Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog It Forward Tuesday

I know it is not quit Tuesday yet BUT have you wanted a way to learn about other Bloggers and for them to learn about you?  Well here is your chance.  Link with up Sweep Tight  OR  Just Married With Coupons for they are the fabulous hosts of Blog It Forward Tuesday.  Have fun!!!

Air Force Travels and Cookbook

With the Air Force life I will travel and live in several if not many different states and possibly countries.  To remember our travels, I try to have conversation pieces (art, furniture, glassware, etc) in my home to display these said travels.  From Mississippi I have this beautiful cross painting done by a local artist.  From Louisiana I have many items since I have lived there the longest.  Ohio is actually a gift from a dear friend.  A wall art piece that says Home Is Where the Air Force Sends Us.  Then little houses that I write what bases we have been to.  Not to mention I also make photo books of our adventures in said state we live. 

Anyway, I am also wanting to add to my cookbook stash.  When reading one of the blogs I follow I came across this cookbook - Best of the Best Cookbook: Louisiana (can be ordered HERE).

Photo courtesy of Amazon

It hit me!!!  How cool would it be to have cookbooks as well from each state/country I have lived in.  Yeah it might be overkill but I really love this idea.  So as I decided on which cookbook to get first (who I am kidding???  It will be Louisiana) I am trying to decide do I buy cookbooks from all the states/countries I have lived in when I was a Air Force Brat or just now as a Air Force Wife? 

Oh what the heck...they are cookbooks.  Can't go wrong with cookbooks can I?  Think I will do cookbooks from Air Force Brat and Wife :D

Giveaway - Ends Jan. 31st

You all know I am slowly decorating the new home.  With decorating I always make sure to have some form of candles or Scentsy in each room.  I have come across another fellow Blogger who is giving away TWO very cool candles.  They are flameless!!!  Hope you hop on over to her Blog and check out the giveaway!

Click HERE for the giveaway.  Good Luck

Photo courtesy of

Diaper Cakes

Wanted to share some of the Diaper Cakes I have made for friends this past year.  Here is to hoping 2011 brings more pregnant friends because I have so much fun creating these cakes!!

Shelly's Diaper Cake
Nursery of Apples and Pears

Jen's Diaper Cake
Nursery of Pinks and Greens

Leyna's Diaper Cake
Nursery of Owls
(Owl on top thanks to Shelly!)

Jessica's Diaper Cake
Nursery of Jungle Animals

Baby Rattler Cupcakes
(These were so fun to make)

Baby Rattler Cupcakes with Gum Drops
Jessica's cake for her shower

*I am linking up with Tip Junkie*
handmade projects

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Banana Pudding - Recipe Part 2

Now for the banana pudding recipe I made. I have never made homemade banana pudding before. Never had a recipe to use is the reason. Lately, I have been craving bananas but ever since being pregnant with Gabriel and add in Hyperemesis, I can't eat bananas. Banana Bread oh yes. Alone no way. After seeing Jen's post and eyeballing the bananas on our table, I thought what the heck. Lets see if I can make pudding.

Went to Food Network to get the recipe when I saw, besides the Baked Banana Pudding recipe, Alton also has a Refrigerated Banana Pudding recipe. Since Jen made one already, I thought I would make the other so we could compare notes. This is a "adult version" of banana pudding but to make it kid/pregnant friendly leave out the banana liqueur.

Refrigerated Banana Pudding -
**Are my notes**

• 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 large eggs
 1 large egg yolk
• 2 cups whole milk
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and chilled
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 45 vanilla wafers **I used store bought since had two boxes on hand**
• 4 ounces banana liqueur
• 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
 1 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold


-Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and salt in a 3-quart saucier. Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 172 to 180 degrees F, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges. **Jen suggests a thermometer and I highly agree. I almost burned the pudding**

-Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, being sure each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the pudding with a round piece of parchment and refrigerate until the pudding reaches 45 degrees F, approximately 2 hours.

-Lay the vanilla wafers on a half sheet pan. Slowly and evenly pour the banana liqueur over the cookies. Set aside for 10 minutes.

-Toss the banana slices with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

-Spread a small amount of pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.

-Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk just until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely. Top with any remaining soaked cookies **I did not have any left**. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

***Thank you for hanging in there with this long post(s). But I promise when you make either recipe you will be thankful you stuck it out!!***

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thrift Shopping Saturday

Today we checked out a store here in Fayetteville called Re-Store Warehouse.  Very cool place of house building items people have dropped off as donations.  I don't know much more than that but tend to find out. 

I am so very much wanting a mantle to hang in either hallway by front door or in dining room.  This is my thirft store, garage sale, or craigslist mission until the right one is found.  Until then let me show what I found today.

At the Re-Store Warehouse I found this.........

It is an old window (Lord it is heavy too) that someone has added a small ledge to the front and picture frame wire on the back.  I had to have it!  I have zero idea where it will be hung at this time or what exactly I will use it for but for $2 (yes you read that right!!) it is mine.  Nathan smiled and said only me would find a window for 2 bucks. 

If you have ANY suggestions on how I can use this please share!!  Right now I am thinking a bigger ledge, new paint (cream if goes in front door hallway or bright green if goes into kitchen), and maybe a way to display Gabe's artwork?  Nathan thinks someone used it to display work of some sort because of the sticky squares in the bottom row of glass.

Banana Pudding - Recipe Part 1

Oh my, oh my, OH MY!!!!  The recipe I am about to give you is freakin to die for fabulous.  However before I give it to you I want you to meet the person that started the whole Banana Pudding making week.

