Use Up Those Leftovers!

It’s no secret that we are a leftover friendly family.  One of my biggest pet peeves is throwing away food!  Matt and I are constantly looking for new and busy-schedule-friendly ways to finish off our leftovers.

Of course, one of the biggest leftover meals of the year is Thanksgiving, and I always have big plans to use them all up without making us sick of turkey.  One of my favorite ways to use leftover chicken or turkey is to make a homemade soup or stew from it.  When I buy a rotisserie chicken at the store, which by the way is one of the best deals ever, I always pick the chicken meat off and but the bones and skin in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer.  Then once we have a few bags of bones Matt will make a yummy pot full of stock.  We then use our handy-dandy electric canner and have jars of stock ready for soup all year!

Now, I will say we eat A LOT of soup in our house.  It’s my son’s favorite meal.  He likes pretty much eats every soup I’ve ever put in front of him (parent win!).

So for our glorious leftover turkey carcass, it was a no-brainer to make a big pot of stock for some soup.  The pot of stock we made was about 9 cups, which fits perfectly in my dutch oven.  Coincidence?  I think not!  Here’s a photo of the finished soup, and I’ll put my recipe below.  It’s super easy and will adapt to whatever veggies, rice, or pasta you have on hand.  I also highly recommend putting some cheese toast on the side of dipping…YUMMY!


Here’s the recipe:

8-9 cups stock

1 onion, chopped

3 Tbls butter

2 cups frozen mixed veggies

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 cup rice

2 cups leftover turkey chopped

3 Tbls fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot melt your butter and cook onions until tender.  Add in thyme and frozen veggies.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Stir in rice and coat.  Stir in turkey stock and bring to simmer.  Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice and veggies are tender.  Stir in turkey meat and parsley and simmer again.  Season to taste.






Happy Thanksgiving!

The day after Thanksgiving…aka Black Friday.  As we speak (write) I’m sitting in my pj’s, under a blanket with my second cup of coffee.  Clearly, I’m an online shopper.

We hosted both of our families yesterday and it was fabulous.  We had the Macy’s parade on all morning and then switched over to football for all the guys.  As I get older I find myself clinging to the little traditions of my youth.  Watching the parade, making the same yummy dishes, and then just lounging around the rest of the day and going back for little pinches of this, and little pinches of that, even though you’re not even hungry.  I hope Andrew adopts traditions with his family and remembers ours with fondness.

Here are some photos from our day.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

A New Hobby

IMG_2326A couple weeks I was invited to a friends house for wine (yay!) and knitting/crocheting (I can’t do either of these).  I told my friend that I had no idea how to knit or crochet and she says “No problem!  I’ll teach you!”

Considering I’m not the most crafty person, I was a bit skeptical.  After some amazing food prepared by Christian women and a glass of wine, I was handed some knitting needles and a big ball of yarn.

To my surprise, I took off with it very quickly and now I’m slightly (beyond) obsessed with knitting.  I’ve already made a scarf and I’m on my second one!  I stinking love it!  It is so therapeutic and to see that I’m actually creating something with my hands is pretty darn satisfying.

I have to admit that up until now I haven’t really had any hobbies that I do around the house.  I love to read, but I don’t really consider that a hobby.  This has given me a new creative outlet and I’m loving it.

This weekend, the hubby and I went on a short overnight date to Atlanta.  The first thought I had was, “Oh my Lord I can go the hobby stores and look at yarn!”  And that’s exactly what I did.  I bought some gorgeous chunky yarn to make myself a throw, and some more yarn for another Christmas gift.

If you’re reading this post, and you’re a family member, a close friend, or even a dog, the chances of you getting something knitted for Christmas are pretty high.


Tis’ the Season…for red nails!


Could there be a more Christmas-y picture?!  Okay, there probably is, but not on my phone.

Yesterday ended up being a sort of pampering day for me.  I had a hair appointment (that I almost forgot about), with a scheduled color, cut, and blow dry.  I was on the fence about the color but decided to go for it and let the professional do her magic.  It turned out great and I have no more greys (for now).

After the hair appointment, I went for my bi-weekly gel manicure.  I’ve recently started going to the nail salon for a proper manicure, and it’s made a world of difference in how my nails and hands look.  I’ve always been one of those “I can do my own nails as good as the salon” kinda girls.  I realize now I really can’t, lol.  Every two weeks I get a gel polish change, and then once every six weeks I have them do a full manicure.

I’ll be honest, I would wear “fire engine red” nail polish year round, for every occasion.  I seriously feel so fancy when my nails are red!  But there’s something about that first red manicure for the Holiday’s that just get’s me in the Christmas spirit!

So now that I have a fresh hairdo, and fresh red nails, I’m ready to tackle all the things!


