Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friendship Friday

Here are this week's other chic blogs. I must say that this week was full of good reading for me. I have really enjoyed all of the blogs below. They are funny and informative! Great blogs ladies, Happy Friday to you all!

What's everyone doing this weekend? I plan to find outfits for our family photo shoot that we'll be doing soon. Maybe, we'll do a little cleaning. We must fix the water hose in our backyard. Savannah has the best at home splash pad and she hasn't been able to use it lately. Luckily, it's been raining this week but next week I'll definitely need the backyard up and running!

The Bachelorette Episode 3

I really enjoyed this week's episode of The Bachelorette. Emily finally sent one of the guys who never had a chance home. She spent some time with Doug, whom you know is one of my fave Bachelors. What I didn't expect was for her and Arie (the race car driver) to hit it off so well! She had some great chemistry with Chris too, but I mean Arie really seems to be the new front runner.

Arie and Emily were serenaded by Dolly Parton. Dolly sang one of my favorite songs to them, her "To the Moon and Back" (this may not be the official name of the song, ha ha) is a classic. I can't wait to see what happens in Bermuda. Hopefully, she'll send Kalon home. Mainly, because his face doesn't move when he talks and he's a bit of a spoiled jerk.

Another thing I loved about this week is you got to see more Emily's personality. She's actually really funny. Maybe I am biased because we are both Charlotte girls. She reminds me so much of the girls I went to high school with. I'm pretty sure she'll get asked to do some other things when this show is done. I don't watch Dancing with The Stars but I could totally see her doing that show too. Is anyone else watching The Bachelorette? 

Make Your Own Salsa

I started making salsa about six years ago after I tasted some amazing salsa at a company potluck. I asked my co-worker for his recipe and he gladly gave it over. I haven't purchased salsa since. As you know, my family loves canning Chow Chow. I thought it would be a good idea to can some salsa. My husband always jokes that my salsa is so good I should sell it. While I do not see myself doing that any time soon I do think that a jar of salsa and a bag of tortilla chips would make a cute gift. Especially if you do pretty labels and maybe add some ribbon around the jar/lid. Salsa is pretty healthy and can be used in a variety of ways. Use it to season beef, as an appetizer/snack or as a dressing. You may need to puree it a little more if using it as a dressing. A salsa vinigerette is so good!
So to get started you have to wash your jars and lids. Then give them a hot bath in a large pot. I have read many different opinions on cooking or boiling your salsa for a few minutes before canning it. I wasn't going to cook mine but then decided to let it boil/simmer for about 5 minutes. After you have made your salsa fill the jars using a canning funnel. Get rid of any air bubbles and place the lids on the jars. Make sure you use "jar tongs" to place the jars filled with salsa back into a hot bath. The water should be super hot, and there should be at least an inch of water above the jars. Process in water for about 35 minutes. Adjust your processing time by your altitude. There should be a zone number on your lids and the bottom of your jars that will indicate what zone you're in.

Yeilds Approximately 12 jars

5 pounds roma tomatoes
3 cilantro bunches
1 bunch and a half green onion
3 limes
4 serrano peppers
salt to taste

salsa canning

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Potty Training is Ruining My Life 2

potty training

I thought it would be nice to give you all an update on our potty training succes. Or lack thereof. We have made a little progress. Whenenver she has to go potty I know the signs. She "tells" me that she's about to go or has already gone. I have gotten our timing down. The kitchen stove timer reminds me to grab a book and sit her down every 25 minutes. It has been messy and it hasn't been easy but we are getting there.

We took a little potty break after things got a little too frustrating for the both of us. During that time she became more aware of when she was going "potty" in her diaper. That has made things so much easier this go 'round. I decided over the Memorial Day holiday weekend that when we returned home we would turn a new page and really committ to training. I'd like to think potty training is a lot like dieting. You have your good days and your bad days. Sometimes you follow the plan and sometimes you don't.

Then all of a sudden you get to that day where you say "I've had enough.", "I'm really going to do it this time.". That's where we are. If I could have a svelte Jennifer Hudson playing in the background every 25 minutes that would make the journey a little better. I can hear her singing to Savannah now, "If you want it you got it. You gotta believe." Love those Weight Watchers commercials, so catchy. :-)

Anyway, JHud is right. If our family goal was to get her potty trained by a certain time why not go for it full throttle. I know she's ready. She knows she's ready. Let's do this. Again. :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Proud Army Wife

Today I had the honor of attending my husband's induction into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. Many of you may recognize the name Audie Murphy from some of your favorite western movies or country songs. What you may not know is that he was the highest decorated Soldier in American history. The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club first began in 1986 and since it began there are only 412 members. My husband is number 412. I couldn't be more proud of him, he's amazing.

military family

Dress: Express

Zoo Etiquette

As you know we took Savannah to the zoo last week. The Georgia public library system and Zoo Atlanta have a cool program that gives you free admission to the zoo once a year. We decided to take advantage of the program and check out some of our favorite animals.

