Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tacky Tuesday

Our monthly Bunco night was this past Tuesday.  Meagan hosted this month and chose the theme "Tacky Tuesday."  At first I thought finding an outfit would be so easy, but once I started piecing it together, it was a lot harder than I expected.  I had the idea of going with a mix match of plaid, stripes, and polka dots, but once I saw the shirt I wore, I knew it had to be a part of my outfit.  All the girls did a great job of dressing tacky!!  Although I didn't win, I had a really good time!! 






Sassy Shannon

bunco girls

front view

back view

Meagan, the hostess, and Shannon

Karen and Jamiee, who won the tackiest award


Thanks Meagan for hosting this month!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chicken {tortilla} Soup for the Soul

Jon and I both work every other weekend, so on those days it's nice to have a quick, easy, and delicious meal to be able to prepare before work.   I am also a lover of the crock pot (I do believe it was one of the best inventions ever!).  So when I find a recipe that sounds delicious and is able to be put in the crock pot when I get home in the morning and then a wonderful meal is ready when I wake up, I am all about it!   And as most of you know, I LOVE Mexican food! One of my favorite, if not my favorite, mexican restaurants in town is Superior Bar and Grill.  Well, I was flipping through a cookbook we have, Louisiana's Best Restaurant Recipes, and I stumbled upon a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe from Superior!  Fabulous was the first thing that came to mind!  So this morning I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a few items, went home and chopped them up, and then threw them in the crock pot to mix and mingle and create a wonderful dish!  Here is the recipe...
Chicken Tortilla Soup
from Superior Grill

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon water
1 (16 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 (8-10 oz) skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
1 (16 oz) can tomato juice
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 1/2 oz chicken base
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 yellow squash, cubed
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
1/3 cup rice
1 zucchini, cubed
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot, combine water, tomatoes, chicken, tomato juice, spices, jalapenos, and chicken base. Bring to a boil, then add remaining ingredients; lower temperature to let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  After it has simmered, use a potato masher to stir contents until all chicken has broken up and spread throughout the soup.  It is then ready to serve.

I definitely made some changes to the recipe.  For one, I put all the ingredients, minus the chicken, in the crock pot this morning and put it on low.  Once, I woke up this afternoon I put in the chicken and cranked up the pot to high.  I let it cook about 2 more hours and then proceeded with the potato masher step.  Also, instead of 1 16 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, I used a 10 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1 can rotel tomatoes (I probably use rotel tomatoes for everything).  Do NOT mistake chicken base for chicken stock/broth...it's not quite the same thing!  I am glad I looked this up before making this recipe.  Chicken base is powdered stock.  I only put in 3 ribs of celery, because instead of chopping up an onion and making myself cry, I used Season's Blend (another great invention!).  If you don't know what Season's Blend is then you are missing out.  (Not too long ago I didn't know what it was, but my friend Shannon introduced me to this chopped onion, celery, green bell pepper blend in the freezer section...Season's Blend=godsend).  Notice the recipe does not call for salt....it should!  I realized there was not salt in the ingredient list, but I figured it would be salty enough with the can tomatoes and the tomato juice, but I was wrong.  You definitely need to add some salt. (I don't know how much because I added mine to my bowl once it was cooked.) Also, garnishing your bowl of soup with some sliced avocado and crispy tortilla strips would top it off just right!  I hope you like this recipe as much as I did, and I hope you are having a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More headache nonsense

I am STILL having headaches!  The constant headache was "knocked out."  But I am still having periodic headaches every other to every two days.  A lot of times I wake up with a headache still.  I talked with my doctor today (internal medicine) and she took me off the Lortab...it was doing nothing but making me sleepy and itch, which I had to take Benadryl for that, so then I was SUPER sleepy.  She started me on a different med I had never heard of, Fiorinal.   She also made me an appointment to see a neurologist (which will happen on October 25th) and I now have to keep a "headache journal."   I'm not really sure what all is supposed to be recorded in this headache journal, but I will do my best to keep track of all the important info I suppose.  I did go to Target and get a cute mini notebook of sorts that will become my headache journal.   I do know one thing...I am so over these headaches!! I am tired of having them, and I'm sure my husband is sick of me complaining about them (plus everyone else I complain to).   I hope the neurologist can give me more answers or a better solution!  Until then I will be journaling...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Children are a gift from God!