Enter Jen P.....
Jen is a Georgia Peach (now living in Alaska) but don't confuse her with those crazy Housewives of Atlanta Peaches.  No, Jen is a true Peach.  The kind of person who inspires your inner craftiness, cooking goddess, and down right want to be a better person "inners".  She is fabulously fun and funny.  She honestly tries to live a nonjudgmental life and will have a honest, open conversation with you about anything.  Doesn't matter if she agrees or not she is loving, honest, and open.  Not to mention when you are friends with Jen, you also get the added bonus friendship of her hubby and son.  Yeah I really miss those three (with soon to be four - woohoo)!!! 

This week Jen talked about her makings of Banana Pudding on FB.  I chimed in (don't remember what I posted) and she tagged me in two of her photos.  People this was truly one time where I wish I had the power of reaching through the computer screen and coming back with her food!  She made Alton Brown's Baked Banana Pudding. 

Click here for Jen's Food Blog post with the recipe and pictures (not to mention hundreds of other yummy goodness she creates).  For her Alaska adventures and crafty creations click HERE.  Last but not least, to see her wicked photography skills click HERE.  Jen, thank you for the inspiration of banana pudding this week!!!  However I might not thank you when I step on the scale in a few days ;)

Pineapple Fried Rice - Recipe

Last night's dinner was Pineapple Fried Rice.  It is one of my favorite dishes to make.  Since moving to Fayetteville we have found a really fabulous Thai and Chinese Rest. here called Orchid Garden.  On the menu is Pineapple Fried Rice.  Let me tell you it is AMAZING!!!  I would love to give her my recipe one day and see if she could show me what to change to make it even better.  Until then this recipe is still very yummy.  Things with **are my notes.

Pineapple Fried Rice
Serves 4-6

-1 whole fresh pineapple *have made with a large can of diced pinapple in natural juice*
-2 T. Vegetable Oil
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 fresh green chillies, seeded and chopped *seeded depending on how spicy you like it*
-8 oz lean pork, cut into strips *I use chicken tenderloins and usually use the whole package*
-4oz cooked, peeled, shrimp *fresh is the best if possible*
-3-4 c. plain boiled rice, cooked and completely cold *I have used brown rice and Jasmine Rice (long grain) I have also used just made rice because forgot the recipe called for cold rice*
-1/3 c. roasted cashew nuts *I tend to add more because of my love for cashews*
-2 Spring Onions (Scallions/Green), chopped, green and white parts
-2 T. Fish Sauce
-1 T. Soy Sauce
-2 fresh red chillies, sliced, and 10-12 fresh mint leaves (optional) to garnish.

-Using a sharp knife, cut the pineapple into quarters. Remove the flesh from both halves by cutting around inside the skin. Reserve the pineapple skin shells for serving the rice.
-Slice the pineapple flesh and chop it into small even-size cubes. You will need about 4oz pineapple in total. -Any remaining fruit can be reserved for use in a dessert.
-Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Add the onion and chillies and fry for 3-5 minutes until Softened. Add strips of pork and cook until they have browned on all sides.
-Stir in the shrimp and rice and toss well together. Continue to stir-fry until the rice is thoroughly heated.
-Add the chopped pineapple, cashew nuts, and spring onions. Season to taste with fish sauce and soy sauce.
-Spoon into the pineapple skin shells. Garnish with sliced red chillies, and with shredded mint leaves, if you like

*Recipe from - Best-Ever Curry Cookbook Mridula Baljekar*

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reason #578

Of why I am thankful I am staying home with Gabriel.  Yesterday we went to Target for some much needed items.  When we got back to the car, I was about to open the trunk when Gabriel said "Look Momma".  He then proceeded to point out and say every letter for my car's name - SORENTO (how it is spelled and written on the car).  After wards he just looked at me and smiled.  Lord that smile is priceless and we did a HUGE happy dance in the middle of Target parking lot.  He is 2 years 1 month and so many days old (ha!) and amazes me every day.  Especially days like these when neither hubster or I have worked with him on this word.

However don't think our day is all flowers and rainbows.  Take today.  Gabriel was watching Mickey Mouse while I decided to jump in the shower.  I was about finished when he came busting through the door and screaming "Ewwww Momma!! Ewww my hands!!!"  I calmly talked to him while asking him to hold on.  I was almost finished.  That didn't work and he starts screaming even louder.  I pull back the shower curtain and see his little hand.  It is green.  No idea what is green that he could have gotten into.

Oh wait.  The hot steam of my shower disappears and it hits me.  POOP is green!!!  My 2 year old child, who knows about half of his alphabet, can recognize lower and upper case letters, has found he can stick his hands down his diaper.  I quickly close the shower curtain, breathe, pass on shaving, and get out to clean my son's poopy hand.

Tonight I can see the beauty in both of my days.  However I truly wish to have more dancing in the Target parking lot vs. poopy hand days!  Hope you all had a fabulous Friday.  I am off to read more about Potty Training because my son is ready.

Flashback Friday

My mom posted this on FB last night and I just smiled.  This was December 6, 2003  Man my hubby looks like a kid in this picture.  He is older now, sexier than ever, and still acts like a kid -ha!  I love this man.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Winner Is.......

This was such a fun giveaway.  I want to thank all of you for either following the Blog, leaving comments, and/or supporting my first Blog giveaway.  I now have several new kitchen gadgets that I need to try out.  Pampered Chef, with Kitchen Aid Mixer following, seems to be the favorite in the kitchen gadgets.  I went through my cabinets and realized that I only own a few Pampered Chef items.....wonder if hubs would like to add to that collection ;)

Okay on to what everyone really wants to know....the winner.............

I follow you!! I love reading your posts. My favorite kitchen thing is my Kitchen Aid mixer, that one very sweet friend picked up for me :) I use it so much that I bought another bowl so I wouldn't have to wash in between batters and icing! I love the idea of a blog give away. I can't wait to get my new kitchen organized. I have a cook book with me on our trip so I can do some meal planning.

