Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Goals

I've never liked the word "Resolution" not sure why it sounds so....negative to me. So here are my 2012 GOALS - much nicer sounding, don't you think?  I hope to come back here on a monthly basis to check in and tell you how I'm doing with each of these.  Honestly I usually don't write these down - or even HAVE goals because come December I usually feel so guilty that I haven't followed through with ANY of we'll see how this goes!

* Eat healthier - more home cooked, less processed meals. Totally cut out HFCS out of our diet, again.

* Lose Weight - I'm not putting a number here because God knows I need to lose a bunch!

* start a workout plan - and stick with it

* Stay on track to be out of debt in 18 or less months

* Move successfully to our new place in January - and de-clutter at the same time.

* make a Cleaning plan for the house and stick with it

* play the piano more

* Read 12+ books (not all fiction like I'm doing now! )

* Hold 4+ Pampered Chef Shows a month - and all that goes with having my own business.

* Watch LESS TV - much much less

* Have a clean kitchen at the end of my day.

* Make friends - actual IRL people that I can have a cup of coffee with

* Get our Adult small group started and it actually go somewhere

* Love my husband more - treat him better than I have been  :/

* Be intentional about having date nights - even if it's a picnic on the floor. Turn off the TV and really focus on each other.

* Stay out of family drama

* build better relationships with family

* Call - ON THE PHONE - friends that are important to me to keep those relationships alive.

* Talk to my grandparents more often

* Have a closer walk with God - reading scripture,memorize scripture and more praying - and not just over the food :/

* Blog more - at least once a week, if not more.

So what are your goals for 2012?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Really Works #1

About a month ago while eating at our favorite restaurant (Newtons) I got a berry sauce on my favorite light pink shirt - you know that delicious berry sauce that is a deep purple color. Well obviously I wiped it out as best as I could - but when you get something like that on your clothes you KNOW it's going to stain.  Well I  went home and put a stain stick on it and threw it in the washer right away.  Took it out of the washer and the stain was still there.  So I tried another technique that my momma taught me - poor laundry detergent directly on the stain, let it sit for a while and then wash. Yeah, the stain was STILL there. I tried a few other things - nothing was working.  So I gave up.  Well a few weeks ago I saw a pin on Pinterest (you all know about this site right? if not - you NEED to get an account - and be prepared to waste ALOT of time there :D ) that claimed to be the best stain remover - ever. Well I thought about my shirt, and said - why not? It's not like I'm going to ruin it anymore! Well I ended up waiting about a week or so before getting to the store to get the ingredients to make this stain remover (so now the shirt has had the stain for about 3 weeks).  I FINALLY get the right ingredients and made up the stain remover - it was SUPER easy to make and I just brushed it onto the stain with an old toothbrush - the recipe said that she "watched the stain disappear right before her eyes" well - my stain wasn't going away that fast - so I let it sit on the stain for a little bit (maybe an hour or two) and then threw it in the washer - THE STAIN CAME OUT! I was SOOOO excited!    This also works on blood, and other stains I've worked on (and some of those stains DID disappear right before my eyes!)

So have I convinced you that this stuff works? Do you want the recipe? Well wait no longer here it is:

1 part Dawn Dish Washing Liquid
2 part Hydrogen Peroxide
Just mix it together and poor it onto the stain - you can scrub a little if you'd like.
(I actually made it WRONG the first time - I used 2 parts dawn and 1 part peroxide - and it still worked!)

Yep, it's THAT easy.

So go and find that SOMETHING that has that stubborn stain and try it out, and let me know how much you love this stain remover!!  Thanks to Pinterest for bringing this to my attention - but also to One Good Thing by Jillee for writing the article up - go check it out because she has some variations that I haven't tried yet ;)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Dress Revisited - a few years later

I wrote this a few years ago, and it came to mind today. Probably the best thing I've ever written.  I still have it.... 


The Dress

I have this dress. It really was quite simple. Black with white piping along the edges. A wrap dress that tied on the side. I considered this to be my "little black dress" for many years. Whenever I was feeling gross about myself I knew i could always put it on and make myself feel fabulous.

