Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What's On Your Spring Bucket List?

Spring 2019 has arrived, y'all!  And so has the pollen! Our vehicles are proof! Here's to hoping that our allergies aren't affected! But isn't it exciting to see Spring's arrival? 

Last summer, I came up with my very first summer bucket list. And it was kinda fun! What I found was that instead of being afraid of failure, I actually enjoyed working toward something and succeeding at my goals. Now, I didn't accomplish all the things on my list, but it was still a success. 

What worked in the summer can work in the spring, too, right?

I think so! My spring bucket list is short and sweet simply because spring isn't quite as laid back as summer, but I think I've chosen some fun things.
Try a new salad recipe || I have found some delicious looking salad recipes on Pinterest lately and I really want to find a few new ones to rotate this summer for family meals and for entertaining. 

Picnic in the park || I really want to do this after church a few times on Sundays (before the days get too warm) in hopes that we can get back that family time that we've been missing due to our teenager's social calendar. 

Buy fresh flowers || I actually got this idea from another social media friend and even though we don't have street side florists or Trader Joes where I live, I'm determined to have fresh flowers in our home this spring. They make me smile.

Celebrate Easter || Cannot WAIT to celebrate Easter at the beach this year!

Host a Mexican fiesta || Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite days to celebrate and plans are already in the works for a fiesta by the pool this year. 

Spot a rainbow || Rainbows have always been special to me, but after Wayne's heart attack last summer, they hold even more meaning of God's promises. 

Enjoy an outside concert || As of this weekend, we should be able to mark this one off our list! We've made plans to attend an outdoor concert with friends at a local vineyard. 

Now if you've been following me for a few weeks, you just might remember that one of the prompts to 3 Things for April asks about your spring bucket list. I actually had the idea for this post before I decided to add it to our list for the series. And I am so excited to find out what is on all your bucket lists on April 8th. Write with me!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday Talk ~ Pinterest Fails

How in the world could I experience not one but TWO Pinterest fails in ONE weekend? Y'all!!

Are you like me? You see this delicious looking crock pot recipe on Pinterest because your thirteen year old daughter - who really will eat anything - is constantly nagging you to "cook something new because you make the same stuff over and over, " so you decide to make the picture perfect recipe because it requires little to no effort? Crock pot, remember? And then when the four hours are up, you open the lid and the mixture looks like white snot and you think, "oh, this isn't good." But you persevere and you serve it up anyway only for your family to say, "The best thing about supper tonight was the pasta. When can we get some more of that?" And then you remember that the pasta came out of a BOX with it's own seasoning mix. 

Well, Friends, that was me a few Sunday evenings ago. I went to bed that night thinking, "what a perfectly good waste of pork chops! I'll just stick to Shake N Bake." I should have known anything that required a can of Campbell's soup wouldn't turn out that great. Now, before you throw your soup cans at me, we've come to the point in our "health journey" that condensed soup just isn't our friend anymore, so I try ever so hard to use fresh ingredient these days (Did I say, Shake N Bake earlier?). And when cream of mushroom and cream cheese are mixed together, it doesn't look very pretty, either. At least, NOT LIKE THE PICTURE!!

Which brings me to the NEXT Pinterest fail of the weekend and why I will never pay $4 for a box of rosemary again.

Another picture perfect recipe from Pinterest, but this time, a recipe for a wonderful home fragrance that is sure to make your home smell just like Williams and Sonoma! First of all, I thought Williams and Sonoma was suppose to smell like FOOD! Aren't they always cooking or baking something when you walk in their store? THIS recipe called for lemon, vanilla, rosemary, and two cups of water. 

Save your $4. Use your lemon for lemonade. Let the bunnies in your garden eat your rosemary.

