Monday, March 21, 2016

Sticky Pomegranate Drumsticks

Sticky Pomegranate Drumsticks
Gluten Free, 21 Day Fix Approved

Overall, I liked these but it isn't something I would eat all the time. The flavor was different and they were even good reheated for leftovers. 

Serves: 4
Containers: 1 red, 1/2 purple, 2 tsp
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1.5 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 chicken drumsticks, skins removed
1 medium scallion (green onion), thinly sliced
1. Heat oven 450F with the rack in the center of oven
2. In a skillet, combine pomegranate juice, dijon mustard, vinegar, sriracha and garlic. Bring to boil over high hear, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid reduces to a quick glaze, about 10 minutes. *NOTE: it took a longer than 10 minutes for it to thicken for me*
3. Place chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.4. Brush glaze over drumsticks, flip, cook for another 10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, turn broiler on high. Brush the chicken with half of the remaining glaze and broil for 2 minutes. Flip, brush with remaining glaze, broil additional 2 minutes.
6. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallions!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Crockpot, Gluten Free and 21 day fix!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and, of course, I had to make some modifications. Because... well, I wanted real chicken in my soup. HA. Here is my version of the recipe.

  • ½ cup chopped onion(or you can used onion flakes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans veggie broth
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15oz can no salt added black beans
  • 1 14oz can rotel tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground oregano
  • 1 pound chicken(I used frozen chicken that I had put up in large chunk sizes)
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from the crockpot and shred.
  4. Return to slow cooker.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Gluten Free Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe

Pinterest has become my best friend in my health journey. So many pins, so little time!

This picture caught my eye on pinterest.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I love Asian food. I wasn't 100% JP would like this recipe but he gave it a huge thumbs up and asked me to add it to the "keepers" pile.

Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe
Gluten Free

Adapted from this recipe. Somehow, my mom brain didn't get ginger on the grocery list. No big deal, I thought. I'll just use some from my spice cabinet.... Not so much. Apparently I don't have any. So I left it off when I made it. It was still delicious. Also, she suggests serving it on lettuce but we served it over rice. Since we were serving it over rice, I doubled the sauce recipe to suite us. Here is the recipe as I made it.

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup pineapple chunks
  1. Cube chicken into small chunks.
  2. Whisk the egg in one shallow bowl and combine the corn starch and brown sugar in a separate shallow bowl.
  3. Put each piece of chicken in the egg until covered and then coat in the corn starch and brown sugar mix. 
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the breaded chicken, cooking over medium high heat. 
  5. After the chicken has started to brown, add the chopped bell peppers and onions. 
  6. To make the sauce: combine all remaining ingredients with the exception of the pineapple chunks and (your choice of) rice or lettuce. Whisk them until they are completely blended.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies and toss to combine. 
  8. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. 
  9. Add the pineapple chunks. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve over rice. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Time Well Spent

You know when you feel yourself getting sick but you remind yourself that you CAN'T get sick right now? You don't have the time. There is too much to do. Momma's don't get sick days....

Well I felt myself getting sick over the weekend but knowing we had a Mobile Store event, I kept pushing. We ended up working 16 hours Monday and it was a great event. But Tuesday I woke up down for the count with flu like symptoms. Thankfully, I have a job that is flexible and understanding. I stayed home Tuesday through today with baby girl and I both being sick. Seriously, I am not sure how we made it through the days. I think we were both living for daddy to get home in the afternoon so that he could pick up all of the scattered pieces and save the day. Dramatic, yes. But those were my feelings in the moment. HA.

The best part of the last few days(because looking for the positive is a necessity)? Getting to focus on Ann Rainey. Ya'll being a mom is FUN. It is the hardest, most confusing, most frustrating job in the world but I love it. She is at the age where she is developing her little personality and she and I love to just play and laugh together. There were several moments where I thought I couldn't get my head to stop pounding long enough to complete a thought and I may have prayed for nap times to come swiftly and last a long time, but I loved the one on one time with her without worrying about work.

One of my goals for the year is to be more intentional with my time. I'll be honest, during our sick days, I actually got on facebook for personal use. Twice. This is absolute progress for me. At the end of the year, I deleted facebook from my phone. I still have the Pages app on my phone for work but I cannot access facebook on my phone except through my chrome browser. I still have my instagram posts going to facebook so I check my notifications but beyond that, I don't browse. At first I missed it. But now I really don't... In fact, one of those 2 times I had browsed only for a few minutes when I saw an absolutely ridiculous post that reminded me of why I wanted to step away from it in the first place.

Facebook as a whole is not a bad thing. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. But for me, it is a place where I waste too much time. I would scroll and scroll, often seeing the same posts multiple times. And worse, seeing posts that are more negative than positive. I would lose track of time looking at things that do nothing to build me up and honestly don't benefit my family in any way, shape or form. There are times I still feel the urge to "just look for a minute" but I remind myself that it is NEVER just a minute. And that minute could be devoted to something else. Like baby snuggles. Lots of baby snuggles and kisses and snorts.

Friday, January 1, 2016

"Adulting" in 2016

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One of our biggest goals for 2016 as a family is to be more organized.

We bought the Happy Planner from Hobby Lobby and so far we LOVE it. I like that we are keeping it in a central location and both JP and I are using it. We have our budget and menu plan all laid out for both of us to see but we also both like "to do" lists for household cleaning and organization. He specifically asked for this when we were looking at planners so that when he gets home from work he has a "honey do list" to work off of. After a 10-12 hour work day that starts with a 2:30am alarm clock, we both could use the help of a to do list. ;)

 The Happy Planner
The Happy Planner
We also bought the Home Planner extension kit.
Home Planner

There are 3 new extensions that were released today: Fitness, Recipe and Wedding Planner. I definitely want the Recipe Extension Kit and possibly the Fitness. 

