Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday (June Edition)

It's the last Wednesday of the month and I am linking up with Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday to share a little about what's going on in our world...


Tuesday:  Fish Tacos (Recipe Coming Soon)
Wednesday:  Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, (the rest of the house indulged in mashed potatoes)
Thursday:  Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Squash and Red Bell Pepper (with Brown Rice)

(Confession: This is really last week's menu.  I just had to get that off my chest...OK, I feel better now)


We are headed to Silver Dollar City for vacation.  It's been ten years since we've been there.  Let me break that down for you; this girl is about to get her drivers license, but had just learned her sight words last time we were there.  It makes me realize how precious time is, and that I need to soak in every moment with all of my little sweeties!


My Feti!  No I didn't mispell Yeti.  My husband has lovingly nicknamed my fake yeti "Feti,"  I bought it at WalMart for a fraction of the price of my husband's real Yeti and it works just as well.  Kendall and I both bought one and ordered a personalize vinyl sticker to jazz it up a bit.  It's helped me want to drink water so much more.


My tan, girls!  You know you spend too much time at the pool, when halfway through your bath you realize you still have your visor (aka your pool hat) on.  #SummerTimeProbs


VACATION!  Don't worry, you won't miss a thing!  I promise to give you a full wrap up!


I've already mentioned my Big Brother fascination, but I also recently got wrapped up (thanks to my pal Amanda) in the Southern Charm phenomenon.  Don't get me wrong, it's not life changing, but it is entertaining.  (P.S. I'm just on season two, so don't tell me what happens this season)


Sunglasses are not something I splurge on.  Maybe one day, when my kids are grown, but for now, my sunglasses are reasonable.  I picked these Fila sunglasses up at Kohl's a few weeks ago when I was suppose to be Father's Day shopping, and love how they fit.  They are "Sports" which I think helps keep them on my face, and from slipping off.  I also really love the pop of pink.  


Celebrating our country's birthday, of course!  We also have supper club Sunday night, and this month, we are actually inviting the kiddos along and having a swim "party."  No, it won't be near as relaxing as our normal supper club, but our kids are great friends, too, so they'll be super excited about it.  Just don't get use to it, kids, next month it's supper close business as usual!


Mark and I celebrate eleven long blissful years of marriage next month.  We usually plan an anniversary getaway.  I look forward to recharging and having a little one on one time with my groom!

(Last year's getaway)

That's all I've got for you on this last Wednesday of June!  What's up with you this Wednesday?


Monday, June 27, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite Salads

We all know that salads don't necessarily mean healthier, but I like salads because they aren't too heavy in the summer months.  I watch my carbs, so I don't worry too much about calories or fat intake.  As long, as I can pick around the croutons, I consider a salad a smart choice.  Today I am linking up with Shelly and Katy for Spiel the Beans with the Queens.  Today's "assignment" is to share your favorite summer salad.  Since many people are on the road this summer, I decided not to share a recipe, BUT share My Top Ten Favorite Salads...on the go!  In no particular order, because literally everyone could almost be my favorite!

1.  Chipotle Bowl from Chipotle

This is one of my favorite copycat recipes to make at home, too.  Barbacoa is my very favorite!

2.  Market Salad from Chick-fil-A:

If you're a southern mom like me, you probably eat at Chick-fil-A more than you'd like to admit. My kiddos love their nuggets, but this mom is hooked on the Market Salad with grilled chicken.

3.  House Salad from Olive Garden:

Who doesn't love the house salad from Olive Garden?  One of my favorite things to do is meet my mom at Olive Garden for soup and salad.  Yum!

4.  Paradise Greek Salad from Paradise Bakery:

I use to work near a Paradise Bakery and I ate this salad probably at least two times a week.  Oh man, I love that place!  Salads, bagels, and chocolate chip chippers.  Well, at least I don't have to feel guilty about the salad, right?

5.  Tropichop from Pollo Tropical:

I am fairly new to Pollo Tropical, but absolutely love it!  If I am being 100% honest, I pour tons of that yummy cilantro sauce on everything I get there.  I could order Plain Jane lettuce, as long as it's got that sauce on it, I'll eat it!

