Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chicken Fried

How many of you have that song stuck in your head right now??  It's one of our most favorites.  Of course, we're HUGE Zac Brown fans, so go figure :)  I always cringe a little when I hear my boys belt out the, "...cold beer on a Friday night..." part.  I like to tell them he's singing about Root I enjoy my ice cold Miller Light ;)

This last week seems like a bit of a blur.  It was an absolute whirlwind to say the least.  This is the first time I've opened up my laptop since last Wednesday!!!  I drove to Oklahoma last week for a professional development training I was doing for the amazing teachers in/of Choctaw Nation.  Such a FUN time!!!!  Since the casino (where the training was held) was only an hour away from where I used to live, I decided to turn my work trip into a fun trip and stay Thursday night with some friends.  Then I headed to my old school in Allen to visit all my former students and co-workers.  Hands down, the best school in the Metroplex!!!  Goodness I miss my old school family!!!  And I sure do miss having my own classroom!

My boys and I have a pre-travel tradition.  Before I started traveling last October, my boys begged for me to snuggle up and take a lot of pictures with them so I wouldn't forget their faces.  Bless.  Now everytime I have to go out of town, I hop in their bed, snuggle up real close, and take a million "ussies".  We always end up in a fit of laughter by the time it's all said and done.

I finished up my visit with a stop by my most favorite bakery (under the guise that I needed to bring the boys back some treats).  But let's be real...the red velvet were ALL for me!!!   Society Bakery has my heart (but I'd like to return the extra 5 lbs. it gave to me :)


Right  before I headed back to Houston, I met up with my BFF and her sweet girl for chips and queso :)  The absolute BEST way to start a road trip!  I always wanted 3 boys.  We were blessed with two and I wouldn't trade their messy rooms and smelly feet for anything, but goodness... I would take this sweet girl home with me in a heartbeat.  Love her to pieces!!!

I got home just in time for #ALLTHERAIN.  Dear Lord.  Can we please divert it's path to California?!  PLEASE?!?!  I think I figured out why the raining won't let up....

I haven't had ice cream since Blue Bell closed it's doors.  SAD.

We're about 45 minutes east of Houston an even though it's rained an INSANE amount here (the other night from about 9:30 to 6:00 non-stop), we've managed to avoid a massive amount of flooding.  We haven't seen anything like our friends in Houston have seen.  This was what we woke up to the morning after the non-stop rain...really not as bad as I was expecting!!!  

Of course, lots of rain equals lots of mud and lots of mud equals this...

My parents are pretty close to one of the bayous in town.  They experienced some flooding in the areas surrounding them, but no damage to their house.  I am just sick for all of the people who have experienced so much worse!  My Aunt's sister-in-law lost EVERYTHING.  Her entire apartment flooded and her car went under, too.  She said it was all a total loss.  That's just one story of MANY.  If you think about it, would you add the people of Texas to your prayer list?!  Especially the people directly affected by this historic flooding!!!

In other news, our upstairs bathroom, bar, and door installation are pretty much complete!  After 5 weeks of being banned from the stairs, we can finally go up and enjoy the new-to-us space!!  Just a few more touch ups and little details, but at least it's all usable!

On the other hand, our master bath is definitely NOT.  UGH.  While I'm so grateful they were able to catch the problem before it got bigger, I'm anxious to have our bathroom back.  There used to be a storage closet in the bathroom (random) and everything that was being housed inside is now currently on the floor in our bedroom.  It's a hot mess.  

Now let's move onto a little chicken fried goodness.  I first tried Chinese food when I was in college.  I went to UNT in Denton (GO EAGLES!!!!) and I was taking a class that required us to bring in a sampling of food representing our culture.  One of the guys brought egg rolls.  I had never had one up to that point and I was hooked after my first bite.  There was a tiny little drive through Chinese restaurant about a mile from campus and I would visit it almost every week after sampling those egg rolls!  I eventually tried more Chinese fare and now I love it all.  My favorite staple....besides egg chicken fried rice.  That little drive-thru in Denton had the best!!

I love to eat fried rice like nobody's business, but I know my waistline would prefer me to avoid it at all cost.  I decided to try out this healthier version in hopes it wouldn't leave me feeling so guilty after each bite and I think this one might just fit the bill!!!  While it's no Denton special, it's pretty delicious to say the least!

