Monday, July 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday is back, yay!

I have been so incredibly bored with cooking, as of late, that I seriously did not want to even post about food.  However, people love food posts!  I am drawn to other food posts like a fat kid to the Krispy Kreme hot light.  I cannot help it.

Let me go ahead and tell you:  This isn't some stellar food post with delicious photos and phenomenal recipes.

No, this is a post of what I have planned for us to eat this week.  I didn't scour my cookbooks or internet. No, I'm too lazy for that this week.  I did other things to figure out what we would have for dinner.  More scientific style things....

Like, thought about something I used to fix that the daughter loved....

Circa 2013

{An easy favorite} I posted on the blog 2 years ago...chicken, corn, black beans, diced tomatoes and a variety of little additions ...yummy!  Enjoy those old pictures of my tiny babies!  Why did I choose this? Simply put, I had three chicken breasts left in the freezer.  Three chicken breasts for four people...I need to stretch it further.  I dice it up and create this meal which requires little to no money (because I am queen of the tightwads) and ba boom we are good to go.

Image result for denver steak
Denver Steaks are the cool cut these days...
As a kid I liked reading the cuts of meat at the meat counter.  I know that's odd.  Seriously, think about it.  Cuts of meat are like class system all up in your face.  Filet mignon....well we didn't eat that growing up.  Ribeyes....my dad loved those.  T-Bones....my mom enjoyed those.  Porter House....I still cannot really tell you what that is.

I never really remember seeing Denver Steaks in the lat 80s and the 1990s.  

Denver Steaks are pretty awesome and you shouldn't skirt away from them (get the pun?).  Chefs are loving this new addition to the "cuts" family because they are versatile for dishes other than your run of the mill steak and potatoes dish.  With the price of beef skyrocketing, cooks (and mommies) are looking for economical cuts of meat that won't kill the pocketbook and will provide some yummy goodness on the table.

Forbes magazine did a report on the hip new beef cuts.  I kid you not.  Click here to read it, it's worth your time.  The Denver Steak just may be the hot new ticket.

I have a few in the freezer and plan to not get too crazy creative with them.  Nope, I'm going to marinade them in a garlic salt and pepper with Worcestershire sauce for half a day and then throw them on the grill.  I'll also throw some asparagus on there and dice up some potatoes to roast.  

And we shall call that dinner.


Image result for hotdogs
I love hot dogs but this makes me vomit for him.

Sometimes when I blog I think I have known a word my whole life - like hotdog - and the oh so smart computer system says its two words not one.

But....

Who cares.

We are having hot dogs this week.  Why?  Because my husband told me about the World Eating Championship (which I have like five million problems with) and said the winning person ate like 62 hot dogs in 60 seconds.  He then followed that up by saying, "I wouldn't mind a hot dog."

Um...

So it just so happens I have some Ballparks in the fridge.  

I just remembered he forgot to pick out some chili.  Well that sucks for him.  I will whip up a little batch of potato salad to go with them because you have to have potato salad, duh.

That brings me to this question:  Yellow or White Potato Salad?  That's also the question of the day on the A Brownie World (ABW) Facebook page.

I prefer yellow because I love mustard.  My husband is boring and prefers the white, gross.  Life is better with vinegar.

Sometimes the grocery store does the meal planning for you.

I love Harris Teeter.  If you know how to shop there you realize you can save money by going there.  I don't buy everything under the sun when I go (some things I save for Food Lion of hand dandy Walmart).  Also, I'm not a raging couponer so half the time I only use one or two when I go.

What I really adore about some HT is that they still run a meal deal.  Mind you, its the same one for two weeks in a row, but its 7 times out of 10 a good one.  I hadn't planned a turkey burger night but after I saw the deal I decided on a turkey burger night.

I paid $11.99 for everything you see listed.  Basically I just bought the burgers and the tea (which I doubt I even drink but my husband can take it to work) and got the rest for free.  

I remember when Lowes Foods (don't get me started on them) and Food Lion did meal deals.  They quit.  They are losers.

For my kids....taco night
You have probably noticed that meals aren't the clean, fresh eating that I subscribed to before school let out.  Way to go, Sherlock.  You get a new monocle.  I'm not hungry for food food these days.  Instead I want other things.  I'll get to that in a minute.

We're having a taco night because life isn't as bueno without a taco night on the menu.  I secretly think my daughter lives for taco night.  They are the fun food for her.  

Taco night is pretty much across the board right?  In college my Bestie Ashley would have me over to her apartment (which was directly beside my building) and we'd have taco night.  Tacos are like the Ramen Noodles of being out of a styrofoam cup.  Seriously, you can make tacos for cheap and honestly, they taste way better.

