Friday, March 29, 2013

March 2013 Mini Goals Roundup and a WINNER!

Via

First off,  I have to admit this because I find it sad and hilarious! For my January and February Goal Roundup posts, I labeled them 2012 instead of 2013!!! Apparently I was trapped in last year! Oppps!

I would like to think that my March goals went well but that is really yet to be decided! I'm updating y'all on them today as the last day of the month is Sunday, and well.... I don't blog on the weekend! I do still have a few days to get some more wins in! Nonetheless, how did I do?! Let's review!

1. Continue to purge and organize the house, one room at a time and donate all to Goodwill! WIN/FAIL! This is forever ongoing, but I was able to donate a huge load of stuff to Goodwill a few weekends ago! I didn't get much organizing done, but really hope to tackle our guest rooms in the coming weeks!

2. Finish reconstructing my resume. WIN! I'm saying win because there are only a few things that need to be finished and the end of the month isn't technically here yet! The goal is to finish it this evening! So far I think the presentation of it looks great and highlights my assets a heck of a lot better than my dated resume ever did.

3. Arrive on time to work, every morning. FAIL! I made it to work on time ONCE this month! I know, I know, I know, it's terrible! I just can't seem to get up out of bed and out of the door on time! Not being a morning person is becoming an issue for me! How do I become a morning person?!?!?!

4. Stay off of the phone and computer on evenings we are both home! FAIL! With March Madness happening this month, several surf competitions occurring, and my addiction to Instagram, neither myself nor the hubby did really well at this! I think we just need to make more of an effort to put the electronics away when we get home!

5. Update our iPhones. FAIL! However, the month isn't over yet. While I'm finishing my resume this evening there will be some updating of iPhones too!

6. Keep a better track of our expenses! WIN! I joined mint.com and we have saved all of our receipts from everything we purchased this month. This weekend I hope to tackle them all, organize them into a spread sheet and find out where we can cut some corners! I also want to be able to start using the checkbook register and balance it every night! Hopefully once the expenses from this month are organized it should be simple to do so!

7. Work on my reactions when others are rude to me. WIN! Basically, how I look at this, is that I need to act like I don't even notice it! Though this week, because of PMS, most rude people just made me cry! I guess crying is better than being ugly! This is an ongoing goal of mine. I'm a firm believer in killing people with kindness when they are ugly to you! As easy as it is for us to say something snarky in return, saying something nice says a lot about the person you are! I definitely want to have more self control and continue to work on my reactions and expressions when I've been offended!

8. Find a cobbler/shoe repair shop to spruce up some of my damaged heels and to put life back into my Tory Burch's! WIN! The heels I took were too far gone to save but they polished my TB's and made them look like new!!! All for $8 bucks! Read about my experience at the shop here! I'll definitely be going to a different cobbler in our area next time!

9. Keep writing true honest posts for my readers! WIN! At least I think it's a win! I've even created a theme/link up that focuses on honest posts and I plan to start it next Friday!!! I think it will really give me a chance to share more about me as a person to all of you!

10. Try to arrange at least one family lunch/dinner! WIN/FAIL! While I didn't arrange any family lunches or dinners this month, we have had and are having {this weekend} many family gatherings! I didn't think about Easter and all the family birthday's that were part of this month when I made this goal but technically it worked out nicely!

That's 5 Wins, 2 Win/Fails, and 3 Fails! That's actually the same count as last month's roundup! At least  I kept it consistent!! The motivation was lacking this month but I am really thrilled I was able to keep the Wins going! Some of these will, for sure, roll over to April!!!

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Now for what ya'll have been waiting for... The Winner of A Few of My Favorite Thing's Give Away!


And the Winner Is........

Chris Williams from Chubbette Tales... Life after Spanx!

I'll e-mail you for needed information so I can ship this too ya as soon as possible!!! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who participated!!!

I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend and a beyond blessed Easter! It's a great time as ever to reflect on our Lord and Savior's resurrection and all the blessings he has bestowed upon us!! Pretty powerful if you ask me! XoXo!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Put Some Spring in Your Step or At Least a Photo Frame!

Don't forget... The Give Away Contest ends tonight at midnight!!!! Winner will be announced on tomorrow!!!  Enter here!!! 

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Do you realize how random social media can be?! How it can connect people with just a click here or a click there! We visit someones twitter and see them conversing with someone else so we click on that someone else and before we even know it we click to follow them! We visit someones blog and peruse recent comments, happen to like what someone said, click on that someone and before we know it we are now a huge fan of their blog! It's an ongoing cycle! We find people that interest us and other folks come in contact with us because we offer something that appeals to them! Well Well Well, that's how I met this little gem today! Twitter can be credited for our blogging friendship and while I don't know exactly how she found me, I find it pretty rad that she did! Enjoy this sweet girl and find her on your own Twitter!!! Better yet just go visit her neck of the woods and follow everything!! She has some changes going on next week so you'll want to be a first hand witness!  

Hey there! 