We also made 2 purchases today to start off our year of organization and household togetherness. We also stuck to our goal of being more frugal with our purchases.
Realspace® 2-Drawer Vertical Smart File, 24 1/2"H x...
This filing cabinet was oh so desperately needed and it is on sale for half off so we jumped on it. Previously our files have been housed in the bottom drawer of a plastic 3 drawer set. It was unorganized, cramped and we had definitely out grown it. We won't talk about how many piles and BOXES of unfiled things we now get to sort through. But I am very much excited about eliminating the clutter.

Shark® Professional Steam Pocket® Mop
We got the Shark Pro+ Steam Pocket Mop. I am completely giddy in a nerdy kind of way to use this on our hard wood floors. We found it at Dirt Cheap for 60% off! Amazingly, it had all the pieces and we tested it in the store and seems to work properly. The box was just very damaged. 

I see lots of filing and cleaning in my weekend and I definitely do not mind it!!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 2015

I am not really sure where to begin in summarizing 2015.
It was a year of learning and growing in every aspect. There have been a lot of tears but more laughter. Life is good because God is good. He has been with us every step of the way. Even when we weren't walking towards Him, He was ready and waiting with open arms.

Ann Rainey has grown so very much and it has been such a fun journey watching her learn and develop. Her little personality is so fun and I am so excited to watch her continue to grow... but time PLEASE slow down!
Financially it has been a hard year of dealing with consequences of bad decisions, doing without and learning the hard way. I feel like we are finally taking baby steps in the right directions. It has been a year of job loss and job changes.
We are healthy. It has been a year of relapses, struggles, early discoveries and treatments. These don't make the financial end any better or easier but we are making it.
We are in a beautiful house now instead of our tiny townhouse. I am so ready to be fully settled in and make it HOME.
I think mentally and spiritually this has been a year of discovery for me. I started going to a Celebrate Recovery group with JP. It was initially "to support him" but I know now that I have SO much to work on and deal with. My addiction? Control. I plan everything. And when it doesn't go the way I expect I don't know how to function or react. I really want to focus on this in the next year. Now that I realize what my problem is, I want to acknowledge it more and recognize when I am starting to go into freak out mode. We finally found a church home after trying several. We met with our small group for the first time at their Christmas party at the beginning of December and we had such a good time. I am so excited about getting more involved there in the next year.

I have realized that I don't always use my time wisely. I think it is so easy for us to say "I don't waste any of my time" but in all honesty, I know there are better ways I could have used a LOT of my time in 2015. My hope and prayer for 2016 is that I am more intentional with my time and that my efforts are relevant in respect to my role as a wife and mother. The first step in this was deleting Facebook(and messenger) off of my phone several days ago. It has been so freeing but also very eye opening. I catch myself picking up my phone and going to check facebook way more than I would like to admit. I can't completely delete my account because I have to have a personal account in order to be an admin on a business page but I am going to making more of an effort to steer clear of it whenever I am on my laptop. It is way too easy to get caught up in scrolling, looking and browsing. And it usually is more negative than positive. I am not saying I will never check facebook but I want to be use that the time I am on it is spent wisely and not when I could be(and usually should be) doing something else. I would love to post here rather than on facebook, even if it is short and sweet - something for our little family to look back on in the future.

I hope 2015 has been a year of blessing, growth, fun, adventure and love for you and your family. I look forward to recording more of our life here in 2016.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This year has been one of the best and the hardest of my life. There have been so many days that I just wanted to throw my hands up in the arm... but with each of those days there have been lessons learned. Some of those lessons were more easily seen and learned than other. Some I am still trying to figure out and learn from them.

 For weeks, months, I have been dealing with consistent exhaustion, an unusually upset stomach, changing sleeping patterns, moments of trying to grasp my thoughts or words, and even some crazy moments of blacking out. Honestly, I chalked it all up to stress. But there was more to it than that. A few weeks ago, I went in for a biopsy and another procedure. My doctor found 4 tumors. The results of the biopsy was that they were moderate, borderline severe. Thankfully, they caught them at the precancerous stage! But my doctor advised immediate, invasive treatment to remove the tumors before they cross over into the severe stage. Today will be my first treatment and I have so many thoughts and prayers going through my head.  I don't know how many times I've read this verse but "with thanksgiving" is what has recently stuck out to me. This time has held some serious lessons in faith and trust in God's provision and healing. How many times have I taken my anxiety to Him but not thanked Him ahead of time for what He is going to do with this situation? He will provide. So thank Him now. He will heal. So thank Him now. He will restore. So thank Him now.
So what am I praying for and thankful for?

I am praying for an effective treatment and that my doctor will be able to remove them in as few treatments as possible.
I am praying that my body will accept the treatments well.
I am praying for patience and endurance. For me, for JP, for ARG... all of us! With this I have been very limited in being able to pick up ARG or carry her. This is definitely something that I will NEVER take for granted again.

I am thankful for a job that is flexible and understanding. I am able to work from home when I can so that I am not completely missing out on work(which means hours and income).
I am thankful that after several weeks of JP being out of work that he has started a new job that he seems to love.
I am thankful that he is getting a LOT of overtime hours which will help tremendously in helping us catch up on bills.
I am thankful for a few close friends who are always checking on me and willing to help.
I am thankful for family. Heather came to visit for AR's first birthday and she worked for hours to put up 14 freezer meals for us(plus several for mom). JP's mom is staying in town for my first treatment and to take care of AR for the first few days afterwards.
I am thankful for early detection.
I am thankful for a Father who is a God of grace, mercy, healing and restoration.