Monday, September 26, 2011

Remember the media cabinet that I made earlier this year?  You know, the one I still haven't finished?

Yeah, that one.

Well, this weekend I got the building bug and decided that it was high time I get those doors finished.  My dad, who is my building partner, couldn't help this weekend so I was all on my own.

And let me tell you I am so proud of myself!!

People... I give you progress.

One of the reasons that dad and I stopped  earlier this year and never got the doors on was because we could not, for the life of us, figure out the dang hinges.

So how did I figure it out?  Through hours and hours of trial and error.

Look.  I never claimed to be a professional. Obviously.

So once I figured out the hinges, then I took the doors back off so I could work on the false fronts. 

In case you don't remember, the front of the cabinet is supposed to look something like this:

(I say "something" because I did modify the plans to add height.)

Anyway, I'm well on my way!  I have high hopes to finish up all the doors this weekend and get them painted and installed.

I'm determined.

And just a word to the wise: When building furniture, never move it to its intended location (and begin using it) before it's complete.  If you do, it will likely take you another 6 months to get motivated to finish it.

Family night out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last night Joey and I decided to take the kids to dinner and have an evening of just the 4 of us.  With Joey's schedule, this is hard to do on a regular basis.

We headed over to the local outdoor mall and ate at one of our favorite places, Grimaldi's.  They have the best pizza. Oh my gosh.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Who am I kidding?  I don't need to just think about it.  I have proof!

Mmmmmm... super yummy.

As we were paroozing the parking lot for a spot, we noticed that they are opening up a Cheesecake Factory.  Taylor went crazy and then declared that cheesecake was his favorite cake ever.  (I think he's maybe had it twice in his entire 8 year life span, but ok.)

So after dinner we sprung for dessert.

Do NOT get between a boy and his cheesecake.

I also managed to snap a pic of the two people who hate taking pictures.

It's a shame they're so good looking and hate having their pictures taken, no?

After dinner and dessert we wondered around the mall for a bit and let the kids spend some of their allowance.  It was a really great night with just the 4 of us.

I kinda love my peeps.

Stephanie cooks: Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You may have noticed a few trends around these parts.

One, I'm cooking a lot more.  Yes, this is true.  There's something about Fall that makes me want to cook and bake.  I love it!  My waist does not.

Moving along...

Two, I'm obsessed with my crock pot.  This, too, is true.  It's just so easy to throw something together and so fun to come home to a fully cooked meal!  Wouldn't you agree?

So on that note, here's my latest and greatest crock pot meal, which is found on pinterest. The original recipe is here, but my adaptation is below.

Baked Potato Soup (Crock Pot)

(image found here)

What you need:
  • 2.5lbs Russet Potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green onions

How you make it:
  1. Add potatoes, onion, seasoning and chicken broth to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Remove half of the soup to another bowl and add cream cheese and garlic.  Puree.
  4. Return removed portion to the crock pot.
  5. Stir every 10-15 minutes until soup is well blended.
  6. Top with your choice of garnishes & serve!

This soup was so good, it had to be sinful.  I made it on Sunday for the game (GO COWBOYS!) along with the yummiest bacon-wrapped jalapenos I have ever put in my mouth.

It was a pretty great day all around.

A September miracle.

Friday, September 16, 2011

People.  Do you see this?  It's raining.

Now, I know for some of you this may not mean anything.  Or it may be a reminder of terrible flooding that you've had recently.

For those of us in South Texas, this means that maybe we can get through the day without more grass fires breaking out.

Close to 100% of Texas has been under a severe drought for months and recently we've had horrible wildfires breaking out all over the state.  The worst of the wildfires is just South of Austin and has consumed over 1500 homes (can you imagine?!?) and 34,000 acres.  I can't even fathom.

Thank you Jesus for the rain.

Stephanie cooks: Crock Pot Pork Chops

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well, my second crock pot meal was a big fat failure (as in not enough liquid, burnt to a crisp, needed a chisel to clean the crock pot) but I didn't let that sway my plans for another crock pot meal.

In the midst of all the crock pot chaos last week, I found this recipe on a FB page and thought it sounded yummy and super easy.  My two favorite ingredients!

Crock Pot Pork Chops

What you need:
  • 4 whole thick cut pork chops
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 envelope dry pork gravy mix
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix 

How you make it:
  1. Place pork chops in the slow cooker.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over top.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours until they are fork tender.

Seriously.  Could that be any easier?  And it's slap-yo-grandma good!

Just make some rice or mashed potatoes and serve with the gravy on top.  Mmmmm... I'm hungry just thinking about it!

Weekend recap. Life and heartbreak.

Monday, September 12, 2011

This weekend was a little bit of everything - normal life, fun, friends, and heartbreak.

Friday afternoon, Ashton called her Memaw (Joey's grandmother) and asked if she and Taylor could spend the night. Memaw wasn't feeling too well, but will never pass up a chance to see the kids, so I took them over when I got home from work. As soon as we walked in the door, Taylor said hi, gave hugs, then grabbed his basketball.

He really only gets to play at Memaw's, but he's really good!  I need to sign him up for team ball, I suppose.

When I left the kids at Memaw and Pepaw's, I headed to Stacy's for a little crossfit.  Then, as any good crossfitter would do, I went home and baked pumpkin bread.

Look, I love to crossfit, but I also love to eat.  What can I say?

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping, hung out with Joey for a bit, then took the kids back out to Ryan & Stacy's for Katie's birthday party (their middle child).

