Friday, November 21, 2014

Mmm, soup

I love soup.

My taste for soup has definitely broadened since my childhood when I wouldn't touch the stuff.  Now I say "bring it on"!


I have several go-to soup recipes I make every fall and winter.  Potato, cheeseburger, Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Tortilla, and Clam Chowder to name off a few.  I've been wanting to find some new favorites.  So I made the above picture, which is Pasta e Fagoli.  It was great and made enough for leftovers (which was frozen for later).  Score!

Chicken tortilla soup


I've got a few on Pinterest pinned that I plan on making as well.  Lasagna soup and a cabbage kielbasa soup that looked promising.  A lot of my recipes for soup have actually came from Rachael Ray from the Food Network...she always came up with the best soup concoctions!!

What are your favorite soups you enjoy this time of year??  I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miracle in a bottle!

This is my new favorite beauty product.



It's Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray.  I received this sample sized bottle in a package I ordered from Ulta for free along with a bunch of other nice freebies.  Wow!  It's amazing stuff y'all!  I forgot to take a picture last night of myself, but my makeup looked like it did when I applied it that morning.  And this was after a day of doing 4 loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning house, and chasing after a 3 year old.  I'm planning on buying some but in a different brand (it's like $30 for a tiny bottle!).  I had never even heard of makeup setting spray until a couple months ago.   Where has this stuff been all my life?!

Have you discovered any new makeup/beauty products recently that really impressed you?

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A slight change around here

I wanted to let all of you guys know that I am going to be creating another entirely separate blog in the coming weeks.  Don't worry, Country Roads will still be here and isn't going anywhere!  And I'll still be blogging here regularly, none of that is going to change.

What will be changing is what I post on Makayla.  I've felt since her last birthday and I received a comment from someone anonymous about 'how much she's grown' that it was in my family's best interest to have a separate, private blog showing any pictures of Makayla from here on out.  To know someone is viewing my precious daughter without giving me their identity (though I have a good idea of who it is), sorry no.  That's not happening.  I'll protect my girl with every ounce of my being as much as possible.

If you would like to be able to view this blog that I'll be creating just about Makayla, so you can stay in the loop, please, just ask!  Its not restricted just to family, its open to all my friends I've made through blogger as well.  Just drop me a line on here and let me know.  When I get it up and running, I'll follow the appropriate steps (links, emails, and the like) so you can become a follower over there as well!

Thank you all and God Bless!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A visit to remember!

I mentioned in one of my post's last week that my best friend Wendy came in for a visit.  She came in around the middle of October and stayed with us for about a week and a half.  It was so much fun! 




Wendy, in case you didn't know, lives in Pennsylvania.  About 8 hours from where I do.  So when we get to see each other, its few and far between.  The last time we were together was right after Makayla was born, when she was 5 months old.  Oh how things have changed since then! 

Makayla loved seeing her "Aunt We" and immediately took her hand after we had our initial hug when she arrived and I basically didn't get to see her again until Makayla was in bed that night!  Ha!  She kept her busy seeing all her toys, showing her the front and back yard, and exploring every nook and cranny there was to be found at our place.  And of course, showing her the new room we fixed up..just in time for her visit!!



While Wendy was in, we hung out at the house, watching some of our favorite shows and baking some yummy treats.  We definitely splurged the first Monday we spend together!  Its probably one of my favorite memories of her visit too!  We watched Dancing with the Stars together, ate biscuits, queso and chips, and chocolate cake!  Yes..we ate all of that in one evening and no, we didn't get sick!!



I also showed her how I shop..as in..when we go shopping around here we make a whole day of it!  I put a new meaning to 'shop till you drop' in Wendy's eyes!  We went out more than I normally do at any given time, but I wanted to make sure she got to see everything while here!  Yes, we spent a lot of money but more so we made some great memories!  We even had Makayla's yearly pictures made at Target when we went out once and believe me, I was very grateful for the extra set of hands to help me that day!




There are just some things that is easier when you have a friend with you.  Like rounding a wild 3 year old into a shopping cart, getting something to eat, or just having an extra set of hands available that you can trust 110% with your child.  That is something that is rare, at least for me.




There are very few people I totally trust with my child, and Wendy is definitely at the top of the list.  I'm not only grateful for that, but the beautiful friendship we have developed over the 15 years we've known each other. There are family members I wouldn't trust half as much as I do her with Makayla and I think that says a lot.




As if all of the above wasn't grate enough, the best part of her visit came just a few short days before she was to head back home.  Wendy has always loved our church.  She's always expressed how much love she felt each time she's visited from all the members of our congregation and has even made good friends with a few of them and keeps in touch via Facebook.  Part of her visit was due to the fact that she wanted to be baptized at our church!!!!!  It was a huge blessing and an even bigger one, that I got to witness my best friends baptism!  Praise God!  Though there are many details leading up to the baptism I won't mention on here, I will say this..God was in it.  He was in it before it ever happened.  God placed it upon her heart to be baptized.  God let me know in that still small voice that she wanted to be baptized, before she even verbalized it to me.  After she told me, God allowed the trip to happen, effortlessly.  Things just fell into place from her getting the appropriate time off of work to us having the time to fix up the spare bedroom for her arrival.  And to think there for a little while, we didn't know if it was even going to happen.  There were tears shed, hugs given, and reassurance passed along during that time.  But it was just that, a small trial.  God was in it.  He was in it all.  And it was worth it.



