Thursday, December 18, 2014


It's ONE WEEK until Christmas and I am so crazy giddy I almost can't stand it!!!!

We are THISCLOSE to finishing our shopping -- and this is QUITE POSSIBLY the earliest we've ever been close to finishing the week before Christmas. Usually I'm still fighting crowds, knocking over displays, and elbowing feisty old ladies (<- WHOA I'M KIDDING) a few days before Christmas.

But THIS YEAR -- ohhhhhh this year --- Hubs and I were PREPARED. On Saturday we woke up and basically said "Yo Christmas - BRING IT" and spent a huge chunk of the day knocking out all of our shopping.

Let me add here that I am no longer the type of person that can go shopping on a whim. Post-it notes are my best friends and I have to have a list for EVERYTHING. So in the week leading up to our Giant Christmas Shopping Extravaganza Saturday of 2014 (or GCSES, as it shall be known from here on out), we (read: me) worked and thought and decided on a gift for each person.

THEN! On the morning OF the GCSES --- we woke up, properly caffeinated ourselves, and made a plan. A plan of which stores to hit when, according to closing times and high traffic times.

I think we bought all but maybe three gifts? Regardless, I think it's safe to deem GCSES 2014 a success!!!

What does all of this have to do with chicken? It's okay, I can hear you asking.

Honestly? Nothing. I just thought I'd find a reason to highlight that this dish is a serious "fast weeknight supper" solution.

Late last week I was perusing on Pinterest for holiday appetizer recipes for a work party, when this little gem of a recipe popped up into the mix from The Enchanted Cook blog. It's a fast, easy dinner recipe with only four ingredients - all of which I typically always have on hand, thankfully.

Baked chicken breasts with a sour cream (or mayo) and parmesan mixture, topped with italian breadcrumbs. Maaaaaayyybe not the healthiest, but we ate it alongside a ton of veggies so I'm calling it a win.

BONUS -- Hubs straight up INHALED this thing. INHALED IT.

BONUS PLUS TWO -- Last night I was prepping to make it again and WHAT??!! I bought chicken TENDERLOINS instead of chicken breasts. Good news: it works just as well (and helps with portion control!) and cooks even faster! Whoop whoop!

Ok so --- go finish your Christmas shopping, love on your families and friends, and make this for supper because YOU NOW HAVE TIME TO DO ALL OF THAT STUFF!



Originally from The Enchanted Cook blog
Serves 2-4

What you'll need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut thin, or 2 large ones sliced in half)
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
4 tsp Italian breadcrumbs

What you'll do:

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or cover the bottom with a thin layer of butter), then lay chicken breasts flat. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and parmesan until evenly combined. Spread evenly onto tops of chicken pieces. Sprinkle on Italian breadcrumbs, then bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked in center.

Serve alongside veggies and enjoy your free evening :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On Lunch Lately

I have a recipe today!

And it's (unfortunately) not for cookies, cakes, candy, pies, or any of those other things that I *really* would prefer to make right now!!!! :) :) :)

'Tis the season, am I right???

Once upon a time, for months upon MONTHS on end, I ate a salad EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for lunch. It was my go-to meal, my routine, and, really, one of my favorite things to eat.

This was my usual for about a year straight, if not longer. Lately, though, I'm just not feeling it. It's pretty typical around this time of year for me to just want something warm and filling in my stomach, as opposed to a light (and colorful!) salad.

...not to mention that my tastebuds have somehow turned on me recently, so spinach and various types of lettuce now taste absolutely horrible!!!

And so I've been at a loss. Until THIS.

A few weeks ago I started making a small batch of The Pioneer Woman's chicken salad to get me through a couple of days when we didn't have leftovers. Then the next time I made a little more to last most of the week, and I'll probably make it again over the next few days.

I'm hooked on this stuff, people.

While this recipe isn't the healthiest, it's a little lighter than most versions I've had. I like to eat small portion of it with Wheat Thins or Triscuits. A little bit is very filling - so I can make a big batch at once and eat on it throughout the week.

And just FYI -- the lemon juice and brown sugar in this give it THE BEST flavor. EVER. Just trust me on this ;)

I don't always have absolutely everything on hand when I go to make this, so I just improvise. Instead of grapes, I've used apples or cranberries - or all three. I rarely have celery and have never bought rosemary or dill (as in the original), but I'm 100% positive it would taste AH-MAZING if you followed PW's recipe exactly.