I need to vent a little, so proceed with caution...

I don't have children of my own so I obviously don't know what it's like to be a parent.  There is one thing that I would like to tell parents though, BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR CHILD/ CHILDREN!  I was in Target just the other day and there was a lady there with her children, and from afar you would think, "oh that lady must really love her children."  You would think this because she was wearing a T-shirt with her children's hand prints all over it.  That right there is love my friends!   But then you get within earshot of this lady and her children and all you hear out of the lady's mouth is "Shut up!"  "Can you just wait a minute?"  "Not right now"  "I told you to SHUT UP"   For the 3 minutes I was around this lady all she did was put down her children.  They were in the card section and each child was picking out funny or cute cards and wanting to show their mom what they had found, but clearly she didn't give a hoot!  I was very close to saying to one of the children "I'm sorry sweet child that your mother doesn't have time for you... what's that you found?..  oh how funny!" and then smile at the child. I bet it would have made that child's day for someone to give her a little attention.  I mean would it really have been that big of an inconvenience for that mother to acknowledge her child for 30 seconds?! URG!    I get on Facebook and so often I see people's post about not getting any sleep because the newborn kept them up all night.  Well no shit Sherlock!  It's a baby that has to eat every 3-4 hours.  Be grateful you have one!   One more thing...I am a nurse in a PICU and too often we get patients who were abused by their parents.  Why have a child if you are going to purposefully step on their face, or shake the shit out of them, or kick them in the ribs?!  I promise you that someone will gratefully take your child off your hands and give him/her the love that is deserved!  I just don't get it.  Maybe it is because I do work with children all the time and I know how wonderful they are and what great people they have the potential to be.  I wonder if these parents that take their children for granted would have a change of heart if they were told that their child was diagnosed with cancer, or if it took them years to conceive that child, or if they new that in the near future that child would be taken from them.  I hope and pray that the day I become a parent I will never be ungrateful.  I pray that I will always remember what a gift a child is and to thank the Lord every day for the chance to be that child's mommy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Recap

We didn't have much going on this weekend and it was so nice! Friday we were excited about going to get our free breakfast from Chick-fil-a.  We made plans to meet at the house after we got off of work and ride up there together.  Well, when we got home our sweet neighbors had locked themselves out of their house, so we came to their rescue by calling an unlocking service.  We hung outside with them until they were able to get back in their house, and therefor missed out on the free breakfast.  Oh well!  That evening I was battling one of my awful headaches so we just layed low for the night.  I slept off and on Friday evening/night and woke up about 3 on Saturday morning and stayed awake the rest of the day!  I made us breakfast to start our day.  We then took the pups to the park.  We had so much fun!  It had been a while since we went to the park because the heat has been unbearable, especially for them.  Saturday was a beautiful day, with perfect temperatures, and lots of sunshine!
sweet baby girl

we love running!

big man

me and my baby boy

Jon and his baby girl

fun day at the park with the canine kids!
 The rest of Saturday was spent running errands, which also included lunch at Superior Bar & Grill.  Mexican food is my biggest weakness!   Saturday night LSU played Northwestern.   Jon and I decided to stay in and watch the game.  We had a minor difficulty at the beginning but were able to order the game.  Jon's parents came over and brought pizza!  We watched the Tigers win, and I went to sleep soon after!
After church on Sunday we grabbed some breakfast at Another Broken Egg (always yummy!).  Then the day consisted of a lot of football for Jon and quite a few naps for me!  I did make dinner and for one of our side dishes I made "Spicy Citrus Black Beans."   I must suggest you make this dish!  It was very easy and flavorful!!

