Friday, May 28, 2010

What's Everyone Doing for Memorial Day Weekend?

Well, I started off the day in a lovely way!  My kids woke me up at 5:15 a.m.  UGH!  Then, on the way to my daughter's award assembly at school, I got caught in traffic on the interstate....for 3 hours, with a four year old.  I'm just glad I wasn't running early or I might have been caught right in the middle of the horrific accident.  Thank you Lord.  BTW, my "C" got the Math award.  MATH?!  I hate math!  I'm not sure where she got her math ability. 

Anyway, no big plans for Memorial Day other than Hubby is firing up the grill tomorrow.  He's working the rest of the weekend though. 

What y'all got going on this weekend?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks Y'all and Messy Monogram

So, the Decorating Dilemma party at Amanda's totally rocked!  I got some great advice - things that never even crossed my mind!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by!  I sure hope I can get some rockers and doors painted with kids at home this summer!  Maybe I can put them to work!! 

It's been a really busy few weeks with end of school stuff on top of the usual stuff.  I have also been busy with orders, and no, I am not complaining about that.  I just thought I would share a couple of things I've made this week for some new friends. 

Cute little Messy Monogram shirts for this adorable brother and sister.  Seriously, that Boyd is so stinkin' cute!  I just smooch his little face every time I see him.  So precious!!! 

I will be listing these in my etsy shop soon.

I'm linking up to: 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Decorating Dilemma Party - The Front Porch Edition

"Hey  y'all!  So glad you stopped by.  Can I get you a glass of sweet tea or strawberry lemonade?  Let's go out on the front porch and sit a spell."  These are not words that come out of my mouth.  Wanna know why?  Because my front porch is, well, boring.  BORING!!  It needs, well, something. 

This is the front of my house.  Taupe and BORING!!!  Obviously this was a builder's spec home so everything was picked and finished before I had a say in it.  Everything on the inside and outside was taupe.  UGH!  I've got most of the rooms inside painted now, but the outside is still boring and taupe. 

Yes, I covered my house numbers with paper just in case because you can never be too careful.  Yes, I am a total overprotective freak about stuff like that and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to blur it out in the picture.  Anyway, on to the problems.  The bikes obviously need to go to the garage.  Hubby painted the bench for me, red of course.  I'm thinking of painting the door black.  What do you think?  I know.  I know.  I paint everything black, but I just can't seem to help myself.  I think I need to go to black paint rehab.  I'll get on that as soon as I get out of Golden Double Stuff "Crack" Oreo Rehab.  Anyway, I bought some outdoor fabric at Joann's the other day.  Wanna see? 

I know my reds are a little off, but it's not soooo bad, is it?  I ADORE the zebra, of course.  Anyway, I plan on making pillows out of those to go on the bench.  The other problem? 

They are hand-me-downs from my MIL's front porch when she moved here from Georgia.  I loooove them, but am undecided about repainting.  I like the chippy white paint, but nobody EVER sits in them because they would be covered in chipped white paint.  There are little white paint chips all over my front porch.  Hubby says they definitely need to be painted.  Should I suck it up and repaint them?  If so, what color?  White again?  Black?  I'm totally undecided! 

One more thing.  Please don't tell me to get rid of my fern.  I just got it.  It screams "southern home front porch" to me and I love it.  I have vowed not to touch it, lest it die a tragic death (I have a black thumb), but Hubby said he would take care of it for me. 

I know I need something for the front door too.  I'm thinking a cute wreath.  Maybe a cute burlap number?  What do you think?

Have a dilemma of your own?  Are you a decorating genius?  Hop on over to Amanda's blog and join the party. 

Decorating Dilemmas

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PW Chicken Scallopine

Do you ever get in a rut?  Well, it's not really a rut, but more of a love of Mexican food that I adore that my Hubby and kids are tired of.  So, I decided to pull out a PW recipe I made a few months ago that they all loved. 

PW Chicken Scallopine


1 pound Linguine

6 whole Boneless, Skinless, Trimmed Chicken Breasts

Salt And Pepper, to taste


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Tablespoons Butter

12 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin

1 cup Dry White Wine (I didn't use wine, I used chicken broth)

Chicken Broth (optional)

1 whole Lemon

½ cups Heavy Cream (can Use Half-and-Half)

1 teaspoon (heaping) Capers

Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley

Parmesan Cheese, For Topping

Preparation Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine and chicken broth (optional), and then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.

Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t under salt!

Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top. 

So, I didn't stage this well, but the pasta is under the chicken breast.  To see a better picture, click on the recipe title to go to Ree's blog and see her picture.  It's much prettier.

 I love this recipe.  Give it a try.  Thank you Ree!

I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Well, it's May again which mean it's the busiest time of the year for us.  With all of the end of the school year carnivals, concerts, tryouts, parties, recitals, etc.  it's been CRAZY around here.  We've got two more weeks of school and so much I need to do before I have the kids home with me for the summer.  UGH! 

This weekend was the girls' recital.  We had dress rehearsal Friday night and recital Saturday night.  You know what the worst part was?  The makeup.  C HATES to wear makeup.  HATES!  IT!  She will complain and gripe for hours because she has to wear makeup.  UGH!  E, on the other hand, LOOOOVES makeup!  She could not put on enough.  I think I reapplied her makeup 3 times in an hour and a half and she insisted on doing her own lipstick.  That was attractive!  Anyway, I just thought I would share a few pics. 

C and Nana.  This is the only picture she would smile for.  She hates having her picture taken almost as much as wearing makeup. 

Me and E.  She was a ducky.  This baby is mine.  She loved performing.  She loved the stage. 

What did y'all do this weekend?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


While reading Amanda's post yesterday, I was inspired.  She was participating in a McLinky party at

 Home is...
and I decided I wanted to participate too.  This McLinky party is all about Family Heirlooms which made me wonder what I would save if there were a fire at my house.  So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, the party with Getting to Know You Thursday. 

I want to know what are the most important material things to you.  Obviously, if there were a fire in your house, you would get your family out first.  But, what else would you try to save.   There are several things I would save if I had the time.  Remember, this is about the material things you would want to save AFTER you got your family and pets out - family heirlooms.

1.  Family Photos. 
I love family photos.  I, sadly, am not one of those good scrapbooking, photo album moms who keeps all the photos organized.  Instead I have two large cardboard boxes full of photos and a couple of albums that other people have put together for me.  Looking at old photos is one of my favorite things to do.  We do this at my mom's several times a year.  We get out my mom's big tub of photo envelopes (I get it honest) and get a peek into our childhood, ugly 70's fashion and all.  I've even been known to slip a few of those photos into my purse and bring them home with me.  My name is Tanya, and I am a Kleptomaniac.  Anyway, I looove to look at photos of my parents when they were young and my grandparents too.  My grandparents wedding pictures, pictures of great-grandparents and their families.  These are the photos that fascinate me.  This is my grandparents with my Aunt T.

2.  Hubby's Grandfather's Childhood Things.
My Hubby was VERY close to his grandfather (Papa).  Unfortunately, he died about a year before Hubby and I met, so I never knew him.  My MIL gave us some of her keepsakes to pass on to our firstborn son "J", who is Papa's namesake.  These are a few of the things we were given:

Papa's marbles that he played with as a kid.

Papa's baby quilt made by his mother (Hubby's great-grandmother).  She made it for him for a Christmas gift when Papa was 5 years old.    It's got the ABC hand embroidered on it with pictures for each letter. 

Nannie's (Papa's wife - Hubby's grandmother) wedding ring.  She gave it to me when I was HUUUUGE pregnant with "J" and couldn't wear my wedding ring.  I think maybe she was afraid folks would think I was living in sin if I was huge pregnant without a wedding ring on.   I couldn't get a good picture of it. 

3.  This cup. 

Weird, right?  This cup (another thing I conveniently stole from my mom's house) is so important to me.  I looove this cup.  It's not expensive or fancy, as you can see.  It was made by Therm-O-Ware.  My mom said it was one of those cups you get at the gas station if you buy a coke with a full tank of gas.  My grandma has one too.  In fact, I told my family, that is the ONE thing I want when my grandma's time is over on this earth, well, that and maybe her Chipmunks Christmas album I listened to every time I went to her house.  Again, weird, I know.  This is the cup I ALWAYS remember my mom drinking out of when I was little.  She drank tea out of it EVERY night of my life.  When she was pregnant with my little sister, she drank/ate "hillbilly milkshakes" out of it (cornbread and buttermilk - NASTY, right?).  Anyway, this cup is my childhood.  It went with us everywhere and I love it.  I lost it for a few days a year ago or so and I cried like a baby.  I know, I know.  It's a cup.  But I loooove it and I'm very territorial about it.  It's my cup!  Perfect Christmas gift for me?  A set of them. 