So here you go! May all your chicken salad dreams come true!

...whatever that means.

Lunchtime Chicken Salad

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman blog

What you'll need:
3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 apple
1-2 cups grapes
3 tbsp of lemon juice
1-2 tbsp of brown sugar
salt, pepper, and Tony's, to taste

other mix-ins: dried cranberries, pecans, almonds

What you'll do:
Cook chicken thoroughly and chop into small cubes when done. Chop the apple into small cubes, and slice the grapes in half, then combine in a bowl with the chicken. Squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice over the mixture (this keeps the apple from turning brown so quickly) and give it a quick stir.

In separate, smaller bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and remaining lemon juice and stir until evenly mixed. You may decide to add more to reach desired sweetness or consistency (sometimes I will add a teaspoon more mayo). Season with salt, pepper, and Tony's to taste, then pour mixture over chicken and fruit.

Stir until evenly combined and enjoy with crackers, salad, or on a wrap or sandwich.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Walking (and RUNNING!) in Memphis

PEOPLE! This weekend = WHOA!

So much fun. So much soreness. So much happy. I love it.

BUT FIRST! And more importantly!!!!



PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who has refreshed the Google feed 300 times today waiting for updates is excited about this!

All we know so far is that they are staying in New York City, Kate was perfection wearing a purple coat, and Wills is hanging out at the White House whilst Kate is doing crafts in Harlem.

Media, you are FAILING me.

Stay tuned for more updates.

But moving on!



What can I say?

Despite this being my worst race time in all my days, we really did have a great time. We knew ahead of time that we would likely have to take some walking breaks, due to a few injuries over the past month or so - but overall it was a fantastic race!

The course was really nice - between mile 4 and 5 it lead us through the St. Jude campus -- where some of the patients (all kids) and their families lined the sidewalk to cheer us on. The weather was really chilly, so usually there would have been more, but I have to admit I was fighting tears the entire time. I saw one teenage boy smiling and cheering for everyone while hooked to the IV beside him -- and almost lost it right there. These kids and their families are so brave, and I'm so thankful that St. Jude exists to give them the special care that they need.

What really slowed us down was, somewhere around mile 5, my knee started hurting. I've never had problems with my knees, so it was really weird when I started noticing the soreness.

Well --- what started out as soreness grew to somewhat of a strong pain as we progressed. I can typically push through, but this was a little more than soreness. It eventually eased (sort of) enough where I could power walk without too much pain, so Hubs backed off to a jog while I power walked the miles away!

In the end - I'm so glad we finished! Hubs jogged and I hobbled across the finish line, where they had members of the military presenting us with medals.

First the kids, then the soldiers? My emotions were CRAZY.

After stocking up on the water, gatorade, and snacks from the race sponsors, we hobbled across the street to The Peabody Hotel to meet our running team for some post-race recovery and laughs :)

Coffee and cookies, anyone? The weather was cold and windy all morning, and this tasted AMAZING.

Plus - check out the tree in the lobby! Hubs said it was somewhere between 20-30 feet tall!

If you ever find yourself in Memphis, I would HIGHLY recommend you at least visit The Peabody. It's such a beautiful place, especially at Christmas :)

We spent the rest of the day soaking, icing, sleeping, and trying to rest the soreness away - none of which I have pictures from because we party WAY TOO HARD for that kind of nonsense ;)

...and then that night we ate some awesomely authentic Memphis BBQ at the shadiest little BBQ place EVER in this world. Complete with bars on the window and everything!

The food, however, was a totally different story and pretty much BLEW OUR MINDS at how great it tasted.

All in all, great weekend with great people in a great place for an even GREATER cause. Thankfully my knee is all kinds of better, and I'm hoping we are able to do this race again next year.

First on my list, though, is Nashville in the Spring. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned for more crazy. Happy Monday yo!

Friday, December 5, 2014

All About That Race


St. Jude weekend has BEGUN! Tomorrow is RACE DAY and I'm pretty pumped. A little nervous, but pumped.

But before we head to Memphis, I wanted to pop in on my dinosaur laptop for a quick post!

