Forgive me for my very long hiatus! I became swamped with work, caught up in a relationship, and generally just neglected a lot of things over the last year. (<-- Time flies, even when you aren't having fun.)

How about a quick game of "catch up"? I promise it will be brief, because after all, this is not my diary.

Work has moved at a virtually non-stop pace this last year, but true to form when the last quarter comes around, the breaks get pumped--THANK GOODNESS! I have still continued to read all of my favorite blogs, as well as pick up some new ones, and my desire to be a part of the community has not wavered, it was merely my management of time. I recently got out of a year long relationship that had so many ups and downs I can't even call it a "year long relationship" with out laughing and rolling my eyes a bit.  Y'all know how it is…

Anyway, here I am now. I've been putting back ideas for potential posts for months and I am finally ready to delve back into it, if you are still ready to read!

Stay tuned this afternoon for my entry back into the blog world.

Call Me Mrs. Prego

Ok, first of all, thats Prego the sauce brand…not "prego" as in pregnant! 

Saturday I woke up with a huge craving for some good spaghetti--no meat sauce, just marinara and noodles. Here in Midland the options are limited for real homemade Italian food. I do not count Olive Garden or Carino's in that category. So I went to the store and decided I was going to play around with making my own red sauce. It turned out wonderful! I took some next door to my Aunt and Uncle and they both loved it too, which made me feel good. 



Ingredients:

A can each of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. I like the brand Red Gold, personally. If you want more tomato chunks go with a can of diced tomatoes instead of the crushed. I like them a little less obvious.

Half of a yellow onion, diced. **Sauté it in olive oil briefly before adding tomato and seasonings! 

The rest of the ingredients I use purely to taste and continue to add a little more as it cooks but the flavors I include are:

Italian Seasoning, Basil and Garlic (<--I love this spice, its by McCormick's and is one of their "Perfect Pinch" seasonings, Basil Leaves, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Merlot.

I go fairly heavy on the garlic powder, pepper, and basil and garlic combo. I like garlic. If you don't you will obviously use less. I also like a little bite to my sauce so I go very heavy on the pepper. I use the sugar to cut the tomato flavor just a bit. I do not use a lot, maybe 1/4 tsp. 

I use about 1/2 cup of wine and then add more seasonings to cut the wine taste. The Merlot leaves a bit of a peppery bite to it which I like. Side note* Messina Hof is made in my hometown, Bryan, Texas, so I use it. I do not really enjoy drinking this particular wine though. It tastes great in the sauce however! 

I cook it on medium/low heat the whole time I am boiling water and cooking the noodles. Just before I get ready to drain the pasta I add a good handful of shredded parmesan cheese to the sauce and let it get melted in while I'm prepping the noodles. Then just add them to the sauce and serve! 

Enjoy! 

Be Mine...

Oh my wow! I have taken quite the little break from this. I probably sound like a broken record by now, but honestly when my brain is just on a lull I would rather not spam y'all with boring posts. I just come back when I have something worth reading (well, kind of) to write. It has been about a month since we last talked so let me fill you in on my last 30 days. I am recovering really well from surgery, a little concerned with the results though, as I think I may not have had enough taken out…I guess now its on to plan B and losing 10 lbs or so…great. My boyfriend and I went through a rocky patch but came back better than ever. I think we needed to see what it would be like to possibly lose each other to realize that it not what either of us wanted. As of now, I couldn’t be happier in that department. Work has actually been really slow, which in my case means a lot less computer time, hence part of the blame for my blogging absence. Aaaand now you’re pretty up to speed on my last month.

Today in honor of one of my favorite holidays (Valentine’s Day) approaching I want to share an idea for the men in your life, especially one you have been dating for less that 6 months. Tricky right? You don’t want to seem like a "stage 5 clinger", but you also want him to know you care. I think homemade gifts are best no matter where your are in your relationship, however in a fairly new one they are perfect. It shows thoughtfulness but that you’re not quite ready to buy him that $600 Yeti either.

After browsing Pinterest only to come up with lovey dovey emotional stuff, which is still cute but waaaay to clingy for this early on in a relationship, I decided to take it high school style. If your school was anything like mine you had Sadie Hawkins dance. The girls ask the guys out and made them a “bucket” filled with their favorite candy and such. Some girls used coolers, etc. My boyfriend is one of those guys who doesn’t want a lot, but the things he has his eye on are pricey, i.e. guns, hunting gear, etc…well while one day those will make it easy to shop for him, right now, after dating since September it’s a little too much.

I wanted a gift that says “I love you” but I know where we are at the moment. I am not expecting anything more than flowers and a great evening and that is perfectly perfect for me. (More on our weekend plans later.)


Anyway here is the final product, and I am so pleased with my handy work:




The "basket" is just a little lockable tool box from Academy. I originally wanted to use a cooler, but this guy has PLENTY of those and what man doesn't need an extra tool box?

