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!