Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sunshine & Strawberry Ice Cream Cones

I'm back!  I haven't been on here since a few days before Thanksgiving.  It has been a very busy last few months here.  So much has been going on but I feel like things are finally getting back to normal...even though, I do still have Christmas decorations boxed up and sitting in my Dining room!

The weather in San Antonio has been absolutely gorgeous this week!  Henry and I have taken full advantage of our Spring-like temperatures and beautiful blue skies.  Today we are supposed to hit a record high of 83!  As soon as my little guy wakes up we will head outside for more fun.  Picnics, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, playing with rocks, playing ball with the dogs and afternoon walks...yes, PLEASE! And let's not forget strawberry ice cream cones with his Daddy!  I think the 3 of us would be perfectly fine if the weather would stay like this.  I am not a fan of cold weather and being stuck indoors.  Especially with a very active 2 year old!

It has been too cold in the mornings to get out (still in the 40's) so I decided to do some baking today. Henry loves to help me so it is usually fun and only sometimes a disaster!  His Speech Therapy theme for the week has been food so spending some time cooking and baking was perfect.  I thought I'd give these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins a try.  They were pretty good.  Henry is so picky so I am always trying new ways to incorporate healthy foods.  I think these would be great with some shredded zucchini added to them so I will probably try that next time. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly how Debbie did in her blog.  I used vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain and agave nectar instead of honey.   I was pretty impressed!  I plan to give these Baked Oatmeal Bars a try next week.  They look so good and seem very easy, as well.

We also made these Strawberry & White Chocolate Cookies and they are pretty ahhhh-mazing! And easy! Again, I didn't make any changes to the recipe.  I did leave out the M&M's, though.  I know...WHY???? But I figured they'd be sweet enough and good enough without them...and they were! Of course, it is all personal preference.

The boy is up and my man is home from work early so it is time for some more fun in the sun.  Not every week or even every day is all butterflies and rainbows sunshine and strawberry ice cream cones but this week has been and I love it!   Happy Hump Day and I hope everyone has a great rest of the matter what your weather is like!



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Scarves

Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  We had a relaxing yet productive one over here...which was great!  The rain finally cleared out Sunday and we had a beautiful day. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky.  I know we needed some rain but a girl can only handle so much so to say that I was happy to see the sunshine is definitely a bit of an understatement!

I'm sure some of my Tennessee friends have heard of Marley Lilly, right?   Marley Lilly is an online boutique who specializes in all things monogrammed! You name it, they pretty much have it. I follow them on Facebook and Instagram and always drool over all the cute things that they post. They have jewelry, purses, shirts, vests, jackets, scarves, shoes and much more!

So Marley Lilly recently sent me a Monogrammed Cashmere Feel Scarf to review.  This scarf is beyond soft and I am so happy to finally have a mustard colored one to add to my very large scarf collection.  I hand washed it and let it air dry then tossed it in the dryer for a few and it got even softer!  And the color is perfect!  It is one of those that looks great with brown or black.  I also like that it is light weight, which makes it a great all-weather scarf!

Marley Lilly has a few other things that I have really been wanting.  I love this Monogrammed Sweatshirt in navy with white text.  It is so cute and something that you can dress up or dress down...which I really like!  I also love these Tassel Bracelets.  They would make great gifts for the ladies in your life...and, of course, for yourself! I can't decide if I like the brown, burnt orange, or green the best!  I have to say, though, this Puffy Vest in dark slate is definitely my favorite.  I have been eyeing it and the other vests that they have for months now.  Maybe I should just add it to my Christmas list (hint, hint Frannie!)...if I can wait that long to finally have it in my life!

Christmas is only 29 days from now so if you haven't started on a Christmas list for yourself or started shopping for others yet then you better get to it! Marley Lilly is the perfect place to start.  Oh, and be sure to sign up for their email notifications...they always have great flash sales!  Happy shopping and Happy Thanksgiving week! :)



Note:  This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  Although it is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry Apple Sauce

I can't believe I have been MIA for so long!  I probably picked a bad time to start this little blog.  I love the Holidays so much and have been spending all of my time crafting, doing festive things with Henry and getting ready for Thanksgiving rather than blogging.  I plan to do better, though!!

