Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup



A couple years ago I was in Sam's or Bj's and they had this soup for sample. It was yum. So I made it at home for myself {Mr. Shaw was away on business}. It was so flipping EASY! So YUM {which is important!}.

Here's the recipe; it's by Del Monte. Don't knock it till you try it.

1{16oz} can whole kernal corn
1{10oz} can chicken, drained
1{10oz} can stewed tomatoes, drained
1{15oz} can black beans {it doesn't call for it but I rinse mine a little}
2{13oz}cans of chicken broth

tortilla chips to taste {crack 'em and put em on top}
shredded cheese to taste {I use cheddar, and lots of it... on top}

Dump all ingredients in a large sauce pan and simmer on medium until chicken is heated through.

DELISH. Seriously. AND healthy.

DO IT!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back In The Saddle, Again...

World, meet Blue.                       Blue, Meet World. 
{notice the hipstamatic hair do}

Remember how I told you I thought I was going to start riding again? And that I had a personal vendetta against this horse... Blue. Well, I grew some balls and got on him.... While my dad was there of course so he could keep him in line and give me pointers that I've long forgotten.  I'm glad I did. It helps having someone watch you and telling you how you can change... For example, I apparently like to choke the reigns {which frustrates and confuses the horse because he gets no relief from the bit after turning or doing what I say. And, then he's all WTF crazy lady... let up before I buck your fat butt off}

I wouldn't have realized it if someone hadn't been there to watch me and tell me. PLUS, my dad is a real live cowboy... as in... used to go on cattle drives regularly... in fact that's what he used Blue for, was for cuttin' cattle.

We didn't even trot. We walked and practiced his listening skills. He wanted to trot... but that crap was not happening. He was feeling me out to see who's boss. I won. 

 See him hanging his humble head in defeat? Maybe I'm imagining it.

He's camera shy. Or maybe tired from my fat mama booty weighing down on him. 

I know you probably want the juicy, yet humiliating {for me} details of Blue and I's former encounter. So for the sake of full disclosure {'cause that's how I roll}

Here we goooo...

It was Thanksgiving or Christmas a few years ago, and I decided I'd take 'ole Blue for a spin. Well, I hadn't planned it out ahead of time and was wearing flip flops {which came off}, and the stirrups were a little long and my dad didn't want to adjust them, since they were already set for him.

So, whatev, I hop on Blue and squeeze away with my child birthin' thighs. Well, Blue is devious... and smart, and conniving and demonic, and just WRONG.

He decided that before I had a tight grip, or, well, any grip on the reigns that he would just haul tail {that's pronounced haw tail} through the pasture. Not just through the pasture, but AROUND the fence line of the pasture, reeeeally close to the barbed wire fence.

 He was by no means going his fastest, but he had a good speed going and I've got nothing but a death grip with my fatigued floppy child birthin' thighs to hold me on... I seriously THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE.  I was holding the reigns back up behind my head.... pulling as hard as I could, but of course, he couldn't feel a thing.

Why didn't I tighten them up you say?

Well, I WAS TRYING NOT TO DIE.

Seriously though, I was trying not to die.

These high speed loops around the 2-ish acre pasture went on for 5-10 minutes or an hour or five, in my mind.  Until finally, I stopped trying not to die, and grabbed the stinking reigns tight and yanked them as hard as I could and stopped him.

Man, I want to punch him in the face just thinking about it. He knew exactly what he was doing...

It was the opportune time, before I grabbed those reigns to just take the freak off. Smart beastly horse.

I have never been scared of a horse in my life. In fact, I've been thrown off, stepped on, shat on, slobbered on, bitten... etcetera. Never, ever, scared. Ever.

Stupid, horse.

Stupid, stupid, horse.

Ruined my freaking mojo.

Lousy horse.

So you see, I once again am not {consciously} scared of him, so... I'm going to tame that stubborn old horse and make him do I want.

