Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wedding Shower Decor

I can't believe I have let so much time slip away and I haven't shown y'all some pictures from Dani's wedding shower in August. To say I was a little overwhelmed with all the pre-activity and party planning that weekend would be a total understatement. If it hadn't been for my mom's help, I don't know how I would have pulled this little afternoon soiree off! I have to say that "party planning 101" needs to be in every southern girls' repertoire of "things you need to know how to do." I am amazed at how the younger generation pulls off a southern party (I had one guest as me, "Where's the meat?!)! I may or may not have begun hyperventilating a few times, which brought on the hot flashes as well. Having said all that, the shower was big (of course!) and gorgeous. Dani was happy and glowing so that made me happy and sweating

My mom totally rocked the front door decor. I found this pin on Pinterest and she totally made it happen! Dani loved it so much that she asked if she could have it to use at her wedding and of course, I said, yes. I bought artificial white rose petals to lead guests from the driveway to the front door. It was beautiful and perfect. 

Our home is open and spacious between the kitchen and living area, with our island as the focal point. Of course, I knew that was where I would be serving the majority of the food for the shower, but I also wanted it to be classy and sophisticated. I know the themes of weddings and showers are "rustic" these days and I tried, y'all.  I really did!  I even bought the jars and the burlap and all that other crap, but in the end, I just gave everything that I had bought to Dani and said, "Here!  Maybe you can use all this for the wedding!" I did try to stay within the baby's breath and flower scheme, though. I'll save the rose bowl collection story for another post, except to say that the tradition started at my own bridal luncheon nearly twenty-three years ago. 

I posted the Sparkling Punch recipe a few weeks ago. I was so glad that the punch was a hit. Everyone loved it.

I won't lie. It killed my soul for my girls to wear jeans to a wedding shower. I could only shake my head at Stephanie. Really? Really? And of course, little sister would not budge because Big Sis got to wear jeans so she thought she could too.  Ugh!! (But they weren't the only ones in jeans. I found out Stephanie had never even been to a wedding shower before, so I tried not to be too hard on her.)

I won't lie. I was exhausted after everyone had left. I took my heels off, propped my feet up on the coffee table and ate leftover cupcakes! Party over!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

General TSO Recipe Hacks

We love Chinese! One of our favorite dishes is General TSO Chicken and I have the perfect recipe if you'd like to try it. Easy peasy. Really. Would I lie? I've been making this recipe for years. But after making it last week, I decided to share a few hacks for this dish that makes it even EASIER! With these hacks, I promise that this is a twenty minute meal ready to eat in no time! It's perfect for those busy days of after school activities. 

Hack #1: Use already prepared chicken
I use Walmart's Great Value brand of popcorn chicken to make this recipe. Who has time to touch chicken, much less cut it up (I don't touch raw chicken!)? Depending on the size of the chicken, I usually use half a bag, maybe a little more.  It depends on how much extra sauce you would like to have for your rice. We like lots of sauce, so I normally double the recipe. 
Hack #2: Use frozen fried rice
Before last week, I always made brown rice for this recipe. A few weekends ago, I was in the frozen section of our grocery store when I came across this fried rice in a box and it is delish! So dang flavorful for being so inexpensive!  I'll probably never make fried rice again. 

Today I'm sharing these easy hacks over at The Blended Blog for Tasty Tuesday! Hop on over and see what everyone else is cooking up today!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Three Things September 2017

Happy Monday, Friends! Short and sweet today because by the time you read this, I'll be taking Stephanie to the airport. Eek! More on all that later this week. In the meantime, I'm borrowing today's topic from Rebecca Jo who got this fabulous list of ideas from Stephanie. 

Three Experiences I Recommend
A helicopter ride around the island of Maui
Buy your daughter a puppy for Christmas
Ride a motorcycle

Three Pieces of Advice For Everyone
Don't Text and Drive
Check expiration dates!
Don't believe everything you hear/read

Three Things I'd Give Up In A Second
Wearing contacts
Unsweet tea

Three Things That Are Always In My Fridge
Caffeine-Free Diet Coke

Three Things That Are Always In My Freezer
Great Value Popcorn Chicken
A leftover Wendy's Frosty
Party Pizzas

Three Things That Are Always In My Pantry
Boil In A Bag Brown Rice
A box of Duncan Hines Fudge Brownie Mix
Jif Peanut Butter

Three Most Often Used Makeup Products
MAC Foundation
Better Than Sex Mascara
Estee Lauder Lip Stick

Three Things I'll Spend Money On
Salon Hair Color
High thread count sheets

Three Things I Won't Spend Money On
Designer Purses
A scary movie

How about you?  What are in your top three?!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Favorites: Top Five Posts Of Summer 2017

I decided to do something a little different today for Friday Favorites and chose instead to recap my top five most read (and favorite!) posts for Summer 2017. I am totally overdue for a post of what's going on in our Horton world right now (Trust me!  I've been busy!), but I hope today you'll just let me roll with it. 

