Monday, October 31, 2011

Reading, thinking, and not crafting.

It's Halloween, and although I don't have any catchy phrases or cute pictures of fall treats I do have a little to share.

Jason and I pick a book to read from the bible (slightly by random), and we read a little every night until we finish that book.  Then, we pick another book and repeat.  We don't go in order... maybe because we are both ADD, but for whatever reason we are reading in 1 Corinthians for the time being.  1 Corinthians has always been my favorite book in the bible.  When I was in my young teenage years it was most likely due to the fact that I was obsessed with "A Walk to Remember", and the pastor read 1 Corinthians 13:4 at the marriage of the sickly cancer ridden Mandy Moore and the ever so beautiful Shane West.  : )  Wrong reason... I know.  But hey, whatever gets you reading the bible right?  Anyway... Corinthians is still my favorite book, but for slightly different reasons now.  Last night, Jason and I read in 1 Corinthians 6.  I guess I won't go too into detail.. because after all, this is a Martha Stewart blog; not a biblical blog.

Here goes.  In 1 Corinthians, Paul is writing a letter to Corinth.  He's basically hitting every major issue that the church is having, and strangely it still relates to today.  He talks about marriage, divorce, sex, and even lawsuits.  I mean... COME ON!  What's more entertaining than that!  Something about 1 Cor 6 really got me thinking last night.  So, hopefully I can strike up some questions within you.  Here goes.. "Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers."  Sounds slightly like a Beatles song, huh? I'm starting to think Paul is a hippie.  Anyway, please don't get me wrong... I have not been struggling with the issue of cheating.. or even doing wrong to others.  lol!  But for some reason it kind of hit me last night... what's so wrong with getting hurt?  Lately, I've noticed that because of fear of being hurt I keep myself for opportunities, friendships, and even family.

My older brother is currently facing many years in jail because of drug use.  We've struggled with this for years now, and for a while it was easy to say things like... "He did it to himself" and "I'm done with getting my hopes up".  I find that those words are having a hard time coming out of my mouth these days.  Yes, it sucks to see him in black and white attire, with a hardcore face on, and bruises that he refuses to tell my sister and I about to keep us from worrying, but not seeing him at all sucks more.  So, in an effort to relate the verse back to reality... The hurting I go through by seeing Seth in jail is nothing compared to the hurt that he's going through seeing us disappointed in him.  I'm not sure when this revelation happened... maybe during the time I was writing this.  Why are we so concerned with people hurting us and letting us down?  What aren't we more concerned about not hurting others?  I mean seriously.. this is real life we're talking about here.  You're going to get hurt, you're going to cry, you're going to face adversity.  The key is how you react to it.  As Christians, I think we should work more towards not hurting others than worry so much about the pain that people have caused in our lives.  After all, we have God to lay those troubles on.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Home is where you make it

After a few months of living in limbo, my husband and I are finally settled into a new town.  Which comes with new jobs, new routines, and new hang out spots.  We are still discovering the area, but as of now... we are loving it!  Shreveport is miles and miles closer to home, and here... they still worship the LSU Tigers (which is a huge plus for Jason).  : )  I've started a new job in sales.  It's great, but time consuming.  Which explains the little motivation to be more like Martha Stewart these days.  Although my new job is a tuff one, I'm still managing to find time to scope out the awesome fine home furnishing consignment shops that this town has to offer... just not really able to buy anything yet.  lol!  However, hopefully soon I will be able to post a picture of my new television cabinet... I've been eyeing it for weeks now.  ; )

Hope all is well in the blogging world!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Dish That Keeps on Giving

Thursday, I made my first pot of black beans.  I followed a basic recipe that I use for most of my slow cooked beans, and mixed it with a few others that I found online.  J  They turned out delicious… and were even husband approved.  Since then, I’ve used the slow cooked beans to make black bean and cheese quesadillas for dinner, and a Santé Fe style black bean dip for our Saturday MMA fight night .  The best part is…I still have leftovers! 

Slow Cooked Citrus Black Beans


1 (1 lb) bag of black beans
2 chopped yellow onions
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chopped green bell pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1 (7oz.) can of green chilies
¼ cup of orange juice concentrated or ½ cup of orange juice
2 T rice vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ T Sage
2 bay leaves
1T fresh cilantro
1T oregano (I used fresh from my herb garden, but dried would work as well)
1 T cumin
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco (depending on how much spice you like)

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker and add 4 cups of water or enough to cover beans. (You can also use broth if you aren’t worried about keeping it vegetarian)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  They are great served over rice with corn bread muffins. J

Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

These are so simple and so delicious!


