Thursday, May 24, 2012

If You Love Nutella......

.....then you will looooovvvveeee this!

Sold at Trader Joe's

Words cannot express how good this is to me! I'm sure I was a bit caught off guard with its deliciousness but it is really gooooood.

My amazing friend and sorority sister, living in DC, sent me some painted wooden letters for my youngest son (she made some for my oldest too, she's the best!) AND this Speculoos cookie butter -----> telling me that its the new craze.  She always keeps me in the know, ha ha!

Oh and she sent the cookie butter because there aren't any Trader Joe's in Texas....but we will be getting them in August....woohoo!!!

On the jar, it says:

"A deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits."


"All you have to do is taste it to understand!"

You have got to try it! I'll be trying this on pretzels, toast, fruit, celery and ice cream! Mmmmmmm!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Current Hair 'Do' - Protective Style

Soooooooooo.....I think I'm completely over protective style weaves. No more braids and no more sew-ins.

As much as I love not having to 'fool' with my hair as well as having a different  and 'saucy' look, I just would much rather have good and easy access to my scalp. I want to be able scratch my scalp when it itces and wash it after buildup. Right now, my hands have to go through a maze for both of these efforts. Hehhhh. {tremendous sigh}

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the look. Matter of fact, I LOVE IT!!! This is the look I love because long length is my goal in growing my hair, not just accpeting and embracing my natural texture which actually was a goal.

Hmmm...this sounds like I will be doing another protective style weave in the future. Okay okay, I guess the saying "Never say never" was made up for a reason. But as of right now??? I won't hold my breath.
{scratches head}
But maybe I should hold on to this unused bag of weave/extensions that didn't get used, lol.

Oh and my biggest annoyance is having to straighten my bang area so often. I just hope that there's very little heat damage done since I haven't straightened since January. {fingers crossed} Then when I do straighten, the Texas huimidity blows the area to "frizzarines" and I'm walking around with 2 different textures. Now, I know its worse in my eyes than it may appear and really no one is looking that hard at my just bothers me.

My original plan was to keep this in for 6-8 weeks, the maximum time suggested, but now I think I'll go with the minimum time suggested which is just 4 weeks.

Until then, I'll enjoy my 'saucy' look and pray for some miracle growth, ha ha!

Friday, May 4, 2012

How Could I Forget? I Was Featured On The Love Journey!!!

I can't believe I forgot to tell you all about my guest feature The Love Journey!!!

I did an interview with Desiree Coleman, the creator of the site 3 weeks ago....a day before we went on our week long family 'vacation' to Atlanta. We were there visiting family and friends and ended up having a GREAT time. I have a few lazy pics to share next week.

Anyway, The Love Journey is a blog that Desiree, my sorority sister that I pledged under, started after she got married. It covers issues and situations regarding dating, marriage, and family life along with connecting those issues to Christian principles.

She was inspired to start her blog after going through a couple bad (she calls 'toxic') relationships that caused her to question her own methods of dating and develop a closer relationship with herself and God. Its a very inspirational site that is meant to help and encourage women (and men) to be happy as they are before getting into relationships. Since I have a few unhappily single friends, I know that this encouragement is appreciated and sometimes needed.

I know a couple of women who are successful in their career but kick themselves for not having a husband and at least 1 kid before 28. And then I'm odd one who has 2 kids and a husband before 29 and am kicking myself for it because I imagined myself having a career like them. Its funny how sometimes we (as women) do not find our own blessings and accomplishments as enough. That's why its good to encourage and remind each other of what we have sometimes.

I hope you visit her site, comment or share with others that would enjoy it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday Cake Cake Cake Cake Cake Cake

...." and its not even their birthday."

Lego blocks themed cake- vanilla flavored and chocolate cupcakes.
I've been meaning to do a post on my boys birthday cake and cupcakes that I made for their birthday party. Their birthdays are 2 weeks apart so we are able to have joint parties, woo hoo!
Its not like they really understand what's going on anyway....which is why I'm totally going to use this cake/party theme again! And by that time, I hope to improve my skills.

