Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

It is hard to believe that I have only been blogging for one full month!  I feel like I have been doing it for a lifetime.  Today will mark the one month and one week anniversary of my little blog!  In that time I have changed the name (thankfully only once), made tons of new bloggy friends, participated in a giveaway, gained 32 new GFC friends and 68 Bloglovin friends as well as many others via other social media, learned a thing or two about blog land (like what a "linky" is...hehe), have been featured on two other blogs and was able to share my personality and accomplishments with all of you beautiful people!

In honor of my first month blogging, I wanted to recap some of your favorite posts according to their number of views.  The top five favorite posts of all time are listed in my sidebar to the right, but I wanted to give credit to the five runners up!  Here it goes...
5th PLACE RUNNER UP


4th PLACE RUNNER UP

3rd PLACE RUNNER UP

PINspirations Week No. 2 Reveal - Sensationail Gel Polish

2nd PLACE RUNNER UP


1st PLACE RUNNER UP

I also wanted to take a moment and thank Mary @ Eat, Drink & Be Mary for helping me throughout the entire process of setting up my blog, promoting me on hers and including me in her giveaway!  Thank you so so much!!  I want to thank Leeann @ Join the Gossip for being my very first GFC friend!  Thank you to Mel @ Mama Buzz and Alesha @ Full Time Mama for featuring me on their blogs.  A special thank you to my friend E who has plastered my blog all over her Facebook page every chance she gets!  Last, but not least I would like to thank you all for stopping by, sharing love and just plain making this worth while!!!
It has been a wonderful ride so far and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my little piece of Southern Blog Land!  Happy Hump Day everyone!

Linkup:  Lovely Ladies LinkyWhatever goes Wednesday,  The Hump Day Blog Hop,
 Random Wednesday, Monday Morning MadnessAnything Goes Linky 


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ALICE SPRINGS CHICKEN SANDWICH

I recently received my first VoxBox from Influenster which contained a voucher for free Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese slices.  I thought of no better way to use my free cheesy goodness than to make my favorite chicken sandwich.
What You Need:

  • frozen chicken breasts (1 small per sandwich or 1/2 large per sandwich)
  • honey mustard (your favorite brand or homemade works great)
  • bacon (2 slices per sandwich)
  • Sargento Ultra Thin Sharp Cheddar (1 slice per sandwich)
  • artisan deli rolls
  • salt and pepper
  • Mrs. Dash original seasoning (not pictured)

What You Do:

  • Preheat oven to broil;
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash seasoning;
  • Fry bacon in a skillet until golden brown while the chicken cooks through on the grill;
  • Once the chicken and bacon are cooked you can start assembling your meats on a sheet pan.  Pour desired amount of honey mustard over the chicken and brush on;
  • Place two pieces of cooked bacon on top of the chicken and honey mustard;
  • Cover with one slice of Sargento Ultra Thin sharp cheddar cheese;
  • Pop chicken in the oven for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly;
  • Assemble your sandwich (I added a little more honey mustard on the bread);
  • Enjoy!








This is a super simple and delicious dinner style sandwich!  I love Alice Springs Chicken at Outback Steakhouse, so I decided to make it a sandwich.  The Sargento Ultra Thin slices are just enough cheese paired with the bacon and chicken to be delicious, but not overtake the calorie count.  This is by far not a light sandwich, but any cut helps right?  I hope you all enjoy the Alice Spring's chicken sandwich sometime this week with your family.

Linkup:  Delicious Dish TuesdayTreasure Box Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday,  Twirl & Take a Bow


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Monday, April 28, 2014

WEEKLY PINspirations - WEEK No. 5

Can you believe it is almost May!?!?  I can't and frankly my body is just not ready for it.  So, this week's PINspirations are dedicated to sunshine, happiness and kicking my butt into gear!

Something to Organize:  If your closet is anything like mine, it is too small and you have too many clothes to fit Summer and Winter in the same space.  I have to switch over my closet every season!  I was looking a while back on Pinterest for an idea of how to makeover my closet space and found this one from Confessions of a Serial DIYer.  It is amazing and she did it herself.  Check it out!!!!  Lots of great ideas in there.

