Blog Feed

Monday Meals: Pasta Dinner x 2

Happy Monday! The weekend seemed to fly by! The sun was shining all weekend, and it felt like a taste of spring!

Last Monday, I made both of these pasta meals for my family. I had picked up the gnocchi a few weeks ago and needed to use it. Since I was uncertain if the kids would like it, I decided to make them bow tie pasta with Alfredo sauce because I knew they loved it. A couple of months ago, I bought jarred Alfredo on a whim and made this quick pasta (the second recipe) and they scarfed it down. Believe it or not, but I think it’s the first time they’d had Alfredo sauce! They thought I was the best mom ever. haha

That being said, I’m no short order cook; the kids eat what I make them for dinner…like it or not. But, I knew these were quick dishes, and they would provide leftovers for Tuesday night, so went ahead and made both.

Gnocchi and Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of gnocchi
  • Trader Joe’s Three Cheese Pasta Sauce (or any marinara sauce)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • Shaved Parm (or grated)

Instructions:

  • Bring pot of water to boil, add a heavy pinch of salt, and follow instructions for cooking the gnocchi. (Only a few minutes in the boiling water)
  • Brown the sausage in a skillet. (I browned it all and used 3/4 of it for the gnocchi recipe and the other 1/4 for the Alfredo recipe)
  • Once the sausage is browned, drain any grease.
  • Add in sauce and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add cooked gnocchi into the sauce and stir to incorporate ingredients.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with Parm.
  • Enjoy!

Chicken, Bacon, Sausage in Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Farfalle (bow tie) pasta (or any shaped pasta)
  • Jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • 4-5 slices bacon (Short cut: microwave bacon)
  • Chicken (Short cut: Perdue Carved Chicken Breast strips)
  • Cooked Italian Sausage (if desired)
  • Grated Parm (or shaved Parm—I just know my kids love grated parm)

Instructions:

  • Bring pot of water to boil, add heavy pinch of salt, and cook according to directions.
  • Cook the bacon in the microwave according to directions and then chop into small pieces.
  • Cut the chicken strips into desired bite size and set aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, heat up Alfredo Sauce.
  • Add in chicken and warm it for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in cooked pasta and bacon. (and sausage if you’d like–that wasn’t a part of my original plan–but since I had the leftover sausage from meal 1, I decided to use that 1/4 lb because I knew the kids would like it)
  • Stir to incorporate ingredients.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with Parm.
  • Enjoy!
  • Also, last time I made this, I added frozen peas to it when I incorporated the pasta into the sauce–my kids love peas!

I could have added chopped parsley to both for a finishing touch, but I’m not a professional! haha

Also, side note: The Perdue Chicken Breasts (or similar brand) are something I use often. I add the chicken to my bagged salads for lunch or dinner, I cut the chicken strips into bite size pieces to use for chicken quesadillas, and obviously I also use the chicken in pasta dishes as well.

As a busy working mom with two busy kids, I do still like to make dinner as often as possible…but I also like to make something my family will enjoy as quickly as possible!

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Have a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This short week actually did feel like a short week! My crew is excited it’s Friday and with some pretty gorgeous weather on tap this weekend, we are ready for a couple of days off. As always, I’m linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites.

FAVORITE KID QUOTE:

This memory popped up on Facebook this week. Seven-year-old Hadley sent me this text from the Ipad three years ago wishing me Happy Birthday! She knows I love birthdays…and wine. Her sense of humor is always a favorite of mine!

FAVORITE PIC:

Travis and Hadley went to the Dad/Daughter Dance last weekend. It’s Hadley’s favorite night of the year! She had so much fun with her friends and with Travis. I shared the details of the dance in this week’s Wednesday post. Then, I received an email yesterday with the professional pic that was taken at the dance…and it’s certainly a favorite.

FAVORITE MOMENT:

While Hadley and Travis were at the dance, I took Hayden to baseball for this season’s evaluations. Usually Travis would have taken him, and after seeing how proud he was of his performance, I’m so glad I was there. He works so hard, always tries his best, is a great teammate, & loves playing baseball; I was very proud of him. On Facebook I shared, “This kid is…quiet, introverted, a home body, anxious…BUT he’s also…confident, optimistic, resilient, a dreamer, and an achiever. I’m proud to be his mom!”

