Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and a Reminder!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I was going back through past pics of my girls all decked out for Halloween when I stumbled upon the pictures of our youngest from 2007, she was just 14. 

I had forgotten all about that costume! I have to tell ya, she'd be happy to wear it all over again at the age of 18!! 

Have a SAFE and Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quick and Easy Fall Dinner~

With our crazy schedule lately, I am always looking for something quick and easy to make for dinner.  I saw this recipe in a magazine awhile back, and knew we had to give it a try.  Easy to find ingredients, quick to make, and oh so delicious!  What's not to like?

Chicken Parmesan Pizza

Loaf of French Bread
Pizza Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pre-cooked Chicken Tenders (around 6 or so), we purchase them at our local Publix deli
Italian Seasoning

Cut french bread loaf in half.  Spread pizza sauce on both halves.  Cut up pre-cooked chicken tenders into bit size pieces.  Place on top of pizza sauce.  Cover with shredded mozzarella.  Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.  Bake at 350 until crisp and the cheese is bubbling and a bit brown.  Slice and serve with a garden salad.

Couldn't be any easier!

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes for our younger daughter's MRI.  At her follow-up appointment her doctor said there were no changes from last spring, and unless she experienced new problems, she was cleared and wouldn't need to have them done anymore!!  She is so relieved.  She will continue to see her regular neurologist for her migraines, which are coming less and less this year, thank goodness.

We are hoping for another good report this afternoon, as she goes for another MRI for her foot/ankle injury!  Yes, my daughter likes to keep our doctors busy.  They believe she has a mid-foot sprain, but want to rule out a tendon tear.  Fingers crossed.  Or, should I say toes!

Hope everyone is having a great week.  Can't believe it's Thursday already!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Mantel~

The past few weeks have been super busy for us.  We finished up the high school volleyball season, our youngest had her one year follow up brain scan (due to a cyst and migraines she suffers), she's sported two casts on her left foot/ankle (not at the same time mind you) and is now back in a boot awaiting an MRI for that injury, tons of college applications, she is now back coaching club volleyball and is in the midst of tryouts, big sis formally accepted her job upon graduation in December, finishing up other Senior obligations for both (baby ads, senior ads, announcements, etc), we participated in our neighborhood garage sale...

Okay, I don't know about you but I am exhausted just reading all of that.  I am ready to have all of that behind us, and just concentrate on enjoying time together as a family.  The girls are growing up waaay too fast.

I finally got around to decorating our fall mantel with the pumpkins and gourds we picked out on our trip to the pumpkin farm a couple weekends ago.  I have kept most of our fall decor to our family room.  I am not big on Halloween decorations now that our girls are older.  I like something that will last us through to Thanksgiving.

Today I have a dentist appointment, and then have to take our youngest for her MRI we are still running!

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Fall Favorites~

I recently purchased a couple of pieces for my fall wardrobe and I thought I would share them with you.

I first spotted these boots on Lindsay's blog, Delighted Momma, when she shared some of her favorite things.  They are the Steve Madden Cadence boots in Cognac.  I purchased mine from  my local Nordstrom ($98), but I know Lindsay purchased hers online.

The jacket is from Target, Converse Collection. It can be found here.  It is a great weight, and can be dressed up or down.  And, you can't beat the under $50 price tag.

The scarf I purchased last spring from Chicos.  I love the orange color for this time of year!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  We are participating in our neighborhood garage sale.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bathroom Drawer & Cabinet Makeover

I recently cleaned out my bathroom makeup drawer and cabinet under the sink.  I used a lot of things I already had but purchased a few new trays for the drawer.  I love to have things organized and right at my fingertips.  It also forced me to get rid of products that had seen their time, or that I no longer used.

As you can see, I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup.  A good foundation, a little bronzer, some eye shadow, liner and a bit of mascara, along with lip gloss or just a little balm are all it takes.  The trays are from IKEA, and can be found here.  They come in a set of three.  I used three in the drawer and one for under the cabinet, and have two to use elsewhere in our home.

Under the cabinet is where I store all of my hair products, styling tools such as brushes, hair clips/ties, girlie stuff, lotions, and nail kit.  The wire mesh carousel was purchased from Target, and the clear drawers from the Container Store.  My blogging BFF, Ashli of Maillardville Manor, was the inspiration behind using both.  Ashli showed how she used them in her bathroom, and I new I had to steal copy her idea.  If you haven't visited Ashli's blog before you are missing out!  She is a whiz at organizing and keeping a home simply yet sophisticated.

Having things organized in my bathroom makes my mornings so much easier.  And, it allows me to see what I have so I am not making unnecessary purchases.  Because let's face it, beauty products can add up real quickly!

Have you organized anything lately?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's for lunch?

