Monday, June 29, 2015

Miscellaneous Monday

I will just go ahead and apologize for this lengthy post, but I have lots of things to share today.

I have gotten SO many compliments on the yellow lace dress I bought earlier this season.  I even wore it to work last week with a small, but noticeable stain on the front of it. Of course, I didn't realize it until I got to work, so there wasn't much I could do about it until I got home and it washed up well. The GOOD news is that the dress is now on sale for...wait for it....wait for it....less than $30!!  You can check it out HERE! I just love the Chelsea and Violet brand!  And Dillard's is having QUITE the sale with additional sale prices on already reduced items! Be sure to check them out!

Because of my accident, Baby Girl has become quite the chef around our house this summer!  And she's loving it! I mentioned earlier that we enjoy watching all the cooking shows that come on prime time during the summer months and getting to do a little hands-on at camp a few weeks ago, have really fueled her interests!  So far, she's made her camp version of sausage bread (for Wayne on Father's Day!), tacos (with only a little help with draining the grease), and blueberry muffins!  So, so proud of her!  And she makes an excellent nurse, too!  I was telling Wayne just this morning that I've only heard her huff and puff once or twice when I've asked her to do something for me. Other than that, she's been great!

My aunt and uncle are in the process of going through my late grandmother's things and there were some dishes that I specifically asked to have if they came across them.  My mom delivered "the goods" the week that I fell and I just haven't had time to post about them. My grandmother's dishes never matched {and now that I think about it, may be where I get the fact that I mixmatch my Fiestaware to this day!}, but there were certain dishes that I remember specific food always went in when we went to visit and now, having those dishes in my possession bring back fond memories of my grandma. Not pictured is the porcelain sugar that always sat on my grandma's table.  I remember my grandpa scooping sugar out of it in the mornings for his coffee.  He always slurped his coffee from the saucer.  Memories.

My aunt surprised me by also including in my stash two plates that I always loved. I specifically remember eating off one of these plates one year at Thanksgiving when I was about eight or nine.  I remember thinking back then that those plates were so special because they were "different." And then I had a crazy thought!  Why not use the plates in my 4th of July tablescape?!  After all, they do have an air of  "Independence" to them!

We had Alise's softball team over Saturday night for the end-of-the-year party and it was a huge success! You can't go wrong with pizza and cupcakes.  But I have to say, the "adult appetizers" and "adult dessert" was an even BIGGER success! 

I have seen this dip recipe all over Pinterest and decided to try it Saturday night for the party and let me just say that it totally lives up to all the hype!!  A dip with a kick! It is delicious!!  Next time I make it - which will be VERY soon - I will double the recipe!  I can't tell you how much you really, really need to make this dip!  It would be perfect for that 4th of July pool party!  I also made the fruit dip I posted about on Friday, but I decided to plate it similar to another picture on Pinterest.  Wayne made Oreo ice cream for all the parents and the party ended on a high note.  A sugar high note.  Ha!

Here's a picture of Alise and her good friend, AG.  AG's mom reads my blog and reminded me to put the Corn Dip on the blog {Hey, Jennifer!!  Scroll up for the link to the recipe!  I didn't forget about you!}! The cupcakes made in the shape of a softball were a hit for the girls!

On Saturday, my tassel necklace from Purple Peridot came in and I'm in love!  So, so cute and I can't wait to wear it the rest of the summer! Be sure to check out their website for some cute, in-style jewelry options!  My next purchase will be the tassel bracelet!

On Sunday, Alise and I went to church with my parents because I wanted to hear their new pastor.  Sometimes it's just rewarding to hear another preacher every now and then, I think, and I enjoyed going to church with my parents because I haven't done so in years! The Supreme Court decision this past week had left me feeling so defeated as a Christian and I just really longed to hear fresh words of God's truth. And the truth is, we are not defeated; God is still in control.  The decision came as no surprise to Him.  Yes, He is grieved, but we as Christians have got to press on and show the world the love of Christ, which is a love like no other.  

