Monday, March 30, 2015

Krispy Eggs: An Easter Treat

Happy Monday!

It's good to be back. Sorry for leaving you hanging last week. Things have been really busy around here, but thanks for sticking with me.

Can you believe it's almost April? I feel like March never actually happened. Where is the time going!?

With the arrival of April, means Easter is around the corner. I love Easter. Pastel colors, egg hunts, a delicious lunch, and most of all, the meaning behind the holiday.

This year, Spencer and I will be going to see my family in eastern Tennessee. Saturday will be spent watching the kids race for eggs, eating great food, wonderful fellowship, hugs, laughter, and sadly missing my Aunt Linda. This will be the first gathering since her service in February, and I expect it will be a little bittersweet. 

Since we are traveling, I have signed up to take sweet and unsweet tea (who actually drinks the unsweet? C'mon. You're doing it wrong) which requires zero temperature control needs. Guess what else? We will be eating lamb. Lamb! One of my very favorite foods, but unfortunately don't have often since it's kind of pricey. I hope nobody else wants any, because I might sneak it away into a remote corner and devour it in secret. Shhh.

Another Easter food favorite? Deviled eggs. I know there are many creative takes on the popular finger-food, but I must say, I'm a big fan of the classic deviled egg. Also, I wonder how they got their name. Any ideas?

Speaking of eggs, I think I might make a "surprise" dessert to take to TN with us. I say "surprise" because some of my family members read this blog. Really, though, it's just an excuse to make (and eat) rice krispie treats.

This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, who I adore and like to pretend I am BFF's with. Is that weird? I don't think so either. You can find the original recipe here.

Krispy Easter Eggs
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 12


  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 package (10 Ounces) Mini Marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  •  Assorted Sprinkles
  •  Small Chocolate Easter Eggs
  •  Plastic Easter Eggs


  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. 
  • Remove from heat, then add rice cereal and stir until well coated.
  • Lightly spray interior of the plastic eggs with non-stick cooking spray. If mixture is too sticky, you can also spray your hands. 
  • Fill both sides of the plastic egg with rice cereal mixture, slightly over-filling one side. 
  • Press chocolate egg in the center on one side of the egg, then close the plastic egg to shape it. (It should be full enough to meet with a little resistance as you close it.) 
  • Gently release the rice cereal egg from the mold, decorate with your choice of sprinkles and set aside in egg crate until set.

Can I get an "amen!"?

Until next time - - 

Friday, March 27, 2015


Just dropping by quickly to say "sorry" for being MIA this week! My schedule this week, both at work and at home, has been pretty crazy, so this blog didn't make much progress. Thanks for sticking around, and I'll be back next week!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lessons My Puppy Has Taught Me

Life Lessons. We get new ones all the time. Sometimes they are obvious (and painful), and other times they're more subtle and may slip by unnoticed. Sometimes we can even learn these important lessons by watching others' mistakes and learning what not to do (shoutout to my sisters - thanks for all the mistakes - hehe)!  :)

I've attempted lately to be a bit more observant of people and places where I can watch and learn some more life lesson (rather than always having to experience them myself). As I've been observing, I've discovered a wonderful teacher of these great lessons.

Piper the Puppy!

Think about it. We can learn so many things from animals, and dogs in particular. Today I'm sharing with you five lessons I've learned specifically from Miss Piper.

ONE - Play Time is Important
As adults, we tend to work, work, work, and work. Then, when we get home, there is laundry, yardwork, dusty furniture all waiting to be taken care of. It never ends! But as I watch Piper, she reminds me how important it is to just play. We need to have fun! We can't be calm and serious all the time - how boring. We need to laugh, to play games, to run around, be a little crazy, make some noise, and jump around! (but I would suggest not biting people's fingers - that's one thing she does that isn't fun for all involved). Play!!

Nom nom nom!