Image result for watermelon
Honestly.....
Image result for peaches
This is all I want to eat

Here's the deal....I can cook, grill, roast, toast, sautee all that crap above for my family.  But all I want is fruit.  Fruit, fruit, fruit.  I want to sit down and eat an entire watermelon and seven peaches and then go jump in some water.

I'm not a hunger monster in the summer.  I want to take more advantage of the produce farms (let me see your melons) and less of the meat producers (keep your beef big boy).  I want to bake up some cobbler and then make a big batch of zucchini bread.  I also want to sip some champagne and forget about cooking for a while.

It is just how I am in the hot months.  The girl who loves to cook opts to do other things when the sun is up and her feet are bare.

Give me some inspiration....what is your go to summer meal?



















Sunday, July 5, 2015

Monday, May I (RETURNS!)



So a long, long, long, long. long. long. long. long time ago on Mondays a blog bud friend (who is now retired and raising her two adorable cuties in that other Carolina) did a Monday, May I post just about every Monday.  I did it too because it made me accountable (ya'll, that's my favorite word) for stuff I wanted to get done for the week.

Like I said, she retired and eventually I quit doing that Monday accountability  post.

I decided I needed to get back to my Monday, May I posts.  I mean look, with summer comes some laziness that I just can't deal with.  OK, maybe I could deal with it in June but HELLO it is July.  It is time to get a bit more "fire under my tail".

This week my three four things are EASY.  I

1.  More exercise.
2.  More water.
3.  More devotion
4.  Get the weekend planned.

► Sweat, Smile & Repeat. An original typography design print by Victoria Breton. $22 on Etsy.

I haven't been getting in the sweat equity I need to.  I have been a lazy girl.  Lazy girls aren't cool girls.

Are you drinking too much water? 8 reasons NOT to drink 8 glasses of water a day!

My water consumption has been fair.  This week I am taking it back to spectacular.  I may go back to my shakes too.  Maybe....

{I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for The Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.} ~Elisabeth Elliot

More devotion to you my lovely friends and readers....just kidding.  I'm devoted to you.  Devotion in this challenge is more reading my Bible and my study book (that I got a couple months ago and totally did not finish.  I didn't much care for the book (study book) but I'll give it another try before moving on.)  I don't know about you but during the summer we slack on church. I will just be honest - its because we spend more time going and doing as a family and are off the regular routine of the school year.  I don't foresee me hell bound for this (though you may and that's cool I'll just volunteer to drive the bus down if this is what condemns me).  My daughter and I do a devotion together and that helps to keep me us in check.

Over the river and through the woods.

Next weekend we have something to do that would be a lot easier as a couple and not as a couple plus two little people.  Hopefully, I can {either} talk some family into watching the kids or at least get the sitter for a little more time than usual.

Alrighty, I feel great just putting these out there. Next Monday I'll go back over these and either give myself an A for passing or a F for failure.

Do you have anything you want to get accomplished this week?  Share it!











Little Blessings (We Take For Granted)

Senses...remember learning about them in school?  I bet you got to do some fun stuff like smell things blindfolded, touch things in boxes that you couldn't see (spaghetti is brains right?), listen to different sounds, taste unmarked flavors and so on and so forth.

I have been super blessed to have properly working senses with the exception of some vision issues.  Without my contacts I'm seriously blind...legally blind is the term the doctor used a couple years ago.  However, that is nothing!  I am still able to have it corrected by spending $50 every other month.

My family can taste the flavors of life and feel the soft coat of our dog and heat off the grill.  We can hear the songs of birds at 5 AM (and be annoyed.)

My issue with all this greatness is that we take it for granted.

Nothing moves me more than videos of people who have been deaf for years or since birth who are able to hear again or for the first time through cochlear implants.  I watch those videos, on the edge of my seat, just waiting to see their faces the first time they hear that loved one's voice.

It moves me like nothing else can.

When you see their facial expression after the hearing aid is on and that first hello comes out of a mom or dad's mouth to a child...I break.  I cry.  I smile.

I'm reminded how cool God is.

It reminds me that in a world where things have past the point of chaos with mean people and judgement and fear that there is a Maker who is still working miracles and showing us the simple (yet technologically savvy) awesomeness He has to offer if we let Him guide us.

See, I believe all good does indeed come from God.  I believe the advancements in medications and therapies that we peg on the doctors and scientists are actually gifts bestowed in their minds by the ultimate doctor and healer of the universe.  Even when they don't believe....He gives them the tools to create and help and heal - He's still in the miracle business.

