Foodie Friday

As I was catching up on all the latest wonderful blog posts on bloglovin' today I came across a particular blogger who does Foodie Friday posts, where she posts her favorite recipes. I thought it was a wonderful idea because I love to cook and my fiance and I are always experimenting with new flavors and mixtures of foods, sauces, and spices + I really love to eat.

I even have a Facebook group for all my friends and I to share our favorite recipes. I love food THAT much. So in honor of my very first Foodie Friday post i'm going to share TWO fabulous recipes. The first is for my favorite Cowboy Caviar dip that I make for just about every gathering possible. It's so addicting I can eat a whole bowl myself. No shame. okay, lots of shame. The second is the Cookie Butter Cake that I made last Friday for my Mom's birthday and was requested again by my son for his birthday dinner on Wednesday. Yep, it's that good, y'all.

Get ready for some mouth waterin', drool worthy, yummy goodness.

Cowboy Caviar

2 cans (11 Oz. Can) Mexicorn, Drained
1 can (4 Oz. Can) Chopped Green Chiles
1 whole Bell Pepper, Chopped
3 whole Green Onions, Chopped
2 whole Jalapenos, Chopped (without Seeds)
8 ounces, weight Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients. Chill before serving with Fritos!

Yes, it IS that easy, y'all.

Gooey Cookie Butter Cake
with this one, make the cake by the directions on the back of the box, not the way the recipe calls for. My Fiance and I made it by the recipe the first time and it was like taffy. It left us scrambling for the store just an hour before company arrived.

"Cookie Butter" Gooey Butter Cakes
Adapted from Plain Chicken and Paula Deen

1 18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 Tbs. butter, melted

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 c. Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tbs. butter, melted
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and Cookie Butter until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together.

Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

I hope you all enjoy these yummy recipes!

Birthday Re-Cap

Yesterday was my sweet boy's 12th birthday. I can't believe how fast twelve years has gone by! For his birthday we told him we could go anywhere, do anything, even throw another massive party if that's what his heart desired.

Last year's party was a huge success. We rented a party room at the local park, a DJ, Chick-fil-A party platter, & lots of other snacks. He had about 12 friends from school come with their parents and siblings and we had a big turn out from our family, too. He wanted a dance party and that's what he got. So you can imagine my surprise and relief when all he wanted this year was a home cooked meal and cake at home. Since his birthday was on a school night this was perfect. We invited my mom and grandma over (my dad, brother, & sister in law) were all at work and I made Dylan's requested chicken 'n dumplings and cookie butter cake. This just happens to be the same thing I just made for my mom's birthday Friday but it was the Birthday Boy's request so I didn't want to fail him.

He racked up in $ and gift cards, as well as a new fit bit, bow & arrow, Amiibo figures and some wooden puzzle trick things. I'd say it was a good birthday. We're gearing up for round two this weekend with my mom, dad, grandma, brother & sister in law. We're all going out to dinner somewhere to celebrate my mom and Dylan's birthdays again! We really love to prolong birthdays and holidays in this family :)
Here are a few snapshots of our wild and crazy cozy and calm birthday celebration.

Cookie butter cake is the Bomb!!!

Happy Birthday to my not so baby boy.

Twelve Years Ago.

Twelve years ago today my life was forever changed, in the best way possible, of course. At 5:55 a.m. the most perfect baby boy entered my life made me a mom. I can't imagine life without my 5 lb 5 oz. (5 is his magic number obviously) baby who has since grown into a 82 pound young man.

I always knew I wanted to be a Mom so it has been the best role of my lifetime. I've treasured every single minute of you (secretly even the bad times). You taught me a lot about life and about truly being in the moment. You literally taught me to stop and smell the roses (and every other flower when you were younger, even the ones that make me sneeze).

You taught me that messes are okay and sometimes even fun. You taught me that boys and dirt just go together. You taught me that I won't pass out when it comes to my bleeding child (blood in any other circumstance is still questionable).

You taught me that tricycles can be driven down the stairs and that at the ago of three that seems like a great idea. You taught me that you can in fact dive in a garden tub and that will result in stitches in your chin. You also taught me that you had to explain that story from the start to everyone in the E.R. It started with Mimi letting you lick the brownie batter off the beater, in case you forgot.