Inside: 

Cruzan- his favorite Rum and Tito's because he likes vodka and Redbull. Not pictured are the few cans of Redbull and Diet Coke I am going to add in for mixers. 

3 cans of his Skoal

Some scratch off lottery tickets

5 Hour Energy

A new pair of camo Crocs. Yes, he wears Crocs and somehow makes them look sexy. His current pair is the tan camo, so I figured these can be his "dress Crocs". Oooooh yeah.

The container with "I Love You" on it has "homemade" granola in it. I will share that recipe at a later time but its YUM! 

Rifle lighter--I haven't been able to make it work but its cute nonetheless.

Magellan stainless coffee tumbler

Moose Driver Cover--this is my absolute favorite part. He is not a huge golfer but he plays around with it and is a member of the Country Club, but the real meaning is because his dog's name is Moose. This dog is his baby. I always joke that if someone said it's the girl or the dog he'd say take the girl. Understandable--they've been together 11 years, us only 7 months. 

Also not pictured are some Little Debbie heart shaped cakes, some peppermint shower tabs that he likes, and some candy. 

I was on the hunt for a box of ammo for his new .380 but the stores here are fresh out. All in all this gift cost me about $100, but there are ways to of course make it cheaper. The moose was $30 but made the gift so it was worth it! 

Pretty much everything came from Academy except for the liquor and my granola!

Who else loves Valentines? What are y'all doing for the loved ones in your life? Anything special? Even if you're not in a relationship use the day to show love. A Facebook friend of mine posted this today and I thought it was great, and loved her message about applying this to the 14th:



Glad to be back! Have a wonderful week! 

New Look

Hello y'all! Sorry about the disappearance. I finally got my new look installed so please let me know what you think! I think it looks a little classier and a little more grown up.

I am feeling much better after surgery and ready to get back to my full range of motion. I am DYING to do yoga. Supposedly I can go back to all normal movements and work outs and such as of this Thursday!! WHOO!!!

I'll be back to blogging tomorrow with one of my favorite link ups, Taste of Tuesday!

See y'all then!!


Surgery Recovery

Hey y'all. If you saw my post on Sunday you know I had surgery yesterday.

I am feeling a lot better this morning, but yesterday was pretty rough, as to be expected. I have never felt that kind of pain, because I have never had surgery before. I think a toothache has been the extent of my pain.

The whole ordeal was new from the IV in my hand, to the carrying round an IV bag, to laying in this awful hospital bed, to being wheeled around, and put under (which I have NO memory of), to coming out of the anesthesia and wanting to cry from pain…you get the idea.

Here I sit now on my couch after a somewhat restless night sleep feeling 10 times better. I have to sleep only on my back so that was really hard for me, since I am a stomach sleeper. I took two doses of Ibuprofen through the night as well. I have hydrocodone, but I must not be a gangster because pain pills make me sick. I took a few of them yesterday but I am going to limit them to bed time so I don't have to spend all day nauseated.

I'm not quite up for any posts today and possibly the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I will feel better Monday. I just wanted to let y'all know I am alive! I've got my post op appointment at 10:30 this morning so hopefully the butcher will fill me in on what my next few weeks ahead look like…and I might catch a glimpse of my new (old) boobs.

Taste of Tuesday- Pot Roast


Linking with Blissfully Miller and Let's Get Bananas!


I failed as a blogger in the sense that I did not take any after photos of this phenomenal roast that I made last week. However, I refuse to fail in not sharing it with y'all. Let me preface this by saying, this was my first attempt at making a roast. It could not have gone over better if I had been making them for 20 years.



What I used:

3 lb chuck roast
2 cups of beef stock
1/2 cup of chopped onion--whole ones would have been better, but I improvised
Salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning--covered the entire roast, both sides, generously
2 tbsp of the juice from a jar of pepperocinis (spelling?!)

Also, used a handful of new potatoes and carrots!


I browned the onion in some canola oil, removed most of them, then threw in the carrots and potatoes to brown. Once they were showing some color, remove from the pan. Next I salt, pepper, and fajita seasoned the roast on one side and put that side down in the skillet, while you season the other side. Make sure the pan is uncomfortably hot. Sear it for about 1 minute then flip and repeat. Transfer to the crockpot and put potatoes, carrots, and onions around it. I had to shove it in there but it fit.

Now the juicy (pun intended) part. Using the same skillet pour in the broth and pepperocini juice. Stir violently (my new cooking term) and be sure to scrap the goodies from the roast, onions, etc up off the pan. Get all that good flavor moving around in the sauce. Let it simmer and get just a hair (ew, who talks about hair in food?) thicker then pour it in to the crock pot and put her on high for about 2 hours. I then turned it to low and let it sit for another 6 hours. This was not my original intention. We got held up, and I was a little worried when we got home. However, I opened the pot and took a spoon and fork to it to lift it onto a cutting board and it fell right apart in the crock pot.

