Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homemade Grout Cleaner

My dad is a tile contractor. He did all the tile in our house, including all our floors, backsplash and master shower. He's the bomb.

But he literally comments on our grout every single time he's over. We sealed it when it was first laid, but we never re-sealed it (which you should really do every year). Sooo it's kinda black now. 

I decided enough was enough. So I tried out this easy homemade grout cleaner my dad told me about and WOW! No scrubbing and not a whole lot of mess. Sounds too good to be true, huh? Think again my friend... LOOK at that before and after! Whoa!

homemade grout cleaner
Here's the instructions:
1) mix together 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup white vinegar in an open container (like a Tupperware container)
2) use a spoon and cover your grout lines with the mixture 
3) let sit for 20 minutes
4) wipe up with wet cloth
5) I personally had a lot of leftover grit on my floor, so I mixed together 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in a squirt bottle and mopped my floor with it
6) after you've cleaned all the grout and cleaned up all the residual, I suggest sealing your grout with a sealant

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girls Weekend 2013 - Fredericksburg

Okay, I think I've finally recovered from my girls weekend and can effectively write about it.
Gosh...WHAT a fun weekend!!!! I literally had so much fun! We all did! I went to Fredericksburg, TX with my two bestfriends from HS. They are the type of friends that can go months without talking (sometimes we do) and pick up exactly where we left off. No judging. No negativity. Just fun and laughs. Such a healthy friendship.

Enough with the sappy stuff, let's get into the recap...
I drove down to Austin on Friday morning, and we headed out that afternoon. It's about an hour and a half from Austin (just SW on 290). It's a gorgeous and easy drive. Everyone living in Austin should go out there. Like all the time. If we still lived there, we'd go every weekend. No joke.
We started out the weekend with a delicious dinner at Cabernet Grill. If y'all make it to Fredericksburg, you HAVE to eat dinner at CG. It's soo amazing! From the menu to the wine list to the desserts. Amaze.
I had the filet, Lauren (middle) had the seabass and Maggie (left) had the chicken fried ribeye. Everything looked (and was) so delicious! We had a phenomenal apple crisp with (get this) homemade salted caramel ice cream. OMG. I could've lived in that bowl.
After dinner we had one beer at this local dive (totally not our scene) and headed back to our B&B. Speaking of, we stayed at the Main Street Retreat Carriage House. It was perfect for the three of us! Two queen beds, full kitchen, nice bathroom, etc.  Every night we all cuddled in one of the beds and giggled and talked about stuff.  Here's a cute pic from the first night...
Saturday was the bomb. We had soooo much FUN! I just can't get over it!!! We started the morning with some crumb cake and coffee provided by the B&B. And headed out around 11am.
Our first stop was at Grape Creek Vineyard. We had an awesome tasting room lady who was so friendly and generous (if you get what I mean). Grape Creek is getting good. Josh and I went there in 2010 and we weren't that impressed. Totally different this year. All the reds were delish! Full bodied and smooth. And Maggie even found a few sweet wines that she loved! We all decided to join the  Wine Club because they don't sell any of their wines commercially (i.e. nowhere else but in their tasting rooms). I actually really like this business model. It makes the wines more exclusive, and allows the management to focus on their wine production instead of commercializing it. Anyways, we had a blast here (and ended up coming back the same day- more on that later). We left sufficiently buzzing. Haha!
Our second stop was Becker Vineyards. If you know anything about Texas wines, then you know Becker and you've probably snagged a few bottles from your local grocer. Becker doesn't disappoint. I love that I can buy a bottle at my local Kroger for $10-$15 and know that I will enjoy a little piece of the Texas Hill Country all the way up in Dallas. The Becker tasting room is BEAUTIFUL! They had it all decorated for Fall with pumpkins everywhere. Gorgeous!!
By the time we were done at Becker, it was like 2 and we were fungry and drunk-ish. So we went back to Grape Creek and grubbed on some street tacos from their food truck. I love that some of the wineries are doing this now. It's so perfect while spending the day drinking wine.
Since we joined the Grape Creek Wine Club earlier that day, we were able to sit on their "VIP Patio", have another FREE wine tasting and eat our food and listen to the live music. Perfect! This is a picture of us from the "VIP Patio."
And of course we had to get a picture in front of the vineyard...