So who is ready for Thanksgiving?!?!?  I know I am!  For many Mom always comes to San Antonio to spend the Holiday with us so we are super excited to see her next Tuesday and I LOVE to cook Thanksgiving dinner for us 4 so I can't wait to start on Wednesday (yes, I start on Wednesday...I cook so much that it takes me 2 days! lol).  Henry has started bowing his head with his little hands together while we say our prayers at nap time and bed time then says "Amen".  Without a doubt one of the sweetest things I have ever heard or witnessed so I am probably more excited about saying Grace this Thanksgiving then even eating all the delish's just so sweet and I can already predict that it will probably make my Mom aka "Ol' Waterworks" cry...heck, who am I kidding, it will probably make me cry, too!  Anyway, Thanksgiving decorations are all up and I pretty much have everything I need for Thanksgiving dinner so bring on Turkey Day Eve!

I mentioned before that I make this amazing and super easy Cranberry Apple Sauce.  You only need 5 ingredients, toss it in the crock pot, let it do it's thing for 2-3 hours and bammm...deliciousness!

Cranberry Apple Sauce

5 lb bag of gala apples
6 oz. fresh cranberries (I buy a 12 oz. bag and use half then freeze the rest for later)
2-3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
dash of salt (takes away some of the tartness of the cranberries)

Now What...
  • peel, cut and core your apples.  Put in your crock pot.
  • add your cranberries then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and salt
  • cook on low for 2-3 hours.  I start checking mine at the 2 hour mark and stir them well.  If they don't seem to be making much progress at this point then I would crank them up to high for the last hour.  Mine do fine on low but all crock pots are different.
  • they keep their shape pretty much the entire time.  Once they are done and you stir them well, they turn into a perfect, chunky sauce

***don't burn any of your good candles while these are cooking because they make your house smell absolutely me!!

This sauce is best served warm.   If you have any leftovers then you should definitely warm some up and put it on top of a big bowl of vanilla ice cream.  If you want to get real wild and crazy then add some granola or crushed graham cracker on top...I'm telling you, it taste just like apple pie!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!! 

I have a few new things that I plan to try this year.  I was looking for a good Turkey Day Eve and/or Turkey Day cocktail to try.  I came across this Autumn Russian on Pinterest the other day and it had me at "sprinkles and pumpkin spice Kaluha"!  This Apple Cider Sangria sounds pretty awesome, too. I may have to just try both!!  I think I have almost everything for the Sangria so it may be the winner. Plus, it sounds like it might be much lighter than the Autumn Russian which will allow more room for all of the great food!  My sweet friend, Rosa, sent me this recipe yesterday for a Sweet Potato Pecan Pie and it immediately made my mouth water!  Her timing was perfect because I knew I wanted to fix a 2nd dessert and also wanted to make a Sweet Potato Casserole of some kind (I was thinking about this one).  I don't want need to do both so I think this pie is a great 2 in 1 and will help give me my sweet potato fix.  These little Cinnamon Roll Turkeys are a must for Thanksgiving breakfast.  I always love to do festive meals for Henry so they are pretty perfect...easy, light and cute! Ok, now I am hungry and wanting some Sangria!! 

I hope everyone has a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  My little family has so much to be thankful for so we will definitely be counting our blessings here at my house! Enjoy your friends, family, loved ones and be sure to wear your stretchy pants so you have plenty of room for seconds and maybe even thirds!  



Monday, October 27, 2014

Turkey Tostadas

We love Taco Tuesday at my house but sometimes I can get a little burnt out on them so I like to change it up every once in a while.  So Tostada Tuesday is my second favorite (Chicken Enchilada Tuesday is my third!).   After writing this, I am starting to think that maybe I should consider just doing Mexican Monday!  Everyone does Taco Tuesday so why not be different! :)   These Tostadas are so easy and good. Maybe not that healthy for you but they taste great and hey...they're made with turkey meat so that has to count for something, right!?!