Congratulations The Camouflage Flower!!!!!  Check your inbox and I hope you enjoy the Spoonula as much as I do. 

**The winner of the drawing was chosen by using  I used screen names from the comments to enter everyone in.**

Valentine's Wreath

I still have not been able to find the box with my Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day decor.  I did found the two tulle wreaths I made for Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day though.  I made these wreaths last year but never Blogged about it.  I came across the idea from Kami Buchanan Custom Designs.

Valentine's Wreath and Mardi Gras - DIY project made for under $10
-Get the round Styrofoam wreath from Dollar Tree
-4 yards of tulle total (I used 2 yards each) from Walmart *I used red and pink*
-Red and pink ribbon from Michael's
-Be Mine from Hobby Lobby

-Make just like a Rag wreath:
-Cut tulle into 15 inch strips doubled up and tie them on in knots
-If you mix colors I did 3 in a row of the red and then 3 pink
-Push them tight together
-Add ribbon last and add something cute to the middle.

Just like VDay wreath but used Mardi Gras colors
Tulle from WM and mask from Dollar Tree

The following Valentine's Day center piece I don't remember where I got the idea from.  Do know it is from a Blog that I follow.  It is actually to be a wreath but I didn't like how it turned out so I turned it into a candle handle for the middle of my table.

Cupcake Liner Wreath
-Round wreath from the Dollar Tree
-Pack of 50 cupcake liners
-Ribbon to cover wreath (two rolls to wrap and then enough to use to hang wreath)

-Wrap the entire wreath with the ribbon
-Bunch or fold the cupcake liners then hot glue onto the wreath
-Cover the wreath with as many cupcake liners as it takes for it to the wreath to be full.  Make sure once the liners have tried to fluff them out.
-Since I didn't like how mine turned out (due to rushing...make sure you have time to focus) I used one of my red candle for the candle center. 
-Picked up KISS from scrapbook section of Target and stuck to candle.

*If I can remember where I found this wreath tutorial I will post.  I remember her wreath turning out super cute!!*

Serenity Now-A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane: 3 Month Ad Spot and Ad Button Giveaway!

Hey Readers!!!
Do you have a Button? Want a Button? Well over at Serenity Now she is having an really fun and helpful giveaway!! It is for a 3 month advertise on her Blog about your Blog. The winner will have a Button created by a pro. If you already have a button then she said you could have a I've Been Featured On....button. Hope you jump on over and check it out. Good Luck!!
Serenity Now-A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane: 3 Month Ad Spot and Ad Button Giveaway!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Menu Planning

Can be such a pain in the butt!! I bought this pad of paper about 6ish months ago from Target.  It had the days of the week listed on it and I have been using that as my menu planner.  It has worked great but the paper is flimsy, small, and would often tear.  That never worked with me trying to keep my menus instead of trying to reinvent the menus each week. 

While system worked, my system of a grocery list was sorry and just didn't work.  I didn't know how to come up with a system that would work for me.  Or better yet, I shall be honest and say I was too lazy to come up with an idea to work ;) 

The past couple of days I have been searching all over the Internet reading ideas and looking at lists and charts people have created.  Man there are so many out there.  I jumped over to Tip Junkie and realized I should have started there first!!!  On her Blog she has planning of meals, chores, activities, etc. already sorted, charted, and in such easy access.  Within a matter of a few minutes I found my weekly menu planner and my new grocery shopping list.  I did stop myself before I started picking out chore charts because I needed to go to bed and Gabriel is not quit old enough for a chore chart.  However, tonight I hope to find a cute system to help me with daily cleaning so I'm not stressed and cramming it all in on one day. 

Back to meal planning - I was doing twice a week menu planning but I am back to once a week for now.  Reason being is I really like to plan my meals according to what coupons I have or get in the Sunday paper.  As well as what is on sale that week for groceries.  Sometimes I still plan two weeks and just adjust to what is on sale.

I thought I would share the two systems I printed out for FREE....yes free.  Some people like to charge for their creation but since this is the year of getting out of debt I only looked at freebies.

For my weekly menu planner I am working with this chart -

This chart is a freebie and can be found at Issa Sarza Creative Living Blog.

For my shopping list I am still wondering why I didn't get off my butt and create this!  It is amazing, simple, and helps me NOT look like a lost person roaming the grocery isles -

This chart is also a freebie and can be found at Finding Home Blog.

With these two easy, simple, and free charts, I hope you will have some inspiration to start planning your meals.  I can honestly say it is such a peace to know what we will be eating each day for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  Then not to mention the money we have started saving by going to the grocery store with a list of what we need.  Before I would go to just walk up and down the isles and buy things that when I got home, ask why did I buy this??

If you have a Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping List in place, share!  I love learning new things and see if someones way is better and easier.  Happy Shopping Everyone!!

Wordless {Wordful} Wednesday

Our home is unboxed!!!  Here are a couple of pictures of the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  Bedrooms have stacks of "stuff" that I need to go through of what to keep or toss.  Those will come later.  Any suggestions on how to decorate I would love it.  Please ignore the little piles in the kitchen area....sorting still :)
View of Dining Room - we are renting
and trying to work out something about the paint

One side of the kitchen

Other side of the kitchen

Right side of living room - wall to separate kitchen

Back of living room with entrance to front door

View of living room from front door.  Need to figure out paint ASAP
Also as you can see need to lower curtains (using curtain rod that was left)
and decorate the walls.
My new pillows from TJ Maxx

Front bathroom - walls are a sea foam green.