You taught me that sometimes you just need to escape and sit by the pool and relax. Remember that story? You escaped out the window and down the flight of stairs while I was in the bathroom. Scared the ever loving crap balls out of me when I looked out the open window and saw you and the kitty sitting by the pool, with your little feet dangling in the GREEN water, cat by your side. Fun times.

You taught me that taking off your diaper and pooping by the pool in front of company will result in total embarrassment but a great story to tell later on.

You taught me that the terrible two's will come out if you refuse to let the kid play with a knife in a restaurant. Cue the screaming and me sitting on the curb while our friends had dinner without us.

You taught me that you'll totally steal the spotlight at any party. Remember when you had all your Uncle Tyler's friends playing hide and seek at his party? Oh! And do you remember when you dressed like Elvis for Uncle Ty & Aunt Jo's wedding reception and danced like no one was watching, only everyone was watching! This Momma was equal parts proud and embarrassed. Proud because you got moves like I don't have & embarrassed because I think the photographers might have forgotten about the Bride & Groom.

You taught me that I can swim really fast when i'm out in the ocean and see you proceed to take your swimsuit off then your pull up swimmer and I couldn't get your Pa's attention to stop you.

You taught me that I can't be on American Idol because "Mom, you sing really good but you can't be on American Idol because you're my mom." True words spoken from you, son.

You also taught me that Momma Bear exists within this sweet, little mom. When Momma Bear comes out I get a little scared of myself, to be honest.

Above all else you've taught me patience and un-conditional love. The last 12 years of my life have been the best years of my life. I've never prayed so much before. I've also never laughed so much before or cried so much before, either. Being a parent makes you an emotional wreck because you want the best for your kids. You never want to see them hurt or sad & you want, more than anything, to protect them from all the cruelty in this world. At the end of the day I know God always has you and I pray you do, too. Life is good and life is bad, you've had your share of both already and it is because of this that I know you've got life in your control.

You are a brilliant, smart, charming, witty, talented, kind-hearted, caring, silly, fun young man and I can't wait to see what the next 12 year + has in store for us.

Love Always,

Dylan and Grandpa circa 2003

Dylan circa 2003 or 04-mad because he couldn't open a tube of mascara

Dylan and Eddie circa 2006- Hey, what's in the bush?

Dylan and Chance circa 2003

Dylan and Bella circa 2006

And current day
Dylan and Drago

He obviously has a heart for animals.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Hi Y'all! I hope you are staying warm in your neck of the woods. This Noreaster that has his the Northeast seems brutal. It hasn't made its way to Georgia, yet but we're preparing anyway. There's a chance of snow next week & fingers crossed we get some, as long as all my loves are home where they should be. I'm not ready for a repeat of last year where my Fiance was stuck on I-285 for 21 hours.
Enough rambling though. Lately I've had a lot of things weighing on my heart and I ran across these quotes and felt like I needed to share them because they spoke to my heart. I hope you can find some truth and inspiration in them, as well.

Happy Tuesday Lovelies. I hope you find something beautiful and inspiring in your day.

Life lately.

Hey Y'all. It's been a hectic two weeks, I feel like, and I've been neglecting my blog. I say this way too often but in all honestly this is one of the only times I've sat on my couch and enjoyed doing what I want over the last few days. It's been a lot of fun but i'm glad to be sitting here with Reba on t.v., candles lit, pretending that I don't have three loads of laundry waiting to be folded and dinner to be cooked. So anyway, where have I been lately? Let's start with last weekend.

Friday was mine and my honey's "cheat" day on this whole eating healthy thing so we decided to eat out at the restaurant of my choice. Out of all the restaurants out there I chose Chick-fil-A and I was NOT going to eat a salad. So we went to Chick-fil-A where I enjoyed my 8 count nugget, waffle fries, & sweet tea like it was my last meal.