I'm an English teaching twenty seven year old mom, who is obsessed with pearls, polka dots, Target, books, flip flops and drinks with umbrellas in them.  My love of the warmer months is in complete contradiction to the fact that I live in Massachusetts and only see warm weather for about 3 months a year!

When you get to my site, you won't find many pictures of me (because I'm terrible at selfies and my husband can't take a picture of the side of a barn without it being blurry!) but you will find a TON of pictures of my super cute kid, books I'm reading, things I'm lusting for at Target, and Pinterest pins to die for!  I offer free advertising and even do spotlights for each person who works with me!
I'm also working on a 30 by 30 list which has proven to be a LOT of fun!

With Spring officially here (even if it's still snowing by me!), Easter isn't too far away!
I try and keep an updated mantle every season/holiday and I wanted to share with you a free Spring time printable!
I hope you love it as much as I do!

Click here for the full version! You can download or share with friends!

I'll be adding more printables as the year goes on so be sure to stop by my blog and see all the fun changes happening in the next week!!
You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest!

I don't know about you but I love printables! I'm known to have a subway art framed for every season and holiday on the table in our foyer! I've recently been looking to some printables to frame for certain rooms and decor projects! I will definitely be paying close attention to Heather's collection throughout the coming months! I hope you enjoyed meeting Heather and pay her a visit next week to see the new happenings occurring in her blog world!!! Have a fantastic Thursday my darlings!!! xoxo! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Howdy Hoo everyone!!! I hope you're having a stellar week so far! I am still trying to figure out how to maneuver through this crazy schedule of mine! Working a full time job, spending time with my little family, working on my fitness, and blogging regularly, as well as trying to do 50 billion other things is starting to take a toll on me! I don't know how some of y'all do it, but I give you mad mad props for doing it!! My sleep is suffering but I keep chugging a long! Maybe this is just training me for the future when we decide to have a wee one! None the less if you have any advice on how to juggle it all and keep your sanity, let a girl know! Other than not loving the fact that I'm losing sleep, here is what I AM loving this week!



1. That Easter is this weekend!!!! I love family dinners, lunches and brunches and we will have our fill of them this weekend! My mom is hosting a large family lunch on Saturday and Sunday we will be having brunch with Todd's family! I really do love spending time with all of our families and would love to do it more, not just on holidays! I'm also looking forward to reflecting on my God who is forever forgiving, faithful and understanding and who has blessed me beyond what I deserve.

2. The New/Prospective Member Jr. League event I attended Monday! This was the second event I have attended as a prospective member! The first one was nerve-racking being that I was "new" but I had my friend Tatiana there and we stuck together like glue! The only bad part about that was we stuck pretty close together and we didn't branch out as far to meet other ladies! We did meet a couple of gals and carried on some fun conversations that night but I think we missed some opportunities to gain more information about the group from actual members! I was able to do that Monday night! Why?! Because I was by myself and didn't have a friend as a crutch! Even the two members I do know weren't able to attend, so I was really on my own! Now if you know me, you know I do love to talk, but you also know I am very nervous about meeting new people, especially females! I'm not one to just walk up to a stranger and start a conversation and I'm certainly not one to join in on conversations already happening, so sometimes I end up standing awkwardly by myself! I made a greater initiative to walk up to different women and begin conversations and truth be told I really enjoyed it!!! I met some really great ladies who were funny and full of personality and who shared their Jr. League experiences with me, which makes me want to join this group 100x more than I did before! I'm already looking forward to next month's event!



3. My fitness accomplishments! If you follow me on IG you know that last Wednesday I ran my first mile {all the way through, mind you} in YEARS! On Saturday you learned that I went to the gym at 8 in the morning {yea, call me crazy, I called myself crazy} and Monday, well, I ran 1.25 miles during my lunch break! If you're new to my blog you should know that I've never been a fan of the gym or running for that matter {though I have been active my whole life} so this is a HUGE deal for me! I've been going to the gym regularly since New Years and I know that this hard work will pay off! Nonetheless, I'm proud of myself that I have stuck with it this long and that I am actually loving it!

4. Bates Motel! I hate admitting this, though I'm not sure why, but I am totally addicted to the new Bates Motel television show on A&E! I've never seen Psycho so once I read up on the plot of that movie it gave me a better understanding of the show! It's ridiculously odd but the kind of odd you just can't look away from! It's creepy, dramatic, strange, thrilling, peculiar, and heart wrenching all at once! In layman's terms, it's a freaking emotional roller coaster but it's a spectacular ride! I'm really looking forward to learning more about Norma and Norman and this town they are living in! To say their relationship is strange is an understatement!


5. Being told that I am an inspiration! Yea, you read that correctly. Someone told me Monday that I've inspired them to get back into the gym and work out! I still can't wrap my head around that and I won't lie, it makes me incredibly emotional! When I told the hubby about it, I couldn't even finish the sentence because I was crying! Crying because I feel incredibly honored that someone is changing their lifestyle for the better, because of little ole me, who hated the gym and working out my entire life and who has battled with weight loss and body issues for just as long! I don't feel worthy enough to be told that I am inspiring but I know one thing, a comment like that keeps me going! It gives me the inspiration and determination to continue to better my body, my mind, and my soul.


See you fabulous folks tomorrow!!! XoXo! 


Don't forget... The Give Away Contest ends Friday! Enter here!!! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's an Easy Peasy Kind of Side!

Today I'm forgoing the main dish recipe post and sharing a really quick side dish to add to your favorite dinner meal {and because I forgot to take photos of a main dish last week}. Hopefully you can find these cutie patootie potatoes at your local market. If not, you can no doubt use small redskin potatoes or gold yukon potatoes cut into quarters!

What You Will Need:
2 cups Gold Creamer Potatoes or Red Creamer Potatoes
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Teaspoon of Rosemary {fresh or dry}
Teaspoon of Parsley {fresh or dry}
Salt and Pepper



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add olive oil and salt and pepper to a bowl.



Toss potatoes in bowl of olive oil until they are fully coated.


Spread potatoes out evenly on a non-stick cookie sheet or you can cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary and parsley. 


Bake for 30 minutes or until light brown and crispy on the outside!


Pair with your choice of protein and fresh veggies for a scrumptious evening meal!

Couldn't be any easier for ya!

Enjoy your Tuesday my darlings!!! XoXo!

Don't forget... The Give Away Contest ends Friday! Enter here!!! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Crafts on the To Do List!

Thanks to Pinterest, I am forever adding crafts to my To Do list! Have I done any of them?! I'm pretty sure I haven't, but let's be real for a moment. The point of Pinterest is to inspire us and give us ideas on new meals to cook, new outfit combinations to try, new home decorations to create, and do-it-yourself gifts and projects to make. There really is an unlimited  amount of ideas you can pin and draw inspiration from!

Since I haven't really followed through with any of my DIY crafts or home decor pins, I'm making it a point to, hopefully, in the coming months work on creating some pieces I've added to my boards! I don't want to set myself up for failure so I'm not going to try anything that will be too intense or expensive {I'm on a super severe spending freeze at the moment}. Those big projects will have to wait, however, the ones that are easy on the pocket and time are what I'm hoping to accomplish! 

Via
I really would like a new front door, however to extend the life of the one we have for a wee bit longer I think painting it may be a better alternative! I love this mint color and think it would look great with our contrasting black shutters! I may just paint it black though, as to keep it all cohesive!

Via

These are burlap covered canvases with the initials drawn on with a black sharpie marker!  


Via 
I am dying to make this Acrylic Tray!!! And I think with how inexpensive it is, I may have to make one for every room!!!

Via

I would love to do this with me, the hubby, and Baby Reef and hang them as a part of our gallery wall I am planning to put up in our hallway!
Via

I definitely would like to do this with one of our home keys as a part of the gallery wall as well! 

These are all pretty simplistic, wouldn't y'all agree?! I'm looking forward to accomplishing some of these sooner than later! There is A LOT going on in our home right now! I may even "bare it all" to you soon and share how imperfect the inside of our home is! Lots of projects going on at once and never enough time to finish them! 

Hope y'all had a fabulous weekend!! We had snow yesterday! Yes, snow at the end of March! Where is Spring?!?! I hope it's closer than it appears!!! Have a lovely Monday my darling's and don't forget to enter my Give Away here!! It ends on Friday! XoXo!

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things Give Away!

Ohhhh yes, you read that title correctly, the give away I've been working on for two months is finally done!! I'm super excited because these really are products I use and love and I can't wait to share them with one lucky fan!! Ready for a looksie?!?! I'll stop rambling and get on with it!


Here's what this Give Away includes: 
 
*Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat*
 
*8 J'adore notecards with matching envelopes*
 
*Soft Leather Journal*
 
*Philosophy Snow Angel Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath*
 
*Philosophy Time On Your Hands Exfoliating Hand Cream*
 
*Gold Bow Earrings with Pink Rhinestones*
 
*Lauren Ralph Lauren Home Coconut Lemongrass Candle*
 
*Kate Spade Graham Wellesley ID/Credit Card Holder*


Kate Spade Graham Wellesley ID/Credit Card Holder & Gold Bow Earrings with Pink Rhinestones!

Back Side of Kate Spade Card Holder! 

