Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

July is nearly over and I'm just now posting a Friday Favorites post!  What is wrong with me? It's called, LIFE, y'all and I'm enjoying it so much! However, this week has been extremely tough and stressful, but my faith has been strong and I trust that God will continue to fulfill his plan for my life {Jeremiah 29:11}. Thank you for your prayers.

{one.} I've been using Mario Badescu's facial spray for a while now and I love it! It's the perfect finishing spray for my makeup routine. I also keep a smaller bottle in my purse for a nice afternoon pick-me-up and although I'm not a fan of rose fragrance, I really like this smell because it isn't over-powering at all. Last week, I was in Ulta picking up a few things - including another bottle of the spray - and I got a FREE gift of the Cucumber Cleansing Lotion with my purchase that day. I have to say, that the cleansing lotion is a win, too!  It makes my skin feel so soft and I love the fresh smell, even though, once again - you guessed it! - I'm not a fan of cucumbers! Ha! I would love to know if you girls have tried any other products from this brand.


{two.} Last weekend when we were celebrating S's birthday at home, she asked to see some old pictures of me. By then, I was a glass of wine in, so I - being the one that never wants to show someone old photos of myself - headed off to the spare bedroom to my "stash" of old pictures. And looky what I found!!  An OLD Glamour Shot photo from when I was about 19! Maybe you saw it on Instagram. Just for laughs, I decided to compare it to the most recent picture of myself - taken in NOLA this past weekend and this is what happened!  What do you think? Look at those eye brows, y'all! And my hair!  Somethings will never change, though. Ha! I am much happier being a blonde!

{three.} BLTs. Y'all, the farming community that my husband and parents are from {I'm a city girl!} grows THE BEST tomatoes. EVER. Seriously, everyone buys Oak Grove tomatoes in our town!  My aunt and uncle dropped some of these wonderful red jewels off at my parents and of course, Mama brought me some, so we're living the good summer life right now and enjoying delicious bacon and tomato sandwiches. We probably have them three nights a week and it's becoming a tradition for Sunday lunch.  After church, of course.  If you've never had a bacon tomato sandwich, you don't know what you're missing! Oh, and don't forget the Hellman's mayonnaise, too!

{four.} Last week, Alise and I went over to help Baby Girl decorate her room. She found a beautiful tapestry - the picture below just doesn't do it justice - online for a very reasonable price and it matched her bedding perfectly. Then she saw a picture on the internet with the lights and so I decided to treat her to an early birthday present and we went to Hobby Lobby to get them. Although she decided to hang the lights differently than I would have, the finished design is stunning! I have to say I think we did a great job!

{five.} And last but not least, I want to wish my favorite man in the whole wide world a VERY Happy Birthday!  You are my best friend, my rock, and my biggest supporter. Love you to the moon and back, Babe! You're the best! Roll Tide!

Happy Friday, Peeps!  Hope it's a good one!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's Cooking In My Kitchen This Summer

Image result for lazy dog days of summer

We're totally in the lazy dog days of summer around here in Louisiana.  And it's HAWT, y'all! Can I get an, "amen"?

We've had several soirees and pool parties with our friends and coharts over the last month and a half and today I thought I would share some new recipes that I've tried this summer. We love to entertain and have friends over and so far, summer 2016 has been no exception! Here are a few things that I've tried recently:

S found this Chili Mac recipe on Facebook and begged me to try it one night for family night, so I caved. Some of you may call this a traditional goulash and I swear it kept growing and growing!  Ha!  We had leftovers for several days. I think she liked it more than anyone, simply because she was missing some comfort food. The chili mac was good and I would definitely make it again.

I made this Chocolate Cheese Ball when the girls came over to hang out one night in June. I served this dessert ball with animal crackers and graham crackers and we literally could NOT stay away from it.  The only ingredient I left out was the marshmallows, because I'm not fond of them.  I think it's a texture thing with me. But anyway. Minus the marshmallows, it is still any chocolate lovers dream!

Oh yea!  And now would probably be a good time I guess to mention two adult beverages that went along with "girls night in" last month, too. I made Hippie Juice and a strawberry lemonade concoction that I seriously can't find the pin for right now. I added fresh strawberries to both drinks and maybe even a little more vodka than what the recipes actually called for.  By the end of the night, the two beverages were gone and we were all playing bartender.

And just to vent a little bit...I have NO luck when it comes to internet or Pinterest beverage recipes. I'm better off at GNO just serving a full bar and letting everyone fix what they want.  That's pretty much the route we've decided to go from now on.  Any comments about that?