Waiting on shower curtain to be ordered.
Think the chocolate brown helps with all the green

For the most part we are really liking the home.  I am taking my time searching the Internet, Blogs, and magazines for ideas on how to decorate.  Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Giveaway on another Blog - way cool giveaway!!

I am in this weird state of dying to decorate our home.  I see so many things I "want".  The wants then turn into this bad feeling of "I NEED it"!!!  What gets me the most is, I want to create these "wants/needs" myself and have my eye on this very special tool to just do that!   However lack of funds is preventing many of wants/needs. 

It is called the Silhouette Machine.  This machine is just amazing.  Even better Design Dazzle is having a giveaway for this machine.  I feel like a junkie because I have already lost three giveaways for this machine.  Maybe its because of this ugly MUST HAVE IT NOW feeling I have, that my luck is not lucky right now.  So I am giving out good Karma into the world and telling you guys to jump on over to Design Dazzle.  Check out this truly amazing machine and enter yourself....if you win just don't tell me...Gabriel needs his mom to not be locked up! ;)

Chicken Spaghetti

I am almost done with the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook.  It has been a fun and yummy cookbook to cook through.  Her Blog has even more yummy recipes and I have been using alot of those as well.  Since I have just about finished her cookbook, I am wondering what cookbook to use next...suggestions???

Sunday night I made her Chicken Spaghetti.  It was very easy, full of flavor, and the hubster ate seconds, thirds, and repeated the next day for lunch.  Gabriel though wasn't having it.  Don't know why but he wasn't.  The following is the recipe from the cookbook.  Things with * by them are my suggestions for when I make this again.  Enjoy!!

Chicken Spaghetti - The Pioneer Woman Cooks
-1 cut up fry chicken *next time I will buy a already cooked chicken from the deli...something about the bones, smell of it boiling, just not for will save time*
-1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into 2inch pieces *I just broke my noodles in half*
-1 4oz jar diced pimientos *I left out b/c neither my hubby or I care for them*
-1 small onion
-1/4 cup of diced green bell pepper *hubster said leave out. I say no but if cut into strips easier to pick out for non bell pepper likers*
-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup *low sodium IMO*
-2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
*hubster said more cheese is needed...he likes to live on the wild side with cheese*
-1 tsp. seasoned salt aka Lawry's
-Fresh ground black pepper
-1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper to taste *1/4 used*

-Bake oven to 350 degrees
-Chicken into pot, cover with water, bring to boil, then simmer till chicken is done, about 25 minutes
-Remove chicken from water and set aside to cool *or you will lose all finger prints like me*
-Remove 2 cups of broth from pot and set aside
-Bring remaining broth back to boil, add noodles, cook till al dente.
-Drain spaghetti, discard cooking liquid, set aside, now remove chicken from bone, shred or cut into bite size/chunks.  Drain pimientos
-Dice the onion and bell pepper.
-Place cooked noodles in large bowl, add mushroom soup, add 2 cups of cheese
-Then add the onion, green pepper, pimiento, and then all the seasoning.
-Finally add chicken and broth
-Stir till well combined, taste to check the seasonings
-Pour into deep baking pan, top with remaining cheese, and bake for 35-45 minutes.

**Well Blogger is being a poo and won't let me upload a picture right now.  Will come back soon with my chicken spaghetti picture.  However PW takes way better food pictures than I, so use hers as an example!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

1st Blog Giveaway by Come What May

***This Giveaway is now CLOSED.  I want to thank everyone for their participation. 
Check back tomorrow for the WINNER!!***

I am back in the kitchen cooking.  The kitchen is big enough that we can cook as a family for once.  My kitchen is organized!!  All of these statements make me very happy.  Because of the kitchen happiness, I thought I would share my joy with a giveaway.  Yesterday I gave a sneak peek of what the giveaway is.  It is this lovely Spoonula.....(well yours would be brand new of course!!)

This spoonula is part of Giada De Laurentiis line at Target.  I have been using her Bamboo Spoons, Spoonula, and Spatula for over a week now.  My favorites are the Spoonula and Spatula for the following reasons - light weight, long handles (so your hands are not in the direct heat/steam of the pot), made of silicone so nothing sticks (so far), and they are very affordable. 

Since I love this Spoonula so much and know you will too, I have decided to use it as my 1st Come What May Blog giveaway!!!  Along with a $10 Gift Card to Blockbuster in hopes of your own family movie/pizza night. 

Three ways to Enter -
1-Click to follow this Blog (found to the right of the screen under grab my button) 
2-If you Blog, write a quick post about my giveaway and link back to my Blog
3-Leave a comment below about what is your favorite kitchen gadget at the moment or for all time. 

The contest will end this Wednesday (Jan. 26th).  This giveaway is for U.S. residents only.  A winner will be randomly selected and announce on Thursday (Jan. 27th).  If you do all three listed above, make sure to leave 3 separate comments to have your name entered in three times.  Good luck everyone.  Happy Sunday!!

**The views and giveaway in this post are solely done by me.  Neither Target nor Ms. Giada have hired me or given me these products to review and give away.** 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pizza Sauce - Recipe

Way back before September we usually did a weekly pizza and a movie night.  Usually celebrated on Friday or a Saturday night all depending on hubs work schedule.  Last night was pizza night and man have I missed it!!  Well technically we didn't get to the pizza part because we ran some last minute errands and ended up with Chinese...we did get the movie though.  Tonight will be part 2 of pizza night at our home.

As much as I L-O-V-E pizza I am not a fan of the sauce.  It is usually too sweet for my liking or it is the "you want crust with all that sauce???".  I set out about a year ago looking for the perfect pizza sauce and I found it!!  I use good ole Google to find a pizza sauce recipe.  However, I can't remember where on Google I found the following recipe from...sorry!  It is the perfect combination of sweet and spice.  It is super easy to make.  Will for warn you, that is makes a ton of sauce.  Good part is it freezes fabulously.  Enough where usually 2 ladle full of sauce per pizza and that equals to be about 5-7 pizza nights!!  Okay now to the good part - Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe.....Enjoy!!

