Monday, November 12, 2012


Hi everyone! It's been far too long. Life has been busy-a good kind of busy. 
I guess you could say I've been sitting back and "marinating". I wish I had the desire and time to blog more. 
I really do miss it. 
I admire bloggers that stay committed for years and regularly post. Kudos to you. 

Cue the cheesy pun....
speaking of marinating, let me introduce you to marinated cheese. 
*knee slap*

I make this recipe every year around the holidays. It's SO easy and always a big hit at parties. The best part-you make it the night before, then dump in on a platter. No heating or keeping warm before your guests arrive. 

Marinated Cheese
(adapted from "Prime Meridian" Cookbook)
80 cubes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 (2 oz) jar diced pimento, drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cubed Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno pepper (pepper jack)
  • Combine all ingredients, except cheeses in a jar or plastic container with a lid. 
  • Cover tightly and shake vigorously. 
  • Place cheeses in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade over cheeses and refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Serve in a shallow dish with toothpicks and assorted crackers (in a separate dish).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pastel Jeans

I really like the J. Brand coral and turquoise skinny jeans that came out early this spring, but I'm not going to pay $175 for trendy jeans. I've seen some cheaper alternatives in various stores, but they were either distressed, bootcut, or just plain ol' ugly.

Yesterday I found a GREAT dupe at New York and Company. They're currently having a "Buy One Get One 50% Off", so I scooped up these 2 pairs. They retail for $54.95 a pair. With 1/2 off the second pair, I feel like I got an amazing deal!

Sizes are limited online and the stores also seem to be low on stock, so go scoop them up!

(Kenzie top-from last year)

I also bought "Blue Tranquility" 
 My camera washed these out. They're definitely more aqua blue.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Talbots Nicki Patent and Raffia Flats

I'm loving all the pointy toe flats that are out for Spring. I especially love the neon ones! What better way to take a neutral outfit from simple to "Wow!".

I ordered the "Nicki Patent and Raffia Flats" from Talbots earlier in the week and they arrived today. I really like them, but like all patent shoes, I'm going to have to break them in a bit before they're "comfy-cozy".

I purchased the pink flambe/natural colorway. I'd say the raffia part is darker in real life than on the website. The shoe fits true-to-size.

*I don't receive compensation or "gifting for review". The products I write about have been purchased with no intent for compensation or discounts from the companies or individuals. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Minty Fresh

I have these earrings and wear them at least twice a week. 
You can always find a Kyle Chan coupon if you search. 
I believe I got them for 20% off when I ordered them. 
Great customer service & I got them in only 3 days.

I like this one belted. 

I'm a sucker for a peplum. 

I bought this dress a couple of weeks ago. 
I LOVE it and could kick myself for not getting the other colors. 

I think I'm going to pull the trigger and get these. 
Love the design. Love the colors. Sold. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just a Little Monday Funny

Here's the music version of the famous "bronchitis" video. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Forever 21 Scores

I wanted to show y'all my latest scores at Forever 21. It's called a "Geo Wrap Dress", and I'm in love with the print. It's from their "Love 21" line, so order a size down.

I also got these shoes.
Pretty comfy and such a great color. I want the fuchsia ones now;-) I'm a 7.5 and ordered a 7 in these.

This jacket looks pink in the picture, but it's really taupe. I bought both colorways. Such a fabulous spring jacket. I've already worn my navy one twice this week.

Another moto jacket.....

I got this one in cream. 

I hope to do more blog posts. Life has gotten in the way lately! 
Thanks for hanging with me;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jinormous Grapevine Wreath Easter Basket

When we lived in Memphis, I took every opportunity to go to all the amazing design show homes that were featured every year. Every room had inventive floral arrangements that often captured my attention more than the rooms themselves. I don't feel like I have "the gift" of floral design, but I certainly love to play. Those show homes further developed my appreciation of floral design. 

At one of the tour of homes, I literally stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a huge grapevine Easter basket with colorful dinosaur-sized eggs. I love me some big ol' arrangements. The bigger the better.

I tracked down the florist that made the Easter basket and asked him where he bought it. I just HAD to have one! The florist with the Pepto-pink tie and jacket said "Oh honey child. You don't buy those Easter baskets. You make them! It's so easy. I'm not telling many people because I know it'll be on every front porch in Germantown." That sweet man led me over and started whispering how to make the basket. The rest is history. Well, except it's taken me 15 years to make it.

I've adapted his version a bit. He used grapevine garland, but I decided to try it with varying sizes of wreaths.  Here's that TOP secret Easter basket. (Hopefully it won't go gangbusters like the infamous hot-glued burlap Christmas tree skirt, but oh well if it does.)