Something to Make:  My Littles are always bringing me beautiful pieces of artwork.  There are so many of these little masterpieces that I could never display them all on the fridge and still get into it to cook.  I love these DIY magnetic frames for their artwork in the bright colors.  This way you can just put the frame over the piece and change it out whenever you want.  The best part is there is no glass to be worried about!!

Something to Clean:  Does your cutting board get neglected in your cleaning routine?  I mean, do you really scrub the thing, or does it just get wiped down or washed off with the dishes?  This PINspiration shows you how to freshen up and really clean your cutting board so that it is ready for all of those grilled goodies and summer fruits and veggies!!

Something to Eat:  I am not a real big Root Beer kind of gal, but my Lil Man and Hubs love it!  This pie is a low fat Root Beer Float Pie, and it actually looks pretty darn good!  I am always up for a light pie on a hot summer day, so this one may be a hit in my kitchen!  What isn't good with whipped topping and a cherry?

Something to Wear:  Shoes, shoes, shoes!!! What girl doesn't love shoes???  I have been running jogging in the same pair of Nike running shoes for the past two years.  I think it is time for a new pair.  Mine are almost the same as this PINspiration pair, but in a teal and lime green color.  They are so light weight that you barely even know you have shoes on at all!  I love them!

Something to Live By:  When life gets you down and you don't think you can go anymore just remember Chin Up Buttercup and move it along!  This is something I tell my Littles when they are down and love the quote.  I also use "suck it up buttercup" probably more than I should when they are complaining about who knows what.  Ha ha!  Both of these little phrases are going to be played in my head this week as I attempt to get motivated and get my butt in gear to be ready for SUMMER!!  It's almost MAY y'all!!

Be PINspired this week! Take one of these and make it yours.  Share it with me!! I can't wait to see what you have done.  Happy Monday!!

Linkup:  Monday Morning Gossip, Funday Monday, Much ado about Monday, Mingle Monday, Monday Morning Madness


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Friday, April 25, 2014

FIVE ON FRIDAY - 5 FASHION FAVES

TGIF!!! You do not even understand how happy I am it is Friday!!!  Woo hoo...I am doing the Friday dance in my chair right now!

The warm sunny weather always gives me a boost of life and makes me want to show off my fashionable side!  I mean what can you possibly show off when you are wearing hoodies and boots all the time...Today's Five on Friday is dedicated to just that.  Here are my current 5 Fashion Faves!


ONE
I must admit that I am a true chevron junkie!  I love those little zig zags with a passion.  I think I would have chevron everything if possible.  This is my current favorite Spring scarf.  It is a plum and white light weight chevron scarf from Cents of Style!   It is so light weight that you barely even know it is there, which is perfect for a warm spring day.  I love them so much I now own it in four different colors!!!  Too much of a good thing does not apply here!

(Check out Cents of Style by clicking the link on my sidebar.  They have tons of cute accessories at really great prices and you will receive 10% off your order by going through that link!)
TWO
I am still crushing on this Sensationail color in Kitten Heel...well the whole system actually!  This is by far the longest that my nails have looked amazing with polish on them, and I did it myself!  If you missed my Sensationail review check it out Here.  You will not be disappointed in this purchase...I PROMISE!!
THREE
These are my favorite sandals of all time!  I bought them at Marshalls last year.  I love them because they are so colorful and pretty and are actually quite comfortable.  They also remind me of the much loved peacock feather. (This was my sorority mascot, so I am a bit partial)  All of the colors in this sandal make it easy to wear with just about anything and you have a little foot bling!
FOUR
The Dana Buchman Sammy Tote in saddle brown is my go to Spring purse.  I know I mentioned it in this week's PINspirations, but I had to bring it up one more time to let you know how much I love this purse!  It has so many pockets to store things.  I use the back little pocket for my phone which makes it easily accessible.  There is also a middle zipper pocket to hide all of your personal items.  This purse is light weight and beautiful and a perfect color for Spring time.