Homemade Pizza Sauce
-3 garlic cloves
-3 T. olive oil
-1 (29oz) can of Tomato Puree
-1 (28oz) can of Crushed Tomato
-2 T. Brown Sugar
-1 T. Italian Seasoning
-1 t. Dried Basil
-1/2 t. salt
-1/2 t. red pepper flakes

-Saute garlic in oil until tender
-Add all the other ingredients
-Bring to boil
-Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes

My ingredients...forgot fresh garlic so this garlic was used

Need a good pot and a spoon...keep this spoon in mind!

Woops!! Forgot the oil and garlic picture.  This is
all the tomatoes mixed with garlic and oil

Add Brown me!

Mix to dissolve all the br. sugar...ahhh there is that spoon again!

So I totally spaced out and forgot the rest of my recipe pictures.  Sorry about that.  However once you dump in the seasoning all that is left is to boil and then simmer.  Besides a watched pot never boils anyway right?!?!  I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think.  If you have a sauce recipe that you think is awesome share!! I can't promise that I will try it but maybe my readers will want to!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What a week...ending with a give away!

This move has been hard, oh so very hard.  I think because for the first time ever I have moved as a parent.  Parent to a 2 year old boy.......enough said right?!?!  This week Nathan and I have been so focused on getting the house unboxed that Gabriel has not had his usually activities, arts, crafts, exercise, that I normally plan for every day.  This means he has been into EVERYTHING and often find him getting on my nerves.  With my temper short and saying "no" so much.  I have never been a "no" person because kids just don't understand "no" or get bored and ignore that short word.

Instead I have always been a believer in discipline or boundaries with a short explanation of why to help the understanding and prevent fights.  This worked with my teaching years and has been working with Gabriel.  Somehow all of that has gone out the window this past week.  Last night it just broke my heart because even with me yelling a few many times, Gabriel still smiles, hugs and kisses are given, and he still finds laughter.  He really is an amazing child. 

Today is a new day.  The house is about 85% unboxed and ready to live in.  This also means the crabby, moody, short tempered mom must 100% leave!  I promise, that if my 2 year old child who decides that jumping off the back of the couch onto some boxes, won't get yelled at and "no" won't be issued.  Instead it will be a calm mom who will shortly/briefly explain that jumping off the couch is not okay.

Here are two articles I found through a friend -

They have helped get me back on the right track.  As parents we will always make mistakes but owning up to them and getting right is one of the best things we can do.

Other news I am really enjoying this house.  When we first moved in there were/are a few issues that had me second guessing renting this place.  However we are slowing making it home.  I bought some new rugs and pillows for the kitchen/living room.  Will take pictures tonight and post because I need some much needed advice!!  I have MANY bare walls and just not sure how I want to go about decorating them.  I do know that I need to order my items from Uppercase Living and I would LOVE to have an old mantle to hang by front door.

Oh another thing, we finally have INTERNET!!!  WOO HOO For the past three weeks I have been using free wireless through TLF or on my phone.  Now I have my own Internet and can catch up with emails and Blog postings.   I also see that I am at 36 followers.  I think I will do a GIVEAWAY!!!

Check back tonight for house pictures and come with some great decorating advice please...I need it!  Then check back tomorrow for my Giveaway Contest.  Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Do you Shampoo or Nopoo??

I am a shampooer kind of girl.  I have extremely oily hair, it is thin, but I have lots of it to make it look thick.  My hair can't make up its mind if it wants to be straight, wavy (no such luck on curls), or just down right frizzy. 
I have friends that do the "Nopoo" (don't use any form of shampoo or soap for their hair) but I have never looked into.  I have wanted to try the Wen Shampoo line for awhile but Mr. Dean doesn't sell to my price range.  However, Mr. Dean if you find this, I would love to try your shampoo and tell my Blog readers and Facebook friends.

Instead it has been various Shampoos until this past October, when I was staying with my parents for awhile, I started using my mom's shampoo.  It is a Sulfate Free Shampoo. .............

The one I have been using is for colored hair even though I don't color my hair.  After the first wash I really felt and heard a difference with my hair.  Um, heard??? Yes heard!! I didn't have that crunch when I pressed the ends of my hair.  Don't get me wrong my hair is actually very healthy but for the first time it felt really clean.  Not to mention when I scratched my scalp there was no greasy, flaky, build up mess.  I was sold!  Skip to January, I am still using the shampoo and my hair is fabulous (especially fabulous when I am not lazy and actually style it).

Anywho, went to Wal-Mart yesterday to replenish my shampoo as well as the fridge and cabinets.  When these little "sale" tags caught my eye and I ended up buying this new shampoo.....

It is Sulfate-Free but with the added bonus of being I haven't went all organic but we are trying...that is another post for another day.....This shampoo was .20 cents cheaper and a few more ounces.  Another selling factor is, it has this fabulous coconut smell...lord how I love anything coconut.  Not to mention it's magical powers!!  Standing in the middle of the shampoo isle, I closed my eyes and took a huge sniff.  I was instantly back to a size 9 (yeah I'm almost 5'11 and will never be a 2), flat tummy, and wearing a bikini, and then some one said "Excuse me please".  Okay so it doesn't really have magical powers but it smells great! 

I have never used this brand before but the smell had me from the first sniff.  So I am going to give it a go.  Will Blog back in about a week and let you know what I think.  If I don't give you a update, I just might have charged a one way plane ticket to Fiji...please don't come and rescue me....please!