I remember the first time that I wore it. I paired it with black fishnet hose, these adorable round toe heels with a delicate bow. I curled my hair - something that I rarely do. I wore it to a church that I was visiting in the fall of 2003. I'm not going to lie, I looked good.

I've worn this dress many times between the first time and the last time. But I don't know if I'll ever wear it again, although I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get rid of it.

You see this is the same dress I wore with several masks. The "I'll be ok" mask, the "She's in a better place" mask. The "God has his plans" mask. The mask of the person who "keeps the family together." The mask of the "strong person" in the family. I wore so many masks at that point in my life - did I ever stop to really be me and wonder how am "I" going to get through this?

I wore that dress as I welcomed people from every stage of her life. I wore it as I sat on the front row with my siblings. I wore it as all her children (including me) got up and sang a song together - something she always wanted us to do. I wore it as friends and family said goodbye. I wiped more tears on that dress that day than I've ever cried before. I wore it while we stood around in the snow at the cemetery. I wore it while we ate dinner at the church I grew up in. I wore it as my uncles started to sing songs after the dinner - I remember HAVING to join them. She would have loved that.

And then that night I took it off. That day I wasn't looking so good.

I have worn that dress only one time after her funeral, and it was awful. All I could do is remember that cold day in December. Something I don't wish to re-live any time soon.

The dress still hangs in my closet, and every once in a while I run my hand across it when looking for something to wear and the memories come flooding back. I probably will never wear it again. It was a good dress. A dress I loved.

But I loved her more.


Today is 4 years without my mom. I remember 4 years ago today so clearly.  After being at the Hospice care center for almost a week I felt the need THAT DAY to sit and hold my mom's hand ALL.DAY.LONG. and so I did. While I sat there I talked to her.  I let her know that I loved her more than words could ever say.  I sat and read a book that the Hospice center provided about an ardvark having to say goodbye to a friend (I think), and I took a nap - all while holding my momma's hand.  Then around 9p.m. a nurse came in and checked my mom out - for some reason I remember her looking at my mom's ankles. She then re-assured me that it would still be a few days, and told me to go home and get a good nights sleep (I had been sleeping on a couch, a bean-bag, the floor - wherever I could fall asleep at the hospice center). So I went home and as soon as I laid down the phone rang, and it was my aunt telling me that my mom had went home. It was 11:06 p.m.  We drove back to the hospice center - we were one of the last to arrive since we were the farthest away.  We joined the rest of the family that was there. We gathered around her body and all held hands and sang songs of praise to our Great God.  I don't think anyone wanted to say goodbye to her.  I *think* I was the first to go and give her one last kiss on the cheek - and then I left the room.  It was and still is the hardest night of my life. 

Monday, September 5, 2011


Squeeeekkkk.........(looks around the door) is anyone still here?  Like I said in the beginning - I knew I wouldn't blog every day - but I really didn't think it would be MONTHS before you heard from me - sorry about that!

I was feeling quite domestic today and I thought I would share a delicious recipe with you - because, well, it's amazing :)

This recipe comes from The Pampered Chef's new "Cookbook For A Cause volume 2" that came out on September 1st.  It's chalked full of recipes from TLC's Stars and it benefits Feeding America!  For each cookbook sold The Pampered Chef will donate $1 to Feeding America to help provide eight meals to those in need.  The cookbook only costs $3 - so it's a super cheap way to help those in need - AND get some yummy recipes!! To purchase you can visit THIS website.

The Recipe I made was Randy's Blueberry-Lemon Scones (he's the star from Say Yes to the Dress)

2 cups unbleadched all-purpose flour
1 TBSP baking powder
5-6 TBSP sugar
1 lemon's zest
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBSP COLD unsalted butter
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries - unthawed
1 cup heavy cream (plus a little extra)
Raw Sugar

1. Pre-Heat oven to 425'
 (this isn't in the recipe - but right now I cut up the butter into little chunks and stick it in the freezer until I'm going to use it - for tender, flaky scones the butter should be VERY cold when cutting it into the dry ingredients)

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir in: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest

3. With your fingertips, mix in 5 TBSP cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes.  Mix together until consistency of course meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.

