Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Meal Plan

That's two weeks in a row I've planned our meals. This is definitely a homemaking record for me. I even managed to take our reusable grocery bags to the store two weeks in a row. Monday, I'm coming for you!

Monday: BLTs
I have all the ingredients on hand, and it's time to use them up. I'll toast the bread in the toaster and cook the bacon in the oven following these directions from the Kitchn. I can't stand to get my cooktop greasy. Add lettuce, tomato, and a little swipe of Duke's Mayonnaise, plated with chips and fruit.

Tuesday: Roasted Chicken
I'm using my fave Fort Worth Moms Blog recipe found here, but changing it up by putting it in the crockpot by following the cooking instructions found here. If all goes as hoped, I'll have leftover chicken for chicken salad sandwiches the rest of the week. One of my faves!

Wednesday: Veggie Frittata
I love taking the leftover veggies from yesterday's roasted chicken and baking them into a frittata. Here are instructions on how to take almost any vegetable and turn it into a frittata.

Thursday: Tacos in a Bag
We had chicken tacos last week, but this changes it up just a bit especially since I'm using beef this time. These are a hit with whoever I serve them: kids, adults, college students. You use single serve (like lunchbox size) bags of tortilla chips and make them into tacos. Super easy, and the kids think it's awesome because...chips!

Friday: Mama's OOO (out of office)
It's my birthday weekend, and we may eat our way through Cowtown. Kitchen's closed, family!

What's cooking at your house?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Red-Orange Lipstick: You Should Try It

I'm fairly conservative on fashion trends, so I tend to stick to neutral tones for makeup. However, a few years ago I came across this online article from Glamour regarding a shade of red lipstick that supposedly "looks good on everyone."

"A likely story," I thought. But go ahead and click out on that article! There's a picture with a bunch of interns, all looking different and wearing the lipstick. The blonde convinced me I should try it.

The color is Nars Heatwave. It's a semi-matte, but I find it creamy and not drying.

A very close drugstore match is Revlon Super Lustrous Fire and Ice. It's got more moisture to it, and it's a great, less expensive option.

I have both and like them equally. When I'm wearing an all black outfit, I tend to add this lip color to give it a little something extra, otherwise I feel a little dull. Who wants to feel like that? No one! I especially love it contrasted with a navy outfit.

Even though it'll continue to be summer for the next 3 months here in Texas, everyone's shifting into fall, so it's a great time to change it up a bit. Have some fun with red-orange lipstick!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

Through the Bethany House Blogger Review program, I recently received a copy of Kate Breslin's newest release of historical fiction, Not by Sight, in exchange for a review.

A quick synopsis: a very wealthy, independent-minded, and patriotic young lady, Grace Mabry, is determined to support the war in any way possible. From shaming able-bodied men who conscientiously object to it, to getting her hands dirty to help feed war horses, she is bound and determined to do her part for the World War I effort in England.

After a series of falling flat on her face with each task she puts her hand to, she finds herself in a most unlikely part-time job to keep from admitting defeat to her father, who will probably make her marry a man she doesn't love if he finds out. Then, she finds herself in the midst of a tragic, unrequited love story!

Filled with espionage, patriotism, misunderstanding, longing, and love, this was an incredibly entertaining read to me. I read it twice the first week I had it. Every character has a little secret through which Breslin reveals God's love and grace to them (using "Grace" Mabry). I think Downton Abbey fans especially would like this as it takes place during that same period, with shifting socio-economics and women taking more prominent positions on the home front for war efforts, and also beginning to seek independence and equal rights.

As I mentioned, I've read it more than once now (it's an easy read), and the first time, I couldn't put it down, so this week I'm still digging myself out from under a neglected pile of laundry. I had to know how it ended, and I did pink puffy heart love the conclusion, although I wish Breslin had developed it more. I'm going to need a sequel!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Monday Where I Have Our Meals Planned

I'm usually fairly reactionary for supper, rather than having everything planned throughout the week. I have any number of ingredients in the kitchen that could be used for whatever, but sometimes without a great plan, I get to 3:30 and just give up. That could mean anything from take out to a convenience meal.

This week though, I have quite a few things going on, several of them involving meal for others and appointments right before the supper hour, so it made sense to create a kitchen project plan.

Here I go.

Side note: A while back, Red Gold sent me a package of their tomatoes to try. I'm very brand loyal, so although I'd seen their products in the store, I stuck to my usual. The Red Gold had such sweet and rich tomato flavor! I've even used their tomatoes and green chilies (where that other product that rhymes with "hotel" is called for) with great success, most often in the Santa Fe Chicken below. This is not a paid ad--just hyped up on lycopene thanks to Red Gold's generosity.

Monday: Skinny Taste Santa Fe Chicken
This is my absolute favorite crock pot meal. Packed with flavor and protein and a great serving of veggies. We can eat on this for lunch throughout the week too, which is majorly preferred over a sandwich or Lean Cuisine.