TWO - Lick the Ones You Love
Well, maybe not literally lick them (awkward), but do let the people around you know how much you care for them and appreciate them. And do it often! How will they know if you don't tell them? If Piper didn't constantly give me sweet kisses, I'd think something is wrong with her. We all need affection, and we all need to give affection. Don't be afraid! Put away that pride, and give some extra hugs and kisses today.


THREE - Sleep When You're Tired
I know, I know. Easier said than done. Often times we're tired when we don't have a option to take a nap. And that's no fun! But when you're at home and you're sleepy, don't worry so much about the fingerprints you have to wipe from the glass or the car in the garage that hasn't been washed in months. Because guess what? You can sleep for 30 minutes and the mess will still be there when you wake up! (And if this isn't true for any of you, please share your secret. That would be awesome). Worry less, relax more. Piper never has a problem just plopping down and taking a snooze - and she's happier and better off for it!


FOUR - Get Excited!
I think my favorite thing about Piper is just how excited she gets to see people when they come into the house. I could leave her at the front door where she watches me walk to the mailbox, back up the driveway, and walk back inside. And guess what? She is THRILLED TO SEE ME. I'm talking tail-wagging, tongue-hanging-out, jumping-up-and-down excited. And it makes me feel so special! Are you excited to see someone? Excited about something that happened, or a gift you received? Show it! Jump up and down, smile, express your joy! Even if you're not in a great mood, I promise it will help. Not only will it help you, but joy is contagious! Others around you will be happier for it, too.

Just look at that excitement ;)

FIVE - Pee in the Proper Places
Trust me. Nobody likes a tinkler. Just trust me on this.

Sorry, Mommy.

What other lessons have you learned from your pet? Where do you look for life lessons?

Until next time - - 

Monday, March 16, 2015

A New Beginning

Y'all. I did it. I joined a gym.

I swore up and down after I finally got out of my last gym contract that I would never do that again. But then a coworker sent me a Groupon for half off of a year gym membership. It is a convenient location, and it is less than the amount my firm will reimburse for in a year (a great work perk - gym reimbursement! Part of our healthy living initiative). 

So, out of excuses, I bought the Groupon and went yesterday to sign up.

My goal is to go three times a week. I'm going to be pretty lenient with myself right now, since I am starting from the bottom. I'm not going to concentrate right now on burning X amount of calories, doing X days of cardio a week, or doing a certain weight regimen. I really want to first make going 3 times a week a habit, and just doing something. Just get myself moving. The rest will come. Baby steps, right? 

I'm going tonight after work, and because my evenings are really limited this week, I'll be attending....wait for it....a 6am spin class tomorrow. Let me write that out, in all caps, to get my point across. SIX O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. Like, when it's dark out. Pray for me.

So, readers. I need help. Please leave me your tips, advice, and lessons learned regarding living a healthy lifestyle and making being active a habit in your life. I need all of the support I can get!

Until next time - - 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mexican Progressive Dinner: Frozen Margarita Pie

If you missed the first two posts in the Progressive Dinner I'm doing with Christine from The So-Called Homemaker, click here to see the Black Bean & Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe, and here to see Christine's Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas. Yum!!

Today, we're finishing up our dinner with dessert and a cocktail, naturally. Keep reading to see my Frozen Margarita Pie, and when you're finished, be sure to click over and check out Christine's Pineapple Margarita recipe!


  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed small white marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila (I used Margaritaville Tequila Silver)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • Store bought chocolate or Oreo pie crust
    • (Or make your own crust by grinding 20 thin chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor, and adding 2 tbsp melted butter to the crumbs. Put the mixture into a pie dish and use your fingers to press it down around the bottom and edges of the dish.)