If I compile all the little miracles that fall on me every day - all the things that I take for granted - a safe trip to drop my kid off at camp, my son having a day of no boo boos, my husband making it home from work safely, the air conditioner running without a hitch, the bills being paid for the month, and food at the ready.....I realize all my little blessings add up to a huge, astounding blessing....We're okay.

My post today is a challenge of sorts.  Today realize the little miracles in your life and celebrate them.  Don't get caught up in what is happening outside those four walls of where you are today.  Instead enjoy the sounds of how fully blessed you are...right now.



I would rock Carolina Blue over this too....<from a Wolfpack girl!>





Friday, July 3, 2015

5 from the 7 days

1.  Last weekend.

They both love the ocean which is great but also horrible since its like sharknado on the Carolina coasts.

We have officially hit the awkward phase of childhood...all her smiles look painful.


You know all those hokey pokey stores at the beach?  Well tell the marketing directors that this guy is their guy.....he wanted to go in every single one of them.  The Christmas Mouse really got him hopping.  He loved it.


My husband had to work all weekend.  My mom and her husband were at the beach.  I was planning on just doing the pool thing.  Then my mom called and said we could come down to the beach they had lots of room where they were staying.

I thought about it for five minutes and then said...ok.

The only thing I hate about going somewhere?  Going without my husband.  However, it was a successful trip.

Oh and the babies had a blast.

2.  Myrtle Beach.

Pick the airport and go some where else....ewww MB no good....try another SC beach town.

I'm not a fan.  Unless it is off season.  I'm the kind of girl who likes no crowds and lots of beach.  I'm also very laid back and like the ease of taking a crock pot and throwing whatever in it and eating in my bathing suit on the deck while the music blares in the background.

3.  10 Years.



On Tuesday the calendar reminded me that my Mammaw has been gone for 10 years.  She unexpectedly passed on June 30, 2005.  I will never forget that day.  She was an anchor and a huge part of me.  I don't think you ever get over the loss of someone so influential but you do become more appreciative of the memories and all the wonderful things they instilled in you.

4.  A Break.



On Thursday I finally got a mommy break.  Ever hit that block wall that says,  If I don't get away from these kids for a few hours I'm going to go insane?  Yeah, I hit it.  Luckily, my mom said the kids could hang out with her while I had dinner with my friend Jennifer.  A Vodka Tonic and vegetarian pizza PLUS loads of chit chat.....yes please!

5.  Girl Talk.

 

Milani nail laquer for .97 at Walmart this past week.  No lying.  My nails are all navy blue for the fourth.  Love that polish.
Why am I breaking out like a 13 year old at school picture time?  Guys, I had to go buy some Aveeno kill-yo-pimple-pads this week for my face.  Oh my gahhhh! Luckily, they work like a charm.
Apparently, my hair is riddled with triple the grays it had before.  I have short hair so that means I'm putting two inches on it (grow baby grow) so I can get more of the color I want (and need) to cover them.  I'm all for some gray hairs......when I'm not in my 30's.....or 40's.....or hell even 50s.  I FB'd my hair chick and told her the rebels were invading and I needed her magic color wand to heal the situation.
I wore make up on Thursday for the first time in nearly a month.  I also peeled out of my go to work out shorts and t-shirt to wear my distressed, skinny, cropped jeans with a hot pink blouse.  Ya'll, I put on jewelry too.  Shut up.  It felt so good to be all girly again.

Have a great weekend - thank for coming by!

Linked up today with Momfessionals aka Andrea.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thinking on Thursday (July 2)



Oh crap I overslept this morning.  Yes, it is summer and I don't really have anything to do or be to bring home any bacon.... HOWEVER....I did tell my kid I would make chocolate muffins for breakfast before we leave out so she can catch the camp bus.  AND my husband is basically pulling a swing shift and only getting about 5 hours of sleep today.  MEANING that I had planned to wake up refreshed with muffins hot and ready for the kids.  I would drive to the bus stop and then go to the pool with the small fry.  We would paint pictures and then jump in the water.  Yeah...no. So instead its McDonald's drive thru (I noticed I like their coffee better than DD today).

Did I mention it is raining?

Yeah the pool isn't covered or indoors.  Scratch the painting and pool time with the little mister. My back up plan?  Water colors, play doh, and a Walmart trip to get new car seats.

