Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I'm not one for making resolutions, but for this new year I am.  I used to make them when I was younger, but I would never go through with them.  Well, 2014 in August is the start of my 30's!  I want my 30's to be different from my 20's.  20's were fat and in debt.  30's I want to be skinny-ish and semi debt free.  Or at least to the road of debt free (those damn student loans, I'll be paying off forever!)  I figured if I come on here and list my "resolutions" for the new year, then I will surely keep up with them.  

Ok, here we go......

  1. Save all coins until the end of the year and use that for a vacation for 2015 or pay off a bill. (my mom saved almost $300 in two and half months in coins.  I think it will be fun to see what I can save in a year, I work in the service industry, so I always come home with coins.)
  2. Save my tip money for Christmas 2014.  One year I saved tips from Jan-June and I had a good amount to take on our vacation.  Like $1600 of spending money. Imagine what it would be for 11 months.   (I work hourly with tips, so my tips aren't as much as a server would be)
  3. Lose weight.....and keep it off.  I can lose weight if I put my mind to it.  So let me amend that.  Go to the gym (that I am paying for and not going) three days a week, cut out all soda and artificial sweeteners. 
  4. Start putting money away to pay off school loans.  yuck.
  5. Cook at least one new recipe a week!  (on the healthy side)
  6. Make my front and back yard look pretty.  We let it get out of control this year!  
  7. Start my veggie and fruit garden. 
  8. Work on a fairy garden 
  9. Do more crafts for myself and with the kid. 
  10. Now to round it all out.........ORGANIZE MY LIFE!

So, overall I don't think the list is too daunting. Everything is doable.  I know I probably wont make it to the gym every week next year. What am I going to do during the summer months when my kid is at home???  I'll have to work something out.  I probably wont be able to save every coin and every tip I make.  Sometimes I need to use my tips for food money or to supplement my crappy pay checks.  But overall, I should be able to save a good bulk.  

Wish me luck!  I really hope 2014 is a year of change!

What do you have on your list? 


Friday, October 25, 2013

Greek Pasta and tater tot casserole

I have been trying out some new recipes, I haven't changed them up one bit, so I am just going to put my pic of what I cooked and the link to where I found it.  These blogers deserve the credit.   

I have been craving this pasta ever since I made it.  It was yummy, if you like greek salads  you need to make this pasta.  Not only is it simple and simple can be, but its so yummy too!

I cant take credit for it.  I got it from chef-in-training.  She has got some yummy, simple recipes.  Go check her out!

You toss it with italian dressing, I know italian on a greek?  But, trust me its delish!  I added some grilled chicken to mine.  Its good cold and warm.  Definitely think I am making this again this weekend!  

I made this tater tot casserole the other night, I never had it as a kid, but my hubbie has, he said his was different tho.  He liked my version, so its a keeper!

Super simple, simply delicious! 

Original  recipe can be found here at alisharenee.  She has a ton of other yummy looking casseroles as well.  I'm going to make a few in the next few weeks.  Only thing different I did was top some cheese on the meat mixture and drizzled oil over the potatoes and then after I baked it, I stuck it under the broiler for a bit.  So it got nice and crunchy.

Anyone try anything new lately? 


My baby isnt a baby anymore!

On October 22nd, my little baby Zoe turned the BIG 5!  No more baby for mommy.  Well, she will always be my baby, but you moms know how it is.  Shes a big girl now.  Independence is in full force, she has best friends in school now, she gets embarrassed by me sometimes.  Its happening all too fast.  She even has a boyfriend!   

Sure, she still cuddles with me.  Which I am thankful, but I have a feeling that wont last forever.  Insert sad face.  Shes learning all these new things and really becoming a great little lady.  

She requested a train theme birthday party.  Train theme is what she got.  It was our first party where we had kids come, not just family members.  The kids had fun, which is all that matters.  My little house was full to the max with people, but the food was good, the cake delicious and really no tantrums!

Of course I consulted Pinterest for all my train theme needs.  I made a train out of shoe boxes that held food, made railroad signs from poster board, turned the bounce house into a waiting station, put their goodies backs in a suitcase which was their baggage claim.  They played musical train cars, and pin the smoke stack on Thomas.  Overall, it was a great day, but I needed a few days to recoup, so did Zoe! 