2 cups of brown rice, uncooked
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced PLUS 2 more cloves of garlic, minced
Sea Salt and pepper
3 tsp. coconut oil PLUS 2 more tsp. of coconut oil
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, frozen
3-5 green onions, chopped
3 large eggs
Low-sodium soy sauce, to taste

This is a pretty simple meal to throw together and doesn't take much time from start to finish.  While my oldest turned up his nose and gagged his way through eating what we put on his plate, my youngest DEVOURED it.  As did my husband ( and me, too!) .  Note to self:   Focus on portion control. #thestruggleisreal

First up, let's go ahead and cook/steam your rice.  I'd love to give you some good tips on how to do this, but rice cooking is not my forte.  I prefer the boil-in-a-bag version.  So I used that instead :)

While the rice is cooking, cut your chicken into small cubes and season with sea salt and pepper. Go ahead and mince your garlic and chop your onion while you're at it.   Add 3 teaspoons of coconut oil to your skillet or wok and heat on medium/high.  When the oil is heated through, toss in the chicken, garlic, and chopped white onion.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (no more pink!!!).

Remove the chicken from the skillet/wok the same pan...add 2 more teaspoons of coconut oil.  Give that just a second to heat up and then toss in your frozen veggies.  I like a variety of veggies in my fried rice, but you could always trade the mixed blend for just peas and carrots.  Let the veggies cook through...about 3-5 minutes...and then toss in the additional 2 cloves of minced garlic (mentioned in the ingredient list above).  Let that saute for a couple of minutes or until fragrant and then add the chopped green onion to the mix.  

Give your green onions a couple of minutes to satue as well and then toss in the eggs.  You will want to make sure you're constantly stirring and mixing so as to scramble the eggs thoroughly!!!  Once the eggs are scrambled, add the cooked rice and chicken to the pan.  

Stir all ingredients until well combined and turn heat to low.  Season the mixture with your low-sodium soy sauce. (You could also use Bragg's Liquid Aminos as a natural soy sauce alternative).   Let the mixture sit over low heat for about 5-10 minutes.  Serve and ENJOY!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What the Teacher Wore Wednesday

I feel like I'm saying this a bit too often these days, but excuse the random spurts of radio silence here on this little ol' blog.  Life will resume back to normal (as it can be) after this weekend.  I've been planning and prepping for a PD I'm set to present in OK on Thursday.  It has consumed every waking minute of my life for the last week!!!  Except for today.  Today we celebrated our Kindergarten graduate...

Yes.  Kindergarten graduation is still a thing.  And speaking from the perspective of a Kindergaten teacher, I absolutely LOVE it.  I know some people think this old tradition is ridiculous and unnecessary, but I loved every single minute of it.  Just reminds me how precious this time is and how quickly it's fleeting.  Can I please keep him little forever!? #wishfulthinking

Now let's move on to this week's What I Wore Wednesday, shall we?!  I'm linking up again with The Pleated Poppy :)

Went out to dinner with one of my dear friends in this outfit.  There's nothing I love more than a much needed girls night with good friends...and queso...and strawberry margaritas :)  I found this top on IG (Flaunt Boutique) and had to snag it when I saw it.  I love these types of tops...SO forgiving.  Perfect for those Mexican food....and margarita... indulgences :)  And goodness I love the style!!!

Jeans:  Jessica Simpson

I absolutely ADORE The Teacher Diva.  Last year she posted a pic of herself in this darling maxi  and I was smitten.  I followed her link to the boutique where she bought the dress and ended up finding this romper. I was SOLD!!!  Hook, line, and sinker.  I love a cute romper...especially one that covers up the saddlebags (which this one does quite nicely).  I paired this with my favorite (new-to-me) sandals.  My BFF had these on with a romper a few weeks ago and she looked adorable.  I was kicking myself for not having bought these sandals last season.  I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to find them again.  Lo and behold, I walked into DSW a couple of weeks ago and saw my size sitting on the clearance racks.  SOLD!!!!  I love copying my cute friends ;)

Romper: Bought it last May from Catch Bliss Boutique. (THIS ONE is a dressier version; absolutely LOVE this romper )
Jewelry  Necklace - Sam Moon (But THIS ONE is similar)

I originally bought this dress thinking it would be perfect for church.  As you can see, it's a bit too short for the sanctuary (it dips pretty low in the back as well).   My bad. That's one downfall to buying online.  It's been sitting in my closet ever since and I was finally able to pull it out to wear to my dear friend's sip & see.  I absolutely adore this little dress!!!  Just not for church ;)

Dress: Forever 21

I bought this top last summer right before our trip to the Bahamas.  I love it and am so excited the weather is nice enough to start wearing it again.  Mr. Spouse and I dropped the boys off with Mimi & Grandpat and headed to PF Changs for a little date night on Saturday.  It had been at least 3 years since we've had our favorite lettuce wraps and let me tell you it did not disappoint.  We ended up at the movie theater after our dinner and had every intention of seeing The Avengers.  It was sold out (of course) and so was our 2nd pick...Pitch Perfect 2.  (Okay...that was MY 2nd pick.  My husband had NO desire to see it whatsoever).  We ended up reluctantly buying tickets for the next available movie...Get Hard (with Kevin Hart & Will Ferrell).  Dumb humor might be our favorite because Lawd...we were laughing pretty hard through most of it!  We didn't expect that at all!!!  

Top:  Forever 21, last year

I went to church in my MOOOOO top  and it was the worst wardrobe choice I could've made that day.  It ended up raining buckets and I thought it would be no big deal to run to my car after mass as the rain poured down. Oh how wrong I was.  I was SOAKED!!!  And this sheer little top was completely transparent.  However, it did dry rather quickly once we got to lunch.  Score. I absolutely love the style of this top, but everytime I wear it (which is very seldom) I picture myself looking something like my bovine kin.  Dangit.  #fashionfail

Top:  Francesca's, 3 years ago

Okay, so every now and then I love a good Wal Mart find.  From jewelry to clothes, sometimes they really have it goin' on!  Scoff if you will.  I found these pants for all of $4 a few years ago and bought them for the simple fact that they were so cheap!  I mean, what did I have to lose?!  They've held up shockingly well and I ended up just loving them.  How could I not with that price tag?!  

Top:  Old Navy, 2 years ago
Pants:  Wal Mart!!!!!  4-5 years ago

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Be Good to Your Belly

When I was still in the classroom, I didn't have the luxury of spending lots of time in the kitchen to prep a good breakfast.  Mostly because I was hugging the alarm clock 'til the very last minute, but that's beside the point :)   My morning meals were usually in the form of a cup of coffee, a grab-and-go piece of fruit, or a Pop Tart (don't judge).  Fast and easy.  After 13 years on autopilot, I'm still not able to break routine.  I like my breakfast fast and easy.  

When the good people at GoodBelly contacted me to see if I'd be interested in using some of their probiotic drinks to make some new smoothies, I was intrigued. Smoothies make GREAT fast and easy breakfasts!!!   After perusing their website and reading about the GoodBelly product line, I was sold.  You see, I've been blessed with a history of tummy troubles (none of which I'll bore you with at this moment, but troubles nonetheless). So the thought of creating a new breakfast smoothie that's not only delicious, but helps my tummy as well, was a no-brainer.

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I don't blog about things just for the sake of blogging.  I really have to love something to be able to do that.   After having tried several of my GoodBelly SuperShots and drinks, I have to tell you that I really do love these probiotics...and so does my belly :)  Thank you, GoodBelly!!!!

1 cup GoodBelly Tropical Orange Probiotic Juice Drink
1 banana, peeled
1 (5.3 oz) container of Orange Cream Greek Yogurt (I used Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks (or 1/2 cup crushed pineapple)

I absolutley LOVED this smoothie!!!!  So delish!  It took no time to prep and pour....the perfect breakfast!  When I add yogurt to my smoothies, I'm partial to the Greek versions :)  So creamy.   The probiotic juice drink is great on it's own, too!!!  

Since I have quite a few GoodBelly drinks in my fridge, I couldn't help but make another smoothie.  Lemon is one of my most favorite flavors so I knew I wanted to use the Lemon Ginger SuperShot as a key player in the next one.  Speaking of SuperShots, these are the coolest!!!