black beans in my super cute tiny colander
Spicy Citrus Black Beans
by Annie's Eats
Ingredients:
1 (28 oz.) can black beans
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
pepper, chopped or minced (bell, Anaheim or jalapeno depending on your taste)
½-1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1½ tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo
1½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 limes (added lime zest – optional)
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste, plus more for garnish
Directions: 
Place the beans in a colander and rinse throughly.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion and pepper until tender, about 5-7 minutes.   Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the beans.  Mix in broth (more or less depending on how much liquid you would like) and bring to a simmer.  Mix in the oregano, bay leaves, salt, chipotle puree, cumin, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar.  Once simmering, reduce to medium-low or low and let simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, stir in chopped fresh cilantro to taste and serve.
I added rotel tomatoes to mine.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I am trying to get myself geared up for the long week of work ahead of me.  Until next time...

 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering...

I was a senior in high school on 9/11/2001.  I woke up, took my brother to school, decided to be rebellious and skipped school, only to go back home to go to sleep.  On my way back home I was trying to listen to the radio but all the stations were talking, and of course I wanted to hear some music, so I switched it over to the CD player and went about my business.  I went back to sleep once I got home and woke up later that afternoon, turned on the TV, and realized what I had missed.   At that time I didn't fully understand what this meant for our country.  I knew it was terrible news and I knew that our country seemed to be in trouble, but I was a naive selfish teenager, that was usually only concerned about what was going on in my life at that time.  I do remember stocking up on things like drinking water and gas for the car.  I also remember being worried because Barksdale Air Force base is located in our city.   I do remember being upset about all the lives lost, but it didn't really hit me until Jon and I made a trip to New York 8 years later.  We visited the church outside Ground Zero and saw where they were still cleaning and starting construction on what is now the 9/11 Memorial.

there is a patch from every fire or police department that came to NY to aid in the help and clean up after 9/11

this is a picture from the front yard of the church that survived 9/11
the blue area is where the twin towers used to stand

I am very proud to be an American and even more grateful for all of the men and women who are fighting for our freedom.  I have more respect for them than words can say.   I pray that the leaders of our country make the right decisions to keep the war off of our soil and to keep our country safe.  

On a more up beat note...here is a video of Charley singing along to Taps today...
video
God Bless America!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No Fake Baking!

I made an agreement with my husband that after the wedding I would no longer go to the tanning bed.  It was stupid for me to go in the first place because I have had 4 moles on my back removed and 2 of them had to have more removed because of "cancerous cells."   No melanoma for me, please!  Since I am no longer going to the tanning bed I wanted a good self-tanner.  I was recommended one called Fake Bake, but have not been able to find it at a store in town.  I went to Sephora and was recommended a self-tanner wipe called Kate Somerville 360 (ironically it was a black sales lady who recommended it).   One wipe was enough for my face and my body.  It said that after 2 hours I would be able to see a difference, and I did!  I (along with my black sales lady) have to recommend this self-tanner.  It is a little on the pricey side, but worth it.  It does not smell like most self-tanners.  It was not "streaky" what so ever!  It did not turn me orange.  One thing is that it did fade after about 3-4 days, but I figured that was typical.   I did not take before and after pictures, I'm sorry!  I do plan on applying this self-tanner again this weekend so hopefully I will remember to take pictures at that time.
You should try it!

Happy Birthday E!

Happy Birthday to the sweetest baby I have ever known...
Thank you for teaching me so much about life in your short lifetime!  I can't believe that today you would have been 2 years old! Happy Birthday E!   I look forward to the day we meet again!

Friday, September 2, 2011

September is here...where is fall?

I can't believe September is already upon us.  I wish it would have brought 70 degree weather with it! I must say that it has not been over 100 the past couple of days and that's a wonderful thing.  I am so looking forward to fall...the cool crisp weather, decorating my house, and most of all football season!  LSU opens up the season on Saturday at the Cowboys Stadium against Oregon.  I will be working, but you better believe I'll be sporting my new LSU jersey and the game will be on in one of the rooms at work!  I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!  Enjoy your time off (if you are a fortunate one that actually gets Labor Day as a holiday) and be safe!


GEAUX TIGERS!