Wait! Do bunnies really eat rosemary?!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hello Monday

On Saturday, I was bound and determined to get out. side. and get some much needed sunshine. There was a food festival going on downtown and they were serving up some yummy cajun cuisine. We braved the chilly wind and cool temps to taste test some great Louisiana food and let me just say that the Natchitoches meat pie alone made the trip worth it!  It was the best thing I've eaten in a really long time! 
But our day took a negative turn when we got home early that afternoon. We got the news that a friend of ours had died in her sleep early Saturday morning. Lori was forty years old and left behind a husband, and two children under the age of five. We also received the news that our closest friend was admitted to the hospital in Houston while trying to undergo a chemotherapy trial. The fact that my daughter decided at the very last possible moment to dress up for a semi-formal dance, that she had been telling me for months that she was dressing casually for nearly sent me over the edge! Thank goodness my best friend came through with the leopard heels that Alise insisted she needed to wear with her black romper that we purchased where else? At the food festival!! 
I love this beautiful girl so much but she wears this Mama out sometimes! It was her last middle school dance and she and her friends had a great time! One of the chaperones told me that my daughter can certainly cut a rug on the dance floor!  She gets those moves from her Daddy! 
The GOOD news is that I actually walked over 10,000 steps two days in a row this weekend! I walked our neighborhood Saturday and Sunday and decided to add another mile both days, plus it was a busy weekend and I enjoyed being out so much! I didn't realize how sun deprived I was. And of course, listening to podcasts makes the time fly by. 
We spent St. Patrick's Day at church and then I made spicy shrimp tacos for lunch. I've GOT to share the recipe with y'all because Wayne and Alise just love them and they are so easy to make!  After my walk, I made a meal for Jeff, the kids and his parents who flew down from Michigan earlier that afternoon. Cooking for others is my love language and when there is a death, that's just what we do here in the South. For us, I made the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps that Vicki shared on her blog last week. I made them using a crock pot since I don't own an Insta pot (nor do I want one). Y'all!  They are delicious! Such a light meal with lots of flavor. Vicki told me to buy two heads of lettuce and I'm so glad I did! Can't wait to make these all summer!

Please continue to keep our friends in your prayers. I couldn't sleep Saturday night because my heart is just broken for the sadness and loss of my friends. God and I had a lengthy conversation that night. Even when I don't understand, He is still in control. Years ago, Babbie Mason had a song that said that when I can't see God's hand, I can still trust His heart. I'm going to keep trusting in Him.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Favorites ~ Hello DST

Did you survive Daylight Savings Time this week? I saw in the media that President Trump has agreed to make daylight savings time permanent. What do you think about that? I'm all for falling back, but don't give me that "springing forward." However, I will say that springing forward has not affected me much this week and we weren't on the struggle bus as much as some of our friends were. 

So it's Friday and that means FAVORITES!! Here are some of mine for the week!
My friend, Denise, gave me some delicious strawberries from south Louisiana earlier this week. Y'all!  They were SO good! I don't know why, but strawberries from the southern part of our state are simply the best! We had friends over Saturday night for crawfish etouffee and so I made sure they got to carry home a little bit of extra sweetness, too.  On Sunday after church, I made one of Alise's favorite desserts, Strawberry Parfaits and she and her daddy drove me nuts all afternoon asking when they would be ready to eat. I held them off as long as I could. 
So glad to have my walking partner back with me this week. Wayne took a break during Christmas and basketball season when his time for exercise just wasn't there. I'm oh-so hoping that we'll be able to get out again this weekend and enjoy some nice, sun shiny weather that's perfect for walking. He recently bought a pair of air pods (one pair for him and another pair for Alise!) and we share his while we walk and listen to podcasts that we like. We just finished Over My Dead Body, which was not one of my favorites, but we're really liking Root of Evil. I just finished Cold and really enjoyed it! Do you like podcasts? They seem to be our go to as of late. I highly recommend Dr. Death. I promise we're not morbid people, but we do like true crime and murder mysteries. There are several Christian podcasters I listen to, but I'll share those another time. I listen mostly while I'm getting dressed in the morning, on the way to work, and while I walk. 
On Tuesday, due to the meme below that I saw on social media, I realized that it's been TWENTY years THIS month that I passed the CPA exam! I've been a CPA for TWENTY years! I actually passed the exam in November 1998, but it wasn't "official" until my induction to the state society. Here I am in March 1999, accepting my certificate. 
That was a very special night for me in Shreveport with my parents and mother-in-law. I was 26 and it was the first big accomplishment of my career. To say that those years of studying were tough would be an understatement. So when this meme popped up this week, I recognized the verse more than anything and then looked up at the certificate hanging in my office, noticed the date, and knew that it was a God wink. I am so grateful that all those years ago, I decided by faith, to love the dream that HE had for me and not the dream I had for myself. God has blessed me and has been with me every step of the way. 
So did you celebrate National Pi Day yesterday with a slice of REAL PIE?! Well, of course we did! I was going to mix it up this year with a slice of banana caramel pie, but I thought the fam would revolt. They like their same ol', same ol', which is fine by me. I also celebrated yesterday by blogging about my first ever peanut butter pie! You can catch that yummy post here. 

