"It's Christmas Time In The City."

Most of my Christmas presents have been bought online in years past and since we are planning for a cross-country move in the next few weeks, online shopping has become my passion for the moment.

My sister (C) recently got married (we will call them C & R - stay tuned for another blog update) and they have decided to use the Dave Ramsey budget to start off their little life together. I recently purchased a cute little wedding gift for them that happened to go along with their Dave Ramsey ideals. Dave is all about using cash and using no more that what has been allotted to that category, but who wants to carry around ugly, beat up envelopes to stay in budget? Not I. While adventuring off in the blog world I came across this:

Perfect! Cute envelopes that won't get destroyed and they can be carried around to help you stay on budget. C (like myself) does not carry around cash so this will definitely be new to her. If you are interested in these for yourself or for others, please check out the shop on Etsy. She has many designs to pick from and you get to pick your own categories. Fabulous.

Thanksgiving part 2 (Cream Cheese Corn, Broccoli Salad, Deviled Eggs)

 Onto more cooking.........These menu choices are more Thanksgivingy (if you will). Some you may have created or some may be new to you. Regardless, enjoy!

Cream Cheese Corn:
8 oz cream cheese
3 cans of whole kernel corn
paprika and pepper to taste

On low-medium heat, cook corn and cream cheese. When cheese has melted add paprika and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

This dish is great because it adds a bit of variety to corn and is very simple. I like a lot of paprika to add a KICK! You can follow the directions above or if you need more space in the kitchen as I did on Thanksgiving morning, I threw all ingredients into my crock pot and set on low for 2 hours.

 Deviled Eggs:
12 eggs
s & p
1T mustard
1/2 C mayo

Boil eggs for 15 mins. Peel shell under cool water (best if the eggs have sat in cold water for a while). Dry on a paper towel and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yellow yolk from the middle and place whites in a prepared tray to serve. Place whites in the fridge. Mash yolks and mix in remaining ingredients except the paprika. Place the bowls contents into a small zip lock bag and cut a corner of the bag off - viola - you now have a pastry bag. :) Squeeze a little bit of the mixture from the bag into the center of the egg white. Sprinkle paprika over the eggs. Keep in fridge until time to serve.

 Broccoli Salad:
cut up a head of broccoli and cauliflower
1/2 lb bacon & shredded cheese
1C mayo
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C vinegar

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and bacon. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing (mayo, sugar, and vinegar). Serve dressing over salad and serve.

The dressing is best mixed a night before so that it has a few hours to mix and set.

Thanksgiving Food (part 1): Pumpkin Cheesecake & Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I cooked a lot this holiday and I really enjoyed it. I'm not a huge baker (because I will completely eat what I make and don't need the calories), but I love to make cheesecake since it is my husband's favorite dessert!

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake:
• 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
• 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

She also has a recipe for the crust, but I was short on time so I just bought the kind already made in the store. Shhhhh!!! I knew I would have leftover pumpkin so I looked online to find another delicious treat and VOILA - chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I received numerous compliments on both treats. I will definitely use both recipes again.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (extract will work just fine)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.

Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in.

Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 12 -14 minutes until light and firm.

Tortilla Rolls & A Baby Shower

A horrible picture, but the invitation once again from Jessica at Empress Stationery.
As you can gather from the picture above, I helped throw a baby shower this weekend! I love throwing any kind of parties, showers, etc. I cannot wait to have kids and get all detail crazy (think Tori Spelling on a BUDGET) for their parties. And I absolutely LOVE shower food!

Our display: spiced cupcakes, a fruit tray, spinach dip, ham & turkey pinwheels, a veggie tray, BLT rolls, tortilla rolls and a meat and cheese tray. We served cran-apple juice, cranberry margaritas and water for the mommy to be!

This is the heavenly dip I blogged earlier about. It recieved lovely reviews. You can get the recipe here. I served it with Wheat Thins and the Wheat Thin (honey harvest?) sticks.

Tortilla Rolls:
1 package of large tortillas
16 oz. cream cheese
1 small can of chopped olives

Drain and mix the olives with the softened cream cheese. Evenly spread the mixture on the tortillas. Roll the tortilla into a log shape and cut the log evenly.

*I cannot stand the taste of olives. I don't know why, but this recipe does not taste too olivey for my liking. Very yummy!

Hostesses and mommy to be: Marlena, Becca, Veronica & myself.

