Monday, February 08, 2016

Blog Break

Alise is out for Mardi Gras break and has been living it up this weekend with a friend in Dallas.  I miss her so much, but she deserves some fun time. On the other hand, I've been sick and not feeling well this weekend, so I've decided to take a break from blogging. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better soon and will return next week!

To all my Louisiana friends, Happy Mardi Gras! Laissez les bons temps rouler (Pronounced: Lay say lay bohn tohn roo lay)!! See? I taught you some French this morning!

Friday, February 05, 2016

Cajun Style Super Bowl Party

Disclaimer: In honor of SUPERBOWL WEEKEND, I've decided to repost last year's post about hosting a Cajun themed party for the big day! I hope you enjoy it!

We're kicking it up "Cajun Style" for the Super Bowl this weekend at our house!!

Normally, when we have football parties at our house, I go all out with appetizers.  I mean, all. out.  I probably make about 15 different things and most of the time, guests bring things, too, so there is always plenty of food.

THIS YEAR, Wayne and some friends of ours have gotten on a shrimp kick so they've decided we're going to have SHRIMP for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Well, last Saturday night, I'm laying in bed because I can't sleep, and this awesome idea hits me!  Why not make it a "Cajun style" party?!  Making just a handful of dishes instead of 15 different things would be SO much easier!  And then!  In the words of Emerill, BAM!  An idea was born!

Here are my five favorite Cajun Dishes for a Super Bowl party!

{one.}  Gumbo.  With lots of rice.  Maybe you'd think being from Louisiana, I would have this AWESOME gumbo recipe.  And I do!  Except it comes out of a package and I won't apologize because it's the best darn gumbo this side of NOLA in my book!  I use Black Magic gumbo mix to feed my peeps and we are known to add a little Tabasco or Tony's from time to time to give it that extra kick!!  It's SO easy!  All you have to do is add chicken and sausage.  And you don't have all that okra and tomatoes floating around!  Bleh!  Just a nice brown, Cajun roux with your choice of meat.  Perfecto!  I must say that it makes alot and that's why I like to serve it for crowds.  The three of us can have leftovers for serveral days, but most of the time, I freeze it for another meal later.

{two.}  Natchitoches Meat Pies.  You don't know what you're missing if you've never tried one!  Natchitoches Meat Pies are a staple here in Louisiana!  My favorite ones are stuffed with hamburger and sausage and lots of spices, but they come in all kinds of varieties.  And even though I've made these several times on my own, I really prefer the store bought mini meat pies, due to the time saving.  You can find them in your local freezer section.  And I highly recommend Hidden Valley Ranch's Spicy Ranch Dressing as a dipping sauce!  

{three.}  We have a thing here we call, Low Country Boil.  It consists of setting a big ol' pot on a gas or butane burner outside, filling it with water and lots and lots of cajun - creole seasoning {we call it "crab mix" where I live because there is a picture of a crab on the box}, getting the water to a RAGIN CAJUN boil and then throwing in shrimp, corn, andouille sausage, and potatoes.  I have a sneaky feeling this is what Wayne has in mind to do this weekend for the game! In the Spring, we'll do the exact same thing, only we'll use crawfish instead of shrimp.  Or maybe even both!

{picture source HERE}

{four.}  Etouffee.  One of the first recipes I ever posted on my blog was for Etouffee.  You can check out the recipe HERE.  One of my mother's friends gave her this recipe and it was a treat when Moma made it when I was growing up because it meant that "company was coming!"  She would make this and invite our neighbors down the street over and the kids would play outside till dark while the grown ups played cards inside.  Fun times!

{five.}  Every party needs something sweet and with all this good food, there's only ONE Cajun dessert that will work, and that's KING CAKE!!  Love, love, love me some King Cake!!  I've even made it before, but it's just not the same as an original cake from South Louisiana!  If you're interested in trying a low-fat version of King Cake using cinnamon rolls in a can, click HERE!  The great thing about King Cakes is that you can actually order them from bakeries in South Louisiana, but the shipping can be preeettty pricey!!  Here are some of my favorite bakeries to purchase King Cakes:

{picture source HERE}

Watch out for that baby in the cake!  Tradition says that whoever gets the baby has to make the King Cake next year!!