Grapevine Wreath Easter Basket
*Makes (1) 3-3.5 ft basket

Supplies Used:
  • Grapevine Wreaths- (2) 14", (3) 18", (5-6) 24"One of your 24" wreaths will be used for the handle.  This number can vary depending on the thickness of the wreaths. I bought my wreaths at Hobby Lobby. I find they have a bigger selection than Michael's. Just get a cart and go to that back corner and plan to camp out a while. Stack from smallest to largest to find the wreaths that fit well together. People will look at you like you're crazy, but it's worth spending the extra time getting the look you want.  *Note: you will make a big mess in the floor. In my mom voice--"Don't leave it for someone to trip on or the employees to clean up." 
  • Gloves-You may want to put on an old pair of gloves. The grapevine can scratch your hands and arms pretty badly.
  • Wire cutters to cut one of the wreaths for the handle
  • Medium gauge wire or zip ties to attach the wreaths together
  • Roll of large gauge floral wire-This is used to secure the "handle" to the basket and for any needed internal support for flower pots, etc.

  • Stack the 2 smallest wreaths. Attach them together on the inside of the wreaths with zip ties or floral wire. I connect them at 3,6,9, and 12 o'clock. Make sure you put the ties or wire through the thick parts of the vine.

  • Continue securing the wreaths together. Periodically check to make sure that the wreaths are symmetrical and arranged the way you want. Lift up the "basket" to make sure there aren't any gaps that need to be secured.

  • Using wire cutters, cut one of the largest wreaths in one place to form the handle. I tried to find a wreath that was more oval in shape for the handle.

  • Carefully tuck one end of the handle between the top 2 wreaths. Once secure, start wiring with heavy gauge wire. Repeat with the other side.

  • You may want to "build up" an base inside the basket if you plan on using an arrangement. I used heavy gauge wire and made a spider web design for the potted flowers I used.

  • Double check to make sure there aren't any spots that need to be adjusted or secured. Remember-don't pick this up by the handle. Always hold from the bottom. You can't bounce around with this basket like Dorothy heading down the Yellow Brick Road. 

This weekend, I'll post pics of how I decorated my basket, along with a few of my Easter decorations.
If you decide to make this, please let me know! I'd love to see the finished results.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Candy Colored Accessories

Welp. Winter has pretty much been non-existent for us. Not that you'll hear me complaining after last winter's blizzard and -7 degree weather.

I'm already looking at spring fashions even though the temps are still somewhat low. I'm not ready for white jeans and pastel tops, but I do like to add a pop of color to my cold weather outfits. My favorite way to bring some life into the endless sea of gray and black in my closet is by adding candy colored accessories.  Here are some pieces that I recently ordered and a few others I want.

Snagged this one for $10.80
I love bright colors combined with black. 

Oops. Got this one too.
$8.80 from F21

I'd wear this with gray jeans and a bright turquoise top.

Helloooooo cutie! 
Love this different take on a skinny belt.

Perfect little bag!

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese and Roasted Pear Salad

Through the years, I've played around with different ingredients in salads to suit our tastes. Sometimes I'll try to copy a salad from a restaurant, and other times-I just use what we have on hand in our refrigerator.

This salad is an adaptation of a salad we used to have when we lived in Memphis. Paulette's had the most wonderful mixed greens salad with fried pecan-crusted goat cheese. I'm trying to eat healthier, so I coated the goat cheese in toasted pecans and skipped the frying. The roasted pears in this salad come from a recipe I made up many years ago that has cornbread croutons, bacon, spinach, and roasted pears.

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese and Roasted Pear Salad

  • Your choice of greens. I used an organic spinach salad blend.
  • Thinly sliced purple onion
  • A couple of slices of pan-fried bacon, crumbled
  • About a 1/4 cup pecans
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 small log of good quality goat cheese
  • Girard's Champagne Dressing (available in most grocery stores)
  • 1 ripe pear for each salad
  • Brown sugar or honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lightly spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add pecans. Toast the pecans for 3-6 minutes, flipping often to avoid burning.
  • Let pecans cool and pulse them finely in a food processor. Set aside.
  • Slice the goat cheese log into approximately 1/2 inch slices. If the goat cheese crumbles, don't sweat it. You can easily reshape the slices.

  • Lightly salt and pepper one side of the goat cheese. Press the pecan pieces onto each side. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Place parchment paper or a Silpat pad on a baking sheet. 
  • Peel pears and cut into wedges. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and turn over pears with a spatula. 
  • Lightly sprinkle pears with brown sugar or drizzle with honey. 
  • Return to oven and bake 5-7 minutes or until sugar starts to caramelize a bit. Be careful. These can burn easily once the sugar is on them.