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna:

This is such a great meal because it hardly takes any time, it is delicious and will feed a small group. Great idea if you are pressed for time and having company over!
 1 lb ground beef (as low fat as possible)
¼ C parmesan cheese (low fat)
1.5 cups ricotta cheese (low fat)
2 cups mozzarella cheese (low fat)
1 large jar of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
About 10 – 12 lasagna noodles
S & P

First, brown the beef in garlic and onion. I like to season the beef with a s & p. Mix the cheeses together in a separate bowl. In another bowl, mix the tomato sauce, paste and season the sauce with a few pinches of oregano and s & p. Once the beef is cooked, mix it in with the cheeses.

In a crock pot, place a layer of the cheese/beef mixture. Next, place a layer of noodles (uncooked). You will probably need to break the noodles in half in order to fit. Next, layer the noodles with the sauce. Repeat until you run out of ingredients! You can layer whichever way you desire. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve!

"Going To The Chapel And We're Gonna Get Married."

So much to update and absolutely zero time. Such is life. Anyways, one of the best things I got to do during October was fly into GA and surprise my sister for her bachelorette party! It was fabulous. She was so surprised! And I owe a huge thanks to the cat’s meow (Perry P.) for picking me up from the airport with her two young love bugs. I think Caroline had a great time. Here are just a few pictures from that evening. I have more videos on my phone, but I will be sweet and not post them. HEHE.
The bachelorette invitation made by Jessica at Empress Stationery.

Caroline and I at Just For Giggles in Milton, GA.

Our final products! Such a fun time.

Dinner at Cans in Milton, GA.
And now we are less than two weeks away before the big wedding! Aghhh!


Wednesday Night Dinner w/The Bentleys

With being out of town so much and having a crazy work schedule (which has calmed down in the past month), I feel like I have not had the time to actually make my husband a good dinner. This may seem like a dull dinner, but I thought the flavors went well together and it was not too heavy.

Side 1:
Green Beans
Cajun Seasoning Salt

Side 2:
French Bread

Chicken Breast - skinless, boneless
Garlic Powder
BBQ Sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese

Once again I documented our meal with my cell phone. Please don't judge my photo skills.

First start on the chicken. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle garlic powder and pepper on both sides of the chicken. Next, cover both sides of chicken with mustard and BBQ sauce. I usually line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the chicken in the oven to cook for 20 - 25 minutes. *Great time to start on the sides.* When there is 5 minutes left for cooking time with the chicken, sprinkle cheese over each breast (you can also chop up green onion to add) and let it cook for the remaining 5 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, cut up the broccoli and steam for roughly 8 minutes. At the same time, boil the green beans for 5 minutes. *Great time to start on the bread.* Both veggies should be green! Remove them from heat and place them both into a small bowl filled with ice water. While the veggies are chilling in ice water (around 2 minutes), place butter and garlic into a pan on med heat. Remove the veggies from water and place in pan. Season with Cajun seasoning (a little goes a long way) to your taste and mix veggies for 5 minutes. Serve ASAP.

French bread is so useful. It is a quick and easy side for dinner and I have started to use leftover bread for our lunches (subway sandwich designer in training). Cut the bread in half and into the desired number of pieces. Spread butter over the bread and add minced garlic on top. Place bread in oven for 5 minutes.

*I don't use "real" butter. I'm a fan of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

"All I Do Is Win." - Game Day Food

I have become OBSESSED with this song. Why? Because it reminds me of one of my favorite places in the fall - Auburn. I think they come up with a new, "pump up" song each year. Since the only game we will be attending this year will be on Nov. 13th - the GA game - AGH, Saturdays have become a semi relaxing tailgate at our house in preparation of watching Auburn on TV. Therefore, I wanted to give a few recipes that are a MUST with football games and a game day drink in hand!

Somewhat Healthy Layer Dip:
I like this because I don't see it as being too fatty like some cheese dips and it is VERY easy to make.
Shredded Cheese - 4 Cheese Mexican (low fat)
1 Cup of Light Sour Cream
1 Taco Seasoning Packet (I used it with HOT taco seasoning)
1 Can of Refried Beans

In a small serving bowl mash (if needed) and place the refried beans as the first layer. Next, mix the taco seasoning packet and the sour cream - yes this will turn the sour cream a dull orangey color. That will be your next layer. Then top with as much salsa as you would like and sprinkle with cheese on top. You can serve with tostitos, tortillas or anything else of your choosing.