I don’t know how many more years I have of him waving at me from the pitcher’s mound or giving me a thumbs up from 1st base, but I’m here for it. Also, he doesn’t like to draw attention to himself which is why I think it’s so awesome he loves to pitch. I’m proud of him for pushing himself outside of his comfort zone for the sake of doing something he loves. I hope he knows we are his biggest fans…

FAVORITE MOM MEME:

Home Alone is one of my favorite movies. This meme made me chuckle.

FAVORITE ACTIVITIES:

Cookie Class:

The last time Hadley and I went to a cookie class hosted by Maddie’s Cookie Co., Hayden said he wanted to come the next time there was a class. I wasn’t sure how I’d juggle two kids decorating cookies, so it was perfecting timing that my mom would be in town when there was a class. So, the four of us went to Maddie’s class a couple of weeks ago and had a great time decorating the cookies. Hadley’s almost an old pro, and Hayden and my mom did a great job for having limited experience outlining and flooding cookies. Also, Hayden didn’t mind he was the only boy at the class…haha. #hewasthereforthecookies

Ready to decorate!
Practice makes perfect.
Finished products!

Tubing at Perfect North

Another favorite activity and tradition is tubing at Perfect North with friends. We’ve been going with two other families for about five years. One family couldn’t make it this year which was a bummer, but we had a great time. The weather was in the upper 40’s, so we shed some layers throughout the afternoon. Some years we go and it’s freezing, and other years it’s been pretty warm. It’s always fun and we get 5-6 runs in each year. We link up in a variety of ways–boys/girls, kids/adults, family/family, all eight of us. It’s definitely a fun tradition that has certainly gotten easier now that the adults aren’t having to lug the kids and their tubes around like in the early years!

Twins times two!
Family photo!
We even bumped into one of Hadley’s best friends and her family!

Walks with Homer

Having no school on Monday was definitely a favorite part of our week. We took Homer for a walk…we’ll do anything to wear him out! As always, Homer is a favorite part of our family.

BONUS FAVE: FLASHBACK FRIDAY:

This Facebook memory cracks me up. I clearly remember taking this pic of Hadley a few years ago. It’s certainly a favorite memory. I can’t believe I didn’t buy her that Y’all hat! #momfail

That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites. I hope you have had a great week!

See you back here on Monday for a Monday Meals post! (Pasta recipe x 2!)

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Dad Daughter Dance

Hadley’s favorite night of the year is the annual Dad/Daughter Dance. This is the fourth year for her to go with Travis (and a group of their friends) to the dance.

We are 4 for 4 with finding a reasonably priced dress in a matter of minutes at Target. I remember the first year we went out looking for a dress, she suggested going to TJ Maxx first. #raisingherright 😂Anyway, thanks to the Cat and Jack brand at Target, we have been lucky to find something each year.

This year, at the last minute, I took her to get shoes (Hayden needed new tennis shoes, so we tackled that too)…Y’all, she fell in love with a pair of fuchsia flats IN THE WOMEN’S section of the store. She’s officially outgrown kids’ shoe sizes! Anyway, they were half price, they fit, and she loved them (and can wear them in the future), so we got them.

Also, she always has a vision for how she wants her hair. Fun fact: I’m THE WORST at hair and makeup. Thankfully, all she needed me for was a little blush, mascara and a few curls after she put her hair in a top knot. I can’t believe how grown up she looks every year…I know I’m going to blink and we’ll be shopping for a prom dress.

Dinner is provided (pasta, bread sticks, drinks) at the dance as well as dessert….and dancing with her dad and friends…What more could a girl ask for?

2017 Dad Daughter Dance

2018 Dad Daughter Dance

2019 Dad Daughter Dance

2020 Dad Daughter Dance

We usually meet at someone’s house for pics and then the moms and little brothers hang out while the dads and daughters go to the dance. This year, Hayden was the only brother, and he had baseball anyway…so that’s how we spent our time during the dance…at the indoor baseball facility. After the dance (and baseball), we all hung out for a bit. The dance is a great excuse to get together with friends.

We took a few pics at home before leaving to meet up with friends.
Homer wondered why he wasn’t invited to the dance! (& I kept holding my breath hoping he wouldn’t snag her tights! haha)
I always joke that I hope this isn’t how they are dressed for prom in 2027
Hayden made sure to show Hadley his best dance moves!

Love these two so much.

Travis buys Hadley corsage every year. One of the things I love the most about Travis is what an amazing dad he is to both Hayden and Hadley.

The awesome dads and their beautiful daughters.