Today I thought I would share one of my favorite, quick and easy lunches.  The inspiration for this dish came from a trip my hubby and I took to Italy several years ago.  My favorite time of the day while there was sitting down to a light lunch alongside the water's edge, sharing good conversation, and drinking a glass of wine.  Lunch consisted of a Caprese Salad-fresh mozarella, tomatoes, basil, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar served with a bit of Prosciutto and a slice of crusty bread.  I love recreating this dish at home...brings back great memories.

Fresh Mozarella-sliced
Tomatoes-vine ripe sliced if in season, but any will do (I had grape tomatoes on hand the other day-so I halved those).
Fresh Basil-torn
Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar-drizzle
Salt and Pepper-to taste

Serve with a roll-up or two of fresh Prosciutto and a slice of crusty bread.


Happy Wednesday!!  It is a nasty rainy day here in Georgia!

I'm linking up to...
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown~

First, I would like to thank everyone who left such heartfelt comments yesterday.  It meant the world to me, and it felt great to know that others had my back.  You all are the best!  I have to say that after reading the comments and having some time to think about things, I have no regrets and have put it in the past.  Time to move on.

I had promised pics of our trip to the pumpkin patch, so with out further ado...

My girls thought this sign was hilarious!

Our oldest with her beau.

No, I don't normally sport a bright orange pumpkin on my chest...I realized I had on my volleyball shirt that has the name of the school my daughter for privacy sake, I will sport a bright orange pumpkin (easy fix).

She survived despite being on crutches!!  (don't let that face fool you...she had a great time)

We had such a good time at the pumpkin patch.  The weather was gorgeous, sunny and a little cool.  The leaves are just starting to turn here, so we will probably make another trip up to the mountains soon to see all the changing colors.

So, you may have noticed dad is not in any of the pictures...he was like a kid in a candy shop, checking out all the pumpkins and such...we couldn't keep up with him.  He'd never been to a huge pumpkin patch like this one! LOL  We ended up with two wheelbarrows full of pumpkins and a basket of mini pumpkins, gourds and indian corn.  Now I have to figure out where they are all going.  Fortunately, some went home with our oldest daughter for her apartment.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Writing Today From the Heart~

I had originally planned on posting pictures of our trip to the pumpkin farm today, but some things happened this morning and my heart just isn't in it.  I will post them later in the week, however.

Today, I just felt the need to write from my heart.  Have you ever put you whole self into something, something that really didn't benefit you personally, to have one person come in a destroy everything you have built?  Well, that happened to me today.

For the past four years I have poured a lot of time, energy and tears into a program, only to have the "new kid on the block" come in and basically say, "I'll take it from here and I'm doing it my way."  No thanks for all you've done, all you've created...thanks for nothing.  I probably would not be as hurt, except that his decision not only effects me, it effects a lot of young lives.  Lives I truly cared about.

His decision comes because I disapproved of a decision he made, something if made public, most would disagree with.  Well he didn't like the fact that I shared my OPINION.  I didn't tell him what to do, how to handle it, only that I disagreed with what took place.  It was a matter of integrity for a program I'd spent so many years helping to build.  A program he hopes to build. 

It's really sad that adults these days feel the need to win at all costs.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I didn't think it would come to were my faithful companion for many years.  I tried to revive you, but you just didn't have any life left in you.  Rest in peace my old friend.

Yup, my old Blackberry finally bit the dust for good!  I took a very brave step today...

I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 4.  Since I HAVE to have a phone, mainly in case my girls need to get ahold of me for emergencies (which with my girls is EVERYDAY people)...well, not true emergencies but what they think are emergencies, I couldn't wait 30 days for the new iPhone.  And, I really didn't see that much of a difference to be honest to justify the wait and the bigger price tag.

I was really worried I would have a hard time texting with the touch screen.  I could text on my BB with the best of them.  To my surprise, I can on my iPhone too.  My girls are very proud!  LOL

I haven't had a chance to set things up on it yet, so for right now I can call out, receive calls, text and receive texts only.

So, what I want to know is...what apps are a MUST have?  Poor hubby...he'll be spending all evening after the volleyball match helping me figure this thing out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge-Day 1-7

Hi Everyone!  I am so excited to be linking with Michelle, Ten June, for a  30 Day Photo Challenge.  Several of us recently purchased new cameras and thought it would be a great way to learn to use them!

Ten June 30 Day Photo Challenge

I did not edit any of my photos, just cropped, framed and such in Picnik.

Our weather has been a bit overcast and rainy the past few days...quite a challenge when taking photos!  Thanks Michelle for encouraging us all to give it a try!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As a mother, right now my hope is that that particular statement will ring true.  I know it will, but right now it is a hard pill to swallow.

