Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites: Keep Smiling

Let's SMILE, Sistas, because it's Fridaaaayyy! I've been waiting for this day all summer!!  As of 2:30 this afternoon, the Horton's are officially on vacation time!! So forgive me if this post is short and sweet! I'm sharing a few things that made me smile this week.

Keep Calm And Put A Smile On -

one.// Southern Living magazine recently published an article titled, 9 Things Every Southern Girl Has in Her Closet and I loved it! I mean, the author nailed it! Let's just say that I'm definitely a southern girl! How many of these items are in your closet?

two.// I follow one of my favorite authors, Beatriz Williams on IG and she posted a picture a few weeks ago from a book signing that nearly brought tears to my eyes made me smile. You may know the author of A Hundred Summers (my personal favorite), Along the Infinite Sea, and her latest novel, Cocoa Beach, which I'm currently reading. How sweet for her fifth grade teacher to show up at her book signing! 

three.// My blog friend, Tracy (who doesn't blog anymore, but we go waaaay back!), posted this last week on her IG and it made me cry smile.  I love this idea and had never heard of SSIRocks. I plan on asking Tracy more about it soon! That is, after she gets back from her THIRD beach trip this summer! Ahem! Make the picture below bigger and read all about it.

four.// Can't wait to pick this Girlie up on Sunday! She's been with family all week in Alabama and having a blast! I have missed her so much this week! 
So I'm going to end this Friday Favorites post with a HUGE smile on my face because life is good! I am so blessed with a wonderful family and things just can't get any better! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

What's In My Shopping Cart?

Maybe I should clarify that this is in reference to my GROCERY shopping cart and not my Nordstrom's. Saving that shopping cart for another post! And I probably should say that all my dieting, paleo eating, gluten-free, and all the other good people out there that manage to stay on the "losing weight" wagon should probably just stop reading now.

But for the rest of are a few things I bought this week!
My family loves rotel dip. In case you've been missing out, it's just a block of Velveeta cheese and a can of rotel tomatoes. Melt the cheese and pour in the tomatoes. It's a southern delicacy and a go-to snack for Wayne and Alise. They eat a fair share of it especially during football season. I, on the other hand, can take it or leave it. There are so many better dips in Dip World to me. So I decided to try these fun, individual queso dips to cure their rotel craving.  I'm not sure if was cheaper to buy these or a can of rotel and a block of cheese! I don't think I want to know (Just a side note: every time I typed, hotel, my computer changed it to "hotel." See?  I purposely didn't correct it. Too funny!)!

If the queso was for them (Oh, who am I kidding?  Of course I'm going to try it! It DOES say, "queso" on the package!!), then these are for me!
Club crackers are my favorite and I know this is a knock-off to the Ritz Bits, but I don't care. Do you prefer cheese or peanut butter between your crackers? Alise prefers cheese; Wayne likes peanut butter (insert eye roll). I can eat either one.

I've mentioned these yummy bread sticks before. They are the best! And so cheap, too!  Just two dollah! 

All you dieters listen up! This entree is by far one of the best meals in the freezer section. AND it's gluten-free!  I buy two or three of these a week and Alise and I eat them for lunch. It almost makes up for the fact that Smart Ones got rid of their Fiesta Chicken entree back in the early 2000's. Can  you tell I'm still bitter? Ha!

Ok, I admit. I was hanging out in the gluten-free freezer section when I found this last purchase and decided to give it a try. But first, a few comments about the gluten-free food in the freezer section. It looks GOOOOOD, y'all!  But dang! It's expensive! I may or may not be looking into a few new gluten-free recipes.
This is a new brand for me. At least the front of the box looks yummy, right? And I'm a sucker for chocolate. favorite part of a muffin is the top, so how can I go wrong?  I'll have to let y'all know soon how they taste! I have to say though, that when I looked at the calorie count (because that's normally what I watch and look at on labels), I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the number 127! So exact! Ha!

Update: Please, for the LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT buy those muffin tops! I'd rather keep the one I have than EVAH put that crap in my mouth again! YUCK!

So those are a few yummy things in my grocery cart this week. If you're still with me, thanks so much for stopping by today and taking the time to read what this crazy Mama has to say. Or buy at the grocery store. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites: National Ice Cream Day

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!