4. Stir in fresh or frozen blueberries and heavy cream

5. on a floured surface, form into ball and pat into an 8-inch circle, about 3/4 of an inch thick

6. Brush top and sides with heavy cream, and then sprinkle generously with raw sugar

7. Cut into 8 triangles (like you would slice a pie)

8. Spray baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and wipe of excess with a paper towel (I used my baking stone - so no extra oil there!)

9. Bake on cookie sheet at 425' for 12-15 minutes (the stone takes a little longer more like 17 minutes) until lightly golden

10. Resist eating them immediately. Let them rest about 10 minutes to firm up. ENJOY!!


 And just for the fun of it (and I didn't want to waste the rest of my heavy cream) I made butter for the first time since kindergarten! LOL it was fun, and it's delicious! ;) I sorta kinda not really used THIS  recipe/directions  - now if I could only buy raw milk in Iowa I would make my own ALL the time....Iowa needs to fix that!

Hopefully it won't be months before you hear from me again! Let me know how you enjoy these scones!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cooking with Christy #1

If you have known me for any period of time you would know that I am in love with Lisa Lillian aka Hungry Girl.
I first fell in love with her when I randomly bought her cookbook at a Bed Bath & Beyond.  I made her pumpkin caramel cupcake/muffin and was like 'WHERE HAS SHE BEEN ALL MY LIFE?"  and then I tried her Lettuce Cups - they were 10 times better than PF Changs.   
Everything she makes is low fat/calorie - and almost everything I've made from her cookbooks has been amazing!

So needless to say when I heard she was coming out with yet another cookbook - you know I HAD to buy it!  I have been trying different recipes the last 2 weeks and I thought I would share one with you :)

from Hungry Girl's 300 under 300 by Lisa Lillian
"The invention of oatmeal parfaits was a stroke of genius. This pumpkin pie version will leave you speechless" 

Per serving (entire recipe=1 serving)
292 Calories
7.25g fat
542mg sodium,
51g carbs,
7g fiber
7.5g sugars
7g protein

**(I made 4 servings at one time - so the pictures will show MUCH more than one serving)**

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze milk
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 no-calorie sweetener packets (I used sugar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
dash of salt

1 - 60 calorie sugar free vanilla pudding snack
1 sheet (4 crackers) low-fat honey graham crackers, roughly crushed (I used cinnamon grahams - and they were yummy!)
Optional Topping: fat free reddi-wip


Combine all ingredients for oatmeal in a small nonstick pot on the stove.


Mix Well.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
Stir often to prevent burning:
Cook for 9 minutes, stirring often, until somewhat thick and creamy (it will thicken more upon chilling) Allow to cool slightly. (Think Cake Mix - not Oatmeal at this point)
 Transfer to a bowl,
and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours.

To Make the Parfait:
Stir oatmeal throughly until uniform in texture.
Spoon half of the oatmeal into a tall glass, (I put it in a zip-lock bag so I wouldn't get the glass messed up - same for the pudding)
and top with half of the pudding snack
 and half of the crushed graham crackers.
Repeat with remaining oatmeal, pudding and crushed cracker.  

Top with reddi-wip, if you like and dig in!

My notes:
This recipe was REALLY good, and I got my hubby to eat oatmeal ;)  Like I said above I used sugar instead of sweetener.   I also made 4 servings at once - and stuck it in the freezer for 2 hours to chill it - if you were planning on putting it in the fridge and making multiple servings plan for more "chill" time.  My husband would have liked a more flavorful oatmeal - so I'm thinking next time adding more cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg.  Over all - VERY YUMMY!