50 billion probiotic cultures in one little shot!!!  Talk about grab & go!!!!  These really are the perfect little solution to my tummy troubles.  I love these quick little shots...great on their own or in a smoothie.

 I paired my Lemon Ginger Shot with some yogurt and raspberries and had one of the most delicious smoothies ever.  One of my favorite breakfasts yet!

1 GoodBelly Lemon Ginger SuperShot
1 cup Coconut Milk (I use Almond Breeze)
1 (5.3 oz.) container of Lemon Meringue Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup raspberries

Oh, I loved this smoothie so!  And I loved knowing I was doing a little something for my digestive health as well :)  Win, win!!!  

To learn more about GoodBelly and find out where you can get your own, just click below.  
Thank you, GoodBelly!!!  I'm in LOVE!!!!

*** This post was sponsored by GoodBelly, but the thoughts  are all my own. I wouldn't blog about it if I didn't like it!***

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What the Teacher Wore Wednesday

I had to take a break from Home Tour Tuesday for a bit because my house is 12 kinds of wrecked.  We decided to have a bathroom built upstairs and there's about a 5-inch thick layer of dust trailing from the top of the steps all the way to the living room.  

While the bathroom was being built, they discovered our master bath shower was installed with NO shower pan.  WHA?! Stinky water and rotted boards everywhere. the master bath is in the process of being gutted.  Thankfully our insurance is going to take care of  some of that cost.  The silver lining is that we really didn't like our master bathroom at all and now we get to start from scratch.  Oh...and we just found out that our hot water heater was days away from bursting.  Praise God they found that out before anything happened!!!!   

 Here's what we have going on right now....

In the meantime, I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy again for another edition of What I Wore Wednesday.  

By now y'all are probably well aware that I love a comfy dress.  This one is no exception.  One of the comfiest!!!  I found it on Zulily back in March and had to snag it before it wasn't available.  I was excited to finally get it in the mail (4 weeks later) and try it on. It's a great fit!  Whew!  The only problem is that the fabric is missing it's color toward the bottom of the dress in the back.  I'm too old for anyone to be looking in that direction anyway, so no worries there :)  I haven't quite figured out what shoes to pair with this so I went with a tried and true neutral...leopard print.  I love these sandals!!!  They don't carry them at Target anymore, but the pairs pictured below are equally as cute.  There's no such thing as too much leopard, right?!

Dress:  Dex brand (bought off Zulily back in March)
Sandals:  Target, last summer (THESE are kind of similar - bottom pic; and I LOVE THESE!!! - top pair)

As much as I love dresses, I'm not a huge fan of my legs.  I tend to wear pants often during the summer even when it's 200 degrees outside.  I love a good linen pair of pants...flowy and breathable.  I found this pair at Marshall's a few years back and love them....and they've got a lot of coverage, too. There's nothing worse than a see-through pair of linen pants.  I also have several pair of the Old Navy linen pants and I adore them!!!  Great fit, lots of coverage :)  This was the perfect little outfit for bible study.  Marshall's doesn't carry the sandals I'm wearing in this pic anymore, but these two pictured below are such cute alternatives.  

Shirt:  Forever 21, last year (THIS ONE is similar)
Pants:  Marshall's, two years ago (I also have THIS PAIR from Old Navy and I LOVE them)
Jewelry:  Sam Moon
Sandals:  Marshall's (THESE are cute - top pair, THIS pair is darker but similar in style - bottom pair)

I've been riding on the fence with palazzo pants for a while now. I feel like these were in style when I was in high school and I wasn't quite sure I was on board with them when they started being worn as of recent.  I mean, I LOVE them on other girls.  I always think they're so cute!!!  I was fairly certain I'm too old to pull them off.  Well...I caved.  Shoo.  They're comfy as heck and Lord they're cute!  And quite frankly, I don't care if I'm too old for them.  Color me (palazzo) happy.  I'm on the hunt for a few more to add to my collection :)    And let me just tell you that I'm loving my new two-toned flat sandals!  I ran into DSW for a quick second the other day and was so excited to find these on the clearance rack.  I've been wearing the heck out of them ever since!  