Lauren Ralph Lauren Home Candle {what it looks like outside of the box}


Just a tidbit on why these items are my favorite! Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat is the next best thing to visiting a salon for a gel manicure! Not to mention it dries your polish in less than a minute! It keeps your polish shiny and chip free for an entire week! It's glorious and will save you money and trips to the nail salon! * I have a drawer full of notecards and thank you cards! You can never have too many! It allows you to send a quick hello to someone or a thank you for a nice gesture! I'm all about snail mail!! * I have tons of journals floating around our home! Most of the time I use them to jot down ideas {blog ideas} when they develop randomly! I've used one for tracking my health and fitness goals and another to keep track of future goals and dreams! Every girl needs somewhere private to write her thoughts out! * Who doesn't love bows? And on your ears no less? Enough said. * I adore Philosophy products! I do apologize that I didn't purchase a more springy scent {I bought this for the give away back in January!} but it smells divine! The exfoliating hand cream will help you skip those trips to the nail salon as well! Put it on at night and you will wake up with the softest hands ever! * I had to throw in something by Ralph Lauren {bet you didn't know I was named after him}! These candles smell absolutely amazing and will invigorate your entire home! I love the monogram holder that you can reuse once the candle has burned down! It's a class look you can't beat! 

So.... are y'all ready to enter?! Just follow the RaffleCopter rules below!!! Good Luck and have a glorious weekend!!!!!!! XoXo!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whoopie! There's the Faith, Whoopie! There's Maddie!

I have no idea how this sweet gal and I became blogging buddies but I am beyond glad we did!!! She reigns from VA but currently lives in NC {and not that far so we really need work out a blate}! My favorite quality about her is her openness and honesty! This girl doesnt hide a thing! After I wrote about a very debilitating fear I have she sent me the sweetest most heart wrenching e-mail! I cried when I read it, I cried after I read it, and I cry now just thinking about it, but it made me love this girl so much more as a new friend! She shared a part of her with me that people rarely ever see in others and I appreciated it more than she may every truly know! Her raw honesty is why I'm one of her biggest fans, well that, and of course because she hails from VA! Two up, Two down, baby! Enjoy Mrs. Maddie!!! 

Hey, Y'all! I am Maddie from A Tinge of Whimsy
 I am really excited to be visiting over here with Lauran today. We are both Virginia girls and so I always get extra giddy for my "local" ladies...



Although...for the last 10 years I have called North Carolina 'home'. I live with the hubs, Wiki, in the Raleigh area. I work part time in sports and he is an engineer for a construction management firm.. And yes, that is his nickname b/c he is entirely too smart for his own good. He knows just a little bit more than even wikipedia about everything. Which for the most part is awesome...unless you're playing trivia and he happens to be on the opposite team. and then you think it's the antithesis of cool. 

This is what 5'3 looks like next to 6'5, even wearing heels;)

This June we will be celebrating 10 years of being hitched. I am a country girl from the boondocks and he is a city boy from Boston...but somehow we are perfectly matched.(other than our baseball teams, I am all pinstripes and he loves his dirty water) We love to try new foods and meander our way through small towns off the beaten path...especially if there is a winery off of said paths. Hoping we get to explore some new jaunts this year, perhaps finding food to devour along the way via Diners Drive Ins and Dives or Man VS Food.

For the most part, I blog about a smorgasbord of topics; traveling, fashion, sports, tasty cocktails and simple, but tasty food. I do a weekly post on varying whoopie pies. They are my favorite, basically an inside out cupcake...less mess. I have made the 'from scratch' variety...but mainly I enjoy the taste of mixing up cake mix flavors.


and my favorite, maple spice.


Since Easter is coming up...these would be really easy to swap out the spice cake for carrot cake mix. yum!

and lately, I have forayed into discussing some more personal issues and am in the process of doing "the infertility prayer project" as a way to pray for women who are or have struggled with infertility/miscarriages/adoption process.

You can read more about that here in this post

I will be having my first success guest post in 2 weeks and please, if you would like to be added to the prayer list or know anyone who would need and appreciate prayers as well, feel free to contact me!

 Please stop by and visit, would love to make new friends...bloggy style.

Thanks for having me over here today, Lauran! 

See, I told you she was honest! I adore what Maddie is doing in working to bring other bloggers together and offer support and strength to one another! Healing from your issues {whatever they may be} comes from being honest and facing it dead on annnnd relying on your faith! Maddie is a prime example of that! She is also the prime reason of why I now have a severe craving for something sweet! I'm going to have to give these whoopie pies a shot! Make sure you pay Maddie a visit over on her side of the blogging world! I have no doubt she'd love to have you! And Please Please Please make sure you add yourself to her prayer list if you are struggling from some of the issues near and dear to her heart! There really is something amazing in the Power of Prayer! 


If you are interested in Sponsoring The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA for FREE. Please e-mail me at Lauran.Huffman@gmail.com or comment below! I am now booking for April and May!! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Yea, Yea, Yea, so I know I said here and here that I created a new series for my Wednesday's posting and here I am writing, yet again, another WILW. Well, that's because I'm going to keep WILW and move my new series to Friday! Yes, Friday will be the new day with the new posts!! I still plan on making it a link up so others can participate if they would like! Stay tuned, I'm really hoping to kick it off in April! Now... on to the good stuff!



1. Befriending someone who I had a rough first encounter with! E-mails suck when trying to  communicate clearly and effectively and unfortunately E-mails were how this new friend and I were first communicating! It didn't go very well, one because we are both passionate about what we were conversing about and two, because we were communicating passionately through an email! Over the last several weeks we've learned that we have more in common than we thought and decided this week to start fresh! Clean slates are good! Here's to a flourishing friendship!