6.  Mango Chicken Salad from On the Border:

When Mark and I were dating, we were big OTB fans.  We don't go there that often now, because we live in Texas and there's a Mexican restaurant on every corner, and the nearest OTB is about twenty miles away, which means we pass approximately 94,386 Mexican restaurants before we get there.  Even though we don't go there often, this salad is still a favorite!

7.  Chicken Caesar Salad from La Madeleine:

I said I wasn't going to pick a favorite, but THIS IS TOTALLY IT!  Yes, it's one of my favorite salads, but it's also where Kendall will choose to eat lunch 99.7% of the time when we have a girl's day.  We always split a chicken caesar salad, and I get a cup of tomato basil soup.  There's really nothing better than lunch at La Madeleine with your daughter and having a little girl talk.

8.  Chopped Antipasto from Buca Di Beppo:

Bucca di Beppo is one of mine and Mark's favorite date night spots.  We always start with this salad and then split an entree.  If you haven't tried this one, add it to your list.

9.  Lettuce Wraps from Pei Wei:

OK, so technically this isn't a salad, but it has all the components of a salad...with a twist.  Lettuce wraps are one of my favorite things to order at Pei Wei.

10.  The Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from California Pizza Kitchen:  

You know that tiny, little percent of a chance that I mentioned, when Kendall doesn't pick La Madeleine for lunch?  That's when she picks California Pizza Kitchen!  Their chopped BBQ Chicken salad is similar to their famous BBQ Chicken pizza.  Pizza for Kendall; salad for the mom.

Those are my top ten choices for salads.  What is your favorite place to grab a salad?  Be sure to check by Shelly and Katy's blogs to see other popular summer salad options.

Have a terrific Tuesday!


P.S. I'm linking up with Beth for Tuesday Talk, too!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  It has been an eventful week around our house.  We've had an air conditioning break, car issues, a coffee pot stop working, a leak under the kitchen sink, three sick people (one of which had to have a chest X-ray), our porch swing broke, and last, but not least; someone allegedly flushed something down the toilet yesterday.  On top of all of that, Kendall has been gone all week!  I am ready to put this week in the books!  With all that said, I do have five favorites from this week to share with you.  Let's get started...

Tuesday:  My post Good News, Bad News described a little about our hectic week, and why I choose joy in the midst of chaos.  I also shared a little about one of my favorite new finds: The FREE WalMart Beauty Box.  Check it out!

Thursday:  My post It's Just Stuff, Right? talks about how easy it is to get caught up in trying to acheive the "perfect" life by filling it with "stuff."  I am trying to live simple, live in the moment and not sweat the small stuff.  

Jess has an announcement...

No, he is NOT going to be a big brother again.  No way!  But, he IS excited that Big Brother is back on TV this summer.  He loves this show.  My mom bought Jess this shirt (because he IS a big brother), and when I told him what it said he said, "Yes, I LOVE that show!"  SO, when the Big Brother 18 premiered this week, Jess insisted he had to wear his shirt.  We're looking forward to this season.  I was a James fan, so I am excited to see him back.  Sadly, Jess was a Glenn fan.  :(

I bought my husband a Yeti for Christmas, and he loves it, but I heard that WalMart had a brand, Ozarka Trail, with a similar tumbler.  Kendall and I bought one and love it.  I have done some minor comparison between my "Feti" (fake yeti) and my husband's real Yeti, and I see very little difference.  Here's the best news: the "Feti" (Ozarka Trail) retails for $7.74!!  That's $30 less than the real Yeti.

Kendall and I shopped around Etsy and ordered these cute vinyl stickers from Stevi Lus.  I apologize for the poor quality picture, but the vinyl's are super cute and we are excited to use our new tumbers for a long time!  In fact, I already want the larger tumber...and have a decal picked out for that one, too!  The best thing about my "Feti" is that it has really helped me to drink more water.  And, it's just so cute!  Who doesn't love cute water?  