Other layers to throw in:
Olives - yuck

I Almost Died Spinach Dip:
This recipe is AMAZING. It is from my mother's sweet friend, Mrs. N. I had it last week and could not stop snacking on it.
10 ounce frozen chopped spinach
16 oz sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 package KNORR vegetable mix (in green and yellow package on soup aisle in Publix)
8 oz sliced water chestnuts (drained and chopped)

Thaw and totally drain the spinach - squeeze ALL the water out of it. It has to be dry. You can use your hands or cheese cloth to get it all drained. Mix all together, cover, chill several hours. It's very good if you mix the day ahead. When it's ready to be consumed, stir well and serve in a bowl. This dip goes well with crackers (wheat thins or the wheat thin sticks), vegetables, bagel crisps, whatever!

Annie's Eats Jalepeno Popper Dip:
I will be trying it this weekend! I saw it on one of my FAVORITE food blogs. Since I love jalepeno poppers I hope this dip will be just as satisfying.
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeƱo peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeƱos, and shredded cheeses. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined. Spread the mixture into a baking dish (approximately 9 x 9-inches).

In a second bowl, combine the Panko and Parmesan and stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is golden. Serve warm with baguette slices, vegetables, etc. as desired.

*I made this dip and followed the recipe exactly. I added bacon pieces and served with Bagel chips/crisps. It was AMAZING.

"Speak Now."

It's been a while. I have a lot to update -> new recipes, adventures, pictures, gift ideas. However, today will be a quick rant.

Speak Now. Taylor Swift's new cd.

I liked her last album and so far I think this album is great. But there are a few things about the "OMG. I won an award. I cannot believe that. I wasn't expecting that even though it's my 5, 478th award." artist that make me want to scream, vomit, slap someone irritated.

By now many people should be aware that almost all of her songs are inspired by someone or something - mainly the guys who have broken her heart or vice versa. According to speculations, her album has songs that are "inspired" by like 5 guys. She isn't even 21 yet and she has songs about a Jonas bro, Jonas bro's ex gf, a werewolf named Taylor, an Owl City man, a guy from Glee, and John Mayer (who knew about that?!?!).......It's madness.

I like her wit, catchy lyrics and this weirdness about her. I really do. And I think people will purchase her album just to "decode" it. With the cd it has the little booklet with the lyrics to each song. Each song has a few letters capitalized that spell out a word which basically is like a clue as to why she wrote the song. It my singing career had taken off HAHAHA I think I would have done the same thing. Such sketchiness. I love it. So if you know anything about her or even care to read the assumptions with the code words in her album, you can find it here. I think it's interesting.....And she's probably getting so much PR buzz about her new album because of this. Great marketing?!?!

Peace Out Texas........

Nope we are NOT pregnant. We are moving back home! 
 We have been praying, stressing, and wondering about what to do when Justin's enlistment is up in August of 2011. For the past few months we have come up with many different ideas for us and how they were going to play out. Then God gave us a nice PUSH forward and things started to move VERY quickly. 

Justin decided he wanted to go into the reserves and move us back to Georgia. I imagined him completing the paperwork and us selling our house after the first of the year. Instead, his paperwork was approved and a spot for him opened up at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, GA. We did not need the 6 month window they gave us. BAM! It happened.

Well what about our house? How stupid were yall to buy a house when you were leaving only a few years later?  Aghhh. Our biggest stress case. Who knew we would purchase a home and the real estate market would fall a few months later? After praying and receiving many prayers from our family and friends, we listed the house. Fast forward to 39 days later and we had an offer (only the 2nd person to look at the house). An AMAZING offer. This offer also included us RENTING our house until the end of December. We didn't have to move into an apartment. We could stay in our home for the remainder of our time in Abilene. God answers prayers. 

The hardest part out of all of this is leaving my job - mainly my coworkers. We have a small office and the three of us are very close and make up a fabulous team. This week I turned in my resignation. Although I am super excited to be moving back home, I am terribly sad to be leaving work. Hopefully, they will get a great coworker, but someone who is not as awesome as I am! :)

The Bentley family will be back in the wonderful state of Georgia around December 16th - that's only 2 months away! And 4 days before my birthday cough cough. Even though Justin has his reserve spot at Dobbins he will still need a full time job. He has a job lined up until he gets a job for his career. Please pray that the perfect job will come along for him. Applications have been filled out for jobs at different USAF bases, but those can take a while to hear back from. Until we know where we will permanently end up, we will be staying with my parents. I am SO excited. No, I am surprisingly not being sarcastic. I cannot wait. We may not wind up in Georgia, but we will most likely be in the South East. 

Please keep us in your prayers as all this goes on. For those that know me, you are well aware of the fact that I am extremely anxious and will freak out in stressful times. I have been almost completely calm about these new plans - maybe because it's what we are supposed to be doing at this point in time. 

See y'all in December!!!!!!!!

PEACE UP. A TOWN DOWN. Yeah I couldn't resist.

"If You See Us In The Club, We'll Be Acting Real Nice."

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I am horrible with anything artsy/crafty. This is the reasoning for my madness to buy whatever the item is instead of making it, regardless of how much money it can save. But, I will slightly brag about myself for just a few sentences.....That is my fall wreath! Woo hoo! I wanted to decorate with some fall things and went for it. Since I'm such a professional, who wants one? I'm going to start my own business on the side haha.
In this picture you have the pleasure of seeing what my coworkers and I saw on Thursday morning last week. This is an unmarked, sketchy white van with no door. Yup, the door is not open - it simply has no door. And your eyes are not deceiving you. That IS a manmade gate to prevent anyone from falling out of the van without the door. Further into the van is a sleeping bag with a guy sleeping in it. It held such a high creep factor that customers inside were complaining about it. No worries, this van was not parked in front of my place of employment - it was parked in front of Kmart. That part almost makes the story better. :) I feel like these things are only seen in Abilene, TX. 

Disclaimer: I do not think it is funny in any way that people may have to sleep in their cars. However, there was a long sedan parked directly behind this van. An older man was just sitting in his car - watching and reading. It appeared that the two somehow were connected or maybe that's just my Criminal Mind obsession kicking in. Regardless, their operation seemed extremely out of the norm - even for this town.

Empress Stationery - GET EXCITED!

My little sister (yes blood related, not sorority) is getting married in November. Even though I am 1,000 miles away, I wanted to throw her bachelorette party. Thanks to facebook, I saw that one of my sorority sisters started her own stationary business. Please check out her blog, Empress Stationery. I have fallen in love with pretty much everything she has designed and I wanted to share it will yall. She can do an invitation for almost any event!  I just sent out the invitations for the bachelorette party and have received such great feedback on how cute they are! I think I have become one of those people who believes that the actual tone of the event begins with that first invite. Even though it's only a piece of paper, it speaks volumes on what type of event it will be. Maybe that's just my imagination though. :) I am back in talks with Ms. Empress Staionery about a second project - baby shower invitations! I highly recommend using her if you need invitiations for anything. Enjoy!

Crock Pot - Pot Pie by Tamara

A few posts ago, I blogged about Chicken & Dumplings - Crock Pot Style. Well, the mother of one of my best friends in middle school (it's a mouthful right?) played around with the recipe and created a new dish for me to try out called Crock Pot - Pot Pie.  Tamara (how old and adult do I feel now that I am using her first name?!?!) sent me a message about her creation. It's great to get feedback and new recipes I can share, but it also means that at least one person is reading this. Hehehe.

Crock Pot - Pot Pie:
For more flavor, sautee: 1/2 onion, 2 garli cloves diced, 3 carrots and couple stalks of celery. Season with S&P.

I put that into the bottom of the crock pot.

Then, I sauteed the chicken pieces, I used breast and thigh. I seasoned the meat with S&P, a shake of sage and tyme, just a littel bit of rosemary. Just browned the chicken, didn't cook it all the way. added that to the crock pot.

Used 2 cans of cream of chicken (98% fat free) and added in a cup of so of chicken broth. Cooked it on low for the afternoon. I did need to add a littel flour to thicken later in the afternoon.

About 30 minutes before serving I added a bag of peas - just looking for ways to pump up the veggies!

I cooked the biscuits in the oven, split them and served them on top of the chicken mixture to make it like a crust on pot pie.

If you want to get fancy you could move the chicken to an oven proof serving dish and cook a crust on top, but who wants another dish to clean?

Seriously. I hate meals that use tons and tons of dishes. Consequently, I hate cleaning tons and tons of dishes.

"We've Only Got 4 Minutes To Save The World."

I have been so swamped at work that I am not even sure where to begin this blog. Thus, it will most likely be a completely random update.

First, I love Glee. I don't think last night was a "great" premiere, but I am so excited for this season and most importantly, NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE! Why?!?! Because Britney Spears is my home girl and it's going to be a WHOLE, ENTIRE episode with Britney and Britney music. AGHHH. If I can figure it out, I may post the Britney preview video at the end of this rant.

I have been busy with work, but also planning a bachelorette party for my sister. How hard is it to plan something for someone who is almost completely opposite from you? It can be hard, but not nearly as hard as trying to plan an event in another city that I no longer live in AND trying to plan an event I will not be in attendance for. Plane tickets are crazy pricey. However, it is planned and invitations have been designed by a former sorority sister of mine. Once the invites are sent out, I will share the link to her blog and a picture of the adorable invitation. I don’t want to spoil it if people haven’t received their invite yet!

I am also in the beginning stages of planning a baby shower and I am so excited about it that I have started to research different “fall” recipes. I adore making appetizers and can’t wait to try making different things for the shower. The mommy to be is due in December and we are planning the shower for the first weekend in November. I can’t wait for it to cool down in Texas.


"Drop Down And Get Your Eagle On Girl."

It's that time of the year, fall! Who cares about the fall weather - I care about what fall brings, AUBURN FOOTBALL! Although I certainly love fall weather I heart football a little bit more. It also brings pro football which means I get to participate in the fantasy football leagues. I am in two this year. Two years ago I started playing fantasy football with the boys. My husband helped me draft and :big surprise here: I lost. Like came in dead last. However, last year I wanted NO help from him and I wound up doing really well. I was number 1 for like multiple weeks in a row. This year I drafted by myself - we will see how we do.

It has been an absolute stressful month for me. I seriously need to be medicated. Work has picked up an enormous amount, but that's nothing new. That's manageable, almost enjoyable stress. Between us trying to sell our house, offers, contracts, keeping it clean more than I have ever done in my life, trying to get things in order to be in 2 out of state weddings, and planning a bachelorette party in a state I no longer live in, I could really use daily massages or take up drinking. There is a lot going on. And then there was last night........Thursday, September 9, 2010. This my friends, is the day AUBURN almost lost to Miss State. It came down to the last two minutes. We somehow managed to hang in there, but not without me having a mild heart attack. The SEC is the best conference, but I am not sure how I am going to handle watching any more games. My heart may stop by the end of the season.
War Egle!

So in case you are wondering how football can be such a big deal, you can read below to see what football season at Auburn is like. I have gotten this email before, but also saw this on The McMommy Chronicles

Women's Accessories:
NORTH: ChapStick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of Captain Morgan/Crown. Money is not necessary - that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America.

NORTH: If you are slightly coordinated, you make the varsity squad.
SOUTH: You begin cheer camp at age two, complete with ballet, dance, & gymnastic training.

Getting Tickets:
NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus & put your name on the waiting list.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung-over students that might actually make it to class.


NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking.
SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day:
NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the idiots up north.

Tailgating: NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down. SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by "Dave Matthews' Band,who comes over during breaks and asks for a hit off a bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day, it becomes the state's third largest city.


NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than halfway with soda, to ensure enough room for Captain Morgan/Crown.


When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.


The Smell in the Air after the First Score:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of Captain Morgan/Crown.


NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.


After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker while somebody goes to the nearest store for more bourbon; Planning begins for next week's game.


Caroline's Crazy Crack Potatoes

So this is definitely not the best picture, but cut me some slack. I took it with my iphone half way through the meal because I had completely forgot about it. It may look like a hot mess (I will confess, I am horrible with presentation), but it melts in your mouth. Please allow me to introduce you to your newest craving, Caroline's Crack Potatoes.

Caroline's Crack Potatoes:
Red potatoes
Ranch dressing
Shredded cheese
Bacon pieces (6 cooked pieces or a small bag of the bacon pieces for a salad - NOT bacon bits)

In this addicting yet very simple recipe you begin by slicing the red potatoes. In this picture, I probably used about 10 or so potatoes. Leave the skins on and boil for roughly 15 minutes. Once you drain the potatoes, put them in a baking dish and cover with ranch dressing (I probably used a little over a half cup - I didn't want to smother them). Sprinkle cheese and bacon pieces on top. I usually go ahead and mix everything together. Finally, put it in the oven (350 degrees) for about 7-10 minutes until it is bubbly enough for you. Voila!