Late yesterday evening, I FINALLY got my trip to Target!  We got rained out last week and Wayne was kind enough to take Baby Girl and I again. I ran into a co-worker who laughed with me about having to drive the "grandma mobile (cart)" again, but it was all in fun!  One trip to Target and we walked out with some moisturizer for me, a pair of overall shorts for Alise to start school in, and a basket FULL of candy!!  It was ridiculous, really. I was hoping to get in some cheap retail therapy, but I didn't find anything.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!  How are your July 4th plans coming?  I'm beginning my menu planning! Eek!  I love Independence Day!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday: Favorite Dips

Earlier this week, Alise's softball coach sent a text that our end-of-the-year party will be this Saturday evening at a local pizzeria.  Now, I have to admit, I got a little sad.  Normally the party is at our house because of the pool and the cook shack and it turns into a great time for the kids and the parents.  I didn't say anything to Wayne about how disappointed I was that we couldn't host this year because of my accident.  Fast forward to Wednesday when Wayne calls me during the day and says, "Uh?  I think I'm gonna tell Clay that we can just have the party at our house!"  

{Insert smiley face}

We LOVE to entertain and have friends over so when Wayne told me that the party had been moved to our house, I knew I had to act fast.  Luckily, pizza was still on the menu and I called up a local bakery and ordered cupcakes to look like softballs.  Done.

Or so I thought.

My mind started racing for snack foods - mostly for the parents.  I mean, how many kids get out of the pool for dip and appetizers? I might be surprised.

I hadn't planned on posting a "Five on Friday/Favorites" post today until I started thinking about all the great dip recipes that we love and BAM!  A post was born!  Enjoy!

{And I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for not having any mouth-watering pics to go along with these wonderful recipes, but I didn't want to get arrested for copyright laws while I'm trying to plan a party, so just take my word for it and click on the links!}

{one.} Spinach Artichoke Dip.  If you do not have a Copeland's of New Orleans restaurant in your area, find one, run to it, and order the Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bowtie Pasta.  I promise you will NOT be disappointed!  Living 300 miles away from NOLA, Copeland's is one of the best restaurants in our area for cajun cuisine. We DEVOUR this stuff, y'all! Now.  About the recipe.  I've made this before and it turned out just like the dish at the restaurant.  But I will tell you this: it's a lot of work.  But to me, it's oh-so worth it!! You can leave out the bowtie pasta part if you want because it's excellent with chips or, another favorite of mine, bruschetta bread.

{two.} Laura's Fruit Dip.  Ha!  What a chef-worthy name, right?  Hey!  But you're going to LOVE this!  TWO ingredients!  I promise! Buy 8 ounces of cream cheese and let it get room temperature.  Mix it with 7 ounces of marshmellow cream and serve with fruit!  Easy, peasy!  And I WILL be serving it this Saturday night in a hulled out pineapple boat.  So cute!

{three.} Mississippi Sin Dip. In Louisiana, we call this, "Apache Bread," and I love, love, love this dip!  Especially with a glass of wine. However, in the wonderful world of Pinterest, it's called Mississippi Sin Dip.  Let's not draw lines in the sand, now girls! WHATEVER you call it, it's awesome and a perfect appetizer for entertaining!  Click HERE for my version or HERE for the version I found on Pinterest.

{four.} Buffalo Chicken Dip. Okay, I don't know about y'all, but I really don't care for meat in my dips.  Maybe in queso. But that's just me.  So when Angie told me she was bringing Buffalo Chicken Dip over one time for a party, I was like, "Hmmm...?!" {Insert confused face} But I tried it!  And discovered that I really, really like it!  It's more of a "man's dip" to me, but it's easy, it's got a nice flavor with a KICK!  And we like our food spicy!!  My favorite recipe is by Christy Jordan, also known for her phenomenal website, Southern Plate.  Click HERE for her Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe!  And if you're not following Christy on Facebook or Instagram, well, you should be!  I love her cookbook, Southern Plate, too. Check it out HERE.