This was our first family zoo trip so I wasn't prepared for some of what we encountered. First things first. There should be zoo etiquette. Rules that apply when visiting the zoo. Just like the dinner table but not as air conditioned. If you are with a group of adults you should probably give the children first dibs on the exhibits. Especially the ones strapped in a stroller. Let me let you in on a secret... you are taller than them. I was so bugged by the rude adults that didn't make room for the kiddos that wanted to see the animals.

Not to mention that it was hot as the devil's kitchen outside. Which doesn't make the experience any better. I thought we were gonna have a nice family stroll thru the zoo, but by the time we hit the reptiles I was ready to go, ha ha. The sweat was literally starting to roll down my back and that's when I knew it was time to say good bye. All in all we had a great time and Savannah loved seeing the animals. We enjoyed them too! She even got to bring home a panda of her very own. They have been inseparable.

Of course, I have like eight trillion pics and videos from the trip. Here are just a few snap shots from our day.

I think this is my husband's first appearance on Chic SAHM. Handsome, right?

I'm happy to be leaving. She's passed out, mission accomplished!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stylish Saturday

I love my yellow jeans! They get so many compliments when we're out. I have to admit they're not the easiest thing to coordinate, but whenever I feel like standing out I reach for these!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friendship Friday

Happy Friendship Friday!!! These were my fave blogs of the week! I hope you all enjoy them.

What does everyone have planned for the weekend? We'll be going to the zoo today! It's Savannah's first trip!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thought Bubbles...

...I am excited about our family trip to the zoo.
...I am especially excited about feeding the Giraffes.
...I would love to get my hair straightened.
...I regret eating McDonald's at lunch.
...Those nuggets were so good though.
...I hope my plants don't die.
...I will be so happy when Savannah finally has all her teeth.
...Good sleep is essential to life.
...I wonder what the Fresh Beat Band people are like in real life...
...Hopefully they're a lot different...
...I deserve a pat on the back for fitting me and Sav's stuff into one suitcase.
...On some level I make miracles happen and these people don't even know it, haha.
...I still look forward to the weekend even though I don't go into an office every day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Better Banana Pudding

I love a good banana pudding. This recipe is from Paula Deen. I'm not sure which cookbook it's from but my Mom gave it to me. She made the most delicious banana pudding for Thanksgiving last year. I wanted to give it a try. There are a couple of unexpected ingredients here that make all the difference. In the pictures below you will notice that I used regular vanilla wafers. The recipe calls for Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies. The commissary didn't have them so I had to substitute with the traditional wafer. It is so much better with the chessmen cookies!! Use them if you can.


2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas sliced
2 cups of milk
1 (5oz) box instant french vanilla pudding
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12oz) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


Line the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch dish with one bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

vanilla wafers

sliced bananas on top

milk and pudding mix

condensed milk and cream cheese

everything mixed w/ whipped topping

mixture added to bananas and cookies

topped with cookies

banana pudding

The Bachelorette Episode 2

On last night's episode Emily went out on a solo date with Ryan. She took him to run errands and bake cookies. Then they went out to dinner where they were swarmed by some of the local residents. After dinner they dance while listening to one of Emily's favorite bands. It seemed so awkward because the crowd was watching and people had their cell phones out taking video. Weird. But Ryan and Emily seemed to have some really nice chemistry.

On the group date, she took about 12 of the bachelors to meet Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. They were separated into groups and performed a show for charity. It was really cute. Chris and Emily seemed to be having a great connection during their one on one time. So I was really shocked when she gave the date rose to Jeff. They had a little time together after the group date but I didn't notice anything special between them.

Joe got the last solo date. He got to go on a traditional over the top date. She seemed to be really smitten by Joe before the date. They took a private jet to West Virgina, Emily's home state. Their date took place at The Greenbier. A historical hotel that's over 100 years old. While they were in West Virgina trouble was brewing at the mansion with guys. Kalon accused single dad Doug of putting being a father on hold to come do the show. Doug quickly put him in his place, I enjoyed that bit of drama.

Back at The Greenbrier Emily and Joe have left the pool and changed into formal attire. Emily is a tough interrogator and her questions seemed to be throwing Joe off. I don't really see a strong connection between them. She ended up sending him home. She actually cried about it. Weird. Her reasoning was that she didn't know where she fit into his life. How could you know that? It's the first date. The real reason she sent him home was because there was absolutely no chemistry. I'm pretty bummed that Doug didn't get a solo date this week. I would have liked to see them together more.