THIS Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! Yay! We all scream for ice cream! Or at least I do! We've had our fair share of "ice cream runs" so far this summer and have even made some homemade with friends and family. I've always been an ice cream lover thanks to my dad. It was a treat to eat ice cream with him right before bed (not every night!). Those were the "lean" years of being a kid when you could do that, but unfortunately, not anymore. Ice cream is more like a "splurge" now because it goes straight to this mama's hips!

Today I'm sharing a few ideas and memories in honor of one of my favorite summer time treats! 

{one.} Our Favorite Homemade Ice Cream
Without a doubt, our favorite family recipe for homemade ice cream is Butterfinger and you can find the recipe here. We absolutely love it and it's our go to recipe when the homemade bug hits! The first time I ever had this ice cream was when Wayne and I were dating and I wasn't sure I was going to like it because I'm not really a Butterfingers fan. Wow! Was I wrong! 

{two.} My favorite Ice Cream Memory
Every summer, my brother and I would spend a week at my Grandparent's house, which was about 65 miles away from where we lived. They bought ice cream in five gallon buckets - don't ask me why - but I remember eating ice cream in the late afternoons while Grandma and I watched the game shows after her "stories" (soap operas) were over. Anybody remember this stuff?

My brother and I thought this was the coolest stuff! I mean, how in the world it hardened so fast was amazing to us! We loved it and it became a game between us to see who could eat their ice cream without cracking the shell of the chocolate. Gosh, it was fun being a kid!

{three.} My Favorite Ice Cream Dessert
A few years ago, my mom found this recipe on Pinterest and started treating us with it for a dessert when we go over to their house for family dinners. It is SO yummy and now Alise and my niece and nephew ask for it for their birthdays. My mom and I laugh so hard when she tries to slice the cake because she has to use a butcher knife to cut it! It's rather thick and probably is best if it is allowed to sit out for a few minutes before serving. 

{four.} My favorite Ice Cream Idea 
A few years ago, Alise and I attended a baby shower that served an ice cream bar instead of the traditional shower/party foods. I thought it was the neatest idea! The shower was for a baby girl, so all the frilly pink and tulle decor just made the  bar look amazing! I wish I had taken a picture of it! 

Growing up, it was always fun when the ice cream truck came into our neighborhood. Michael and I would run in the house and ask mama and daddy for money.  Eskimo Pies were always my favorite. I found these pictures below on my blog from March 2008, when Alise was nearly three years old.  I remember this day so well because the ice cream truck hardly ever came in our neighborhood and Wayne had just gotten home from work. I wanted Alise to have the "ice cream truck" experience, so daddy obliged even though it was right before supper time. We've moved since then, but I don't think Alise has ever had the "privilege" again of buying ice cream out of a truck!

I hope everyone screams for ice cream this weekend and may you make lots of memories enjoying this favorite summer time treat!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Royally Waiting Wednesday

Y'all! July 12th! WHERE is this summer going? Seriously! Alise is mad at me because now she has to begin her summer reading for school. I let her put it off until after July 4th and so. Well! It's after July 4th and she's STILL complaining (insert eye roll, hands in the air, mouthing, what have I done to deserve this?). School starts in a month for us, so my favorite tween needs to enjoy the rest of her summer and read. her. books. 

Today I'm taking a break from the Mean Mommy role and linking up with Shelly and her friends, along with some other favorite bloggers, and sharing a little middle of the week randomness. 

What is your best wedding advice? When I read this post on The Small Things Blog, it made me smile. Big. I just love Kate! Speaking of fragrances and smelling good, last week, Wayne and I had a lunch date. He picked me up at the office and when I got in the car, he said, "Wow! You smell good!" Day made!

Alise found this recipe recently on Pinterest and I've been putting off about making it. Honestly, I didn't think it would be any good and I KNEW Wayne wasn't even going to touch it! However...she kept hounding me and I caved. I had planned on her to help me make it - so simple! - but she had a friend over that evening and I didn't want to disturb their "fun," so I did the honors and well!  The recipe proved me wrong!  Alise and I loved it! So much that I've added it to our family favorites board on Pinterest. Wayne still wouldn't touch it! I hate to tell him, but the dish will be on repeat because of it's simplicity. It's like comfort food in a single dish and HE - being the meat and potatoes guy that he is - just plain missed out!

