Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I LOVE Summer Salads

I love salads, y'all! Especially in the summer!

Today I'm linking up with my friend, Shelly, for her Spiel the Beans linkup where we're showing everyone our favorite summer salad recipes! I can't wait to see what everyone links today because I could always use a new salad recipe!

My BFF from high school made this Spinach Strawberry Salad one night for pokeno years ago and everyone loved it! I'm not a big spinach person, but for this dressing and those sugar coated pecans, I could eat some grass! Ha! Add some grilled chicken for an even heartier meal.

My favorite Blog Friend, Andrea, posted this amazing recipe a few weeks ago for BLT Pasta Salad and I made it for a get together with some friends on Memorial Day weekend.  It was SO yummy!  I wasn't sure how I would like lettuce with pasta, but it was different. And good!

If you're sucker for BLT Salads - like me! - this is my ALL TIME favorite!  I found this recipe on Pinterest two years ago and I love to make it for our pool parties! It's always a hit! I skip out on the dressing and use Hidden Valley Ranch Bacon and Tomato dressing instead! One word: awesome!

My favorite salads are potato salads and pasta salads.  I like "cole slaw," too. But fruit salads are also the bomb dot coms! This recipe reminds me of being a newlywed! Someone in our newlywed life group introduced me to this salad and it's great, too!

Happy Summer Peeps! What are your favorite summer salads?  Hop on over to Shelly's blog and check out all the recipes!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Oh You Make Me Smile

I had planned to have this post ready for Friday Favorites last week, but time and an unexpected trip to Baton Rouge blew my plans out of the water.  Oh well! Here are some things that made me smile last week!

This Baby Girl left for church camp on Monday morning!  To say she was excited would be an understatement! I finally got a call from her that night at 10:15 which I was very happy about because last year, she didn't call for three days! And don't you just love her tie-dyed shirt?  She made it at art camp the week before and it turned out beautiful! She had an awesome week at church camp and several of her friends made decisions to follow Christ. And I was oh-so happy to see her when I got home from Baton Rouge late Friday evening!

After not having a very good weekend last weekend, THIS Baby Girl and I had a great week! Keep prayin', y'all.  Life is tough, but I'm not giving up on her! She requested a "home cooked meal" so on Sunday, I made stuffed bell peppers - that she had seen at the meat counter of our grocery store, so luckily I didn't have to make those suckers! - mashed potatoes, asparagus, and other veggies. I wanted to really "shine" on the mashed potatoes so I used this recipe and it was perfect {yes, this Southern Diva knows how to make mashed potatoes, but mine don't always turn out just right so I decided to use a recipe}! Oh!  And she also requested strawberry shortcake, to which I had explained to her that I had worked all day, and that we were just gonna have the redneck version for dessert! Of course she was fine with that! We actually used the delicious pound cake that a neighbor made for us and smothered it in strawberries, glaze, and Cool Whip! Perfection!

Love, love this pic Wayne took of me and Baby Girl last week one evening on our way to dinner. She's on a jet plane headed "home" as I type this and I already miss her! And a good hair day for myself, if I do say so! Ha!

This man and I had a great week just to ourselves most nights! Instead of going to dinner, we had a "stay-at-home" date night Tuesday night and I got to spoil him with some of his favorite snacks and apps. He loved having all the attention for a change and I was happy he was happy. If you can believe it, it was my idea to "unplug" that night {certainly not my favorite thing to do!}, so except for a few pictures at the beginning of our night, we turned our phones completely off!  And I may have hyperventilated a little over it! {insert smiley face}

I made these delicious strawberry and brownie bites for dessert and even coated them in almond bark for a little extra pizzazz.  They were SO good!!

Finally got to have a Girl's Night with this Girlie!  Leigh and I went to see You Before Me and of course I forgot the tissues! It is the best movie I have seen in a loooong time! And I can honestly say that the movie was oh-so much better than the book.  I highly recommend it for summer! Leigh reminded me that this time last year, Felicia was rocking my world and I was most definitely like, "OH! Let's not go there!"  I don't wish that summer of hell on anyone!

On Thursday, Jennifer and I high-tailed it out of town and headed east for some shopping! If y'all remember, I introduced y'all to her here and so we're both horrible mothers because we were both ready to dump our kids off at camp a few days earlier than planned! So anyway!  We were due for a shopping vacay! We had so much fun!

