Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Perfect Cake For Easter

I've got a DELICIOUS, and LIGHT, and PERFECT for SPRING and EASTER cake recipe for y'all today. Thanks to Pinterest, Alise and I did a little baking last week in the kitchen and I got to share some memories of my grandmother with her while we were making it. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was craving strawberry cake and noticed that I had a box mix in the pantry. I had planned to use regular store bought icing, but while Alise and I were on our walk, I got to thinking about my grandmother and how much strawberry poke cake reminded me of her.  Luckily, I had a box of jello in the pantry, too. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE

The family loved it! Wayne ate two pieces.  I took a few pieces to Stephanie and her friends and they devoured it. Within a few hours, she was texting me asking if I could make a whole cake just for them! Ha!  I told her maybe. 

But seriously.  I wasn't too sure about putting jello in a cake when I saw my grandmother do it for the first time. She said, "Trust me." And she was right. This cake is perfect for Easter or a spring brunch. The only change I made to the recipe is that I used strawberry cake mix instead of a white mix. Enjoy! 

Linking up with Tasty Tuesday and Try It Thursday.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mini Me Monday

I decided to steal the idea of Mini Me Monday from Anne, even though my own Mini Me is quite older than her cutie. Alise deserves her own post for the day simply because I feel like lately, it's all been about Big Sister. But please do not think that she gets lost in the shuffle or left behind because I promise you, she is right there, smack in the middle, of our family of four! 

I don't believe I've mentioned lately, but I've been blogging for ELEVEN years this month, y'all!  Eleven. freaking. years. And I'm so glad I started! Alise wasn't even a year old when I read about blogging being the newest rage in a magazine one night and decided to try it. And The Horton Family was born. Internet-ly. Here's the first picture of Baby Girl that I ever posted on my blog and pasting it here now just brings tears to my eyes! Because this birthday party for a friend's one year old daughter seems like yesterday. The purple eye shadow? Not so much. 

I remember those big, beautiful blue eyes and thinking how blessed I was that God had answered my prayers. Now her eyes are more hazel like her daddy's and I'm always telling her to "open your eyes" for pictures. She has a bad habit of squinting. I think it's from all the flashes from when she was a baby because it seemed I was constantly taking her picture. Constantly taking a picture of her just staring back at me with that lost look on her face.  It seems like it took her forever to learn how to smile. 

Did I ever tell y'all that we never received Alise's birth certificate because of Hurricane Katrina? I mean, I have it now, but we never received the first "official" one. We had actually gone to Alabama a few days before the hurricane hit to visit Wayne's grandmother, Alise's great-grandmother. On our way home, we noticed how crazy the interstates were with traffic and we were totally oblivious to what was about to happen a day after we got home. I remember breast feeding Alise in our old, burgundy recliner and watching the news on TV. It finally hit me that we had never received her birth certificate and I was a little worried about how I was going to get it since they are processed in New Orleans, but of course, everything worked out!

I remember giving this girlie a bath one night (I can still see the gold bathroom tile in my head!) just as she was starting to make those first talking sounds and longing so much for the day that she would say, Mama. Of course, Dada, ended up being her first word and I was kinda disappointed, but I will never forget that longing of hearing my Baby Girl call me Mama. Now? I'm not gonna lie. Some days hearing Mama over and over and over again has been hard, but that word coming from her lips will always be music to my ears.

Alise has danced, tumbled, batted, dribbled, and cheered her way through life these last {almost} twelve years. These days, she's like any other tween, addicted to her cell phone and her friends. She is still my Mini Me, my shadow, and my best friend. It's so hard now to know when to draw the mother or the friend line. I have to constantly remind myself that I am her mother first. We talk about everything and she's open and honest with me. I am so proud of her and so thankful that God blessed me with such a beautiful little girl. She will forever be my Baby Girl!  I love you, Alise!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites: Recap

Hello, Girls!  I survived Memphis, Bon Jovi, and a Southern book signing and lived to tell about it, so here we go!