So I've given up Diet Coke and the occasional evening toddy to start this crazy diet! As of today, it's been seven days. I didn't weigh myself before I started, just because I didn't put a lot of faith into this fad. Good thing I didn't! Don't waste your money, Peeps! Now where's my Diet Coke?

Happy Birthday to our Baby Girl, Stephanie! She will be celebrating her twenty-third birthday this Friday. It kills my soul that she is in another country and we won't be able to celebrate her special day with her, but we have a party planned when she gets home in August. The birthday girl has requested not one, not two, but THREE birthday cakes! All homemade! Spoiled much? I've agreed, but only because she's been gone and starving all summer! Stephanie is doing fine. Some of you wanted to know about the IVs she had to have a few weeks ago, but she got dehydrated and needed fluids. She is feeling much better and tearing up the court these days. Her team is third in the conference right now, and she's hoping they will make it to the championship. This Mama is ready for her to come home! I miss her so much!

Lately, I've been perusing my Pinterest boards for a little spark of inspiration for the office. Y'all know I prefer dresses, but sometimes, even they can get a little old and boring. I was so excited when I came across this pin because I realized I had all these pieces in my current wardrobe! I wore mint ankle pants instead of jeans and an older Ann Taylor linen jacket over a recent leopard blouse I picked up in Alabama a few months ago. I switched out the shoes, though. I wore wedges instead of flats. I was really pleased how this look came together for a day of meetings and conference calls.

Fall Fashion
I've had this picture on the left in my phone forever because I wanted to somehow recreate the look.  I had never thought about pairing leopard with a beige or white blouse. I mean, I've worn leopard with white jeans before, but I don't know...Maybe I just haven't thought about the combo in a while. Anyhoo, this is the outfit I wore to church this past Sunday and I absolutely loved it!!
Can you tell that I still believe in leopard being a neutral? If something happens to me, y'all make sure Wayne buries me in leopard, okay? 

Last but not least, are y'all still watching Food Network Star?! This past Sunday was the halfway point in the competition and it's heating up. I really think the network is looking for a southern-style chef because, I mean, good Lawd!  They had three "southern" contestants competing at the beginning of the season! Sorry, Jason, but Kentucky doesn't count (I think it's so funny that he says Kentucky's "holy trinity" is bourbon, butter, and bacon. Here in Louisiana, our "holy trinity" is onion, bell pepper, and celery). Anyway, every time Cory smiles and says, "I'm from Monroe, LA," it makes me smile, too!  

Now back to my Mean Mama role! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

10 Daily Habits

It's Monday! A new week to begin again and another day to be better than you were yesterday, don't ya think? Today I'm linking up with Erin and some of her friends to share our 10 daily habits. When I was growing up, a teacher told our class that it takes 28 days to form a habit. Do you think that's true? Here are some of mine. 

1. Does getting out of bed count? I mean, for real. 

2. Take a shower. I use Amazing Grace and Pure Grace by Philosophy. Put on makeup, fix hair, brush my teeth, and get dressed. It happens - but not very often -that I stay in my PJs all day. 

3. Load the dishwasher. Every. single. day. And not necessarily in the morning because I can't go to bed with dishes in the sink! The OCD comes out. Alise's job is to unload it and put the dishes away before I get home in the evenings.

4. During the school year, I wake up Alise and snuggle with her for a while. While some mom's best time to talk to their kid is bedtime, for Alise and I, we have the best conversations in the morning. That's when we're the nicest to each other!  Ha! But during the summer, I leave the house and she is still in the bed. I envy her age so much sometimes! 

5. Daily quiet time!

6. Since I've managed to jump back on the Diet Coke train, you can find me in the Sonic drive-thru most mornings waiting for my daily morning drink of choice: Diet Coke with extra ice. If I'm running late, I get one at the cafeteria. 

7. Check my work email. Unfortunately, every. single. day. Except weekends, of course! 

8. Think about what I'm going to cook for supper. Key word, "think." I guess I should say that I don't have to think so hard if I have a meal plan for the week. I swear by a meal plan and grocery list because I've found that it really does save money.  But sometimes what you "planned" before you went to the store isn't what you're really feeling like on a Wednesday night. That's why I have to "think." LOL!

9. Read! 

10. Kiss my family good night and tell them that I love them! Which includes a good night text to Stephanie, too!