As I mentioned earlier, three of my family members got sick this week, but guess who didn't?  ME!  Here's my theory on that...
I have been taking these "greens" for the last few months.  I have had more energy and haven't gotten sick.  It's basically eight full servings of fruits and vegetables in one little drink!  Here's what the website says about the Greens:  

Not eating all of the fruits and veggies that you should? Feeling sluggish and off balance? Want more energy to get through your day? Help detoxify, alkalize and energize your body with every glass of Greens, now with an even better pH-balancing blend that includes an acidity-fighting combination of magnesium and potassium for even more alkalizing properties. The added probiotic support helps you better maintain that healthy balance by keeping your digestive system regular and toxins flowing out.

With multiple servings of fruits and vegetables and a blend of 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods, Greens provides naturally occurring, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes to give your already well-balanced diet a nutritional boost. It’s maximum support for your best health, all in a new delicious berry flavor.

Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop
Free radical-fighting antioxidants
Great-tasting berry flavor
Made with natural ingredients

If you're interested in this product, let me know.  I happen to sell it!  Email me at simplyaroughdraft@gmail.com I promise I am not a pushy salesperson.  In fact, you just heard all of my sales pitch. ;)

I was running low of favorites for the week, so I asked my husband, "Hey, what was one of your favorites from the past week?"  He was like, "What???"  Apparently that's not a topic that comes up much among non-bloggers.  Who knew?  So I rephrased, "What was the best thing you ate this week for lunch?"  He said the Chick-fil-a Market Salad with Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette.  If I'm being completely honest, I don't think Mark actually said zesty....or cider...or vinaigrette.  Anyway, it sounds good, right?

I found this Copycat recipe over at Following In My Shoes.  I haven't tried it yet, but look forward to making it soon.  It's the perfect summer dish!  It's My Pleasure to present this to you...that's a little Chick-fil-A humor for you.  Enjoy!

That's all I have for you today, but as always, thank you so much for stopping by this week and seeing what I have to say!  I hope you have a blessed weekend!


I'm linking up with the regulars this week...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's Just Stuff, Right?

I saw a news story recently...and let me just clarify, it was the real ABC news, not TMZ or Steve Harvey, where I normally get my information from...anyway, the story was about a former "Mommy Blogger."  She left her successful blog, where she apparently was getting paid up to $1,500 for posts and had over 50,000 unique views each month because she got caught up in living the "picture perfect" blog life.  She said she felt she couldn't live "in" the moment because she was trying too hard to get perfect pictures for her upcoming blog posts.  We can all relate to that right, whether you have a blog, Facebook, or just an avid scrapbooker.  We have all ruined happy moments trying to get everyone to look at the camera..at the same time.  We have all taken and deleted selfies over and over, because we don't like the way our chin looks in a certain picture.

In fact, this was our Christmas card picture this year, and not because we were trying to be cute and creative with an upside down child, we were just trying to get a picture of everyone cooperating.  You gotta do what you gotta do, right?

When I listened to the former blogger's story, my heart broke for her.  I wrote a post a few months ago with the help of a few of my friends called, Count Your Blessings.  It's all about being thankful in life's messy situations.  If there's anything I am good at in life; it's not being perfect.  In fact, that's where the title of my blog came from.  I need a rough draft for most things in life; everything is a work in progress around here.  Like you, I read people's blogs and Facebook and feel intimidated that my life isn't what their's appear to be.  Where's the messy hair...where's the stacks of mail in the background of the pictures?  It's all I can do to coordinated everyone's clothes for annual family pictures...why are their kids coordinated...on a random Thursday?

As I mentioned in my Count Your Blessings post, my Facebookless husband calls social media the "devil," and I think he may be onto something a little.  Satan works hard to steal your joy by complicating your life.  It's easy to look at other people's vacations, homes, marriages, families, and compare yours to theirs, but remember most people only post their best days on Facebook.  We're human, we want stuff.  Stuff make us feel important.  We work hard and save up to buy stuff.  We even pray that God will help us get the desires (stuff) of our hearts.  But, when we tell God, we need stuff to feel secure in life, in a way we're telling God he doesn't complete us.  We need more!  It was easy for me as a six year old preacher's daughter living in the Bible Belt to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I knew all the right words, I knew a few memory verses, but I am here to say truly making him the Lord of my life is something I struggle with daily.  Stuff just gets in the way.