Saturdaymy honey had plans to go to a gun show with one of his friends so that meant I would have the day to myself. Well, me and my sweet boy. So I decided it was the perfect day to go to Hobby Lobby & the mall. My sweet boy wanted to go to Game Stop, too so off on our own adventure we went. After my honey and his friend, Greg, got home from the gun show Greg & his wife, Crystal wanted to go to dinner & since our buddy already had plans to spend the night with his Mimi & Pa we indulged in a little fun times with our friends @ Longhorn where, once again, I acted like I was eating my last meal, once again. Texas Tonion, White Peach Sangria, 6 oz. steak and a sweet potato were on the menu for me! It was so delicious I had to eat every last bite. Pig, I'm telling you, I've turned into a pig since we started this eating healthy thing. After dinner it was late so we headed home for the night to enjoy some quality time together ;)

Sundayhonestly I can't remember what we did Sunday...LOL. It might have involved hanging out at my parent's house.

The rest of the week was spent running around, shopping for my mom's birthday.

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so my buddy was off school an extra day. 3 day weekends are awesome! The weather was a beautiful, sunny 63 degree day so I packed my my buddy and the puppy and we went and spent time at the park, walking around the track, soaking up the sunshine and laughing together. It was glorious!

Friday was my mom's birthday. She had planned for she, my dad, me, my fiance, my son, grandma, brother and sister-in law to all go out to dinner together on Saturday but I couldn't stand the thought of her going home after work and not having cake or dinner made for her so I devised a plan to cook dinner and a cake and have her over to our house that night. My dad had to work, she'd be getting home from work late, so it only made sense. She gladly obliged! I made chicken 'n dumplings that were a hit and a cookie butter cake that was to die for. She and my Grandma came over and stayed for a while. It was great to have their company and do something nice for her for a change.

Saturday I slept in until 9ish then spent the rest of the morning on the couch, coffee in hand, covered in my favorite Vera Bradley blanket on pinning away on Pinterest. It was glorious! Around 11 my honey finally asked me if I wanted to take a shower and run errands. No! Was my answer to that. I just wanted to continue doing what I was doing until dinner with my family. As it turns out, my mom was on call so she was afraid of being called in while in the middle of dinner & my brother and sister in law were at a wedding and couldn't come to dinner, so my loves and I headed over to Mom and Dad's around 5:30. We all decided on Chinese Take Out for dinner. We stayed at my parent's house until about 10 that night while our buddy spent the night again.

Sunday those pesky errands couldn't wait any longer & since we didn't have our sweet boy with us we headed out early. Somewhere between Target and the grocery store we decided to go eat lunch @ LaSalsa, our favorite mexican restaurant. It was delicious, as always, and inspired my dinner for the night. After lunch we ran home to meet my dad and get our boy then off to the grocery store. The rest of the evening was spent at home, just hanging out, enjoying time together and a great dinner of sweet tea marinated chicken & sauteed squash with orange vanilla balsamic.

That brings us to today. I'm sitting here wondering where the heck did the day go? I've gotten nothing done other than a few blog updates but i'm rather enjoying it. My sweet boy called from school this morning b/c he was sick so since he's sick and it's another cold, rainy, gloomy day we're enjoying being lazy!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you're enjoying your day.

These are a few of my favorite things...