  • In individual salad bowls, add spinach mix.
  • Add crumbled bacon, purple onion, pears, and 2-3 goat cheese slices.
  • Add salt and fresh cracked pepper if desired and drizzle champagne dressing onto finished salad.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dress Love

I'm so excited to be going to Nashville next month to see my besties. I love going on our girls' trips because it's often my only chance to wear cute dresses and actually fix my hair.

As I was looking online for dresses, I spotted some really cute ones I'd like to share.

This print sort of reminds me of one that Kate Spade has done.

Love, love, love.

I would wear this with boots and a denim jacket.

Best part? It's only $44.00

 Like this style of dress because it's very forgiving for all my trouble spots.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Parenting With Love and Truth

I'm an '80s child. 
Well, born in the '70s, but remember more of the '80s.
I was raised WITHOUT a silver spoon in my mouth.
My family put things in "lay-a-way" and paid for them with hard-earned cash.

I was taught that just because you're born, the world owes you nothing. 
You work hard for what YOU want.

I was taught that life is not fair.
There are always people that have more than you.
But even more people will have less than you.

My parents were divorced.
I saw at an early age what a fearless woman looked like.
My mother did things for herself.
I saw my mother learn how to do the things my dad typically did.
She learned to change the oil in her car, make house repairs, and pay her own bills. 

With no help.
From a man, government, or other family members.
She told me it wasn't another person's fault or the government's problem that 
She and my father got a divorce. 
So why should they "fix" it?

All the while, my mother remained a parent to me.
She didn't rely on me to be a confidante or emotional crutch.
She showed tough love when she needed to....which was often.

I miss the days when parents and children weren't "buds". 
Parents are supposed to nurture, educate, and guide their children.
Parents are supposed to prepare their children for the world out there.
Even if it hurts a little.

I love this episode of "The Cosby Show". 
Cliff (the dad) is offering his son Theo some honest advice about life.
Even if it hurts a little.

*Make sure you watch until the 3:00 mark. 
Theo provides such a convincing argument, but Cliff provides even better parental advice.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

I usually make sour cream based chicken enchiladas, but I wanted to try something different. I stumbled across this chicken enchilada recipe from Tide and Thyme. I have to say-these are the BEST enchiladas I've ever eaten. They're so flavorful and taste "fresher" than creamy enchiladas. Here's my adaptation of her recipe. I personally don't like pickled jalapenos, so I used fresh.

*Buy good quality tortillas. I bought local yellow corn tortillas. They tasted so much better than the normal commercial brand I usually use. Plus they roll much easier without tearing.

Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from: Tide and Thyme

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Campari tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or substitute about 1/4 cup tomato of your choice
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (I used Cracker Barrel extra sharp WHITE cheddar)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack  or Sargento's "4-cheese Mexican Blend"
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper
*Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa or taco sauce, guacamole, fresh cilantro. 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt to saucepan and cook about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir often.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar to the onion mixture. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Next, mix in tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. 
  • Once sauce starts to simmer, cook about 5-10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. 
  • Add chicken breasts directly to the sauce. Spoon sauce on top of chicken.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked through-about 15-20 minutes.  Internal temperature should register at least 160 degrees on the thickest part of the breast.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
  • Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. (This is the nectar of the gods. SO good.)
  • Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. 
  • Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • After the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Add shredded chicken to the onion mixture, along with 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
  • Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or a moist paper towel; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. 
  • Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup and just "dipped" out the mixture.
  • Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. 
  • Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).
  • Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. 
  • Top with the remaining cheese. 
  • Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. 
  • Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
*Once plated, add whatever toppings you like. Give me a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro, and I'm good to go!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

You won't believe how easy this is! As always, I made changes to the original recipe and I've posted my "version". This is a big recipe, but you can easily half it.

This is an easy casserole to make and would be perfect for company. I wouldn't recommend putting all the ingredients together the night before like other breakfast casseroles. You can reduce your morning prep time by doing a little prep work before bedtime. Cut up the cinnamon rolls and put in a resealable container. Combine the whipping cream, cinnamon, and vanilla cut up the cinnamon rolls and put in another container. In the morning, proceed with the recipe and bake.

Cinnamon Roll Casserole


  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter or baking spray
  • 2 cans (12.4 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Icing from cinnamon rolls
  • Maple syrup (if desired) --I found it was sweet enough without it.          
  • Heat oven to 375°F. Pour melted butter into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
  • Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish. 
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1/4 cup syrup. 
  • Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. 
  • Drizzle icing over top.  If desired, spoon syrup over individual servings.

