Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hot Chili Cheese Artichoke Dip

I'm sharing this because IT. IS. AWESOME. Plain and simple...quite addictive!

We had some friends over last week and everyone was asking me for the recipe so I thought I'd share it here too! This is an appetizer but I think a couple of us ended up using this as our supper!
We were supposed to be brown bagging it, but we skipped our brown bags and just had our dairy... and grain (chips), lol!
This dip along with a few of my friends' other appetizing combos is all we needed and we were set! Happy, comfy, and chatting the night away! Nothing like good food and good friends!!

This is super simple, so remember it the next time you need a chip and dip!

All you do is get your medium bowl, mix your first 7 ingredients, and pop it in the oven for 25-30 min, at 350. I used a Pyrex bowl type of dish. You can also use a round or square deep dish 9" pie plate.

1 (8oz) pkg shredded Mozarella cheese
1 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup Mayo (real Mayo)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
2 (6oz) jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Tortilla chips

Enjoy!! :)-

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Repurposed Headboard! Ready for School!

We're getting ready for back to school! Are you???
Last week I had to totally rip apart every room in the house- fun stuff! Not fun was the reason... Kylie's glasses were MIA! We had gone swimming. She had them on. We came in and straight to bath time. I don't remember her having them. I don't remember her not having them. Ugh!!! So for several days I was searching. Alas, I found them tucked away under a shelf in her room hiding out by the baseboard! Anyway- one good thing is it made me reorganize an declutter some rooms more quickly than I would have had I not been on a mission to find those glasses :).
So today I'm sharing one repurposed item that has had a long life! A headboard!
Long story short- I got this wood headboard FREE a couple years ago from "freecycle". I sanded it and painted it white for Kamri's room. I probably have a picture of that whole process somewhere but not feeling like digging that up at the moment. Anyway, Kamri loved it for a while. She fixed it up and decorated it! But as I was moving things around this week to find those glasses, she said she was tired of all that stuff and really wanted that headboard out of her room. Fine by me! :). It did make her bed stick out a little to far into her room I thought. As I was moving it out, I realized I could use it elsewhere! And her it is: a headboard as a backpack/ school paper drop zone!
My handyman hubby had already made the backpack hanger a few years back and we used to have a bench seat under it. Bottom line- the bench seat didn't get used and became a catch all, so it had to go. I think this headboard turned shelf will do nicely- a basket for in/out papers, the 3 binders I keep their art/hand work in, and space below for shoe baskets/bins to come later. We're ready for school!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sweet! A Mary Kay Give Away!

Hey folks! Have I got a treat for you this week!!
It's a giveaway!! Not just one item but 2!! And not just any two... My absolute favorite, can't live without, two! I'm so excited to feature my awesome Mary Kay lady, Lisa, here.
From the moment I met her I knew she was such a sweet, giving lady.

We met a couple years ago at my brother's house. It was an event my sister-in-law had put together to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, specifically for the walk that they participate in each year, and have a team. 2 of their kids, ages 4 and 15, have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
That was the night I met Lisa and have been ordering from her every since! She gave 100% of her profits to Kaylee's Kruizers (my niece's team...now Kaylee and Kynlee's Kruizers). Now that's a sweet lady for ya!
I appreciate her so much. She is always ready with my spur of the moment ordering! Not only that but she goes the extra mile and makes her deliveries so special with cute bags, tissue, a sweet note, and even new things to try! She's a giving, no pressure, sweet, fun lady! Don't you just love people like that? :)
So, what are the two products I love and can't live without? My Ultimate Mascara and Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover! I absolutely love these 2! They're a perfect match and always in my bag!
I use my mascara in the morning and the remover at night!  They're essentials. Period.
If you have never tried them you'll definitely want to leave a comment and be entered to win these 2! If you have tried them, you know how awesome they are- go ahead and leave a comment to enter for a win!
Read more about Lisa below, then be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for the giveaway!  After you do that check out Judy's blog.  Lots of creativeness shared there!

Lisa Thibodeaux
Independent Senior Sales Director
Mary Kay

When Lisa began her Mary Kay business in January 2012 she never would have imagined all of the wonderful blessings that would come from that one decision to purchase a $100 Starter Kit as a "Personal-Use Only" Consultant. She first fell in love with the AMAZING skin care & cosmetics and then fell in love with the AMAZING company that is Mary Kay. A company which encourages Independent Business Owners to live their lives in the order of Faith First, Family Second & Career Third while operating using the "Golden Rule" philosophy?

