Monday, October 31, 2016

Soup of The Day: Chicken Tortilla

Today I am continuing my "Soup Series" and sharing a soup that has quickly become one of my favorites.  My friend, Amy, brought this to my house after my son was born and I fell in love with it.  First off, it's a crockpot soup, so it's perfect for this busy time of year, and second of all it makes a big pot...which means leftovers!  What's better than soup for dinner?  Leftover soup the next day!

Here's what you need:  3 boneless chicken breasts, 2 cans of lime & cilantro Rotel, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn, 2 cans of low sodium chicken broth, 1-2 cups of water, 1 packet of taco seasoning, tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese.  

First off, drain and rinse the black beans and kidney beans.  

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot and pour the remaining ingredients on top of the chicken.  

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred the chicken and return to the crockpot.  Stir to combine.

I like to crush up some tortilla chips on the bottom of my bowl, ladle the soup over the chips, and top it with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Perfect!

Just in case you missed my other soups...

I'm also linking up with these fabulous bloggers!  Be sure to check them out to find some delicious recipes!

I'm linking up with a few of my favorite bloggers for Tuesday Talk:

As well as these other lovely bloggers.  Be sure to check them out for some great ideas!

Tuesdays: Savvy Southern StyleDucks 'n a RowA Savory FeastMy Girlish Whims,
Mondays: Pint Sized Baker 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Up Wednesday!

It's the last Wednesday of the month, which means I am linking up with SheafferMel and Shay for What's Up Wednesday!

What We’re Eating…

Tis the season for soup!  I wish it were about 20 degrees cooler, but for now I am making one soup a week, and sharing it with you on Tasty Tuesday.  Just incase you missed it, here are a few I've shared.

I've got a few more soups to share, so be sure to check back next Tuesday.

What I’m Reminiscing About…

I actually have pictures of Kendall all dressed up, too, but since she's a teenager, and I'd like her to speak to me, I am showing great restraint and not posting the adorable pictures of her as Kim Possible, a giraffe, Frizzy Izzy, and more.  You can thank me later, Kendall.

What I’m Loving…

I'm still LOVING This Is Us.  If you're not watching this show, you should be!

What We’ve Been Up To…

What have we NOT been up to?  I think October is just one of those months that is busy!  We celebrated two birthdays in October...

One Princess style...

 and one Monster Truck style...  

I plan to post all the details on those day.  Hopefully soon!  

Kendall also finished up band competition season.  I always love watching her perform in the color guard.  She has progressed so much since she was a freshman.  


 Of course, Kendall had her own cheering section...sometimes cheering loudly, when it was suppose to be quiet.  

We also made another family trip to the pumpkin patch...

And had fun carving our jack o'lantern...

We also had a field trip to you guessed it...another pumpkin patch.  This one was on Jess' birthday.  What's better than a field trip on your birthday?

What I’m Watching…

October through December I love watching The Chew and QVC.  I know, I know, I sound like an elderly person (no offense to my elderly readers), but they are two things that get me in the holiday mood.  I can't wait to see what The Chew crew is going to cook up for the holidays, and I have been known to order a thing or two (or ten) off of QVC for Christmas.  

I'm also really addicted to 7th Heaven...again.  It's the perfect background noise to laundry folding.  

Wow, I'm exciting. 

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

I'm looking forward to what the rest of America is looking forward to next month.  You know what I'm talking eat a bunch of food and catch up with people you haven't seen in years.  I'm talking about The Gilmore Revival!  Oh, did you think I was talking about Thanksgiving?  Yeah, I guess I'm looking forward to that, too!

What I’m Wearing…

I'm not very good at documenting my outfits, but Kendall was looking extra cute and fallish yesterday, so I thought I would share her adorable outfit...

(Top: Jolt at Belk, Jeans: Altar'd State)

That's What's Up With Us this Wednesday!  What's up with you?


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Soup Of The Day: Loaded Baked Potato

About seventeen years ago I fell in love with the loaded baked potato soup from Bennigan's.  Then, sadly, a few years later all the local Bennigan's closed!  I've tried other restaurant's version of baked potato soup, but none of them came close to my favorite!  After a couple of years of unsuccessfully searching for a good replacement, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I used my ol' dial up internet connection (hey, it was 2001) and found a copy cat version, that I tweeked a bit to become my own.  It's always a hit around our house, and one of my husband's favorite things I make.  

One of the things I love most about soups is that they are fairly easy to throw together.  This soup has a few more steps than just throwing things together, but it is super easy, and comes together fairly quickly.  Here's what you need: 2/3 cup of butter, 7 cups of milk, 4-5 baked potatoes (cooled, peeled and cubed), 4 green onions, 1 package of bacon, 1 1/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper. I forgot to add to the picture that you also need a little flour.