Has anyone else been following the show? Who do you think are the front runners so far?

Another Turban

Today I took Savannah to the pool for a play date. I didn't feel like doing anything with my hair so I decided to try another turban. This fabric is a silk so I wrapped it a little differently. Of course, I couldn't actually swim in this look but that worked out fine since Sav mostly hangs out in her float. It matched perfectly with my metallic grey swimsuit. Wish I could have gotten a full body shot but I didn't want to do a "bathroom" pic. I gotta keep it classy here, haha! Oh, and since I was at the pool this pic was taken with no makeup. Got to love going fresh faced every now and then!

girl in turban

Turban Fabric - JoAnn's
Swimsuit - Target

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Before bed tonight I wanted to tell you guys about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It is an amazing program that encourages kids to develop a love for reading. I signed my daughter up for this program a few months ago. You will receive a brand new book in the mail every month to enjoy with your child. What I really love about this program is the guide that comes with each book. It helps you help your child get the most out of story time. I encourage everyone that has a child in their life to take a few moments and check out the site for this program. Sign up, it's free!

Cosmetic Tweaks

A nip here. A tuck there. Cosmetic surgery seems to really bring the best and worst out of some people. I recently saw a picture of Lark Voorhies (Lisa) from Saved By the Bell and it appears that she has had a considerable amount of work done. I understand people wanting to change something about themselves that they do not like. I can relate to that. Not that I've had any type of cosmetic surgery but today I had a little cosmetic tweak done.

I was born with what I like to refer to as vampire fangs. They weren't the sexy kind you see on True Blood, but more of the distracting confidence robbing kind. They were like tiny little baby teeth. I believe the medical term would be "peg legs". My peg legs really bothered me. I had really bad teeth as a child. I wore braces from 6th grade to the summer before 10th grade. Even after going through all that, head gear included, my smile still wasn't what I was hoping it would be. I smiled anyway though.

No one else in my family had these peg legs. No one. Everyone had perfectly square teeth. I always told myself that before I became a Mom I wanted to get my teeth "fixed". So back in April I started the process of getting the smile I've always wanted. Several appointments later I finally have a smile that I can be proud of.  When I take pictures now I won't have to worry about being able to truly smile. I won't have to worry about having conversations up close or laughing out loud. All the things that I would normally be self conscious about are no longer an issue.

I am so happy with my decision to have a little cosmetic tweak done. I will no longer judge young girls who get botox or boob jobs. Maybe they have issues with their foreheads and breasts like I did with my teeth. That may comparing apples to oranges but you see what I mean. My peg legs were like a wrinkle on some girl's forehead. It bothered me. If my face weren't so swollen I would post an after pic, but I'm pretty sure pictures will eventually make their way to the blog. Feels good to be 100% confident. That's a new kind of freedom.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stylish Saturday: Denim Jacket

Today I wanted to wear a low key casual look. I really love my denim jacket. I've had it since college. It goes with everything! I wear it with dresses, colored denim, sweats etc. It doesn't get much better than a denim jacket that fits properly.

fashion blogger denim jacket natural hair

Denim Jacket- Express
Black Dress - Express
Belt- H&M
Glasses- They are Rx. They aren't name brand and I love them.
Handbag - Michael Kors

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friendship Friday

As you know on Friday I highlight some of my favorite blogs from the past week. Here are this week's other chic blogs! I have enjoyed reading them, hopefully you will too!

Enjoy your weekend! Come back tomorrow for Stylish Saturday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Balancing Act

In my former life I worked in the sales industry. It was competitve. It was aggressive. It was what I did. In that field you have to be turned on at all times. For every minute that you spend checking your personal email or having a chat at the water cooler you miss out on money. That's what sales is about. A commission. You must be consistently productive to achieve any type of success.

Since becoming a mother and staying at home I have had a hard time adjusting to the lack of pressure. Motherhood isn't a competition and there certainly isn't a commission to be earned at the end of the month. Just hugs, kisses and milestones. So what keeps you going? What keeps us from becoming frumpy old housewives? Well, for me I think it has to be my type A personality. No matter how hard I try I just can't seem to turn it off.

I actually feel guilty if I don't take my daughter on an outing everyday. It feels strange to stay home for the entire day. I also I have not been able to do that whole "sleep while the baby is sleeping" thing, or even take a break when she naps. I feel that those are my opportunities to cook dinner or clean. I can get it done much faster when she's not clinging to my leg or asking to be held. However, after a few weeks of the constant going I do hit a wall. Today, I ran into one full speed. So, I did something I rarely ever do. When she went down for her nap I turned on the tv, peeped inside the DVR and caught myself up on one of my favorite shows.