I didn't get too many pictures, because of course I was doing ten million things at once.  My sister has some photos on her camera but I haven't gotten them off yet.  I am still a bit disorganized in my life. 

Ill link up my pinterest board where I got all the ideas from.  I cant say they are my own, because they are not.  But I sure did have fun coping them!  

Who hasn't made these out of tissue paper before??  


Baggage claim pre decoration and sign.  Told ya I wasn't on the picture detail. I did go out and purchase these awesome popcorn machine (which I didn't have time to use during the party!) I figure we will use this at parties, sleepovers, movie nights and holidays! ( I even bought popcorn boxes!)

Train cars all done!  Log car held pretzel rods, produce car held carrots, celery and veggie dip, 2nd produce car held fruit kabobs and the animal car held animal crackers! 

The completed train!  I loved it.  I also bought conductor hats and bandanna for the kids, but living in Florida it was too hot to wear!  Then I forgot to tell them to take it home with them, so now I have two dozen conductor hats and bandannas just chillin in my home.  

I found a template online for the head of the train and had Zoe color it, then cut it out and glued to a shoe box top. She felt included in the prep of the party and it came out cute!

Finished dining room.  I covered my book cases with streamers, so I didn't have little hands touching my stuff.  It was pretty cool looking. 

My signs are a little small, but the white one says waiting station.  This was the hit of the party.  I think Ill get it every birthday!  

My big girl!

Now, its time to prep for the holidays! 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fajita Pasta

I found this recipe in my All You magazine and thought it was perfect for the hubbie when he got back in town.  I'm not a fan of fajitas, so I never make them at home for him.  So when I saw this, I thought, perfect!  It was actually an enjoyable pasta dish, I of course have some revisions I would do for next time, but other then that I think its a keeper!  

Fajita Chicken Pasta

1 lb. chicken tenders, (cut in chunks)
12 oz-16 oz farfalle pasta (I used 12 oz. and there was more then enough)
2 T. olive oil
1 package fajita seasoning
2 peppers (I used one red, one yellow), cut into 2 inch strips
1 1/2 cups half and half (I used two cups)
1/4 grated parm cheese (I would use more next time) plus more for serving
salt and pepper

One ingredient I would add would be onions, isn't that a staple in fajitas?  

Season your chicken with the fajita mix, on both sides, rub it on there (I did not use the entire package).  Then add oil to pan and fry up your chicken, until done.  Mine took around 8-12 minutes.  Transfer to a plate when one and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water until al dente. Reserve some pasta water. 

Cook your peppers in same pan as chicken was in, stirring until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add chicken, half and half and scrape up all the browned bits.  Cook for three minutes.

Add parm cheese and then cook for 30 seconds to one minute more.  Add salt and pepper to sauce *to your liking.  (I think the parm cheese is a nice touch)  Now toss the chicken mixture with your pasta.  If its too dry add some of your reserved pasta water.  Mine was not, because I used two cups :) Top with some parm cheese and you are done!

Now its not the best photo, I was starving and ready to eat so I snapped with real quick with my cell phone!  It sure was tasty.  I will keep this in the keeper file.  

I have a big list of new recipes I want to try, any one else try some new ones?


Crockpot Potato Soup

It may be hot as you know what in the state of Florida, but that did not stop me from trying this crock pot potato soup.  

I love me some potato soup.  This one isn't full of fattening cream, either.  So there is a plus.  I'm trying to cut down on carbs, big time.  But I had this big ol' ten pound bag of baking potatoes that I could not let go to waste.  I hate wasting food, and unfortunately, my family and I waste a lot.  That's going to change!  

So, I made a big batch and froze what we did not eat for a later dinner.  

Original recipe can be found budget bytes

It super simple.

Crock pot Potato Soup

3lbs baking potatoes (any potatoes,really)
6 c. chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. milk ( I use 2 %)
1/4 c. flour
black pepper

Cut up your potatoes (after you've scrubbed them good, you can peel if you'd like, I like the skins, so I left them on).  Add your chopped celery, onion, garlic, black pepper and chicken broth.  Cook on high 8 hours.  I think mine actually cooked for 6.  

