Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - For Him

Alright ladies - take note!  It's time for all things masculine, the Holiday Gift Guide for Him :)
Brothers, Fathers, Husbands, and Boyfriends alike will all jump for joy nod with manly approval at these perfectly picked gifts.  So go on, and click the links below, and start shopping!
Christmas for him has never been so easy ;)

Gift Guide - Boys
1- Keurig Coffee Brewer 2- L.L. Bean Slippers  
3- Breaking Bad Season 5
4- Jack Spade Watch  5- Mustache Mug 

6- 20/20 Experience CD  7- Kiehl's Kit  
8- Bamboo BBQ Set  9- Pajama Pants  10- Beer Making Kit

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - For Her

The Christmas count-down clock is ticking, and I am absolutely jumping at the seams!  Not only is this my favorite time of year, but our little bundle of joy will be here this Christmas Day!  I have a feeling it's going to be one for the books :)

My Christmas cards are being shipped as I type this, and I just stocked up on this year's supply of wrapping goodies (one of my favorite parts!).  I am hoping to finish all my shopping in the next week or two, so I can just relax and ENJOY this holiday season!

This is the first installment of my Gift Guide 2013 series - and it's all about the ladies :)
Whether it's your mom, sister, BFF, or wife, you're sure to find something below that she will just LOVE!
And honey, if you're reading this, I love everything.
Christmas Gift Guide - Her1- Polka Dot Pajamas  2- Fresh Lip Trio  3- Bow Bracelet 
4- Nest Candle  5- Tortoise Sunnies 6- Pillow  7- Nail Polish  
8- Coffee Mug  9- Fox Coin Purse   10- Brush Set  
11- Body Wash

Hope you're having a lovely week!
Stay tuned for the second installment coming soon - it's going to be all about the beer and bacon boys!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is the perfect fall/winter soup - absolutely delicious!  We have been loving soup season around here, and this one (from the Pioneer Woman) is so full of flavor.  Definitely try it out - you will love it!
(Use Rotisserie Chicken to cut back on time and labor!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used Rotisserie Chicken)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1½ teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water
1 can (15 Oz. Can) Black (or Pinto) Beans, Drained

1 can (15 Oz. Can) Corn, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
Sour Cream
Diced Avocado
Diced Red Onion
Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pregnancy (and bump) Update

Well, the bump's been growing!  I'm 34.5 weeks today, and I really can't imagine getting much bigger than I am now!  Besides not being able to touch my toes, and having downright sweat sessions when I try to pull on/off my boots, I'm feeling great!  My hospital bag is slowly but surely getting packed, and I just started cleaning out my freezer this week in preparation for some major meal planning for when baby gets here.

Here's my little pregnancy update:

How far along? 34.5 weeks...the countdown is on!  Time is flying! Due date is still Christmas Eve!
Baby Size: Baby is the size of a cantaloupe - although he is measuring just a little small  ;)
Total weight gain/loss: oh my heavens, a lot.  I've gained about 35 lbs!  Eeeeek.
Maternity clothes? I live in my target maternity jeans, tanks, and big cozy cardigans.  
Stretch marks? Nope! Fingers crossed they don't come.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well!  Tossing and turning a bit, and getting up just once around 5am to pee!
Best moment this week: This week had some ups and downs, but we had a great fetal heart rate monitor test - baby boy was perfect and very active!
Miss Anything? Sushi, and margaritas!  And my entire colored skinny jeans collection :( Hopefully they'll still be in style next fall!
Movement: Feeling tons of movement, and he has the hiccups multiple times a day!
Food cravings: No major cravings, I eat omelets a lot, and I've been loving break and bake cookies!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I definitely have heart burn after spicy foods, so I've been staying clear of that. No nausea since week 14!
Have you started to show yet: Oh. Yes.
Gender: BOY!!!
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? They are off - it's just more comfortable that way. 
Mood? So thankful, excited!
Looking forward to:  Meeting our precious boy!  I can't wait to see what he looks like :)

A few of my belly shots from the past month :)

Thanks for all the love and sweet comments as my pregnancy continues - this has been the best 9 months of my life, and I know it's going to get SO much sweeter soon!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Delicious Chicken Spaghetti

I don't know about y'all, but we really love our pasta around here :)
I''m always cooking the same ole spaghetti with marinara sauce (usually with ground turkey), so when I spotted this delicious (one-pot) chicken spaghetti casserole, I was intrigued! 
Not to mention, it hails from the amazing kitchen of the Pioneer Woman - so it had to be good.

And it was.  John absolutely LOVED it, so much so that we ended up making again just one week later!
Instead of cooking up chicken in a stock pot, I just picked the rotisserie chicken at our grocery, and it worked perfectly.  I also made just a few adjustments, and not quite as much cheese.  For the 2 of us, I cut the recipe in 1/2 and had leftovers for the next day or two.  

Will definitely keep this recipe as a go-to, especially if I'm having company over, because it's basically a one pot casserole, with tons of flavor packed in.  It also freezes great, so it'd be a great dish to bring to new moms or just to keep for those busy weeks.
Serve with rolls and a salad, and you're done!  

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti
(adapted via)

2 cups cooked chicken (*I used rotisserie chicken!)
3 cups dry spaghetti broken into pieces
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced green pepper*
1/4 cup diced onion*
1 jar (4oz) diced pimentos, drained
1.5 cups reserved chicken broth from pot (or spaghetti water)
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup additional grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook chicken and cut/shred to make 2 cups.  Cook spaghetti is chicken broth until al dente - do not overcook.  When spaghetti is cooked, combine with all remaining ingredients, except the additional cup of sharp cheddar. 

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).


*If you have rotisserie chicken, this works great!  And just add regular water to cook the spaghetti.
**I used frozen bag of chopped onions/peppers - sauteed them first, then tossed them in casserole dish with other ingredients.

(be sure to check out my awesome giveaway - ending in 3 days!)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Burlap Banner Giveaway!

If you saw my most recent post on my Nashville baby shower (here), you just may have been ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the precious burlap banner!  My BFF and amazing hostess got this customized banner from the adorable Etsy shop - 

And - just in time for the holidays, and gift-giving season, Erin from Isaboo, is giving away ANY item from her shop to one lucky reader!

Check out these adorable banners you can choose from....

Just Married Burlap Banner - Wedding Banner

Blessed Burlap Banner - Rustic, Shabby Chic, Home Decor

(and of course a customized banner)

CUSTOM Banner - Up to 10 Characters of Your Choice Great for weddings, showers and parties

If banners aren't your thing, don't worry!  Erin's got you covered, with adorable bags....

Burlap pillow covers.....

Geometric Arrows Burlap Pillow Cover 18 x 18

....and Makeup Bags!

Chevron Zipper Pouch/Makeup Bag - bridesmaid gift, gift for her

To enter:
(Rafflecopter will show below)

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