2. Enjoying the gym for the first time in my life! I was always active as a child; dance, horseback riding, swimming, cheerleading, soccer, and the list goes on, but I have never enjoyed actually working out or going to the gym! Since January, I've been going to the gym every week and have even added a third night into my week! I'm thinking about adding a Saturday morning as well! I've been told my whole life how working out can make you feel great but never really enjoyed it until now. And while I'm not seeing results quite yet I am feeling them! Not to mention I just feel plain good about myself! I like these new feelings and hope my new found love for the gym and keeping my body going is something that doesn't fade!

3. A BLT! This sandwich could be why I'm not seeing results quite yet from the gym! Ha! Granted I had my first one last night in what seems like forever! This has to be the best sandwich on the planet, probably because bacon is involved!!! Toasted bread, a little Dukes Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato {depending} and some good ole Bacon! Yummmmm!


4. People talking to me in person about my blog, who actually read my blog! In the last few weeks I've been approached by BOTH of my boss's husbands on how they actually read my blog! I couldn't help but laugh thinking these grown men are reading my girly rambles {whether it's out of boredom or interest} but while laughing it also made me feel humble! I realized my words reach A LOT of people and a variety of people at that! Sometimes I really do forget that people actually read this thing and that I'm not just writing to myself!

5. Baby Reef's Daycare! Baby Reef goes to daycare once a week! Usually Wednesdays so that he can get his mid week energy out! Some folks may think we are nuts for taking our pup to Doggie Daycare, but we believe it's one of the best things we can do for him! Reef isn't a crazy lab! He doesn't tear up our home or mess with things he shouldn't. He listens well and is ridiculously calm for a 20 month old yellow lab! Because of his calmness we don't "see" the point in walking him. We know it's good for him but he never begs to go or needs to "get his energy" out! He is that calm and he enjoys just hanging out in the back yard! We enrolled him in Doggie Daycare to help with his social skills around other dogs and people and so that he could have a day to play, play, play! And goodness gracious do we love that day! He is always so worn out when I pick him up! He sleeps on the commute home, eats dinner  as soon as we get home, and then curls up on his couch {our loveseat that he only uses} and passes out for the rest of the night! It's glorious! He literally remains like that for the next two days! He gets so excited about going and seems to know Wednesday's are the day! We can't say "School" around him or he will totally freak out and run to the door, hoping and skipping, literally. We he sees me open the closet for his leash,  he knows what it means and makes a beeline for the back gate! When we turn the corner on the main road this Doggie Daycare is on, he starts pacing in the back of the car and whines with excitement! I love how he knows where he is going and has so much fun that he can't wait to get there!

Baby Reef is the Giant One ;)
It's Hump Day and the First Day of Spring!!!!!!! Hope you are having a fantastic week so far! Unfortunately, I've been suffering from a migraine for the last 24 hours and the workers who are cleaning up the town home next door left the radio on FULL BLAST last night, which I could hear clear as day in our bedroom, so I am running on empty! A 5 Hour Energy maybe in my near future! XoXo!



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beef or Turkey?! It's Still a Meaty Loaf!

I can't stress enough how much I LOVE easy recipes! I enjoy cooking and I enjoy having home cooked meals during the work week, but I refuse to slave away in a kitchen all evening! It just doesn't work with my schedule! I get home from work at 6 pm. If it's a gym night I come home, change and head back out the door for my 6:30 class and I don't get back home till about 7:45. It does not help that the hubby usually heads to bed at 9 p.m. {he has to wake up at 3 in the morning for work!}. That gives me, on average, only an hour to prepare, cook, and eat a meal. I also like to change meals up during the week and offer a variety! Meat and potatoes one evening, a casserole dish of some sort another, a pasta dish at least one night is a must, and for the past several weeks I've been incorporating more fish into our dinners!

One of my little secrets?! I utilize Kraft Recipes A LOT {which is where this recipe came from}!! They have easy and quick recipes for all kinds of dishes and the great thing I've found is that you don't have to use the exact ingredients! Just substitute your favorite brands and/or healthier/low-fat/nonfat choices!

This recipe is my hubby's favorite meal! I've been making it for several years and I try to cook it for him at least once a month! I love when he asks "what's for dinner?" and when I tell him "meatloaf!" he lights up like a Christmas Tree! His reaction always makes me feel good!

What You Will Need:


Stove Top {Chicken} - Ground Meat - Barbecue Sauce - Eggs 
 {I normally cut this whole recipe in half for the two of us}

2 lb. Lean Ground Beef {I used 1 lb. of Lean Ground Turkey}
1 package Stove Top Chicken Stuffing Mix {I use 1/2 of a package}
1 cup of Water {I use 1/2 a cup of water}
2 Eggs Beaten {I use 1 Egg}
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce, divided {I usually just eyeball this}

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place meat, stuffing mix, water, eggs, and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce in bowl.