As many or all of you know, our youngest has played volleyball since the age of 13.  She played club ball for 4 years, high school Varsity ball for 4 years, coached 12s last season at the club and will again this season.  Her years of volleyball have not come without injuries, some minor, some not so minor.  She has come back stronger each time.  Unfortunately, she suffered a mid-foot sprain last week (possible stress fracture, too early to tell).  She played last week, knowing that with each might be her last with her team.  The girls rallied and finished 4th in their Area-earning them a spot in the 1st round of the State Playoffs.  While our daughter has had the opportunity to play at State before, the rest of the team has not.  Playing didn't come without a price...she can now barely put weight on her foot.  The 1st round game is Thursday.

We saw her orthopaedist (who has known/treated her since age 4-when she broke her arm) yesterday.  He told her to ice, rest, elevate,no practice, tape, and warm up with the team on Thursday...only then would she know if she would actually be able to play. Senior year, no regrets.  However, her coach has a practice, no play.  She came home yesterday to say she was done.  Her only regret...she wished she had been the one to make that decision.  And, she would have on  Thursday when during warm ups she couldn't do what needed to be done.

It was a heart wrenching conversation to have with her.  She knows God has a greater plan for her, and playing on Thursday wasn't a part of it.  As I mentioned before...she's been hurt a lot.  It was time to take a step back, relish all her accomplishments, and dream of a brighter future.

While she may not play in Thursday's match...she will be on the bench next to her coach, cheering and doing what she does best and is so looking forward to...coaching.  Full circle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Touch of fall~

We have been so busy with our youngest daughter's volleyball,  I have yet to really decorate for fall.  Yes, I know, it is already October! 

It's been worth every minute of our time.  She racked up 9 aces and 31 service points for her team in the 1st round of the Area Tournament, securing them a spot in the 1st round of the State Playoffs.  Not bad for a kid who stretched her rotator cuff muscle in her hitting shoulder a week ago (one she has already had surgery on) and might be fighting a stress fracture in her foot.  Senior year...not gonna let it stop her!

On top of that we have had issues with not just our oldest daughter's car, but now mine!

I did however manage to put together one fall basket.  I had clipped the last of our hydrangeas about a month ago and let them dry out.  I placed them along with a few pinecones in a pedestal basket I had (purchased from Ikea).  I love the blue green color of the hydrangeas and the bit of brown the pine cones add.

Hopefully this weekend I can get a few more things decorated.  We have a 3 day weekend.  However, I think the youngest will have practice on Monday despite no school.

Hope everyone is having a great week!  Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Super Yummy-Grilled Pork Roll Ups~

During the summer, Nate Berkus had Guy Fieri on the show for a backyard bbq cookoff episode.  At the end of the show, Guy created this dish on the grill.  Our mouths were watering just watching.  My hubby decided we HAD to make it.

Well, we FINALLY got around to making the dish the other night.  And, I will was WELL worth the wait.  This is one of the best tasting pork dishes I have ever had.  It doesn't hurt that I love anything grilled!!

Summer Grilled Pork Roll Ups

Caesar Salad-the perfect compliment

Summer Grilled Pork-Guy Fieri


Four 1-inch-thick boneless pork chops (we used two butterflied)

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly cracked pepper

10 thick-cut applewood-smoked or regular bacon slices (about 12 ounces)

3 Tbs cream cheese, at room temperature

2 Tbs panko bread crumbs

¼ C thin strips roasted red bell pepper

¼ C chopped drained artichoke hearts (jarred, in water)

2 Tbs sliced pickled jalapenos

1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

¼ C honey

¼ C Dijon mustard

½ C beer (IPA-style preferred)


1. Pound out each pork chop between two pieces of plastic wrap until ¼ inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper. (we found it easier to pound them out on a cutting board without the plastic wrap!)

2. Preheat a grill to medium.

3. On a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, lay out the bacon strips vertically, overlapping them by ¼ inch. Arrange the pork chops in one layer over the bacon. Spread a thin 2-inch-wide layer of cream cheese horizontally across the portion of the pork chop closet to you. On top of the cream cheese, evenly distribute the bread crumbs, roasted pepper, artichokes, and jalapenos. Starting with the edge closest to you, carefully roll the pork into a cylinder, lifting the foil to keep it outside the roll. Drizzle the vinegar over the bacon and close the foil tightly to keep the cylindrical shape.

4. In a skillet over medium heat, combine the honey, mustard, and beer. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until reduced by one-third and thickened. Set aside half of the sauce for serving and the other half for basting.

5. Place the foil-covered cylinder on the grill and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each of the four sides. Remove the foil and crisp the bacon on the grill, turning four times and basting with the honey-mustard sauce at each turn. Remove from grill after basting for 5 to 6 minutes, or when an instant-read thermometer in the middle of the meat registers 140 degree F.

6. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into ¾ inch slices. Serve with the remaining honey-mustard sauce.

Serves 4 as main course, 8 as an appetizer.

This is a dish that is definitely worth making! Enjoy!