Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time to stop and say thanks.

I've been a very pessimistic person lately. Well, okay...my whole life. Just ask my mom, or my sister who is currently residing with us. I'm sure she'll tell you. But lately I've been in sort of a funk. The hubby is away at training for a job that I'm very anxious and nervous about. But it's his dream so who am I to stand in the way? I know that when he gets back we'll be getting ready to move to another base. I. Don't. Want. To. Go. But again, I will because I love my husband and I stand behind him and the rest of our military, and I go where I'm told to go.

Throw that in with crazy children who are getting back into the school routine and a busy Etsy shop and you can see why I feel overwhelmed.

But today I realized that despite all of this, I'm so blessed.

*My hubby is TDY, yes, but he is there with a young LT who is from our town. He travels home just about every weekend to see his family and friends from high school/college, and he always brings my hubby home to us without accepting any money for gas. This is HUGE for us because we were expecting a 4.5 month TDY with maybe one weekend a month of being able to see each other. And in the 7 weeks he's been gone, only one weekend has he not been home. It is really making our time apart not seem quite so daunting.

* I have great friends. I know that I've said it before, but I really do. Just tonight a relatively new friend told me that she was taking myself & the kids out to Moe's for family night. When I declined because of a moth-filled wallet, she insisted that she pay for us. She said that she owed me for us having them over for dinner a few times. She didn't owe me anything, but I accepted the offer and we all enjoyed our tacos and quesadillas.

* My Etsy shop is really going strong. There have been times this year when I've looked at the checkbook and wondered how we were going to make it work. Yet every time I get to the point of quasi-panic, I get a wave of Etsy orders and we always have enough to make it through.

* I have kids who make me laugh on a daily basis. Whether it's Noah dancing when he thinks I'm not watching, Jonah pulling his Jim Carey-esque faces, or Sophia singing me a chorus of "The Wheels on the Bus" in her adorable little Southern accent, not a day goes by that I don't smile. They are all my comic relief, in their own little way. And they always know when I need it the most. They're amazing little humans and I'm so blessed to have them.

So even when you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders and you are barely keeping your head above water, take a deep breath and look around you. There's always something there to keep you going.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Tex Mex Chicken

This is a recipe I got from a friend of mine. I altered it just a bit to allow for more servings ( I had 7 people to feed the other night!) and it turned out GREAT. So much so that our dinner guest requested the recipe to pass along to his wife when he got back home!

Here's what you need:

Boneless chicken breasts (I used 5 of them)
8 oz fat-free sour cream (or just about half of a 16 oz container)
1 jar of salsa

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low about 5 hours. Shred chicken and put back into crockpot for another 20-30 minutes to soak up the salsa & sour cream.

Serve on burrito size tortillas with yellow rice, black beans, lettuce, and all your favorite taco toppings.

It's super easy and such a great twist on tacos. You and your family will love it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Homemade Egg Salad

This is another great recipe from the back pages of The Fixer-Upper by Mary Kay Andrews. I'm tellin' ya...Southern authors that add recipes to the end of their books ROCK!

Here's what you need:
8 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 tsp yellow mustard
salt, pepper, celery salt

Peel & chop hard boiled eggs. Toss in celery Fold in the mayo, relish & mustard, then add seasonsings to taste.

Yep...it's really that simple. And even more yummy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Football Fever!

I don't know about you, but I am SO ready for college football to start!! Nothing says "fall" more than the windows wide open, a crisp breeze blowing, pumpkin scented candles, and a great NCAA ball game on tv. I. Can't. Wait.

High school football kicked off here in Charleston last night with the Sertoma Classic...so even though the temps are still in the mid 90's with heat indexes up in the 100's, fall MUST be on it's way if the pigskin is being tossed around.

So in honor of boys and men all over the country donning pads, tight pants, cleats and helmets, I searched Etsy for some great football gear...and just wait till you see what I found!