I just sat there with a glass of tea. I must admit that midway thru the show instead of fast forwarding thru the commercials I got dinner started. What I realized was that it is completely okay to have one day a week where we don't have a plan. We don't have to go anywhere. I discovered today that she is completely happy playing with her toys right here in the comfort of our own home. I do not have to be turned on all the time. Every second doesn't have to be filled with flash cards or story time. She is happy playing and dancing and pretending. It's okay for me to have an hour of downtime. After all, I'm a Mom not a Ring Master. No one is buying tickets to this show. It's not a competition. I'm not going to get an award for doing the most housework or having dinner done by five. So, I can relax. It's ok.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Bachelorette Episode 1

Okay. So here's the thing. I like reality tv. It doesn't matter if they're competing, fighting, or trying to become the next big 15 minute star. I will watch it. I'll watch makeovers, make unders and make ups to break ups. The Bachelorette is sure to deliver all of these. Since I find myself to be somewhat of a reality tv expert I decided that it would be fun to blog about this season.

Why this season you ask? Well, for starters the beloved Emily from the Brad Womack season of The Bachelor is our Bachelorette. C'mon you know you were secretly pulling for her! Like most fairytales her prince suddenly turned into a douche bag once the magic of the cameras was over. Disney tends to leave that part out of the movies, so this may be the first you've ever heard of an unhappily ever after. Luckily for Emily some genius over at ABC knew she'd be tv gold and asked her to come back to be the next Bachelorette. And with a wave of a wand Emily was a princess yet again.

Another reason this season holds a special place in my heart is because it was filmed in Charlotte, NC. The Queen City. Home of the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats. And now The Bachelorette. I grew up in Charlotte and I must admit I'm pretty excited to see the city as a back drop this season. Anyways, I digress...

So, if you watched the show last night you saw Emily's daughter and their home. Cute girl, cute house. If you remember from BW's season he visited Emily in that house so I was glad to see that she didn't upgrade for the cameras. Not that she needs to, her house is quite lovely. As I was watching her I thought to myself "Why is this beautiful girl on tv looking for love?" She seems to really "have it all" already. I'm sure with time Emily would have found love the ole fashioned way. Then again, from what I hear from my single girl friends in Charlotte, the pickins there are pretty slim. So...maybe not.

The guys this season seem to be like the the bachelors from all the other seasons. There is the obvious sweet guy, Doug, who is a single Dad. A few funny guys. Randy dressed up as a grandma to catch Emily's attention. It didn't work. Randy did not receive a rose at the end of the night. Sometimes less really is more. The jerk of the season appears to be Kalon, who arrived via helicopter. The other guys hated that. Emily passed out the coveted first impression rose to Doug (he deserved it). If Doug doesn't blow it, he may win this whole thing. Only time will tell. A preview of the season shows lots of drama. I can't remember excatly but I'm pretty sure our sweet Emily even drops the "F-bomb" while kicking someone out of the house. So yes, I am excited to follow these crazy people as they travel to beautiful places in hopes of becoming Mr.Emily Maynard and the winner of The Bachelorette.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chewy Cake: A Family Tradition

When I was little girl my brothers and cousins spent a lot of time at my Grandparent's house. They live in a small town in South Carolina. Those are some of the best memories I have when I remember my childhood. There was always a friend to play with, a bike to ride or some trouble to get into. Trust me, we got into our fair share of trouble. Have you ever tried to make an indoor "slip n slide"? We made one once and it was quite the adventure! One of my favorite things about my Grandmother's house was the endless amounts of cakes and pies. From sweet potato pies to jelly cakes, there was always something to enjoy. Chewy cake was also very popular. It's very sweet and nutty and just perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. Try serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You will love me forever. ;-)

Cake Ingredients
1 Box light brown sugar
2 Cups self rising flour
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter
3 Eggs
2 Cups chopped pecans

Glaze Ingredients
2-4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup confectionary sugar
*Enough water to smooth the glaze

Preheat oven to 350. Over low heat cook butter and light brown sugar. (Yes you are using the whole box.) Stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a bowl continuing to stir to cool the mixture. With a hand mixer, add each egg one at a time beating mixture after each egg until the egg is completely incorporated. Add the flour, mixing until the flour is completely incorporated. Add the vanilla. With a spoon, add the pecans and give it a good stir. It will be sticky. (Do you love me yet?) Bake in a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. With a fork poke a couple holes into the cake. (cake may crumble a little) Prepare the glaze by combining butter and confectionary sugar over low heat. Add enough water to smooth out the glaze. Drizzle over the top of the warm cake.

After eggs have been added...

After flour has been added...

After mixing in the pecans...

Spread out in the pan...



You're welcome ;-)