I'm currently in the process of making a new Race Day playlist that will *hopefully* last 13.1 miles tomorrow. Here's what I have so far:

  1. Best Day of My Life - American Authors (I love starting a run with this song - so happy!)
  2. I Want You Back - Jackson 5
  3. Problem - Ariana Grande & Iggy Azalea
  4. On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull
  5. All the Small Things - Blink 182 (Flashback to Jr. High)
  6. Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
  7. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  8. Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO (hate the name, love the song :) )
  9. Candyman - Christina Aguilera
  10. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Miranda Lambert (YES!)
  11. Fighter - Christina Aguilera
  12. Free Ride
  13. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
  14. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (I hate that I love this. I do.)
  15. I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
  16. You Don't Know You're Beautiful - One Direction (another embarrassment)
  17. Bulletproof - La Roux (Pitch Perfect, anyone?)
  18. Any Way You Want It - Journey
  19. Cherry Bomb - The Runaways
  20. Footloose - Kenny Loggins (!!!!)
  21. Don't Stop Believing - Journey (This song. LOVE!!!!!)

Ok that's what I have for now - I doubt it will last me the whole race, but I'm pretttty confident I'll be hitting "repeat" a good bit since I love so many of these songs.

Keep us in your prayers! I need to go pack!!!!


Also -- our team will be raising dollars for St. Jude Children's Hospital until December 31. If you're interested in donating to the hospital - check out my page HERE!

Have a great weekend!

No treble.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

I'm feeling particularly restless today.

It likely has A LOT to do with adjusting to reality after an amazing four-day weekend out of town visiting my favorite people on this earth.

It gets harder and harder to leave every time. So yesterday and today have felt a since coming back to The City.

But enough with the sadness! Let's talk about PIE.


Are you burned out on pumpkin yet? Because this recipe is actually pretty cool.

Right before Halloween, while we were buying our pumpkin, The Mister asked if we could get a second pumpkin to make a pie from scratch. I've never had ANY experience whatsoever in this, but it's possible, people! We did a little research and, with some guidance from the farmer's market lady, bought a "cheddar pumpkin."

(Other pumpkins for this are better known as "pie pumpkins," but our local folks recommended the cheddar.)

We had to dig a little bit, but we finally found a great recipe at that was surprisingly easy - nowhere near as intimidating as it seemed.

Once you clean the pumpkin on the outside, you'll have to slice it in half and clean the insides before you cook the rind.

You can cook it in the microwave if you're pressed for time, but I recommend baking it because there will be no doubt when it's done.

Plus sometimes microwaves freak me out.

I'm weird. I know. I've accepted it.

Cooked pumpkin!

My advice, though? DEFINITELY use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the insides. This is SO MUCH EASIER (and faster! and more efficient!) than using a large spoon like I used to do. It really took all of three minutes to clean out the entire pumpkin.

The pumpkin rind - post-scooping!

Also, while this tasted great, I prefer my pumpkin pie a little sweeter, so I would recommend using more vanilla than called for, and possibly more sugar. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand, so I used sweetened condensed milk, so that could have possibly been what made the difference.

The pumpkin "meat"

I hope you enjoy this - our little kitchen smelled great as it baked. It's a great way to kick off the holidays :)

P.S. If you wanna be REALLY scandalous...try drizzling that beauty with condensed milk right before you dig in. No regrets!

"From Scratch" Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 pies

What You'll Need:
1 pie pumpkin (we used a cheddar pumpkin)
2 frozen (or homemade) pie crusts
1 cup of sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves*
1 tsp ground allspice*
1/2 tsp ginger*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs (Makes a lighter, fluffy pie. For a more dense pie, use just 3 eggs)
1.5 cans of evaporated milk
Optional: Whipped cream

*I used just over 3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of these ingredients, as the original recipe listed as a replacement.

What You'll Do:
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Wash pumpkin thoroughly in cool or warm water. Cut in half using a serrated knife (a smooth knife could be dangerous) and clean out the insides with an ice cream scoop. Once clean, lay each half face-down on the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Stick a fork in each half to see if it's soft, and if not then bake longer (up to 90 minutes).

Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the soft insides of the pumpkin until just the rind (or now soft "peeling") is left. Once cooled, use a hand (immersion) blender, hand mixer, or regular blender and blend until smooth.

Combine the remaining ingredients (minus the whipped cream) with about 3 cups of the pumpkin meat and mix until smooth and evenly blended. Pour into pie crusts and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 for around 45 minutes. You'll know the pie is done when you can stick a butter knife into the center and it comes out clean.

Let the pie cool then serve warm with whipped cream.

Monday, November 24, 2014


People. This weekend = WHOA.

It was electric. And WONDERFUL.

Saturday started BRIGHT (read: dark) and EARLY for Hubs and I so we could get to the best race around:

I seriously look forward to this race EVERY SINGLE YEAR. It's a beautiful course (albeit, HILLY), and the atmosphere is always so positive and upbeat.

Plus, there's a retired military man at the end waiting to give you a hot cup of red beans and rice straight from his GIANT cauldron:


Red beans & rice make an epic breakfast-slash-post race meal on a cold day. I cannot talk about this race ENOUGH!

Not to mention -- need I say it? -- CAKE!

There was CAKE at the end! DELICIOUS half-chocolate, half-yellow cake! Be still my ever-loving HEART.

BONUS POINTS: This was Hubs' first 12K -- and he ROCKED it.

((I believe this was somewhere around mile 4. Still smiling!))

Saturday was off to a pretty amazing start. Fast forward to a few hours later, and we're hobbling around our apartment (hills = sore hips, quads, toes, EVERYTHING) while watching a Hallmark movie. I'm addicted. I'll be the first to admit it.

All the Hallmark Christmas Movie lovers say YEAAAAAHHH!!!

So here we are, Hubs propped up in our recliner, me on the couch - and we start talking about the Mississippi State game that was scheduled for Saturday night, and how fun it would be to go to a game one day. Seeing as how I've never been to a State game (or any SEC game), this sounds like a GRAND idea and decided THIS HAD TO HAPPEN TODAY.

So around 1pm, we decided "WHY NOT" and jumped (read: rolled/crawled) into the car and headed to Starkville. (We HAD to finish that Hallmark movie, after all)


Quite possibly the most spontaneous thing we've ever done.

And off we went to see the Bulldogs. Well, the Lord smiled on us that night because we were able to find some pretty nice seats as soon as we arrived. AND my insane fear of heights gave me only a medium-sized panic attack (as opposed to paralyzed fear) as we were climbing the steps.

Please feel free to chuckle when I tell you that an 80-year-old woman fared better than I did with the heights and sent her husband to help me. It was a sight :)

But let me tell you. The atmosphere was electric, and it was SUCH a great experience. The team played SO WELL, energy filled the stadium, and there were COWBELLS galore. GALORE.

Plus, I mean --- that score? Epic.*

I even got a new shirt out of the deal :)


We arrived home at 1am, worn out, sore, but oh-so-elated. I absolutely love weekends like this - so busy, but fun and memorable. Here's to many more spontaneous weekends in the future!

Happy Monday Party People!

*State won over Vanderbilt 51-0.

#HailState :)



Friday, November 21, 2014



I seriously cannot WAIT to get this weekend started --- I have a feeling it may involve some MAJOR fun times...but more on that later because SUSPENSE.

But most importantly....


I have a feeling that THIS is the thing that will, in fact, break the Internet.

I'm pretty sure I've watched this approximately 47 times in the past 8 hours. I'm not proud of how many times I watched it yesterday.

But THIS MOVIE! The first one is for sure one of my favorites EVER --- and while I'm always skeptical of sequels....I'm REALLY pumped for this one.

I mean --- couldn't you just listen to a cappella "CUPS" forever? Gorgeous.

...maybe while sitting around a fire roasting marshmellows?

And don't get me started on my girl crush on Elizabeth Banks. Fantastic actress and producer --- now director.

"They HATE us!" "The whole WORLD!"

Oh, and....

"She actually speaks EIGHT languages, but 'loser' is not one of them."

I'll likely be quoting this for awhile. Come onnnnnnn May 2015!


Have you TRIED these????? (< Chandler voice! Because my life is filled with "Friends" references)

My new obsession. I have NO IDEA why I am JUST NOW putting peppermint in my coffee. NO IDEA!!!!

What else am I missing out on in this world????

That's it! I'm out! Happy Friday!!!!!!

"Crushed it."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

12 weeks = CHECK.

Folks, we made it.

We've reached the 12-week mark and our 5am boot camp IS OVER!