Tuesday: Oh, Sweet Basil's Busy Day Casserole
I was looking for something different but easy this week when I came across this recipe. In the comments, most people remarked in one way or another that it was a hit at their dinner table. I like that it adds carrots since I'm always trying to get more veggies in to our meals.

Wednesday: Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
I'm having my now-college-freshman Sunday school class over for one last hurrah before they depart for freshman year. They're arriving after the dinner hour, hence the dessert. Dad is loading up the little crew and taking them somewhere fun to eat and play. This recipe says it's a copycat of Nothing Bundt Cakes, but church cookbook has the same one. It's a classic!

Thursday: Chicken Tacos
We're taking a meal to a family that just had a baby, as well as hosting some friends, so I thought I'd stick with something that's hard to mess up! It's just chicken breasts in the crockpot with a jar of salsa over the top. A friend told me recently you can add some sour cream to take it up a notch. If I think about it, I may do exactly that.

Friday: DAY OFF
TGIF, ladies!

What's your favorite busy week meal for your family that doesn't come from a drive-thru? No judgment there--you gotta do what you've gotta do, and I'm thankful for drive-thrus way more often than maybe I should!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

No Time to Blog, Too Busy Being Spoiled

In keeping with being about 2 years behind blogging trends, I created a little Facebook page for my blog. If you'd like to see my posts in your Facebook feed, feel free to "Like" it right here!

My mom was here the first part of this week, thus the blog silence. She came for one last hurrah before starting back to school next week. (Officially teachers start on the 17th, but she has something going on that requires her to start back earlier, because she is very good at her job.)

We spent the two days eating wherever the kids wanted, shopping, and hanging out in air conditioned spaces. It was nice to have an extra set of hands during the day, along with some adult conversation.

We spent most of the day today doing some church related things. I'm getting pumped about the semester ahead, for both the kids and me. We've had a great summer, but it's time--for everyone.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hey, Hey, We Went on Vacay

Last weekend, we packed up the kiddos and headed out of Cowtown for a quick late summer getaway to Galveston. Our oldest requested a trip to the beach sometime in June, and I--a beach girl, for sure--was happy to oblige.

We stayed in a tower room at the Hilton with a great view of the Gulf and the pool area. The kids were having so much fun that they even kindly shared elevator button-pushing privileges with one another. That was worth the trip right there. We spent part of the days at the pool and part building sandcastles on the beach. The little lady actually cried when we left the beach.

I hadn't been to Galveston since I was a teenager, and I was impressed! It has recovered well from Hurricane Ike. Family-friendly nightlife is abundant, from the Pleasure Pier to something as simple as the multiple ice cream shops and snow cone stands along the sea wall. You can't turn the corner without spotting great seafood, and we especially liked The Spot with our preschoolers. The Strand has quite a few fun shops (boutiques and souvenir stands), and we made a stop at la King Confectionery for a piece of fudge.

Maybe I have my Lone Star goggles on, but if it weren't for the muddy water, this beach town would rival any other in the Gulf region. Well done, Galveston.

All in all, we had a great first big Texas family road trip. We even convinced Jack to try shrimp, and he requested it a second meal. It has Mr. G and I excited about all the possibilities to show them the great state of Texas for the next 14-16 years we have them at home!

A little review about our lodging with info moms might like that I couldn't find online:

The Hilton Galveston Island Resort was a lot more hotel and lot less resort, but the location was perfect. Our room was in the tower, and it had a small refrigerator. The staff was friendly and helpful.

Sandwiched between our hotel and the San Luis was a Landry's, Rainforest Cafe, and IHOP, with the beach directly across Seawall Blvd. Even with our small kiddos, this was in wonderful walking distance, and there were great family-friendly activities outside the Rainforest Cafe. We utilized the beach across from the San Luis, which had chairs and umbrellas set up and available for rental for $30-40 a day.

If we planned a longer stay, we would likely opt for a condo and perhaps prepare some of our own meals, however, I was not interested in cooking this trip. This was perfect for the purpose of a short family trip, and we would probably stay there again.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kendra Scott Mystic Bazaar Collection

My KS Mystic Bazaar Faves

clockwise from top left:
Everly Iridescent Peach | Rory Bracelet in Gold, Gunmetal, and Rose Gold | Everly in Gunmetal Iridescent Opalite | Fran earrings in Iridescent Peach | Adair earrings in Rose Gold

Kendra Scott released the Mystic Bazaar collection last week, and I'm loving the rose gold look. It's perfect for now and perfect for Fall/Winter. Specifically, the Everly Iridescent Peach and the Adair earrings are going to need to make their home with me, along with one of those bangles down the middle to add to my stack. I love the gunmetal finish, but I'm not sure what I would pair it with.

My birthday falls in August, and I'm already deciding how I'll spend my birthday discount from KS. They give 50% off one item during your birthday month. Such a deal!
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