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Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Love List

Happy Friday and Halloween from another airport! Another business trip this weekend to Santa Fe, New Mexico so I'll be missing all the festivities today. This is my last work trip for a couple months and while I am excited for the slow down I'm also really glad to be going this weekend. This is my first time to be in New Mexico and all I've heard is wonderful things about Santa Fe so, I can't wait to see for myself. While most of my business trips are a lot of work luckily this one is a lot more low key. All this to say, while I am working this weekend I will certainly make the best of it.
Now, on to another Five on Friday linkup. Let me share my faves with you because I know you guys are just dying to know them...right..? And spoiler, they have nothing to do with Halloween weirdly enough.
ONE::  OKC Thunder
Last season at a Thunder game
I'm a big lover of the OKC Thunder and I could not be more excited that the season officially began this past Wednesday night. In hopes that this season will last well into June, THUNDER UP!
TWO::  Christmas Shopping Begins
Ok, this is big for me! Dare I even mention Christmas already and especially on Halloween, but I've started my shopping already, woohoo! I even have one person almost finished. Now, lets just hope I keep this up and maybe I wont be shopping on Christmas Eve this year....don't hold your breath.
THREE:: Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
I can not stand coffee, I know *GASP* but eww, no. I've tried and tried and just no. However, I wanted to know what the PSL was all about but how should I do that without coffee. My barista at Starbucks made my little dreams come true. Grande non-fat hot chocolate no mocha plus pumpkin spice and no whip. Seriously, so yummy! My drink this season, PSHC.
FOUR:: I'm So Fancy Mug
I think this just may make its way to my winter wish list...for my PSHC of course! You can find this gem here.
FIVE::  Favorite Quote
I found this on Pinterest a few nights ago when ironically enough I was lying in bed not being able to sleep. I pinned it, read it several times and then turned off my phone and had a little chat with God. He really does have the perfect timing, even if he has to get my attention thought Pinterest...I get it God!
Thanks ladies for the linkup as always! I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween and great weekend!
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Decorating Halloween Cookies

I love any holiday were I can be festive and do fun festive things. Last night my sister invited me over to bake and decorate Halloween cookies with her and my niece Jada. My mom gave us both lots of Halloween baking goodies so we had a lot of fun putting it all to use. Bless my sister’s heart she doesn’t love baking and if you’ve been reading on here for a while you know that I do love it. I stepped in and immediately started rolling dough, cutting and decorating. My sister kept apologizing and I quickly stopped her letting her know much I enjoyed it and that is why I was there…after all I did do all this last Halloween, by myself. Haha I don’t have kids so having nieces and nephews to do fun festive things with melts my heart into a big festive puddle.

We had so much fun! We almost had them all decorated before my brother-in-law came in and nearly ate half of them! These are the times that mean the most in life, making memories.
Have you baked any festive Halloween treats?
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things That Make Me Smile Lately

I’ve had a lot of deep conversations with some of my friends lately and I feel like I need to just share some positive thoughts. Lying in bed last night while thinking about a conversation I had with a great friend that afternoon our conversation just made me smile. With that being said I thought I’d share some things that are making me smile lately because dang it I need some positive in my own life.

Hugs…I am a big huger.
Hot chocolate
Calls and texts…the “just cause I was thinking about you” are the best!
Monograms…If it is not moving, monogram it!
God moments…those times you are practically slapped in the face by God and you just know it is him!
Thunderstorms and rainy days…everything just slows down a bit, so peaceful.
Real mail…not junk mail or bills but real mail from friends and family.
Sports…This girl loves football and basketball especially. It is OKC Thunder’s first game of the season tonight, Thunder Up!
Snapchats from my niece Jada…I totally and completely feel 14 on Snapchat but snaps from her are the best!
Platinum Status…I just became Platinum with American Airlines this week and that did make me smile. Ha it’s the small things.
Massages…I’m being spoiled by my boss and get TWO in the next week and a half. Can. Not. Wait.
Worship…I live for Sunday morning worships at church.
Small gestures…the small things that people do for me.
Bleeker…my puppy that lives an hour and half a way. Thank God he still lives with my best friend and I get pictures almost daily of him.
Fresh flowers…I need to get better about spending the $7 at the grocery store at least every other week so I can have flowers in the house.
Pumpkins…and all things pumpkin. Those cute little babies :)
When people know my name…specifically at the gym. I love that before I even walk through the door in the evenings the guys there always have me checked in. I told you, it’s the small things with me hehe
Lunch dates…random lunch dates with great friends. Thanks Megan for today, it was very much needed!
Babies…all the wonderful little babies in my life right now! Your tiny little bodies in my arms gives me a whole new perspective on life.
Yoga pants…cause lets be real, they are life.
Compliments from strangers…two days ago I was really having a rough day. Lady at the grocery store came out of her way just to tell me she loved my dress and how cute I looked. Those kind of people are lovely. Thanks lady for the pick me up!
Deep conversations…like I mentioned above. I’ve had some really great deep conversations with a few friends lately and those always leave me smiling and really appreciate each of them in my life. Genuine care of our friendship.

“Keep smiling because Life’s a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about.” Marilyn Monroe

Of course there are a lot of things like family and friends that make me smile but these are the small day to day things that lately have put a smile on my face.