Start by melting the butter in a large pot.  Stir in a little flour ( I used about 1/8 of a cup).  Heat and continue to stir until smooth.  

Once the flour and butter are smooth, gradually add in the milk, constantly stirring.  Add the cubed potatoes and chopped green onions, and bring to a boil.  (Just a note, remember the potatoes have already been baked).  Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes.

Then add this delicious trifecta...the bacon, cheese and sour cream!  I usually add a teaspoon of lemon pepper and then taste and see if more needs to be added.  Sometimes I add a little salt and pepper, too, but I think that's easier to let everyone doctor up their own bowl to their liking.  Just like you would with a normal baked potato.

Seriously, this is so good, so filling, and perfect for a cold night.  

Please promise me you'll make it soon!

Just in case you missed my other Soup of the Day posts, check out my Tomato Basil and Chicken Noodle recipes.

I'm linking up with some of my favorite bloggers today for Tuesday Talk.

I'm also linking up with these fabulous bloggers!  Be sure to check them out to find some delicious recipes!

Tuesdays: Savvy Southern StyleDucks 'n a RowA Savory FeastMy Girlish WhimsDelicious Dish Tuesday
Mondays: Pint Sized Baker 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Soup Of The Day: Chicken Noodle

Last week I shared my tasty Tomato Basil soup with you, and today I'm sharing another one of my favorite soups for a brisk cool day.  **Fellow southerners, let's just pretend that we're having a brisk fall day, and hope that one is on the horizon, OK?  Today's soup of the day is....

Don't for a minute think that chicken noodle is just a soup for when you're under the weather.  No, it's the perfect comfort food for anytime!  In fact, this version comes together so quickly, you could make it tonight!  Here's what you need: 2 Tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of onion, 1/2 cup of celery, 1/2 cup of chopped carrots, one carton of chicken broth, 1 rotisserie chicken (shredded), 1 box of noodles (I use Dreamfields), 1 teaspoon of thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

In a large soup pot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter, then saute the onions and celery until tender.  Pour in shredded chicken, chicken broth, noodles, carrots, and seasonings.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer 30 minutes until the carrots are tender.

Let's talk pasta, real quick.  I use Dreamfields because it is advertised as low carb, although it is a little controversial in the low carb world (you can research that yourself).  I have found that it holds up better in soup than traditional pasta that tends to disintegrate after soaking up too much liquid.  If you have never used Dreamfields, definitely give it a try.  In the end, feel free to use egg noodles, or whatever pasta you prefer.  The important part is that you make it!


I'm linking up today with some of my favorite bloggers for Tuesday Talk:

Also, tomorrow I am linking up for Recipe Club with Johannah and Heather.  If you are a blogger and have posted a recipe recently (or planning to tomorrow), you should definitely link up with these lovely ladies!

I'm also linking up with these fabulous bloggers!  Be sure to check them out to find some delicious recipes!

Tuesdays: Savvy Southern StyleDucks 'n a RowA Savory FeastMy Girlish WhimsDelicious Dish Tuesday
Mondays: Pint Sized Baker 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Jess' 5th Birthday!

Another day, another birthday!  Yes, it was just Jentry's birthday yesterday, BUT today is Jess' 5th birthday.  They are almost exactly two years apart and the best of friends (most of the time).

Yesterday, for Jentry's birthday I gave you a list of ten things I always want to remember about her.  Well, if you know Jess, he has an art for conversation.  In fact, if you've spent a little time with him, chances are you have your own story of something witty he said.  Today I am recapping ten memorable things he has said that made me smile.  

Jess' memorable quote from the first (and possibly last time) he was asked to be a ring bearer; about halfway through the wedding he sits down beside me & says, "I can't be in this wedding anymore. I have to poop!"

Jess:  Jentry, you look beautiful.  You look like a puffer fish.
Jentry:  Awww, thanks, Jesse!

Jess: When I grow up I'm going to go around the world and tell people what life was like when I was a kid.
Me: What are you going to tell them?
Jess: Mom, you KNOW what I've been through! 

Me while cuddling with Jess: You know I prayed that God would give me a little boy JUST like you!
Jess: Aww, thank you Mommy!
30 seconds later...
Jess: So, did you not like Kendall very much?

Me: Where should we go for vacation next year?
Kendall: Hawaii!!!
Jess: We can't go to Hawaii, Kendall, we don't know Spanish!

Me: Jess did you hear all that thunder last night?
Jess: No, I turn my ears off when I sleep.