No more 4:12 a.m. alarms!

No more 4:20 a.m. alarms!

I can SLEEP until 6:30 a.m. again!

...or 7:20, but who's counting?

We made it. It's over and YAY-YEAH!

I'll admit, it was tough. Especially around the 7- to 8-week mark, when we had a good bit behind us but the end was still so far away. But I'm so glad we did this. Really, I am. I feel so much better than I did when we started this thing on Labor Day. Like I've mentioned before, I've done this program a couple of times in the past, and each time it's been a huge challenge both mentally and physically. But to be honest? I've never regretted it.

Even the mornings that were the hardest to get up and go -- the mornings our whole team knew would be some of the hardest -- after the workout was over, I was so glad I had this opportunity. It's literally one of the hardest things I've ever done physically (they may not say much about my sense of adventure ;) ), but I'm so thankful we made it!!!!!

I really do wish I had some hard-core pictures of us working it out over the past few weeks - but we leave everything behind once we hit the field (read: no phones). Plus, pictures would not have been pretty anyway --- I don't know anyone who looks exactly radiant at 5 a.m. ;)

So here's a funny picture of a really, really excited cat instead!

Ok so here's some happenings as of LATELY....

one. Hubs and I are on a soup kick - so we're basically experimenting with every soup known to man thanks to this freakishly cold weather. Our top pick so far?

The Pioneer Woman's Potato Soup!

So. Much. Goodness.

I used turkey bacon and cut the recipe in half for the two of us and WOW. I'll take this with a side of Texas Toast any day!

two. Who's listening to Christmas music already? The way I see it, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is MUCH shorter than usual this year, so I say BRING IT.

Although Hubs cannot even fathom putting up the tree until AFTER Thanksgiving (understandable...I guess). So meanwhile I'll just keep listening to Michael Buble on repeat.


three. Nutella Hot Chocolate happened in my kitchen a few nights ago.

I'm just gonna let that sink in for a minute.

Oh yeah, it's a thing. Check out the recipe on the "Beautiful Mess" blog :)

Topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings from THIS DELICIOUSNESS???

It was a wonderful night. Promise me you'll try it sometime, okay? Just say yes :)

four. OH! And HERE'S a funny story:::::: We're going to run a 12k on Saturday!

The last time I was sprinting running I almost threw up. True story.

The sad thing is, I never caught up to the taco truck :(



five. Please tell me you've seen THIS VIDEO of Jimmy Fallon lip synch battling with JGL and Stephen Merchant. PUH-LEASE. If not, DOOWITNOW.

Aaaaaaaand THIS ONE of Jimmy and Kevin Hart riding a roller coaster. I giggled A LOT.

That's all for now, people! Happy Wednesday!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dance Your Cares Away....

Happy Wednesday Party People!

For the past few months, I've told myself that if I can make it to Wednesday night, then I can FOR SURE make it through the rest of the week. Wednesdays start around 4 a.m. and end around 11 p.m. over here, and once my head hits the pillow I know that there's only one more crazy morning workout ahead of me before I can coast through to Friday!

And folks, it's mid-afternoon here on Wednesday, and so far, so good!

In other news, a few days ago our neighbors' Bassett Hound tried to follow me on my walk and gave me the sweetest Bassett Hound kisses known to man, and now my puppy fever is at an OFFICIAL all-time high.

You may reference THIS POST to get a glimpse of when said fever began.

We're in an apartment right now, but maybe ONE DAY we'll have a place with yard and - let's face it - YARDS NEED PUPPIES and that, my friends, will be a situation to be remedied :)




A couple of days ago, I found a clip of FREAKAZOID (<- FREAKAZOID! Can you believe it?! I'm so excited I had to alternate between bold print and italics!) on YouTube and CRACKED UP at the memories that it brought back. My brother and I used to watch this A LOT when we were younger, and when I sent it to him he pretty much flipped out as well.

PLEASE tell me you know what (and WHOM) I am referring to!

It's what Saturday mornings were made of.

Not to mention, Looney Tunes, TINY Tunes, Garfield, and so many more.

It wasn't long before Hubs and I started YouTube-ing all kinds of shows we remembered when we were younger.

For instance....

DUCK TALES, anyone?


LaunchPad was my favorite.
Even though back then I thought his name was LunchBox.

