPS KY Deeper Learning Symposium

Between school and work, one thing I miss is running consistently.  My goal is to run as many local races this summer as possible.  First on my list is the Crusade Barnyard Dash 10K.  I ran it in a dress four years ago.

Barnyard Dash 10K

Crusade Barnyard Dash 10K mile marker 1.  The dreaded hill at mile 4.5.

I saw my time and knew I wasn’t going to place in my age group.  I finished eight minutes faster in 2014 and barely squeezed out a 3rd place that year.  I stuck around, ate strawberries and took a chance on the door prizes.

My bib number was called for a $50 check.  I wasted no time using my Chase app to deposit that bad boy.  Since I waited around that long, I decided to listen to age group awards.  I was shocked again when I was called for 2nd place.

Barnyard Dash 10K Results:

Time 56:24

2nd Place Age Group

63/132 Overall

Crusades Barnyard Dash 10K

To cool off from my summer runs I drink smoothies almost every day.  Something new I’ve added is baby spinach.  The taste is overpowered by the fruit and almond milk, but I know I am getting a vitamin boost.

Smoot Smoothie

Greek Yogurt, Almond Milk, Blueberries, Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Strawberries, & Baby Spinach

The next race I did was the Iroquois Hill Runners Pizza Pig-out 5K.  The all-you-can-eat pizza at the finish line was enough to persuade my foster daughters to run with me.  Brandy and Cassie got to experience what I go through trying to stay fit and fabulous.

IHR Pizza 5K Iroquois Park

IHR Pizza Pig-out 5K Results:

25:35, 8:14 Pace

7/76 Women’s Division

33/144 Overall.

Happy Summer!

Kelsie Lou

Posted in Education, family, fitness, foster parent, health, Indiana, Juicing, Louisville, recipes, running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment