Wednesday, May 30, 2012

chicken enchiladas

I found these enchiladas on Pinterest and decided the other day to make them on a special night and they were so good! I didn't change barely anything but I thought you had to know about them! They are really pretty easy to put together and come out in no-time! These are seriously delicious! 

What you'll need
10 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan
2. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  
3. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
4. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese along with 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce in a separate floor.  Place a small amount of mixture into a tortilla. Roll up and place in pan.
5. Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

I wasn't reading Joyful Momma's Kitchen before, but I think i'll start! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank the veterans in your life today and have a wonderful Memorial day! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

globe lights

So, I bought these globe lights (actually 3 packages of these globe lights) for our patio back in oh... February, but I have never put them up!

I am trying to figure out how to hang them! Has anyone done it? I am trying to figure out how to hang it from the side of the roof.

I am thinking I am going string them from the pergola to the far edge of the house by the drain pipe. I think I will be able to use zip ties to connect it to the pergola but there really isn't anything to attach it to on the house.

Hopefully COO (Chief Outdoors Officer) will help me out with that soon so we can have a bit more ambiance in our backyard :) HINT HINT!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary!

How did that happen??? I don't know where the time has gone but I've enjoyed every minute of it! I'm writing this post a few days early and in preparing for it I feel like I just wrote this post last year! My how a year can change things!! What an amazing year we've had!

Oh P- how would I do it without you?!? God knew what he was doing when I met you all those years ago that's for sure! You have made me into such a better person. You have given me so many opportunities to grow and figure myself out all the while standing patiently by. You always seem to know exactly how to comfort me when I'm down and when I need to hear your jokes. Your jokes are the best!!! I don't think you know that about yourself! You have helped make Houston my home, which I wasn't sure I would ever feel and you've certainly helped make this house our home. I love this house and this city (that's on the record now people!) and I love the life we've created for ourselves! I love our puppy and I love that he's ours- our little canine child :) I love how we act strict but are total pushovers really! It's been a good year but it's been a tough year too. Infertility is not a word I say much, certainly not on this blog but it is something we have been struggling with now for a little over 2 years. It is so trying and so hard but it really has made us a stronger couple. You have been amazingly patient and kind throughout, even when I'm . . . not! You are the only person that could get me through it all and still make me laugh! I really think that God is just making us stronger so that when it is our time we will be even more prepared and even more thankful.

Thank you, thank you a thousand times over. I am so thankful to call you my husband, in good times and in bad. I wouldn't want anyone else walking with me through life.

"and you are for me
a light which i need
always and forever
i need you cause i love you
always and forever
and i love you cause ive known you
always and forever"
Cory Morrow

I love you and I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us

Monday, May 21, 2012

organizing DVDs

Since working on organizing the pantry I've kind of been on an organizing kick! I don't know about you but for some reason I have tons, seriously like over 150!!?! DVD's. Back in the day I would just buy them even movies I wasn't sure about or that I hadn't seen??? What is wrong with me??

Anyways- I've told you about how we finally got the DVD out of open shelving to a closed cabinet so we weren't looking at them all the time but it's been kind of bothering me that these DVDs that we use so infrequently are taking up so much prime space in the entry cabinet. So while I was lamenting this ultra-important issue to a friend at lunch she had the most genius idea: take the DVDs out of the case and store them in a CaseLogic case. .. .you know, the ones from the 90's you stored all your CD's in. . . yeah, you remember!

Anyways- sadly I still actually have a large one that I still had CD's in that were OLD to the tune of Ace of Base, Crash Test Dummies and Mariah Carey (old school, not current). Yeah. . . what can I say I have excellent taste in music. LOL- I've learned to embrace it! Anyways, I digress, I went through my CD's and plucked out the few that I still wanted to keep (which I might add are in my iTunes account as well) and chunked the rest. then I just went through and put all my DVDs into the case and now it fits in the TV console and I have a whole side of our entry cabinet to put more important things!

Totally forgot to take a before picture of this cabinet but you get the gist- the top looked just like the bottom- tons and tons of DVDs

And now- all closed up tight in the CaseLogic but still close at hand! 

I did decide to keep all of the cases in case I ever want to sell the DVDs at a garage sale. They are safely packed in a box and up in the attic! So excited for all of the extra storage space!

Check back soon for a few more organizing tips

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Goody Quik Style brush

So I'm linking up with Tiffanie for the Product of the Week today which is why I'm posting on Thursday instead of my usual Friday. I've actually wanted to do this for a while but didn't have a product I could think of that was worth dedicating a blog post too. Until last week.

OH my cheese!!! You guys, this brush is amazing. I am one of those people that truly despise blow drying my hair but I have to. If I don't my hair is flat and crinkly! Not wavy, like full on crinkly. . . in a bad way!

I saw this brush in Real Simple, then another magazine I can't remember and then last week it was on the Today Show! At that point, I knew I had to try it, so I ran into CVS and picked up the last one off the shelf- clearly these brushes have been getting some pub lately!

The brush claims to cut down on your drying time by 30% because the little microfiber nubs between the bristles act like a towel as you brush. So its helping absorb water from your hair as you dry it! It also has air vents on the back to help the air pass through easier to warm everything up.

 Let me tell you! It really works- I have no idea if its 30% less drying time- I'm not that technical but I have really enjoyed spending few moments of my day with hot air blowing on my face! That's for sure

Anyways- you must find this brush, it really is amazing and definitely will cut down your drying time. You will thank me! Promise :)
Check out all the other great products from this week's line up at Tiffanie's

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thomas Paul print chairs

Y'all I'm so excited! My Thomas Paul aviary print chairs came in a few weeks ago and I am in love with them, like seriously in love! I love the pop of color and the fun pattern, the height and just the comfort of them!

All around great chair- I'm so glad I finally bought these chairs from Target (especially since I got them 20% off + the extra 5% off and free shipping with my Red card!)
Here's the before shot:

Check out how good the new chairs look in the room!

It may be about time to do new house pics for the Our Home tab! Those are looking pretty outdated at this point!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pantry update

So I've been fiddling with the pantry and I think I have it pretty well organized and labeled now- but its still not as pretty as I would like it to be. Most people say to take everything out and then add stuff back in but I was a little chicken to go that route since I wasn't positive I was going to be finished with this little project in one day and I really didn't want my whole pantry sitting all over my kitchen for days! So I worked one shelf at a time.
I also decided to add new shelf liner while I was at it and I'm already glad I took the time to do that! My main goal was just usefulness for how we use the kitchen. I wanted to try to keep our most used items in the middle/ top two shelves that are at the easiest reach then go out from there. The other super helpful thing was get some of my husbands grill tools out of the pantry. He would always forget they were in here but I didn't really want to leave them open to the elements under his grill. So we got a storage box from the Container Store that was just big enough to hold everything and it resides in the area under the grill sealed with a lid until we need them!



It is hard to tell from this picture but I the paper towels stayed in the same location but instead of stacking them upright I've laid them on their side. It is ah-mazing how much more I can store there now! Such a small change that made a huge difference

 I put our most used items front and center! We love this tortilla soup- and a few others so those are easy access as are the storage bags. I use the tiered shelf for less used spices/ can goods

 All of my baking goodness- top shelf for general baking, lower shelf for more specialty things like cake flour, cookie cutters, sprinkles, etc!

 breakfast and drink stations. Getting our crystal light, tea and hot chocolate out of the boxes made a huge difference! I think I am going to get another clear container like that for my oatmeal packets as well!

In fixing up the pantry we rearranged some other areas of the kitchen cabinets, making things more accessible. I had a lot of the cooking spices in the cabinet by the stove but then the olive oil and more spices in the pantry- just little things that didn't really make useful sense. So while it may seem strange to dedicate cabinet space to some cooking things- I really love having them so handy since this counter is frequently where I prep dinners!

inside cabinet:
 cooking spices used most often went into the stacked spice rack which takes up so little space it's amazing! Then others off on the side so I'm not going between this cabinet and the pantry all the time while cooking! 

I do keep my recipe box in this cabinet as well but I'm also loving the cork board for all those random recipes I haven't put on to cards yet or that I'm using a lot for easy reference!

Now it's useful but it doesn't feel pretty to me yet?? How can I spruce it up? I'm not sure what I want to do. I really don't want to have to take everything out and paint the wall behind it and I don't want something permanent up there but I want to see if I can find some cool patterned contact paper or removable wall paper to pump this space up. While it looks a lot better than it did before it still feels a little blah. . .any suggestions??

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crockpot Roast Tacos

Um, before we even get into this recipe, I just need to tell you, you need to make this dish.
1. it is ridiculously easy
2. it is ridiculously tasty
3. anyone you cook it for will thank you
4. it's ridiculously easy- did I mention that??

Seriously- it's that good
I found this recipe on A La Mode a style/ home blog that I read. I even pinned it on Pinterest a while ago before finally making it last week for the first time

Tasty no?? YES!

Here's what you need
Sirloin tip roast ( we used about 2 lbs)
1 jar of salsa (I used On the Border's hot salsa because I had it)

Just put the roast in the crockpot and cover with the salsa. Oh and I sprinkled some salt on top too. Then set on high and cook for 5 hours in your crockpot. The meat will be fall apart tender and be very easy to shred. And that's it!!
We serve it on flour tortillas with shredded cheddar but you could use chips and sour cream or anything really! The flavor is really great, you will love it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

homemade frozen yogurt

As the temperature rises and we are outside more, I crave ice cream more and more. Duh! We have an ice cream maker but I hesitate to use it because while homemade ice cream is yummy its not any better for you than the Blue Bell I'd pick up at the store!
The past few weeks have been so nice I went in search of a good low-fat/ lower calorie frozen treat.  I came across this recipe on 101 Cookbooks after doing a little research. It is simple, easy and fast!

What you'll need:
3 C Greek yogurt
3/4 C sugar
6 packets of Splenda
2 tsp vanilla  (paste or extract)

The original recipe calls for 1- 1 1/4C of sugar depending on how sweet you want it, but I lowered the sugar amount and substituted some splenda just to cut calories. This will result in a more icy/ hard yogurt, but to compensate for the lack in sugar you can add one tablespoon of vodka to help keep the yogurt soft in the freezer. You won't be able to taste it, it just keeps the yogurt from completely hardening.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then let sit in the fridge for an hour.

Then freeze according to your ice cream maker directions. I think mine took about 20 minutes. As you can see, we added a few chocolate chips! It's very tasty and satisfies those summer ice cream cravings!

Friday, May 4, 2012


You know when you are browsing Pinterest and you see pantries like this:

Or This:

And of course one like this:

What I'm working with:

Seems pretty pathetic!! I think we actually have a decent amount of space I'm just not using it very well. My goal is to try to figure out what all we use most often and find a better way to organize everything with the most used items at easy reach and with space for all of our paper products/ dog food! I would love to knock out the shelves (especially that rod going down the front) and start over but I don't really want to take on a huge project. . . so my goal is to try to figure all of this out while keeping all structure!

I'm putting this out here so I will actually work on it. . . .so please hold me to it! This is driving me crazy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ikea Expedit hack

So I'm sure probably like 75% of the readership here has or has heard of the Ikea Expedit bookshelf. They come in several sizes but we have a 2 x 4 shelf that we got when we were still in our apartment for extra storage. Now we are using it as the media console in our back "Wii game" room. I really don't mind the shelf itself (although of course I wish I had bought it in white, anyways) but I always hated that you could see all of our wires (again, If I would ever get an electrician out to hide the TV wires in the wall). 

But my problem is beyond the TV wires, its the gaming console wires which you can see running all the way down. Annoying, much! So I've tweaked my Expedit. . . . can you tell what I did?

Maybe you need a closer view?? 
Can you see it now??? YAY for pretty fabric! I have had this fabric sitting around for a while now because I thought I was going to use it in our bedroom, but I never ended up executing the plan. 

This is about the easiest Ikea hack ever. You can hardly call it a hack. I just cut my fabric roughly the size of the cabinet ( I didn't bother measuring, just held the fabric up against the front of the cabinet and cut!) Then I just got my light weight staple gun and went to town, doing the top and then the two sides
Before I finished stapling down both sides I just cut small holes in the fabric where the two gaming systems are so those wires could pop through the fabric and I was DONE! 

Easy stuff man, why did I wait months years to do it??