Does anyone elses cookbooks look like this when you are done with a recipe? All of mine do!
(this was also the recipe/shopping trip that got me thinking about making all these things home-made, like pudding, whip cream etc...) 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out with the Pre-Made in with the Home-Made

I am always striving to make meals from scratch - which I always thought that from "scratch" meant throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl/pan and making it yourself instead of using a boxed item. This included a can of soup, or taco mix etc... I don't know why it took me SO long to realize that why you are making it at home - it's not really "From Scratch" know what I mean?  Now please don't take this as I don't EVER use boxed items - because if you looked in my pantry right now you'll find some - they are nice to have on hand when I don't have time or energy to do all the prep-work ;)

So I've been searching for recipes to make my own mixes instead of buying them pre-made. Here are a few that I've found:

Alton Brown's Hot Chocolate Mix: This is simply amazing - SOOO much better than the little packets you buy in the store! And very simple to make!  I did find it was actually too rich for me - so I use about 1/2 of the mix that he suggests.

Taco Seasoning: I haven't tried this one yet since I have a few packets still in my cupboard - but I'm excited about trying it!

Macaroni & Cheese: This is FABULOUS!! SOO yummy!  Much better than the boxed version! (next I'll need to start making my own pasta!)

Fruit Snacks : Can I tell you I'm addicted to fruit snacks - 100% addicted. I LOVE them. But I know they aren't the best thing for me - so I went searching for a recipe and low and behold they look SO simple to make! I'm excited to try these at some point!

Crackers: Here is a basic cracker recipe - I haven't tried it yet. I've heard good and bad things about making your own crackers so I'm a little scared ;)

Cream of Chicken Soup: Another recipe I haven't tried yet. I am wondering if I were to make a HUGE batch of this - do you think I could can it, and use as needed?

Condensed Cream of ________ Soups: I am so excited to try this recipe - because I have been trying to get away from buying canned soups - the sodium content is SO high - plus I know EXACTLY what I'm putting in the soup!

Yogurt & Pudding: I Never even THOUGHT to make these by myself - crazy, they both look pretty easy!

Ranch Dressing : This one will be a hard switch since my husband and I ADORE Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing - anyone have a recipe that tastes the same as Hidden Valley?

Mustard, Ketchup & Mayonnaise (I wonder if I could exchange the safflower oil for coconut oil in the mayo??) 

Hamburger or Hot dog buns - anyone have a recipe that is light & fluffy like the store bought ones?

Evaporated Milk  & Sweetend Condensed milk : - I didn't know I COULD make my own!

I know I could go on and on with this list - but I'll stop here. I'd love to hear what types of things you have stopped buying pre-made! Please share your recipes!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Ok I feel horrible - I was supposed to announce the giveaway winner yesterday and well after a long weekend where I worked an expo for my Pampered Chef business, then church and going to see Beauty & the Beast on Sunday night (which was wonderful by the way!) and then on Monday I had a surprise root canal - not the best type of Surprise - that's for sure!  I totally forgot :(

But don't fret - I"m here now to announce the winner - by random drawing out of a bowl the winner is:

STEPHANIE B from "Happily Ever After"!! So email me your mailing address and I'll be mailing you all those fabulous Pampered Chef products!!!

Thanks to everyone who participated - I hope to do many more giveaways in the future!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Look What I got in the mail!!

GIVEAWAY Information here!!

A few weeks ago while reading a blog that I follow I fell in LOVE with the wreath that Summer posted. While there are directions on the blog on HOW to make the wreath - I just KNOW that mine would turn out hideous! So I hummed and hawed and got some birthday money and bought myself this lovely wreath from Sugar Money and YESTERDAY it arrived YAY!!! I took pictures so you can see my excitement and my new lovely wreath!

Of course I had to use my handy dandy i-slice to open my box (seriously this might be my favorite Pampered Chef product - at $3.75 EVERYONE can afford it ;) )
 Getting excited as I start to see it!!!
 The sweet note from the maker of the wreath:
 Isn't it lovely???
I Love the bird sitting on top of the flowers :) 
 Yes, I didn't consider the color of the front door when buying the wreath - but I'm still in love with it!

