Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book review: Diary of a Dead Guy: A Country Ghost Story

Ok ya'll I finally finished reading book 1 out of the  50 that I have committed to read before I turn 30! I had trouble finding good reading time last month. That won't happen again. ;)

Anyway, I read Diary of a Dead Guy: A Country Ghost Story by Ty Hager. Here is the review I left on

"This was a crazy, twisted story of a dead country signer taking up residence in the body of a 12 year old boy so that he would get his story out there. It was a little twisted, but very funny and had a great plot twist at the end. I'd recommend this to anyone that is looking for a mystery with a side of raunchy humor."

This was a great story. It was well written, it was funny, and while it was outside of my normal chick-lit comfort zone, I enjoyed reading it. 

Warning: I would not recommend letting your mother, grandmother, small children or pastor accidentally read over shoulder.... There is definetely some strong language and raunchy humor. But, if you are looking for a good read, a lot of laughs and some mystery I suggest you head over to to download your copy. ASAP. 

Also, you may or (most likely) may not have noticed that I have added a second page to the blog! Along the left hard side of the main page, under the banner, you should see a link for 50 books before 30. I will be adding each of the books As I read them, as well as a simple from 1-5 rating. This will give me a great place to keep track, enable myself to be held accountable, AND serve as a one stop resource for all my favorite and not so favorite books! 

Buffalo Chicken Mac & cheese

If it was ever up to my husband, we would only have one condiment lining the doors of our fridge: Franks RedHot Sauce. 

The man uses that stuff on everything. So, naturally when I stumbled across this recipe, I knew it would be a winner. This was another great find from the Hungry Girl to the Max cookbook.

You need:
4 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) uncooked high-fiber elbow macaroni
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small onion chopped
8 ounces cooked and shredded skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cup Franks RedHot original cayenne pepper sauce, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 wedges the laughing cow light creamy Swiss cheese (broken into pieces)
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-fat Parmesan style grated topping
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. 

Cook pasta per package instructions. 

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium high heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Cook and stir until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken, garlic and 3 tablespoons of hot sauce to the skillet. Mix and remove from heat.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine sour cream, mustard, remaining 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, and cheese wedges. Mix well and microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese has melted. Stir.

Distribute half of the pasta into the baking dish. Evenly layer with the chicken/veggie mix, remaining pasta and sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with parm style topping and parsley.

Bake until hot and bubbly... About 30 minutes.

Makes four servings. 1 serving is 1/4 of the recipe. 267 calories per serving. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Styled by Tori necklace pieces

A couple of weeks ago I had to go out of town for my Aunts funeral. While I was in the big city I stopped into Joann to check out the Styled by Tori line. I am completely obsessed with cute jewelry, and here lately I have had a real thing statement necklaces. Especially the teardrop bead ones.

After numerous searches online, I had very little luck finding the materials I needed to make my own. Until I stumbled across a post about Styled by Tori.

I have always been a huge Tori Spelling fan. I loved 90210 long before I should have known what 90210 was. And when I found out that Tori is a crafty chick, I loved her a little more.

I wish I could have gotten some more pieces when I was out shopping, but I got enough to do two necklaces. I know next time I go out of town I'll be stopping in at Joann again to check out some more items. Here's what I got!

And here I am modeling my new creations!

Sometimes Justin likes to "help".


And the second one! 

I am a true Styled by Tori fan now! Can't wait to get back to buy some more pieces! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

OMG (Onion Mushroom Goodness) Burger

Photo from 

Last night we found another amazing winning recipe in the Hungry Girl to the Max cookbook! Everyone at our table was impressed.... who doesn't love an amazing burger?

2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 1/4 lb raw lean ground turkey
1 1 oz packet of onion soup/dip seasoning mix

Bring a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray to medium high heat. Cook and stir mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer mushrooms to a bowl. Add turkey and sprinkle ith onion soup mix. Form into 5 patties.

Bring a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray to medium-high heat. Cook patties 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

A few things: I used lean beef instead of turkey. I don't know why, but I just don't like ground turkey. Also we topped with cheese towards the end of cooking, just long enough to melt the cheese. So obviously, these were more than the 185 listed calories in the cookbook. 

However, I did not care. They were incredible! Of course I didn't get a picture and they were gone faster than I could think about it. Hence why I borrowed a hungry girl pic.

Anyway you must try these. You will thank me! :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Teal Everyone Knows- Ovarian Cancer Awareness


September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. My friend Crystal over at My Ramblings asked her blogging friends to post about Ovarian Cancer to help raise awareness. I was happy to participate, not only because this is an important cause, but because this subject affects me directly.

Last Sunday, my Aunt passed away after losing her battle with ovarian cancer. This week was an emotional one to say the least. The service was perfect and I was definitely reminded of how blessed I am to be part of such an amazing family. She is already missed so much, and I regret not knowing her better... Because she was an incredible, strong willed woman. She fought a hard fight. 

After visiting her a few weeks ago, it became clear to me that this is a disease that I need to know more about. 