Because.... I gave BIRTH. In a BATHTUB. With NO DRUGS. JERK. Beat that. I can tame a stubborn old horse!

OR. ELSE.

There you have it people. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RECAP

Today was an interesting one. It's Tuesday. Tuesday, is therapy day.

The BANE of my existence. For OH, so many reasons. But mostly, because I have to go all the way over there TWICE and I have to take the boys to Bailey's therapy which means I get to wrangle them in the waiting room instead of being in there learning how to help her at home, etc. A babysitter, you say? Why, YES. Thank you... are you going to pay for it too? SWEET!

Today actually, wasn't so bad... other than missing out on her therapy.

Anyhow... on with the show!

 This morning I was awakened by a super whiney and irritable, Trevor AND Bailey.


Tantrums ensued.

Then while I'm getting the kids stuff together for our all day car ride, all over town... I walked by the kitchen and saw THIS...

Exhibit A: 


No chair or anything to help him up there.

He was after these. We call them Baby Crack... like the drug. He LOVES these things. In fact, he ate them for breakfast... because it was that kind of morning and he didn't want anything else. 

 So, of course, I'm curious as to how he managed to get up there... so a few minutes later he goes back to the kitchen and tries again, this time I'm ready. This is how he did it...

BRUTE STRENGTH. 



Except his plan was thwarted when his arm got caught... 

Serves him right... but it won't deter him... anymore than a hangover deters a  someone from getting drunk off of their a-double-s. {and yes, my kitchen is GROSS. I haven't been home to clean it... I'm accepting volunteers, any takers?}

By this point, Callen is exhausted and ready to pass out... but I wanted him to sleep through Trevor's Feeding therapy, so I was keeping him up. Except, when I walked in the living room he was waning...


Cute.Sweet.Boy.I.Heart.Him. 



Exhibit B: 


T- Rev also recently figured out how to break of the entire right side of styrofoam from his car seat. Now, THAT is safety awareness. This is an ex post facto picture. He usually enjoys playing with it while we are driving, as in, he takes it off while buckled in the seat...even better, I know.


Today while said shenanigan was going on... he figured out that he could turn the light on and off with it. Why must he be so smart?

Then, I decided, while Callen was passed-the-freak-out in his car seat I would clean out the car. Because, it too, is DISGUSTING. You couldn't even see the floor, no lie. It looks like we live in it. So while I take the initial load in and unlock the front door I come back to see Bailey scurrying back to the back {after taking as many swigs as she could off of my Coke {the drink} } and Trevor, unaware that I'm right there watching him, is swiggin' away as well. YUCK. I guess it didn't matter in the long run because as I'm collecting the next load of crap to take in I see this Gem.

Exhibit C:

{That floating white dot, is the portion of the cup that the straw poked out} 

Yes, it's filthy. I know. Hence the cleaning I was doing. So, as I learned a while ago when I had nothing but a diaper to clean up a spilled Dr. Pepper, I grabbed the nearest diaper {it took exactly 2 diapers to get it out} and soaked it up. 

Exhibit D:

When we got home, Bailey went into the play room {which is also a hot mess, especially after she dumped all the stuffed animals everywhere} and started explaining how to measure, cut, and stitch "velcro". I don't know where she got that from but her methods of sewing where fairly accurate. So I busted out the camera... of course. Then she started telling us how to knit.  The lighting is AWFUL and I apologize, it was raining and there was no daylight to help a hooka out. 

Well, it looks like blogger is having some technical difficulties... sooo... That will have to wait for another day. Lo siento mis amigos. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Outlets.

I've always had them. {Not the shopping outlets, though I've always had those nearby as well.}

Music has always been a huge one, horseback riding, exercising, country dancing.... I miss them all SO SO much. I actually think I may hop on 'ole blue and tame that wild beast one of these days.