  • In a pot, melt the marshmallows and half and half together until smooth.
  • After the mixture is melted, nest the pot into a bowl of ice water and stir often until cool.
  • Once cooled, add the lime peel, juice, and tequila and stir occasionally until the entire mixture is cold.
  • In another bowl, combine the whipping cream with the granulated sugar, and with a mixer, whip until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks. 
  • Pour the cream and sugar mixture into the cooled pot, and fold together until well mixed.
  • Pour the entire filling into the pie crust, and freeze (uncovered) for about an hour or until the center is firm to the touch. Then add the lid or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until solid (at least 2 more hours, but I froze overnight).
  • Before slicing, let the pie sit approximately 10 minutes so it can soften slightly.
  • Eat plain, or add whipped cream and chocolate syrup like I did! Either way, it's delicious (trust me, I tried it both ways). :)

What other Mexican inspired desserts do you like, or would you love to try?

Don't forget to check out Christine's Pineapple Margarita recipe here!

Until next time - - 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mexican Progressive Dinner: Appetizer Quesadillas

I am beyond excited to be teaming up with Christine from The So-Called Homemaker to put together a virtual Mexican Progressive Dinner! Over the next two days, Christine and I will cover four recipes for you to create a delicious and fun fiesta!

Today, I'm kicking off the dinner with an appetizer: Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas. The beauty of dishes like this one is that if there is an ingredient that you aren't fond of, you can either replace it with something else or leave it out altogether! It's so easy to customize to your own taste. 

(Be sure to follow the link at the end of this post to see Christine's entree recipe today!)

I'm sharing today the recipe I used.

  •  1 can (13.5 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped and seeded
  • Kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 inch corn tortillas

  • In a large bowl, mash the rinsed and drained black beans with a fork until about half are mashed and half are still whole. 
  • Add the goat cheese, tomato, corn kernels, red onion, and cilantro to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and stir until the goat cheese is well incorporated with the other ingredients. The mixture will be very creamy, as you can see in this picture.

  • Once the mixture is ready, heat a cast iron skillet or an electric griddle to medium heat. Spread the mixture onto a corn tortilla - use as much as you wish, but remember that the more filling they have, the harder they'll be to flip without filling falling out!
  • Place another tortilla on top, and place in the pan.
  • Once you begin to see grill marks appear on the bottom, flip it over to heat on the other side. It is finished when both sides have some grill marks, and the mixture inside is warm.
  • Cut into wedges and serve warm!
  • You can serve with a side of sour cream or salsa. We substituted sour cream with Greek yogurt, and it was delicious!

Be sure to head here and read all about the entree recipe from Christine: Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas!

Until next time - - 

Monday, March 9, 2015

How to Write a Great Thank You Note

One tradition I love to uphold is writing thank you notes. Yes, they can be time consuming and make your hand hurt if you have to do many at once, but there are few ways that better express gratitude than a kind, well written thank you note.

Here are a few things I think are important when writing a heartfelt note of thanks.

1. Pretty Stationary
While a sheet of notebook paper will do the job, nothing really takes the place of a pretty piece of stationary. Whether it has your name, monogram, or a simple design, make sure it's something you've picked out and feel proud putting in the mail.

2. Handwritten
Don't send a "thank you" email! Take a minute to sit down and hand write a note to someone who has given you a gift or taken the time to do you a favor. It doesn't matter how bad you think your handwriting is. It's so much more special than anything electronic!

3. Be Specific
Be sure when you're writing your note to mention the "what" (the specific gift they gave you or the favor they did for you) and the "why." Why was it so special to you? Why did it make your day easier? How will it be used or make a difference to you? The recipient of the note will love to hear how useful a gift may be to you beyond the initial time you receive it, or how the favor they did for you made such a difference in your day/week.

4. Express Gratitude
This goes beyond the gift or favor. Be sure to let the person you're writing to know how special they are, or how much their thoughtfulness means to you. I love knowing that aside from a gift I send, that the recipient enjoys having me as a friend or family member. I am grateful for my friends and family, so it's nice to know it's reciprocated!

5. Sooner Than Later
My general self-imposed rule is to mail a thank you note within 2 weeks (or longer for showers and weddings). However, life sometimes gets in the way! If you feel that it's too late to send a thank you note, send one anyway! It's better to send a late note than to not send one at all. You can even mention how busy you've been in the note, but that it in no ways is indicative of your appreciation. 