{Favorite Band.} I posted a snippet of the final concert song, Livin' On A Prayer, on my IG last week and my best friend, Tracy, asked, "Did you win for biggest hair?" That totally cracked me up and I couldn't believe I didn't think about it, but YES, Tracy! My hair was much bigger than Jon's that night! Ha! Who would have ever thought?! The concert was everything this 80's girl had hoped it would be with the exception of Richie Sambora and a few old favorite tunes, but hey!  We woulda been there all night if he had played each and every one. I was beginning to get a little worried, though, because he never played LOAP and I told Wayne, "I am NOT leaving this FedEx Forum until he plays LOAP!  The man has to freaking play LOAP!" The band encored with Dead or Alive and finally, Livin' On A Prayer!!  I was soooo happy! The crowd went crazy! I will say this: the band just doesn't get around like they use too!  Ha! Wayne and I had a great weekend away and it was very much needed!!

{Favorite Author.} So it was home from Memphis late Saturday night, and then I headed out Sunday morning with the girls to a book signing by one of our favorite Southern authors. I believe I'm the only one in the group that hasn't even read the first book of Greg Iles' trilogy, but I have read other books that he's written. It was a gorgeous day for a book signing on the very front porch of an old antebellum home, Dunleith.  There was music and food and we relaxed and cooled our heels under the massive oak trees. We had dinner at the antebellum home later that evening and the menu was catered and based off references from the book. The food was delicious!

And...!  We may have made the front page of the Natchez local newspaper! Eek!

{Favorite Products.} Of course I did LOTS of damage to my debit card while we were in Memphis! And I knew when I walked in Sephora to kill time while Wayne was in another store that I truly did not need to be in there. On top of buying some things that I really needed, I bought this Marc Jacobs' eye candy and I'm trying a neutral shade of Anastasia lipgloss. Y'all know I like bright colors, so I'm not sure how long it will last...both girls have already called dibs on the tube! 

{Favorite Book.} While Wayne was browsing in the new Bass Pro at the Pyramid in Memphis, I shmoozed on up to the bar, ordered a cosmo, and finished a really, really good book called, Along The Infinite Sea. I loved it! Shay from Mix and Match Mama mentioned it recently and so I decided to read it, too.  I had no idea this book was the third in a series. For some crazy reason, while I was reading the book, it seemed very Hemingway-isc to me. If that makes any sense at all! Ha!

{Favorite Blouse.} So, this is what I wore to Bon Jovi AND to Greg Iles' book signing on Sunday. Well, I didn't wear the leather pants and suede booties on Sunday because it was oh-so hot, but this blouse is becoming a fast spring (and summer!) favorite. I bought it shortly after Christmas at Stein Mart and nearly passed it up because I knew that I couldn't wear it to work.  I am so glad that I changed my mind because I absolutely love it! You may be seeing it alot here on the blog! 

{Favorite Drink.} I am becoming quite addicted to the Sonic Frozen Lemonades. Don't tell me how many calories they have because I would probably die, but I love this drink! And it will be the perfect non-alcoholic beverage for laying out by the pool this summer. 

{Favorite Blog Post.} I've been reading Allison's blog for a while and I think all her GYPO wardrobe challenges are so fun. If you're interested in kicking up your outfits a notch, check out her post about simple swaps for spring! I loved it and was inspired to make some changes myself! 

{Favorite Jewelry Box.} And last but not least, I got to visit one of my favorite jewelry stores while I was in Memphis! Eek!  But I can't tell you what I purchased because a dear, blog bestie and I will be twinning again soon!  Can't wait for her birthday to get here!! 

What are your plans for the weekend? My Baby Girls both have pedicure gift certificates that are burning a hole in their pockets, so we're doing that on Saturday and then heading to the theater to see Beauty & The Beast! Can't wait for our Girls Day! 

I'm linking up with these bloggers: Momfessionals, Queen In Between, The Pleated Poppy, The Blended Blog, and Get Your Pretty On

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: Big Hair Version

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Memphis! 