These little ladies are just the best crew!

Silly pic!

The dance had a photo booth, and I kept receiving a link to cute pics all night long!

I hope the girls have a few more years left of the Dad and Daughter Dance. I know these are precious memories for both the daughters and their dads.

I hope you are having a great week. Thanks for reading!!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Transformation Tuesday: Basement Bathroom Remodel

Happy Tuesday! I’m including a bonus blog post this week because the Facebook memory popped up on my feed from February 2019 when we finished our basement bathroom. I LOVE seeing the inside of homes and how people renovate, decorate, etc. And…I love a good before and after reveal of a space. I heart HGTV!

A little history on our house…When we were looking for a home five years ago, we had our eye on our current neighborhood. I loved the proximity to places, the schools were great, and an older home meant a bigger yard with mature trees. That being said, our neighborhood is filled with homes that new owners most likely renovate.

Truth: I didn’t even want to look at our current home. Travis dragged me here. We even casually looked at it three times before finally deciding to place an offer. As soon as we looked at the house the first time, Travis knew this was the home for us. I still needed convincing. Right around the time I felt ok saying this could be our home, our realtor called saying someone else was making an offer. I was shocked at the timing because the house had been for sale for a few months. You know what gets me motivated to make a decision? Competition! I wanted to outbid these people. haha. Really though, we couldn’t beat the bones of the home, the location, yard, schools, etc. Thankfully, it all worked out. We later heard that we bid less than the other couple, but we didn’t ask them to fix/update anything more than they already had and the other bidders wanted them to do so.

So, I’m lucky it all worked out since I was moving at a slow pace to make a decision. I have always joked that I wouldn’t have moved into this house if HGTV and Pinterest didn’t exist!

The basement had a small bathroom with a sink and a toilet. Old tile and dim lights didn’t make it an appealing space. We have a guest bed area in the basement as we do have visitors somewhat frequently, so it did make sense to finish this space, so our guests wouldn’t have to come upstairs to shower and get ready.

A leaky toilet is what made us finally decide to do the renovation of the bathroom. We realized the toilet had leaked which messed up the tile and even the laminate floors we had put down in the basement about a year after we moved in.

Travis was so excited to do the demo that I didn’t get the true “before” pics, but I can promise you that the space wasn’t much to look at. We are blessed to have a handy neighbor who has helped up lay floors in the sunroom, change our kitchen back splash, add shelves to the unfinished part of our basement, update the master bath and then this bath as well. Travis likes to work and help when he can on these projects…so, like I said, he did the demo on the bathroom. Travis and I made made the design decisions and our neighbor did so much of the work with some help from Travis. Overall, I think the project took about six weeks as our neighbor just worked on the space when he had the time.

Travis even helped jack hammer the floor!
I love the tile we picked out and I appreciate that our neighbor thought to ask us if we wanted little details like a tiled insert in the shower.
I was so excited to use subway tile in this space.
We had a hard time picking out floor tile. I was concerned the bigger tiles would be too big in such a small space, but we loved the design and color of this tile. It turned out great. Also, the space heater was another touch we wouldn’t have thought of on our own.

The finished product:

Another reason I wish I started the blog sooner…I could have posted this is real time and actually shared links, etc as well…but we did get most everything at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

This space is so nice and welcoming for our guests. Our master bath is so small, that I use it and Travis uses this basement bathroom now.

Our house, even after five years of living here, feels like a forever work in progress. I actually do think it’s a blessing we didn’t buy the house and just gut it…It’s been nice to live in our space and make decisions as we’ve wanted to. We even have plans for an addition (to expand the master bedroom and also have a bigger master bath and closet) but the time, money, and amount of decisions we’d have to make continue to overwhelm me. I’m not sure when we will make that a priority…That being said, my kids share the world’s smallest bathroom and they usually fight every morning…I’m starting to find the motivation to make some decisions. 😉

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into this update. I always love seeing people’s homes…especially updates and renovations. I may include a few more posts in the future to show the kitchen/living room space as well as the changes we made in the basement and the master bathroom.

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

February Monday Memes and Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday! There is seriously nothing better than a 3 day weekend (and no school on a Monday!) I’m combining two posts into one and sharing some funny memes and a few details from our Valentine’s Day.

Memes

Fact. I hate to clean. (I don’t mind to tidy up). Fact. I love a good glass of wine! 😉

This literally made me laugh out loud. I love my weighted blanket more than I probably should. I seriously miss it if I’m away from home and don’t have it.

