Weekly Randomness

Ready for my random post of the week?

Last week, as you know, was Spring Break.  The hubs had to work, so me and the kiddos headed up to visit my parents at the lake.  We have an old mobile home there, and while it’s not fancy, it still feels more like home to me than any other place in the world.  Nonetheless, it’s been a while since we were there, and it needed some major cleaning.

lakeIt’s just a happy place.  We have no wifi, cable tv, or even very good cell phone service out there.  It’s so peaceful.  We spend our time outside, or around this coffee table playing games and working puzzles.

While I was there, I got caught up on all of the good shelter magazines.  My mom gets all the good ones.  While going through the latest Country Living, I came across this…

stick arborYeah.  So, I’m going to need one of those.  Can you even imagine?  Some people are just so dang talented.

Speaking of talent, I’m still learning macrame.  Last week I showed you the first plant hanger I made.  Since then I’ve added another plant hanger…

macrame planter2…And my latest creation was a wall hanging…

macrame wallY’all.  I could make a million more things.  It’s so fun, and the process is so simple, yet it still takes focus.  It’s one of those things that’s a little meditative, which I love.

I also went to Calloways this past week for some new potting soil.  I can’t seem to keep succulents alive.  It’s seriously sad.  My brother in law told me I wasn’t using the right kind of soil, so I found a cactus blend that I’m hoping will give my little babies a fighting chance.  While I was there I spotted these…

calloways terrariumsI love the air plants, mosses, and tiny ferns they used.  It’s like miniature gardens.  I’ve been inspired by these for a while, and it may be about time I try it.

I started a new volunteer gig this week at the resale store for our community’s homeless shelter.  I lucked out on the position, but I’m thinking I could be in trouble.  When I got off my shift, I ended up shopping and spending $35.  I wonder if that will happen every time?  I scored some cute t-shirts, a maxi dress for summer, and these little trinkets…

findsWhen I got home, I was in the mood to bake.  Something in me has been craving zucchini muffins, and while most zucchini bread recipes are super bad for you, I came across this recipe for Zucchini Bread with Apples and Carrots and let me just say:  Holy moly.  Make them.  Eat them.

zucchini carrot muffinsThey have whole grain goodness and no refined sugar.  Plus, they are loaded with veggies, so throwing them in the kids’ backpacks for school is a good idea.

Well, y’all, that’s pretty much it for my week.  I hope yours has been swell.  It’s almost Friday, so if not, keep on truckin’!




Weekly Menu

I finally got the chalkboard paint on the pantry door, and over the weekend the handy husband updated the trim, as well as on the coat closet.  It’s a simple project that costs about $26 per door and about 30 minutes of his time.  Well worth it.  Just wish I didn’t have to sand and paint.

pantry doorIt’s a snow day here in North Texas, which means icy roads and everyone scrambling like it’s the end of days.  I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon to just grab a few things for last night’s dinner and ended up doing all of my grocery shopping for fear nothing would be left.  The shelves were totally picked over, so I think the menu looks pretty tasty considering I threw it together based on what I could get my hands on.  Stay warm!

Monday:  Hamburger steak with onion gravy, brown rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday:  Chicken tikka masala (jarred sauce), basmati rice, cauliflower

Wednesday:  Slow cooker spare ribs with saurkraut and potatoes.  So stinky good!

Thursday:  Leftovers/snack night

Friday:  ??

Saturday:  Spaghetti and meatballs

Sunday:  slow cooker roast with veggies

Peace y’all!


House Tweaking

Sorry I didn’t post a weekly menu this week.  Our schedule is busier this week than usual, so we are pretty much having snack night every night except last night.  We had Shepherd’s Pie, and I highly recommend you try it sometime, particularly on a cold night.


The last few days, I’ve been spending time tweaking a lot of things.  We are still underway on Avery’s bedroom, which has taken entirely too long, thanks to a really annoying door fiasco.  Anyways, it was finally installed, and now I’m getting ready to paint it, along with the new modern trim we installed.  We still need to find mirrors for her closet doors, but I’m bound and determined to finish the entire room by next week.  I’m dying to post a tour.