I'm a work in progress, and I am working on being in the moment with my friends and family and breathing it in.  Wanting less and just being simple.  I am thankful for a God that sees me and all my stuff, and grants me new mercies everyday.  This life I'm living is simply a rough draft...

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. I'm linking up with Michelle for Party at My Place.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Good News, Bad News

Disclaimer:  The title of my post may be a little misleading.  To some of you...well, most of you, this isn't going to be life changing news.  I didn't win the lottery, I'm not expecting a baby, and I'm not retiring from blogging, so let's get all those theories out of the way.  

The bad news is that I had a solid post planned for today, but then life happened.  On Thursday, my car (my car with only ONE more car payment left) starting acting weird and had to go to the shop.  I cannot stand car issues.  On Friday, our coffee pot broke.  Again, this isn't major, but coffee is fuel around here.  On Saturday, our upstairs air conditioning stopped working (on the bright side, the downstairs was still nice and cool).  Did I mention we live in Texas and it is H-O-T?  On Sunday, our patio swing broke.  Mark and I spend many nights solving the world's problem in that swing.  On Monday (yesterday), Mark, Jess and Jentry woke up not feeling well.  I spent almost three hours with Jess in the doctor's office doing breathing treatments and monitoring his oxygen levels.  The doctor thought we might need to go to the ER, but thankfully, he improved and we were able to go home.  And, finally, today, I get to take Jess to get a chest X-Ray to make sure everything is ok.  All that to say, blogging got put on the back burner.  

So, here's the good news.  In spite of all that junk, I am choosing joy.  All the broken things, the car, the AC, the coffee pot, the patio swing..it can all be fixed or replaced.  It's just stuff after all.  The health of my family is what matters.  I spent most of the afternoon holding my little boy, kissing his sweet head, and praying for healing in his body.  I am thankful to live in a country where I have the opportunity to rush my son to the doctor when I feel it's needed.  I am thankful for modern medicine to have him back to his spunky self.  I am thankful for a God that hears my needs, no matter how small they are in this crazy world we live in, yet values them just the same.  

You know what else I am thankful for?  Free stuff!  My blog pal, Amanda, over at A Brownie World shared a vlog (video blog...I'm sharing, because that was a new term to me) a while back ago about her free WalMart Beauty Box.  I signed up that day!  I know what you're thinking, I went on and on about the free WalMart grocery pick up, and now the beauty box...you're probably wondering if my last name is Walton.  No, it's not, but I wouldn't mind if they adopted me and shared some of that inheritance with me.  

I have always wanted to sign up for one of those fancy make-up box subscriptions, but I am pretty loyal to my favorites cosmetics, so I never have.  Amanda shared a variety of products in her vlog and I liked that it wasn't just cosmetics.  It is free, but you do have to pay five dollars for shipping.  They ship four boxes a year; if you hurry you might can still get in on the summer box.  Click here for more info.  

I received a trial sample of the following products:  Jergen's Natural Glow daily moisture, Degree motion activated deodorant, Caress body wash, Tom's Sensitive toothpaste, Aveeno Skin Relief lotion, Swisspers blotting paper, and a sample size of Loreal shampoo, pre-conditioner (who knew there was such a thing), and conditioner.  

This was the perfect box to get before going on summer vacation.  Everyone needs travel size products!  In fact, my teenage daughter has already claimed a few of the products as her own.  Teenagers are funny like that.  

Have you ever you subscribed to WalMart Beauty Box or another type of subscription?  What are some of your favorites?

I am linking up with Beth for Tuesday Talk today.  Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Dear Friday,

It's not the same anymore.  I still look forward to you, but it is just different.  I use to look forward to the relaxation that you brought, but now that's it's summer Monday through Thursday bring the same relaxation.  In fact, Friday, every time you come around now it just reminds me that we are one week closer to the dreaded routine again.  Don't feel bad, Friday, it won't be long until I'm counting down to you and those football games you bring to town.  In the meantime, I'll just share a few of my Friday Favorites!

This week on the blog...

On Tuesday, I linked up my Shelly and Katy to share my #1 Family Vacation Tip.  You guys need to check out a few of those posts if you're planning a trip this summer.  There were some genius ideas shared.  If you missed my post, you can check it out here, too.  It's all about avoiding the "Are we there yet?" questions that we start to hear 15 minutes after we pull out of the driveway.