Turkey Tostadas
What you need...
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat (they are good with ground beef or chicken, too)
  • 1 Package of tostada shells (I like the colored ones just because they are more festive and fun!)
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped
  • 1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning
  • 11 oz can of southwestern corn, drained
  • 10 oz can of Rotel, I reserve the juice in a measuring cup to use in place of water for the taco seasoning. I only need to add 1/4 cup of water to get the 2/3 that I need))
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 8 oz pkg of Mexican blend cheese (or whatever you like) 
  • Optional toppings...
    • Sour cream
    • Lettuce
    • Salsa or pico
    • Jalapenos 
    • Cilantro
Now what...
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • Cook your meat of choice and onion then drain.
  • Add the taco seasoning, reserved Rotel juice and additional water, if needed.  I also add the corn and Rotel at this time.  I just follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet and let it simmer for a few minutes. 
  • Place the tostado shells on a cookie sheet and bake them while the meat and veggies simmer. This gets them warm and crispier than just putting everything on them while they're at room temperature.  I'd pull them out after about 7-8 minutes
  • Warm the refried beans up a little, at this time, so they spread easier onto the shells.
  • Now it is time to assemble!!  Smear 1-2 tbsps of refried beans on each tostado shell, then pile on the meat, corn and Rotel mixture.  
  • Put them back in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Pull them out, add some cheese on top and then sprinkle with a little chili make them even more festive!  I like to broil them for about 5 minutes so the cheese is good and melted.  Keep a close eye on them, though.
Once they are done just get creative with your toppings and add whatever you'd like! And don't forget the beans and any other sides that you'd like.
I hope you enjoy these Tostadas as much as we do!!  I plan to try some Crispy Chicken Tacos next so if they turn out near as amazing as I am hoping then I will have to share them, as well!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Little Fall Fun

I feel like we haven't been doing much here lately during the week but then again I feel like we have been busy! Make sense?  Not really, right!?! lol!  I have been feeling a little under the weather for the last 2 weeks so we have been trying to keep busy around the house rather than running around, like usual.  I have been baking and crafting like crazy! Even when I don't feel well I find it impossible to just sit still and rest.  Plus, this Mommy no longer gets sick days so I have to pull it together and keep a certain little busy body happy. Henry loves to help me in the kitchen while I am baking.  Which in this case means he loved to try to eat all of the sprinkles for our white chocolate dipped pretzel treats!
The finished product turned out great.  I decided to keep out the cutest ones for some festive decor in the kitchen.
Henry thought it'd be fun to take several bites out of multiple apples while helping with the pretzels so I decided it was a good reason for me to make some homemade Cranberry Applesauce.  I'll share this recipe in a few weeks.  It's so unbelievably easy and makes an awesome side for Thanksgiving.
Over the last month, we have been trying to take Henry to at least one pumpkin patch every weekend. They are everywhere in San Antonio right now!  A few weeks ago we visited our first one, South Texas Maize, and Henry loved it!  There was a corn maze (that we decided not to do), perfect pumpkins everywhere, apple cannons (the coolest part about the patch, in my opinion...and Francis probably agrees!), goats, barrel rides and so much more!

He had a blast just playing with the pumpkins and loading the wagon up with as many as possible!
And this "sunbeam" seemed to be right over him in a ton of the pics that I took...which I think is pretty cool! You can see it in the above picture of him running through the field of pumpkins. 
We left with a perfect, little pumpkin for our little Punkin to help us carve. He wasn't sure about the pumpkin guts! But I think he enjoyed it.   

It is probably safe to say that he enjoyed the caramel apple slices that he got after the pumpkin carving more than the actual carving itself!
This past weekend we visited two more patches.  We have one less than a mile from our house so we decided to walk to it for a few on Saturday.  We weren't there was an unorganized, hot mess (literally, it was in the low 90's!!) but Henry had fun, of course. 

This one that we visited on Sunday was my favorite so far.  It was at a little church and they had a ton of beautiful pumpkins of all shapes and sizes everywhere.  
I wanted Henry to have cute, festive shirts to wear so I made this pumpkin one and the above "Boo" one, which is super cool because it glows in the dark.  They both turned out great!  You can't beat making your own, super cute shirts for less than $7 each!
I always know it's going to be a disaster trying to get a good decent picture with Henry.  You want a wild 2 year old to sit still and smile for 20 seconds??? Yeah right!!!  I'll take what I can get, though! 
And it's all fun and games until someone breaks the scarecrow's head off!  Good job, H!  This little act was our cue to buy our pumpkins and head on home! 
Sorry for the pumpkin patch overload but we have had too much fun to not share!  I already have a couple picked out for this weekend and can't wait.  I know Francis is pumpkin patch'd out already but he's a great sport!  Now it is time to finish...uuuummmmm, I mean start on our Halloween costumes. Only 9 days left to work on them.  And I have a pretty good feeling I will still be working on them come Halloween day!!  