Whole-wheat tortillas
Monterrey Jack cheese
Cheddar cheese
Leftover black beans
Olive Oil (I use a spray for this)

Warm both sides of a tortilla in a large greased skillet.  Sprinkle with both cheeses, add a few spoonfuls of the left over Citrus Black Beans, sprinkle with more cheese, and top with a tortilla.  Allow cheese to melt and bottom tortilla to brown; then flip and brown other side.  Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Santé Fe Dip

Saturday night, Jason and I were looking for a little snack to go with our lazy night filled with watching his favorite MMA fights.  I didn't feel like fighting the crowd at Walmart, or getting out of my lazy clothing gear; so I made this with what was on hand.  It turned out so yummy...  I will definitely make it again soon!  


1 cup of leftover Citrus Black Beans
2 T of sour cream
½ of a tomato (chopped)
1 Cup of cheese + a little extra to sprinkle on top  (I cleaned out my refrigerator and used a mixture of Cheddar, pepper jack, and Monterrey jack)
1 T chopped jalapeño
1 teaspoon of Tabasco
½ can of corn (I used no salt added)
Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
Dash of Chili Powder

*Mix all ingredients together, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 30 mins on 350F.  Serve with corn chips.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Citrus Summer Salad

    I'm a creature of habit (to say the least), but yesterday I ventured out of my basic lunch, a balsamic vinegar salad, and decided to attempt making a new dressing.  To my surprise, it turned out great... So, I thought I would share it with you!  : )

   Jason and I have been packing for a big move (which I'll expand on in another blog soon!), but  because of the move and to save a little money... we haven't wanted to buy any extra groceries that we can't take in a cardboard box or finish in two weeks. :) This dressing was honestly just an experiment with ingredients that I had on hand.  It's super simple... Hope you enjoy it!

Citrus Summer Dressing

-6 tablespoons of orange juice

-1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

-1 tablespoon of Apricot Jam 
(I'm sure a peach or whatever you have on hand would taste great too)

-1 pinch of Kosher salt 

-1 pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and toss over a bed of fresh spinach with fresh strawberries,  dried cranberries, sliced red onion, cashews and feta cheese.  I ate mine with a Morning Star Veggie patty, but it's also great plain, and I'm sure it would be yummy with grilled chicken.  :)

*This recipe makes about 1/2 a cup of dressing*

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresh Paint Brings Second Chances

The flea market finds continued last week with an amazingly fantastic owl wall decor and a great old mirror.

They might not look so charming pre paint, but with a little TLC - they ended up being great apartment additions for quite a charming price.  The mirror was a mere five dollars at the flea market, and the owl decor was only two!  I used paint that I already had on hand and bought a three dollar pack of paint brushes... making the grand total for both projects only ten dollars.  However; I will admit that next time I have a project that requires painting, I'll splurge on the paint brushes.  I was constantly picking out the brush's bristles from the sticky paint.  I should've listened to my dad... he always said not to buy cheap paint brushes or knock off diet coke.  :)  Lesson officially learned.

The owl decor went perfectly in my bathroom, and I also had quite the epiphany while hanging them.  Many years from now, when I finally have a little girl... I'll name her Stella or Anabelle, paint her room pink, fill it with blue owls and hang powder blue curtains with pink polka dots on her bedroom's windows.   : )

After I finished the mirror, I realized I really didn't have the space for it.  So a friend of mine and I bartered a little...  The yellow mirror now has a gorgeous new home in downtown Lewisburg, and I have a much needed kitchen table.  "WINNING!"  : )

.finished blue owls.

The lovely mirror's new home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Recently, I've been spending time with a great friend who is well versed in flea markets and DIY projects.  Our newest addiction is the flea market in Fairlea, WV.  They have vendors every Tuesday and Saturday and it's only about 5 minutes from Lewisburg.  I can't promise that you will find great stuff every time, but it's always fun to walk around.  Together,  I'm sure we have spent too much money on random things, but we have also found some amazing pieces!  My newest find... An old door that will soon be my new headboard.  Words cannot express the happiness of finding the door last week.  I've been on the hunt for over a year now, but every one I've found was at least $100 or more... which doesn't exactly fit into our medical school budget.  However; with a little perseverance, I was able to find this amazing door for only $20!  We spent the weekend sanding and moisturizing the old door with linseed oil.  Next, I'll attempt to turn it into a gorgeous master bedroom headboard.  I'll keep you updated as the project moves along.  Let's hope for the best!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take the before picture before starting.... So the before picture is the back side of the door (which I haven't finished yet).

Here's the progress...