I am no expert of course, but I did find some information online. I made a board on Pinterest to gather information and spread awareness. (After stealing that idea from Crystal)

Basically, the best defense that you can have against this disease is to be informed and to watch for possible symptoms. Here is a pin that I stumbled across explaining symptoms to watch out for.


Please, if nothing else save this information and pass it on to the women in your life. Pay attention to symptoms... Don't ignore them, and talk to your doctor with concerns. 

Remember: Ovarian Cancer whispers... So listen up! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Beefy Crockpot Chili

Last weekend the temperature outside was approximately 157,000 degrees so I decided it was a good time to make chili. 

Yes, I am aware that most people make chili when it's cold outside... Obviously I don't always check the forecast when making my meal plan. I just really wanted some cornbread, so it was on. 

I found a low calorie chili recipe in my Hungry Girl cookbook. This one was definitely a winner, especially at only 209 calories. And it's a crockpot recipe, so that Made my Sunday a lot easier.

One 1 pound raw lean beef tenderloin roast, trimmed of excess fat, quartered
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
One 29 oz can of tomato sauce
One 15 oz. can chili beans
One 15 oz can red kidney beans
One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Season beef with salt and pepper and place in crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and gently mix; make sure beef stays at the bottom of the crockpot.

Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours, until beef is fully cooked.

Remove beef and cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir into the chili and enjoy.

This recipe was super yummy. I forgot to put in the corn, but I will definetely add that next time. We topped with cheese and sour cream. Delicious!

Inexpensive Tank Top Organization

Here lately, I have noticed that I am not very good at sharing! I have slowly started to take over a majority of the closet, and I am crowding my husbands clothes into the corner. So, I have decided that I better start getting things under control.

I found this idea on Pinterest last week, and thought it was pretty dang smart. Pinned from here. This is an Ikea towel bar that was installed inside a closet, and tank tops were hung from each bar.

Unfortunately, I don't have room in my closet to install this, but it did spark a pretty good idea!

I picked up a slack hanger from Dollar General last weekend ($4). All of the bars swing out from the hanger, so you can slide your tank tops into place.

Here it is from the back so you can view my ridiculous tank top obsession. Also, I have three more that aren't pictured here.....

After I gathered all of my tank tops and hung them up, I was almost embarrassed to show my husband. Yikes. This saved me so many hangers. I still have some work to do, but this was a step on the right direction!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Minecraft Birthday Party Treat Bags

Last weekend we hosted a Minecraft Birthday Party for my daughters 11th Birthday. Today I thought I would share my DIY treat bags.

I started with some lime green paper bags from Wal-Mart. They were each only about 30 cents. So, this was a great buy.

I used some black cardstock to cut out some 2 inch squares to use to make the creepers face. I just used gluesticks to put the blocks in place.

Here are the army of Creepers that were waiting on Rae when she got home from school that day. She immediately yelled "Quick! Get me a diamond sword!" ;)

I filled the treat bags with TNT (twizzlers), gold (Hershey bars), and diamonds (cookie and cream kisses). I made food signs for all of these, as well as the party food. I'll be sure to share the signs next week.

I also threw in some bracelets, a ring pop, glow bracelets, and a small cube puzzle from Dollar Tree.

The girls seemed to enjoy their bags. and they weren't hard to throw together at all. :)

More Minecraft party updates to come!

Fun custom mailbox- for the office

Recently, I moved into a new position at work where I am managing a team of 17 people. I've worked in this position before, so I knew that I was going to need an inbox at my desk so I could keep up with everyone.

I picked up a plain black wall mounted mailbox at Lowe's.
I had some leftover aqua spray paint laying around, so my darling husband spray painted it for me.

After we painted the mailbox I used my Cricut to cut out an "M" with the Calligraphy Cricut Cartridge.   I used some hot pink vinyl that I had laying around for the "M". Since I am using this to hang on the inside of my cubicle, I wasn't too concerned about using heavy duty vinyl, but if you are using it outside I would suggest using some outdoor grade vinyl. I love the idea of having a fun custom mailbox hanging next to my front door. I may need to make one for home!

Anyway, I hung it up on the outside of my cubicle and now my team has a place to leave me notes throughout the day.  And I have a fun cubicle decoration. :)

Greased Lightning- Cleaning up Dirty Brick

Ever since we bought out home- one year ago yesterday, I have had one item on our home improvement to do list. Cleaning up the brick in front of the house.

When we moved in the house didn't have gutters, so the rain ran off the roof, hit the dirt and then threw mud back onto the brick exterior.

Once we got our gutters installed and the flowerbeds built we decided we could finally get rid of the dirty brick. And spraying it off with the hose wasn't getting the job done.

Justin came home one day with some Super Strength Greased Lightning (from Lowe's) and a scrub brush.

All he did was spray the dirty walls with Greased Lightning, wait a few minutes for it to work it's magic and then lightly scrub with a scrub brush to loosen the dirt.

With a little bit of elbow grease (Thanks Honey!), we got a huge improvement!