It was a GREAT week!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Taking A Break

So how was everyone's weekend?! Actually, mine could have been alot better, but whatever. I'm praying and hoping for a much happier week! And so far, it's been great!

I'm just checking in today to let you know that I've decided to take a little blog break. Lately I've just been feeling guilty for not blogging enough and I'm just tired of feeling guilty, ya know?  I want to enjoy our summer before middle school starts and spend some time with my friends and my girls. I preach to them all the time that "family comes first" and I haven't been walking the talk. My family needs me and I need them and getting to spend time with friends is just icing on the cake! I'll be checking in from time to time here, and I promise I haven't left social media totally. You can still find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat!

Have a great summer!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Smile! It's Friday!

WHAT a week, y'all! So much tragedy and heartache coming out of Orlando. By Wednesday, I was ready to put a bag over my head. I had had enough! What else could possibly happen? I feel like I totally screwed up any chance I had about talking to Steph seriously about the incident because in true mother/daughter fashion, we were fighting!  If you can believe that! It had nothing to do with her home town and everything to do with hurt feelings and resentments. Anyway, her friend did pass away and what is so heart breaking is that he and his girlfriend weren't even in the club! They were just walking around downtown. Steph said that if she had been home, she would have been out with her friends and they would have been in the downtown area as well. Again, I'm just thankful she was here in Louisiana, at the movies with a friend.

So let's SMILE today! Let's find some joy and happiness! Here are some things that made me smile this week!

Y'all know I'm a royal watcher. Always have been, always will be. Long ago were the days when my mom would leave me in the book section of our local K-Mart while she shopped and I would pour over the picture books of Princess Diana and her many outfits! Mom use to get a Good Housekeeping magazine in the mail every month and anytime there was a picture of Charles and Diana on the front, I'd be the first to grab it and read the article. Much of my royal fanaticism has faded, but I still keep up with them and this picture made me smile earlier in the week! Princess Charlotte's balcony debut! But most of the media sites I read were more in awe of the Queen's lime green coat!

I'm not really a JT fan, but I LOVE his new song! Makes me wanna dance, y'all! I hope the video shows up because it's not showing on the preview.

Alise loves fettucine alfredo so I decided to try a new recipe on Monday night- via Pinterest, of course! Winner, winner.  Chicken dinner! It was great!  I never woulda thought that mozzerella cheese and whipped cream could make such a fattening great sauce!

And speaking of food, we had a Girls Night Wednesday night! Leigh, Summer and I treated Steph and Kaitlyn to sushi.  It was a fun night!

My BIGGEST surprise came on Tuesday night when Steph gave me a basketball charm to wear on my Pandora bracelet. I LOVE it! She gave me the sweetest card to go with it, too.  Of course, I cried. It was a big sacrifice for her and I knew that and I think that's why it's even more special to me.

Baby Girl has been at art camp all week and loved it!!  She brought two to three projects home a day and of course they are all masterpieces to me!  But my favorite for the week, was her Blue Dog canvas.  Suitable for framing, of course!

So those were the things that made me smile this week. The special moments that, despite the heartache that so many others were experiencing, reminded me how blessed and fortunate I am to have family and friends.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sweet Tea Wins!

You friends really like your sweet tea!  Thank you so much for everyone who left a comment last week on my Roll Call post!  Looks like we're all - for the most part - Southern, sweet tea drinking girls!  I love it! And I loved getting to read your comments.  Maybe I'll do another roll call or question asking post again soon! It's so much fun getting to know my readers.

HUGE thank you's go out to those of you that emailed or texted about Steph this past weekend.  I don't know that I've ever shared that she is from Orlando, but now you know. She was not "home" in Florida this past weekend during the attacks at the night club, but she did have friends that were shot. She was upset and angry, which is very understandable, but she's doing better.  I am just so thankful that God knew where she needed to be that night.

I can't say enough how important it is to pray for country, y'all! I don't like to get into politics or have religious debates on my blog, but I will say that in the recent event in Orlando hitting so close to home and with the upcoming election, I'm really longing for a better place. I'm just so tired and weary of it all, ya know? And I guess I'm just so thankful that one day, for those of us that know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, all this "mess" will be over. I'm resting in that hope today. Keep praying!