So, what would you save in a fire? 

Wanna link up to Sandy's party and show her your family heirlooms?  Do it here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So, This Is What He Thinks Of Me

Like most kids, my children loooove to draw. My 12 year old "C" can literally make anything out of paper. She once made a pair of flip flops out of cardbord, tons of tape, scrapbook paper and paint. She's made purses, Christmas ornaments, the list goes on and on. My 8 year old "J" makes elaborate games involving Mario, Luigi and the whole Mario Brothers entourage. I am convinced he is going to be a video game designer. "J" also communicates a lot through cards and notes rather than an actual conversation. He leaves little notes for us all over the house. A few nights ago "J" called Hubby and I to the table to give us cards he had made. When he handed Hubby his card, he told him, "Dad, this is the man you always wanted to be!" then he handed him this card.

I know it's hard to see, but it's a man in overalls, with a pitchfork and a cow and a barn in the background.  You see, he knows that Hubby has always wanted land and animals.  Growing up in Texas, he bottle fed and raised calves, chickens, goats, etc.  Once he moved to Arkansas, that part of his life was over.  We've been in apartments or subdivisions ever since.  He desperately wants land and animals so that's what "J" drew for him.  Then "J" gave me my picture.  I HATE that it accidentally got misplaced, but it was a lovely picture of me standing in front of a stove with a frying pan. 
And I thought, really?  Is this what he thinks of me?  The lady who feeds him?  He did once tell me I would make a great "lunch lady".  Then I thought, maybe that's okay.  After all, if not an amazing actress, the only other career ambitions I ever had were wife and mom.  Maybe he sees me as the person who always takes care of his needs.  The person without whom he wouldn't have food and clean clothes and all the love in the world.  That's sweet.  OR maybe he just thinks I'm his maid and pesonal chef.  Hmmm.  I'm gonna go with the first option.  It makes me feel a little better. 

So, I guess that's how he sees me.  Personal chef.  Personal Laundress.  Chauffer.  Maid.  Giver of affection and unconditional love.  Yeah, I'll take that title. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  Oh, hear that?  It must be a truck backing up.  I hope it sees me.  Oh crap!  They're doing that for me.  I'm the "wide load" backing up.  That's right.  My butt is as big as the side of a barn!  UGH!  I try so hard to give up the yummy, but bad for me food and I do well during the day, but when Hubby comes home and we finally get the kids in bed at night and we settle in to watch TV, all I wanna do is eat - and I don't mean carrots and celery (Eww!).  I'm talking about those durn Golden "crack" Oreos or the Caramel Brownies I made a few weeks ago.  Kit Kats (they have crack in them too, btw).  Peanut M & M's.  Nestle Tollhouse Cookies.  Chocolate.  Chocolate.  Chocolate.  Maybe with a side of white cheese dip and guacamole.  YUM!  Hubby is perfectly happy with a chocolate protein shake so he's lost a few pounds, but not me.  I don't want liquid, I want a treat!  I want rich, chocolatey goodness!  So....

I ordered these.  They are called VitaTops Muffin Tops and VitaBrownies.  My sister told me about them last year and they are marvelous!!!  She found them on the Hungry Girl website.  They have a few varieties at our Kroger (in the organic freezer section) but I wanted more variety.  I got the sampler pack from the Vitalicious website.  I've only tried a few of the varieties so far, but they've all been pretty good.  My favorites so far are:  Deep Chocolate VitaTops and Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Vitabrownies.  FABULOUS!  Best part?  They are only 100 caolories and have 5-6 grams of fiber each.  I think that makes them 1 WW point.  I can eat them instead of the other bad for me chocolate junk food with 0- fiber and at least 250 calories!  What a fab substitute.  I've actually lost 3 pounds in the last few weeks.  YEA!  I've still got a long way to go, but I hope I'm on my way. 

BTW, I am NOT being paid and I am NOT receiving anything free from this company.  I'm just sharing good information with my bloggy peeps.  Just a little FYI!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Paula Deen's Hot Spinich Artichoke Dip

We visited my mom's house for Mother's Day last weekend and decided to keep the menu simple, since, it was Mother's Day.  The men were to grill burgers and hot dogs while we made dips.  So, I made Paula Deen's Hot Spinich Artichoke Dip.  I know lots of people enjoy the creamy cool variety of spinich dip, but I am not one of them, especially with water chestnuts (I have texture issues).  EEWWW!  I don't normally eat spinich or artichokes, but this dip....I love! 