 Sadly - it won't be on my front door until after Easter - since I have this little cutie hanging there right now ;)

What's hanging on your front door?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I'm reading

GIVEAWAY Information HERE!!

When I was a little girl I used to read ALL.THE.TIME - I would easily read an entire book in a day or less. But then I went to college, and reading became "homework" and not for "fun" anymore. And after college I read maybe 15 books. I just stopped reading - and I think that having a TV of my own - and actual channels to watch - got in the way of my imagination going wild in the pages of a book :)

THEN 9 years after I started college:

I joined a book club.  I wasn't really sure what to expect - but I thought I would give it a try :) And I fell in love with reading all over again. In 2009 I read 20 books and listened to 3 audio books. In 2010 I read 37 books and listened to 12 audio books. I have been keeping a list of all the books I'm reading - just because I like lists and its nice to keep track of what I'm doing - makes me feel better about myself ;) LOL  This year I have read 5 books (I'm so behind!) and am currently in the middle of several books - something I usually don't do.

A few of my "favorites" off of my "list":
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - by Beth Hoffman
Redeeming Love - by Francine Rivers
A Woman's Place - by Lynn Austin
The Help - by Kathryn Stockett
Eve's Daughters - Lynn Austin
Her Mother's Hope - by Francine Rivers
Her Daughters Dream - by Francine Rivers (the second book in the series)

So here is my current reading list - yes, I'm actively reading ALL of these :

1. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin. I've actually been trying to finish this book for over 9 months. I read the first 3 in the series and flew through them. This one has been harder to read. Honestly I can't "recommend" these books - they were just ok.

2. Walking In the Will of God by Steve McVey - I started this book back in Nov 2010 and i just couldn't get into it - even though I was leading a BRAND NEW book club/meeting with some new friends - I later found out that I NEEDED to be reading it at a later time in my life - like moving to another state less than a year after you had just done the moving process.  It is a great book - I highly recommend it.

3. A Patient's Guide to PCOS by Walter Futterweit MD with George Ryan. - I was diagnosed with PCOS last fall. I was pretty sure I had it before then - it runs in my family.  So I'm trying to study up on it and see what I can do to help control the issue. I JUST started this book so I can't say yay or nay about it yet :)

4. Intimate Issues 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pinuts - This book was recommended to me from Mark Driscoll when hubby & I were watching "The Peasant Princess" (AMAZING for ANY married couple - a MUST for everyone!)  I haven't gotten into it too much yet - just the first few chapters.  I think I really want to do this more as a devotional type book - it has questions at the end of each chapter - but so far its good.

5. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah - this book was recommended to me by a friend that I went to church with when I was in Jr. High (Hi Beth!!) So far it's been pretty good - the story kinda "sucks" you into it. If you are easily offended by language this book might not be for you.

6. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown - My hubby and I went to the Library on Saturday to get a card and I saw this book on their "new books cart" and I thought - yes, that is a book I need to read. The tag line reads "See, we love each other, we just don't happen to like each other very much" (now this isn't the case for me - because right now amazingly enough, my sisters - Amanda, Heather & Leslie- and I are getting along! lol!) But I could relate - and lets be honest all sisters have a love/hate relationship at SOME POINT in their lives ;)  I started this book on Sunday while lying in a hammock outside on a GORGEOUS day :) I think it's going to be a hard book to read - especially if the mother's health keeps going downhill - but over all it's been pretty good so far.

What books are you reading right now? Anything I should check out?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Here is the first of many (I hope!) giveaways!

Unless you don't know me - you know that I am a Pamered Chef Consultant - and that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job! I get to sell some amazing kitchenware, and basically party for a living! (shhh...don't tell my husband!) So as a little shameless plug for my business I'm going to be giving away some fabulous Pampered Chef items!

Items shown above will be given away: 2 Help Whip Cancer shopping bags (you can't buy these anymore!), 1 easy opener, 2 (different) Season's best cookbooks and 1 Raspberry Habanaro Sauce (SO YUMMY!) 

