Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday Supper

Chicken-Sage-Mushroom Casserole

The hubby came home late Saturday night and I knew after a week of bachelor food with his Dad and brother that he would be ready for a home cooked meal. I went with a fall favorite that I lifted from an old Southern Living.  Their chicken-sage-mushroom casserole is a bit tedious to make in that there are a lot of steps - but it is really easy and delicious!  I served it with steamed green beans and an artisan roll and we were set. 

While the casserole was cooking, we nibbled on the cheese plate I had set out for him as his welcome home surprise Saturday night.  More on that tomorrow.  In the meantime, check out this great recipe and whip it up for your loved ones.  It is a special, elegant meal that has the feel of down home comfort food.  The dish serves 6 so it is great for a dinner party.  Since it was just me and the hubs eating it last night, we have leftovers and I can enjoy a night off from cooking this week - HOORAY! A win, win.

How is it Monday already.............oie vey.  Here's to a great week!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude

Yesterday, Harrison participated in his first school fundraiser- the Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude.  It was an adorable event where the children rode their tricycles/bikes around the school parking lot.  Let me tell you - I have a budding NASCAR racer on my hands!  He rode so hard that he had trouble walking when he was done.  The children learned about helping others and about bike safety all week as well.  When it was over, they all received a  "Trike License".  Watch out streets of Hickory!!!

While Harrison was SO excited to ride in the Trike-A-Thon, as we were running errands during the afternoon, he told me how happy he was to help sick boys and girls too.  This is a sweet fundraiser that is easy to coordinate at your child's school.  You can learn more here

During the Trike-A-Thon
Water Break
License to Drive
Here's to healthy and happy children!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013


We all have issues that we deal with on a daily basis.  I battle several but most all have a common denominator.  And while I don't wish to air dirty laundry on my blog, I realize it is important to share that we are all human with faults - that is okay to admit our imperfections.  Enter in this amazing Bible Study I am currently doing with some neighbors.

Boundaries is a fabulous study written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  It is a 9 week focus on taking control of your life.  I am starting week 4 and I must say - to read it you are like, "duh!  that is SO obvious" but isn't it funny how things that seem obvious tend it get overlooked?  Oh, and rest assured, it is not all obvious- I am learning a great deal too.  And I don't really like what I am learning about myself.  I expect my boundaries to be respected but I am not very good at respecting others (or expressing my concern for others properly). I am also learning that I need to take time to make time for what and who are truly important in my life.  As I learned with my father's sudden death, you don't always get a chance to "do that tomorrow".

I think we all reach a point in our lives when you have to stop making excuses for past experiences in your life.  You reach a point where you have to learn that those experiences happened for a reason, learn from them, take ownership of them and move on.  That is where I currently find myself and I am amazed that as I started having this inkling, God brought this Bible Study to my attention.  It is so amazing how nothing just happens.  He has a plan and it is joyous, and sometimes heartbreaking, to watch unfold.  What I love about this study too is that it doesn't just stop at the basics.  There are other studies about Boundaries in marriage, with young children, teenage children, adult children, friends, work - so on and so forth.  I could have used this a very long time ago but it is never too late to learn.

Well, it is a beautiful day in the Carolinas and I don't wish to turn this into a therapy session (which I could probably very well use - haha).  But I would like to encourage you to read the book.  There is a workbook and a book that follows up the workbook, which I highly recommend.  You can find the materials here.  And if you can find a small group to share the experience with - all the better.

Have a great weekend!  I'll sign off with a reminder that I tell my boys.  "Jesus loves you, and I do too!"


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spiritual Nourishment

As a working Mommy of 2, I have to have order and structure.  However, there are so many things out of my control with my job and children - there is no way of knowing what the day has in matter how well I plan!  It is very frustrating but I've learned there is one thing I can control; my mornings.  I try to start each day to make time for things that I had been pushing aside because there, "just wasn't time".......this being my daily devotional and my health.

My alarm wakes me up at 5:00 am daily.  I grab the pile of books on my bedside table and head into the kitchen.  I make coffee while reading Max Lucado's Grace For The Moment daily devotional followed by my daily reading from The Daily Walk Bible.  I then read part of my Married For Life devotional.  It is a sweet compilation of stories from couples that have been married for over 50 years written by David C. Cook.  After that, I go to the gym to work out.  When I get home, I am ready to face the day. 