{I'm beginning to see a pattern.  I think we like cheese.  And alot of it!}

{five.} Cherry Cheesecake Dip.  I discovered this dip around the holidays last year.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and took it to a New Year's Eve party at Leigh's and it was a HIT!  Everyone loved it!  I think it would be absolutely PERFECT for your 4th of July parties!  I might even make it for ours next week, too!  Click HERE for the link!

If you decide to try one of these great dip appetizers over the next few weeks, leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it.

Be sure to stop by next week! Felicia will be taking over the reins of the blog one day for your reading pleasure. I may regret it.

I hope you have a fun summer weekend for the last one of June!  Just think! Christmas is in SIX months!!


Bes of Baby   

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Words For Wednesday

Maybe you didn't notice, but I didn't reference the Hosea Bible Study I'm doing in my title this week.  I decided to take a week off.  And I have a peace about it, so I don't feel "bad" or like a "failure" for not completing week 3 of the study.

I needed some time.  I needed time with my daughter who was gone all week to church camp.  And even though Wayne and I had an enjoyable week together, I needed some family time, too.  I needed my Peeps! 

I'm not going to lie.  Last week with going to the orthopedist and getting Felicia (my boot), and trying to stay horizontal with a heavy boot and crutches, and trying to figure out how I was going to drive myself to work and get Alise to her regular camp for the rest of the summer, it was just a bad week.  And I KNOW nothing was broken, and I KNOW I'm fortunate enough that this is just a season and I won't have to use crutches for the rest of my life, but it's still hard.  I'm tired of looking at all our carpets rolled up in our house just so I can wheel around in a rolling desk chair to get my normal household duties done!  

Thank you for allowing me to have a pity party.

But I also needed time to digest what I shared with you guys last week about the difference between our 'identity' and 'iddiction.' I told you the first week, that I felt like God was calling me back to Himself this summer.  Because of work and deadlines, I had gotten out of going to church - most of the time Alise and Wayne would go without me while I went to work, I quit praying, and basically had the mindset of, "just let me get through this first and then I'll read my Bible again," and I just continued to put God off because - you guessed it! - something else always came up that needed my attention. I never stopped.

But I had time to blog.  I had time to get on Facebook.  And I had time to post pics on IG.  I had time to run to Target. I had time for a manicure.  I had time to read the latest novel.

And I think Tuesday night, on June 9th, God had simply had enough. He has now guaranteed His time because I can't do anything.  I can't pick my pajamas off the floor.  I can't brown hamburger meat for supper. I can't put my makeup on without a hand held mirror. I can't take Jack outside for his potty breaks {not that that's MY responsibility, but you get the point}.

But I can pray now.  And I have more time for a quiet time. I've opened my Bible more in the last three weeks than I have in the last three months. And ya know what?  It feels good!

The devil knows our weaknesses.  He knew Eve's.  He knows mine is busyness. Plain and simple. I believe if we don't make time for God in our lives, He'll make time for us.  Unfortunately, I'm having to learn the hard way now, but the lesson will be worth the journey.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Introducing Felicia

Hello, Peeps!  Meet my new BFF for the summer!  Isn't she GOR-geous!!

I'm justa boot skoot boogying over here in my crazy world, let me tell ya!

My readers are probably sick to death of hearing about my stupid story, but for those of you that aren't, or are new to my blog, well, grab a cosmo and let me tell you about it!  But bring me one, too! With one of those stirring straws. And a lime on the side {I can just hear somebody saying, "Is that ALL you need? Can I get you anything else, Laura?"}.

Two weeks ago, I fell on our stairs at home.  I was on the fourth stair from the bottom when I felt my foot slip out from under me {our stairs are wood and not carpeted}.  I remember hitting my elbow and my hip really hard and for the life of me, I can't remember how I injured my foot.  I don't know what I hit or how I did it, but I knew. I just knew when the pain finally registered that something wasn't right.  I seriously thought I had broken it.  Wayne and Alise had already gone to bed, so yes, I was THAT woman sitting at the bottom of our staircase hollering, "Help me! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Definitely not my finest moment.