FIVE
If the chevron scarf didn't get your attention, maybe these colorful metal fashion watches will.  I am also a watch freak!!  There is nothing like a piece of arm candy that is also functional.  Win Win don't cha think?  These watches from Cents of Style are the perfect colors for Spring.  They come in fuchsia, teal, orange and white.  Today is Fashion Friday on Cents of Style so you can get these babies for $14.95 with free shipping and 10% off by going through my link and with the coupon code TIME!  I am on my way to get one now!!
I hope you all have a Fabulously Fashion Friday and a Wonderful Weekend.  I also hope you enjoy the discounts offered at Cents of Style today!

Linkup:   Lovely ThursdaysThe Little Friday Linkup,, What I WoreLovely Ladies LinkyLink Party Palooza, Five on Friday, Friday Favorites,
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FINANCIAL PEACE - BUDGET ORGANIZATION

Who hates talking bills, finances and money as much as I do?  Go ahead, raise your hand, raise it high no one is looking!!  Well I wanted to show you a few ways that I have found to organized my finances, makeing my bill paying days a little easier and my budget control a little more fun.  Also, some ways I have found to save money! Who doesn't like saving money?

Most everyone has heard of Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace University. I have not purchased or read his books, but I have read tons of testimonials and ideas about how people have made this work for them.  My method has some of the same similar principles.  If you have not already, I would suggest at least reading through his Seven Baby Steps.  This is what I did and was able to get a base idea of what it was all about.

First I want to show you how I organize my bills.  When I was looking for a method to do this, I looked to the one and only...Pinterest!  I must confess I look there for everything!  I found some different methods, but one that stuck out to me was an Excel spreadsheet that I found in a blog (hence the reason I want to share). I can't remember the name of the blog or even where I pinned the idea, but I will show you how it turned out for me. 

Here is my budget spreadsheet:  (Note: I have taken out amounts and replaced them with $$. Once I have amounts in these sections the totals calculate for me)




On the first page of the spreadsheet are my monthly bills.  The first thing I did to create this was list all of my monthly bills out on the spread sheet by the date they were due. This included the ones that were auto paid and the ones that I sent in payment for.  In one column is the due date, the next column is the provider name, then the amount owed and then a space where I could mark paid or any necessary notes.  

The Hubs and I get paid bimonthly, so I made sure to split the bills according to what was due the first of the month (1st-15th) and the last of the month (16th-31st).  Once they were all listed, in order and split between the first and last of the month, I had the spreadsheet calculate the totals for both the first and last of the month and then a monthly total.  This helped me to see how much of our bimonthly and monthly income was going toward bills. Once I subtracted the bimonthly bills from our bimonthly income I was able to see how much we had left for spending.  

At the very bottom of the spreadsheet I put bills that only come out every quarter or once a year. Beside the provider I put the amount and the months that these are due.  Once they are paid for that month I place a strikethrough in them.  This helps me to not be caught off guard with bills that are not reoccurring monthly.

I then listed all of the things we spent money on every month.  This is where the Cash Envelope system comes into play.  Your spending list will most likely be different than mine based on what you have going on in your life, but feel free to use some of my categories if you want.  Our list included: Groceries, Gas, Haircuts, Eat Out, Fun and Papers.  I will explain these categories below.

  • GROCERIES: This is pretty self explanatory, but for my family of four I budgeted $100 per week.  I am usually able to keep this budget with my couponing skills.  Ha!  We do not have enough cash flow to pull out the whole $400 at the beginning of the month, so we pull $200 at the first and last of the month out for groceries. This includes cleaning supplies, paper goods and dog food as well as groceries.
  • GAS:  This is also self explanatory.  The same cash flow problem happens here as well so we pull half out first and half out last.  Based on your vehicles fuel economy this amount may go up or down. I just looked back through my check ledger to get an estimate of how much we spent each month on gas and budgeted that here.  I do not include gas used on vacations or out of town weekends in this budget.  That is budgeted separately and saved ahead of time.
  • HAIRCUTS:  Here is where I budget once monthly for the Hubs, Little Man, the pups and myself to get our hair cut and well...mine gets colored too!  It is nice to know we have the cash for this when our appointment pops up.  Our hair used to wait until we had enough funds to pay for it...can you say SCRUFFY FAMILY?! 
  • EAT OUT:  This category is the hardest for my family.  We are always on the go, so grabbing something out is usually the way to go.  I try to have a menu plan to cut this budget.  We allot an amount here and once it is gone we are done. We do not allow ourselves to eat out once the funds are gone from this budget.
  • FUN:  Fun money is the budget the Hubs and I give ourselves each month for things we would like to purchase for ourselves, each other or the Littles.  This covers anything from shoes, crafts, tools, toys, ice cream or date nights.  Again, once these funds are gone, they are gone until next month.  This makes us very conscious of what we purchase.
  • PAPERS:  I put $20 per month aside to purchase the Sunday paper each week.  This helps with my couponing.  You would think $20 would be a trivial amount to put in a cash envelope, but the idea is to deplete the funds in your debit account (with the exception of what you put in savings after all cash envelopes are taken care of) so you are not tempted to use your card. 