Friday, January 13, 2012

25 Random Things About Me

  1. I laugh uncontrollably when people fall.
  2. I fall a lot.
  3. I read magazines from the back to the front.
  4. I would've loved to had one more baby- a boy.
  5. I still hold out hope that Justin & Britney and Nick & Jessica will come to their senses and get back together.
  6. I would love to sell all my furniture and start over. More comfy, less formal furniture would make me extremely happy.
  7. I would love to have 2 more pugs, both girls. I even have names for them. "Pucci" and "Pixie".
  8. I wish I could sing. Like REALLY sing.
  9. I love doing laundry, but despise putting it away. 
  10. I own about 75 bottles of lotions, face creams, and treatments. Oops.
  11. I hate to wear gowns to bed. I hate that tangled, twisted feeling. 
  12. When I go to a hotel, I clean before I unpack. Lysol, Clorox wipes, the works. Then I check the seams of the mattress for signs of bedbugs. I also straighten the room before I check out. OCD much?
  13. I am a loyal friend to a fault.
  14. I can cook Southern AND Thai food like nobody's business.
  15. I have a twisted sense of humor that few people "get". If you truly get it, we'll be friends for life.
  16. Twitter and blogging have changed my life.
  17. My idea of a vacation involves sun, sand, and lots of sleep. 
  18. I love "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." I watch all those hot messes every week.
  19. I want to be like Betty White when I'm 90.  Busy, red lipstick, and  sassy.
  20. I hate to eat scallops, but will tear into all other sea creatures with great vigor.
  21. I can bark like a hound dog.
  22. I dread the day when my girls grow up and move out.
  23. I would give a year of my life to be able to go back in time. I would love to have just one day with each of my girls when they were babies. I long to rock and hold them, and kiss their chubby baby feet. 
  24. I get really, really mad when I see someone get impatient with old people.
  25. I can't imagine a day without prayer, conversation, or thankfulness to God. I am so thankful for His grace.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Fitness Pal and Healthy Eating

I didn't grow up eating healthy. Sure, my mom made a meat and vegetables at most meals, but often they were fried or had a lot of butter. Luckily, I was blessed genetically with thin parents and never had to worry about "weight" or dieting.....until the past few years.

Yeah, I know....I'm not overweight. But I know that I'm not as healthy as I could be. I'm only 5'3" and 10 extra pounds on me makes a BIG difference. Since my hysterectomy in May, I haven't really exercised. There, I said it. I was working out 3-4 days a week before my surgery. I have made a lot of excuses. Like the saying goes, "You make a way or you make an excuse."

I start physical therapy on my knee this week, and I'm actually excited. I'm excited that I'll be in a safe environment to rehab my knee instead of at the gym doing Lord knows what trying to keep up with the 20 year old on the treadmill next to me. Please tell me y'all  "compete" with the person next to you on the treadmill or elliptical. Oh, okay maybe that's just me. LOL

Back to my diet.....after all the buzz on Twitter about the "My Fitness Pal" app, I've religiously started using it. If you haven't heard about it, here's the website. It's the easiest way I've found to journal my food. Now I'm thinking about every.single.morsel I put into my piehole mouth. Give it a whirl. Best of all, it's free.

Here's a few things I've been eating. I'm really trying to stay away from food in boxes or packages. In other words, I'm aiming for "whole" fresh foods.

This recipe includes homemade dough. It was my first time making my own pizza dough. 
This is by FAR the best bbq chicken pizza I've eaten. 
I used organic chicken and organic bbq sauce (recipe calls for you to make your own). 

Here's the link. I also used the same ingredients and made BBQ chicken quesadillas
You talk about F-I-N-E! Mmmmm.

I am not a fan of plain Greek yogurt, but I love flavored Chobani. 
Mango is my favorite and I add almonds or flax seeds.

Have you tried My Fitness Pal? Look me up! I'm "dishydecorator". Duh.

I'm in need of snack and meal ideas. I'd love to hear your quick "go to" healthy foods. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eye Candy

Warning: shallow blog post ahead. 

With a "gimped up" knee,
I've had lots of time to peruse the internet.
So here's a little eye candy.
These come in orange and also leopard print. 
I wonder how comfortable they are?

Indah Amazing Crochet Top in White

Ahh, Kate. I'm so in love with this blouse. 
 Only $18.00
How cute would these be with a flowy turquoise blouse or dress?

Forever 21 Dotted Woven Top
Just ordered this.

Hope you all are having a great New Year.
Speaking of the New Year, 
I hope to do some posts on healthier eating.
I started "My Fitness Pal" and really like it. 
Check it out!