Oh The Humanity! 15 Insane Vintage Car Seats for Kids (Photos)

Let's talk about that, shall we?  Yes, car seats have a shelf life.  They say its for the foam in them.  I say its for the material they are made out of.  The fabric part is what I am specifically speaking of.  Ewww they are nasty!  I spent thirty minutes scrubbing one last night.  THIRTY-MINUTES-SCRUBBING-A-CAR-SEAT-CUSHION.  Yeah, its clean now but really....thirty minutes, I said. The other car seat is great but my guy has outgrown it.  I'm cleaning it up and putting in on the local yard sale Facebook page.  Do you guys have those?  They are such hit or miss sites.  I've had pretty good luck when I post (which is like twice a year).  However, I see where people get stood up on the constant and I couldn't deal with that.  So yeah I'm selling an Evenflo car seat that I bought brand new for $90 at Babies R Us for $30....are you interested?

Obviously not my place but ya know had to throw this up here (partycity.com)

If you travel my highway (yes no pretty little lane or drive here....just straight up highway) you will see that our house got a July 4th make over.  Here's the deal, we went to Dollar Tree yesterday and my 2 year old is mesmerized by all the red, white, and blue decor.  He picks up these foil buntings and I'm like hey that's cute.  Then I think, "we should totally have a cookout"....then I buy them.  I also bought a bow (which I should have bought more of and less of the bunting).  Last we picked up a star decoration.  I look at my toddler and say, I guess we're going to decorate.  He loved it.  After it was done I was like - holy hell either we look like we are having a birthday party for America OR we look like we ripped off the trailer park's happy.  I don't know but I do know my kids like it and really isn't that all that matters?  Tell me yes.



You guys like Jennifer Weiner?  I'm not sure I'm all into her.  I read one book and it was okay but I picked up her first book ever and I'm like, will I ever get through this book?  



Remember how I put up a wishlist like two months ago about things I wanted.  Remember a kayak being on there?  It would have came in hand this weekend.  An invite to kayak and no kayak.  Me a sad mama.  Remember how I put a bike on there and I got a bike?  Yeah, its been in the "shop" for two weeks.  Ok I'm getting depressed.

My dad and husband are shooting off fireworks this weekend.  That means the fireworks will either be total duds or someone will get hurt.  Just saying.

I think I have GMO belly.  I normally eat really clean and fresh but lately I've ate like a 19 year old.  Talk about some irritable bowel syndrome (fart, pain, please let me vomit) I must go back to eating like an abnormal human being STAT.

Seriously! Nightshift problems!

The husband starts another new shift next week.  I feel like I'm on some crash course to see how great I can do with being the only parent around when the kids are awake.  Single moms have my utmost respect....wait the single moms that actually parent and aren't sticking them with anyone who will take them.

Crap, I would like some childfree time....who wants them?  For maybe three hours?

Just kidding....maybe not.

Orange Is the New Black Season 2 photo quotes and trailer video

Oh and I'm finally getting into OITNB for this season.  Crazy Eyes Suzanne....she makes that show.  Tasty, too.  Getting to know Norma's story.....cray cray hippies!

Happy birthday, America.  Can we please have cake for your birthday?







Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's Going on In NC....




The biggest weekend of summer is a couple days away!  I have compiled a listing of some fun things to do this weekend starting with.....



Mocksville - July 3rd & 4th is the annual Piedmont Antique Power Association's Tractor Show & Parade in Historic Downtown Mocksville.  Music, food, and tractors from the early 1900's to today all geared up to celebrate small town America!  FREE!

Valdese - Fireworks & Independence Day Celebration.  Live music by Too Much Sylvia with fireworks to follow - FREE!

West Jefferson - 29th Annual Christmas in July Festival with country and bluegrass music, roving street entertainers, Christmas Tree Growers Competition, fireworks, and more!  And SANTA!  FREE!

Image result for national whitewater center july 4th

Charlotte - National Whitewater Center is hosting tons of bands, food vendors, and fun (whitewater rafting and more, don't forget the zipline) with fireworks on the 3rd and 4th.  The event is FREE but there is a VIP admission that has a price tag.
Skyshow Charlotte will be at the BB&T ballfield and have a street party (FREE) with music, food, and tons of fun for the kids.  There will be a special flag ceremony by the military.  Team USA will be playing Cuba.  Enjoy fireworks over the Charlotte City Skyline at dark.  July 4th is the date, one day event.

Greensboro - It is the 41st year of the Fun Fourth Celebration (held on Friday and Saturday in Downtown Greensboro).  Music by Part Time Party Time Band, dancing in the street, food vendors, and LOADS of fun for the whole family.  A pops concert set to fireworks will wrap it all up.  Friday is $5 per person and Saturday is FREE!

Fort Bragg (Fayetteville) - Easton Corbin and Randy Hauser will be jamming out at the 82nd Airborne Division's home base.  Admission is FREE!