Mix just until blended.



Shape into loaf in a greased 13x9-inch backing dish {I use a loaf pan}.



Top with remaining barbecue sauce.



Bake 1 hour or until done. {I usually heat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 45 minutes}.



Serve with your choice of sides! This particular evening I opted for fresh green beans and roasted creamer potatoes!



I post a lot of dinner photo's on Instagram and I get many comments about my cooking skills! I promise you it's not hard to make hearty and delicious meals even on a work night! I meal plan each week which keeps me organized! When meal planning, I look for recipes that don't include crazy preparations or a billion ingredients! By doing this alone it helps in cutting down my time spent in the kitchen! Because I've received so many sweet comments I'm thinking that Tuesday's will now feature a weekly post {as I've kind of already started} showcasing an easy main dish that you can whip up any time! I'm not a chef or cooking guru by any means nor am I trying to become a food blogger. I just want to help make your life a tab bit easier in whatever way I can!

Have a fantastic Tuesday my darlings! XoXo!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Recap!

Here we are, staring Monday straight in the face, again! Have you noticed how we all seem to live for the weekends?! Counting down the days starting on Monday, complaining how the week is so long and then moaning and groaning about the weekend flying by?! It's sad that we seem to live our lives for the weekend! Buuut why wouldn't we?! It's two days that we have off to jam in all kinds of "to-dos" "must-dos" and fun stuff! I want to try harder at not wishing my weeks away just to get to my weekend! Wishing it away is wishing time away and quite frankly I would like it to slow down just a bit! It's already the mid to latter part of March! Didn't we just celebrate New Years?! Anywho, enough of the serious philosophical thoughts... what kind of St. Paddy's Day shenanigans did y'all get into this weekend? Me?! Buying Bailey's Irish Cream flavored Irish colored French Macarons were about as crazy as I got for St. Paddy's Day!

Friday evenings for us, are usually relaxing nights in! We eat dinner at home, sip wine {for me} and beer {for the hubs} and chill out from our hectic weeks with the pup in front of the TV! This Friday was no exception, though I did grow a wild hair up my rear and decided it was time to tackle the daunting task of cleaning off our office desk. I kid you not, when I say, that there were bills {that have been paid, just needed to be filed} piled up on the desk since before Christmas! Ugh please don't judge! I've been procrastinating on buying a file cabinet and instead of putting everything in their designated folders, I've been piling it up on the desk! Well, I decided to pull out the folders and file it all away. While doing so, Baby Reef decided it would be a grand idea to nap... right in the middle of all my files. He even was brazen enough to move some folders and papers out of his way so he could make room for his napping spot! Silly Silly boy!

Baby Reef in the midst of all my organizing and filing! 
Saturday we slept in which was glorious since we had a morning rain shower come through and it was incredibly grey out. When we woke up, the sun was trying to peak through and the hubby headed off to baseball practice! Meanwhile I decided to accomplish a few things outside of the house since it was turning into a beautiful day! I packed up the car with stuff that has been taking over our dining room to donate to Goodwill and I grabbed my Tory Burch's and a pair of hard worn heels to take to the cobbler for some sprucing up and repairs. Mind you, I've never been to this cobbler, or any cobbler for that matter, and I wasn't sure if they would be able to fix the heels or my TB's. When I walked in the man at the counter stared at me intently, making me feel really uncomfortable. I explained to him that I had never been to a cobbler before and I wasn't sure if my shoes were fixable. He didn't say anything, just kept staring. At this point, even with how uncomfortable I was feeling, I felt I couldn't just turn around and leave. I pulled the heels out first and he paused and looked at them and said they weren't fixable; fine I'll just buy another pair. I then pulled out my TB's and explained that they were very special to me, and I just really needed them spruced up if that was possible. Meanwhile he is STILL staring and looking at me as if I am ET, himself. He took the shoe and said "I can polish them". At that point I was so eager to get out of there, I said OKAY, gave him needed information, took my ticket and ran! Once I got in the car all I kept thinking was I hope he doesn't hold my shoes hostage or something... I should've never left them with this dude! I mean he was just creepy. Thank goodness Baby Reef was tagging along in the car to help with my anxiety attack I was having! I will give the guy some credit! They did a nice job polishing them and they look very much to being almost brand new!!! I plan on taking them to another cobbler the next time they need some attention as to avoid the creepy guy, though. I'd rather not deal with the unsettling feeling again!

Once I dropped my shoes off, I headed to the grocery store to pick up some bread for the appetizer I was making for my best friend, Tatiana's birthday celebration later that night! Then with the windows down, music up, and a doggy hanging out the window, we headed to Goodwill! We dropped off quite a few things and I was immediately relieved to see it go! It was causing too much clutter in the house and needed to go months ago! I'm still purging and organizing so this will not be the last trip but knowing this batch is gone helps relieve some of the purging stress I have right now!