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

•1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

•2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts

•1/2 cup mayonnaise

•1/2 cup sour cream

•1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

•1 cup grated pepper jack cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with bagel chips or tortilla chips. 

Um, I did not get fancy and transfer to a chafing dish.  I don't even own a chafing dish.  We just threw it in the microwave when it got cool.  What can I say?  I'm not a fancy girl!

Also, I used Light Hellman's Mayonaise and Light Sour Cream.  I couldn't tell the difference between the full fat version and the lighter version.  And, for the record, I did not take 15 minutes to "freshly grate" my Parmesan.  I reserve my grating skills for making Fettucine Alfredo, not dip.  I used Great Value grated parmesan in the bag.  It worked fine. 

Thanks Paula!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Ten Minutes of Heaven

Ahhhh!  Morning coffee.  I never was much of a coffee drinker.  I always thought it tasted bitter and every time I drank it I thought about that fancy expensive coffee that the foreign cats eat the beans and poop them out then they grind them and make coffee out of them (have you seen the Bucket List?).  ICK!!  Then there is the dragon breath side effect.  Don't even get me started on my ex boss who drank coffee constantly and was a close talker.  EEEWWW!  But, when my mother-in-law was in the hospital a few years ago, my brother-in-law got me hooked on coffee with Hazelnut creamer.  Ahhh!  Delicious and about 100 calories per cup if you drink it like I do, ya know, a little coffee with my creamer.  YUM!  So, now, I'm hooked!!  This is my morning escape. 

One sip and I am transported to a little sidewalk cafe in Paris.  I'm sitting at a little table enjoying the waking city around me.  There are little old men talking by a fountain across the street.  To my left there are three women sitting at a table.  They are speaking french and laughing while they are eating their croissants.  They are thin, very fashionable and I can't help but wonder if they shave their armpits.  That's a weird thought to have, but I can't help it.  Anyway, I'm enjoying my cup of coffee at this beautiful little cafe when....DURN!  One of the little ones needs more syrup on their pancakes.  So much for my escape from reality.  As you can see, I've never actually been to Paris so I have to use my imagination to go on vacation. 

How do you escape from your reality?  Do you lock yourself in the bathroom?  I've been known to do that, but it usually doesn't work.  Thank you Lord for my imagination!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday...Celebrity Meetings

On a previous post, I mentioned that I always wanted to be an actress.  I also mentioned that I had been to several open casting calls for extras on movies filming around Arkansas.  I never had the chance to actually be "in" a movie, but I have visited a movie set while they were filming. 

When I was about thirteen, the mini-series The North and South came to Arkansas for several weeks of filming on and around the railroad in south Arkansas where I grew up.  In a small town, news travels fast.  Everyone knew about the film and the stars that were expected to grace our town with their presence weeks before they arrived.  There was only one nice hotel in town so everyone knew where the stars would be staying.  The entire town of busy bodies descended on the hotel on the day the stars were expected to arrive.  There were people pushing and screaming to catch a glimpse of the stars.  There were people sneaking in to the hotel, cameras were flashing non-stop.  It was a wild scene.  Was I one of those idiots?  You betcha!  Wanna know who I saw????  Nobody.  My mom met Genie Francis (Laura, from general Hospital) in the elevator though.  I signed up to be an extra and waited very impatiently, but the call never came.  UGH!  How was I ever gonna meet the stars????

Well, as luck would have it, I had a couple of friends whose father was a local historian and was "in the know" about the railroad and got an invitation to the filming on the railroad so they invited me to tag along.  We went to the set in the middle of nowhere, after dark, mosquitos everywhere in the humid heat of a south Arkansas summer night and stepped back in time.  There were women in hoop skirts and bonnets, men on horses carrying guns,  a working coach car, men in civil war era soldier uniforms, and George Sanford Brown, and Kirstie Alley and.....Patrick Swayze.  It was as if I had stepped into my dream.  I was on a real movie set with real movie stars.  We met several extras who were hired to play soldiers.  We talked to them for a long while and they introducted us to George Sanford Brown.  He was very nice.  A few minutes later, we were watching the action as the horses raced up to the train.  They did the take several times before we heard the director call for Patrick (Swayze) to come to the set.  He was coming right towards me.  My friends and I begged him for an autograph as he tried to rush by us.  He stopped and signed autographs for each of us and he kissed me on the ...nose.  He was kissing me on the cheek and I moved and he got the side of my nose.  I'm such a dork!  He smelled of cologne and whiskey.  He was very, very nice to three giggling little girls while the director was yelling for him.  I will never forget that night.  I swore I wouldn't wash my face, ever.  So, here I sit 26 years later with a very dirty face!  HA!  Just kidding! 