Whisk your flour in your 2 cups of milk and add to soup.  Stir and let sit for 30 minutes, it will thicken. Then mash with potato masher, blender or immersion blender.  Add salt to taste.  Those immersion blenders are the best!  

All done!  Top with your favorite potato toppings!  I used cheese, bacon bits and a dab of sour cream.  

Easy Peasy! 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Project

This is the first summer in our house.  We have free reign, to paint, plant...whatever we would like to do.  I haven't done anything drastic to the house because, well I just cant afford.  But, the colors on the walls had to go!  I did not like them one bit.  The only rooms that aren't this pink color are the bathroom and kitchen.  So, this summer I decided to change it.  I painted the hallway, living room and dining room. I did it mostly on my own.  A friend helped with the living room and then my hubbie helped with the living room.  Thank goodness he did because I was so over painting.  I did it all over a 3 week span, I should have just done it all in three days because that is how long it took me to get all three rooms done, so instead I did it over three weeks.  

This living room is by by far my favorite.  They are still a work in progress  but I love the color and its nice to finally have things hung up on the wall!  


This would be my before picture.  The ugly color on the walls and the white shelves. 


Hard to tell the color, its a pale yellow.  The main colors in the living room are yellow, turquoise, brown, black and red. 

The tv is my next project.  I purchased a dresser that I am going to convert into a tv stand.  So I can hid all our movies.  I hate having them in the open and on display.  Also, I bought some pretty curtains but the hubbie has yet to put them up for me.


I absolutely love this color! 

On to the dining room.


This was at my moms birthday party.  50's diner themed.  Notice how there is nothing on the walls.  Now I have things hanging!  The colors in this room are a light wood, white and gold.


 I am in the process of finding a hutch!  Not easy, since I am picky and only shopping thrift stores.  I don't want to spend a fortune when I am going to strip it and paint it white.  I need something to display all my milk glass! 

This wall makes me happy.  I am constantly on the look out for silver platters. I got these two at a warehouse sale for pennies.  Literally.  Its a work in progress, but I think its fitting hanging platters in the dining room. Hehe. 

I should take more pictures, I store my books in this room, but its a work in progress.

Next on the agenda is our bedrooms!  

Anyone do some redecorating this summer?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

BBQ Cheesey Hamburger Casserole Smasserole

It's been awhile!  We just got back from vacation, and even tho we ate like crazy on our vacation and I could probably starve for a week and survive, I decided to try out a pinterest recipe!  I had the fam over because they were having Zoe withdrawals and made a yummy casserole.  

My daughter loves going to CiCi's pizza, you know mass produced pizza, but they have a big game area for the kiddos that she just loves.  Well they have this hamburger pizza there, that my mom absolutly loves.  They squirt yellow mustard and ketchup on there, and yes, it does taste like a hamburger.  So when I found this recipe on pinterest I had to try it!

Of course I had to change mine up, my sister can be a pain when food is involved, so I omited the pickles.  Enter sad face, I was excited to taste what it would be like baked in, but I was not in the mood for complaints.  So I cut about four of them up and my mom and I put them on top of our mounds of casserole on our plates.  (They were delish with them)  Now I am not a fan on yellow mustard on my hamburgers, but because its a staple on hamburgers I added about a tablespoon of it to mine.  I could taste it and I thought it was a good addition. 

Of course we were all starving by the time this hit the table and I forgot to take a picture. So, these were taken after we practically devoured the entire thing!  I had like a quarter of the casserole left over.  Its defiantly a winner in our house!  I paired it with cornbread and a greek salad.  The greek salad doesn't really match, but I have been dying for a greek salad so I threw one together real quick.

 Anyone try some new recipes lately?


Sunday, July 7, 2013

BOOK BASH in Orlando

Last weekend, I attended book bash with two of my book buddy friends!  It was so much fun!  Being in my element with a bunch of people (mostly women) who love to read was fantastic!  We got to meet our favorite author Kristen Ashley, she was awesome!  She was the first line we got in, we stood there for an hour because that is how popular she is and when we finally got up to meet her we all went shy! haha.  She posed for pics with us and signed our books then we went off and met other awesome authors.  Can you tell I had a really good time?  I cant stop using the word awesome! haha.