What do you try do keep in mind when you write thank you notes?

Until next time - - 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

8 Tips for a Great At-Home Date Night

Date nights can include so much. Romantic dinners, trips to the ballet, expensive bottles of champagne, concerts...Date nights are really fun! They're also extremely important to couples who are working to keep the "spark" alive. 

Though the options I listed are wonderful and definitely fun, they're also expensive! Not many of us are able to comfortably afford to do these often. But the good news is that you can have just as much fun at home for little or no cost!

I've made a handy list of 8 Tips for a Great At-Home Date Night. Don't be like me and break most of these, haha. We don't always do it right, but at least we try! Right? 

1. Easy Dinner and Quick Clean Up
If you're like us, we enjoy the cooking and eating part, but totally dread the clean up - putting away leftovers, washing and drying pots and pans, loading the dishwasher...the key to this is to be sure you plan ahead and make this as easy as possible! Order takeout and eat from the boxes. Make a frozen pizza. Have leftovers! It doesn't have to be fancy to be delicious, it just needs to be easy!

2. No Phones
This is a biggie. We all know our phones are basically attached to our hands and ears. Because of this, we are 95% of the time not fully present at any given moment. On date night, put the phone away! Turn on your "do not disturb" and put it somewhere where you won't see it light up with notifications. Really focus all of your attention on the other person - that's the whole point of the night!

3. Skip the Movie
Spencer and I love to cuddle up and watch movies together. We both really enjoy a good movie! I've noticed, however, that this isn't the best option for a date night. It's great when we just want to lay around and snuggle, but when we're really attempting to connect, movies actually discourage communication and conversation. Instead, try a board game, card game, or Q&A game! Most of the time you'll end up laughing with one another (or at one another!) and that's one of the best ways to connect.

4. No Chores
This is similar to number 1, but goes even further. Plan out your date night so that you haven't left any urgent chores until the last minute. Planning a date night for Wednesday, but know you have to take the trash out Wednesday night for Thursday morning pick up? Take out all of your trash on Tuesday! Dog need a bath? It can wait a day. Laundry? Do it on the weekend! This should be a night when you aren't staring at the dust on your end tables or fretting about changing your sheets. Enjoy the moment. The rest will still be there tomorrow.

5. Talk
This is one of the main points of having a date night! Open up, catch one another up on work and friends. What are some things you don't know about one another? What is his or her favorite color? Do you know? Ask about past experiences and future dreams. What traits do you both want to develop in your children (or to foster in future children)? Enjoy the conversation! And don't forget, when you aren't the one talking - LISTEN! It's just as important (see number 2 above).

6. Skip the Serious Talks
Though talking on date night is extremely important, it is not the time to discuss anything "heavy." This includes money and budgets, something you wish your partner would work harder at or do better, big family issues, etc. Sure, discuss what's on your mind, but avoid bringing up any topics that you think could potentially drag the conversation into a direction you don't want it to go. Those topics can wait. 

7. Laugh
One of the most fun things to do on any date night (whether at home or in public) is to laugh! Laughing together is one of the best things you can do. Be silly, play games, chase one another - if you don't do this often, you'll love to see what doing these things can do for both of your moods! And it really sparks the romance. Seriously!

8. Be Intimate
This means different things to different people. For a new couple who is dating, this may mean having a conversation about the future, as individuals or as a couple. For engaged couples, being intimate may be sharing your hopes for marriage, or sharing your fears about what things may change. And for married couples, yes, this absolutely means having sex (sorry for being so blunt). It's so important to do this regularly! (see 1 Corinthians 7:3-6).

What am I missing? Share your at-home date night thoughts in the comments!

Until next time - - 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Funnies

Were you ever a comic strip reader? I was. I loved the Sunday paper as a kid because there was a whole section of funnie pages - in color! I didn't always understand them, but I read each and every one of them.