Hello lovelies! It's Friday, that means we made it another week! Now, go grab a glass of wine or a margarita and cheers! After all, everyday is a day to celebrate but the Friday before a 3 day weekend calls for an all out par-tay! Just kidding. Kind of. I haven't had a chance to up-date this week but it was pretty low key, anyway. My sweet boy got his report card. He made all A's & B's, except for math-which we knew about. That was about the biggest thing that happened this week though. Enough about that. To jump start the weekend I want to share a few things I'm loving right now. ONE The sunshine. It has rained and been foggy for what seems like an eternity here in Georgia, so much so that some of our Christmas decorations may or may not be in the yard still. Okay, they are. This morning the sunshine decided to peak out and it has hung around the entire day! It's made me happy and motivated!! Those Christmas decorations can come down now! YAY!! TWO My Fiance bought me the entire series of FRIENDS on blu-ray for Christmas. I'm definitely loving that right now! THREE Speaking of T.V. shows, I recently found this adorable new sitcom on NBC. Here's the Wikipedia synopsis of the show. This series follows what happens to longtime couple – high-strung Annie (Casey Wilson) and easy-going Jake (Ken Marino) – when their deeply committed relationship turns into a long and bumpy ride on the way to the altar after the question of "Will You Marry Me?" is popped. After six years together, the couple struggles with trying to decide whether a whirlwind of big fights and botched marriage proposals spells doom for their relationship, when instead they discover a series of "signs" that they think means they are meant for each other. Faced with proposals gone awry and a string of other unfortunate coincidences, Annie and Jake find themselves destined to be together whether they can get it together or not. FOUR This scarf that my aunt sent me from Illinois yesterday. I'm fairly certain she arm knitted it and i'm in love! I'm sure this will be on my neck most of the winter. Did I mention I'm in love with it? FIVE Trivia Crack. A free trivia app where you can play against your friends. Like I needed another addiction. You can join me. My username is lesliew1221 SIX Speaking of apps. My fiance and I are starting to eat healthier and get into shape before our wedding. So we both downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and it's amazing. I find myself watching what I eat more and worrying about my portion control and calorie intake so much more now. It helps and i'm starting to feel better. Of course he's already starting to lose weight & me? Well, maybe but mother nature decided to come a week into this and now i'm bloated like a blow fish but i'm still keeping on track with my eating. I may or may not be sneaking a piece of chocolate here and there. Okay, I am. Don't judge. Tonight is cheat night & this fat, PMSing girl is happy because we're going to Chick-fil-A and i'm not getting a salad, either! SEVEN Ross Mathew's is my idol. I love him. He's un-apologetically himself. He laughs at himself and makes fun of himself. He's giggly and hilarious. I want him to be my BFF. Seriously! I'm totally addicted to his new podcast; Straight Talk with Ross Mathews. Download it and be prepared to laugh out loud, a lot!! And EIGHT It's no secret that I love Bath & Body Works/White Barn Candle Company. Me & every other girl, right? It's a borderline obsession. Worse than Target! Yeah, I said it! Last Christmas my mom gave me the BEST stuff from B&BW. It's their Stress Relief body wash. Y'all, I never knew I could NEED a body product so much. Since then it's become a staple in my shower. It's great for those mornings when you're stuffy and congested. I use it almost every day though. I've even got my son and fiance using it. This year in my stocking my mom gave me the pillow spray. That stuff, y'all, is like heaven on your pillows. You need to run, not walk, to your nearest B&BW and buy yourself a bottle or five! Next on my list is the candles!! That's it for now, y'all. That's what i'm loving. Now go get yourself that glass of wine or margarita and cheers to the freakin' weekend (PINK sings it)!

Weekend Wrap

Well, another weekend has come and gone. I'm so sad but it was a great weekend. Friday night my buddy spent the night with my mom and dad because they were getting up early on Saturday to drive to North Carolina to pick up my mom's new German Shepard puppy {more about that in a bit}. Since my honey and I had the night alone we made it into a date night! Woo Hoo! I love date nights with my handsome man but knowing that we didn't have to rush home to our kiddo made it that much more enjoyable, especially since my honey doesn't get home from work until 6ish. We've been trying to eat healthy all week (Gasp! A week?! I know, right?!) anyway we were I was, craving some carbs and good ol' southern food so off to Cracker Barrel we went. Of course honey made me look like a pig because he only got a steak and plain baked potato, nothing on it. Me? I got country fried steak, fried okra, hash brown casserole, and turnip greens. I managed not to eat any of the biscuits but everything else was irrisestible and I didn't care if I looked like a pig. Sometimes a girl's gotta eat! Okay, all the time. This girl loves to eat but this girl also has to get ready to look fit and fab in a wedding dress. After dinner we decided to spend the Fandango gift card my sweet brother & sister in law gave us for Christmas. We decided to see Taken 3 (my choice. Apparently I choose testosterone filled movies for dates. Machine Gun Preacher, 3 Days To Kill & now Taken 3. Who knew?) Anyway with a couple hours to kill between dinner and the movie we had time to fit in mine and my honey's favorite stores! Michael's for me because I needed .5mm string to make bracelets and Academy Sports for him. Other than me sitting and clawing myself for 2 hours through the entire movie b/c I was suddenly itchy, it was a great night. Saturday morning my honey and I actually slept in. For me this is no big deal, I sleep in anytime I can, but for my honey it's huge! He's used to getting up by 5:30 to go to work so on the weekends he doesn't really sleep in but I do love it when he does. I love waking up next to my love and snuggling for a little while longer. We had a list of errands to run Saturday so after some coffee it was shower time then we were out the door for the day. The grocery store, Big Lots, baby's parent's house, my parent's house to let the dogs out, Honey Bakes Ham for lunch. We were all over the place until my mom and dad and our buddy called around 4:30 and said they were back in town. Of course we were so excited to meet the newest addition to the family so we flew out the door. And now i'll introduce you to all 6 pounds of fuzz and cuteness. That 6 pounds will grow to be huge but for now he's tiny and adorable. Meet Drago. Saturday night we spent most of the night @ mom and dad's, playing with Drago and watching a movie. By watching a movie I mean I slept while everyone else watched Divergent. I heard it was good. Our buddy wanted to spend the night with Mimi and Pa again so we let him. We left at 11:45 at night, came home and went to bed. Sunday morning we woke up and took it easy for a while, enjoying coffee and a lazy morning. Then we got dressed and ran to Target! My favorite store ever! And went to my honey's parent's house again then Taco Bell for lunch (yuck!) After that we went back to my mom and dad's for more puppy love and to drag our child home. When we left we decided to go get a popcorn maker so we can make plain popcorn and add our own toppings. We went home and ate dinner then brought out the popcorn popper. My kid was so enthralled with it that he pulled up a chair for a front row seat and enjoyed watching popcorn pop. Who knew it would make his day? He was so shocked that I had never shown him that before. After that it was t.v. time for the guys and cleaning time for me. Our weekend was wonderful. I hope yours was, too!