Fiji with the fabulous huts over the water........

**Neither shampoo companies or Fiji have heard of me.  This post is based on my opinions alone and can not be held against me.  I would gladly write up a post about Fiji if someone would like to send me there though ;) **

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jan 16th - Jan 22nd Menu

Oh boxes are everywhere, my kitchen is just about done, the play room is finished, and we are using the neighbors Internet....yes bad I know!  Taking a break from unpacking to make out our menus.  I will keep this going each week since we have nothing to eat by us but a McDonald's and Wendy's...belch.  I hope to post the menus biweekly but for sure weekly.  As well as posting on a Saturday or Sunday (the latest) to help others making their menus for the week.  As always, share your menus to keep the food inspiration going!

Sunday - Happy Birthday to my Hubby!!!!!
D- Lasagna with bread and salad

Monday -
L-P&J Sandwiches
D-Left over Lasagna

Tuesday -
L-Grilled Cheese w/ Ham, Fruit, Chips
D-Cowboy Sandwiches

Wednesday -
B-Eggs and Biscuits
L-Chicken Nuggets w/Apple Sauce and/or Veggies
D-Mom's Roast

Thursday -
B-Sour Cream Pancakes
L-Left over Roast
D-Basil Chicken

Friday -
L-Turkey/Avoc. Sandw. w/chips
D-Home made Pizza Night

Saturday -
B-French Toast
D-Chicken Spaghetti

Sunday -
B-Fruit Smoothies
L-Left over Chx. Spag.
D-Salad Night

Some of these meals I have not posted recipes yet.  Will soon though.  Happy Sunday!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday - WOOHOO

Oh Friday how I love thee!!!  Why??? It is move in day.  I have been second guessing ourselves about the house we picked to rent.  Nothing major but little things that have been stuck in my mind and are leading to big worries and stress.  Hubs left super early this am to get to house and meet the movers.  He texted and said "Babe, this house will become home, and it has a lot of potential". 

After reading that I am determined to throw out any worries over the place, unpack, decorate, and make it a home.  That being said, he also mentioned that he has not set up Internet yet...sure cable is but not my Internet.  I really think he did that to keep me focused on unpack...little turd bucket is what I say!!! LOL

With today being Friday I wanted to start doing Flashback Fridays or maybe Fashion Friday.  Yes I know have zero fashion sense but I can post what I see/love in a magazine and share with readers.  With the hopes of my readers helping me find these fashions at lower cost and suit my body style.  However, I am supposed to be moving out of TLF right now and instead find myself on the computer (okay maybe my Turd Bucket does have a valid point after all......), I won't do Flashback Friday today. 

Instead I will give you a fellow Blog friend who I love to read.  Her Blog is simple, sweet, and yet many of her posts find a way to touch me.  It is through her that I am "copying" Flashback Friday.  Plus her latest post "Love Me" flows with my post yesterday!!  Which by the way I will post a picture of my white board after it is unpacked.

Happy Friday and please check out - Still Blooming

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Valentine's Day is just a month away and it is one holiday Nathan and I have never really celebrated.  Not a scrooge but we truly try to have romance and love in our relationship every day...just ask some of our friends about our "White Board".... ;)  Don't get me wrong, Lord knows we get on each other's nerves, I wish him at work sometimes when it is his day off, and we have disagreements, but we always find our way back to each other....always!

Sunday is Mr. May's birthday.  32nd Birthday to be exact.  I am a HUGE believer in birthdays.  Always have been (except this past totally was not my month) and pray I always will be.  I have kind of forgotten that his birthday was coming and I like to blame the move, new city, TLF, and the list could go on and on but in the end I should not have forgotten. 

Last night over dinner I asked him what he want/needed for his bday.  Him being a man went into this long story of what I could do for him (will spare details for any readers I may have under the age of 21) and I laughed, food came, and he never really gave me an idea (or an idea that he knows I will go through with!). 

Here we are this afternoon waiting for him to come home for lunch and he sends me a text saying we never finished his birthday discussion.  Girls you know what he texted me?????

Mr. May - I just want you to bring me a cup of coffee and tell me that you are still madly in love with me"
Me - Oh babe I can do that over and over for the rest of our lives!
Mr. May - That's all I need.....babe!

See ladies this is why I love this man.  Just when two weeks of being off our routine, living in TLF, my head on an endless spinning cycle of how to organize, decorate, paint, etc, I get a text like that.  Lord I love this man!

Now go out and buy yourself a white board.  I promise you will thank me!! Happy Thursday

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blog Find - Tip Junkie

It has been two weeks living in TLF and I truly think I am at the end of my rope.  Don't get me wrong I am thankful for having a place to stay and keeping some sort of routine for Gabriel, but man I want my stuff.  to keep my mind off this tiny place, I have been brainstorming ways to decorate and organize our home. 

When I was teaching I was OCD when it came to being organized.  By the end of the year I even had my students organizing their items at home...much to their parents surprise.  This all being said, somehow over the last year I have gotten very lazy with my belief that everything has a place.  Instead, magazines, papers, shoes, and so much more, just ended up piling around the house collecting dust or become a tripping zone. 

With the new house I have promised myself and my fabulous hubster that I will get back on track with decluttering and being organized.  This morning as Gabriel is watching Mickey Mouse I logged on to search some more ideas for organizing and decorating.  I have stumbled across some really talented women who have the greatest ideas to decorate and organize.

My Blog Find for today - Tip Junkie  She has some great ideas for the little things that pile up and not to mention some awesome craft projects...Valentine's Day is just around the corner....which if you happen to text, email, or FB with my hubs let him know that the Nook really would be a awesome gift for me.  Just another way to declutter, get rid of the piles and piles of books ;) 

Hop on over to Tip Junkie, check her out, and then come back and let me know what you think.  Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

About Me

I am Rachel and so excited you stopped by my little Blog.  This Blog is about all things I love - cooking, baking, crafts, traveling, my family, inspiration found from others and within myself, throwing parties, reading, and my latest adventure Tot School for our 2 yr. old son.