I’ve also been playing around with the mantle in the study.  It’s been a little looking a little “stuffy”.  I recently scored some old shutters that I think I’ll try up there (haven’t picked them up just yet), but I really want to try some slightly more whimsical touches, so I threw up an old bicycle wheel that came from the hubby’s bike.  Spray painted yellow, I think it might be the start of the direction I want to take.  Not everything here will make the cut; this is just where things have landed lately.


My favorite little styling display so far is in the dining room.  I’ve been tweaking this room since we painted it a few weeks ago.  I’ll be excited to post a tour of it as well, but for now it’s been taken over by a school group project.  I’ve given up on keeping it clean and tidy until after that’s over, and the buffet is the only spot that I won’t let them touch.


It’s hump day, which means the rest of the week is downhill from here.  Make it a good ride!



Weekly Menu

Seriously…what is this, like 3 weeks in a row that I’m actually posting?  And, I’m following through with my goal to post my weekly menus…Whoa.  Impressed?  I am.

As usual, this week is busy so our menu is pretty lame.  But, as I always say–it’s better than takeout!

MondayThai curry chicken with vegetables and jasmine rice, spring rolls

Tuesday–Grilled pork chops, roasted vegetable pilaf (I’ll have to share that recipe another time–sorry)

Wednesday–Breakfast! (eggs, bacon, tomato slices, hashbrowns)


Friday/Saturday–???  Me and my girl are going out of town for a girls’ trip to visit my BFF near Austin, so I’m sure we girls will be eating something amazing.  The boys are on their own, so I’m guessing hot wings and Chinese food buffet.

I’m really hoping to get around to updating more here this week, including some new home tour updates.  We shall see…

Have a great week!



Weekly Menu


Happy Monday!  This week, I’m kicking off a new weekly post.  Each Monday, I, like many moms out there, I sit with my binder, pinterest board, and good old allrecipes to figure out what in the heck I’m going to feed my family for the week.  I’m a big fan of making a weekly menu, and then (hopefully) only make one trip to the grocery store, saving money and time.  I try to make simple food that tastes good and can be prepared in less than an hour, and with minimal recipes–again, to save time.  Here’s what’s going to be on our table this week…

Monday:     Shredded chicken tostadas, beans, rice (I buy all of this in the deli/prepared foods section at my grocery store.  Pop it in the microwave and top with refried beans, fresh veggies and sour cream)

Tuesday:     Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Salad

Wednesday: Leftovers/Snack Night

Thursday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, soy-garlic green beans

Friday:    OUT

Saturday:    Meatball Subs (I use frozen meatballs, jarred sauce, hoagie rolls and sliced mozzarella)

Have a great week!



Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie

048 It snows in Texas.  No, I’m for real.  Living here most of my life, that’s not something I’ve ever really said.  Yeah, we’ve had snow in the past, so you could say we’ve seen it before, but you wouldn’t really say it snows in Texas.  But, for the last few years, we’ve actually seen snow more than once during the winter.  Heck, we had a white Christmas this year.  And not just a few flakes.  Real snow.  And, it’s snowing again today.

The cold hit on Sunday, and I could think of nothing better than some warm, comfort food for dinner.  The kind that makes your kitchen smell warm, and when you’re finished you feel full and satisfied.  So, we made Shepherd’s Pie.  Now, I know this isn’t the prettiest food, but you’re going to have to trust me on this.  It’s sort of like a beef pot pie, with its rich, rosemary gravy-like sauce and tender vegetables.  It’s a one dish meal, which my family loves.  Make it this winter and your family will hug you.  Here’s the recipe…

0841 lb lean ground beef

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced, steamed carrots (I steam mine in about 1/2″ water in a covered bowl in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes)

1 cup button mushrooms, sliced or quartered

1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained

2 tsp worsteschire sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef broth

2  large potatoes (diced, cooked, and mashed your favorite way–butter and milk for me)

1.  In large skillet, saute beef and onion till beef is brown and onions are translucent.

2.  Add carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, worsteschire, and rosemary.  Use your spoon to sort of break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Simmer 10 minutes.