We have a favorite Irish dive in downtown Memphis called Huey's that we like to go to and I'm thinking about having my first green beer today.  What do you think?  I'm NOT a beer drinker, so I may have to let Wayne finish it, but I think I want to try it.  Just for the heck of it! 

Here are a few of my Friday Favorites for the week. I hope they make you smile, or bring back some memories, or give you a spark for the day. Where ever you are, kick back and enjoy the weekend!

{Favorite Concert.} Well, by the time you're reading this, I will have survived {hopefully!} my first Bon Jovi concert!!  #rockon #livingonaprayer. This will be one to scratch off the ol' bucket list! I have always, always, ALWAYS wanted to see them in concert. When I was a teenager, they came to Monroe with another band, but my strict parents wouldn't let me go.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband came to the rescue nearly thirty years later and made my dream happen {And he's still making all my dreams come true}!  More on the concert next week! 

{Favorite Article.} Why Big Hair Will Always Be In Style Down South. Click on the link and have a smile this morning with your coffee. Or Diet Coke. This article is ME, y'all. I think I've shared here on the blog before that Dolly is the reason for my big hair today.  I grew up belting out "I Will Always Love You" in our "formal" living room back in the '70's before Whitney Houston even held a microphone.  Well, maybe I wouldn't go that far, but still {And I like her version, too!}. Maybe this is why I still love the "hair bands" of the '80s!! Ha! 

So from hair to food...

{Favorite Menu.} I saw this on Pinterest this week and decided that I really wanted to incorporate a few of these ideas in our weekly menu. My family would say, "What weekly menu?" as my planning has currently hit an all-time low. Even my 22 year old wants to know, "Mama, why don't you cook anymore?" Ugh. We already have a Taco Tuesday - usually! - but I would love a Meatless Monday with all the veggies this summer and I need to do a little more research on Sheet Pan Dinners. One thing is for certain, my family would totally wig out at the Sandwich option. They don't believe in sandwiches. Really?

{Favorite Craving.} Y'all, it's nearly strawberry season and for some reason, I am craving a strawberry cake! Not a trifle with the angel food cake, but a real, home made strawberry cake. I can't decide if I want just seven minute icing/frosting or if I should do the strawberry icing with real strawberries. That may be overkill since I'm really not a strawberry kinda girl. Weird, right?

{Favorite Worst Drink.} Alise likes to stop and get a "snack" after school when I pick her up and fortunately there is a McDonald's right down the road.  We've gone through the drive-thru twice to get a Shamrock Shake, but the machine has always been broken. We should have taken that as an omen. The machine was working this week and so we stopped and got the milkshake and it was the worst thing I've had in a very long time. That was $3 down the drain because Alise couldn't drink it, either. If you like mint flavor, then you MIGHT like it. OMGosh, it was awful! I say pass up the St. Paddy's Day treat and get a Diet Coke instead!  Bleh

And now to TV...

{Favorite Binge.} I shared earlier in the week that we did absolutely NOTHING this past weekend to celebrate DST but eat pork chops that looked like beef instead of the chicken I was craving {SC!}, but oh, well!  I didn't have to grill it! If there was ever a series that Wayne and I began from the very beginning and watched the entire way through, it was The Sopranos. Whell...we started watching the series again this past weekend. Alise wasn't allowed in the theater room. We couldn't believe that the show started on HBO in 1999! Wow! It seems like yesterday that we were getting together with our friends on Sundays at 8 to watch.

{Favorite Text.} And speaking of Reese Witherspoon {in the big hair article!}, if you're not following her on IG, you should be. Sometimes she is so hilarious.  I saw this on my feed on Monday and I just totally cracked up laughing! Is anyone watching this show on HBO?