My friend came to town, we ate out a lot, we bought a ton of books, both ebooks and regular books.  Its a good thing she doesn't live near me, or I would go broke!   

Here are some pictures of our AWESOME weekend! 

Getting some dinner the night before book bash event
 Hour long line for KA!

 We are almost there!!! 

 My friend Dan, uber excited. 


 Alice Clayton, that is one funny lady, loved her book called Wallbanger

 Marianne with R.K. Lilley

 We just had to pose with the sign and point out KAs book! 

 Nighttime drinks at the Wicked GNO after party

 Sadly, we didnt get to hang with KA :(

Two lovely ladies we met in line that are now my book gurus, jello shots anyone?!

Did anyone do anything fun this past weekend?  Or did you go fangirl crazy at book bash too??


Monday, June 17, 2013

Eclair Cake

This weekend I went to a friends house for a BBQ, what a perfect time to make this Eclair cake I found on Pinterest!

Its super easy.  Original recipe here

It is a no bake, yummy cake.  Seriously, go and make it. 

My pictures are not good.  They certainly didnt come out as nice as the original post about them from the lady that made this cake.  Mine came out mushy, but its ok.  It didnt hinder the taste at all.  

I did make an adjustment to mine.  

The original recipe called for cocoa powder, sugar and butter.  I did that, and it came out like this.

Too thin, sticky and got all in the cake.  So I made a ganache for it the day of the party.

Eclair Cake

Big box of instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
1 tub of cool whip
1 box of honey graham crackers (I used honey, Im sure cinnamon would taste good as well)
1 1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 c. heavy cream

Mix milk and puddin, when that is set, fold in the cool whip.  
Layer crackers first and then add some of the puddin. (have you ever seen Corina, Corina?  Where he is creating the jingle for puddin???  and leaves out the g?) 
Layer more crackers on top of that.
Make another layer of puddin.
Top with crackers and then top with ganache. 
Put in fridge for 24 hours to "set".

Ganache:  over boiling water in a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream until nice and shiny (stirring constantly).  I didn't use all of my ganache on the cake.  I had a little tiny bit left over that I scooped up and ate.  Don't judge :) 

Not the best pic, sorry had the hubs do it.  He doesn't understand close ups.  

Make it for your next BBQ, it wont disappoint!

Anyone have any no bake desserts??


WITL Days 4,5,6 and 7

I work Thursday- Sunday, so there were no pictures to be had.  I do nothing fun on those days.  I work long hours and am exhausted by the time I get home.  So this post will be boring :( 

Thursday: I work at night, so during the day we just stayed home and cleaned and did some laundry.  It seems all I do is clean, then Richie is off on Thursday and Friday and the place gets to be a disaster again and I have to start all over again on Monday.  Its a vicious cycle! 

Friday: I worked a short shift, came home.  My mom and sister were out and about so they took Zoe out for lunch and then met up with me when I got home.  Bugged me for an hour or so and put me behind in making my goodies for a friends bbq that night.  Its ok tho, I don't see my sister anymore because Sundays (our family dinner night) she skips out on b/c she has a puppy that annoys my moms old dog.  

I made an eclair cake that was easy and super yummy.  I also made a veggie option for my Mexican dip b/c my friend is a vegetarian.  Then I made this corn, zucchini salad which is delish. 

We headed to the bbq and hung out with all my friends, three came from out of town, one I hadn't seen in forever came as well.  Zoe has a crush on my friends little brother and his friend.  She was grilling her mom about him.  They start young! lol

This is Cathie and Dan (Marianne, Dan will be going to Book Bash with us), all of us have been friends since high school.  Still going strong!  Zoe calls them all Aunts. 

Eclair Cake, seriously make this.  Cept I put a layer of ganache on top because the original recipe for the chocolate on top was a flop.  So good with the ganache.

We roasted marshmallows in 100 degree weather :) 


Thats Mel, with her nephew Miles, they were "playing" pool. 