FYI I have this 15 lb blanket in taupe from Blanquil. (When I bought mine, it was close to $120…I used a code to get the discount)

I feel like I need at least three of me to get everyone where they need to be as well as get all the chores and errands accomplished…and I even have a very helpful husband!

I saw this meme on Facebook. Rang true with me! haha

Valentine’s Day

Ok, for me not being a huge fan of Valetine’s Day, it may appear that I go all out for this Hallmark holiday. Travis and I have always been no gifts, give each other cards and try to go out to dinner…and that’s been our tradition for a long time. I guess once I had the kids, I stepped up my Valentine’s Day game, but I just pick them up a few things here and there in the couple weeks leading up to February 14th. That being said, I still usually follow the something they need, something to read, something they want + chocolate!

Each kid received a book, and some winter weather gear (gloves and ear muffs (Hadley))—because Target had everything on clearance…, a game (Hayden received a Mad Libs game that we played over the weekend–lots of fun (and great grammar practice!) and Hadley received a puzzle that we will do as a family). Lastly, Hadley needed new volleyball shorts and Hayden requested a video game. I ordered a Valentine’s Day plate/napkin set on Amazon and served them powdered donut holes for breakfast (w/ some strawberries), and they were excited.

I did break my “no gift” rule for Travis and bought him a new wallet…since his old one has been #homered. Found out yesterday that wallet #2 has already been #homered as well.

When the kids were little, I started taking their pic and ordering 10 cards on Shutterfly to send family. It’s an easy and cost effective way to spread the love…as well as one stop shopping.

I always look forward to the bubble letters Travis writes on my cards. #eighteenyearsandcounting #bubblelettersaremanly

In all honesty, we usually don’t do much for dinner on Valentine’s Day because someone usually has a practice or somewhere to be. Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, leading up to a three day weekend….AND we had no plans!, I decided to decorate a bit for dinner. The paper hearts and straws also came from Amazon, but the other decorations I already had around the house. (I plan to save the extra plates, napkins, hearts, etc to use next year if needed!)

Travis did decide to pick up steaks on his way home…and we already had Bob Evans mashed potatoes (Hadley’s fave!) in the fridge and cheesy broccoli in the freezer…So steaks were a “fancy” element to our dinner (and Trav’s fave) and the potatoes and broccoli were easy element to heat in the microwave.

In 2008, Travis and I went to Napa Valley with some friends. One of our favorite vineyards was a small vineyard someone recommended while we were out there. So, it was an unplanned pit stop to Anomaly. We love their wine. We brought a few bottles home and saved them for special occasions. In December of 2009, after Hadley arrived home from the NICU, we opened one of the bottles. Then, we took a bottle with us to Charleston, SC when we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary in June 2010. The last bottle we actually took with us to Lake Tahoe in the fall of 2015 when we celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary. Y’all know I love my wine, so the fact we hung on to those for so many years (and even when we moved houses) is a big deal 😉 That being said, the wine isn’t cheap, but it’s so worth it…& perfect for special occasions.

We loved the Anomaly experience and scenery so much that Travis took one of the pics I took while we were there and had a family friend paint the picture as a gift for me; it now hangs in our living room.

Some friends recently gifted us another bottle as a thank you, and I was going to open it for my 40th birthday, but as I’ve mentioned, I came down with the flu. We decided to share that bottle Friday night–and I joked we could celebrate my 40th, the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

After dinner we played the new Mad Lib game…we had a great time and everyone was in bed by 9:30!

Besides basketball games, Travis and Hadley went to the Dad/Daughter Dance on Saturday night and then yesterday we went tubing at Perfect North with friends. (I will probably post about both of those fun activities later this week 😀)

I hope you had a great weekend. The sun finally came out and it looks like the temps are on the rise again! It almost makes me wish it was spring…but I’d love at least one more pretty snow (and snow day!) before everything starts to bloom.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! and… Happy Valentine’s Day. I can’t believe February is halfway over! As always, it’s been busy around here, but we’ve also had time to squeeze in some favorite activities, spend time with one of our favorite visitors, and even enjoyed some of our favorite meals this week.

Like all Friday Favorites, I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea.