I invite you to sit down, relax, and check out "Come What May".  I hope to inspire, encourage, make you laugh, find your inner craftiness, wow your loved ones with new recipes, and enjoy this little Blog of mine. 

To Contact Me...leave comments or email me at  -

Monday - Things on my mind, current events/news, book review, and our everyday/travel adventures.
Tuesday - Art and craft projects.  As well Blogs I stumble across.
Wednesday - Wordless {wordful} day of pictures that are current or flashbacks.
Thursday - Menu planning and recipes.
Friday - Wrapping up our week in Tot school.
Book Review - My reviews on various books I read
HH6 Cooking Club - Cooking Club I am part of with fellow Cooking Bloggers

Blog Changes are happening!!

Monday we had about 3-4 inches of snow.  We come to realize that when this area gets even so much as an inch the entire Base and City shuts down!!!  Yesterday resulted in everything being closed or a Ghost Town as hubs called it.  So since we couldn't go or do anything/where I pulled a chair up to the glass door, watched the beautiful snow fall, and worked on the Blog. 

Man it truly was an all day process and I am still not done.  I can see how people pay to have a Blog designed for them.  Shoot, many times I found myself wanting to throw the computer out the glass door.  But I hung in there and truly proud of the progress I have made so far.  Especially since I am 100% hands-on learner.  I have never been able to read something and just be able to implement the work.  Another explanation of my test taking abilities.....hope I haven't passed that on to Gabriel!

Before I give you some AMAZING links to set up your own Blog, I also want to thank my facebook friends and fellow bloggers with their help.  You ladies know who you are and this Blog thanks you too!

Okay here we go!!!
1 - Create Your Own Button - Oikology 101  This honestly was the best step by step instructions of the day!  I had my button made in about 10 minutes.  Hubs thinks the button is awesome...Why??  The airplane is the main airplane he will be flying on for the next 3-4 years.  It is a C-130 aka Work Horse.  I am truly proud of my Flight Nurse and thought the airplane fits with Come What May and our Air Force life.  Okay back on track....jump on over to Oikology 101 and create your own button.  Let her know how fabulous she is for breaking it down for us fellow Bloggers!

2 - Navigation Bar - Blogger Sentral  Now this step is what took me forever!!!  I don't believe it was due to the instructions but more for the fact, like I said before, I need to be shown or actually have my hands on what ever it is I am about to learn.  These instructions are step by step and they do work!  This is where fellow Blogger Friends helped me out so much.  So if you want to create a Navigation Bar (the red blocks under my title picture on my Blog) I highly suggest you have a few hours of zero distractions, a very cold Pepsi, and don't give up!!  Well, unless you are one of those annoying people that can just read something and do you guys irk me ;) J/K...partly!

3 - Colors for Navigation Bar - W3Schools  This is where I got the red and block squares on my Nav. Bar.  I will be 100% honestly that I have no idea how I made this work.  Except for the fact a friend gave me her code from using step 2 and 3.  Then I just compared the codes and created my Red/Black squares.  Sorry if that isn't much help.

I hope these three links will help any of you out there wanting to make your Blog a little bit more of your own!  I have a few more things to do with my page and then I will leave it alone.  I am still on a high for figuring these items out.  I was at my wits end at times and was thinking of a way to convince the hubs to let me pay some one to set up my Blog. 

More importantly, if you find yourself stuck or have a question, contact me and I will gladly help you out (to the best of my ability!!!).  I can give you the cheat sheets/codes a couple of friends gave to me to set my Blog.  Happy Blogging!!

Blog Giveaway - Jan. 18th 2011

About a week ago I came across a fabulous Blog - Decor Chick.  I really enjoy her ideas for decorating and have already found some inspiration for our Master Bedroom (which we get to move into in 2 days!!!).  Decor Chick is having a Blog Giveaway via Olive Bungalow that I think every one of my readers should check out!!!  Girls it is all about me, when you see these pieces you will thank me.  Even though this may lessen my chance of winning I just couldn't keep this to myself.  So stop on over to Decor Chick - Olive Bungalow - Giveaway.  Good luck ladies!  I have my eye set on the Rustic Topaz Dream Ring.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ohio, you have been FABULOUS!!!!

This week has been packed with "see you soons", packing and cleaning house, inspection of the house (which we passed but not with out a dang fight...why can't people just use common sense), dinners with friends, and now today is the day we leave.  Nathan and I have truly made Ohio feel like home and we will honestly miss this place.  We were talking last night in bed and I find it sad for people who don't give this area a chance.  Is it the #1 place to live I doubt it but who really knows what the #1 place is! 

But with all the area parks, museums, small towns, and big cities, Ohio really has it all.  Besides all of that I have truly made some of the best friends!  Lost some along the way, learned that some I didn't need in my life, and disagreements with some, but worked our way through it.  I will truly miss my Girl's Group but I will rely on FB, Skype, and the fact that this is the AF.  You just never know when you might run into each other again!!!

Well hubs is telling me to move so I must go help pack the car.  We head to North Carolina today with a over night stop in West Virgina.  I might be out of touch for about a week or so.  Happy Blogging Friends!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Some great finds today

I follow some great Blogs that follow great Blogs so on and so on!!  Here are a few of my favorite finds today.  What is it about having a new house that makes you want to be ubber organized and decorate?  I mean we have been living in a Town House which is a house but this time we get a free standing house and it really feels like a house...well I hope it does when we move in!