Last week, I finally decided to get up the nerve to see an orthopedist.  I had x-rays done in the ER the night that I fell and was told that nothing was broken and that it was just a bad sprain.  I say, "nerve," simply because I was worried I didn't get the correct diagnosis in the ER that night.  I still had the bad bruising, the swelling, and I couldn't put any pressure on my foot. I was back to thinking that maybe it really was broken.

And that's when Felicia entered my life.  It was love at first sight, as you can imagine!  We hugged and kissed and told each other how we were SO excited that we were going to get to spend the rest of the summer together! Can't you just picture it!?

{Don't tell Felicia, but I actually asked if she came in a different color!}

Two things I can be happy about through all this:

1.  Nothing was broken.  I actually told someone they would have to PEEL me from my bed and CARRY me to the OR if I had to have surgery.  This is coming from a 42 year old Mama that has never had surgery or been to the ER until two weeks ago. So, seriously, I thank God for my health.

2. I got a pedicure five days before my fall.  And actually Wayne likes to mention from time to time that if I hadn't gotten the pedicure, I probably wouldn't have fallen.  He said the bottom of my feet were too slick to match the slick wood of the stairs.  Whatevah.  I'm just thankful my toes are a beautiful color for the long haul.  Felicia may even have to stare from the sidelines while I get a polish change before this is all over!

And just for the record, Felicia is SUCH the party pooper!! She decided that after putting up with me all day, that she couldn't even FATHOM the thought of going out to eat with my girlfriends last week! Well, la-te-da!

Or maybe it's the thought that I couldn't FATHOM her being with ME! 

She just can't handle the fact that I rocked my bandages and crutches with this Pinterest inspired look!  She said shorts were not the appropriate attire for the Warehouse restaurant! And in the famous words of Auntie Em, "Being a Christian lady, I just couldn't repeat where I told Felicia to stick it!"

But here are a few pics of Felicia and some of her friends that she WOULD hang out with this week!

Sorry to kill you with my knees in this picture, but here's Felicia meeting Wendy Wedge for the first time.  I bought these wedges at Target in early Spring and oh, if I had only known what a blessing they would be!  Wendy is the perfect "lift" for Felicia.  I'm pretty sure the two of them will be getting along just fine this summer!  They're practically BFFs already and they see each other nearly every day!

I took this picture of Pinky Converse and Felicia in the car this past weekend while Wayne and Alise picked up Jack from the groomers.  Oh boy!  These two don't click very well.  I think Felicia's jealous of Pinky.  And Pinky doesn't "support" Felicia the way Wendy does.  Hope there isn't ever a cat fight!

Why Felicia?  Whell...I asked her the same thing!  She told me her name was Felicia so that after our little love affair for the summer is over, I can say, "Bye, Felicia!" {The little catch phrase that everyone seems to be saying right now!  It started in the movie, Friday, which I did not see, nor care to see.  But apparently, it's an "irrelevant person that no one is sad to see go or leave."} So even my Felicia knows that her time is short lived and I'm looking forward to the day I can say, "Bye, Felicia!"

Cheers to THAT, y'all!

Mingle 240      

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites For 4th of July

Update: Thank you for your emails & comments on Wednesday regarding this post.  I haven't had a chance to respond to everyone yet, but I will this weekend. A few hours after I hit the 'publish' button, I saw this article and I think it goes right along with what I was trying to convey with finding our 'identity' through our 'iddictions' {not a typo}. The comparison iddiction is so not what God wants for us! You can read this well written article by clicking HERE.

Now on to today's post.

4th of July is only two weeks away!  Yikes!  I don't know about you, but Independence Day always marks the middle of summer here for us in Louisiana. Which means we're on the downhill slide to school starting back!  Yuck!  Who wants to think about that today though?

Instead, I thought I would share FIVE things that would be perfect for any backyard 4th of July party. Do you have plans for the day?  We're throwing a big bash at our house this year with great friends, delicious food, and a wonderful time! Oh!  And some fans!  Gotta have lots of fans blowing cool air in our neck of the woods!  We love to entertain in our backyard at the pool and outdoor kitchen area! Here are some ideas for your party! 