Happy Super Bowl Weekend!  I hope your team wins!!

P.S. I'm taking blog questions and I will answer them next week in a post! Leave me a question in the comments!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

I Finally Clicked "Publish"

Disclaimer: This post has been a long time coming!  It's been in my 'drafts' folder for a while and I have no other excuse as to why I decided to post it, except for the fact that I went to a whole helluva lotta trouble to upload these pictures! AND because I promised my best friend, Andrea, that I would link up to her My Refined Style party today!  I really enjoy her linkup because it focuses on women's fashion for my age group - nothing against the youngsters! Enjoy!

I thought it would be fun today to share some outfits that I've worn over the last few months. Even though I don't consider myself a fashion blogger, it's fun to share some outfits from time to time.

I wore this outfit to church one mild November Sunday and afterwards, we went to Walmart to buy groceries.  I kid you not, I had these two women come up to me and say, "We just LOVE your outfit!" One of them said, "I had to go get my friend!  She was somewhere else in the store and I had to track her down and say, 'Come see this outfit that this girl's got on!" So they tracked me down in the frozen food aisle of Walmart!  We all had a good laugh!  They were very nice and their comments made my day! I'm a sucker for the romantic look - with a little leopard edge, of course! Maybe next time, I'll share a picture of this cardigan with a leopard swing dress and boots, which is another way I like to wear it. SOO cute!

off white tunic - Kara's
leopard leggings - Kara's
OTK boots - Target
blush cardigan - Target
necklace - Twisted Peacock

I wore this black and gray outfit to work the day after a field trip and even though it was a great hair day, I was SO tired! I wanted an outfit that I didn't have to think about that day, if that makes sense. I bought the tunic this summer when I still had Felicia and just hadn't worn it yet. What can I say? The stars aligned, the day was much cooler, and I cut those tags!

gray shirt - old
tunic - Target
black jeggins - old
boots - Nordstrom
necklace - Charming Charlie's

I am so stinkin' proud of this outfit!  I bought it right off the mannequin, y'all!! One Saturday, I went to get a mani-pedi, but I still wasn't feeling like myself and needed a pick me up! I saw on IG that a local boutique was offering 30% off and decided to stop by on my way home.  As soon as I walked through the door, I saw this outfit!  I have been looking for something in olive for fall and this was it! I bought everything but the hat and leggins! In the first picture, you see my smart a$$ look at my ten year old photographer.  I'm gritting my teeth and saying, "Just take the $%&@ picture!!" Well, she ended up doing the "burst thing" and got me looking at my sling back booties that Annie helped me pick out!  Can't believe I ever thought about returning these bad boys!  I love them!! Pointy toe and all!! And such a good hair day!!
olive tunic - Pelican District
necklace - Pelican District
leopard leggings - Kara's
booties - Nordstrom

Another outfit that I'm so proud of! I was pinning away on the couch one night while Wayne was watching TV when Miss Swift's look popped up on my feed! I was like, "Whoa!  I have everything for this!"  Then I got a wild hair to pair the sweater with my chambray shirt and wear a statement necklace like I've seen everywhere and never had the opportunity to try. My pearls were perfect and I decided to wear boots instead of flats.  I wore this outfit to Alise's Thanksgiving lunch at school.
sweater - New York & Co.
shirt - Forever 21
pants - Target
necklace - Altar'd State
boots - Nordstrom

And this is what I wore to the Star Wars movie! With my tag showing!

 shirt - Forever 21
scarf - Dillard's
 pants - TJ Maxx (old)
boots - Nordstrom

I wore this houndstooth swing jacket the day after Alabama won the National Championship Game. It looks like the lower half of my body is cut off, but I swear I was wearing black pants and heels. Lots of meetings that day!  I can't begin to tell you how old the jacket and crimson turtleneck are!

swing jacket - Belk (old)
short-sleeved turtleneck - Belk (old)
pants - New York & Co.