The flavor was also perfect. Just a slight, very, very small hint of spice to it from the juice of the pepperocinis and fajita seasoning.

All in all it was perfection!! I stole the pepperocini juice idea from the Pioneer Woman, aka my idol.

My first roast attempt will not be my last.

How do you differ in making roast? It is one of my favorite meals, I would love to hear your ideas!


Great Reads

It is the first day back to work since the week before Christmas. Needless to say, I and everyone else in my office is very rusty. So, I just want to share a few reads to check out.







(but seriously) 




I love a good list. If you're needing to kill time, these are good reads.


On a Personal Note

A little while ago I mentioned that I was going to share something personal with y'all. Maybe something that was TMI.

Growing up I was always the girl with big boobs. I got them around 8th grade and they were almost immediately a C cup. Today they're bordering on a D 1/2. I can not find a bathing suit top that works, bras are impossible, and lets not even talk about a strapless bra. I spend most of my days in a sports bra trying to minimize them.

Well, no longer. This Thursday, bright and early, at 7 am I am undergoing a breast reduction. I am terrified. My doctor and I have discussed it and instead of talking in terms of "cup", I am to give him a percentage I want removed, as in 20, 30, 40%, etc. As of now, I am sitting on 20-25%. That doesn't sound like a lot, but at the same time I do want to still have some boob. It would be awful to wind up wanting implants after spending the money on this.

I am really excited though, through my fear. I hope that by the time summer rolls around I will be able to wear tube tops, bandeau bathing suits, etc…

I have caught some flack from friends who think I am crazy. Then again, they have never lived in my body, therefore they are not allowed an opinion. I'm sure my boyfriend is a little less than thrilled for obvious reasons, but I think he understands this will ultimately bring out a more confident version of myself and he is happy about that. My family understands as all of the women in our family have this same problem. I will be the first to do this.

It is a chunk of change, but it will be worth it in the long run…I hope!

I will be busy this week busting my butt to get things done. For the next two weeks I won't be able to lift anything such as laundry baskets. Darn (<---HA!). I am a little bummed at getting out of the great work out schedule I have gotten in lately, but it is what it is. (What an annoying phrase, I know.)

So this was a lot of ramble on I realize, but I wanted to share with y'all what is happening in my life this week. I will be in and out over the week but I will definitely let y'all know how it goes Friday or Saturday depending on how I feel! According to my doc I should recover nicely and be basically up and going the next day. We'll see buddy, we'll see.

Wish me luck!


Ps: I want to thank all of you who comment on my posts. I always reply via email. If you're listed as a "no comment reply" I recommend changing that! I didn't know about it when I first started but it makes it much easier for me to communicate with you! I don't ever want anyone to think I am ignoring your comment. Check this out, it helped me switch over! Talk to y'all soon!

Friday Favorites #1

Housewife Glamour


I am doing a new Friday link up this week! It is through Housewife Glamour. I love her blog. She is a great fitness motivator! 


  • I just bought the Nutribullet System. I love it already. It is a perfect mix of blending and juicing. 



I bought mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. $100.



  •  Cooking. I have been on a real cooking binge lately. I have some great recipes to share with y'all coming up. In the meantime looks at this killer grilled cheese I just made. I could only eat half, sadly. 


Fun fact: I regularly eat on paper plates if it is just me! One less dish. 

  • The New Year! I can't remember where I saw this, maybe Pinterest or Instagram. If anyone else has seen it and knows where it originated please let me know so I can give credit!! 


Cute idea, right?


  • Inspiration. I am using this photo of myself from about 7 years ago as my fitness inspiration. I have never been smaller than a size 2, always had hips and boobs but I need to get back to being a bit healthier. *Coors aside*




How about that Dawson's Creek hair cut. Yikes. 


  • Tobi. HOW did I not know about this site. As a new member you get 50%, yes FIFTY percent off your first order. *Shame alert: I bought over $600 worth of goodies--paid half price. That is not my usual spending amount but I figured 50% off I'd better load up! 


One of my picks! Will be great with tights and a cardigan or sweater and then perfect for summer. Click picture for link. $36.








 Those are just a few of the things rocking my 2014 so far. Looking forward to discovering some new blogs through a new link up! Thanks Housewife Glamour for hosting something new!


Resolutions

Popping in to say Happy New Year. I hope y'all are safe and enjoying your day. I am pretty hungover, but I had a wonderful night with my boyfriend at their country club! I am going to share a few of my "resolutions". They aren't anything major, more just things I have been wanting to do anyway.


Do more yoga.

Drink more water.

Eat more veggies.

Read more books.

Become a better blogger.

Get in shape.

Keep my car cleaner.


I know there is a lot of controversy where resolutions are concerned but I don't see anything wrong with it. It is fun to set a few goals. Does it have to be on January 1st? Not necessarily but it makes it come out neater. I am a little OCD like that.

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