A few days later, I was patiently waiting in line at McDonalds.  It was summer and lunch time so there were kids everywhere.  There was a lady in front of me in a blue swimsuit and flip flops with a towel wrapped around her.  She was waiting for her order.  She turned around and it was....Kirstie Alley.  Oh my gracious!   She was lovely.  She was giggling and talkative and just very, very nice.  She even signed my McDonalds napkin.  I still have it and my Patrick Swayze and George Sanford Brown autographs. 

Now, tell my your famous celeb stories.  What famous person have you met?  Did you act like a big ole giggling dork like me or were you calm, cool and collected?  I can't wait to hear your stories!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Garage Sale Find - WOO HOO!

So, I was on my way to take "L" to school Friday and noticed my neighbors were having a garage sale.  "Oh, poor Penny.  I loathe doing garage sales.  I hope she has better luck than I do", I thought to myself.  "Hey!"  I mouthed and waved as I avoided the cars lining both sides of the street.  Then I spotted it.  I SLAMMED on my brakes, screeching tires and sippy cups flying to the dash.  I quickly pulled over, jumped out of the van and ran up to my find.  I have been searching for that certain something for the living room and I just couldn't find it (Hubby and I disagreed on what, if anything should go there.  You can read all about it here) until now!  There it was.  My little treasure.  The perfect little something.  Wanna see?

Isn't it cute?  I'm not sure whether to repaint it or not?  I want it black anyway and I kind of like the beat up look.  Maybe I'll just sand it a little more?  I'm still trying to decide.  I think the knobs are a little too contemporary so I'll probably end up changing them, even though Hubby likes them.  Sorry Hubby!  Apparently there used to be a mirror, so it must've been a dressing table.  I need to decorate it but it's gotta wait until I decide for sure about the paint.  Hmmm.  Decisions!  Decisions!

I know you're wondering how much I paid, right?  You ready for this?  $20.  Sorry to disappoint all you good hagglers out there, but it was my neighbor.  I just couldn't haggle.  I'm not good at it.  I'm, in fact, really bad at it.  Just ask my Hubby!  He'll tell you the story of our honeymoon in Mexico when he haggled down the sterling silver ring I wanted and I kept saying, "That's not enough!  Give him some more money!"  He vowed to never take me shopping in Mexico again!  Anyway, obviously I need some haggler training!  Oh well!  At least I got my treasure.

Linking up to Today's Thrifty Treasures at southern hospitality and


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Is The Dadgum Tape Measure?????

Did you go to Hobby Lobby last week?  The "wall decor" was 50% off so I spent some of my birthday money I've been saving since January.  I desperately needed some more stuff for my living room.  So, I got these:

I just love them!  I also got a big ole black metal/iron like scrolled cross to go in between.  I was so excited that I came straight home and immediately wanted to hang them up.  I am trying to "finish" the living room because Hubby won't let me start the bathrrom until I finish (apparently, I'm a great starter, but not such a great finisher).  Anyway, I came home and searched everywhere for the durn tape measure.  I searched my kitchen countertop (where it usually gets put down and stays for weeks at a time).  I searched the basket where I keep my handtowels in the kitchen because it gets stuck in there sometimes.  UGH!  Finally, I gave up and decided to search my Hubby's tool...cabinet, thingee. 

Ummmm, I'm not sticking my hand in there!  Something might bite me!  And he says I'm messy!  So, since I cannot find the tape measure, my "wall decor" sits on the floor, ready to be hung.  Maybe I should've spent my birthday money on my own durn tape measure!! 

If it ever gets hung, I'll take a picture for ya.  Still working on the living room rug.  I found the sisal with the red border at Pier I last week, but it was too small.  Back to the drawing board. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

BBQ Pork Sandwich

I love BBQ pork sandwiches, but it cost a small fortune to get it from my favorite BBQ place.  Also, I'm not sure what's in their sauce and having a child on a special diet, I have to know the ingredients.  So, I make my own.  It's easy and a lot cheaper.  I combined several recipes for this recipe.