This outfit is definitely one of my new favorites!  I love all the lace and ruffles and floral print! I wore this to Alise's awards program a few weeks ago, to church, to the office, and to a birthday dinner with friends and I've gotten so many compliments. This outfit is just ME! I'm planning to style it with a black lace cardi with fringe soon.

lace blouse - Buckle
floral dress - Rusted Flair Boutique
leggings - old
OTK boots - Target

And this is the blouse that I saw on Pinterest and fell in love with even before Sheaffer named it as one of her Must Haves.  But I totally agree!  So much so that I ordered another in ivory a few weeks after this one arrived! I wore this to Leigh's birthday party in December. Wish I was as tall as the model! Ha! I feel so short in this pic for my 5'4" self!

 LUSH blouse - Nordstrom
faux leather leggings - Nordstrom
boots - Nordstrom

Just a friendly reminder that some of my favorite fashionistas and I have a Fashion Over 40 Board on Pinterest. I have gotten several emails from women who are loving our board and enjoy browsing our board for inspiration. That's awesome! You can follow, too, or, if you would like to pin to the board, all you need to do is send me your email address and I'll hook you up!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Currently ~ February 2016

Today I'm linking up with Anne and Jenna for February's Currently Linkup! Today's prompts were a little harder for me, but I decided to participate anyway. This is what I'm currently up to:

sending// It's February and as cheesy as this may sound, I'm sending love to my two favorite people in the world! They truly are the joys in my life! I am blessed with a husband who works ever so hard to provide for us, who comes home every night to his family, and would honestly give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.  He's my rock, my best friend, and the one who can always talk me down from the ledge!  Ha!

As for Baby Girl, well, that's what she'll always be! My Baby Girl! To think how selfish I once was! She has taught me many things over her {almost} eleven years and one of them is that one of God's greatest blessings is being able to simply be called, "Mom." I love her with everything that is in me and I am so stinkin' proud of her!

eating// Lots and lots of cake! I had chocolate for my birthday! Mr. Horton did very well and ordered my beautiful cake from a local bakery.  It was delicious! And I may or may not have had a piece for breakfast a couple days that week, too! Last week when I was in South Louisiana, I ordered not one, not two, but FOUR King Cakes from my favorite bakery, Ambrosia. I gave three away as gifts. There is just something about a King Cake from South Louisiana!  They're the best!

dreaming// I don't think I've had a chance to mention yet, but Wayne is going to be in his best friend's wedding this summer in...{wait for it!}...CALIFORNIA!  Eek! As I type, I can't remember if it's Sand Diego {never been before} or San Francisco {been}, but STILL! We're going back to Cali, baby! We would love, love, LOVE to drive through Napa and visit some wineries and tour the northern part of the state, but the extra time there is contingent on some other things that will be going on this summer as well, so we'll see. But I'm still California dreaming of sunshine, beaches, and warmer temps!

smelling// FOOD {besides cake!} and my family is oh-so happy!  No more slacking! Mama is cooking again and everyone has smiles on their faces! When I'm at a loss of what to cook or coming off a no-cooking binge, I always pull out my crockpot! There's just something about coming home to the smell {and convenience} of supper already cooking! Friday evening, we had pulled pork sandwiches waiting on us as we walked through the door!  Yummy!

The Horton Family: Pulled Pork Sandwiches:

hearting// When I walked into my very first Kendra Scott store a few weeks ago in Baton Rouge and saw the new spring line on display, my heart kinda melted.  If a heart can melt over jewelry, that is. I truly believe mine can! There, in the center of the display, was THIS gorgeous baby and it was in my favorite color and definitely calling my name! I bought this necklace with some of my birthday money and I love it! #purplepower

So that's what I'm currently sending, eating, dreaming, smelling, and hearting this month! Thanks for reading today, Peeps!  I'm linking this post up with several other blog hops this week including Momfessionals, A. Liz Adventures, and my friend, Michelle's, NEW link up party, too!