{Blue is my dad's horse. We have some issues. Well, Blue doesn't have issues with me, it's more like, I have a serious personal vendetta against him.}

Country dancing, was in my younger days. I. LOVE. IT. But, when I moved back to Florida, it's just not the same. People stand around the bar and drink and watch you, but there aren't many people on the floor. In Utah, it was SO much FUN! You didn't have to worry about alcohol, or perverts {mostly}, the people that were there, were there to dance. And dance we did... until the wee small hours of the morning.

That ship has sailed.

I did just join the gym, but I think I'm going to cancel it. #1: I'm paying a small fortune that we don't really have to spare.

#2: The classes are offered at inopportune times for our routine. Either in the morning when the boys are cranky and ready to pass out or in the evening around bed time. "Early to bed, Early to rise." My kids take that very seriously.... especially the early to rise part... like 5:30/6:00 a.m. serious.  So they go to bed around 7/7:30. Which means, bed and bath are around 6:00p.m. when the other classes are. I just need to get off my toosh and work out at home or bust out the jogging stroller and power walk... 'cause you KNOW I can't run pushing 45 pounds of kids. I'm rambling. So sorry.

Music/Theatre... not an option due to scheduling.

I think that's why I've been getting crafty this past year. I created my own new outlet not even realizing it. Man! My sub conscience is getting GOOD! Not only do I get to have an outlet of sorts {though not my favorite one} it's an outlet none the less, AND I have learned a ton of new talents!

Everyone needs to channel the crazy somehow.

Outlets. Go getcha some!

Amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snowflakes in Florida!

Since these are about the only type we will ever see here... I figured we'd put some up for Christmas. I'm super anal about my tree, and I don't let the kids help me... or anyone really. I do give them a little tree to decorate. So we do Christmas crafts instead.


 I bought these a few years ago at The Dollar Tree. I got a lot more than I needed. Anyhow, I came across them the other day when I busted out my Christmas tub. Today, I decided that we were going to pretty them up. So, we took some Elmer's glue and I outlined them and then Bailey made a sparkly, shimmerific mess  dollin' 'em up.



So go make some snowflakes... and don't forget the glitter, it's the best part!

I'm a hooker...


... a crochet hooker. As in, I use a crochet hook. I just learned how to crochet, and it's my new favorite hobby.

Why do you like crocheting like an old lady, you say?

 Welllllllll, it's because it's:
mindlessly relaxing and it's not the least bit tedious... so on a day when I have nothing left, I can still accomplish something without wanting to rip my hair out,
I can watch my tv shows {the few I watch} while doing it.
It's also really easy once you get your own rhythm down.

I went with my mom, gramma and sister in law to The Sew and Quilt Shop in Bunnell. They were super nice and patient. It literally took me an hour and half to get a 6 inch strip done. No lie.  So because I pseudo understand things when I'm in the moment and then completely forget when I get home on my own {seriously, ever since elementary school... I have little to know retention} I decided to go to YouTube. My mom told me about a tutorial she found by a dude named Mikey.


He breaks his down nicely and simply. So here is a great starting point if you've ever wanted to learn! Happy hookin'! {get your mind out of the gutter!}

Friday, November 11, 2011

Morphing

I sit here in my living room in the quiet. The baby is sleeping and Trevor and Bailey are at Gramma's house. I feel lonely and I miss them. Like CRAZY.

Not so long ago I yearned to have some free time, to get a break. Maybe I'm just really starting to embrace my role as a stay at home mom, or maybe I've just learned to cope with the stress and overwhelmingness...

{yes, that is a word. Check the dictionary. If you can't find it, it's probably because you don't have the same dictionary as me... just sayin'}

...that comes with having three small kids all day everyday. I used to think MAN, I can't wait until these kids go off to college. I'm pretty sure I might shrivel up and cease to exist when that happens... don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll embrace my newfound  free time and productivity when that time comes... but man... will I miss them.