Though she's back home now, I miss her.  Every time I walk back into 'her' room, I remember the times we shared together. The fun times, the laughter, and the concerns.  It was a time I'll treasure forever and look forward to the day we get to see each other again.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Loves

I thought I'd do a little post on the many things I am loving lately!

My kindle.  Seriously guys, I don't know what I did before I got it for my birthday last year!  It's so handy for so many things.  Check the weather, Facebook, study the Bible, BLOG (which is what I'm doing this post from now), take pictures.  It's awesome!

Christmas.  For once in my married life, I couldn't have cared less if I decorated for fall.  All I've had on my mind is Christmas, and trees, and all the trimmings!!

Ulta.  If you don't have one in your area or have never heard of it, it's basically a really nice makeup store.  It's awesome.  And addicting.  And expensive (depending on what your after).  But it's awesomeness makes up for that.  Trust me.

7up biscuits.  Have you ever had them?  Heavenly little gems they are.  Google the recipe now..it's only 4 ingredients.  You will thank me later.

Chocolate milk with ice.  Yum.
This is my glass at the moment

Dancing with the Stars, Duck Dynasty, and 19 Kids and counting.  I know, quite the array of tv shows, but I love them all!  And, Sadie Robertson is on DWTS this season.  Plus, who could not want to watch Jill and Derek tie the knot and Jessa's engagement?!  Sniff sniff..so good!

Our "new" room.  I couldn't be more happier with how it turned out.  I'm just sad our first guest to stay in it is gone.  :-(  I know all good things must come to an end, but we had a blast while my best friend visited.  Look for a blog post next week!



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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mesothelioma

I was recently contacted by a very sweet lady with an incredible story.  Heather Von St. James is a pleural mesothelioma survivor.  To hear it is one thing, but to know her story will take your breath away!



Imagine, you are a healthy 36 year old woman and have just given birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Three months later, you are told you only have 15 months to live.  You have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.  All thoughts of raising your beautiful baby and watching her grow slowly fade in your mind as you wonder how she will live without you in her life.  And your husband, he will be left to raise your daughter and try his best to keep your memory alive in her as she grows, as well as growing old without you by his side.  How could life be so unfair?  And even more, how did this happen?



Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is a type of cancer (which I didn't really know before reading up on it).  It occurs in the thin membrane that surrounds the body's internal organs and cavities.  If you have swallowed asbestos, you can develop peritoneal mesothelioma which forms in the abdomen.  And oddly enough, you don't have to have direct contact with the asbestos itself.  You can develop it from secondhand exposure, much like cigarette smoke can lead to secondhand lung cancer.  All you have to do is come in contact with something like an asbestos covered garmet, like her father's jacket in Heather's case, and develop it.  Just think, something as simple as putting on your daddy's work coat could result in something so catastrophic. 


Dangers of Asbestos Infographic

Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.


Though the diagnosis itself was quite scary, Heather and her family knew they needed to find the best support they could to ensure their lives could be spent together and she could see her daughter grow up.  She turned to Dr. David Sugarbaker , a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women's Hospital.  Heather endured a new procedure called extrapleural pneumonectomy.  Now, Heather is an 8 year survivor and is on a mission to let everyone know the dangers of mesothelioma as well as sharing her story of faith and hope to all who will listen.  I am very glad she came to me to share her story, as I know feel more educated on the subject than ever. 

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone is having (or already had, in our case!) a fun time with the kiddos celebrating Halloween this year!  And yes, I am back from my hiatus (I know..I've been gone for a while, but I'm hoping the end of my rut is over!)! 

So what were your kids this year for Halloween?  Did you buy their costume(s) or make them yourself?  I went with the homemade version this year, as I know the older Makayla gets probably the less likely it will be that I'll be able to make (or that she will want) a homemade costume.

This year is all about Elsa from Frozen around here.  Makayla was kind of late on jumping on the Frozen bandwagon (we are talking late summer!) but boy when she did, she went all out and is just crazy about all things Frozen nowadays! 

Originally, I had purchased her an Elsa costume online, but then when the order from the company was cancelled, I had to go to a backup plan which was to make it myself!  After seeing the fabrics available at Hobby Lobby and Walmart I knew it would be a relatively easy one to put together.  And it was!

All I used was:

1 long sleeved plain white V-neck shirt from Walmart
1/2 yard of blue sequined fabric (for the top of the dress)
1 yard of blue shiny fabric (for the bottom half)
1 yard of sheer snowflake fabric (for the attached cape)

I use no patterns when I sew.  They confuse me.  Everything I do is basically by eye (or a good tutorial on pinterest, like the pj pants I often make for her).  I just sewed everything to the tshirt basically! There wasn't a rhyme or reason to any of it..just cut, eye ball it, and sew and keep going!  I also made her a pair of glitter shoes to go along with it.  I found some canvas mary janes on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $3 something and used mod podge and very fine blue glitter.  A very cheap project (and fun!). 

And here is our little Elsa this year!







 
I hope you and yours had a fun time trick or treating!


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