Thursday, November 28, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving! 

I am thankful that I can spend today with family, filling my belly and then college football! It is a good day and I have a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Messy Scrapping

It is that time of year again- time to get my 2013 digital scrapbook in gear and be ready for the 50% off Shutterfly sale that happens in early January. I created a digital board on Pinterest and saved this page from Libby Pritchett at Sweet Shoppe Designs.  It is my inspiration board filled with color combinations, fonts, and designs I like.

This page has been on my board for months- I just love how messy but beautiful it is! The circle cut off on top, the ribbons hanging off. I just love it all.

Here is my version of that page. I just couldn't get that messy, but mimicked the circle and the fun little accessories peeking out from the circle. Lots of fun!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wendy's Copycat Chili

This is one of those recipes I felt certain I had blogged before, but couldn't find it. It is my favorite chili and with it being chili season, I thought you might need it too!

It is easy, simmers on the oven, and is full of chunky goodness! I love Wendy's chili year round and this is a great copycat version of that chili.

Wendy's Copycat Chili

2# fresh ground beef
1 qt. tomato juice
29 oz. tomato puree
15 oz. red beans, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. diced celery
1/4 c. diced green pepper
1/4 c. chili powder (I use a little less, more like 2T)
1 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. cayenne pepper

Brown meat and drain. Put the drained beef and all other ingredients into a 6 quart pot. Stir. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Enjoy!

I always make this with my favorite cornbread and we can eat it for 3 meals. It freezes well, too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What I'm Loving Right Now

So many cute things I am loving right now!

These boots just might change my life. I have looked for wide calf boots that are cute for years. Not even kidding- years. I own a pair and they look cheap and plasticy to me. Big calved girls can be fashionable!

I was at Nordstrom recently and told the sales guy my problem when we wanted to bring out some boots for me. He took the challenge and told me he had the perfect boots for me. They worked! They zipped right up and over my skinny jeans. Oh happy day!

The Sam Edelman Penny Boot has the wide calf in all the right places. It isn't tight just above the ankle and too big just below the knee. I love them. One thing he taught me with boots, look for one layer of leather so that they will stretch for you. The higher end boots have an inner leather layer and so your stretch is more limited. I bought this whiskey pair, but they also come in black.

I love this striped tote from Gap. It is trendy and reasonably priced at $49.95. Gap is always running sales, so I am hopeful it goes on sale again before Christmas. The hard choice will be deciding which color!

Are you shopping yet? It is a daily flash deal site that I love far and beyond all others. It is clothes, jewelry, kid stuff, chevron, crafts, monograms, I love it all! They will email you and the deal changes daily. 

I am a little obsessed with bubblegum necklaces! These are all over Etsy, blogs, and I even bought tham for under $7 on They are big and chunky and super fun for little girls. My 4 year old loves them and everyone notices them on her.

I am all about scarves this Fall.I love throwing on a scarf over a solid sweater. It just makes it more fun! Plus, I think it covers my fat a little! :) This plaid one from Gap is super soft! I also love a couple from Francesca's- they have sequin sewn into them. Beautiful!

Are these not the cutest little Chukka booties you've ever seen? I love the wedge, the wing tip detail and the tassels on the end of the ties. Plus, they are under $100. That is great for boots!

Finally, I can't believe it but my hair touches my shoulders! I have the slowest growing hair in the world. It has taken 2 years to touch my shoulders from a pixie cut. Don't even get me started on the fact that the pixie is coming back into style. How annoying is that? 

So, since my hair is the longest it has been in 15 plus years, I am discovering all kinds of fun hair accessories and I love these Sweaty Bands. They are a fun print on top and velvet on the bottom side and then a thin piece of elastic at the base of your head. They stay put and look cute! I bought mine at Nordstrom, but you can find them online in numerous places.

Anything you are loving this fall that I need to know about?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu Options

This weekend I am working on my Thanksgiving day menu. Here are a few of my blog favorites that my family will be eating on Thursday.

There is nothing simpler than these muffins. They are perfectly simple and super tasty for breakfast when the kitchen is warming up for the big meal!

It would not be Thanksgiving with my Momma's dressing and this Cranberry Salad. I love making a big bowl of it and we eat it for days afterward. It just gets better with time! I recommend making this on Tuesday or Wednesday and just letting it set until Thursday's meal.

Corn syrup gives me awful headaches, so we make these Southern Pecan Bars instead of a big rich pecan pie. Give them a try for your family this year. I am certain you will love them. They are a cross between pecan pie and a pecan praline.

I have been dreaming of this Sweet Potato Hash and am looking forward to sharing it with my family this year. It is a great nut-free way to make sweet potatoes.

Finally, if you need a quick and easy way to add a little fall decor to your dining room, don't forget my super simple Burlap Banner. I think THANKFUL or GOBBLE or EAT UP would be super cute across a buffet or dining room wall. 

Enjoy your thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Creamy Beef Stroganoff

I really like beef stroganoff that cooks all day in the crockpot, but I hadn't found a version of it that I really loved. I have made beef cubes in the oven which is good, but it isn't creamy like this new recipe. And, the Worcestershire sauce gives it a little extra flavor. I really think you'll like this one.

Creamy Beef Stroganoff
recipe courtesy of The Crockstar

2 pounds cubed stew meat
2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
1 largish onion diced
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire
1/2 water
8 oz of cream cheese 
couple of dashes of Garlic Salt (1 tsp?)
couple dashes of Hot Paprika (see I just can't believe this would be good without some sort of kick)

In the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the Cream Cheese, together. Once combined add the meat and mix together.

Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined. You might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chicken Fried Rice

I am not a big fan of Asian food. No sushi for me, either. However, I do like fried rice. Now that I've learned to make it, it makes an easy lunch or leftover for me to have during the week.

I have made it with chicken and without. It is better than chicken if you have it on hand. We had it without chicken and added frozen egg rolls to complete our dinner.

Easy Chicken Fried Rice
recipe from Rachel

4 cups rice, prepared½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (I recommend using slow cooker teriyaki chicken)1 cup peas & carrots, frozen1 white onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, minced2 eggs3 tablespoons sesame oil (I used canola)¼ cup soy sauce

Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Stir fry until tender. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables. Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Easy Tulle Pumpkin

This is a little late than never kind of post!

I started this pumpkin last year and finally finished it the week of Halloween! It wasn't hard by any means, but I grossly underestimated the amount of orange pipe cleaners and tulle I would need. Once I remembered and Hobby Lobby had the supplies, I was able to finish it quickly.

You can find directions here along with lots of pictures.

It is pretty simple and can work for any shape and holiday. You essentially will wire a piece of plastic latch hook canvas onto an embroidery hoop and then attach pieces of tulle (or wire mesh) onto the canvas with pipe cleaners. 

I've seen candy corn recently, but also think that an oval Easter egg would be cute and a heart at Valentine's. Just buy lots and lots of pipe cleaners!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chili Tortellini

It is soup season! I love having a big pot of soup in the winter! It cooks quickly, it doesn't make a lot of dishes and it makes great leftovers! This was a new take on chili for me and had lots of flavor. It also made a huge pot, like could feed 6-8 adults easily.

We froze half of it and it didn't do well on the second go round. The tortellini was a little mushy and fell apart. I'd save this one for a big crowd and not an everyday meal, unless you have a big family!

See the recipe from The Picky Palate here

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Desktop

This might be my new all-time favorite using the digital kit Hoot and the font Little Bird.

Have a great month!