My Mama rocks! Just saying! If you've been following my IG stories, then you know that I've been trying to put this pretty little ensemble together for the last few weeks. Mama found the ribbon and put the whole thing together for me! And just when I thought I knew where I was going to hang it, now I'm debating about a second place. I'll share pics of my final decision soon. You can check out my inspiration for this piece here. 
My friend, Lisa, over at Coast to Coast is having a giveaway this week so be sure to stop by her blog and register to WIN!  I have! 

Also, here are the prompts for April 8th's 3 Things series. Write with me!
And my friend, Shelly at The Queen In Between has her own fancy shmancy link up on the last Thursday of every month called, Throwback Thursday. Here are her prompts: 
I hope all of you have a happy weekend and a Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's going to be so nice here this weekend and I plan on taking full advantage of the sunshine!  See ya next week! 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy National Pi Day!

A few years ago, I had a survey here on my blog and the question was, "Do you prefer cake or pie?" Surprisingly (to me at least!), the majority of you said, PIE! But being the numbers nerd that I am, National PI Day (March 14th) is one of my favorite days of the year! It's a given that today I'm stopping by my favorite pie shop and picking up not one, not two, but THREE slices of pie for my man, myself, and mini me for dessert! It's tradition in the Horton House. 
Confession: Out of all the things I've baked through the years, I've never made a peanut butter pie. Can you believe that? I can't. I mean, we like peanut butter and Wayne's favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, so WHY have I never made a peanut butter pie?

Another confession: I cheated on this recipe.  Instead of making a home made crust, I used a store bought graham cracker crust. And by doing so, I think this recipe could have actually made two pies, but instead, I made parfaits with the leftover pie filling. 
My inspiration for this recipe came from Pinterest and can be found here. It was a total WIN in our family recipe book. Get ready, though, because this recipe calls for lots of mixing bowls. It took a while for the whipping cream to get fluffy, even with my little hand mixer on the highest level.
The peanut butter layer included a box of vanilla pudding. Doesn't everything taste better with a box of pudding? I've recently discussed this with my blog friends and we've come to the conclusion that yes! Yes, it does! 

Loved that I found these mini Reese's to sprinkle on the top of the pie along with the drizzling of the leftover chocolate layer. Yes, there's even a chocolate layer.
This pie was so creamy and delicious, y'all! We loved it and I will definitely be making it again.
My earliest childhood memory of being in the kitchen with my mom was on Sunday afternoons. While my dad and brother took naps, mom and I would spend a few hours making something, which was usually a dessert. I loved to make parfaits with cool whip and a box of jello. Mama had these cute parfait glasses that she kept at the very top of the cabinet and I thought I was something special when I could coax her to getting them down and making red or green or orange parfaits. I lived for desserts back then and I guess I still do. So THIS is how the extra pie filling turned out! I made perfect parfaits!
My first ever peanut butter pie was a huge success! 

Happy National PI Day, Friends!