First up is this GREAT top from Christy over at Score on Gameday. I was raised in Florida and sort of adopted FSU as my favorite college team. And Christy has found a way to make women be able to root for their favorite teams and STILL be cute & sexy at the same time! I really really want this top (and maybe one for Michigan State to wear during basketball season!)...oh to be able to get it! She also is starting to make shirts for MLB as well...can you say Detroit Tigers?? Definitely going to buy one of those if she makes one!Next up is this super cool flask from Kryan2Designs. Yes...I said a flask. Tell me it's not awesome- I dare ya. I could think of so many people who would use this sucker when they're tailgating!Here's one from my shop...because EVENTUALLY it's going to cool off and you're going to need something to keep your hand from burning off when you hold your coffe/hot cocoa. I also have it on good authority that my coffee kozies fit really well around beer cans & bottles...but of course I wouldn't know that myself. Wink, Wink. (And hey...if you want to WIN one of these babies just check out this blog and enter yourself in the giveaway!)Last but not least are these tasty looking football cookies from Yummy Delicious Cookies. I don't care what your age is- you are NEVER too old for a cookie...especially one this cute! And wouldn't these be great for a peewee football team party? Just pipe the names/numbers of the kiddos and Bam! A personalized, super duper delicious party favor!I'm hoping that by featuring all of these football goodies it will shove the heat & humidity out the door and "kickoff" the fall!

(Oh, come on...you know you snickered a bit!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wanna win something?

One of my dear, dear friends is hosting a giveaway on her blog.

And it just so happens to feature little 'ol me and my little 'ol Etsy shop. So hop on over to The Thinking Blonde and check it out. Then submit a comment to be entered into the drawing!

Here's a hint: it's not for anything baby related, so all of you with no children/older kids have NO EXCUSE not to enter!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back To School

Each day I'll do my best
And I won't do any less.
My work will always please me,
And I won't accept a mess.
I'll color very carefully,
My writing will be neat.
And I will not be happy,
Till my papers are complete.
I'll always do my homework
And try my best on every test.
I won't forget my promise
To do my very best!

~Author Unkown

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Beef Stew

With being a military family we move around ALOT. Two of my favorite things to do when we're sent to a new place is to try the local food and read books that are written either by a local author, or set in the place where I'm living. The best thing I've found when I read novels by Southern authors is that they sometimes include recipes in the back of their books. (Try books written by Dorothea Benton Frank or Mary Kay Andrews for some super yummy Southern comfort foods!). This beef stew recipe came from the back pages of The Fixer-Upper by Mary Kay Andrews...not only was it a great read, but it was a tasty recipe to boot!

Here's what you need:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 lbs stew meat
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups beef broth/beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 medium red potatoes, cut in eigths
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Tbsp Gravy Master (I used Kitchen Bouquet because that's all I could find at my grocery store)
2 Tbsp cooking sherry

Place flour and seasonings in a large ziploc bag; add meat and shake to coat. Heat oil in large Dutch oven; add meat and cook over medium heat until browned. Add broth and bay leaf and cover tightly. Reduce heat and simmer 1.5 hours or until meat is fork-tender. Add veggies and simmer another hour. When veggies are tender, remove both meat and veggies from the pot and whisk in Gravy Master and sherry. (If gravy needs thickening, add 2 Tbsp flour into 2 Tbsp water and whisk into gravy over medium heat.) Check seasonings and add more salt & pepper if necessary. Return meat & veggies to the gravy and heat through. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Back to School!

Who's ready to wake up early and head off for some learnin'? I know I'm ready to send my precious children out the door next week- aren't you?? Of course I went to Etsy to find the cutest stuff for back to school. Where else would I go? And let me tell you what...I can't wait for Sophia to be old enough so I can start shopping for girly back to school clothes!