LAMINATED Cash Envelope System in Orange and Aqua (10 envelopes)

When looking for the perfect Cash Envelopes to use I found these on Etsy.  They are cute, durable and customizable.  They also fit right into my wallet I already had.  Even though you will be carrying cash, you will still need your ID, insurance card and other cards like this, so something that fits into a wallet is great!  I have had mine for two years and they are still going strong!



The second and third pages of my spreadsheet are for my Savings Account.  My bank account has one checking and two savings accounts.  The first savings account houses the money we use for our "mini accounts" such as vacation, home repairs, etc.  The second account is our "emergency fund" that is mentioned in Dave Ramsey's Seven Baby Steps.  The fourth and final page of my spreadsheet is my "debt snowball" page.  This is where I keep track of my existing debt that I am working to pay off.  I will post more in depth on these pages in a later post!  

I hope you all can use some of the tips and budgeting ideas that I have shown to help save a little sanity and money in your lives.  It really does work!  Using cash makes you accountable for every penny and thus saves you $$$$.  Do you use the cash system? Have you read Dave Ramsey's books? What are some of your budget tricks?

Linkup:  Lovely Ladies LinkyWhatever goes Wednesday,  The Hump Day Blog Hop,
 Random Wednesday, Monday Morning MadnessAnything Goes Linky

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SAUSAGE, EGG and CHEESE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

It is Tuesday and that means it is time to share our Yummy Yummies!  I made this Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole on Easter morning for my little family.  I paired it with some fresh fruit! It made the perfect breakfast after all of the Easter bunny festivities so that I could spend time with my Littles while the casserole was in the oven!



What You Need:  

  • 1lb sausage (I used hot because that is what I had, but any will work)
  • 1 can crescent rolls (8 crescents per can)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • Rosemary Seasoning (fresh Rosemary or plain Rosemary seasoning could be used)
  • salt and pepper




What You Do:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • spray cooking spray in a 9x13 baking dish;
  • spread out crescent rolls in the dish and press creases together to form a crust;
  • in a separate bowl beat the eggs, Rosemary seasoning, salt, pepper and milk together as if you are making scrambled eggs;
  • brown the sausage completely in a skillet;
  • pour the cooked sausage over the uncooked crescent crust;
  • spread the cheese over the sausage and crescent crust;
  • pour the beaten egg mixture over the sausage and cheese;
  • place the casserole into the oven and allow to cook for 15-20 min or until the eggs are set;
  • Enjoy!








This one is a great go to for busy mornings when you still want a hearty breakfast!  I hope you all enjoy it...let me know what you think!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

WEEKLY PINspirations - Week No. 4

Are you ready to be PINspired!  This week's PINspirations are some of my very favorites!  As we all know, I am a Pinterest junkie and love to Pin Pin Pin!  Here are my top six picks this week for 
Something to Organize, Something to Make, Something to Clean, Something to Eat, Something to Wear and Something to Live By!