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great rest of the week! 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Can you believe it is already October?  I.AM.SO.HAPPY!!  I love this month for so many reasons!

It finally feel like Fall here this morning.  I forgot how good 68 feels!  It has been in the high 90's and very humid in San Antonio all week so the cold cool front that came in overnight is welcome!! Though it has been unseasonably warm, Fall is still everywhere.  My house smells amazing like apples (thanks to my BFF, Carrie!!), it's a must that there is some kind of Oktoberfest or pumpkin beer in the fridge, pumpkin patches are open everywhere and my Fall/Halloween decorations are out!  And the only thing that could make my pumpkin and/or Autumn harvest iced coffee better in the mornings are these ahhh-mazing Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins that I discovered a few weeks ago.  They are so good and so easy!  This time of year I always try to keep at least one can of pumpkin in my pantry because I know there will be a lot of pumpkin treats made over the next two months.  I like to be prepared!!!  So I actually had everything that I needed to make them.  They were so good a few weeks ago that I have been craving them for breakfast since! 

What you'll need...

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 c. sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
Coarse sugar (optional)

Now what!?!
  • Preheat your oven to 400 F and grease 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening...or line with festive baking cups.
  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a large bowl.  I had this cute little guy as my helper!  It was all fun and games until he decided that it would be hilarious to dump a big spoonful out on the counter! 
  • Stir in pumpkin, oil, eggs, cranberries and pecans until moistened.  The batter is very thick.  
  • Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. It is the perfect amount for 12 large muffins. 
  • If you have coarse sugar then you can sprinkle it over the batter in each cup.  
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I started checking mine at 15 minutes because they smelled so amazing!  I let them cook for 20 minutes, though, and they were perfect. 
  • Immediately remove the muffins from the pan to cool. 

I followed the recipe exactly the first time but this time I used a heaping cup of pumpkin (instead of 1 cup) and 1/2 c. dried cranberries (instead of 1 cup).  I wanted more of a pumpkin flavor with a little less cranberry.  These muffins are great warm, cold and are even still delicious a few days later.

Well, I am off to get the rest of my chores done because we have a busy weekend ahead of us!  TN vs. FL (GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!) on tomorrow then we are taking Henry to the first pumpkin patch of the season on Sunday!  Hay rides, a giant corn maze, games, food and pumpkins...what's not to love!  I hope everyone has a great weekend and be sure to let me know what you think about these Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins !


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hello Blogging World...Here I Come!!

I'm doing it...I am FINALLY doing it!  I have wanted to start a blog, oh...since I was pregnant so for like 3 years now.  I have always had an excuse not to, though.  For example:  too tired in the evenings, keeping our now 2 year old busy all day doesn't give me much time to myself, couldn't think of the perfect name for my blog and so on!  This week I have been thinking about it a lot and decided to just do it already!  I have all of these exciting things that I want to do this year and I am kind of running out of time!  Ummm...hello, Christmas is only 3 months away!!  Where has 2014 gone?  Feels like it was just yesterday that my Husband, Francis, and I were sitting in our driveway saying "peace out" to 2013 and welcoming 2014 with fireworks and champagne!   

So why do I want to blog?!!?  Whenever I discover something new that I fall in love with I don't want to be stingy with it and keep it to myself...I want to tell everyone I know all about it so they can run out, get it and find out how awesome it is themselves!  This could be a beauty product, clothes and/or accessories, a delicious sweet treat or awesome dinner recipe, I LOVE to make snack mixes for every holiday and I can promise I will share some of them here, I find some pretty good adult beverage recipes (and some not so good) that people should know about, and the list goes on!  I am absolutely obsessed with crafting and making party decorations!!  Banners, specifically...but I don't discriminate!  I love all crafts!  Especially the inexpensive, fun, easy ones!  And last but not least, we have this adorable and super silly little redhead named Henry that we adore!! I spend about 10-12 hours with Hurricane Henry on a daily basis so I am sure he will come up more often than not! 

I can't thank you enough for stopping by to read my first blog post!  I'm so excited and can't wait to embark on this new little journey!  See you next time!  :)



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