Here's my picks from Etsy this week:
First up are these CUTE snack bags from Dress Baby Beautiful. What a great idea for lunch boxes! Eco friendly and stylish all in one great pack. She has lots of different fabrics available too, so make sure you check out her Kid Fun section for the perfect bag for your little one! Next up is one of my favorite bows from my own Etsy shop, Jen's Craft Corner. I really really can't wait for my little monkey's first day of school so she can wear one of these herself!Last up are these adorable clips from Myrtle's Boutique. They would be perfect to help your favorite teacher stay organized!

Happy Back to School!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here's the winner of the Gadget Pouch giveaway...
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random integers, generated with replacement:2
Timestamp: 2010-08-12 22:54:28 UTC

MN Mom...you're the big winner!!! Congrats!

I don't currently have any giveaways lined up so if you are an Etsy shop owner or know someone who is and are interested in participating, PLEASE let me know!!

How I Spent My Wednesday Evening.

My hubby is the best...he scored me some floor seats for Hootie & the Blowfish last night! We were in the 21st row...closest I've ever sat! The only bad part was that he couldn't come with me because he's away FLETC training and can only come home on weekends.

My sis became my date instead...and we had such a great time!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FInally...a review & giveaway!!

I know that this one has been a long time coming. But when my hubby tells me he's coming home for a weekend from training I get a little side tracked with house-cleaning on Fridays and then my blog falls behind. I so sorry!

Anyway, here's the review & giveaway you've been waiting for!

I contacted May about her wonderful organizers from her Etsy shop. I was in desperate need of something to keep all my store coupons and my shopping lists together without making my purse one huge mess. It was a challenge to say the least. But then I found this organizer, and I just HAD to have it!It comes with a notepad and pen all set for you to start your list-making! There's two pockets on each side (on the right side they're behind the notepad) and a clear pocket on the bottom left...perfect for carrying your ID if you don't want to take a full purse!She's got TONS of great items in her shop...purses, pillow covers, organizers and so much more. And since May is so great, she sent me this gadget cozy to offer up to one of you lucky readers! It's great for a cell phone, ipod, Blackberry...anything that will fit! And the pockets are quilted for extra protection for your gadget. I want one of these to carry my phone and keys when I hit the beach!

Here's how to enter:
Head on over to May's shop and pick your favorite item, then come back here and leave me a comment. Be sure to give me your contact info if I don't already have it so that I can send the gadget case on to the winner!

One post per person please. Winner will be chosen on Thursday, 12 Aug. Hurry on over before it's too late!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Easy Chicken Parmigiana

This is another go-to recipe for my house...and it's from the same church cookbook as last week's pot roast recipe. Heaven help me if I ever loose this book!!

Here's what you need:
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken breast in beaten egg, then roll in bread crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place chicken on a cookie sheet and back at 375* for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake another 10-12 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Spoon a little spaghetti sauce over chicken breasts and sprinkle mozzerella cheese on top and bake another 3 minutes. Serve chicken and remaining sauce over cooked spaghetti noodles.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Asking forgiveness

I realize that I never posted the product review and giveaway that I promised last week. But my hubby came home from training on Friday night, so Friday daytime was spent cleaning the house. He had been away for 2 weeks and we were just a wee bit excited to see him. He's gone again for the week but is coming home again this weekend...hooray! I'm really really happy that his school for retraining is only 2.5 hours away from here. It will make the 4.5 months he has to be gone go by so much faster knowing he can come home most weekends!

Anyway...do y'all forgive me for the lack of a giveaway? I PROMISE to run it on Friday...pinky swear!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: After Church Pot Roast

This recipe is from one of the cookbooks that was put out by my school when I was growing up. I use this one alot in our house and it's always well recieved!

Here's what you need:
1 lg frozen pot roast (beef or pork)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can onion soup
1 can cream of celery soup

Put the frozen pot roast in a slow cooker/crockpot. Pour the cans of soup over the top; cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. The soups make a wonderful gravy to put on mashed potatoes. YUM!