The 24 Hr Juice Cleanse


I love juice.  I love the health benefits, the way it tastes, the way it makes me feel…pretty much everything about it.  Except actually juicing the veggies/fruit myself.  I got my own juicer a few years ago as a Christmas gift.  I think I used it three times!  It was so much trouble to clean, plus it was crazy expensive to buy all the veggies/fruit.  So, I sold it.  I kinda regret it, but then I think back to having to break that thing down to clean it and I don’t really miss it that much.

On a recent trip to Asheville, my sister-in-law introduced me to Mountain Juicery.  It’s a local joint with cold-pressed juice made fresh daily.  Just walking in this place made me feel healthy!  On Beth’s recommendation, I tried the “Daily Glow”, which is a cucumber-based drink.  It was AH-MAZING!  I liked it so much that on my next trip to Asheville I decided that I wanted to try their 24-hour juice cleanse.  Again, highly recommended by the SIL.  On the website, it says you have to call 24 hours in advance tog et the cleanse.  Well, it was last minute so I decided to take a chance.  Matt and I stopped by and I asked the guy if he could make my cleanse while we were at lunch.  And of course, he was super nice and said yes.

One hour later I picked up all my juice, which had just been pressed, and headed home.  So, I’m going to break down the next day, which was a Saturday, and let you know how it went and what juices were my favorite.  Here goes:

Wake Up: Herbal Tea or Warm H20 w/Lemon & Honey – I drank a cup of coffee with a little cream.  I like herbal tea, but I gotta have my coffee.  

Breakfast: Shades of Green – Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery – This one was pretty good.  I think I would have liked something in there to make it sweet for the morning.  

Snack: What’s Up Doc? – Carrot, Apple, Lemon, Turmeric – Definitely one of my favorites!  I love carrot juice and this was really sweet and yummy.  

Lunch: Shades of Green+ – Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger – This one is good too, but the ginger gives it a kick.  Again, super “green” but good.

Snack: Vitamin Spice-C – Orange, Grapefruit, Ginger, Cayenne – This one worried me a bit, but turned out to be one of the best ones.  Tasted like spicy orange juice!

Dinner: Local Farmacy – Spinach, Carrot, Romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Beet – Okay, since this is a totally honest corner of the Internet, I will tell you that I couldn’t drink this one.  I HATE beets, and this one was very heavy on the beet flavor.  I tried…couldn’t do it.

Snack: Almond Milk – Almonds, Vanilla Bean, Dates, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Filtered H2O – Super yummy and was almost like a dessert.  

Before Bed: Cucumber Water – Water, Cucumber – Just your basic cucumber water before bed.  

So, as you can see there is a lot of juice.  But since you’re not eating actual food, the juice keeps you really full.  It typically took me about 30-45 minutes to drink each one, so you’re drinking about every 2-3 hours.

The only issue I had, was around dinner time I started feeling very lethargic and just yucky.  I’m used to eating 50+ grams of protein every day, and I felt like my body wasn’t happy with me.  So since I couldn’t drink the beet juice I had a piece of turkey and a cheese stick.  I know, you’re not supposed to eat, but I also think you have to listen to your body.  Once I ate the turkey I felt 100% better and was able to finish the cleanse.

Conclusion:  I really like the cleanse, and I plan on doing it again in a few months, probably over the summer.  I didn’t do the cleanse to lose weight, but just to give my system a break, and I felt like it did a great job of that.  The next time, I will have them substitute the beet juice for something else, that was some nasty juice!  So overall, a successful juice cleanse!

Have any of you done a juice cleanse?  Do you like green juice?  I’d love to know what your favorites are!


Stitch Fix Review April

So I’m sure most people who are into subscription boxes and fashion have heard of Stitch Fix.  Plus, they run commercials all the time now.  I was a customer a couple years ago and got maybe 1 or 2 boxes.  Financially at the time I just couldn’t afford it, and I never kept the items, so I canceled my subscription.

About a month ago I decided to give it another try.  Since I work from home now I honestly don’t need a ton of dress clothes, but I really like having cute summer shorts and tops for when I do get out of my office and into the land of the living.

If you don’t know how Stitch Fix works, you basically sign up, fill out a style profile with your measurements (they also have Petites!), and the kinds of things you like to wear.   You’re then assigned a stylist who will look at that profile and pick out 5 items to send you in your fix.  OH, and they also look at your Pinterest style boards too! You can also send them a personal note if you’re wanting a specific color, item, etc.  The styling fee is $20 and that gets credited toward any item you decide to keep.  If you don’t keep anything, you’re out the $20 and you send it all back.  If you keep everything in your box you get a 25% discount + the $20 credit.  You can also specify a price point that you would like to stay in, which I highly recommend doing.  Some of the items can get really spendy in my opinion.