After dropping off the donations, Baby Reef and I headed into Old Towne Portsmouth to visit a local bakery, Artisans Bakery! I had inquired on their Facebook page last week if they sold French Macarons and they informed me that they would have St. Paddy's Day themed ones this weekend! They then commented to me Friday saying they were available for purchase during the weekend! I'd never been there before so I was really excited! Seriously.... cutest place ever! It's a full service bakery/cafe in a historically built home! Absolutely adorable and I can't wait to go back and grab lunch sometime, coffee, and more macaroons! I bought a dozen of them to take to the birthday party later that night! They were green, orange, and cream colored and Irish Bailey's flavored! Annnd they were tasty to boot!

Bailey's Irish Cream Flavored St. Paddy's Day inspired French Macarons! 
When we left there with the goodies we headed to Starbucks so I could use my gift card towards a Chai Tea Latte {my favorite!}. Once Baby Reef said his hello's to the Drive Thru girls we headed to an older neighborhood in the area to check out homes for sale! I love love love the Old Towne area with it's historic 18th century homes and gorgeous architectural buildings! I would love nothing more than to buy a home {renovated or we renovate ourselves} from the early 1900's! They have such character and charm and contain so much history! It's just difficult to find these houses in safer areas and in good school districts. Nonetheless it was really nice to just cruise with the pup and look at the beautiful homes!

Later, once we were all spiffy and ready to go, the hubby and I headed out to Tat and Kevin's house! Tat decided she wanted to have a "wine/cheese tasting" birthday celebration and she did not disappoint with the spread! Lots and lots of artisan cheeses, salami, nuts, olives, fruit, french breads, and even dark chocolate and of course more than a few of yummy wines for us to try! After all the girls caught up with their girl talk in the kitchen, we joined the the guys for a game of LCR. If you don't know what that is, check this out! I had NEVER heard of it but -oh my lanta- how fun! I'm not much of a gambler so it's not something I think would play ALL the time but it was definitely a good way to add some innocent fun to a party!

The Birthday Girl!
The amazing spread! 
Some of the delicious wine!
Tat and Kevin's sweet puppies Bosley and Kenya! They just so happen to be brothers and are the sweetest little souls! 
LCR
Tat and I have an appreciation for some of the finer things in life and we share an obsession for Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutins! We also share an unhealthy obsession with Paris too! Neither of us have a pair of Louby's but we often chat about buying our first pair one day! Because we share this love, I haaaaad to buy her this wine bottle holder {this isn't the exact one but very similar}! She loved it and I told her that was the closest I could get to giving her the real deal!! I hope when we both can buy our first pair, it's an experience we can have together! And yes, it is that serious when it comes to Louby's and LV!

I had to but the polka dot gift wrap paper! 
Yesterday we did absolutely nothing! And when I say nothing, I really mean nothing! The weather was grey and damp all day which made if difficult to get motivated! I did manage to watch Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married, Too? on TBS! I have to give Tyler Perry credit... he makes some movies that really pull at your heart strings! I haven't seen all of his work, but the ones that I have seen always move me, usually to tears, but they do make me laugh too! I did give myself my weekly manicure as well, but other than that and watching the movies, we literally did nothing!

My manicure - Essie Pink Lemonade 
How was all of your weekends?!?! It felt good to be somewhat productive on Saturday! The winter weather has a way of making me want to stay in bed under the covers so it was great to get out in the warm sunshine and accomplish some things! Hope everyone is having a stellar Monday so far! XoXo!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Letters!

Whoop Whoop it's Friday!!! I may be just a little excited! Heck, I'm always a little excited when Friday is here! It welcomes two days that I don't have to go to work! That's worth being excited over!

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Via
Dear Google Reader, Apparently, according to all the Bloggers I follow and the person I know who works for Google, himself and announced this on his FB status before the rest of the world, you are disappearing in July! I don't really care as I didn't use you to begin with. Yea, sue me folks, I'm not a Google Reader user! However, since everyone is posting about an event that happens in 3.5 months I guess I'll familiarize myself with BlogLovin'. I never said I was good at being a blogger or educated in blogging 101. I guess it's time I take the crash course and get with the program! This techy stuff is for the birds! Dear Low Tire Pressure, Let's hope you aren't more of a problem than need be! Last time your notification came on in the car, the dealership had to patch a hole in the tire. If there is another hole, I will be 100% ticked off! Now it was common in my old car to run over nails, where they came from I have no clue, but I'm pretty sure those tires were patched a few times a year. Can we NOT carry on this tradition with the new car?! That would be pretty stellar! I guess I'll find out the problem later today as you are at the dealership now being checked out! Dear 96X Vintage at Noon, This one hour in the middle of my work day makes the rest of my day literally fantastic! The majority of the songs you've been playing take me right on back to middle school, high school and even my early college years and they remind me of my much younger years!! Some of these songs are my absolute favorites too! Like ANYTHING by Blink 182, A Perfect Circle, Rise Against, and even Crazy Town {You know... the Butterfly song!}! Thank you for reminding me I need to dig through my old CD collection and add these to my iTunes! Dear Bow Flats, I really want a pair of you!!! You are really popular amongst bloggers and I am seeing them EVERYWHERE!!! It doesn't help that I love anything with a bow on it, which I blame on my past cheerleading days. If any of y'all know of where I can find a reasonable priced pair, preferably pointy toed or peep toe, let me know, and don't saw J.Crew! I'm too hard on my shoes to spend that kind of money on them! You should see my poor Tory Burch's! I'm so ashamed of their condition, hence why I need to get them to a cobbler asap! Dear Complainers, I'm not saying its wrong to complain! We all do it, though some more than others, and there really is nothing wrong with it. However, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are complaining too. Maybe you've complained that you are fat to someone who is larger than you. Maybe you've complained that your car sucks to someone who does not even have a car. Maybe you've even complained that you hate going to work to someone who is having a hard time finding a job. These are just examples, as my recent personal experiences have gone waaaaay deeper than this and while you may be innocently complaining it may still sting the other person. Just keep that in mind. As I said, we all have been guilty, myself included, of doing it but we could all stand to be more positive in life and lift other people up instead of knocking them down.