Tank - Marshalls 
Pants - Forever 21
Necklace - Sam Moon (THIS ONE is similar)

It's been raining a lot in these parts and when it rains it cools things off considerably.  I pulled out one of my favorite Fall tees with lace detail and finished it all off with a K,Scott necklace and my Tory Burch Caroline ballet flats.  These are probably my most worn flats.  I absolutely LOVE them.  They are the comfiest flats I own.   I have lots of girlfriends who have the same pair and they don't like them quite as much because they said they don't feel like they're comfy at all.  I have a few pair of the Revas and almost never wear them because I think they're pretty uncomfortable.  The elastic around the Caroline flats are my favorite detail and I'm sure that's what makes them so easy to wear (for me, anyway!!!)

Top:  Forever 21, last year (THIS ONE is kind of similar but much cuter, 
Jeans:  Express Legging Jeans with the Zipper Ankle

I was out having lunch with a friend the other day and decided to walk into Francesca's since it was right next door.  I mean, it's not like anyone had to twist my arm or anything.  I found this darling romper and loved the way it fit.  The sweet salesgirl talked me into the tassel necklace and I was sold.  They were having a buy one, get one half off event so I walked out with the romper and necklace for less than $50.  I was pretty excited!!!  This is one of my favorite rompers and I have a feeling I'll be wearing it a lot in the warm summer months ahead.
And these wedges are probably the comfiest wedges I own.  

Romper:  Aristata Paisley Romper, Francescas (It also comes in a black paisley and white paisley print)
Necklace:  Francesca's

Nothing too exciting, but a couple of little shopping trips sure did make my closet smile :)
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Monday, May 11, 2015

Some Like It Hot

{Tap, tap, this thing on????}

For the 5 people who still read this blog, I decided to take a little break from blogging last week.  Something I think is absolutely necessary every now and again.

We spent some serious QT with some of our favorite friends in Dallas a couple of weekends ago and had the best time crossing some things off our family fun bucket list.  Steel City Pops, post-baseball fun at The Lot, drinks at the Truck Yard, dinner at Remedy, Moscow Mules at HG Sply Co., and more.  I even snuck in a trip to Snuffer's for cheese fries and lunch with one of my favorites.  It was the perfect visit "back home".

This girl is my best soul chicken soup for the soul.  When these mugs showed up on my IG feed a few weeks ago, I knew I had to get one for her!  We enjoyed our weekend coffee from our newest pantry accessories and they are just PERFECT!!!!

We had fun spoiling our teachers during Teacher Appreciation week last week. We genuinely feel like we won the teacher lottery.  My boys' teachers are nothing short of amazing.  We really love surprising them with treats all year long...mostly in the form of Sonic drinks every week...but there's just something special about Teacher Appreciation week, y'know?!  Here was one of our little surprises...

Brown paper packages tied up with strings each one holding a few of their favorite things...magazines, candy, snacks, and drinks.  I just used a sharpie to personalize the bags.  I had the teachers fill out THIS QUESTIONNAIRE at the beginning of the year so I could treat them throughout the year.  I sent them a little email the week before teacher appreciation week to see if they wanted to make any changes to the questionnaire before the week started :)  Goodness we love them so!!!

Speaking of love, yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day.  My boys were quick to run in my bedroom and wake me up yesterday morning...they were SO excited to show me what they made for me!!!  I die!  These are my most favorite kind of gifts...their own sweet little words straight from the heart...completely unfiltered and honest.  

Let me just tell you I haven't been to the mall but maybe 4 times this entire year and I haven't taken the boys with me on any of those trips!!!!  HA!!!  Cracks me up that he would remember Forever 21 from those times I'd drag them with me.  It clearly made an impression and I can tell you it wasn't his favorite memory :)  And really, I must be doing something right because apparently I'm as fun as Chuck E. Cheese.  Actually, I take that back.  Maybe I'm doing it all wrong?!  That place is torture!!!!  HA!!!!
Seriously though...I love that they both talked about snuggles and kisses.  It's the little things that mean the most!!!

Can I also take a second to tell you about this man???

He has the biggest heart.  His gift to me this year wasn't one that came from a store.  It was so much more and then some.  I don't want to get into it because it's really not my story to tell, but I will say that his thoughtfulness brought me...and my tears.  Moments like these really put life in perspective. It's a Mother's Day I'll never forget and one that has started a new tradition.  I'm so proud to do life with this man.  