Thanks to an unexpected four day weekend last week (due to low attendance in our district for the flu + it snowed last friday), we were able to have some extra fun. My mom (GG) was in town, we had snowman pancakes, the kids played in the snow, chose Taco Bell for lunch, and then we went to a local pottery painting place and the kids each chose a plate to paint. They’ve been wanting to go the the Mad Potter, so I figured a snow day was a great day to let them choose something to paint. They did most of the painting themselves, and both were proud of their finished products. We can pick the painted pieces up today, so I know it will be a favorite activity for the week to see their creations in person.

Boo bleeds blue!
Sis loves rainbows

Some of Hadley’s favorite people cheered her on during her basketball game on Saturday.

Hayden, GG, cousins Wyatt & Layla

I swear, we have some activity almost every weeknight. I do enjoy cooking, but it’s so difficult with at least one of the kids having something almost every night. I rely heavily on my slow cooker and Instant Pot, but I thought I’d change things up a bit…and leading up to Valentine’s Day let both kids choose their favorite meal for dinner.

Monday–Hadley chose salmon as her favorite and added Trader Joe’s Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese as a side dish. Mac and cheese has always been a favorite of mine, so we combined our favorites. Travis cooked dinner while I took Hadley to her evening activities. Our Kroger has the baking bags for fish–where they put whatever fish you’d like in the oven bag and I always have them add butter, dill, and lemon. You bake in the oven, serve, and throw away the foil bag. Easy dinner clean up is especially appreciated on an busy Monday night.

Tuesday–Hayden requested pizza. We love the DiGiono’s thin crust pizzas, and Hayden loves the four meat one, so I baked that and we had strawberries and bagged Ceasar salad. Again, a late night of activities, so it was nice to keep things simple.

Wednesday–I decided to try this recipe from Andrea at Momfessionals. She shared the Creamy Rice Casserole recipe a few weeks ago, and I’d been wanting to make it. It seemed hearty, easy and delicious…and it was….so good!! I loved it so much that I was so excited about having some for lunch on Thursday.

Thursday — The kids had an event at their school with dinner provided…no cooking + family fun = Win. Win.

Friday— I’m still not sure what we will have for dinner tonight. We are certainly not going out, so we will either get carry out from somewhere, or I may make breakfast for dinner.

And…don’t worry—Travis had his favorite…steak… when he and I went out to dinner last Saturday night for an early Valentine’s Day dinner. The Blue Heron always has great food.

We enjoyed one of our favorite activity nights at school.

And, of course, a favorite school activity is the Valentine’s Day party / exchange. The kids aren’t having a big party at school with activities, but they are still exchanging Valentines and having a sweet treat in the afternoon. They were to bring a decorated box for the exchange. These decorated boxes couldn’t show the differences in Hayden and Hadley’s personalities more if they tried. Over the top vs simple. #thisismylife While Hadley decorated her box last week, Hayden said, “I’m just going to write my name on the box.” I figured he’d throw at least a heart or two on the box…but I guess he was serious about only putting his name. haha

Bonus fave: Flashback FridayFebruary 2015

This has always been a fave pic of mine. So little and so cute…and Hayden’s shirt always cracks me up (especially since I joke he will be living with me when he’s 30 😉 #mamasboy

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts! I hope you have a great weekend!

And…Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Let's Look

Y’all, we’ve made it to Wednesday. It’s the second Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for this month’s Let’s Look.

This month’s focus is Let’s Look: Your Winter Wardrobe.

Well, until last week, it really hasn’t felt much like winter. Also, after the holidays, I eased up on spending money, so some of the clothes that I’m wearing on the regular are ones that I’ve already posted about. I thought I’d still share because I am still loving these “Winter Wardrobe” pieces.

The Zella Half Zip is a fave…I wear it going to the gym, with jeans, and I’ve even worn it to school with black pants. The one I have appears to be sold out, but this option looks quite similar and just as comfy!

I’m still loving the Longline Turtleneck sweater (I have it in pink and in gray) as well as the Thread and Supply Wubby Fleece Pullover. I have it in charcoal, but it also comes in a “milk” color.

Since we’ve had a pretty mild winter, I’ve gotten so much use out of my lighter weight coat that I bought in the summer during the Nordstrom sale. Again, this seems to be sold out, but I’m sharing because hitting up the Nordstrom summer sale for winter items always feels a bit odd…but I’m so glad I bought this Quilted Utility Jacket. It was regularly priced at close to $90 (I believe), but I got it for $60. I’ve worn it almost daily during the fall and this mild winter. My favorite part is the front two pockets—perfect for sticking my car keys and my phone in them if I don’t want to drag my purse place to place.