After (Somewhat finished)

A little picture to help you imagine it as a headboard...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jillian would understand. : )

Lately, I've been hitting the gym and Jillian Michael's videos pretty hard... Which makes it harder to want to make yummy food.  But, I have a rule that every holiday (no matter how hard I'm dieting) I splurge.  : )  Not great for shaping up for bikini season, but great for an Easter Sunday sweatpants and movie night.

This Easter was a milestone.  Jason and I spent our first holiday away from home, and I made my very first Key Lime Pie (with the help of my mother-in-law's recipe and a few looks at  I doubled the recipe and was able to make 18 mini pies plus one large pie.  We passed them out to stressed out med school students and friends.  Needless to say... They were a hit!


Key Lime Pie  (by Nicole Green)
3 cups condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup lime juice
1T lime zest

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 5 mins.

Graham Cracker Crust
I did not make my own crust this time, but just in case you're feeling very Martha Stewart-esque....I did find a great recipe at  : )

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 T confectioners' sugar

Whip heavy cream until it starts to thicken.  Add in vanilla extract and sugar until soft peaks form.  Spread over pies using a spatula or piping.

Serve with love, and ENJOY!  :)

Happy Spring!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it settling?

  Dreams are a wonderful thing to have.  They keep us striving for more, and constantly working toward a goal.  But what if what we had was all we needed?  What if our Corolla and two bedroom apartment could be enough?  I love dreaming of moving to the Mediterranean sea and never turning back.  I love dreaming of having a house with a greenhouse full of tulips and lavender on the top floor, a movie theatre in the basement, a couch in the bathroom, a red front door, and light blue ceilings on my front porch, with an ocean for my backyard... but I've decided that for now, I will enjoy my morning coffee, springtime in Lewisburg, and my big, comfy couch.  Because enjoying what I have is far more pleasurable than dreaming of what I don't have.  

Just a thought. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"I'm gonna quit my job, and move to New York. Somebody told me that's where Dreamers should go"

  Some cities were meant for certain people, and after a whole five minutes in New York... I realized this city was meant for me.  There is something about bright lights, culture, and a Starbucks on every corner that just screams out my name.

  I met some friends in the city, and managed to spend a mere $215 on a flight, taxi, food, and even a little fun. Which I hear is unheard of.  So, if you need a cheep trip to the city...  Apparently, I'm your girl.  ; )

Thanks to Delta, my flight into the city was 15 dollars... Honest.  So, as aggravating as it is to have your flight canceled; just write a little detailed email while you are at your most irritated state, and picture a free flight to NYC to calm you down.  : ) We stayed at Sohotel, which is located right by Greenwich Village, Little Italy, and a subway.  I must admit I didn't pay for the hostel with cash.  Instead, my friends let me pay them with knitted goods, haircuts, and a few nights stay at my place.  However, for the travelers who do not barter for hostels; the hostel was amazing, and only $150 a night for an upgraded room.  We had two full sized.. extremely comfortable beds, wood floors, a flat screen television, and our very on bathroom.  The service was great, the lobby was stocked with hot coffee every morning, and the whole hostel had a great NYC hip feel to it.  The rooms were small... but when you are in New York, you won't want to be in your room for anything other than sleeping and showering.  Promise.

  As far as the city, there wasn't anything I didn't want to see or experience.  Little Italy was great, and so was Times Square, but for me... nothing beat SoHo.  I wanted to grab a bed, and camp out for the rest of my life on Broadway in front of Bloomingdales and Sabon.  But.. I had to settle for a postcard and memories for now.  ; )

Here's a few pictures to hopefully spark your drive for a New York trip soon... ; ) 

Subway Funday

Bryant Park

Friends  :)

moments before making my world go round

.chubby birds.

The Statue of Liberty and Battery Park

Thursday, February 24, 2011

birthday funday

The mark of my 23rd year may have been my best birthday yet.  I woke up to pecan pancakes in bed, had two king cakes delivered to my door, ate a yummy burger from the Greenbrier, played in the park, and had an amazing baked good prepared and decorated by my sweet husband.  : )  

Jason's Cupcake Recipe

-One box of Chocolate Cake Mix
-One can of blue icing
-LOVE ; )

Catching up.. :)

For the past couple weeks, I have celebrated my 8th Valentine's day with my main squeeze, turned 23, and vacationed in New York!  It has been busy and exciting... which left no room for blogging.  ; )

So to Catch up, I thought I would share a little of my recent adventures with you.  Starting with Valentine's Day...