After GC, we headed over to Pedernales Cellars. When Josh and I were in Fredericksburg in 2010, we fell in love with Pedernales Cellars. And THANKFULLY, it didn't disappoint. I say thankfully because I was hyping it up ALL DAY to the girls. Just click on this link and you'll see half the reason why we love this place. That view...sigh...
Anyways, back to our visit at Pedernales Cellars. We got lucky and did our tasting with the Tasting Room Manager. He was knowledgeable, friendly and a good salesman. I decided to join their Wine Club as well, because they only sell a few wines at grocery stores and liquor stores (some up in DFW) and let me tell you- PC is KICKING ASS in the Texas Red Department. Literally every single one was incredible. I bought 7 bottles of wine! All red! And all seriously good. I can't wait to crack open one and share with Josh.

After our tasting, we each got a (complimentary) glass of wine and sat on their gorgeous patio. We chatted, enjoyed the view, and most of all enjoyed each other's company. It was sooo much fun! LOOK at that VIEW! Total panorama of the Texas Hill Country. I can't say enough good things about this place.
On the way out we took a few more pictures. We were really happy by now.
On Saturday night we got pizza from Fredericksburg Pizza Kitchen. We sat on their patio and ate and drank (its BYOB) and were probably way too loud. Conveniently, I don't have any pictures from this stop. That's probably a good thing.
After dinner, we dropped by Hondo's on Main and rocked their socks off. Three 6-footers dancing like fools! Everyone loved us!

We only stayed there for a little bit. Got in a few line dances, a few couple dances with ourselves, and a few spilled beers. And headed home.
Gah...we wound up passing out pretty early and actually got to sleep in Sunday morning. Score.
Sunday we had breakfast tacos and coffee at Mahaley's Café and walked around Main St for a little shopping. We headed back to Austin early and made my long drive back to Dallas. I was so sad to leave the girls, but ready for be back home with my boys.

I bought the girls these cute monogrammed Vino-2-Go tumblers from EverythingDecorated on Etsy for the weekend. They were a good way to drink our wine at the B&B and mayyyybe a little on the road (no judgies).
Overall it was such a fantastic weekend. I'm running out of words to describe it, so I'll just leave you with these awesome napkins I found. I think they sum up the weekend perfectly.

Until next time, my sweet sweet friends...

I miss you already.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Virtual Halloween PJ Party!

Hi friends! Happy Hump Day!
Today Darci at The Good Life Blog and Meredith at The Tichenor Family are hosting a super fun virtual Halloween PJ Party! We, of course, had to participate because I'm obsessed with pajamas and I'm pretty much game for any excuse for an impromptu photo sesh of my sweet boy.
The virtual Halloween PJ Party doesn't stop at a blog link-up though!! If you don't have a blog, you can use the hashtag #HalloweenPjPartyLinkup and show-off your Little Ghosts & Goblins on Instagram and Twitter! I cannot wait to see all the babes dressed up! I will probably search that hashtag a hundred times today.
Anyways...without further is the picture of my Little Pumpkin Head.
BOO, y'all!
He is loving all the Halloween stuff around the house and in stores. Although I think he's going to freak out when he sees all the kids dressed up on actual Halloween. Speaking of...are y'all taking your kids trick or treating? What time do y'all go?? Jacob is normally in bed by 8, so we would have to go right at dusk. Is that acceptable? And does Josh need to stay at our house to pass out candy?? I'm having a hard time with all the details (shocker...). Let me know your plans!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was good. Really good. With cooler temps, we can finally get outside and enjoy all the fun things to do this season! 

We finally took Jacob to the pumpkin patch at our church. Pumpkins don't grow in this part of the world, so when I say "patch", I really just mean a place where lots and lots of pumpkins are displayed. Hahah!! 

We had a blast watching Jacob run around all the pumpkins and play with the hay. We settled for a few small pumpkins for decorations, as we had planned a carving day on Sunday with family.  
I swear he picked up every single pumpkin there.
And this is how it really looked. Love this picture!