I really did a lot of research via google and pinterest when I decided to go with this theme. Of course its easier to buy a pre-made cake but this was a tad cheaper to me. There were lots of creative cakes, cookies and cake pops decorated like legos or like the yellow lego 'men' but I needed to go with something much more elementary......skills-wise.

I watched a Betty Crocker youtube tutorial on how to go about making this cake.....and then did it my way.

Seeing that I was going to have to freeze the cake to get the icing hard between applying different icing layers, I wanted an extra moist cake....for directions, click here

-Tips to making your cakes/cupcakes extra moist are adding:
 ~1 cup of buttermilk
~1 3oz. package of dry instant pudding (match pudding flavor to cake flavor) 

**If/when using a box cake, mix dry pudding with dry cake mix and add the buttermilk to the wet ingredients of the cake mix. 
The buttermilk is an addition, not a substitution.

This was the best darn cake ever! And I put it in the freezer 3 times! Once to cool after baking and then again after each layer of icing (like in the Betty Crocker vid).

The way I made the pegs was by dipping mini oreos in candy melts!

For party favors, I made 'lego' cookies, but they kind of didn't look like legos to me. Like I said, I need more practice.

Sorry for the blurry picture.
I baked some Pillsbury sugar cookies and trimmed them into squares while they were still hot. Its much easier to do when they're hot versus already cooled.
Then I melted some almond bark in a bowl, like I did with the candy melts and dipped the cookies so that it only covered the top.
Almond bark hardens a bit faster than candy melts (less than 2 mins) so I put the m&m's on quickly after each dip.

Next year, I'll probably just buy a cake. I'm thinking I'll alternate years of baking and buying birthday cakes.

I guess this is a food week for me.
I hope you get some ideas from this post, whether it be the extra moist tips or the Betty Crocker youtube tutorials!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tasty Tuesday -- Chicken Chili

Its been a minute since I've done a food post so I figured I would share my delicious chicken chili recipe. My husband and I both thought that it was soooo delicious. I don't know why I haven't made it before now (no being a couple months ago). The recipe I 'copied' is from Paula Deen's White Bean Chicken Chili, but I made some modifications that turned out perfectly for me!

Ingredients & Directions

1 lb of chicken breast, diced up and lightly seasoned (I prefer cajun seasoning)
1/2 of onion, chopped
*3/4 of red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. of minced garlic
2 tbsp. of chili powder
1 tbsp. of red pepper flakes (for a bit of spice)
2 tbsp. of dried oregano
1 tbsp. of cumin
*1 tbsp. of black pepper
*4 cups of chicken stock (or 4 bouillon cubes)
*1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 can of navy beans
*1/2 cup of flour ----> Roux
*4 tbsp of olive oil --> Roux

*where modified from Paula Deen

First, I lightly sauteed the garlic, onions and red peppers in olive oil in a big pot. Then I added the lightly seasoned and diced chicken breast into the pot and let the chicken cook for maybe 1 minute (basically the time that it took me to open and drain the can of beans).

Then I added 4 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes and the can of navy beans. After the water and beans were in, I added the chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, cumin, black pepper and heavy cream. I let this cook on medium-high for maybe 10 minutes.

Next, in a small saucepan, I heated 4 tbsp. of olive oil and then added 1/2 cup of flour to it. I kind of eyeballed this. I didn't want it too runny nor did I want it too thick and I may have had to add a couple more drops of oil to the flour.

Once my roux was like the perfect gravy consistency, I added it to the pot and let everything cook for about 15-20 more minutes on a low to medium heat level.

Serve with your vegetable of choice. Asparagus was my veggie of choice.
I guarantee you will enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcake wine.

I love my vino!

This whine was actually really good....not too sweet and not too dry. It smelled and sort of tasted like it too. Nothing overpowering but just enough to make me really like it.

Let me know how you like it!!!