...I always was a fan of food, you see.




...and TALESPIN!!!!

Ohhhhh EEEEE-AAAYY!!!!
Oooohhh EEEE-OHHHH!!!!!!

Aaaaahhhhhh....those were the days. Kids today just don't know what they're missing. I miss good TV like this!

Okay folks, what did I miss? What shows did you watch when you were younger?

Wheeeeeere did he go???
That Invisiboooooo!!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hot 'n' Spicy Outlaw Chili

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit's NEW RECIPE TIME!

The evening (and early-morning) temps are dropping - making it the perfect weather for this Hot & Spicy Outlaw Chili. Hubs and I tried this over the weekend and we both agreed it was a success :)

Despite my smokey photography skillzzzzzz.

But first! A backstory.

About a month or so ago, my office had a day of friendly food competition. People divided up into teams, chose a food and theme, then had half of a workday to decorate an area of the office and prep their food (the aroma was incredible). Then, everyone in the office had the chance to walk around and sample each food and vote for our favorites.

It was a delicious day, indeed.

So delicious that I had to collect a few recipes here and there, as well. This chili being one of them.

Side note: When asked about the "Outlaw" part of the name, the sweet ladies on the team simply responded: "Because it's so hot, it should be illegal!"

Please also note that they were dressed in lady cowboy hats and vests as they said this, as well.

They were just too cute.

I usually use lean ground turkey meat when I make chili (see my recipe here!), but this time I opted for lean ground beef since the original was sooooo good when I tried it at work.

There is no doubt in my mind that this was the ultimate supper to warm us up on a cold weekend night. ESPECIALLY since we topped our chili with cheese, sour cream, and FRITOS!

PLEASE tell me this brings back everyone else's memories of Frito Chili Pie as a child! This dish DEFINITELY took me back to the days of junior high where we'd walk after school to the tiny little diner across the street to get $2 Frito Chili Pies after school.

And there we'd devour them with pink lemonade until our moms could come pick us up.

...around the corner.

Because that's what all the cool kids did. AND STILL DO!***

Now go make somebody (and your tummy) happy and MAKE THIS!


Hot 'n' Spicy Outlaw Chili
courtesy of the sweet ladies' team at work :)
Feeds 4-6 hungry folks

What you'll need:
2 lbs. ground beef (I used 80% lean)                                                   
1 tbsp garlic powder                                 
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced Ro-tel Tomatoes
1 or 2 cans Bush’s Chili Hot Beans
1 can of red kidney beans
3 heaping T. chili powder                                           
2 heaping T. ground cumin
½ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you’re brave)     
1 tsp oregano
1 can of low-sodium beef stock
1/2 cup of water (or more, depending on your preference of consistency)
1 large onion, diced
Salt and black pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Saute onions in a small amount of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven until they are clear and tender.  Then add ground beef, and cook until browned.  Add garlic powder and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.  Drain well and dab excess grease with a paper towel.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for ~ 2 hours. Check occasionally, and if the consistency is too clumpy, add more water 1/4 cup at a time - until you reach your preferred consistency.*

*I prefer my chili a little soupy, but not watery. So add water (or not) until your heart's desire. It's up to you!

***That tiny little diner is STILL there! Still in business and infested with tons of junior high kids every day. Memoriessssssss.....

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Tacos that Changed My Life

This is a story about the most AHHH-mazing tacos I've ever shoved in my face.

This is ALSO a story that could be alternately titled, "The Shadiest Little Taco Stand EVER."

...but I didn't want this post to have a negative connotation.

But let's continue :)

A few weeks back, when Hubs and I were hanging out in Folly Beach, we scheduled a kayak trip around the marsh at sunset.

It was glorious. We listened to the oysters "pop", saw a couple of jellyfish (eeesh), and watched some dolphins start feeding just a few feet from us.

Our tour guide, Kate, was the best. She guided us on our first trip last year, and we couldn't help but request her again. She's a local so we knew we could count on her to give us some not-so-touristy tips for the area.

And oh, did she deliver. She was the one that suggested we hike to the Morris Island Lighthouse not far from where we were staying, and THEN gave us a heads-up on a little-known taco shack around the corner whose tacos {serious quote:} "CHANGED. MY. LIFE, DUDE!!!!"