In my note to my stylist, I asked for some dresses the would be appropriate for church, brunch, date night, etc.  since we’re coming into Easter/Mother’s Day.  I specified that I didn’t want anything too dressy, and I’d like some pieces that I could wear around the office, but would look cute to run errands, etc.

When the box comes is wrapped really nice in tissue and includes a card with styling tips for all your pieces, and a price list broken down by piece.  I forgot to take photos of that, but I will next time.

I have to say, my stylist really delivered.  I ended up keeping every piece!!!  I’m very petite, so finding things like rompers and capri pants are a nightmare.  Everything in my fix fit me like it was tailor made.  I was ecstatic!  One thing I will say is that it’s a much better deal to buy the whole fix than separate items.  The 25% discount makes it a pretty good deal.  I’m going to post some pics below of my pieces and the prices for each and then I’ll give the total I paid with all the discounts and credits.


Kerrigan 2fer Knit Dress.  The fabric on this dress is beautiful and the picture doesn’t do it justice.  $78






Tianna Knit Dress.  Great fabric and this dress is lined, so you feel very covered.  It’s a pretty blue with white dots.  $68IMG_1508







Adley Knit Dress.  Gorgeous pink color for summer.  This one was a little shorter, but I loved the fabric and neckline.  Makes my boobs look bigger 😉  $64IMG_1510








Bryanna Knit Romper.  This romper was so cute!  I asked for a jumpsuit, but they didn’t have one in my size so my stylist sent this instead.  I’m so glad she did!  I loved everything about it.  $68IMG_1509







Mirabella Capri Skinny Jean.  These capri pants honestly feel like pajamas.  The waistband is elastic, which I didn’t like at first, but they’re so flattering and comfy.  I can myself getting a lot of wear from these. $68









So all purchased individually I would have paid $346.  With the $20 styling fee credit and 25% off for buying all 5 items, I paid $257.67 with tax.

Just to clarify.  I very rarely buy clothes at full price.  The first place I head in a store is the clearance rack.  However, I think for 3 dresses, a pair of jeans, and a romper, $257.67 isn’t a bad price, and I didn’t even have to leave home.  The quality of the pieces is very good, and I felt like they were worth the price.

My next fix is scheduled for June.  Oh, that’s another thing.  When you sign up you can get monthly fixes, every other month, or every 3 months.  I chose every other month, but you can change it anytime.  For my June box I asked for some specific items, so hopefully, it will be as successful as this one!

Anybody else tried Stich Fix?  Have you had good luck with it?  If you’d like to sign up you can use this link:

Have a great day everyone!

Confession Time

I have a confession…I hate nail salons.  Now, let me first clarify something. I LOVE having my nails done, and pretty much always have them painted.  What I don’t like is having them done in a salon.  I find the whole process extremely stressful and it makes me anxious every time.  And don’t even get me started on pedicures.  YUCK!  I’ve never had a relaxing pedicure in my life.  They always hurt, my feet are too ticklish, and I feel like the people are making fun of my feet.  I know, I have some issues.  My lightbulb moment came when Matt decided to treat me to mani/pedi and I came home in a worse mood than when I went, and I redid my fingernails that night to suit me.  Ok, so I may have some control issues as well.  But that’s another post.

So, because I love my nails being “done”, and I hate the salon, the natural solution was to arm myself with the tools and skills to do them myself at home.  So that’s what I’ve done.  I have a great collection of polishes from every brand and price point, a really good manicure set with tools, etc.  But I really wanted those super shiny, two-week long gel nails you get at the salon.  Enter…the at-home UV Gel Nail system.  Hallelujah!  I purchased this little gem about a year ago, and since that time it’s paid for itself multiple times.  I love this thing.  No, seriously, I love it.  I purchased the starter kit at my local Walmart for about $50.  That was all I needed to get started.  It’s so easy to do at home, and you really do get the same results you get from a salon.

The brand I have is Sensationail, but there are many different ones.  Living in a town where we only have a Walmart and a Walgreens I’m pretty limited unlesss I order online.  Honestly, though, this one fits my needs fine, and I can get polish from either place or Sally’s Beauty if I want the Gelish brand.  As long as you use the UV polish you can use whatever brand you like.

The other day my Mom asked me if I would do her nails because she didn’t want to go to the salon.  Like Mother like Daughter.  So I said sure, come on over!  Now, I have never done anyone else’s nails, just mine, so I was a little nervous about getting the polish smooth and nice.  They turned out great!  She loved them too, which is the important part.  Here are some photos of during and after:

Thanks for being my first customer Mom!

Ah, confession is good for the soul!  And so is an awesome manicure 😉