This requires a great deal of dedication and discipline; but I am always grateful for it at the end of the day.  And it always reminds me that I really can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

Hope you're day's been blessed!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Feasts

Fall is settling into the foothills of the Western North Carolina Mountains.  This is without a doubt my favorite time of year.  It marks the time of getting back on schedule from summer break, exciting activities with my family, focusing on finishing the year strong at work, and ushering in the holidays. 

With all that I have going on in my life as a working mommy of 2, I need all the structure I can get!!!  My morning ritual is set in stone and I'll share that with you tomorrow.  However, all I can think of right now is yummy food!  The hubs is away all week fly fishing in Montana with his Dad and brother.
Firehole in Montana sent from hubby

As such, the meals this week have been nothing to blog about. But with the falling temperatures, it is definitely time to whip up our fall favorites. I am sure hubby will be ready for some good home cooked meals as well.

Having cooked through most of Rebecca Lang's Around the Southern Table cookbook, it is time to move on to a new kitchen companion.  And while I do have a new cookbook I'm dying to test, it is time to rely on some old faithful, tried and true recipes. 

First up is a nod to Clark family traditions with Entertaining with Bluegrass Winners.  My father was born and bred in Louisville, Kentucky, and an avid outdoorsman.  Fall to me means hunting trips followed by mouth watering meals - be it dove or quail, venison, stews and father knew his way around the kitchen and a grill.  It was at his side, stealing bits of what he was making, that I learned to not only love food but preparing it for those I loved.  My mother also hails from the Bluegrass state and I without a doubt inherited her passion for decorating a pretty table. 

I miss my father terribly and my heart seems to ache for him as the temperatures cool.  It is therapeutic to make his favorite meals and enjoy a bourbon in his honor while I prepare them.  What I love about Entertaining with Bluegrass Winners is that it is broken out into seasons.  They are all good but I especially love the fall recipes. The smothered dove is out of this world!

Another favorite is a cookbook from a local Junior League just down the road in Gaston County.  Anything you ever would need to make for any occasion is in this cookbook.

Stay tuned because Sunday Suppers are about to get good!

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Fall Y'all!

It is officially fall and I had a ball decorating the living area Sunday.  I am going to wait a little longer to add the Halloween decorations but here is a sneak peak of what I've done so far.  I hope you enjoy my southern sideboard all decked out for fall!

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
fluttering from the autumn tree."
- Emily Bronte
My southern sideboard
Candy corn in a biscuit barrel and pumpkin place card holders (opens to store a treat)
Dining Room Pie Safe

Dining Room table centerpiece
Kitchen Sideboard
All this begs some yummy comfort food.  Stay tuned.....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday Supper

The hubby left at the crack of dawn Sunday morning for his long awaited fly fishing trip to Montana.  So we enjoyed our Sunday Supper on Saturday.  I made some sweet potato chips with Gorgonzola sauce from Rebecca Lang's  Around the Southern Table cookbook, steamed some asparagus and sautéed crab cakes from our local seafood shop.  It was delicious!!!  I then spent the rest of the day decorating for fall, which I'll post tomorrow.  Hey - when the cat's away........

Have a great week!

Crab Cakes with sweet potato chips and asparagus

My sweetie prepping his flies for his big trip to Montana

Friday, September 20, 2013

Letter from Santa

I am over the moon excited for the holiday season to arrive.  I adore fall - the crisp air, the clothes, trips to the mountains, football - on and on I could go.  It is even MORE fun with the little kiddies and we already have a stream of activities planned. And while I hate to jump ahead to Christmas, I do want to make sure that my little angels behave. 

Enter the Elf on the Shelf.  Now, I am not a creative Mama who puts our Elf in silly poses each morning.  He simply hides and Harrison scurries about to find him.  This year, Spencer will join in on the fun and I want to make sure Harrison is willing to share our Elf.  SO - in an effort to get him in the sharing mindset, I drafted a letter from Santa Claus himself and mailed it from the North Pole (aka - my office).  It arrived yesterday and was a huge hit.  He was SO excited, which tickled me pink.

Knowing I wasn't the first Mama to have this idea, I went on Pinterest and found this adorable letterhead.


Now that we have that taken care of, we can back track and enjoy fall in the proper order.  First up - apple picking season.  Can't wait!!!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kelly's Kids Christmas Sale

As I mentioned awhile back, I sell clothes for Kelly's Kids.  I have recently opened my Christmas Sale that I'd love to share with you all. For more info - check out my Facebook page:  Kelly's Kids - Hickory, NC.

It is hard to believe Christmas is less than 100 days away!!!  In an effort to keep my kiddos in check, I have it on good authority that Thing 1 will be receiving a letter from Santa himself this afternoon.  Check back tomorrow for the details.  In the meantime, stock up on all your holiday needs for the week ones. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beach Eats

One of my favorite things about the beach is the wonderful seafood and family meals that we cook.  Our tradition is to each take a night and cook for the family.  A gazillion calories later, I am in the gym a little longer this week in an effort to get ready for skinny jean season.

We arrived on Saturday and Aunt Judy, AKA "Gigi", took the reins.  Since we were all pooped out from the drive, we enjoyed a quick rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and a garden salad.  Gigi and Grammie (Bri's Mom) stopped by a farmer's market on the way into Ocean Isle and brought home a key lime pie for dessert.  To.Die.For yummy.

I cooked on Sunday night to keep with our Sunday Supper tradition.  I found a fabulous Blue Crab Casserole dish in Rachel Lang's cookbook that I paired with a salad and yeast roles.  It was every bit as good as it looks.  I was a bit grumpy that they didn't have a cute casserole dish to serve it in but I got over myself with the first bite.  By the cookbook.  Make the recipe.  That is all.

On Monday, Gigi treated us to our annual feast in Calabash.  We stuffed ourselves silly with hushpuppies, fried shrimp, fried flounder, fried catfish, fried oysters, fried scallops - if it could be fried - we ate it!!!  Needless to say, a walk on the beach and A LOT of water was in store when we got home.  Woo wee - we were stuffed piggies but it was OH! so yummy!
Monday was a great day because it marked the arrival of Christina.  Christina is my brother-in-law's girlfriend.  Jeff couldn't come to the beach so we were thrilled she could join us for part of the week.  Grammie treated us all to her beach specialty of steamed shrimp. Fresh local shrimp caught right in the waters nearby.......nothing better.

The hubs has a friend nearby with his family so we met up for dinner with them on Wednesday.  Thursday, I sautéed some scallops with rice and Friday we enjoyed Salmon with roasted potatoes and buttered peas.  I'll save those for a Sunday Supper recipe. 

Well, I need to go to work and after remembering all this yummy food, I suppose I'll indulge in my fall favorite - the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.  Goodbye summer - hello fall!  Yes, I am about to go pay $4.00 for a cup of coffee.......ridiculousness.........

Happy Day!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ocean Isle Adventures

Since I couldn't take you all on our fabulous family beach trip, here is a snap shot of our week and all the fun we had.  No need to be jealous - all this family fun can be yours by calling Williamson Realty at Ocean Isle Beach. 

Ocean Isle is an adorable little family beach.  You won't find high rise hotels or condos.  While they do offer hotels and condo's, they are just a few stories high.  There are wonderful restaurants, cute shops a fun playground, as well as a museum that offers story time, sea turtle watches and shark feeding.  There is ample golfing too if golf is your thing (it is not mine).  Another perk is that it has a wonderful supermarket.  Doesn't it stink to go to the beach and have bad food selections???

Speaking of shopping, OIB is only a 40 minute drive from North Myrtle so you can see all the bright lights - if you so wish.  Calabash is also a short 20 minute drive.



The boys started their days early - good thing for the DVD player in their room!
We would go to the playground each morning after breakfast
Then we'd head to the beach
After naps we would monkey around by the pool

We'd stop for ice cream and swing on the porch swing
We took our annual trip to the Calabash Seafood Docks and Restaurants



 We attempted a Christmas Card photo shoot on the beach


Got plenty of kisses and cuddles from Grammie

And then we conked out......


Till next year!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ocean Isle, North Carolina

We are back from a wonderful trip to Ocean Isle Beach and I could not be happier.  Nothing recharges this Mama's batteries than a week off to be with family.  We ate, played, ate, read, ate, swam in the ocean and our pool, ate, built sand castles, ate, took cute pictures...........and ate some more.  Here are some pictures of our adorable house that we rent each summer.  Can't wait until next year!!!  Check back tomorrow to see some of our adventures.


The House
The Living Area and Kitchen
The nook leading to our bedroom and also to the kiddie room
Kiddie Room
The Front Porch
Kitchen Table
Private Backyard Pool