She never dreamed that she would be successful in this business. She had so many excuses for why she would not succeed: She was quiet & shy, didn't know a lot of people in her new Houston area, didn't wear a lot of makeup (much less know how to apply it correctly), was SUPER busy as a registered nurse, wife and mother and definitely NOT "the sales type"! Luckily, what she quickly realized was that just by "sprinkling in" and sharing the fabulous products with others, the products actually sold themselves!!! Within 5 months she was on-target to earn the use of her 1st Career Car in MK!! She picked up "Pearl", a 2013 White Chevy Malibu four months later & is currently driving her 2nd Career Car, a 2014 Black Chevy Equinox!! She became a Sales Director & debuted her W.I.S.H. Unit on January 1st, 2013.

She loves that her Senior Director, Jeanie Tamborello, believed in her even when she didn't believe in herself. The fact that she was willing to be trainable & coachable made her the person that she is today. She is so thankful that we have such a strong support system and are all here to encourage, motivate, & support one another!! She is looking forward to passing along Mary Kay Ash's Mission of Enriching Women's Lives!!

Career Highlights

- 2012 Unit Miss Go Give
- 2013 Area Miss Go Give
- Completed New Director Challenges “Fabulous 50’s” & “Honor’s Society”
- Earned the use of 2 Mary Kay Career Cars
- $200,000 Unit Circle and #3 Unit in SOAR Finishing National Area – 2014
- Star Consultant every quarter since beginning her business

Again, all you have to do is leave a comment an you're entered to win these 2!
The giveaway will be open from the 10th to the 17th!! Spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Keepsake clothing as decor ;). What 'they' wore!

Today I'm doing "what 'they' wore"...
Linking up at Judy's Blog and Wine and Glue and the Slaughters. And don't miss - a giveaway Here now! Check it out!
I just couldn't bear to part with these precious shirts! They were given by Pat's co-worker Chaysen and were one of my most favorite gifts when Kylie was born!

I played around with several ideas like framing them or hanging them in each of their rooms, etc. But one day while doing laundry it hit me... I could hang them over my laundry room window with clothes pins! I love the little bit of brightness they add to the room and the memories of when they wore them. As you can see one of the girls loved hers the most! Yes, Kaci wore hers all the time- got stains and all!
There were times I wanted to make her wait and not wear it to play in, eat in, craft in, or anything in, so it would stay so bright and sparkly! I'm so glad I let her wear it out- I love the stains and all hanging there in my wall- those are some good memories and signs of good times!

Kamri wore hers too, but quickly outgrew it- they grow too fast! She is also more particular and wouldn't really wear hers to play in- it was more of a dressy shirt for her. :)

Baby sister Kylie got to wear hers for special occasions when they were all dresses alike- hers looks brand new because, again, they grow so fast! Funny thing though, when I first got it, it seemed like it would be FOREVER before she could wear it!

I'm so thankful for memories hanging in my laundry room! Fun stuff!

Sweet sisters!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Favorite Things (under $10)

Linking up today over at: The Slaughters

Favorite Things under $10!

This is right up my alley because I love a good deal! Well there are plenty of deals out there so I wanted to share one that was a great deal and is also very meaningful and can be used as a gift!

This was part of my Mother's Day gift this year and it's one of my most favorite things ever!

All you have to do is go to Tagxedo- words with styles

There you can get creative with your words! My husband and kids did this one and just put in all kinds of word that describe me! And look how cool and appropriate - they made it in the shape of a coffee mug! Then they just put it in a frame and voila! So basically however much your frame is plus a little printer ink is your low cost!

It found a special home... Right next to my coffee pot of course, so I see it first thing in the morning when I pour my first cup! Makes my day!

I could see these being used for teacher gifts or anyone really. Hope you like them and have fun making one!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Mealtime Monday: Ranch Burgers w/ Avocado

Next up on the menu....
Ranch Burgers with Avocado!
Y'all. you. have. to. try. these! This is another fabulous, easy recipe from Mix and Match Mama's recipe collection. All I added in was lime juice, and I made Sweet Potato Fries to along with the burgers. Pat brought his own salsa and cheese to add into his, which he liked and it looked great too! The family loved this meal!here

Shopping List
For burgers:
1 pound ground beef
1 (1 oz) packet Ranch dressing seasoning mix
1 avocado
1 lime (optional add in squirt)
1 cup Ranch dressing (from the bottle)
Sliced red onions
Burger Buns

For fries:
Olive Oil, for tossing
2 or 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips
1 tablespoon each:
Chili powder
black pepper
garlic powder

Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine ground beef with the packet of Ranch dressing seasoning mix. Divide ground beef mixture into 4 burger patties (+one little one for us). Grill about 6 minutes each side.

