Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Taco Soup

Another quick, easy, delicious recipe from my friend Kristi.  This soup is full of yumminess, hearty and inexpensive to make!  One recipe has nine - one cup servings and it costs about $10 to make, you can't beat that!

Step one: Line up all your ingredients for a pretty picture:

Step two: brown meat in a skillet on the stove top

Step three: after a few minutes of cooking, add diced onions

Step four: while the meat and onion are cooking away, start filling your crock pot with the remaining ingredients

Step five: if you are like me, you dont love whole stewed tomatoes, so I add an extra (totally unnecessary) step by chopping up the tomatoes to be smaller bits,
like so, after they are chopped, go ahead and throw those in the crock pot too!

Step 6: If you timed everything beautifully cause you are just that good, your meat would be getting close to done by the time you got everything else in the crock pot.

Step 7: Once the meat is almost cooked through, add the Rank seasoning packet and the taco seasoning packet

Step 8: then move the meat right into the crock pot with everything else:

Step 9: combine and let cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or longer if you go to work and have to set it before you leave :)

Step 10: Enjoy and maybe top with a little sour cream, cheese and avocado--just a suggestion!

Now for the recipe:

* 1 pound lean ground beef
* 2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 (1.25 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
* 1 (1.25 ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
* 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans (I use pinto)
* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
* 1 (15 ounce) can whole sweet corn

1. Brown the meat and onions and drain, if needed.
2. Mix in taco seasoning and ranch dressing mixes into the meat.
3. Add the remaining ingredients into the crock pot, without draining.
4. Add meat mixture into crock pot and stir to combine all ingredients.
5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
6. Serve hot, top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Tiffany

I cannot think of anyone else that deserves a birthday celebration quite like my sister does.  Spending all day every day with 3 rowdy boys, living on minimal sleep, and still (sometimes) manages to have a smile on her face!  So this year, Tiffany, I hope you get some time to yourself to just be and relax; and let's be honest, maybe get a pedicure!

All smiles--who knows how she does it?

You are such a great mom, you are so patient with the kiddos and are loving and kind.

You plan fun activities and exciting outings which encourage growth and learning.

And even still manage to have a little fun along the way:
Yum!  Half eaten bananas!

 But there is no denying just how much your boys, all of them, love you!

And in case you are ever doubting, how much the rest of your family loves you too;

Your adventurous spirit and "let's get it done" attitude is always sometime I have admired and loved about you.  And probably wanted to mimic all the time growing up.  Cause I remember when I was little, I wanted to grow up to be "just like you!"

Your boys are so lucky to have a mom like you, who is not afraid to literally climb rocks and mountains with them, play in the dirt, get messy and make sure to give lots of hugs and kisses!

And you are even so patient to put up with a sister trying to get the perfect picture:

And sometimes, just sometimes, that pays off:

Kisses to you dear sister, I am so happy I had such an awesome role model growing up!  I love you to pieces!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dressing Downton

So a few months back we saw that the clothes from Downton Abbey were making a visit through Richmond and would be on display at the Virginia Historical Society.  Well, of course, being such fans of the show, a few of us wanted to check it out but with holidays and schedules, it was not until the last week or so that we were able to make it out there.  It was just as awesome as I would have hoped though and it was fun to get to see the clothes up close and learn a little about them.

Of course we had to start off with a group shot, its (fron left to right): me, Lila, CJ and Kristi.

A few of the outfits of Lord and Lady Grantham and the Dowager Countess of Grantham:

The servant bells:

Riding outfit

Servant Outfits:

This is Mary and Anna's outfits, side by side

Lady Sybil as a nurse

A very Pregnant Lady Sybil's outfit:

All in all, it was a fun day with fun friends and we even had time to grab a yummy brunch/lunch afterward.