So, I’ve read Mallory’s Style Your Senses blog for quite some time (and I also follow her on Instagram as well). About a year ago, she started her Shop Style Your Senses shop. Business must be booming because after a few months, she moved from her home office to a warehouse…and then just recently shared that she now has an app for the the store. I’ve ordered a few dresses from her shop this past summer and loved them. Recently, she posted so many cute athleisure wear options…I snagged the Heather Gray Crew Neck Pullover, and I love it. I wore it a few days in a row last week. I also recently purchased these earrings and wear them daily! I know you’ll find something you love from her shop!

Speaking of winter wardrobe, it finally snowed in Kentucky last week. It was a pretty three inch snow. We were already out of school due to low attendance because of the flu, but since there was snow on the ground, I made my traditional snowman pancakes for the kids’ breakfast on Friday. We always have pancake mix on hand, and I tend to have the other ingredients in the kitchen because Hayden loves a side of bacon (the microwave kind!) with everything, and we are always fully stocked with mini marshmallows for Hadley to add to her daily hot chocolate. #theyliveablessedlife Also, #momhack but I often make more pancakes than we need and either put the leftovers in the fridge or the freezer for future breakfasts.

After pancakes, it was only a matter of time for me to get in my cardio (AKA helping the kids get on their winter weather gear!) They received new snow bibs for Christmas from their Gma. I was afraid they wouldn’t get to use them this year. Thankfully, we tend to be on a mostly every other year rotation–this year snow bibs, next year they will probably need boots, etc.

The kids lasted outside for quite some time with their friends!

Homer loved the snow! I guess he is part Husky. He had lots of fun running laps around the backyard! He enjoyed his first real snowfall!

About a minute after I took this photo, he snagged my slipper right off my foot and ran around the backyard with it for a few minutes #baddog

Next month’s Let’s Look is about the inside of your purse! Good, that gives me a month to get my purse organized! haha

Make sure to check out Shay and Erika’s posts as well!

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Monday Meals: The Major’s Chili

Happy Monday! After an unexpected four day weekend, we are ready to hit the ground running this week…..at least I think we are! Well, what choice do we have?! haha. The weather was actually cold enough last week (and it finally snowed on Friday!) to make chili, so I made my dad’s chili. I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped (I usually use 3/4 of a big white onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2, 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
  • 29 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz jar thick and chunky mild salsa
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 c apple cider (I sometimes use apple juice if I don’t have cider)
  • 3 Tblsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tblsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tblsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a large pot and add beef, chopped onion and garlic and cook until beef is browned and cooked through.
  • Drain any grease.
  • Stir in all other ingredients
  • Boil, then reduce and let simmer and cover
  • Stir frequently for 1 hour.
  • Enjoy–serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, etc.
  • **The other night, I made this and let it simmer about 15 minutes and then put it in the slow cooker on high for 1 hour. Then, we ate it when everyone got home from their basketball practices.
Of course, this recipe freezes well too.

I’m glad I went ahead and made this last week (and we got two nights of dinner out of the recipe)….the temps will be back in 50’s this week!

I hope you have a great week.

Thanks for reading,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It’s been a soggy, cloudy week around here. It’s also just been the weirdest week. It legit took us all a couple nights in a row of going to bed by 9pm (all of us—well, the kids and me) to recover from our hectic and then exciting (GO CHIEFS!) weekend. Then, Wednesday evening as I was driving home from volleyball carpool, I get a phone call from a random number…Well, it was our school district saying that because of the high level of absences due to flu, they were cancelling school for Thursday and Friday. I’m so thankful we are all healthy (but, remember, the flu took Hadley out for a couple days and myself for an entire week a few weeks ago. #sowevepaidourdues I’m hoping Travis and Hayden continue on the healthy train!) It’s been nice to have a couple extra lazy mornings, and I’m ready for a slower paced weekend…

As always, I’m linking up with Narci, Erika, and Andrea for Friday Favorites.

FAVORITE PIC

Honestly, it’s a little tough to choose one fave pic. In Monday’s post, I recapped our weekend. I loved lots of pics from last weekend—Hadley at the District Science Fair, Hayden’s Kobe tribute (in permanent marker on his Mambas), Hadley’s chorus performance, etc…but these four cuties in their Chiefs gear was definitely a sweet pic. That being said, three of the four cuties had no clue what was going on during the game, but Hayden sure did!