What makes you smile? Share your positive thoughts with me!
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homemade Pecan Butter

A couple years ago I sampled some delicious pecan butter at a local craft show and it was nothing short of amazing. Being so amazing that they had the price of a very small jar marked up more than I was willing to cough up for the tiny jar of deliciousness. I simply said it is very tasty but I'll pass...as I walked off with visions of how I was going to recreate this recipe at home in my own kitchen.
Growing up my grandma and grandpa always had lots of pecans covering their backyard from their very large pecan tree that shaded the entire yard. My grandma had this handy little contraption that was used to collect the pecans into a little wire ball container as you walked and pushed the handle down on each pecan. I, being a few years younger, would walk around on my knees and pick up as many as I could to help. I remember these days like it was yesterday. To only have one more morning picking up pecans with her....I miss you grandma!
Anyways, since I was tiny we have always had plentiful of pecans around and now that I have acquired the love for baking from my grandma I am still very thankful that my mom provides me with bags of these delicious nuts each year. This weekend I whipped up my first batch of pecan butter of the season and some pumpkin bread for breakfast.
I found the general recipe online and then adapted to my own taste. If you love pecans, you will definitely love this yummy creamy butter!
About two cups of pecans, either whole or in pieces
Sea salt, to taste as preference
Few dashes of cinnamon 
-  Pour the pecans into a large skillet and toast on medium heat until you can smell them roasting. Stirring often. This will take about six to eight minutes.

-  Pour the toasted pecans into a food processor and blend on high, pausing to scrape the sides with a spatula often. At first it will be very crumbly but the longer you blend as the oils from the pecans seep out you will be left with  super creamy goodness. Be patient, this will take about 15 minutes.
- Add a pinch of sea salt and a few dashes of cinnamon. Blend again to taste, adding more salt or cinnamon to your liking.
-Pour into small jar and seal tight with a lid. This should be stored in the refrigerator.
Ta-da, you will now have a very healthy and delicious snack. I eat mine with apple slices most of the time but since I'm loving all things pumpkin I smeared a slice of pumpkin bread with the butter this morning. I am watching my calories like a hawk right now so the rest of it will be eaten with apples but the butter is amazing on almost anything...bread, fruit and even on vanilla ice cream! The only downfall is that this recipe only makes one cup. Feel free to add more pecans for a larger batch. Enjoy!
I wonder if my grandma ever made or had pecan butter...
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Fashion Picks

Even though the temps are supposed to sore close to ninety this weekend in Oklahoma I am loving this year’s fall fashion. I have put together some of my favorites that I’ve picked up this season or hope to really soon.  I love this look and that it can be dressed up with a circle skirt or more casual with a great pair of skinny jeans.

  Fall Fashion Picks

A couple weeks ago on my Friday favorites I had mentioned I was kicking myself for not getting the Zara Blanket scarf at the end of winter and how badly I wanted one.  That afternoon I was able to snag a dupe blanket scarf off Groopdealz for twenty bucks! I am anxiously awaiting its arrival and hoping it looks very similar to the Zara.It is sold out on their site but hopefully they will bring it back for those of you still looking for yours.

I picked up this faux leather bomber jacket from Target last month before my trip to Utah and I’m very pleased. I haven’t gotten to wear it much since the temps here are still somewhat warm but I’ve already got great plans for it.

The lipstick is Sin by MAC but I have been told that Plum by Maybelline and Cherry Bomb by Wet and Wild are very similar and cheaper. I am dying to have OPI’s “Skating in Iceland” off their fall collection. Every time I’ve been to Ulta recently to pick it up they are out.

I know it is probably just my preference but for some reason I don’t like to wear my aviator style glasses in the fall and winter. So, since I snapped my last pair of tortoise colored glasses in half I’m eying this pair from Target.

Lastly, these booties. J Simpson does it again and I am completely in love and crushing on these heels big time. I spotted them at Dillards last month and it was love at first sight. I’ve been watching them online and they dropped by forty dollars this week on Amazon and I am THIS close to pulling the trigger. I mean, how can I not?! They are perfect and how sexy is that slit? What do you guys think? Eeek

What does your fall style look like this year? What items have you picked up or are you eyeing that are must haves?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slow Cooking Pot Roast

A couple of Sundays ago I made a pot roast dinner but I wanted to try something different. I normally do the typical can of cream of mushroom soup and Lipton onion soup mix recipe. I wanted to get away from all the preservatives and try something different. I came across a slow cooking roast recipe on Pinterest and then made a few of my own changes.  Here is how I made our roast.

Slow Cooking Pot Roast

1 chuck roast (mine was 2.5 pounds)
Olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoons corn starch

Seasoning Mix -
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

-  Combine together seasoning mix in a small bowl.  Set aside.

-  Coat both sides of meat with olive oil.  Sprinkle on a third of the seasoning mix onto each side.

-  Sear both sides of the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Transfer roast to slow cooker.

  -  Place the chopped vegetables in a large bowl.  Drizzle on a little olive oil to coat vegetables.  Sprinkle on the remaining seasoning mix.  Add the vegetables to the same skillet that was used to sear the meat. Sauté for about five minutes - stirring occasionally.
-  Transfer the vegetables to the top of the roast in the slow cooker.  Pour in the beef broth. Cover with lid.

-  Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.

-  Spoon most of the cooking juices from the slow cooker.  Transfer juices to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.  Whisk together the cornstarch with a little water.  Blend into the pan juices while whisking.  Bring back to a simmer until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

-  Transfer the roast and vegetables to a large platter.  Ladle the gravy over.  Serve immediately.

I think next time I will use less olive oil. I didn't think I was using much since I just lightly coated the roast and veggies. However, I did not make the gravy with ours so maybe that would have used up my extra oil. It was delicious anyhow and I all the fresh herbs could be smelled for days in our house. Great alternative to using processed ingredients. The husband was pleased and I will for sure be making this one again! 

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