Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bucket List Bandwagon

Summer Bucket Lists are popping up everywhere - and really, I can't find a reason to NOT jump on board with the blog trend.

Join me, won't you? Here we go!

background image via Tumblr

Spend time at the pool.
I mentioned awhile back that we've started the grand ol' House Hunt of 2015. While we're pretty pumped (read: terrified) at the thought of homeownership, we realize that said House may not come with access to a pool. In the year that we've been at our current place, we've visited the pool a handful of times. When it's not crowded and the weather is right, being in and around the pool is pretty great.

Eat a s'more.
Add me to the millions of other people who have said this already, but s'mores are best in the summer. I've melted many a marshmallow on my stove with a butter knife, and if you're nowhere near a campfire or grill it's DEFINITELY the next best thing. COUNT ME IN.

Hop in a kayak.
One of my favorite places to be.

Folly Beach, SC

Beach getway.
It's a must. Even for just a couple of days.

Unplug and pay attention when I'm with those I care about. I love Instagram, but I love people more.

Go on an adventure.
Day trips to new places can be oh-so-wonderful.

Conquer a fear (or two?).
YIKES. This one is scary (obvious much?), but must be done. What's life if it's not a little bit exciting once in awhile?

Run more.
Not for distance or exercise. Just for fun.

credit: Tumblr

Write more.
Even if it's just blogging more. Writing was my first love, and it's a wonderful, soothing outlet for me.

Buy fresh flowers.
There's something about having fresh flowers in a vase that makes everything seem prettier. It really brightens up a room. Even though I've only bought them on occasion since, well, ever...I'm thinking I need to incorporate more of this into my life.

Have a party.
BONUS POINTS if said House is in the picture at this point. Plus ALL THE MORE REASON to BUY THE FLOWERS! :)

Be more positive.
I can be QUITE a downer on the rough days. I declare this...THE SUMMER OF JOY!

{insert George Costanza gif here)

Keep in touch.
Earlier this year, I rebooted my Facebook in an effort to reconnect with folks. However, it only reminded me of why I deactivated it in the first place three-ish years ago. I spent too much time on it, and read status updates instead of actually calling someone. So, this weekend, Facebook went BUH-BYE once again. My goal this summer: keep in touch with those I don't see often. I want to call my people, send them a card or two...or MAYBE even WRITE A LETTER (OLD SCHOOL). We shall see!

Okay people, it's your turn. What's on your summer bucket list?!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ms. Helen's Corn Dip

Before The Mister and I got married, a few of my co-workers at my previous job joined together and gave us a wedding shower. Afterward, my friend/co-worker Christy gave me a cookbook that she made herself (!!!) that contained recipes and marriage advice from many of our co-workers.

One of my favorite (and the most-used) recipes from that cookbook came from Ms. Helen, a lady that I grew very close to during my three years at that job.

I've taken this to church dinners, parties, and other places and it's always a hit - and it comes together in a flash, too!

The original recipe calls for cans of corn, jalapeƱos, and red peppers, but GO TEAM KROGER because they have little cans of corn with the peppers already mixed in!

This really doesn't need any seasoning, but if you want an extra kick, try adding some lime and cayenne pepper. I think you'll be pleased!

Ms. Helen's Famous Corn Dip

What you'll need:
2 cans of Mexican/Baja corn with jalapeƱos and red peppers (or 4 small cans)
8 oz. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. grated cheddar cheese
Fritos, for serving

What you'll do:
Drain corn and pour into a large bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill until serving time, then serve alongside Fritos.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Weekend Adventures

Isn't it nice how a quick out-of-town trip can lift your spirits?

This past weekend was a combined birthday-slash-Mother's Day weekend celebration for us, and the drive home is always worth it.

We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with an outdoor concert hosted by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra on the Reservoir near our city.

The weather was absolutely perfect for picnic blankets, sailboats, and music from the movies.

And of course, fireworks at the end!

Saturday had an early start with Magnolia Meltdown 5K...

And it didn't disappoint! Around mile 2 my knee started hurting again, so maybe I'm not 100% "healed up" like I thought, but I'm definitely on my way!

YEAH for running again!

The rest of the weekend included crawfish, berry pie, and a little early Mother's Day cele-bray-sheon.