After the party we went to Shannon's and played ping pong.  That's Mitch and Mel playing.  No pics of me.  I'm always behind the camera, taking bad shots of people and then getting yelled at when I post them on FB :) 

Saturday and Sunday went like this......I went to work, I came home and watched tv or read. That is all!  Exciting life I lead! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WITL Days 2 and 3

Hello All!  I'm back in the world on technology!  Tuesday we had a bad storm and it fried our modem for cable.  So they sent us a new and I just got it hooked up.  Hence the late post.  

Is it bad that i cant remember what we did on tuesday!  Ahh, getting old is crap! 

noonish:  Dollar movies, we got there at 1150 and stood in line for 15 minutes to get our tickets and popcorn and drinks.  As soon as I order our tickets the noon showing sold out, so we had to go to the 1225 showing.  I will never do that again.  Every freaking daycare decided to go.  So there were long lines and then they had to buy drinks for all 30 (it seemed like everyday care there had 30  kids each!)  kids so we had to wait until they got all their drinks. The 1225 theater was packed, we were lucky to find seats.  Saw The Croods.  Very cute, but Zoe was over it after an hour.  I was not however, I wanted to stay and watch the end.  So I guess now I have to wait until it comes out on video.  

1:30ish:  Christmas Tree shop is right next door, so we headed over to find something for Dad's day.  He says he wants nothing, well money to contribute to his Boise State game in Seattle, he is going to in August.  Don't get me started on that.  He gets a mini vacation.  Kid and wifeless......Didn't find him anything, but I did find something for me!  After that we headed to ROSS to find something for my sister for her bday next week.  No such luck :(  Then we raced home before the rain hit.  

It matches the hanging things I have for my living room.  Cant wait until the living room is painted so I can hang them up.  

3ish:  We did not make it home before the rain hit. Took forever to get home and I swear 434 turned into a river at one point.  Gotta love summers in Florida.  Those afternoon thunderstorms.  That is what fried my cable box.  So now we have to unplug everything when it storms out.

6ish:  I was in a pissy mood and decided I wasnt making dinner. So we went to our favorite sports bar/grill.  Its not corporate.  Gotta support those small businesses!  We absolutely love it there.  Tuesday is BOGO burgers.  So we got burgers.  (shhhhhhhh....its not ww friendly.....:-/)

Hehe, I always snap pics of him when he is mid chew.

Their homemade fries are the bomb.  They put BBQ sauce on their nachos and I'm kinda obsessed with those as well.

7ish:  Off to walmart we went, starting a new project had to get supplies.

That is it for Tuesday.  


So Richie got home at like 8 and decided to mow the lawn, after it took him forever to figure out how to get the gas in it.......He only did the back yard.  Our yard was bad, like white trash bad.  It was embarrassing.  I cant wait until he does the front! I wont be embarrassed anymore! 

Look at those weeds!  Taller then Zoe! 

Richie hard at work. I stayed inside in the air condition :) 

I decided I didn't want to go to weight watchers since I had that burger the night before, so we headed out and had a coffee date with a friend.  then decided to do some shopping.  So I could avoid cleaning the house. I bought a frame that matches the candle holder I bought yesterday for shelves by the tv.  Things are coming along nicely!  Cant wait until I'm finished decorating and unpacking!

1ish:  As we were headed home I stopped to get us Chinese food.  Next door was a dollar and up store going out of business, everything must go, and boy did they have a lot of xmas stuff!  I was in heaven, but I did not buy any! 

I did pretty good with my food, it was the diet special.

After lunch we hit up the thirst stores, I should have taken pics at the pet one.  She has a dog named Roxy, a fat cat named Rocky and a cockatoo named Kalepso. He is a friendly bird, he danced for us and then decided to hop on my foot.  I hate birds.  We had a parrot growing up and he would nip my heels and chase me, so no birds for me!  I was silently freaking out until the owner took him off my foot! lol. 

So after thrifting, we decided to check out this desserts bakery.  All they had was original cheesecake that you had to pre order, cupcakes and homemade gelato that tasted of freezer burn.  The cupcakes were delish.  Mine was an almond joy one.  

6ish: I actually made some dinner.  Ham and pea fried rice, I'm on a Chinese kick.  I don't know why.  lol.  After that we just hung out and played, when Zoe went to bed I put in season two of True blood, in preparation for Sunday when he new season starts! 

That's all for those days ladies!  I hope I didn't bore you all! lol 

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