Jess:  Mom, can you fix my walkie talkie?
Me:  I don't know how, Jess.  You'll have to wait until Dad gets home.
Jess:  Can you just ask Siri?

Me: Jess, do you want to wear this to Wee School today (holding up an outfit)?
Jess: I guess so, but my friends have already seen me in that!

Jess:  When I grow up I'm not going to work.
Me:  Oh, are you going to stay home with your kids?
Jess:  No!  I'm going to go to he gym and play golf!

Jess:  Mommy, did Daddy have a beard when he was a little boy like me?  

Just for fun, I asked Jess yesterday what are a few things he wants to learn to do this year, and here's what he said:

I want to learn to read books and people's shirts.
I want to learn to play golf and soccer.
I want to learn to put my own socks on.
I want to learn to put my straw in my own juice box.

It turns out my growing boy still needs me around for a few socks and straws!  Happy 5th birthday to my smart and witty boy!  I can't wait to see what this year holds for you.  (And, I just pray your kindergarten teacher has a sense of humor). 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jentry!

My sweet, little princess turns three today!  

In honor of her birthday, and because I love a good top ten list, I am sharing ten things I love about my precious Jentry.

10.  I adore her compassion!  She loves to hug, cuddle and help people out.  Her love language is definitely words of affirmation.  She is always telling me I'm the best mom world!

9.  She's my little performer and loves to sing and dance in the living room.  I hope it's a long while before the impromptu after dinner performances end.

8.  I love that the first thing she says every morning (literally within 30 seconds of waking up) is "Are we going somewhere today?"  She loves to go!

7.  Speaking of going, she runs everywhere she goes!  She moves with a purpose, that's for sure.

6.  I love that she calls band aids headbands, and I hope she never realizes that's not the correct name.

5.  The four words that come out of her mouth the most are: "Can I help you?"  I hope she always has a servant heart.  It doesn't matter if I'm cooking, folding laundry or taking out the trash, she wants to help.

4.  I love her prayers.  Sometimes she's controversial in her prayers and thanks Jesus for God.  This upsets Jess and he yells, "You can't thank Jesus for God.  Jesus didn't make God!"  But, we let it slide because explaining theology to a three year old is tricky...

3.  I love how much she loves her Daddy.  I happen to love him, too!  I know the bond they share, and the tenderness in their relationship will be huge in her self-confidence as she grows up.

2.  I just can't get enough of that little face!  Jentry's smile lights up the room, and her silly faces make me laugh.

1.  Last, but certainly not least, I love that she loves to go to church and school.  Why wouldn't she?  She's surrounded by some pretty fabulous people there.  She's met some of her favorite friends at these places, and I cannot wait to watch them grow up together.

Happy 3rd birthday to my beautiful girl!!  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Soup Of The Day: Tomato Basil

One of my favorite things about cooler weather is soup!  I love the aroma of it simmering away on the stove all day, and I love putting on some comfy clothes and warming up to a nice bowl of soup in the evening.  Over the next few weeks I am going to share some of my favorite family-friendly soups you can make this fall.  

I shared last week about our little pit stop into to Neiman Marcus at North Park Mall.  North Park will always have a soft spot in my heart because I worked there when I was starting my journey as a single mom. I was a small town girl that battled through Dallas traffic everyday and dealt with "Dallas people" (no offense Dallas readers, but ya know how you are).  This was long before North Park Mall had a food court, so I basically ate a La Madeline and The Corner Bakery everyday for lunch.  Thus, my love for tomato basil soup was born.  Unfortunately, I live 20 miles away from La Madeline now, so I had to learn how to make my favorite soup.  

Here's what you need: 3 cloves of minced garlic (I used the jarred kind), 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, (2) 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 cup of half & half, 3 Tablespoons of basil (again, I cheated and used the squeezable basil), and parmesan cheese for garnishing.  

First off, in your favorite soup pot, saute the chopped garlic in olive oil for a couple of minute, being careful not to burn.  

Then add, the crushed tomatoes, chicken, broth, salt and pepper, and simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat.  

Next, add the half & half and basil.  I usually taste it at this point, and add more half and half or basil if needed.  I have also been known to pour the soup into my Vitamix and blend it for a few seconds, if I think the soup is too chunky.  

Last, but not least, garnish it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Nothing goes better with tomato soup, than a good ol' fashioned grill cheese, right?  

Now, that's comfort!

I'm linking up with some of my favorite bloggers for Tuesday Talk.

Mondays: Pint Sized Baker 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!  This time of year I can't decide is the weekend means a time to relax and unwind, or if it means we're just getting started.  We have a weekend full of family, football, a band competition, church, and probably a little bit of shopping, too.  