Not before stopping at Sonic, though :)

Is ANYONE ELSE out there basically ADDICTED to the new slushes? I've been to Sonic more times in the past two months than I have in my entire life. Roughly.

I'm not proud, but I'm DEFINITELY not sorry.



Handwritten thank-you cards are the best.

...Especially when there are days like this:

But that's another story for {maybe} another day ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chicken Stuffed 'Bellas

A recipe! Hooray!

I love simple, easy-to-put-together meals. THIS recipe is one of those!

I love using portobella mushrooms as an entree, they're filling, but not overly heavy like bread or pasta - and they're just downright delicious.

If you thaw and/or cook your chicken ahead of time, this will literally come together in just a few minutes. The longest part is baking them, but even then they are done in about 10 minutes.

One shortcut I've found is this - and it may sound ridiculous, but it's what I do! When I need shredded chicken, I cook it throughly and then put it in the blender for a few rounds. By doing this, I usually have finely shredded chicken in about three seconds. Try it! It's worth it.

My super-key ingredient for this recipe is this:

I first used this when I made chicken marsala awhile back, and it ups the flavor like nobody's business when it comes to cooking with mushrooms. I had to try it in this dish and, even with just a third of a cup, it BLEW MY MIND.

((Note: I was a little afraid to cook with even cooking wine for a long time, then I learned the alcohol cooks out, much to my relief. If you're not comfortable with this, then chicken broth will work fine!))

My pictures of this are terrible quality, but don't let that deter you from trying your hand at this dish. I think you'll be pleased!

Chicken Stuffed 'Bellas
Serves 2

adapted from What'sCookingMexico

What you'll need:

2 medium-sized portobella mushrooms
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick butter)
4 oz cream cheese
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup marsala cooking wine or low-sodium chicken broth
2-3 tbsp half & half
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
dash of crushed red pepper
dash of salt and pepper
Italian breadcrumbs

What you'll do:

In a large skillet, melt butter and cream cheese. Stir frequently to mix. When each are about halfway melted, add marsala wine (or chicken broth), garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red peppers. Stir and continue to cook.

Meanwhile, rinse and clean your mushrooms by using a spoon to scoop out the insides. Remove the stems and chop into small pieces, then add to the sauce mixture as it cooks. If sauce mixture looks
"soupy," add half & half. This will make the sauce very creamy, so add a little at a time until it reaches the consistency you prefer.

Place mushrooms in a baking dish or sheet, then fill with sauce mixture. Top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes at 350. After 10 minutes, turn on the broiler for about 2 minutes, just enough to let the breadcrumbs start to darken and crisp.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Thoughts

I've sat down at least TWICE this week to write a post or two, but to be quite honest, there's not a lot going on right now and I thought I'd spare you pointless details about the tacos I made on Tuesday night and the beautiful weather we've had lately.

Don't you love me? :)

However, it's been kind of quiet over here today, and I've found that writing keeps me HIGHLY entertained. So bear with me, because

ONE. There are some people that can go all day at work - all eight hours or so - and still leave looking just as flawless as they did when they arrived that morning. I am NOT one of those people.

Please, somebody, tell me how it's done! How on EARTH do you people keep your hair looking FANTASTIC? How do you keep ALL OF YOUR MAKEUP ON through the day? By noon mine is non- existent and my hair looks A HOT mess.

TWO. Ever since our daycation last weekend, I'm in full-blown vacay mode. Unfortunately, it's impossible to find a place to stay, um, ANYWHERE near the beach without roughly SIX MONTHS notice. I have an idea or two I'm stewing on, but it MIGHT have to wait until June.

JUNE. Patience is not my strong suit.

THREE. Today we had a baby shower at work. With what appears to be THE MOST fantastic diaper cake I've ever seen in my life.

I kind of want a centerpiece like this for my dining room table. I have a feeling that JUST might be vetoed by a certain tall man wearing a ridiculous hat.

FOUR. Speaking of baby shower, I MOST DEFINITELY bought THESE SHOES for my gift. I have no idea if the couple were registered anywhere, but as soon as I heard the words "baby girl gift" my mind IMMEDIATELY said "GLITTER."



If I found these in adult sizes I would most certainly own them by now.