I also used to want to travel and live in new places and see the country and the world. That has changed as of late too. I pretty much just want to be near my family. Maybe that's because I've lost several family members in the last few years and I'm afraid to miss the time I have with them, or maybe I'm just maturing and discovering that you can't get lost time back.

Who knows? It's fascinating to me though the way that we morph in life as we grow and learn, our values change, as do the things that are important to us. Life is fleeting. You don't get a redo. Make your moments count. When your pissed off at someone, ask yourself how important it really is going to be in the long run... or better yet, how would you feel if you lost that person and didn't get to rectify what went wrong. I'm starting to grasp that importance. Don't get me wrong, I still have a temper... but I don't hold grudges the way I used to.

Once again, interesting how out perspectives morph... like this blog post... that I didn't really plan on being what it turned into... but, it is what it is.

On that note, I'm so grateful for my family and friends. One thing I have never lacked is supportive and loving and amazing friends and family. Thank you, for being you and being there for me. I love and appreciate you all.




Thursday, November 10, 2011

Design on a dime... the real life edition.

I've been working on redecorating the living room for the last few months. We are still poor-ish college kids so funding is low. I'm pretty pleased with how things came out, though. Not gonna lie I'm a pretty frugal person.


I grew up POOR. So, it's super hard for me to waste money... I mean, I manage just fine, when I need/want to, but I really try hard not to. Even if money was a non-issue, I don't see the point in wasting it, just because you can.

I love watching home improvement shows. I'm a do-it-your-selfer. It's fun, and I can make it exactly what I want it to be {within my talent range anyway}. I always do a capital "Pppppsssshhhhhh!!" When they start talking about "We redecorated this whole room for $1200!" ... and they think that it's a small number. If only every american had $1200 to redecorate a room, right. Scratch that. If only I had $1200 to redecorate a room. 

I've done browns and naturals for the past 5 years and I'm done with it. I need COLOR. It's coming together nicely. Though, I didn't think to take before pictures... You'll get to see the after. The only thing that's really missing now is the storage ottoman that I haven't gotten a chance to finish covering. Hopefully, that will happen this weekend. Also, My chairs have been destroyed by the kids, so I want to make some sort of slipcover for them until we can afford a sectional sofa someday in the distant future. 

So far I have these rugs for a total of $47.00 {for both} at my favorite store EVER... Home Goods. 


Wall Art: This was minimal... maybe $25 for ALL of it. The frames are compliments of my nanny and gramma = FREE. Spray paint $6-ish, fabric... I used scraps. I used foam board from The Dollar Tree for the background boards so $2.07.  The two blue frames were  and the bronze one were about $10 for all three together. THAT is what I call frugal! Oh...


 I also got the mirrors beside the TV at Target for $7.48 EACH. So $13 for BOTH!  I KNOW!! I got the pink and green frames on the TV armoire from TJ Maxx for $14 for both.


We are making a storage ottoman, as well. Here is the top of it. This has been on our to do list for a LONG time. It was going to be cheap but I think we've put about $200 into it. Lumber, fabric, foam, scotch guard, spray adhesive. It should be finished this weekend. It proved to be more difficult than I'd expected, and we're just really busy. 


The S-H-A-W letters I already had and they were hideous. I originally painted them brown with yellow, red, orange, blue and green stripes. They didn't come out the way I wanted them too, but they took about 5-6 hours  to do and I didn't feel like redoing them. Until now. All I did was spray paint them and tie scrap fabric in knots. They still don't look right to me, so I'll probably make some adjustments, but for now, it works. So they were free.


Here's how it looks, now; sans storage ottoman, coat rack that's on my list and drapes that I'm too lazy to put up since we are moving to a different rental in 6 months. Also, the yellow and blue frame isn't finished, I just haven't had time to work on it, since Christmas is creeping up fast! 








So our grand total is approximately $300 {spread out over a few months}. Pretty dang awesome, though I am bummed that the ottoman cost so much to do, but at least I got to customize it, and it's still cheaper than what I could have bought one that size for.