On Wednesday, I linked up with my blog buddy Johannah for her first ever Recipe Club linkup.  I shared the dessert recipe that I am requested to make the most.  If I'm being honest, part of the reason I shared it is so maybe these certain people would start making it on their own and I could make it a little less.  You know who you are...

On Thursday, I interviewed the first man I ever fell in love with...my Dad!  Check out a few words of wisdom from the man who raised yours truly.

On Monday my sweet Kendall left for camp, but not just any camp, GA Camp.  GA Camp is a girl's camp through church for girls in grades 1st through 6th.  Kendall is going to be a junior, but went to camp as a counselor for our church this week.  Kendall has the biggest heart ever.  She has two great loves in life; Jesus and helping people.  She has sent me a couple of texts this week that brought tears to my eyes.  She is so confident in her faith and so loving.  I pray that she will continue to grow in her faith and to always put God first in her life.  Over the last year or so we have had so many conversations about her "planting seeds" which basically means sharing her faith with others, even if it's just in a simple act.  Our pastor wrapped up a series this past Sunday on Difference Makers.  He mentioned last week that sometimes we plant seeds that we may never see grow, but they do!  Kendall, you are a difference maker!

(I'm biased, but isn't she the cutest?)

With Kendall gone this week, we've just been sitting around sad and lonely.  Just Kidding!  We have been staying busy!

Did you know June 14th was Flag Day?  We did!  So we decked out in our favorite patriotic gear.  Yes, Jess is wearing my sunglasses because a mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do to get a decent picture.

Here's your Emilyism for the day (and I apologize to any of my former teachers that might read my blog): for the longest time I thought that Diana Ross made our flag.  I remember thinking (at a young, elementary age), "What?  She has hit songs, can sing and dance AND sew the American flag?  Some people have all the talent!"  Turns out it was actually Betsy Ross.  Two totally different people.  My bad!

We also went to story time at the library on Wednesday.  We walked over to the fountain and threw a few coins in and made some wishes.  I heard Jess wish for a motorcycle, so that worries me a little...

The most talked about event this week among my kiddos was the snake in the pool.  The Country Club that we swim at is literally a "country" club...like in the middle of a pasture...people are bailing hay right next to us...so, it was bound to happen.  He returned to the pond after he was strongly discouraged from swimming in the pool.  I just hope he stays there.  If not, he needs to fork over his annual dues.  No one swims for free!

This past Tuesday was one of my favorite days of the month...Bunco!  I absolutely love this girl time.  We play with twelve people, so it works out that everyone has a month to host Bunco in their home.  When you host, you provide the meal and a small prize.  We have a standard group of twelve, but if you can't make it, we find a sub.  So, for example, this night we had three out, so three subs.  It's always fun to catch up with an old friend, or perhaps meet a new friend.  Being a mom can get lonely sometimes and you crave conversation with someone that you aren't married to or share DNA with.  I am so thankful for this fun group of ladies!

My husband does NOT like being on the blog, but with Father's Day coming up, I have to take this time to tell him thank you for being an amazing Dad.  Some of you may have read this post I wrote a while back about Mark diving into parenting Kendall with me when we got married.  She was five years old and...well, you know how five year old girls can be.  Mark nailed it!  He knew exactly how to be her friend...because he's not her parent, yet earn her respect, because he is my husband.  

When Jess and Jentry were born Mark literally radiated with pride.  His face beamed when he held each of them for the first time.  He took four weeks off to be with me after each of their births.  The first four weeks of their lives I did not change one single diaper, because he is a hands on dad.  This guy embraces fatherhood.  

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: I hope Jess grows up to be just like you, and I hope Kendall and Jentry marry men just like you!

As you celebrate the special men in your life this Father's Day, I urge you to pray for so may that are without their dad this Father's Day.  Also, pray for the Father's that are missing their children on this special day.  Life is so fragile.  Take a few moments this weekend and spend it with the people you love most.  

That's all I've got for you today!  As always, thank you for taking a little time out of your day to share it with me.  I hope you have a blessed weekend!


I'm linking up with:

Blogger template designed By The Sunday Studio.