FIVE. It's been five months since our St. Jude race in Memphis, and my knee/leg issue has FINALLY healed up. So I'm celebrating tomorrow by - WHY NOT - doing a 5K, because the weather has been fantastic lately and all I want to do is RUN THE RACES.

Fingers crossed that my leg really is, in fact, healed up and there will be no hobbling like last time! :)

SIX. Every year around this time I catch myself thinking about how nice it must be to be teacher with summer break right around the corner. But THEN I remember how scary it must be to be outnumbered by small children and/or teenagers, and then crawl back into my cube to continue sending emails to people who are not, technically, children.

SEVEN. The Hannah and Kaylee Show. Gets me EVERY TIME. Watch their stuff and just TRY not to laugh.

EIGHT. I saw this yesterday and was THISCLOSE to sending it to Hubs at work. Considering the fact that we don't exactly have a dog (or any kind of pet) I'm thinking it will not fly.

A girl can dream.

Have a great weekend everybody! And to all those mamas out there -- Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Whooooo-weeee what a whirlwind of a weekend.

...And pre-weekend.

Because I'm still catching up on sleep yo!

FIRST and FOREMOST, though....

People. We have a Royal Baby.

I'll spare you the details of how obsessed excited I am and all the things that the news media has already covered. Except....

Can we TALK about how pretty the name Charlotte is???

Okay, that is all.


Saturday morning (oddly enough, right about the time the Royal Baby was announced) Hubs and I headed out for a last-minute road trip to the big ol' city of Robertsdale, Alabama.

Population: 264

...or something like that.

We had some specific business to tend to, and afterwards realized we were a mere 30 minutes from one of my favorite places IN THE WORLD::::::

...and a whopping 45 minutes from one of my OTHER favorite places EEN ZEE WORLD:::::

I mean, we couldn't drive 3.5 hours and NOT go a little further to Gulf Shores, am I right?

Because we're geniuses and didn't plan properly (we actually didn't realize how close we were going to be), we made a flying trip into the Walmarts nearby and racked up on clearance swim items.

An $8 swimsuit and a couple of Tshirts later and we were SET.

Plus The Mister snagged this foxy hat, which (I feel like) he wants you to know that he is VERY proud of.

He plans to wear it on multiple OTHER occasions, by the way. I plan to veto that motion.

We couldn't spend the night due to other plans, but the 4.5-hour drive back was MORE than worth it.

Next time, though, we're definitely staying for longer.

Happy Monday, party people! And remember:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Thoughts


It's Friday and THIS is my HAPPY DANCE:::::::::::

Thoughts for today:

one. No sign of Royal Baby #2 yet. However, here is a royal slideshow that tracks The Royals' road to Baby #2. It's silly, but I had a jolly good giggle. 

two. They're calling this whole she-bang The Great Kate Wait. This MIGHT be taking it a leeeeettle too far, people. And that's coming from ME.

three. Since we've started The Great House Hunt of 2015, all I can think about in terms of requirements is that I MUST, at some point in time, be able to have a PORCH BED. Don't you want to come drink coffee with me IN MY PORCH BED????

...aaaand now I want a nap.

four. I took one of those crazy surveys last week to see "Which Steel Magnolia Character" I was. My result?


Oh Ouiser. You've ALWAYS been my favorite :)

five. I also took a quiz to find out "My Spirit Animal" or some nonsense.

Does anyone know what a PANGOLIN is? Except for GROSS?

Apparently it's some sort of "scaly anteater" creature or something. I'm NOT sure how I feel about this.

six. Last week I got my very first monogram! I'm only a year and a half late, but who's counting, right? ;) The Mister and I were shopping around in this CUTE little home store here, and when I saw the color of this hat I knew I just HAD to have it with a monogram. Didn't they do a great job???

It's coral with navy writing. I am IN LOVE and now I want to monogram ALL THE THINGS.

seven. This week I finished reading Melanie Shankle's "Nobody's Cuter Than You." Let me tell you, this book made my heart SO HAPPY like none other. It's the sweetest, funniest thing, and you feel like she is right there telling you every single story. I laughed and smiled so much while reading this book...and it made me REALLY miss all of my ladies!!!

HIGHLY recommend this one, people ;)


That's all for today - have a great one!