Also!  A shout out to my Fashionista Sista, Shelly, over at The Queen in Between and her monthly link up featuring Queen Bees! Next week's writing prompt is "women that love others well through actions." The fun starts next Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

I am happy to report that the greatest procrastination project of the YEAR is finally in the books! Y'all know what I'm talking about! That &%@*$!&$*#@%#$ Science Fair Project! AND...I am also happy to report that NO alcohol was involved! AND the only slight disagreement that emerged was the one where Mr. Horton and I argued over what type of plate to use for the experiment.  The instructions called for paper and I only had styrofoam {Hefty - the only brand I use}, so of course, HE had to go to the store and buy PAPER plates, but other than that, the project - AND REPORT - is ovah and in the books!  Done! Take THAT Science Fair! {If there was a fist bump emoji in Blog Land, I would totally be using it right now!} Ok, but I DO hafta say, that burnt chocolate really, really stinks! We had to open all the windows to get that nasty smell out of the house!

Our weekend started on Thursday with Alise and I cheering on the ULM Ladies from COURT SIDE, baby! We have become quite good friends with one of the marketing directors for the college and when he saw Alise and I in our regular seats, he asked if we would like to sit court side because the person who had them would not be attending and told him to give the seats to someone else.  Of course, I was not as gung-ho about it as Alise was!  She was dying to sit on the court and I kept seeing a replay on social media of me getting hit in the face with a basketball, but I caved and we did it!  I won't say that just about every time the ball got thrown our way that I didn't jump, but it was a fun Mommie-Daughter moment, none the less!  Both our girls, S & D, got to play so it was fun cheering for them and being so close to the action! You probably saw this pic on IG!

We had some night time drama later that night at our house.  When we got home, Alise would not let me out of her sight!  I had to sit in the bathroom with her while she got a shower.  Then I had to stay in her room while she got her night clothes on.  I was like, "WHAT is the deal?!  Why are you so scared?  Why are you acting this way?!"  The fifth graders started the DARE Program on Thursday and apparently there had been a rather graphic video of drug use/abuse and it scared her to death! We are very careful with what we let Alise watch on TV and although we've talked with her about drugs and alcohol, she's never "seen" anything like she did at school and apparently her eyes were opened!  I wanted to send a text to our moms group to find out if anyone else was having a kid with a night time meltdown over the video, but I texted her teacher instead. Jessica said the video was a little rough. I finally got her calmed down and we talked about what she had seen and the whole "just say no" thing, but she still had to end up sleeping in our bed. I texted Jessica back that if one sleepless night kept her off drugs, then I could handle it. It was a rough night.  As her mom, I didn't want to blow off her feelings and fears, and I'm learning with Alise that most of the time, she just wants me to listen to her. Since she didn't get much sleep, she called me Friday afternoon with a migraine. {sigh}

Saturday afternoon, we were back at Fant-Ewing for another game. And another nail biter! ULM won and afterwards, we took S to lunch - D already had plans - and I gave them their "prince cakes," which is just a smaller version of the traditional King Cake.  I bought them at Tummy Yummy, and I got a text later that night from S that said, "OMG!  That cake is so good!"  She had never had one before {Bless her heart!}. We ran errands later that evening and then came home and had family movie night with Alise.

Our big Mardi Gras parade was on Saturday night, but we bowed out like we usually do.  Not big Mardi Gras people, and we'll just save that reason for another post. However, a friend of mine was the King this year and the photographer that takes Alise's portraits was the Queen.  Congrats to both!

On Sunday, we went to church and then Alise went home with a friend afterwards.  Wayne treated me to Olive Garden for lunch.  We split the new Tour of Italy option where you can choose three dishes and it was perfect to share for lunch! Got my pasta fix for the week! We came home, took naps, Wayne headed to basketball practice, and I read a book.

After Alise got home from practice, we had to hit the books pretty hard for tests this week. This is our last week for basketball games, too, and we have THREE!  Eek! I'm ready for the season to be over. It's time for the next sport!

Baby Girl and I whipped up these bad boys this weekend!  Now that January is over, I'm ready for Valentine's Day!

Of course, Sunday evenings just wouldn't be complete without a little PBS entertainment! I'm loving Downton Abbey this season! The whole Mr. Carson and Ms. Hughes engagement and wedding has been so, so sweet. And I'm TOTALLY digging Lady Mary's new man! Wow! I'm still watching Mercy Street, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hang. It's not quite what I was hoping for, but I hate to give up on a show so soon!  Wayne and I are still watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix, that is, when he isn't watching college basketball on TV.  Ugh!

Hope everyone has a great week!