While the burgers are on the grill, place sliced avocado pieces in a food processor. Add in Ranch dressing and pulse until combined. (If you don't have a food processor, just use your hand mixer.)

Directions for fries:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat.
Sprinkle with seasonings.
Lay sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Remove burgers from the grill. Top bun with burger patty, avocado ranch sauce and sliced onion. Give a nice squirt of lime juice over all. Then top with bun and enjoy!!
Linking up with org.junkie here

This is how mine looked. I love the avocado and lime!

This is how Pat's looked. Notice he added cheese and hot sauce/ salsa to his. One more variation that looked delish!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Love my K's (letters to my girls)

It was like yesterday, in November of 2004, our baby girl, Kamri, was born, God's 1st little gift to us! What a blessing. It's that unconditional LOVE you automatically get when you become a mama!
Then in 2008- our 2nd gift from God, Kaci, was born. It's that indescribable LOVE you just can't stop!
And last but not least, in 2011, God gave us our 3rd little gift, Kylie! It's that heart-melting overflowing LOVE that's contagious !
To say the least, these girls have changed my world and are a blessing I couldn't have imagined before!
I remember ladies telling me that time would fly- I would blink and they'd be starting kindergarten, then blink again and she would be graduating high school, college, and so on.... Well, they were right! And as I was writing in one of their journals this week, I realized how thankful I am that people told me about how fast time flies and how I probably wouldn't remember everything so "be sure to write stuff in the baby book!"
Well the baby book is great for writing down many things, but not everything that was on my heart so I decided, right after Big K was born, that I would start letters to her and about her life, in a journal. It's nothing fancy or anything, just my handwriting on lined pages to her. But it means so much to me and I hope it will mean so much to each of them one day.
I try now to write in them once a week as part of my Morning Routine I mentioned here.
I keep them in a drawer in the kitchen and don't really draw attention to them- it's like my secret little place for stuff like that, my journals. I thought I'd give the journals to them when they graduate or get married. But...one day Big K caught me writing in it and wanted to read some so I let her. I teared up reading back to the beginning! I only read back every once in a while.
Then one day when I was sick, she was helping me all day, bring me soup and sprite and I was letting her know what a great job she was doing. Next thing I know she's writing in the journal herself! Something along the lines of, "Kamri helped me so much today when I was sick. She's such a big helper..,". That cracked me up! So it's her handwriting as if it was was me talking about her helping me. Now that'll be fun to look back on one day! Pat wrote in too. His is the second letter in Kamri's, and it was his very first Father's Day! He wrote about that and how it was her very first time to go to Bible class, and who all her teachers were. Such a special treat!

One of my friends does a spiral note to her kids and they write back to her. That's a neat one too! I think I may try that when they get a little older. She says sometimes they tell her things in the notes that they otherwise might not tell her but need to talk about. Brilliant!
Do you have anything you do that's special for memories? I'd love to hear about yours!
Linking up here:
Serenity Now
Cornerstone Confessions


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Mealtime Monday

So I thought I would try and share a recipe once in a while. As busy a busy mom who, let's just say doesn't LOVE meal planning, I find myself going to recipes on the web or my cookbooks every week before grocery time. The only part I do like about meal planning is trying new recipes out that sound like something my family would enjoy.

Now that's a packed statement- that could actually be a blog post in itself figuring and analyzing who, what, and the why nobody can just love the same meal at the same time in this place! It's a task! I have a couple of picky Petes here! But I'll spare you anymore on that ;).

Each week I make about 3 of the same ole, same ole meals from a host of them that everyone either likes or has at least agreed they can eat without complaining. But that just doesn't satisfy my inner domestic aspirations or my desire for some variety and spice in life. I like the idea of trying new recipes and seeing delight on everyone's faces! Yes it actually happens sometimes :)- so then the rest of my weekly meals (2 or 3 others) are new or a new spin to us.

