Petition to Evict Aaryn from Texas

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One of our favorite guilty pleasures every summer is watching Big Brother. This year has been one irritating house guest after another. Did they not screen these people?? Or did they purposely find the worst possible bunch of people they could?? I wasn’t sure which of them was the most annoying until seeing Aaryn’s interview with Julie Chen after she was evicted. Every racist remark she said throughout her time in the house was so shocking she had all of America hating her. That was bad enough but then she acts shocked that she got boo’d by the audience and couldn’t believe we thought she was serious when she said those things. :/ The icing on the cake was that she had the nerve to say that it was only because she’s a Texan and that’s the way we do things here. I’m not from San Angelo but I’m pretty sure they don’t go around insulting everyone under the sun. I thought the stereotype for Texas was southern charm and hospitality with a side of big hair, blingy clothes, cowboy boots and cowboy hats as we ride off into the sunset on our horse. I can’t believe she threw the whole state of Texas under the bus like that. I wish we could evict her from Texas like they did from Big Brother. Bless her stupid little heart.

Today’s Leopard Print finds:

Scentsy Leopard Plug-In Warmer

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Toms Womens Classics Leopard Burlap (click picture for ordering information)

Fooducate App

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Today we made our second trip to the dentist for the week. Yesterday I took Megan in to get 2 stubborn baby teeth pulled. We had a horrible experience because the dentist we HAD gone to for years was apparently having a really bad day. So today we found ourselves at a new dentist with a much better attitude. Dentist offices sure have come a long way since when I was little. Mine was more like a torture chamber. Megan had her pick of movies to watch while they extracted her (now 3) teeth. They had video games, rooms with cute little themes, and a really nice staff. They gave her a little laughing gas and Monsters Inc and she was just fine. If you are in the area, Dr. Ty and his staff at Frisco Dentistry for Kids are awesome.

I’m trying really hard to get the girls to make healthier choices and to take care of themselves without me reminding them. It must be working some because when Megan heard the dental hygenist ask a teenage boy when he had brushed his teeth last and he responded with “yesterday”, her mouth flew open and her eyes got as big as saucers.

To help make better food choices I found the Fooducate app. It’s one of my new favorites. You simply scan the UPC on an item and it gives you a ton of information. If it doesn’t have a UPC you can still search by name. Fast food items are listed as well. My favorite part is that it gives each item you scan a grade from A+ to D-. It will also give you a list of better options. If you are a Weight Watchers person it automatically adds up the point value for you. You can keep track of your weight, exercise, daily calorie intake, water consumption, BMI, etc… For each item it will also give you the pros and cons.

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It is very quick and easy to use. If you are shopping for granola bars, simply scan one and hit the “alternatives” button and you can pick the best option on the list. I lost 5 lbs the first 2 weeks of using it. Probably why it is one of my new favorite apps.

Today’s Leopard Print Finds:

Cheetah Scentsy Buddy – on sale for $22.50 until 8/31/13. Choose your own scent. My girls love these!

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j/fit Leopard Print Yoga Mat from Amazon $21.49

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

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Today we had to have quite a bit of work done on our sprinkler system. My learning from this…. If you are going to have Chemlawn aerate your lawn, you are supposed to flag your sprinkler heads and station covers. Seriously?? I’ve never seen anyone in our neighborhood do that before and if that’s the case, they might want to tell people this in advance. I can think of so many other things that I would have liked to spend that money on…several new outfits, a new flip flop wardrobe, cruise for 1, weekend getaway, 300 chocolate chip cookies from Paradise Bakery….. :/  One of these days I need to figure out how to make Paradise cookies. In the meantime, these will do….

They were awesome. Slightly crispy on the edge and soft and chewy in the middle.

2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add the salt, vanilla and eggs. Beat well, about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until cookies are slightly golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 36
Calories 185
Total Fat 11.5g
Total Carbohydrates 18.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Protein 2.3g
Nutrition Grade D

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Get In Slip On

Must Have Hair Brushes

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Remember Cousin It? Picture him if he didn’t brush his hair for 3 days, that’s what Taylor usually looks like when she wakes up in the morning. It used to be quite an ordeal to tame her hair. To get the tangles out of her hair after she washes it was even worse. My friend suggested The Wet Brush. I was skeptical, but I couldn’t believe how it glided through wet hair. Megan is super, super tender headed so she loves it even more. Bless her heart for going through the first 10 years of her life without one.

Today I found out about The Shine Brush. It detangles AND adds luster to the hair. I love it.

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The Shine Brush

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The Wet Brush

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You can also get The Wet Brush in prints.

You can find them in salons or here on Amazon….

The Wet Brush…

The Shine Brush…

My only complaint is that they don’t have it in leopard.

Today’s Leopard Print FInd: (I decided to make this flip flop week) Leopard Printed Petals-embellished Floral Strap Women Flip-flop – Yellow

Help Needed in Dallas Murder

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I haven’t quite felt like blogging this last week because of a tragedy in our family. I know this isn’t the kind of stuff I normally blog about, but I’m hoping that one of you might possibly recognize one of these horrible people. And maybe this was the reason I was meant to start this blog in the first place.

My wonderful Aunt Ava was murdered in her Dallas home last week. The police have released these pictures of two people using her credit cards.

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One man (or woman as some have pointed out as a possibility because of the small hands, narrow feet and possible Keds), has been spotted wearing different clothes in two stores, stands 6-feet tall and weighs about 250 pounds. The second man is about 5-foot-8 and weighs around 160 pounds, (wearing a horrible shirt that should be easily recognized). Police say they were driving an older model silver four-door compact car with a back right hubcap missing.

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The video shows the first man, wearing a blue baseball cap and a tan hooded sweatshirt, walking through a Walmart. Police also released two photos of the second man wearing a black, yellow and red striped shirt.