DIRECTIONS TO ENTER: One entry for each of the following

1. Follow this blog  (Click either of the links to the left!)  - leave a comment saying that you did so
2. Go and like my Facebook Pampered Chef Site (as soon as I get 250 "likes" I'll be giving away our brand new food processor!!) - leave a comment saying that you did so
3. Invite your friends to like my Facebook Pampered Chef site (link above) 
4. Say something about this on YOUR blog or Facebook wall - come back and leave me a comment with the link so I can go look at it! 
5. Leave another comment below - compliments are always nice ;) LOL JUST KIDDING! (but not about the leaving a comment part)
6. Have a friend do all of the above - and then have your friend come back here and leave a comment with your name in it (You get an entry and your friend gets an entry!) 


Contest ends Next Monday April 11th at NOON - many will enter only ONE will win ;) 

Now go and Share people! LOL! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Doll the WORLD is talking about

So I know I'm not the first person to write a blog about the new breastfeeding baby doll (and probably won't be the last) - but I wanted to throw my opinion out there.  Before I do I'm going to put out my disclaimer - because I KNOW someone will have a fit about what I'm going to say! I DO realize that there are times when breastfeeding is just NOT an option - for example Milk supply - but I DO still believe it is the BEST thing for ANY infant - or GOD wouldn't have designed our bodies to produce milk to nourish an infant.

Now on to my post: 

If you haven't heard, or maybe you live under a rock ;) there is a new baby doll coming to America - it is the worlds first Breast Feeding Doll basically the doll comes with a little shirt/bra looking thing with flowers where the breasts would normally be. When the doll is near the flowers/breast it makes noises like its nursing, and moves its mouth. After the doll has eaten, it needs to be burped.  View commercial if you would like: 

Most people that I've heard talk/write about this doll do so in a negative light. They say the doll is degrading to little girls, or it's too sexual etc...  I don't feel that way about this doll at all - in fact if I had a daughter, and the doll wasn't almost $100 I would consider purchasing it for her.  

When I was little I didn't have this doll but I DO remember "nursing" my dolls (and I'm talking doll on skin here - no special little bra for me!) - because I saw my mother doing it. I burped my dolls - because I saw my mother doing it. I changed my dolls diapers because I saw my mom doing it.  Children learn from watching their parents. My cousins wife actually just wrote a sweet note on facebook about watching her oldest daughter (almost 2 yrs old) take care of her baby doll the same way that she sees her mother take care of her little sister. Children learn by the examples that we as adult set for them. 

From some of the articles I've read, this doll was created to bring awareness to Breastfeeding and all the good it does for your infant. Maybe if we bring awareness to breastfeeding to our children - they will choose to breastfeed knowing that it is so much better for their baby than formula.  Think about it - a mothers breastmilk doesn't have added hormones, added vitamins, it's not soy based, and it's never been recalled by the "company" It is the way God intended all women to feed their new born baby - it is natural. 

This clip from GMA I thought was pretty good - they weren't For or Against the doll. 

So I'm in the minority here - I realize that - but what do you think about this doll? Would you buy it for your child?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Cards, Target Cards and Freebies!

 Today turned out to be a pretty good day when I got to my mailbox! Our little tiny PO Box was over flowing with mail - the mail lady even had MORE in the back room for us - it was crazy!  Look at all these fabulous birthday cards I got in the mail :D (and those lovely target cards - whoo hoo! birthday money!)

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday either by phone, text or a facebook message - I truly know who my friends are - I felt very loved :)

Something else that came in the mail today was my freebie pack from Target! I got a new lotion, a few new shampoos, a lip gloss and chap stick to try - PLUS $25 worth of coupons! not to mention the cute little case it all came in!  And have I mentioned that the coupons are all for target - and I will get an extra 15% off because my hubby works for Target - love that discount! LOL!
and it doesn't stop there!! I got my latest copy of "Fresh Home" in the mail - this is a catalog I devour each time I get it in the mail. It has so many creative ideas in it - and this one looks promising!

I already love the water bottle vases with fresh daisies on the front cover!

So what fun things came in YOUR mailbox today??