I am SO excited about having a breakfast alternative with my family!  Introducing "breakfast sliders," and they are the bomb dot com. So, so good, even without the egg {because my family is weird like that!}.  I made these one morning and even S was asking for the recipe to make them for her team mates.  And she actually made them, too! So yummy!

Alise loves fettuccine alfredo!  The girl takes after her moma as far as being a carb queen! Although I'm not fond of a white sauce and after buying a brand name sauce in the store, I was like, Alise, we've got to do better than this! And we did!  With Pinterest's help, of course!  I tried this recipe and Alise loved it! Minus the broccoli, though.  I served it on the side.

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I hope you're having a wonderful week! 

Oh!  If you have a Sonic in your area, but sure to check tomorrow to see if they are offering cheeseburgers at half price tomorrow. You can thank me later!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Birthday Weekend

I totally took advantage of having last week off from work and was a true #blogfailure. Except for a few scheduled posts, I really didn't do much in Blog Land, so this week, I'm trying to play catch up.  Our week was great!  We slept late, spent a lot of time out by the pool, went to the movies (I actually saw three!), grilled late suppers, and just spent a lot of time together as a family of four.

Mine and Wayne's weekend started early on Thursday when we headed south to New Orleans. I had a conference on Friday and we decided to take S with us because other than a quick trip with her juco, she had never been. Besides, it was her birthday and I wanted it to be special since she didn't have much of a twenty-first birthday last year. We took her to one of our favorite restaurants, The Bourbon House, for dinner. We had drinks at the bar and watched as the guys shucked oysters while we waited for our table. We enjoyed getting to sit in front of the huge windows in the dining room and watched all the crazy people walking on Bourbon Street. I thought S looked so beautiful that night. She insisted on wearing a pink birthday sash for the occasion.

After dinner, we spent the remainder of the night - until 1 AM! - on Bourbon Street. We danced and listened to lots of different bands. She was a lot more obliging than I thought she would be with listening to "our type of music," but she took it all in and had a fun night. The next day, while I was at the conference, she and Wayne went to the aquarium and Cafe du Monde. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for S and her friends to stay the remainder of the weekend, so she came back with us on Friday night.

On Saturday night, we ended her birthday week with steak, twice baked potatoes, green bean bundles and a 4-layer home made birthday cake!! WHICH her teammates inhaled later that night at her apartment when they all played that nasty jelly bean game (We played three rounds at the house and it was hilarious! I laughed so hard!)!! 

I have yet to understand why she feels the need to stick her tongue out in nearly every picture, but little sister is following fast in her footsteps! 

This picture makes me smile so much! Oh, to see that beautiful smile! If y'all only knew how hard it use to be to get even a grin out of her! I was so thankful for our church service this morning! After being out for several weeks, and with all the chaos that is happening in our world, it was so refreshing and encouraging to be back among friends and believers. Both our pastor's sermon and our life group lesson was about making a difference in someone else's life and about how as Christians, we need to go out an DO, and I left church today with the confidence of knowing that I'm right where God wants me to be. And there is such a peace in that, y'all! S is in our life for a reason - or a season - and it's up to us to help plant the seed of faith in her life. Of course, the guilt tried to settle in - that I wasn't doing enough or that I wasn't doing it right - but then, that sweet peace came to me and I just knew. I knew that no matter what, everything was going to be okay.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Feeling 22

Dear S,

I know Miss Swift is not exactly in your circle of favorite arteests, but I can't help the fact that Rihanna didn't come up with the song, "22" first. So please forgive me if this post is sappy "annoying" - as you like to say so much! - and just accept the fact that I lean more toward your name sake than you do! So in all T-Swizzle fan-fare and fashion, "HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL! We love you!"

I don't like basketball.  You know that. I wasn't even suppose to go to that game nearly a year ago, but Jennifer and Wayne both begged me to and so I did. Little did I know how much my life was about to change by a VERY tall women's basketball player. That blonde hair just stood out and no one could help but NOT watch you on the court. You made your home debut at that game and I remember thinking, "Oh, I bet her parents are so proud of her!"

Life is tough and full of disappointments, but I don't have to tell you that.  I wish I had the answers to so many of your "whys" but unfortunately, I don't. You deserved so much more, Baby Girl. People make mistakes and bad decisions all the time without knowing the effect they have on others or even themselves. This, I'm sure of. However, I do believe in second chances. Having a second chance is the joy of hoping and thinking, ya know? I'm gonna get it right this time! God has blessed us both with second chances. You will never know the prayers that have gone up for you and I continue to pray that one day you will be with us forever. I'm not happy with your potty mouth or most some of the things you share on FB, and I don't always understand why you do some of the things that you do, but I continue to love. No matter what. And I totally dig our pinky promises. Just sayin.