I hope y'all have a fun Friday!  The Mr. and I will be recovering from a night of head banging {not really!} and a very, very late night on Beale Street here in Memphis. I wanted to take in all of downtown since we'll be leaving to stay in another area for the remainder of our trip. If you've never been to Beale Street, it's kinda like a tamer version of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. If you haven't been to Bourbon, then you couldn't possibly imagine. Gonna do some shopping, lots of walking and eating. And of course, a visit to my favorite jewelry store is on the list!  You can follow my crazyness and stupidity on Instagram and Snapchat!

Here are some other posts from this week that you might like: Cloth Gown, Old Navy Finds For Spring.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cloth Gown

So I told y'all recently that I owned a sunbed.

And I may or may not have mentioned the fact that my favorite doctor in the whole. wide. world. - the same God-like doctor that stayed by my side through my entire labor to deliver Alise - is no longer with the medical group she was with and I recently had to switch to another doctor in the group. Wheeellll...last week was my annual check up. And it wasn't fun, let me tell ya!

I swear the lady reads my blog! {waving} Hey, Doc!

First of all, those were the fastest forty minutes of sitting in an GYN's office that I have ever experienced in my entire life! Forty minutes. Tops! The longest I ever waited for my previous doctor was four hours.  Don't judge. You would wait, too, if this doctor saved your life from a tubal pregnancy.

So I'm already in a pissy mood and I truly, truly do not want to be in this office. The nurse triages me, I ignore the number on the scale, and pass on labs. The nurse is ticking me off because she's asking me questions that my regular nurse/doctor would already know. She would never have asked me about the other pregnancies. I notice a rather tall woman wearing green scrubs walk down the hall to an office that I know for a fact use to belong to "my" doctor, because I was counseled several times in that office. And I hate what little decor I can see from where I'm sitting. I'm reminded of the first time I was ever in Dr. S's office.  Wayne was with me. We had decided we wanted to have a baby and she told us, "That's the best news I've heard all day!" She was always so happy for me.

I'm finally directed to a room and I see a cloth - CLOTH!!! - gown laying on the exam table.  I asked, "Oh, no! What happened to the paper gowns we use to have?" The nurse said, "Oh, we've gone paperless.  We're using cloth gowns now."  I wanted to ask, "From the freaking 1960's?!?  Omg, they were awful looking and I cringed as I got undressed thinking that the gown I was putting on had not been washed and I was putting someone else's funk on me. Seriously {When I finished and put my own clothes back on, I saw no basket or anywhere to put the gown. I left it on the exam table and thought, "Oh my God!  They really are reusing these gowns! I really did get someone else's funk on me!}.

So the doc comes in - the same doc I saw walking down the hall, shakes my hand, never asks a thing about me, my family, or anything except, yep!  You guessed it!  "DO YOU LAY IN THE SUNBED?"

My mouth literally dropped open. I mean, this was before she even EXAMINED anything! And I was covered up by the cloth gown! Luckily, though, I was on top of my game that day and I came back with, "I OWN a sunbed." To which, said doctor replied, "Oh! Then I won't be able to tell you anything anyway. The ones of you that own your own sunbeds are the hardest to convince." 

MOTHER of God, get me outta here.

And He answered my prayers because three minutes later, I was fully clothed and walking out the front door. 

Two more things happened.  She reprimanded me about the mammogram that I'm nearly two years past due on. She insisted that I go right then! Right after my appointment with her. I'll take that one. But THEN she made the comment, "Ladies hate coming to the doctor as much as they hate getting a root canal."

I'm like, looking around and thinking WHO IS THIS LADY!?! And how does she know about my root canal??  So I told her I nearly died from one in January and she hushed about that.

My heart just missed Dr. S that day. She would have asked about Alise and how things were going at my job.  She would have asked about Wayne and what was going on in my life. She would have asked about the night sweats and how the samples she had given me had worked. She would have listened to me and we would have laughed together like we have for well over twelve years and most assuredly, she would have hugged me when she left.  Cloth gown from the 1960's and all. 

But none of that happened.

Instead, I walked out the front door.

In forty minutes.