Buy a pork shoulder roast.  Salt and pepper the roast.  Put it in the crock pot with a can of beef broth, a large quartered onion and a little garlic (I'm lazy so I used the minced garlic in the jar, but not the dried kind).  Let the roast cook on low for about 8 hours.  Take out the roast and shred it with a fork.

  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Put pork in a pan with a raised edge and pour your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's because it's GFCF for "L") on top and stir. 

Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes, stiring half way through cooking time.  Let your pork cool and make your sandwich. 


I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bon Jour Mon Ami

It's been a really long time since high school French, but I think that means "Hello my friend!"  I'm attempting to speak in French this morning because I am so excited about this adorable Eiffel Tower fabric I've been coveting for over a year.  I finally ordered some, got it in and made this cute little number for E.  What do you think?

Check out the fabric up close.

I adore this fabric!!

E like it because it's super twirly.

Notice she wouldn't let go of the Wii (qui) remote! 

I'm linking up to Show Off your Stuff Party @ Fireflies and Jellybeans, Sundae Scoop Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Chocolate Sundaes, It's So Very Creative @ It's So Very Cheri and
  The Girl Creative

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Amanda is having a party!  WOO HOO!  Since it is almost Mother's Day, this edition of Dishing It is all about moms! 

I have known my mom for thirty-nine years.  I know everyone thinks she has the best mom in the world, but I really do.  This is us:

Sorry about the blurry photo.  It's old.  It won some kind of award for the photographer though.  Got to love the 70's! 

So, my mom and I are pretty close.  She's one of my best friends even though we are pretty different.  She's very organized and neat whereas I am a complete SLOB a little unorganized.  She used to come into my house and go straight for the broom. 

Mom always has something going on.  She's very involved in community projects and her church so she's constantly busy taking food to someone who is sick, helping out at local events, Chamber banquets, Rotary Club, etc.  I consider myself pretty busy just dealing with my four little ones, especially "L" so I don't get out much. 

But, we do have a lot in common too.  She is a fabulous cook and I am an aspiring fabulous cook (she makes the best lasagna you have ever put in your mouth!!).  We used to go camping all the time, but since she and dad moved to the lake, we just "camp" at their house.  We love to just hang out, cook, eat, play games, visit, go shopping, etc.  We have the same sense of humor - sarcasm is our second language.  My Hubby often calls me by her name because our mannerisms are so similar. 

My mom, no matter how busy she was working full time, always made time for what we needed or wanted.  I remember her staying up very late into the night working on these Halloween costumes for my brother and sister and me and I don't think she even liked to sew. 

Two cats and a clown.  Cute huh?  (check out the super cool station wagon - it had woodgrain.  It was the early 80's version of the minivan)

As far as the most embarassing outfit she ever made me wear, this one is pretty bad. 

How embarassing!  Look at all those ruffles!  They were torture for a tomboy like me.  EEEEWWW!  BTW, the hair, not my idea!  I was a tomboy, but I would have never agreed to that haircut - just saying.

So, all in all, I think my mom is pretty awesome.  There was never a question in my mind that I was loved growing up.  She always wanted the best for me.  She and dad let me move back home with my little one in tow during my seperation/divorce.  I stayed there for a year and a half and loved being there with them.  This is us at my wedding - the second one. 

Another awesome thing about my mom is that she is very supportive of all her grandkids.  She does her best to come to a lot of their events, ball games, autism walks, band concerts, rectials, etc.  and when "L" was diagnosed with autism, she was very supportive - reading books we gave her, buying his special GF/CF food for her house, etc.  the list goes on and on.  My Mom rocks!

Okay, I'm gonna stop there because I'm crying like a baby and I don't want to be all puffy eyed when I pick up the kids from school. 

Happy Mother's Day Mommy!  I love you! 

Wanna dish about your mom or about being a mom?  Run on over to Amanda's and check out the party.

Cinco de Mayo

Well, it's May 5th and therefore it's time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  I am not of Mexican heritage, but I adore Mexican food, so therefore, I celebrate.  I do have a wonderful cousin who is from Mexico.  I need to get him to teach me to cook real Mexican food (Hey Pedro!! --  I loooove Pedro!!)  But, since Pedro isn't here, I am obligated to cook my version of Mexican food.  Actually, this is a new recipe that looked soooo good I couldn't wait to try it.  We actually would've celebrated a day or two ago because I didn't want to wait, but I forgot to start the crock pot , worked out for Cinco de Mayo. 