I gave all the ladies this framed bible verse.  It's been a goal of mine to learn hand lettering and how to do it on my own.  It's always a work in progress, but I love the practice.  It's so very cathartic.  

And in other news, something tells me we'll need to stock up on sidewalk chalk in the weeks to come.  This past Friday was brought to us by The Cure....

...and CSI, too.  My driveway looked like a mini crime scene.  

Now let me leave you with one of my most favorite recipes!!!  It's been around forever.  My most favorite way to eat chicken salad.  This is a great little meal to make for company or take to family gatherings.  There's never a bite left in the bowl when it's all said and done.  

2 cups chicken breast meat, cubed OR 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup diced celery
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's is a house favorite)
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded colby & monterrey jack cheese
Potato Chips
Pita Pockets

Preheat oven to 350 & spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Meanwhile, cut your celery & shred/cube your chicken.  Add both to a mixing bowl.

Toss in the mayonnaise, cajun seasoning, pepper, cheese, and lemon juice.

Mix well until evenly coated.  Transfer mixture to an 8x8 baking dish.

Top with crushed potato chips.  The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of crushed chips, but you can use more/less depending on your preference.  Pretty sure we used more!

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.  Remove from oven & serve HOT! 
Of course, you can serve this just as it is OR you can pop the mixture into a pita pocket and call it a day.  That's my personal favorite.  We love our hot chicken salad pitas around here!!!
Just try it and you'll see why!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Taco Salad & A Trip Down Memory Lane

When my husband and I went on our very first date, he took me to this old prison-turned-restaurant in downtown McKinney.  He won MAJOR bonus points for originality and creativity. It was called "Prison Bar and Grill".  I should've been a little frightened, but I thought it was the coolest thing!!!! You could even sit inside of old cells and eat.  It was the most memorable first date ever and it clearly won me over because I accepted his proposal one year later to the date.  The restaurant has since closed, but downtown McKinney turned into our little spot after that very first date.
We moved to McKinney...brought our two sweet boys home in that little town...and celebrated every anniversary right down the street from that old prison bar and grill right there on the square at Rick's Chophouse.  Before we moved to Houston, we spent lots of date nights and family days on the square.  

There was a little Mexican restaurant there (I heard it closed) that was just amazing.  I can't remember the name to save my life, but it was right across the street from my favorite antique store.  We liked to antique shop for just a bit...or as long as the kids wouldn't scream...and then head across the street to eat.  We ate there quite often.  They had the most AMAZING taco salad.   In fact, I think that's the first place I ever had a taco salad.  When I eat Mexican, you can always guess exactly what I'm going to get...either beef fajita Tacos al Carbon or some type of street taco.  I don't venture out much because I'm predictable and boring.  However, I always got the taco salad at this little Mexican restaurant.  I'm typically more of a "beef girl", but their shredded chicken was out of this world.  SO amazing.  I'm taking the boys up to Dallas this weekend and can't wait to stop by the square for some good food and a little trip down memory lane. I just wish that restaurant were still there!!!

When I found this recipe, I was hoping it would be just as good as the taco salad on the square.  While it wasn't exactly the same, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was and knew this would be my new go-to taco salad.  We have this at least once a week far...I haven't tired of it yet.  Always a good sign, right?!?!  HA!

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp. Nature's Seasoning
1 TBSP. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chili peppers
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 Cups of water
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 head of iceberg lettuce
Buttermilk Ranch dressing

First things first.  When I make my chicken, I like to put it in the crock pot and let it simmer all day long while I'm busy working and/or running errands.  One less step I have to go through when it's actually time to start cooking!  I typically season my chicken breasts (thawed, not frozen) with a little salt, pepper, & garlic powder then place them in the crock pot and cover them with chicken broth.  Then I cook on low for about 8 hours.  When the chicken is cooked through, I drain the broth, return the chicken to the pot, and shred with my hand mixer.  Done and done!  

When you're ready to prep the salad, here's what you'll need to do.