See y'all Monday, my dear darlings!!! XoXo!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Everything is Pinker in Texas with Taylor!

Howdy hoo love bugs!!! You know today is Thursday and I am over the moon excited to share today's Guest with you!! Not only does she share the same name as my sister but her favorite color is pink, as is mine, she LOVES books, as do I, and she's a shoe-a-holic, as am I, though there is no doubt she has more shoes than I may ever own in my lifetime! She hails from the great state of Texas and wears about twenty different hats! Seriously. Visit her blog, she really does.it.all!!! With a genuine soul and sparkling beauty, this gal really has it all!!! I hope you enjoy her! She was one of my first blogging friends and I will forever treasure her for that!! 

PHPTTaylor Blowing a Kiss Edited 2
Hey y'all! I'm Taylor and I blog over at Pink Heels Pink Truck. I'm so excited to be guest posting on Lauran's fabulous blog today!! Here's a little bit about me, just real quick. ;) I'm a Texas girl who absolutely has an obsession with all things pink, shoes and books. Great combo, huh! ha! ;) I'm a Petroleum Landman by day and blogger extraordinaire by night (at least I try to be...ha!) Today, I thought I'd discuss some of my favorite authors. I'd love to show off some of my shoes, but then this post would get into a novel form! ;) haha! I do have my shoe closet tab on my blog, so you can take a peek at some of my shoes (I've not put them all up there, but that's a good chunk of them). I like to drool over them a bit, cause I can only really wear 1 pair at a time! Right now my book club is reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and OMG...what an interesting book. So many twists and turns, this book will keep you on your toes the entire way through! One of our previous book club reads was "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern and that is a book I would highly recommend! I would love for Erin to write up another book. Her creativity will blow your socks out of the water! ha! So, here's some of my favorite authors, with a book recommendation to go with it: (in no particular order, cause really..that is just way too hard!) :)

 1. Mary Kay Andrews - "The Fixer Upper"
  The Fixer Upper
 2. Jennifer Crusie - "Maybe This Time"
  MaybeThisTime
 3. Janet Evanovich - "One for the Money" {The Stephanie Plum Series} OnefortheMoney
 4. Harriet Evans - "Going Home"
  goinghome
 5. Joanne Fluke - "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" {The Hannah Swenson Series} chocolatechipcookiemurder
 6. Diana Gabaldon - "Outlander"
  outlander
 7. Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham - "Twenties Girl" TwentiesGirl
 8. Sue Grafton - "A is for Alibi" {The Kinsey Milhone Series} aisforalibi
 9. Jill Mansel - "Perfect Timing"
  perfecttiming
 10. Kate Jacobs - "The Friday Night Knitting Club"
  thefridaynightknittingclub
 So, now you have 10 books (plus The Night Circus and Gone Girl, so 12 total) to add to your "to be read" list. :) I hope you'll stop by my blog and leave some love! :) Oh and a shameless plug for my brand new venture...Fabuless Wardrobe (an online consignment shoppe where you can buy & sell gently used clothing and accessories) just launched this week. Woot Woot! This has been a baby of mine for the last 5 months. Click here to read the post all about it!
  Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck Pink Heels Pink Truck

It really is funny to me how my Sponsors really can read my mind! Just as my previous ladies have done, Taylor must have known that I was looking for more books to add to my reading list! With all the blogging I've been doing I haven't made ANY time for reading. Plus I'm kind of waiting till June when Entwined to You comes out! I can't start another book when I'm hanging in the middle of a trilogy!! None-the-less I may have to give one of these a go! Hope you all can add some to your list as well!!! Be sure to visit Taylor in her sweet space of the blogging world AND visit her Online Consignment Shoppe! It's pretty freakin' fabulous!!

If you are interested in Sponsoring The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA for FREE. Please e-mail me at Lauran.Huffman@gmail.com or comment below! I am now booking for April and May!!