Wednesday Laughs

A friend just posted this on Facebook and it is beyond hilarious. If you're like me you need a dose of mid-week laughter. This is it friends. THIS IS IT! If you're offended I'm sorry that i'm NOT sorry!!

Hi Y'all.

Hi Y'all. Welcome to my blog! Yesterday as I went through my blog, because so many of my pictures weren't showing up in posts anymore, I realized that I never had a formal introduction. I started this blog mostly for my own good, maybe a few family and friends read it-but that's it so those people already knew me. This year I've decided to open this blog more and make it bloom. Maybe i'll have 1,000 followers, maybe I won't but i'm only doing it because I enjoy it. I love having something to look back at my life on & this year there will be a lot to look back on because (if you haven't guessed by now), i'm getting married! September 26th is the date! I've been inspired by so many wonderful blogs that I absolutely love reading and I love to share my life with people who care. Maybe I can inspire someone else along the way, too.

So anyway, without any further ado, here's more about me.

I'm a 30 something Georgia Peach. Born and raised and I take great pride in that!! I honestly can't imagine living anywhere else.

But I do love the beach and summer is my favorite season. Flip Flops?! Please!!!

Savannah, Ga is my favorite place ever. I could live here one day.

Southern men are God's gift to women. Southern ladies, am I right?

I love small, quaint towns and boutique stores.

Peonies are my favorite flowers ever.

Secretly I love The Kardashians (because they make me feel somewhat sane, maybe? It's like watching a train wreck that you just can't look away from) and The Bachelor (thank God I didn't have to go through that to find my forever love).

I love make-up as much as the next girl.

I adore being a mom and soon to be wife. Even though my "little boy" is almost a pre-teen.

I'm pretty close to my brother Tyler & Sister in law Jordan

And my sweet Mom & Dad.

I love cupcakes {and baking}.

I have two dogs and a cat {whom live with my parents because I don't have a yard for them. The little one is actually my mom's anyway but the golden retriever is her mom and I couldn't seperate them anyway}. Bella is the Golden Retriever, Minnie Mouse is her daughter (she's mixed with rottweiler) & Chance is the cat.

I love chocolate {who doesn't?!}

I'm pretty attached to my i Devices.

I love to read. I love candles. And I love blankets, especially my Vera Bradley blanket.

When I find an item of clothing I like I tend to buy it in multiple colors.

I love owls, as in obsessed with them. I really want one as a pet.

My perfect day of shopping would consist of Target, Hobby Lobby, & Bath & Body Works.

And these two are my heart & soul.

So that sums me up in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed reading!