Chapel Hill - This event is ranked by Travel + Leisure as one of the best July 4th celebrations in our country.  Head over to Kenan Stadium for the watermelon eating contest, loads of fun for kids, food, music, and fireworks on Saturday.Admission is $1.

Southport - I shared this last week but it is still going on!  It is the North Carolina July 4th Festival and it is huge!  Historic Southport goes all out to celebrate the birth of our nation.  An extravaganza of music, food, vendors, boats, and fun on the waters and streets of Southport.

Camp Lejeune - Celebrate July 4th with the Marines.  Daughtry will perform and there will be many events focused around the Marine Corp.  FREE!

Carolina Beach - Celebrate on July 2nd with Southern Trouble (band) and loads of fireworks on the boardwalk.  FREE!



















Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh my, I do believe it is JULY!

July is here and I'm holding on to summer tooth and nail!  I decided it has been way too long since I did a Pinterest post.  So in honor of all things wonderfully July I'm doing the first of three this month.

Of course with the holiday weekend right around the corner I'm focusing today's on Independence Day!  To me the colors of summer are red, white, and blue.  Nothing screams freedom as much as summer does for me so it is fitting to high light our flag.

Crafts

Super easy 4th of July Mason Jar Candles.  Made out of dyed rice.  Your kids will LOVE making these!


How cute and how simple is this?  It is just mason jars, died rice, and tea lights.  This would be so cute on the deck or on your picnic table this weekend!  Pin it here!

Pom-Pom American Flag Painting Craft for Kids - Fun and easy for a 4th of July craft or Memorial Day art project!

I think my 7 year old would love this.  A simple craft with paint and pom poms.  I would do this on canvas and keep it up year round! Here's the pin.

Love these adorable Fourth of July crafts for kids. They will make simple and inexpensive summer Activities for Kids.

Every Tuesday when I get the recycling out to the driveway I think:  Oh man these cans, I should make something!  Is this not adorable?  Recycling and cuteness...sign me up.  Pin it now!

Snacks

Recipes - Fourth of July Dipped Pretzels! What a fun 4th of July treat!

This is one of my most favorite treats to make.  Its messy and fun and very delicious.  I love this take for the 4th! Click here to get the pin.

4th of July Party | http://www.survivingcollege.com/perfect-college-friendly-4th-of-july-party-4th-of-july-snacks-drinks/

Here's one for the adults (but you can make a kid friendly version too).  I love sangria (thanks Mexico) but we can add in some red, white, and blue and say salude to America! Here's the pin.

4th of July Toast -- a tradition for our July 4th breakfast!

Start your holiday weekend off right with this festive breakfast idea!  I would probably devour the whole loaf....just being real!

Outfits

A fashion look from June 2013 featuring Alice + Olivia tops, Accessorize flats and Lori's Shoes necklaces. Browse and shop related looks.
Is this not fun?  Of course this girl would sport flip flops but the flats are pretty cute too!  Pin it!

I love the bold colors! Let's it bring out her tan and hair color

Yes, indeed, I fell in love with this top when I saw it.  If it isn't 100 degrees where you are then go ahead and sport those skinny jeans....I'd have it with shorts or a skirt!

Add a red statement necklace, and you've got the perfect July 4th Outfit!

This is just kinda precious to me.  I am an anchor lover!  Oh and let's be honest....we're going to be in the water so get your swimsuit out!

Printables

God Bless the USA Free Printable (two different versions available). Great for Memorial Day or 4th of July!

I love free printables because they are simple ways to decorate for holidays and seasons.  They also are great ways to change up rooms.  Who remembers Lee Greenwood singing this song?  It is a great anthem to our country.

God Bless America Free Printable by the Crafty Cupboard | 4th of July Printable

Yes, it is home from the big, fat cities to the tiny little specks (like I live in)...may it forever have blessings of grace.  Here's the pin for this one!


Free Print of the Week: Hand-Lettered Let Freedom Ring Print  | bydawnnicole.com

I LOVE this printable!!!!


Kids

Looking for an activity to keep the kids busy during the 4th of July festivities? Use this free printable 4th of July Scavenger Hunt for Kids!

How fun would this scavenger hunt be for the fourth!!!

The 4th of July holiday sometimes means traveling.  Here's a free 4th of July crossword printable to keep your kids busy in the car - for a few minutes at least.

Word searches....don't you remember how fun they were in school when you were a kid?  Get out the high lighter and go to town!

Outside Games For Fourth of July or Anytime! - Things to Make and Do, Crafts and Activities for Kids - The Crafty Crow

If you don't have corn hole boars then this would be super fun and super cheap!  You could get good plates at the Dollar Tree to use.

I hope these pins inspired you to become a little more festive this week!  Thank you for coming by & happy 4th!