I came across a new blog.   Real Mom Kitchen is full of great recipes that I cannot wait to try!  This recipe is for Chili Lime Chicken Tostadas.  YUM!  They are in the crock pot as we speak -or, um, type, actually - and they smell FABULOUS!  I'll let ya know how they turn out.  I am counting down 'til supper - only 5 hours left.  YEA!  I can't wait to try them!!! 

Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas

1 can diced green chilies

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

3 Tbsp. lime juice

1 diced medium onion

2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts

1 can fat free refried beans, warmed

10 tostada shells

Desired toppings such as: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, light sour cream, sliced olives, guacamole

Add chicken and onion to a slow cooker that is at least 3 1/2 quarts.

In a bowl combine green chilies, garlic, chili powder, and lime juice. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Mix in 1/2 cup of juice remaining in slow cooker to the shredded chicken.

Spread warmed refried beans on tostada shells.

Top with hot chicken mixture and any other desired toppings. 

I'm making my favorite guacamole, which you can find here.  I had to buy store bought white cheese dip because I can't find a good recipe.  Does anyone know a good recipe for white cheese dip?  If so, please help a girl out!  I cannot afford to spend $13 on cheese dip and salsa from my favorite restaurant every week.  I'm on a budget.

I totally hijacked this photo from laura's blog.  Doesn't it look wonderful?  I'm sure mine won't be that pretty!

Get on over to Laura's blog and check out her recipes.  She recently went to New York and met Tyler Florence!  Oh my gracious!  He is so cute I just want to smooch all over his face - but not in weird stalkery kind of way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Well, it's teacher appreciation week and boy, do I appreciate teachers!!!  I am a sometimes substitute and I almost majored in Elementary Education (until I realized how little patience I have).  I do love subbing, but I could NOT do it on a daily basis.  Not only are my kids teachers just plain awesome teachers, but they genuinely care about my kids.  It means a lot to find someone who loves your kids, especially when your kids have "issues" like mine. 

Anyway, in appreciation for my kids' teachers, I am making Caramel Brownies.  I am Baptist and Southern so that's how we show love....we feed you! 

So, on to the WORLD'S BEST CARAMEL BROWNIES.  My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember.  She used to make them to take camping with us.  I have so many memories of sneaking in to that 9 x 13 pan while she was out grilling dinner.  These brownies have spoiled many a supper.  YUM! 


1 German Chocolate Cake Mix (Duncan Hines)
3/4 cup salted butter, NOT margerine - melted
1 cup Evaporated Milk, separated
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Kraft Caramel Bits OR 14 oz. caramels from the candy aisle, unwrapped
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Kraft Caramel Bits found near chocolate chips in the baking aisle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cake mix, 3/4 c. pet milk, and 3/4 cup melted butter.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Spread 1/3 of cake mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 6-7 minutes.  In a saucepan, mix 1/4 c. pet milk and caramel candy (if using Bits of Caramel, reduce milk to 3 TBSP) and melt on low heat.  When you take the brownies out of the oven, dump the chocolate chips on top evenly.  Immediately pour the melted caramel on top of the chocolate chips and spread evenly. 

Spread the remaining brownie/cake mixture on top of the caramel.  This can be really tricky.  I've found it's easiest to drop lots of little teaspoonfuls all over and spread into eachother.  The caramel tends to make it hard to spread. 

When it's evenly spread, bake for 20-25 minutes.  Brownies will be gooey and wonderful and yummy and rich. 

**I guess you add the pecans in with the brownie mix.  I, personally, NEVER put nuts in anything chocolate because it cuts the richness of the chocolate.  I want all the sweet chocolatey goodness to shine through, but that's just me.**

Enjoy with a big ole glass of milk.   WARNING:  these brownies are super rich.  You must have plenty of milk for full enjoyment!  They are soooo addictive that I have nicknamed them Caramel "Crack" Brownies. 

One more thing, look at what's left in the saucepan:

YUM!  Go ahead.  I won't tell if you lick the spoon, or the whole pan for that matter.  Nobody will know!!  Shhh!  It'll be our little secret! 

I'm linking up to:  Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy TuesdayTuesdays at the Table and