Anyone with information on the persons-of-interest is asked to call the Dallas Police Homicide Unit at 214-671-3674. A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Thank you,

Beth

Chicken Noodle Soup

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I’ve been slacking in the blogging department lately, mainly because I’ve been trying to finish getting my house totally organized. I’m almost done. The only thing left is the girl’s playroom. So that should only take me about 3 and 1/2 months. I’ve still been cooking though and have about 15 recipes that I need to get on here now. First up, chicken noodle soup. Taylor refused to eat it because of “the green things” floating in it, but other than that it was a success. It worked out perfectly because my sister was home sick today. So I got to take her some while she still lives 4 doors down the street (for the next few days). It took everything in me to not cry when I saw her house all packed up.

2 lbs Chicken Breasts
4 quarts Water
1 Onion, sliced
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
3 cloves Garlic, minced
4 Bay Leaves
3 Chicken Bouillon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 cups Carrots, sliced
2 cups Celery, sliced
12 oz Egg Noodles
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

In a large pot, cook chicken, water, onion, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, garlic, bay leaves, bouillon, salt and pepper for 45 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Remove and discard bay leaves and onions. Shred chicken when it has cooled down.

Bring chicken stock back to a boil. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and cook for another 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook for 8 minutes. (or for the length of time indicated on the package) When noodles are done, add chicken and parmesan. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Adapted from Paula Deen

Servings: 10
Calories 259
Total Fat 8.9g
Total Carbohydrates 13.4g
Dietary Fiber 1.7g
Protein 29.8g
Nutrition Grade B+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Drymate 12-Inch by 20-Inch Pet Bowl Place Mat with Leopard Imprint Design, Small/Medium

Grilled Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich

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You know how you sometimes meet someone who just really leaves a lasting impression on you? Many, many years ago when I was working at the Clinique counter, I met a lady who was one of those people. Turned out she was one of Revlon’s Most Unforgettable Women. I can’t even tell you what it was about her that made her unforgettable, she just was. Today it was a little girl who was about 2. Her name was Bellamia. She was wearing leopard pants. :) She approached me when I was in line at the grocery store and said “Hi, what’s your name?” I said “Beth” and she stuck out her hand to shake my hand and said “Nice to meet you, Beth. My name is Bellamia.” We had a nice little conversation and then she moved on to the next person. I’m guessing it must take her mom at least 30 minutes longer for each errand. She is destined for something big. I figure she has a future in acting, if not then definitely in politics.

2 slices Whole Grain Bread
1/2 Banana
2 Tbs Peanut Butter
2 Tbs Honey

Preheat panini grill.

Spread peanut butter evenly over 1 slice of bread. Cut banana lengthwise into 4 slices. Lay banana slices on top of peanut butter. Top with bread.

Coat outsides of sandwich with cooking spray. Cut in half and place on panini grill; cook 1 minute or until golden. Serve with honey.

Servings: 1
Calories 435
Total Fat 18.3g
Total Carbohydrates 62.0g
Dietary Fiber 7.5g
Protein 14.7g
Nutrition Grade B+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Nomad Women’s Sunline Cowboy Boot

Tex-Mex Chicken and Bean Stew

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Megan went grocery shopping with me today. First stop, Costco. She really, really needs the $4000 massage chair that they have this month. Then on the way to Target, she let me know that she wants to broaden her shopping horizons. She’s getting tired of just shopping at Justice. She wants to shop the entire mall. THANK GOODNESS she can’t fit into the clothes in most of the mall stores yet. I have a few more years. But I have a feeling that her expectations are going to be through the roof tomorrow when she watches the Grammy’s she recorded and sees Carrie Underwood’s light up dress.

This stew is great alone, with chips or with tortillas.  You can top with cheese or sour cream.

2 cups Dried Pinto Beans, rinsed
3 cups Salsa
1/4 cup Canned Chopped Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups Water
3 pounds Chicken Breasts
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 medium Red Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced (ribs and seeds removed)
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

Mix beans, salsa, chiles, flour and water in slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of beans. Place onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Shred chicken into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped cilantro.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 12
Calories 361
Total Fat 9.0g
Total Carbohydrates 27.7g
Dietary Fiber 6.5g
Protein 41.2g
Nutrition Grade A

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Mud Pie Leopard Soft Headband Mud Pie Leopard Soft Headband (White)

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When we went on our cruise last fall, we had another couple that dined with us. I was really iffy on that at first and was afraid we were going to end up with some strange or grumpy person. We ended up meeting a great couple. They were in town tonight so got to meet them for dinner. We had a great time, but really wish we would have been dining on the ship instead.

I tried a few different recipes for chocolate chip cookies. This one was my favorite. The perfect soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie.

2-1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups (12 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

In large bowl, mix the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Servings: 36
Calories 151
Total Fat 8.1g
Total Carbohydrates 18.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Protein 1.2g
Nutrition Grade F

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Black/Brown Flocking Leopard Satin Window Curtain Drape Set+Sheer Liner+Valance

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

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I had to go have my yearly MRI for my Chiari. I had surgery in 2009 and I’ve had an MRI every year since to make sure everything stayed where it was supposed to.Well today  Dr. McDreamy gave me the all clear and released me forever. Right after he told me I had beautiful hair and a beautiful brain. First time I’ve heard that one.

Delicious, cures a chocolate craving, gives you a cup of fruit and only has 144 calories….

1 cup Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla
1 cup Frozen Cherries
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 packet Truvia

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Servings: 1
Calories 144
Total Fat 3.9g
Total Carbohydrates 28.9g
Dietary Fiber 7.2g
Protein 3.9g
Nutrition Grade A

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Print Desk Set – Scissors Tape Dispenser and Stapler