{Kate is everything you'd expect from an outdoorsy, life-loving, energetic surfer girl.}

Now, if you know Hubs and I, it really doesn't take much to convince us to try some kind of new food. We love to explore and try weird things and then gauge on a scale of 1 to 10 how sick we feel afterward.

I may be kidding on that last part.

We barely loaded our kayaks before Hubs looked at me and said, "We've GOT to try these tacos."

So off we went. The place was a few blocks off of the main strip, but still very much walking distance from our hotel. The lighting was not great (we passed it up at first), and it was right across the street from a very....questionable looking grocery-slash-convenience store.

In other words, it was one of the shadiest looking places I've ever seen.

At first.

The door was blocked by some junk old furniture, and the one window of the place was closed. There were lights on inside, but we didn't see any people. The small crowd (read: 8 people) on the patio (read: at the tiny bar) was the only indication that this place was, in fact, open.

Since I'm being honest, I must tell you that we actually walked away at this point. We were a little freaked out by the small gathering outside of the creepy grocery-slash-convenience store and the lack of lighting for the next walking mile or so that suddenly we weren't so hungry anymore.

But yet, we were. So very, very hungry. And if these tacos really changed our dear Kate's life ---- well then, we had no choice but to try it. For Kate's sake, of course ;)

So back we went. We approached the bar and chatted with the surfer guy that was working and found out there were three things on his menu: chicken tacos, pork tacos, and shark tacos.

Yep. SHARK tacos.

As in JAWS, if you weren't paying attention.

I went with two pork, Hubs opted for one of each.

As for drinks? Two options.

Beer, and water from "that jug in the back," as I lovingly deemed it.

It was QUITE entertaining. So here we are. hanging out with the 8 other customers, waiting for our tacos and jug water and wondering just what we were about to experience.

And let me tell you...Kate was right.

These really were the best tacos with which I have ever stuffed my pie hole.

EVER, people.

Apparently, surfer dude (who turns out, was/is the owner) marinates and cooks the meat alllll daaaay lonnng with all sorts of dreamy seasonings and APPLES. APPLES! It gives the meat a nice sweet flavor unlike any other I've had. We even had little apple slices on top!

I even tried the Mister's shark taco, and it was actually really good! Just like a regular white fish taco - only AWESOME.

This was NOT a fancy place - but we LOVED it, and we loved how NOT crowded it was. Fun fact: half of the people that were there were actually part of the band that started playing once we got our food. It turned out to be a great, laid back atmosphere (no crowds!) with excellent food that was perfect right after a two-hour kayaking trip.

I'm pretty sure these tacos really did change my life.


With that said, if you ever find yourself in the Folly Beach area, go for a kayak tour of the marsh (ask for Kate!) and then hit up Chico Feo (pronounced: cheee - koh fayy-ohh). You won't regret it!

Unless you hit up that shady grocery-slash-convenience store across the road. Then I can't make any guarantees for your enjoyment.

Happy Friday party people!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Allllllll About that Bass it's in YOUR HEAD too!!!!

I already liked this song (<- anybody dancing right now?), but I've been singing it ALL DAAAAY LONNG today because the CMA Awards are tonight - and MIRANDA is singing this with Meghan Trainor!

Normally I'm not fond of pop crossing into my country...but at this point Miranda can do no wrong so I say BRING IT!

In all honesty, I wrote a post LAST WEEK - an oh-so-LOVELY post, at that - featuring a fantastic fall dish that I love and adore: Turkey and White Bean Chili. However, once I finished going on and ON and ONNNNN about said chili, I realized that I'd ALREADY POSTED THAT RECIPE and it was therefore POINTLESS for me to post the exact same thing about a year later!

I just felt like I needed to confess that to you. Glad THAT's off my chest. I feel MUCH better. I'm glad we had this talk.

So TODAY I'm absolutely PUMPED because A) this morning's Workout ROCKED and my calves are CRAZY SORE, B) COUNTRY MUSIC, and C) I'm FINALLY starting to conquer the BEAST that is my job.


And maybe a little bit because of THIS:

AY KAY AY, the BIGGEST COFFEE I've ever seen. EVER.

Although, if we're being QUITE honest, we all KNOW I've only drunk about half a cup out of this. I've said it before, but my system just won't let me have more than that!