Transfer the shredded chicken to a large skillet.  Add the black beans and toss in all the spices & seasonings...Nature's Seasoning, garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, and ground chipotle chili peppers.  Mix well to combine and then cover with 2 cups of water.  Turn heat to medium and let simmer until all of the water has evaporated (about 8-10 minutes give or take).  Stir continuously to prevent anything sticking to your skillet.

While the chicken mixture is simmering, chop your veggies (red & green bell peppers, green onion).  Then go ahead and chop the lettuce and place in a large bowl.  Toss in the veggies.  

Once the water has evaporated, transfer the chicken mixture to the bowl full of lettuce and veggies.  Mix well to combine.  

I personally prefer this salad with homemade buttermilk ranch.  I can't handle the ranch in a bottle!!  Top with your choice of fixin's...shredded cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, tortilla strips, etc.  I typically just top mine with a little sprinkle of shredded cheese and call it a day.

I can't tell you how much I LOVE this salad!!!  You'll just have to try it for yourself to see what I mean.

Of course, you can always sub the chicken with ground beef or ground turkey and it's pretty much just as delicious.  The secret is to ditch the pre-made taco seasoning.  This little combo of spices is SO much better!!!!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What the Teacher Wore Wednesday

Hey y'all!  I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy again today for What I Wore Wednesday.  I don't have much to share because I spent lots of my time in "workout" gear.  It was one of those know...the kind where you wake up and throw on your workout gear because you swear you'll workout as soon as you drop off the kids..but then your coffee is SO darn good that you sort of forget where you are and then you get so engrossed in your work that you "forget" to workout.  You're just happy you're comfy :) 

Dresses are so easy and I love this time of the year because it lends itself to these kind of outfits.  I was pumped to find this frock for a whopping $15!!!  It's so comfy and the ruffle is such a fun touch.  I didn't really accessorize because the ruffle was enough for me, but I did wear a rust pair of medallion earrings to give it a little something extra.  I will be revisiting this dress quite often. 

Jewelry:  Earrings, Forever 21 (forever ago!)

I was with my precious friend, Hope, last summer in Vegas and she was wearing this ADORABLE dress.  She looked too cute with this darling dress and the cutest pair of gladiator sandals to go with it.  She has style for miles and I find myself wanting to copy her way too often.  This was no exception.  I HAD to have this dress when I saw it.  As soon as I got home from our trip, I gifted myself this dress for my birthday :)  This is, hands down, my most favorite dress of all time.  It's cute with sandals...cute with's just cute any way you cut it (in my opinion, of course).  I absolutely LOVE wearing this with my boots and a little pop of color (earrings and necklace).

Dress:  Bermeja Tunic Dress, Anthropologie (last summer) THIS ONE has a similar feel (short sleeve), and THIS ONE is adorable (baby doll style)

We went out to dinner and then to a little country bar in town to celebrate a friend's birthday.  We both dressed the part :)  This man never owned a pair of boots...or a belt buckle...until we moved down to the Houston area.  I'm pretty sure this is his favorite kind of attire now :)  I definitely can't complain :)  I love this man!

I found this shift dress in Round Top a few weeks ago for $20!!  I love it!!  It was perfect for church on Sunday and will be a great little outfit for future conferences.  I'll probably pair it with some leggings and flats for those 8 hour days on my feet!!  On another note, I really need a tan.  

Dress:  Round Top
Shoes:  Deirdre Wedge Ralph Lauren (last season) - THESE are similar;  I like THESE, too
Jewelry: Tory Burch Double Wrap Studded Bracelet, turquoise drop earrings (Francesca's, 3 years ago), turquoise drop necklace (Sam Moon)

A tiny little coldfront blew in (it was probably in the 70's...hahaha) so I busted out the flannel shirt..with shorts,of course :) Casual and comfy.  Boom. I probably could've tucked in the shirt for a more tailored look, but nah.  That would require a belt and I'm not ready for belts or swimsuits just yet :)

Shirt:  Old Navy (last year, maybe?!?!)  - THIS ONE looks similar
Shorts:  American Eagle (last year)

That's about it!!!

I posted this pic of my boys on IG last week and several people were wondering about thier tees.  Goodness, I love these tees!!!  I found them on Zulily back in March.  They're from The Talking Shirt.  They love wearing the Lord's word!!!