3.  Mix flour and broth till smooth in a separate bowl.  Pour into beef mixture and stir.  Cook about 5 minutes, or until thick.

4.  Pour beef mixture into a large baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading evenly.

5.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes until bubbly, and the potatoes are starting to turn golden.  Garnish with fresh parsley.  Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.  Enjoy!




On the Grill: Artichokes

In case y’all haven’t noticed, we sort of love to grill.  What better way is there, really, of cooking though?  It’s fast, little cleanup, and healthy.  These artichokes are nothing short of amazing, let me tell you.  We had some grilled artichokes at a restaurant on our anniversary and I vowed at that moment to make them at home.  We’ve made them twice now and have learned something crucial:  make more than one.  The kids even loved them.  Here’s how to do it:

1.  Heat your grill.  You’re going to want to cook these on a medium-medium low heat.

2. Select large, fat artichokes (little ones don’t work so well).  Start by trimming off the first bottom rows of the leaves with some kitchen shears.  Then, slice them in half, lengthwise.  Finally, get a spoon and scoop out the little furries.

3.  Using a brush, baste the artichokes very liberally with olive oil.  Get both sides, making sure to get it deep into the nooks and crannies of the cut-side.

4.  Place the artichokes on the grill, cut side up.  This is because they will need to cook for about 30 minutes and they will get pretty brown (as you can see from the photo).  Flip them about halfway, basting with more olive oil if needed.

5.  Remove from the heat and serve with this (I call it aioli, but it’s not)…

(mix in a small bowl till smooth)

1/2 cup mayo

juice of half small lemon

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Dude, if you’ve never tried them like this do it now.  You’ll love me for it.



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ON THE GRILL: ham steaks with orange marmalade

Tonight’s dinner was a winner because it was so dang fast and easy.  Try it, you’ll like it.

Get yourself a big ol’ bone-in ham steak.  Then, put a little orange marmalade (maybe a 1/4 cup) in a small bowl and stir in a tablespoon or so of water (just to thin it out).  Brush it on the steak and slap it on the grill.  It only needs about 5 minutes per side and it’s done.

Try it for breakfast, too.  It’s awesome with eggs!



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On the Grill: corn on the cob with herbed butter mayo

Yesterday evening we spent the final hours of our vacation cooking an awesome dinner in the backyard.  Last week we were on a wonderful family vacation which started in San Antonio with Mimi and Papa, followed by a few days at the lake with Nana and Pop.  I came home feeling relaxed, refreshed…and chubby.

Today it’s back to reality…

Laundry and tighter-fitting shorts.

We truly had a wonderful week playing with the kids and grandparents.  And eating.  And drinking.  Hiccup.  And this corn was a wonderful way to end the binge.  The herbed butter mayo just seeps into those little nooks and crannies of the corn and you find yourself licking your greasy lips when it’s all gone wishing for more.  Did someone say tight shorts?

Here’s how to make them.  The corn, that is.  Not necessarily the tight fitting shorts.


4-6 fresh ears of corn

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup mayo

3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Start by heating your grill.  You’re gonna want to cook these on medium-medium high heat.

2.  Make the herbed butter mayo by mixing the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.

3.  Now its time to shuck the corn.  Don’t be afraid.  Start by breaking off the ends and tearing off the first couple of layers of husks.  Then hold it by the end and peel down the rest of the husks, without completely removing them, until you expose the ear.  Tear off all of the silks.  Then, fold the husks back up over the corn, ending with about 2-3 layers of husks.

4.  Put the corn on the grill and cook, covered, about 20-25 minutes, turning a few times to ensure you get even charring.  Remove from the grill and tear away the husks and top with the herbed butter mayo.  Enjoy!



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