Yet I'm STILL feelin' the jitters!

Aaaaaaaand I'm feeeeeelinnnnnn'.......GOOOOOOOOOOOOD......

{click me!}


I've been STRUGGLING with various parts of my job for awhile now. I knew going into a new field meant a learning curve but WHOOOOOOOO has it been a doozy!!!!

But you know WHAT????

Today marked SUCCESS for this girl.

Even if it's only a small success in the grand scheme of things, it's a big deal TODAY!!!

Crazy Complicated Web Program = 0
This Girl = 1

That, combined with the fact that a co-worker gave me an AWESOME new recipe today, is a cause for celebration!!!!!

I want to go home and fry chicken and make mashed potatoes and biscuits and pull out ALL OF THE STOPS and just celebrate!!!!!

However, tomorrow is weigh-in day at The Workout - so I'll probably just go eat some vegetables.

But I WILL leave you with this ROCKIN' celebratory playlist instead!!!!!!

Happy Wednesday errrr-body!!!!! Friday is ALMOST HERE!!!!!!

Happy Day Playlist

You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
Jump in the Line - Harry Belafonte
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond ("IIIIII love Neil Diamond!!!")
Uncaged - Zac Brown Band
The Wind - Zac Brown Band
All About that Bass - Meghan Trainor (you KNEW that was coming)
Any Way You Want It - Journey

p.s. Fingers crossed for an AMAZING new recipe soon!!!! #experiments

Friday, October 24, 2014

Some Stuff for FRIDAY!

People! I'm back! Let's celebrate!

A few weeks ago, Hubs and I took a little trip to Charleston (read: Chahhhhhhlston), South Carolina for our first anniversary - and it was SUCH a glorious time!

We saw things like this:

And hiked to an old lighthouse!

And ran along the beach!

And then ate some awesome food!

Like that there BANANA BREAD FRENCH TOAST at The Lost Dog!!!!

Aaaaahh....I do love a good vacation.

Even though shortly after we came home I spent my days headbutting a CRAZY cold or whatnot for a couple of weeks.

I'm CONVINCED I sounded JUST LIKE Phoebe Buffay that time she got sick on Friends.

For awhile there, every post I attempted to write turned into an ode to Dayquil. Or Vicks Vapor Rub. Or whatever I happened to be taking at that time. And I just couldn't put my invisible Internet friends through that (as opposed to this winner of a post ;) ). I'm telling you - it was NOT a pretty time in my life.

But all is well! You know WHY, friends?

Because it's FALL, people. Cleary, unmistakably, unequivocally FALL in Mississippi!

The temperature at our workouts in the mornings (<--- YEP - still happenin'!) have been ranging in the low- to mid-40s (FORTIES!!!!!) and the mid- to high-SIXTIES in the evenings!!!!!


All the fall lovers say HEYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

BUT! Let's move on and talk about SOME STUFF for Friday:

one. Little Big Town's new album Painkiller is official HERE. Can we say pumped? I'm THISCLOSE to getting it but I've been instructed NOT to buy anything until after my birthday next week. We'll see how this goes.

two. Did you SEE the new Avengers trailer? Did anyone else's heart COMPLETELY BREAK when they saw this???????

No, Marvel! Not Captain America! DO NOT TOUCH THE CAPTAIN!

I was slightly hyperventilating distraught and had to Google to find out JUST HOW MANY more movies Chris Evans has signed on for before I could breathe again.

three. I just typed "Chris Rogers" by mistake because we had to RE-WATCH "Captain America: The First Avenger" last night and IT'S STILL FRESH.

Side note: I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before, but I was a little late to the Marvel movies party, but I'm only SLIGHTLY hooked (thank you MARRIAGE). To be COMPLETELY honest, I'd never seen any of the movies (apart from the first and second Iron Man) until just a few months ago. 

Aaaaaaaaand then we knocked them out in about a week. But I doubt I'll read the comics. I'm not sure if I can go there.


four. We drank THIS while on vacation. Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Latte. What the WHAAAAAAT. I have dreams about this stuff.

five. I've forgotten number five. I think it's because I got all hot 'n' bothered watching the Avengers trailer again and now it's all I can think about. Not to mention THAT MUSIC.

{{Go ahead. Go listen to it. CREEPY!!!!}}

Happy weekend party people!!!!!!!