On Sunday morning, I got my hair cut. Getting ready for my GIRLS WEEKEND next weekend. I cannot wait. Although I think I already miss my nugget.

Anyways, afterwards my sister and her (now) husband came over for a little family fun. We went to the park for a bit, then carved pumpkins, drank beer and ate some yummy buffalo chicken chili.

Here's a few pictures...

I made a Mickey Mouse pumpkin, because, well, I'm lame and obsessed with my son. Josh made the awesome holey pumpkin with his drill because he loves playing with power tools. My sister made the creepy Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin and my BIL made the smiley one (freehand, no less-wow!).

It was such a fun fall day with family. I love love love this weather and plan on spending A LOT of time outside in the upcoming week.

What did y'all do this weekend?? Anything fun!?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

State Fair of Texas

We took Jacob to the state fair for the first time today. I'm so excited to start that tradition with him, and eventually all our kids! So fun!

We went to the auto show first, because Josh is eyeing a new truck and, well, that's what dudes do. Jacob loved climbing in and out of all the cars too!

Then we made our way to the Fletcher's line for a corn dog. And bonus, we were right in front of Big Tex. The perfect combo!

When Big Tex would talk, Jacob would look around so confused. Haha!

Then we went through the petting zoo. I think since it's been raining for the last week, EVERY school was there today. Unfortunately that made the petting zoo a bit chaotic. Jacob was in total overload mode. But I think he liked the goats. 

Then the camel literally attacked some kid and stole his cup of food. He was probably pissed Hump Day was over, just saying. And we quickly evacuated. 

And of course we had to sample some of the fried delights. 

Fried pizza...

Fried Nutella...

Texas Twisted Taters (my personal fav)...

I somehow managed to make it to bootcamp tonight, although I felt pretty terrible. But hey, isn't that what the state fairs all about?! ;)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Recap

I had planned a lazy, but fun weekend and I think we completely succeeded!! We've been super busy for what seems like the last 2 months, without a single lazy weekend, so we were definitely due for one. Plus, it was Texas/OU, so it was the perfect excuse to watch football all day, make some yummy food and chill! And, Texas WON! SUCH a great weekend! Here's a recap...
I didn't take pictures, but Friday night was spent drinking wine and watching Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel. If y'all haven't watched that show yet, you really oughta. It's super scary, and they go to cool places.
We spent Saturday morning in our jammies, watching College GameDay and cartoons, while daddy prepped the chili. It's hard to see in this picture, but his PJs say "Mommy's Sleep Champ" with a little football player- so cute! He IS my sleep champ these days! And I love his belly hanging out- total boy!

After breakfast we all put on our burnt orange, put out the flag and attempted a photo sesh. Our little tight end was more interested in sprinting into the street. Real cool.

Right around the start of the game, I made these YUMMY and EASY jalapeno poppers. All I did was roll out crescent rolls, cut them in half lengthwise, put a bit of cream cheese, bacon and fresh jalapeno on the fat end (if that makes sense) rolled them up and baked them at 350 for 15 minutes. They were super tasty and the perfect appetizer for game day!

We couldn't pull Jacob away from the game for lunch (haha, more like dad), so we brought lunch to him. Haha! This picture cracks me up. Particularly the brewskie on the counter. Cheers!

After lunch, Jacob took a 2-hour nap while Josh and I dug into the chili and watched the second half of the game. Traditional Texas chili doesn't have beans in it, but ours does. And its the best chili I've ever had. I'll share the recipe in another post.

Josh and I prepare our bowls of chili completely different though. He likes more juice with cheese and lots of crackers, while I like less juice, LOTS of cheese, sour cream and Frito's. Gotta have the Frito's!

Saturday night was spent drinking more wine (a 2007 Cakebread to be exact- it was divine!!), watching more football and a little baseball, and an early bedtime.

Josh let me sleep in on Sunday morning (score!), so after I woke up and had my coffee, we took Jacob to the park for an hour or so. He was having so much fun chasing all the squirrels. Haha, so cute!