Whether you're new to my blog today and just hopping over from the link ups, or a die hard regular reader, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to read what this crazy, Southern, peri-menopausal Diva has to rant about say. What started out as "trial and error" over eleven years ago has grown into a world of love, friendship, and devotion. I love you all! Thank you so much for sharing life with me and our family.

In no particular order, here are the top five posts from this summer:

Two Products One Review

What's In My Shopping Cart

Friday Favorites: National Ice Cream Day

Another Summer 2017 Reading List Update

And the number one post for the summer was And Baby Makes Three with the follow up chapter not being very far behind.

Have a GREAT weekend, Loves!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Girl Chat: Favorite Fall Recipes

I can't tell y'all how excited I am about today's Girl Chat topic! I've been screaming about Fall since August first and no one really wanted to hear it.  I get it.  You wanted to suck up those last few days of HAWT temps and humidity before school started. Mother Nature CERTAINLY didn't want to help a peri-menopausal girl out with cooler temps in our neck of the woods, either! So needless to say, I'm over here doing the happy dance and so excited to share some of my favorite fall recipes with y'all! Today I'm spreading some food love with Danielle, Emily, Lindsay, Lizzie, and Sierra!
Chicken and dumplings// So when I think of fall recipes, I think of comfort food, and the first thing that actually popped in my head when I saw the topic was chicken and dumplings. I realize not everyone likes them (Wayne refuses to eat them); I never liked my grandmother's "from scratch" version, but now my Mama's? They are the bomb dot com! AND they're made with canned biscuits! Until I bought Christy Jordan's cookbook, I had never even tried to make my Mama's recipe. I guess I should be ashamed at trying someone else's recipe over my own mother's, but well...what can I say? I can SAY...that I'm glad I did because Christy's recipe tastes exactly like my mom's! Check out her chicken and dumpling recipe soon! 

Soups, Stews, and Chili// I'm beginning to see a pattern with my fall choices. My favorites are things Wayne won't eat. Won't even TRY, y'all! The only soup he'll eat is Taco Soup and how in the world I ever got him to try that, I'll never know. He refuses to try stew, but bless his heart, he does like chili! Probably out of the three of these, stew is my favorite and once again, my mom's recipe is the best. But I found this recipe that I am hoping to try this fall when the temps really drop. Stew is just a heartier meal to me and I think that's why I like it so much, especially over a bed of rice. This recipe is our favorite chili recipe. Minus the beans. I unintentionally left out Gumbo. Being a Louisiana girl, it's a fall must-have for our tailgate parties.

Meatloaf and scalloped potatoes// Miranda Lambert's Mama"s Meatloaf is my absolute favorite meatloaf! It is out-of-this-world-good and the only recipe I'll ever make! I'm not sure where I actually came across this recipe, and even though I'm not a die hard fan (I HAVE seen her in concert!) of her or Blake, it was while they were still married that I came across an article in a magazine about how much Blake liked her mom's meatloaf. So I googled it and found the recipe! I usually half it for our family of three. As for the scalloped potatoes, I found that recipe on Pinterest and it was a winner, too!

Cajun White Beans & Rice// Being a Louisiana girl, you would think that I would love red beans and rice. But instead, I love the white bean version that uses Northern beans so much more. I nearly missed out on this winner from Pinterest because I thought there was too many steps to the recipe. I mean, who wants to wash beans and pick out the bad ones? Ain't nobody got time for that! But this dish makes it so worth it! I love the little extra kick of heat, too!

Pecan Pie// Whether you pronounce it pee-can or pah-cahn, everyone in our family loves this dessert for fall. And it is sooo easy to make. You can find your own version on Pinterest of course, but once again, my Mama's rocks! And it's so easy! The hardest part is making sure the pie is done in the middle before taking it out of the oven. I've also tried a chocolate chip pecan pie before and it was delish!

Can't wait to read and see what everyone else is cooking up for Fall, too!