Something to Organize:  I don't know about you, but Spring time is one of the most busiest times of the year for me!  We have baseball, gymnastics, work, school, end of the school year parties/tests, yard work, Spring cleaning, holidays...the list goes on and on.  Having an organized fridge is just what I need to keep the family fed and the budget in check.  I love this organized fridge idea that comes along with wonderful free printables!  I LOVE FREE STUFF!!  She has bins for everything so that you can just pull out the bin to find what you need instead of wading through the salsa to find the dressing or having the kids tearing through the fridge to find a snack.  Everything is easy to access and easy to find!  
Something to Make:  After the rain cleared, we had a beautiful Easter yesterday.  I took the opportunity yesterday afternoon to spruce up the yard a little.  We hung some beautiful hanging baskets out on our front porch to keep the ferns company.  We also hung some out on the back patio from our shepherd's hooks.  It looks so inviting now I may blog out there all week!  I saw these little galvanized pails on Pinterest a while back and I would love to have them in my front flower bed.  They are painted with your house number on them and would be so cute to sit out front or your house!
Something to Clean:  I have started making my own cleaners for my house, not only for the fact that it is cheaper, but it is also better for the health of my family.  These recipes for cleaners are easy, cheap and effective.  The container ideas are also super cute and again come with free printables.  I LOVE FREE STUFF!!
Something to Eat:  My family and I are going camping this weekend with E and B and their littles from the skating party post).  I thought this Beer Dip would make a great snack for us on our trip!  It looks scrumptious and well I am a beer snob, so beer dip may just make my day!
Something to Wear:  Everyone needs a little new Spring arm candy!  This Dana Buchman Sammy Tote is a perfect shade of brown to go with all of your color popping, eye catching, beautiful Spring fashion.  It also has plenty of pockets and dividers and also has a center zip closure compartment.  It is light weight so once you pile all your stuff in it, it is not too heavy to comfortably carry.  I love this bag and actually already own one!! Ok I own two, one silver and one brown...I have a bag fetish!  Don't judge me...
Something to Live By:  This quote is the hardest thing for me to do!  I am always thinking, planning, analyzing and whatever else will make me crazy, but I am never able to just let go and go with the flow.  This is one something to live by that I am going to have to try to practice on a more regular basis!
I hope you have been PINspired by one or all of this week's PINspirations.  Remember to check back on Thursday of this week to see which PINspiration I chose from last week's list to make my own in the PINspiration Reveal!

Have a great week!
Linkup:  Mingle Monday, Funday Monday, Much Ado about Monday, Monday Morning Gossip, Monday Morning Madness,

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Friday, April 18, 2014

FIVE ON FRIDAY - Easter Edition + GIVEAWAY

It is here...Good Friday is here!!! To bad I am still at work today, but this means Easter is very very near! I love Easter and all it stands for and also Spring time.  It just fills my heart with life and joy!  This Five on Friday is dedicated to just that...Easter in all its glory!

ONE - The Reason
This is the true reason for the season.  Let us not forget this in the fun, festivities and food Easter brings with it.  I am not saying not to enjoy all of those things as well, but remember that HE IS RISEN and

For God so loved the world gave his one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have everlasting life!~John 3:16


TWO - The Yummies
There are tons of savory treats that come along with Easter, but the sweet treats are just left to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.  Here is an awesome and simple recipe with more of a message behind it.  Check it out and make some for your Easter brunch on Sunday!



THREE - The Colors
I love the colors of Easter and also dying eggs with the Littles!  Here are a few pictures from our annual Easter Egg Dying family fun night last night.  It was also nice to be able to do this outside and enjoy the sunset.





FOUR - Easter Pink Nails
In case you missed yesterday's post and my PINspiration Reveal of the Sensationail-Kitten Heel tutorial, here is my new favorite color of gel polish.  It is a perfect festive pink for Easter and for Spring time.


FIVE - In the Basket
Well I wish that I could give you all a virtual Easter basket full of goodies, but the smarties at Apple, Google and Samsung have yet to make that possible.  So...I along with some other lovely ladies bring to you an AMAZING giveaway!  Happy Easter from us to you!

I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful Good Friday and Easter!  Please enter to win the giveaway.  It is an awesome prize and super easy to win.  
Happy Good Friday everyone!

Linkup:  Lovely Ladies Linky, Five on Friday, Link Party Palooza, The Little Friday Linkup
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