As always, here are five of my favorite things from the past week:

Last weekend my mom and I went to Canton, a HUGE Trade's Day in East Texas.  

Well, we were halfway through Dallas when my four year old needed to potty.  You know, when a four year old needs to potty you have to stop...NOW.  My knowledge on central Dallas is very little, besides North Park Mall.  I use to work there (way back in the day), and it is the best mall in all of Texas in my humble opinion.  I exited, parked right in front of Neiman's, took Jess into potty, and we were back in the car in five minutes

Most people would have probably made a pit stop at a gas station or McDonald's, not Neiman Marcus, but you know...when in Dallas, do as the Dallas-ites.

Oh, and remember my To Pin or Not To Pin post?  I found a booth that sells that Texas string art, so I definitely won't be following through with that pin!

The blog world has been buzzing about This Is Us the last few weeks, and I agree, it is one of my new favorites, but I also thoroughly enjoyed Pitch.  First off, you may remember my love of baseball.  This show originally appealed to me because when I was nine years old I REALLY wanted to be the first female Major League Baseball player.  By twelve years old, I decided I wanted to be a sports psychologist for Major League Baseball players and help then work though all of their personal problems.  By fourteen years old, I decided it was easier just to marry a Major League Baseball player.  Would now be a good time to mention that none of those goals worked out?  Here I am a thirty something year old...just a fan of Major League Baseball... Sometimes.  Sometimes I'm just disgusted with them.  #beingarangerfanishard

Besides baseball, I am also a HUGE fan of old school TV.  The first twenty minutes into the pilot episode of Pitch, I kept looking at the team captain/catcher wondering where I knew him from.  Low and behold, it was Zach Morris from Saved By The Bell!  At that moment I knew this show would be a favorite!  

I didn't even know he played baseball at Bayside High! ;)

And, who didn't love the Wonder Years?  Look who it is...Jack Arnold as the Padres manager...

And, last but not least, one of my favorite shows from the past that still airs 24-7 on reruns is Reba.  Cheyenne from Reba also makes an appearance in Pitch as Zach Morris' (because I can't remember his current character's name) ex-wife, a news reporter.  

In real life the actress, Joanna Garcia, is married to former New York Yankee, Nick I guess she knows a little bit about baseball.  

These are a few reasons why I'll be buying season tickets to Pitch! 

So here's the deep knew it was coming.  I posted this picture last week for National Coffee Day with the bible verse, "A friend loves at all times," Proverbs 17:17.  When Kendall got home from school I was still sipping coffee out of that same mug and we started talking about friendship.  The word "friends" has been soooo over used in the last few years, thanks to our Mark Zuckerberg, we're Facebook friends with people we don't even know.  We're friends with people are parents know, or relatives we see once every few years, but the word friendship should be used in a more delicate manner.  

One of my favorite...and most unexpected parts of blogging has been the friendships that I have developed.  Yesterday when I was watching the weather, I began to worry about my friends along the coast preparing for Hurricane Matthew.  I truly care about this blogging community.  I've prayed for blog friends who are making decisions on their children's health, and some that are just starting their journey in parenthood.  I've cheered for certain football teams (yes, you read that right, I watched football) because I know my blog pal roots for that team.  I've been sad for some blogger mama's that sent their babies off to college this fall, and anticipated the post of a few teacher (& librarian) friends to see how their first days went.  I have real friendships in the blogger world because I communicate with them daily.  They post, I read.  I post, they comment.  There's a daily communication that makes our relationship (even though we've never met in person) SO real.  

You see where I'm going, right?  Our Heavenly Father wants a relationship with us, too.  We can't just go through the motions and expect our relationship to flourish or grow, if we're not in daily communication with him.  He wants to know the desires of our heart.  SPOILER ALERT:  He already knows the desires of our heart...He just wants us to talk to Him.  I've really been trying to slow down and pray; not just a generic prayer, but with details lately.  I'm not perfect, I still have days of "vague praying" but it's something that I am working on.  I would be no where without the open line of communication I have with my Savior.  It's definitely one of my favorites!

 And last, but not's what we've been chatting about this week on the blog:

I actually posted on a Saturday because it was National Homemade Cookie Day, and I couldn't help, but share a recipe with you:

On Monday, I featured my friend, Heather, from Oh My Glitter, for my Meet & Greet Monday.

On Tuesday it was another day worth celebrating...National Taco Day!  I shared three of my favorite ways to make tacos; slow cooker chicken, fish tacos with pineapple salsa and this twist on classic tacos, Korean Beef Tacos.

That's all I have for you today, friends!  I hope you all have fantastic weekends!


I'm linking up with all my Friday regulars today:


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