"Run Run Rudolph!"

So this is what I saw Monday evening when I got home from work.
Yup. That's the boy who lives across the street. He is shooting a fake deer set up against the fence with a real bow and arrow. Only in Abilene.

3 Cheese Mostaccioli Bolognese

This has been one of my favorite recipes to make. I do not make a lot of pasta dishes, but this one was a hit with family and friends, plus it makes a ton! It's great for a big get together or if you need leftovers for the week.

3 Cheese Mostaccioli Bolognese:
1 pound ground beef
1 medium zucchini, cut in small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large jar of traditional Italian sauce (I use the Great Value *Wal-Mart* brand)
1 box of wheat ziti pasta, cooked (GV brand)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (low fat)
1 cup ricotta cheese (low fat)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (low fat)

First, cook the noodles. While they are boiling, cook the beef and garlic over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini (you can add more garlic/pepper if desired - garlic does go a LONG way) and cook until it's tender (roughly 10 - 15 mins longer). Stir in the sauce.

Once the noodles are finished cooking, mix the noodles, beef mixture, and cheese together. Once it is mixed well, transfer it to a large baking dish (9 x 13 works fine for me). You can also sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top which I do, because I love cheese.

Stick the dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Side dish options: garlic bread/rolls, side salad

"I Know I May Be Young, But I've Got Feelings Too."

A very brief recap of some of the craziness the month of August has brought upon us. Work is picking up insainely fast and as a result, this month has FLOWN by.

August 7th was the birthday of my very beautiful husband. We enjoyed a surprise dinner before we went out to a sportsbar - Cabos. Dinner was yummy and Cabos was packed. I have never seen so many people in that place before. There was some fight on so I believe that had something to do with it. Regardless, it was a great time, no drama and the birthday boy had fun.

Oops - the only picture of the two of us that night.
The following weekend we went to Oklahoma City with the Adams family . It was relaxing and we got to see some old friends. Friday evening we went out to eat and then were forced to go to this hole in the wall/death trap known as the Bamboo Room. We weren't really forced, but I will claim that. We got to meet up with the Spears.

Old Chicago
Ladies at the Bamboo Room

On Saturday, Waffle House was introduced to Adams and Rasheeda. LOVE LOVE LOVE WA HO. That evening our long lost friend Snuggles Delgado flew into OKC. He is currently stationed in Alaska therefore everyone was quite happy to see him. We all went out to Bricktown and luckily no one passed out on a fire escape.
Sky Bar with Snuggles.
Pregame in the hotel.
Rok bar.

"I'm Like Tinkerbell. If You Don't Clap, I die."

Probably my favorite line from the Lady Gaga concert that night. 
Since I don't feel like recapping every single detail, I thought I would share some photos. 

I went to the concert with my good friend CLAWS a.k.a. Rasheeda.

Before the show we saw some very Gaga inspired costumes....Some were cute, others not so much. 
And then there was the concert. She is crazy. 
Gaga on a fired up piano.
A beautiful, crazy costume.

A little um not innocent pose, but I think the paparazzi had just killed her.
Her in the TinkerBell costume trying to escape the FAME MONSTER.
Closing with BAD ROMANCE!
So to recap the concert, it was very interesting. A few times I thought I would actually walk out of the concert because I am way more conservative that most of her following, but WOW. I had a great time! I think Britney's concert was better (not because I am a Britney fan, duh), but because Britney was actually smack dab in the middle of the arena. No matter where you sat you could usually see Britney or at least be entertained by her circus folk. Gaga was at one end of the venue - luckily we were on that end. She sang live for most of the time (I think) and I was very amused by her dancers. I liked that she would talk to the people in the crowd - very cool. But since she only has 2 albums (one that everyone really knows) it was not a concert just filled with music - and that was okay. I had a great time!

Following the concert we met up with our husbands, had a few cocktails, went to Denny's and back to the hotel room. The next morning we woke up and hit up Six Flags in Dallas. We splurged and bought the Fast Pass (it helps you skip the line so you don't wait forever in the heat, but it cost an expensive penny - what at Six Flags is not expensive though) and purchasing that pass was the best decision we made that day. All in all a great weekend with some fabulous best friends.