As a throwback to the funnie pages, I thought I'd share some things that made me laugh and smile this week  (thus the title "Friday Funnies." Because who doesn't want to smile on a Friday?).

Here we go!

My aunt posted this image to Facebook:

Faith, blogger at Life w/ Mrs G & the Artist, cracked me up with this lyric mug: 

Rachel, a new buddy at Our Yellow Door ("yay!" for yellow doors!) - I mean, tell me this isn't one of the best things you've seen this week...:

Kerrie, from Rarely Taken Seriously, really got me with this one! I hear ya, sister!

My friend Christine, The So-Called Homemaker, cracked me up with these tweets about her daughter! 

Last, but certainly not least, I really connected with Sarah from Seriously, Sarah? and her picture of baby coffee mugs.

I'd love to hear and see some things that made you laugh and smile this week! Leave me a comment, or catch up with me on social media.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time - - 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 Things I Fear

Fear. Defined as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid." We all have things that bring us fear, and for some, these fears can even be debilitating. 

I wish I could say I had no worries. That I always felt confident about life and that I put all of my trust in God 100% of the time. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, but that doesn't always put my fears to rest.

Today, I wanted to open up and share 10 of my biggest fears (in no particular order). I'd love to hear from you, too, on some of your fears. Maybe we have some in common! 

1. Death of a loved one.
I did experience this recently, and it sucks. Period. I trust that she is healed and celebrating in heaven, but it still stinks for those of us left behind. For some unknown reason, I have always feared losing a loved one in a car accident. I don't know why, or where that fear originated, but it's there. So when I tell someone "be careful" before they drive somewhere, I mean it!

2. Cockroaches.
I know. They can't hurt you (but they do carry gross germs and diseases), but that does not ease my fear. I have been known to run and start crying when I see one. It's totally irrational and childish, but I just can't help it! I shudder just thinking about it...

3. Financial hardship.
I've always been blessed with a roof over my head, clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in. We had times of trouble, and I wasn't always able to have things my friends had or to go places my friends went, but I still consider myself blessed compared to many. I am so grateful for our current blessings and incomes, but sometimes I fear something will happen and we'll have to make some tough choices. 

4. Infertility.
Spencer and I are not currently trying to conceive, but I fear that when we do, I will have a hard time. I've had some issues (that I won't go into detail about) that might be cause for concern, but there's truly no way of knowing until the time comes. No sense in worrying about it now, but it does pop into my head on occasion.

5. Disappointing people.
If you've read this blog for any length of time, or if you know me personally, you're aware that I'm a people pleaser. Always have been. As a kid, it only took "the look" to make me cower and cry (Momma, don't try it because it still works!). I like people to like me, to meet peoples' expectations, and to make them happy. I know it's not possible to do all the time, but I dread the times that I let people down.

6. Aging.
I don't particularly fear aging for myself, but more for my family members. I have two living grandparents that I feel so lucky to be able to spend time with. I also am blessed with not two, but four wonderful parents. I try to ignore the fact that they're getting older, because I like to imagine they'll always be around. It's just easier to think that way.

7. Forgetting a work event.
A large part of my job as a marketing coordinator includes events (educational, social, internal, etc.). I sometimes have a last minute fear that I've forgotten an event, or an important detail like ordering food or reminding the building to leave the lights on. Things do (and have) gone wrong, but I still never get over having those fears.

8. Anxiety.
I haven't shared this on the blog, but I currently take medication for anxiety. It started for me this past summer, and I'm so grateful to have a husband that I could be open with. He called to make a doctors appointment for me (because I couldn't do it myself) and I've been on medication since. After a few experiments with dosage, we've settled on a good one for me. I do fear that it will stop working and that my anxiety will come back. On occasion since I started, I'll feel my heart beat increase or another symptom that occurred before my medicine, and I'll start to panic. I'd like to eventually decrease my dosage if possible, not have to increase it!