I made homemade sugar cookies for Valentine's day, and set up a little wine and cheese party for my man.  I'm not a huge sugar cookie fan, but honestly Jason and I both agreed that the cookies were heavenly.  I used The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe from, cut them into different sized heart shapes, and decorated in traditional valentine's day colors.  I halved this recipe, and still had plenty to hand out to neighbors... So unless you're feeding an army, I would definitely cut down on the recipe.

We have a local wine and cheese shop located in downtown Lewisburg called Bella, and with a little help from my father-in-law and the friendly Bella employee; I was able to pick out an awesome bottle of Pinot Noir and some great cheese wedges.  Add a little candle light, soft music, and a  handsome stud... and you have yourself a picture perfect Valentine's Day.  :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recipes for "Poor Cooking"

Just thought I would add a few recipes to go with the last post, just in case you don't already have a favorite spaghetti, red beans, and pot roast recipe.  Fair warning... I have learned to cook from two amazing women; my mother and mother-in-law, neither of these wonderful ladies practiced the art of measuring the ingredients out.  lol! So, I'll teach you like they taught me... with love and a few taste tests.  : )

Homemade Spaghetti

- olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 gloves of garlic (minced)
- 3 celery sticks (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 lb. ground beef (I use local organic beef, and I'm convinced it makes a difference)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage
- 3-4 strips of bacon
- 2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or to taste)
- salt
- pepper
- red pepper
- Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves

Drizzle olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add ground beef and Italian sausage; cook until browned.  Drain meat, and return to pot.  Cook strips of bacon leaving grease in pot, and add onion, celery, and both bell peppers.  Cook until onions start to turn clear; then add the garlic.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Simmer for an hour; then taste, and simmer for at least one more hour.

*For a sweet sauce, or to cancel out a strong spicy flavor add extra brown sugar.

*I normally start cooking my spaghetti around noon, and allow it to simmer for six hours.  The longer it simmers... the better! : )  

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

- 1lb. of smoked sausage or ham bone (sliced)
- 1lb. of red kidney beans (previously soaked in water over night)
- 1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
- 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 large jalapeno pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 3 cubes of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Tabasco (or to taste)
- salt
- cayenne pepper

Simply add all ingredients; and top with water until beans are covered.  Cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.  Taste; then add salt and pepper if needed.  Once beans are thoroughly cooked, remove lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes to an hour.  This will help the beans thicken.  You can also   smash beans with a wooden spoon to help thicken. Serve with rice.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

- 2 (12oz) cans of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 packet of onion soup mix
- 1 (2lb) roast (eye of round is best)
- baby carrots
- new potatoes (quartered)
- 3 cubes of chicken stock
- 5 cloves of garlic (whole)
- salt
- pepper
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- basil
- Worcestershire sauce

Allow roast to come to room temperature.  Cut slits in roast, and press the 5 cloves of garlic in center (I normally cut a slit near each corner, and one in the center).  Then, sprinkle roast with salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, basil, and Worcestershire sauce.  Rub the seasonings in on all four sides.  In a slow cooker, add the cream of mushroom, onion soup mix,  3 cups of water, 3 cubes of chicken stock.  Then, add the roast, carrots, and new potato's.  Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Serve with rice. (jasmine rice is my favorite)

Here's to great dinners, and sexy cooks.  ; )

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Poor Cooking

While I could pull the college kid eating habits out and eat ramen noodles 7 days a week; I'm slightly spoiled to great cooking, and fear I would not be able to stomach that for too long.  Therefore, I've put together a cheap seven day meal plan... with the help of a few of my mother-in-law's great ideas.  :)

Here goes...

Sunday- Roast Beef in the slow cooker ($15)

Monday- Red Beans and Rice ($6)

Tuesday- Homemade Spaghetti (about $9)

Wednesday- Chili
-Mix the red beans with spaghetti, add a little chili powder, and whalaa!    

Thursday- BBQ Beef Po Boys ($4)
-Cut the remaining roast beef and place in a sauce pan with BBQ sauce.  Toast french bread in the oven with butter, garlic powder, and provolone cheese.  Place BBQ beef on toasted french bread, and enjoy a southern style po boy!

Friday- Homemade Meat, Cheese, and Spinach  Lasagna (12$)
-Use the leftover spaghetti as your meat sauce, make a cheese mixture with egg, parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, and Italian seasoning.  Layer with meat sauce,  no boil lasagna noodles, spinach, and cheese mixture. Repeat, and top with one more layer of meat sauce and a cheese sprinkle.

Saturday- Enjoy a smorgasbord of leftovers and relax!  :)

If my calculations are correct... you officially have a whole weeks worth of yummy food for about 46$.  Which means, your hubby will be so happy you may be able to talk him into a 5$ movie rental!  :)