I know I'm not the only one, so I'm sharing them with you when I find one like that... You know the ones that no one complains about after the first bite, and everyone is quiet for a few moments because they're actually eating what's in front of them! Yes those. Linking up as well herehttp://orgjunkie.com

So today on the menu is a variation of Mix and Match Mama's "California Meatballs with Lemon Scented Pasta". It obviously called for making meatballs but I put a twist on this. I have always NEVER loved getting all raw-meaty in the kitchen. Just ain't my thang! I'd take getting a whole body down 'n dirty in a mudfest over a handful of raw meat any day! So for this I browned my ground beef/turkey and crumbled it instead of making meatballs. Plus my kids aren't really into big meatballs. It was a hit! The family LOVED it! I also changed a couple of ingredients that I thought suited us better, but thanks to Mix and Match Mama for the recipe!

Here's what you need:

(for the meat mixture)
1 pound ground turkey/beef
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup Panko (which are Japanese breadcrumbs but feel free to substitute with your favorite breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated (Mexican Blend is what I had on hand so I used that)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced (reserve a few tablespoons for pasta)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest (lemon juice is fine also)
2 eggs, beaten
Lots of salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

(for the pasta)
1 pound angel hair pasta
2-3 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 glove garlic, chopped
2-3 tablespoons half and half (I used Heavy Cream)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (juice)
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Brown your meat in skillet and drain.
In a medium sized bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, Panko, cheese, spinach, bell pepper, onion, eggs, zest (or juice option) and lots of salt and pepper.

Pat down the mixture in a lightly greased glass baking dish. I used 2 round casserole dishes. One 9x13 or two 8x8's are other fine options.
Drizzle about a tablespoon of EVOO over all of the meat mixture. Roast in the oven about 20 minutes. Stir and fluff the meat mixture then leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes to roast again.

For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente (about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, saute your onion and garlic in a tablespoon or so of EVOO 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in your drained and cooked pasta. Add in half and half, zest and artichoke hearts and toss until everything is combined. Sprinkle with a little S&P.

Serve pasta underneath meat mix.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Special Gift DIY Project

>> This is fun, frugal, and a really cute finished product that came about all because of a broken headband from which I saved the flower, and some supplies I already had. Hangs easily since it's lightweight. It can really be adapted to fit any room depending on your colors, style, and even a different saying. I made this one for the wall in the hall leading to my girls bedrooms. Look at other linkup DIY stuff here
Here's what you need:
Decorative felt (I used turquoise)
Burlap (cut to fit inside the felt)
Flower (I used one off of a headband that broke)
8 to 12" ribbon
Hot glue gun
1-1/2" letters stencils and flower stencil
Acrylic paints (I used: Bahama Blue, Yellow Flame, and White)
Paint sponges (small)
First lay out your burlap piece and flower on top of the felt.  Heat your hot glue gun while you position the burlap and flower just like you like it. Mine was centered and the flower on top left corner.
Next hot glue your burlap. Make sure you get those edges pushed down because they have a tendency to curl up as you work.  I had to go back and add more along each edge because I had just done the corners at first.  (My trial and error= your benefit ;).
Now glue your flower in the corner.
Next paint a big strip of the blue in the middle of the burlap all the way across.  If you don't get your paint too thick you can keep working.  Otherwise you may want to do a load of laundry (or not) at this point and let it dry :)
Then start stenciling your letters!
You can see the colors and positioning I used in the picture.  Make it your own and have fun!  If you have one or do one I'd love to know how it turns out! Leave a comment and a pic or a link!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


What I Wore Wednesday
This is just a fun little thing to do for a few reasons: 
1) a memory of some things I wore, 
2)something fun for the kids to laugh at in years to come about mom's styles... like we look back at ourselves in the 80's or 90's and laugh at our big hair, or our parents in the 50s/60s and get a kick out of their bobby socks, and bouffant hair)

3) it's fun linking up at The Pleated Poppy with other bloggers, 4)honestly, there are days I look in my closet and say "I have nothing to wear" even though there is a closet full of clothes staring at me.  Then "click" and a blog or a pin gives a combo and I realize I have it right there in my closet and baam- getting dressed is a cinch!  Or if it's not in my closet, hey, it's an idea of something to shop for next time and where to get it!  
So here we go :)

Earrings: Old Navy (in store only)

Be sure to join in the fun each week and link up for more fun ideas!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th, fireworks (aka sparklers), and fun!!!