And the rest of Sunday was pretty uneventful- 2.5 hour nap for Jacob, grocery store for mom, run for dad, dinner and laundry. Suuuuper fun!

I hope y'all had a fun weekend, too! Lazy, relaxing weekends just can't be beat! So glad we were able to hang out all weekend together.

Recipe - curry chicken & broccoli

When I was a kid, my mom always made our favorite meal for our birthdays. This was my meal. 

It's warm, creamy, hearty and totally delicious. I love making it on cold or dreary days. 

4 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken
1 cup mayo
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. curry powder
Shredded cheddar cheese

1) Cook your chicken any way you like. I prefer to grill it, because it's easy. Then cube it up in bite-sized pieces. 
2) Steam your broccoli. The amount you make is really up to you. I try to go heavy on the broccoli to make it healthier. I also buy the frozen steamer bags, because it's easy. 
3) Mix together the COC, mayo and spices in a bowl. 
4) Put the steamed broccoli on the bottom of a 9x13 dish. 
5) Place the cubed chicken on top of the broccoli. 
6) Pour the COC mixture on top of the chicken and broccoli. 
7) Top with a good helping of cheddar cheese. (always with the cheese in Texas)
8) Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 
9) Serve over rice and ENJOY!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life is too dang short...

Hi everyone! I hope y'all are having a wonderful Thursday! Thank goodness- I can almost smell Friday and the weekend!! It's Texas/OU weekend in Dallas, and we are super excited (even though my poor Longhorns will probably get whooped).

On a more serious note, it was brought to my attention by one of my neighbors that my "Dear Neighbor..." post (which has since been removed by me) was offensive and humiliating.

Gosh! I can hardly gather my thoughts to write this "rebuttal" post...

For starters, it was not my intentions to offend or hurt anyone by that post, but I can clearly see how it could and did. I am truly sorry for doing that.

After having Jacob, I had a lot of alone time to do some soul searching and evaluating of my life. I came to the conclusion that I was a negative person. I often blamed other people for my problems. I hardly ever took responsibility for my actions, which sometimes hurt others. I was judgmental and rude. And quite frankly, wasn't a good role model for my son!

I have tried so hard to be more optimistic, positive, happy, Godly and most importantly- a good role model for my son.

And that post completely went against everything that I've been trying to do. Everything I want to do. And everything that I want this blog to be.

I'm truly sorry for hurting your feelings, and will do my very best to remain positive, encouraging and HAPPY! Because life is too dang short to be anything else.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My sister is MARRIED!

This post is mostly a photo dump, but I'll do a brief summary too.
My sister married Joe on Saturday, October 5 in Austin, TX. The ceremony was at the beautiful Chapel Dulcinea in the Texas Hill Country, and the reception was at Scholz Garten.
The ceremony was at 10:30am, so it was a very early morning with hair and makeup. Then we made our way out to the venue for last minute touch-ups and getting everyone dressed. My sister got us bridesmaids these awesome running shorts with our monogram! How perfect! And I think they looked pretty phenom with our boots, huh?
flowers by Bouquets of Austin
my dad with his daughters and grandson
 The ceremony was absolutely breathtaking. It was such a still autumn morning, so peaceful and serene. It was just perfect.
And no wedding is complete without a little "ice breaker." In this case, the best man (Joe's older brother) dropped the rings and they nearly fell into the fountain! Haha!
After the ceremony, Joe and Carrie got to ring the chapel bell. It was such a magical way to end the ceremony!

And Jacob got to play in the fountain while everyone mingled and took pictures. What a cutie!
Here's a bunch of pictures from the day... 

The reception was a relaxed afternoon party, complete with kegs and BBQ. So much fun, and such a perfect party for Joe and Carrie!

The bride's cake and groom's cake were combined into one big cake. The bride's cake was funfetti, obviously...

And here's a little photo collage of mine and the best man's speeches. Love these people!

And I'll leave you with my favorite picture from the weekend. A picture of my sweet little family. I love these guys more than words can even express, and I don't know what I'd do without them! They are my world. My happiness.