I can't get over the transformation you've made since last fall. The shy, barely-says-three-words beauty has become more confidant and "real" than I ever imagined. I know it's hard for you to let people into your life, but I am so glad you've included us. My happiest moments are when I look up from the kitchen and see you and Alise on the couch truly being sisters. If you had told me in the fall that you would "live for family nights because family is important," I would have said you were lying. In your very own way with words, you asked me once, "Have you ever seen the movie, The Blindside?" I said, yes, and we looked at each other for a few short moments and said nothing. Because there simply were no words. It was a moment; an understanding, and I realized then, that I was exactly where I needed to be in my life. I struggle so much with being the mom you've asked me to be and the good friend you need. I struggle with having a twenty-two year old and an eleven year old. There are days when I feel like it's three steps forward and two steps back with you, but I would like to think that one day it will all be worth it.

And now, your senior year is here! Your last year of playing the sport you love so much and I will never understand and your last year of studies that is, if you pass Latin.  I know I've told you before, but I am so proud of you, S! This is your year to shine and I can't wait to see all the great things God is going to do in your life simply because a forty-three year old mom got a second chance when a twenty-two year old asked her to be her mother. I will forever be

Your biggest fan,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Twofer

I decided to do something pretty fun today and that's post a "twofer."  Here in Louisiana, we refer to it as a "two for one."  I'm actually combining TWO linkups in ONE post today. Good stuff, peeps, so keep reading!

This month's "Stranded" linkup with Mix & Match Mama is about famous people. Today, I'm telling you about three famous people that I'd have with me on my deserted island.

I believe every little girl looks up to a princess and Lady Diana will forever be my favorite! And with those words, I would beg and plead to try on that tiara!  Think she'd let me?  Ha! If she were still alive of course!

Alright, alright, alright! This man, y'all!  LAWD, have mercy!! He had me at that Texas drawl!  I honestly have no idea what we would talk about, but just knowing that he could take care of me on a deserted island is all I need to know!

Oh my gosh!  The laughs I could have with this Girlie! But the question I would most definitely need an answer to is, "Lyle Lovett?  Really?"

My second linkup today is The Kid Behind the Blog with Our Pretty Little Girls. I haven't participated in this linkup in a while, but it's always a fun one!

And I'm doing something even better by including BOTH my kids in the interview!  Here goes with Alise's answers first!

1. What  2 things do you like to do outside in the summer?
Play basketball and swim.

2. If you could go anywhere this Summer where would you go and why?
I would go either to the beach or Magic Springs.  I would like to go to the beach to catch hermit crabs at night and Magic Springs has really cool rides {Magic Springs??  Really?!?}.

3. What is your favorite thing about summer?
I like doing different camps.  This summer, I have been to cheer camp, basketball camp and art camp and I loved them all! And, of course, no school!

4. If you could pick any way to spend a hot Summer day, how would you spend it?
I would go swimming because it's a good way to cool down on a hot day.

5. What is your favorite Summer treat?
Ice cream sandwiches and watermelon.

With S's answers, I made up my own questions and I hope that her answers give you a little more insight into her personality. I've been wanting to do this for a while because so many of you have asked about her, but due to several reasons, I'm not able to share all the things that I would like to about our crazy girl!  Just know that she is deeply loved and a member of our family. Here we go:

1. Growing up, how many sports did you play? And, obviously basketball is your favorite. Why do you like it so much? I swam, golfed, played soccer, softball and basketball. I played all those sports "because my Daddy made me." I swam compeitively but it was so boring. Golf was boring. Oh, and I won district in high school for track. But I was horrible at soccer and the only time I got on base in softball was when I got hit in the head!  I could catch the ball, but I couldn't hit. Basketball is so much more competitive and upbeat. I love being on the court and competing and it's a contact sport.

2. You recently went back to your home town of Orlando and visited the downtown area {in daylight!}. What did you think about as you were walking around and seeing all the memorials?
I thought about all the lives that were lost and how scared I would have been if that had happened to me. My friends and I hang out in downtown Orlando sometimes and I had friends in the area that night and I knew people that died. While my friend and I were at the art center, I signed a heart shaped flower memorial that is going to be placed in a museum. All this violence that's going on makes me very sad.

3. What does the word, family, mean to you? People that you love and care about and that have your back no matter what.

4. Who is your hero and why? My daddy is my hero because he raised me and taught me everything I know.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? I would have worked harder in high school to get better grades.

6. What motivates you? What drives you to do and act the way you do? Winning.  I hate to lose. I always play my best to win.