{one.} If you're fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, then chances are, your entertainment is set! Kids as well as adults always like to hang out by the pool - especially if snack and drinks are nearby. Just be sure you have lots of balls, rings, diving sticks, and noodles.  Red, white, and blue floats will give your pool party some real patriotic flair.  

I thought this inflatable slide was neat!  We don't have a diving board or slide for our pool, so the kids would really like this! You may want to set up a volley ball net for the older kids and adults. Another fun game kids like to play is pool basketball.  We have a blow up basketball goal that floats in the pool as the kids try to score points from all over the pool. And have you seen the new noodles at Walmart? The ones with "heads"?  Sorry, but I couldn't find a picture of them online.  They are a little more expensive than the regular pool noodles, but cute for the little ones.

If you don't have a hole called a pool in your backyard, that's okay, too, because Pinterest has you covered.  I love these party buckets for kids!  You can fill them with bubbles, glow necklaces, sparklers, sidewalk chalk, and just about anything else that says summer.

{two.} We'll be serving up burgers with all the trimmings this year at our party. They're easy to grill and Wayne likes to start them early so that he has time to socialize when our guests arrive. We just keep them covered and warm until everyone is ready to eat.  When we host big groups, we tend to eat more in a "buffet style." That way, guests can eat when they're ready.  I normally have a food bar of some type, so this year, I'll have all the hamburger trimmings set up so everyone can customize their own burger. I usually serve things like crispy bacon, a variety of sliced cheeses, carmelized onions, and jalapeƱos.

{three.} Parties are also a great opportunity to try new recipes! I'm really wanting to try new cole slaw and pasta salad recipes.  I think a great slaw would go great with my favorite Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe. But the one recipe I WILL be serving up on July 4th is my baked beans. Well, it's not actually mine, but I'll share it anyway!  They are always a hit.  This year, I'll probably bake them in a 9 x 13 and then transfer them to a crockpot to keep warm.

Baked Beans

4 cups pork and beans
1/2 lb bacon, fried crisp
1 cup ketchup
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 t minced garlic
2 T prepared mustard
3/4 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 t black pepper

1 cup crumbled bacon
3 T plain flour
3/4 cup brown sugar

Saute vegetables in 1/2 cup bacon drippings or oil until tender.  Pour beans into 2-quart baking dish and add remaining ingredients.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 2 hours.  Remove from oven and cover with topping made by mixing bacon, flour, and brown sugar.  Return beans to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes so topping will get bubbly and crisp. 

Note: I usually make this recipe without the topping mixture.  Just because. Enjoy! (Recipe courtesy of Cooking & Gardening with Dianne cookbook)

{four.} It's not 4th of July if you're not serving up a nice, cold glass of lemonade!  And one of my favorite blogs is serving it up old-style!  Christina at The New Mrs. has a great looking recipe I plan on trying for our party in a few weeks!  I like to add lemons and strawberries to the lemonade for a pretty look.

 diy lemonade stand. would be awesome as a kissing booth, cake table or candy station at your wedding.

And speaking of lemonade, a fun tradition to start with the kiddos is to set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood. Now, unlike most moms, I kinda discourage this for Alise because of where we live.  Even though I refer to our home as "the hood" sometimes, we don't actually live in a high-traveled neighborhood to support a lemonade stand, much to Alise's disappointment. But it's still a valid thought.  Ya know?  For y'all, of course!

{five.} No summer party would be complete without dessert.  If summer screams ice cream, then 4th of July goes hand in hand with some warm apple pie! I plan to serve both!! Do you have a favorite apple pie recipe?  Do you make your own crust?  I believe in the fact that there's a reason God made pre-made pie crusts in the dairy section of the grocery store!  Therefore, I will be serving up apple pie {recipe needed, please!} on a pre-made crust topped with ice cream!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ideas for the perfect Independence Day Bash!  I hope you're red, white, and blue party is a hit, too!  Don't forget the fireworks!! And as always, you can follow me on Bloglovin & Instagram. The links are under my profile picture.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

Today I'm linking up with these party girls!