1 - Hot Glue Gun Helpers....technically it is on Etsy but I found it through a Blog.  What I want to know is why in the world didn't I invent this?  Especially with all my blisters over the years. -

2 - Mailbox Job Card AWESOME are Bloggers???  Went to Target today and in the Dollar Section are all of these mailboxes.  Super cute, only a buck, and I couldn't figure out how I would use them to justify buying them.  Then comes this....another trip to Target tomorrow!

3 - All Because He Ate His Cabbage.....I truly LOVE unique and beautfil ways to display photos.  This is something that I have never seen before.  In the new home we have a very long hallway from the front door and I am considering doing this -

4 - Weekly Menu......I plan our menus out two weeks at a time.  I truly hate grocery shopping and would to plan a month at a time and cut by grocery shopping time even more.  This idea is super cute.  Not sure if it would work for me but I still love it!

5 - Wall Art.....I know I will be copying this idea.  I already have several of the items!

There are my Tuesday Finds!  If you have a Blog about food, photography, or crafts that you just love, leave me a comment and share.  If you go to any of these site please let them know I sent you and leave my Blog for them to see.  Happy Tuesday my fellow Bloggers!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Layout needs and our Fabulous Sunday!

I am wanting two things right now with my Blog.  I want at the end of each Blog posting to have the section of You May Also Like.....AND.....I would like different sections at the top of my Blog for my Crafts, Recipes, Organization, and regular everyday Blog postings.  Yep those are my two goals to figure out how to do.......suggestions????

We had another great day here today.  Went to breakfast at our favorite place - First Watch.  Went with the Walkers and we truly love this family.  Wish we could take them with us, I will settle for their ADORABLE daughter even. 

Then I went to The Container Store (thanks to Mrs. Walker for telling me about this store awhile back) and IKEA.  The Container Store I truly could have gone bananas in that place.  The only thing that held me back was, well two things - A-we are moving and everything we own are in boxes waiting on the moving truck (tomorrow am!) B-I don't know what I will need for the new house.  Thankfully I asked one of the workers and there is a Container Store in Raleigh (hour away).  So I put many things back on the shelves and settled on a few things (will post under Organization...once I figure out how to have the different section).

When I finally made myself leave TCS, I headed to IKEA.  I have talked about IKEA many time before so will spare you another boring post about IKEA.  I will just say that IKEA made me proud again.  As well as, will post what I bought once we move.  For now the items I have bought are staying in their boxes until we move.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year!!!! Welcome 2011

I am thankful.  Oh so very thankful!  We are living in TLF till Friday and I have wireless Internet to keep up with my Blog, emails, and FB.  We are loving our friends who have offered to invite us over to their homes for play time for Gabriel and lunch/dinner.  Yes 2011 is off to a wonderful start.

I sat down to catch up with Blogs that I follow and just about every blog was about New Year's Resolutions.  Feel like I am about to beat a dead horse with a stick but today's post is about my New Year's Resolutions.  However I decided this year my NYR will be more like 2011 Goals.  Here are my goals for this year and for many more years to come..........

#1 Goal - Get OUT of debt.  As in pay off two of our credit cards that helped us during college, paid for our wedding, and purchases since being married.  Nathan and I have wants of traveling, paying for things using cash, adding more into our 401K than the average, building Gabriel's and future children savings/college accounts, and have the feeling of living life comfortably.

#2 Goal - Eating out only twice a month.  We did this last year and wow we saw a huge difference from Jan-March-ish....then we fell off the wagon.  As much as I love to cook and try new recipes, both of us really enjoy going out to eat and letting someone else take care of the food and clean up.  Plus with this goal it will go a long way of achieving #1 above.

#3 Goal - Instead of working on my Master's Degree, I have decided to focus on things that I have a love or want in this life.  Such as photography classes, cooking classes, learning to restore furniture, taking a bow making class, and many more.  I have always wanted my Master's Degree and even toyed with the idea of getting my Doctorate, but I have changed and those are just not important to me right now.  Maybe one day.

#4 Goal - Continue my growth with my Faith in God.  Find a church home and Sunday school classes.  I miss church.  I miss the sense of peace, love, and support from attending church regularly.  Nathan has made comments on how he misses it too. 

#5 Goal - Continue to appreciate life and live in the moment.  I will still make plans for I am just a planner.  But  I want to continue to find the positives in life.  Truly be thankful for what God has given to me so far.  To continue to be a supportive wife, mother, and friend, but realize that I can't control other people nor I am I responsible for their happiness and truth.

#6 Goal - Add to our family.  I honestly can't express the need and want I feel for more children in our home.  Even Nathan has expressed his need/want for more children in our family.  So whether we try one more time for our own child, adopt, or become Foster Parents, both my husband and I pray that 2011 will bring a child(ren) into our home. 

#7 Goal - Travel the East Coast.  We will be in NC for at least 3 - 4 years and just like what we have done here in Ohio, I plan to see everything I can while living in NC.  I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I die.  NC will bring me closer to the states I haven't visited yet.

#8 Goal - 2011 my Blog will become a fabulous my standards.  I am still not 100% on the direction I would like my Blog to take.  For now I will say that I want this Blog to be more "me".  I have 12 months to get it there.  Who knows, maybe one of the classes I take will be about Blogging and how to design one.  I don't think I want to pay someone to "design" my blog for me because then it wouldn't be 100% me.  That may be selfish or weird, who knows, but I truly want this year to be all about learning.  Me setting out and achieving my goals.

I pray for my readers that you have set achievable goals for 2011 and the years to come.  If you fall of the path of your goals, find your way, and get back on the path.  For every day is a new day.  No such thing as failing unless you truly just stop and give up!

Happy New Year!!!! 
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