9. Working alone. 
I've talked (written?) before about being an introvert, but I have found that I do better work, both at home and at work, when I have a partner or a group to work with. I like the opportunity to bounce ideas off of others, and to divide and conquer. It makes me feel more confident in what I'm doing. I do work alone sometimes, but I just feel that I do better with one or two others.

10. Wasting my life.
Sometimes I sit back and wonder what I'm doing with my life. I've never had big dreams to be famous or to go down in history. I just want to live my life in a way that I'll have some sort of a positive impact on other people. I want to bring others to the Lord and to live my life in a way that shows my love for Him. To make people smile, to make them feel important and to let them know they matter. I worry as the days go by that I'm not doing that enough.

Well, those are my fears (as I said, in no particular order). 

What do you fear? Does it hold you back? Have you been able to overcome anything you used to fear?

Until next time - - 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Musings

I'm not sure how this happened, but Monday crept up again. I overslept, skipped my coffee, and rushed to get ready. I didn't get a post written and scheduled, thus the late posting today. Better late then never?

Struggling to really complete full sentences, today's post is a ramble of random thoughts in my head that I'm calling "Monday Musings," because it sounds better than "Random Thoughts on a Day I Over-Slept From a Brain That Thinks Too Much." 

If you've ever wanted a peek into my brain (I'm sure you haven't), here we go.

  • I could really use a cup of coffee right now, but I am trying to slowly cut out cream and sugar when I drink it. That makes it not quite as tasty. But I might do it anyway for the caffeine...
  • I have a doctors appointment today. Nothing big, just routine. But it's a doctors appointment. Meh.
  • Poor Piper, all alone at home. I wonder if she found the treat I hid in her crate this morning. I wonder what she's doing. Probably sleeping. She slept most of the weekend, even when I wanted to play. Puppies sleep a lot...
  • One reason I don't despise Mondays, at least this time of year, is because The Bachelor comes on. I'm hosting tonight, and Casey will come over for dinner. I need to pick up a few ingredients, but I'm planning to make homemade burgers and sweet potato fries. Because, yummy.
  • Can you believe that Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday? I'm so glad. I hate to lose an hour of sleep, but gladly welcome longer days and more sunshine. Oh, and warmer weather. And - the first day of Spring is in 18 days!
  • Speaking of warmer weather, the high on Wednesday is supposed to be in the 70s! Hallelujah!
  • I get to see my sisters and mom this weekend. We're meeting in Atlanta for some shopping and girl time. It's also my oldest sister's birthday next week, so I get to tell her "Happy Birthday" in person. Piper will be joining me, and I hope our niece Avia will as well. It's a "girl's weekend," after all, and they are it's only fair to include them.
  • I had a dream last night that we went on a family cruise somewhere near India. I'm not sure where. But there were friends from high school there, and we were trying to get into sororities (??), and guess who I saw. My Aunt Linda. She was sitting beside my Aunt Kathy, and looked wonderful. Healthy, happy, smiling...I went over and hugged both of them at the same time, and My Aunt Kathy and I were both crying, but Aunt Linda was smiling. I think that's a sign, don't you? It was great to see her looking so healthy.
  • I have a lot on my plate right now, personally and professionally. Not bad, just a lot. My brain feels a bit like mush. I need to get a good list going and get to work. And, something I'm not great at, prioritize things. I'm a "yes" person and a people pleaser, so I tend to prioritize everything at the same level of importance. #fail
  • Spencer is traveling internationally this week for work, which is fun for him but I hate not being able to talk to him whenever I want. Piper and I can't wait until he comes home! Why can't there be free Wi-Fi worldwide?
  • I did a lot of cleaning this weekend, which was awesome. I love being in my house when it's really clean. It's much more relaxing. If only it would stay that way...

I'm cutting myself off there. One thought leads to another, so this could go on all day. I'll spare you.

What Monday Musings do you have to share? Obviously, they can be totally random. I'd love to see what's going on in your head - hopefully it will make me feel less crazy. ;)

Until next time - -