Katie is very into horses at the moment, and lucky for her, her Aunt Traci has several!  Traci and her kids brought 2 horses to the party and let the kids ride.  I think Katie was surprised!

 The birthday girl, Katie.
(I have no idea why this picture is so blurry.  I think my camera lens fogged up in the heat.)

Taylor and Ashton had a blast!  They've never ridden a horse before, so this was a real treat.

And for my daughter who doesn't like to have her picture taken, she sure does know how to pose, right??

Oh heaven help me.  Note to self: install bars on her window and a lock on the outside of her door.

ETA:  The weekend was so full, I forgot about one of my favorite parts!!  A few weekends ago I met a new friend and she and her kids came over for pizza and fun after church.  She brought the yummiest cake pops and we had a great time chatting it up and watching the kids play outside. Next time, though, we will not about car insurance, right Neri?

After the party the kids and I went to church.  Our church, as I'm sure many others, had a wonderful tribute to 9/11.  It's very surreal seeing the footage again and trying to explain to my children exactly what happened.  I wish they didn't have to know a world like this.

Sunday was a glorious day of relaxation and football - with a little cleaning mixed in.  Joey and I watched part of the noon game until he had to get ready for work.  Then I cooked some chili and got ready for friends to come over for the Cowboys game.

Ryan thought it would be funny to send this picture to Joey of him drinking Joey's beer while watching football from Joey's chair.

I admit, it was funny.  But I wish Joey could have been there with us.

Then comes the heartbreak.

My precious, dearly loved Cowboys... what am I going to do with you?  Why must you always fall apart?  Why can you never finish strong?  I wore my Cowboys shirt.  I cheered loudly.  (Some might say screamed.)  I consumed football food - chili and stuffed jalapenos.  I even painted my nails for you!

Please get your act together.  I can't take the stress.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bring on the football!

Long lazy weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I love a long weekend.  And this three day weekend was exactly what I needed.

On Friday, my boss left the office around 2 and told me to take off.  Um... let me think... OK!  So I headed home to see Joey before he left for work.  Once he was gone, I promptly put my pjs on and didn't move from the couch.

It was glorious.

Saturday I took the kids to a birthday party then headed to church.  I sang all weekend so I was there most of Saturday and then again on Sunday until about 2.  After that, I was fully committed to staying in my pjs until I had to leave for work on Tuesday morning.

I didn't make it.

I was fairly successful on Sunday, although I did mix in a little laundry and cleaning.  Oh, and I managed to convince Ashton to make us pancakes for dinner.  I'm not sure how she does it, but she makes the best pancakes!

(Sorry for the horrible quality, but I've mentioned before that Ashton doesn't like to have her picture taken, so I had to be super sneaky.)

Then on Monday morning it was so gorgeous outside that I decided to take Trigger for a nice long walk (which required clothing other than pjs).  Since we haven't had rain in San Antonio since 1997 (and I'm only slightly exaggerating), when we got back from our walk I decided to hand water the grass.  Trigger was so tuckered out that he was totally content to hang on the porch and watch me.

After our morning outdoor activities, it was back in the pjs for me.

Sometimes you just need to wear pajamas all day, right?

Stephanie cooks: Chicken and dumplings

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I cooked.

It's a miracle.

You may wonder why I haven't posted any "Stephanie cooks" lately.  Well, that's simply because I haven't cooked.  I'm completely serious.  I can't even remember the last time I cooked an actual meal.

I figured the best way to ease myself back into regular cooking would be with my crock pot.  Yesterday was the inaugural meal and it was a huge hit!  So huge that I have meal #2 in the crock pot right now.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Source: via THEStephanieG on Pinterest

What you need:
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced (I only used half an onion)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 refrigerator biscuits

How you make it:
  1. Place chicken in crock pot.
  2. Add butter, soups, onion and parsley.
  3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Once cooking time has elapsed, take a fork and shred the chicken.
  5. Cut the biscuits into pieces and add to crock pot.
  6. Continue to cook for 30-45 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked through.

This was so good and so easy!  Joey took one bite and about fell out of his chair it was so good!

When I was typing the recipe just now, I realized that I only added 1 can of cream of chicken soup.  About halfway through the cooking I started to think that it wasn't soupy enough, so I added another can of chicken broth.  Oops!  I suppose it would have been fine if I had added the correct amount of soup in the first place.

Also, I only used half of an onion.  Even with that, I was worried that it would be to oniony but it turned out great!

Yay for crock pot meals!

Tell me, do I have an accent?

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm never one to want to be left out (yep, I even ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner!), so I decided to do the accent vlog with the rest of the blogging world.

There are a few important things you should note while watching this:
  1. I have never before recorded a vlog.  And it took me a while to even figure out how to record on my computer.  I know, I'm a genius.
  2. It was late and I look like a hot mess.
  3. The starting frame?  Yeah, gorgeous.
  4. This thing took all.night.long to upload.
  5. Holy smokes.  Did I mention hot mess?!?
Ok, enough excuses for what might very well be the most embarrassing thing I've ever put on the internet.  Here we go.

Accent vlog from THEStephanieG on Vimeo.

So... do I have an accent?  I honestly don't think I do, but I'm sure some of you (or all of you) may have a different opinion.

The instructions are to say these words:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
  1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  4. What do you call gym shoes?
  5. What do you say to address a group of people?
  6. What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  7. What do you call your grandparents?
  8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  10. What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

let's get acquainted

My Photo
THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
View my complete profile

I'm a weather addict