We love a relaxed 4th!  Friends, the Sabrsula's and Shaw's came to party!  By default the party was at our house, being that out of several friends here, I'm the one that had the last baby (3 yrs) so it ends up here so I can get her to sleep and we can all keep on partying.  I'm thankful they oblige and we love having everyone here.  Yesterday around lunch time Meme came and left before the celebration to beat any oncoming bad weather that was brewing.  She showed up with goodies for my 3 girls!  Headbands, glow sticks, and an all American balloon for each!  They had fun with those treats, and they really added to our party later when Kylie was scared of the sparklers - she was just peachy with her glow stick!

The kids all had fun swimming and jumping on the trampoline!!
The men went together to go buy sparklers for the kids... We're not super adventurous with the fireworks.  But, We live close enough to the Kemah Boardwalk, and can see their fireworks show from our house so we usually put out the lawn chairs and watch theirs!  This time it was raining and a few mosquitoes so we stood under a canopy to watch.  My handyman husband even cut down a big branch of our pecan tree so we could see.  Funny thing though, right after he did that, us adults looked around and noticed that all the kids were going in and we were the BIG kids watching.  They said they were itchy, lol!  The kids love to stay up LATE, and try to get us adults to beat our late night records from years past, of New Year's Eve and 4th of July celebrations!  Don't tell them but us mommy's have NO PROBLEM talking for hours on and on! Love my coffee talk time with my besties!!!  Nothing better than good friends, good coffee, and a some late night games and laughter - many times to tears!  We have been known to bust a gut!  Although the men would say we're the ones who make the late nights, they don't have a problem swapping stories and playing washers etc, for hours either! :).  The rain kinda put a halt to the washers this time.
One of my favorite stories of the night was what we got to hear about a real life high!  Reid, Heather and Troy's son, just got back from a trek trip to Colorado with some of the youth group, for the past week y'all!  I'm so jealous!!! But it was awesome to see his pictures and hear about his trip!  It looked like the closest thing to Heaven I've seen!  Seriously, his pics could be framed artwork nature shots for any room, any house!
Lots of fun chatting, and kiddos running around having a ball!
This year's 4th of July was quite a bang as usual!!!
Hope you had a great one too!

And a little reminder to checkout checkout 51, I've been using it and my account is adding up!  I'll let you know when I get my first $20!
Also checkout my "pin it to win it" board on Pinterest where I'm adding give aways and sweepstakes I find on the web to enter!  Fun stuff!
Meme, Kamri, Kaci, and Kylie

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wake up, sleepy heads! It's July already!?!?

Hey y'all! I can not believe it's July! The summer is flying by. Today I'm talking about something that's making my summer days feel great-er!
I'm getting up earlier than everyone in the house! I know that doesn't sound like such a great plan to start in the summer time when everyone is out of school and I can actually sleep in if I want to, BUT, Hey, if you're going to start off beating people up, it may as well be when they're sleeping a bit later anyway!  (After re-reading that last statement that didn't sound right- ha! I guess I should have said "getting up before everyone" again.  No I'm not "beating" anyone, lol;)
Love my bed, but it's time to wake up sleepy head!
This one little thing, being the early bird up, helps out even my night time to be better.  No more trying to squeeze in time to check an email or letting it go so long that there are dozens I've missed and then feel defeated because there's no way I will ever catch back up to all those!  No more kids talking to me when I'm too busy trying to look something up that's on my mind right then... It's already done by the time they get up!  Time at the end of the day to have a real conversation with my man... It's all about carving out a little extra slot in the day to git r done! ;)
Every morning my daily routine is waiting on me.  Here's what my routine, my friend, is making sure I'm doing:  getting up early, getting a few minutes of peaceful time alone, and doing a few things during those moments that make the whole rest of my day go better!  First off- COFFEE! Can't start anything without that! Then with that, I'm alternating several mornings a week for these:  I'm spending a few minutes: in prayer, reading God's word, checking emails, other business, searching the web, writing in my 10 year journal, writing in my "letters to my girls",   Meal planning, and a few minutes blogging.  
These are all things I've done in the past and it just makes the days go so much better when I start in this order!  It's getting the quiet time in peace to ignite my engine and start my day, so I can "be" who I need to be for my family the rest of the day.
I'll be sharing more of these type of routine basics coming up in the next few months so be sure to visit and check it out!
Before I go I wanted to let you know about a something totally off subject, that I was just introduced to yesterday and I'm trying it out. It's called "checkout 51".

You actually get paid for grocery shopping!  It's about time somebody paid me for doing that job! Lol! ;). I'll let you know when I get my first check!  Let me know if you check it out and how it goes!  I'd love to hear :)
Happy July :)