Cute cousin crew

The Chiefs pic reminded me of this early November 2015 when there were only three cutie cousins basking in the glory of the Royals World Series victory.

FAVORITE KID QUOTE

I forced Hayden to go to bed at 11pm on Sunday….he was still very pumped up after the Super Bowl win. As I tucked him in, he said, “Mom, I hope this Chiefs win isn’t a dream!” So cute. When the Chiefs won the AFC game, Hayden said, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this!” I told him that I technically had been waiting my whole life for the Chiefs to go to the Super Bowl. haha Fifty years in the making! I hope he always remembers this victory…and I hope there are more big wins for the Chiefs in the future.

FAVORITE CLOTHING ITEM

I’ve been wearing my favorite Nordstrom turtle neck sweaters on repeat. They are easy to wear to school but also with leggings to be more casual on the weekends. I’m also still wearing my Thread & Supply Wubby Fleece Pullover , also from Nordstrom, especially on the weekends when I don’t want to wear a coat somewhere. It keeps me warm going to and from kids’ sporting events, etc. I linked them in a previous Friday Favorites post.

I’m also waiting on a Stitch Fix order to arrive. I receive orders about four times a year, and always end up keeping a couple items. The past few orders, Narci has been my stylist!

FAVORITE FOOD

It was finally cold enough outside to make chili for dinner this week. I usually use my dad’s recipe. I plan on sharing the recipe on Monday for Monday Meals.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Y’all, having kids in elementary school continues to be a walk down memory lane. They were so excited to receive their recorders this week. I was having a flashback to elementary school and playing the recorder in music class with Mrs. Young.

I played Hot Cross Buns for the kids, and they thought I was the coolest mom ever. Travis basically called me a nerd. haha

FAVORITE MOM MEME

I saw this meme last week and literally laughed out loud….because it’s the truth. I even walk into a room and can’t remember what I am looking for!

BONUS Favorite

Once I wrapped up my “Dry January” of no purchases from Amazon or Nordstrom, I purchased this blanket. We “needed” one more for the living room and this one is soft, fuzzy, and cute. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t think through the fact that Homer would think the fuzzy decorative pom poms on the blanket were chew toys. Ugh! Nothing is Homer proof.

Also, Wednesday’s post included my favorite Valentine’s Day decorations around my house.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a great weekend. We are looking forward to two basketball games and a cookie decorating class.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Valentine’s Day Decorations

Once I take down my Christmas decorations, I love the fresh look of a clean house. So, when February rolls around, I tend to keep the Valentine’s Day decorations pretty simple. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite decorations with you.

I picked up the XOXO at Home Goods last year, and it just sits on our living room bookshelf. The painted heart pallet is one of my faves! The stand in the corner of my kitchen usually holds a cookbook, but for fall, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, I use it to hold some sort of decoration. This heart pallet was painted by one of my friends.

Lastly, in another corner of my kitchen, I place a little heart dish with conversation heart candy (The candy never seems to last long!)

I replace my regular winter wreath with this cute heart door hanger that I got from an Etsy shop a few years ago. I love the simplicity of the white ceramic heart that I add to my entry way table each year.

Lastly, I keep the mantle simple with the XOXO banner.

I added this love sign yesterday after a pit stop at Michaels after school—all V-day items were 50% off!

I’m very aware that I treat Homer like the third child I never had. I’ve bought him a few scarves, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to purchase a heart scarf for him to wear. That being said, he doesn’t keep scarves on very long, but I figured maybe as the years go on, he will tolerate them?! Homer, AKA Pookie/Buddy/Biscuit, is a lover not a fighter! (unless you are Trav’s wallet or one of Hadley’s stuffed animals, and he will rip you to shreds!)

Two of my favorite valentines….

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Travis knows that all I would like is a card and then we usually grab dinner out when we have a free evening. This weekend, my mom will be visiting, so she will watch the kids one evening while we go to dinner.

For Valentine’s Day, I usually pick up a few things for the kids. They like the heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and I always get them a book and another small gift or two. (I guess I should go ahead and figure that out!)

Since this year Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, I thought about putting together a little dinner for the four of us. I was thinking about asking each kid and Travis what their favorite meal would be and having a mix and match dinner of everyone’s favorites. Or, I may do breakfast for dinner or get carry out from somewhere, but eat on actual plates! #pretendtobefancy

What are your Valentine’s Day plans and/or traditions?!

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea