Anchors Aweigh : February 2016


Chicken Pot Pie Cups

When it comes to dinner recipes, I usually find myself asking "Would that make good leftovers?". Since there are only 2 of us, most recipes yield leftovers. Leftovers make great lunches for both of us to eat on during the week, but some things are easier to take to work than others, especially if your work consists of sitting in a plane most of the day.

With that, I try to make recipes that are great for "grab and go". When my sister recommended this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie Cups, I was instantly sold! So sold, that I went to the store and made them the very next day. 

If I have the time, there is nothing better than chicken pot pie with a homemade crust. Talk about the ultimate comfort food. You won't see me buying store bought crusts (I was too spoiled as a kid with the good stuff, which can be both a blessing and a curse), but store bought biscuits are a different story! And that, my friends, is precisely what these little pies of joy are made of. How can you not love something in a biscuit?!

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can mixed vegetables (I use Veg-all)
1/2 Tbsp Thyme
2 cans refrigerated biscuits (the regular size, not the jumbo)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray. 
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for biscuits. 
3. Place a biscuit into each muffin cup, lightly pressing into the bottom and up the sides. 
4. Evenly fill each biscuit cup with chicken mixture. 
5. Bake 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. 


Thoughts On Attending A Bachelorette Party In Your Late 20s

This past weekend, my friends and I threw a bachelorette party for a sweet bride to be! We planned for weeks, coordinated outfits, and went on and on about how much fun it would be. And it totally lived up to every expectation! It's been a few years since I attended a bachelorette party, so I thought it would be fun to share a few thoughts on the night as told by someone in their late 20s. 

Side note, why can't I still be in my early 20s?! Insert crying emoji here. 

Mexican theme. Always go with the Mexican theme. Guacamole, mustaches, guacamole, pinatas, and guacamole. Enough said. But did I mention the guacamole?

Instead of alcohol, you are drinking all the water. You know what those beverages do to you and you aren't allowed to sleep all day the next day because you actually have to adult. 

The pre-party goes until 11 PM, and then you will transport to the bars. Must prepare mentally. You do not get to go to bed at 11. I repeat, you do not get to go to bed at 11. 

Going to the bars in a group of all girls vice going with your husband/boyfriend/whatever is a very different experience. 

The bars play a disappointingly low number of Taylor Swift songs. Prepare yourself for the struggle. 

Why can't it be cool to wear sneakers to a dance club? Dancing until 2 AM in sky high heels is for the birds!

When you finally get home around 3 AM from an epic night of dancing the night away, you will be faced with the grueling choice of sleep versus food. You choose food. Obviously. 

You remember that your husband and pup have been asleep for hours and sincerely hope said husband remembered to feed them both dinner. 

You've had your food and are ready for bed! It's 4:30 AM. You set the alarm for 8:30 AM, because remember what we discussed at the beginning? You actually have to adult tomorrow. 

8:30 AM, how on earth did you get here so quickly? You may be sleep deprived and completely delirious, but you are so thankful for girlfriends. A girl needs girlfriends. Boom. End of story.

Everyone Has That One Special Place That Will Always Be Home

Having moved five times in under five years of marriage, we've had the privilege of calling a lot of places home. I think when you're living the military adventure, home becomes less of a physical place. Home is where Parker and Jenny are, whether that be in Pensacola, Virginia, or halfway across the world. More simply put, home is where the Navy sends us!

All of that said, I think everyone still has that one place that will always be home more than anywhere else. It's the place that helped define you as a person or that still holds some of your most treasured memories. For me, it's really easy. Home is a little bitty town called Midlothian, Texas. 

I snapped that picture of the town marquee on Christmas night. I only get to visit once or twice a year, but it is nostalgia overload! And yes, we are the cement capitol of Texas. Big stuff!

I was fortunate to live in the same place from 3rd grade through 12th grade, so I really grew up in that town. We had one grocery store, one middle school, and one high school. Midlothian has grown a lot, but it will always have that small town feel to me!

I always say I had the best childhood. Happy and fun without a care in the world! The majority of my family lived in Midlothian, so I got to grow up with my cousins and grandparents just a stone's throw away. That was such a gift! 

I learned everything in that town. My granddad taught me how to ride a horse (he's a pro, I just try not to fall off), I learned how to play tennis, I had my first kiss, and I made my first best friend. 

My name is still written on two signs on the school tennis courts, I still know the majority of the teachers and principals, and you still can't go to the grocery store without seeing someone you know. Ahh, home. 

I'd love to know, where do you call home?

You Are Berry Sweet

Most people have heard of the five love languages: acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. Well friends, I am convinced there is a sixth.


Food is definitely my love language. I show people I care by cooking for them. In my mind, preparing food in your home to feed others is the ultimate act of love. That's one of the ways I was loved on growing up and it's one of the ways I love on others now. 

I love to cook for anyone- family, friends, neighbors, you name it! Recently, my neighbor was a real life savor and deserved a baked good or twelve. I was careless when I took the dog for a walk and ended up locked out of my house for 2 hours. She welcomed my pup and me into her home with open arms and let us hang out with her until we could get back inside. I was so thankful! For that, I knew she needed something special. 

I created a cutesy little card that read "you are berry sweet" and got fancy in the kitchen!

Cheesecake is one of those sweet treats that will just never go out of style. It's so classic and elegant, so I thought it would be the perfect dessert to gift to my wonderful neighbor.

Now, I do have to brag for one second. This cheesecake looked and tasted amazing, but it literally took less than 10 minutes to put together. Winning!

I picked up a Sara Lee Original Cream Classic Cheesecake at Food Lion as well as some berries for a homemade raspberry sauce!

You can use the instant redemption coupon on your Sara Lee Original Cream Classic Cheesecake package for $1.50 off the purchase of one cheesecake good through 3/31 while supplies last.

I thawed the cheesecake and got to work on my raspberry sauce! It couldn't have been simpler.

1/4 cup water
12 oz frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cold water
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, frozen raspberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until the raspberries start to break down, stirring often.
2. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the raspberry sauce.
3. Cook for about 30 seconds or until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
5. Allow your raspberry sauce to cool and then pour over top of cheesecake.

I topped mine with a few more berries to kick the "berry sweet" effect up a notch! I then added a little handwritten note. There is something so personal about a handwritten note, and I know it always makes me feel special to receive something that someone else took the time to write. It's the little things!

I didn't want my husband to feel deprived, so I also made a cheesecake for him. After all, I think he is "berry sweet" too! He loved it!

This may sound cliche and cheesy, but the world really just needs love. That time you take to go out of your way to make someone's day better... it doesn't go unnoticed. We all need to be loved on and feel appreciated. My favorite way to show that love is through food.

How do you show love? I'd love to hear!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sara Lee Desserts, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SaraLeeDesserts

Friday Confessions

Well hey there Friday! The weeks are flying by lately, and the jury is still out on how I feel about that one. Nevertheless, it's always a happy day when Friday comes out of hiding and shows its sweet self. Here's what's been going on in my head this week...

I confess... Parker and I each bought the other one assorted chocolates for Valentine's Day. Cliche, yes, but we do it every year. Unfortunately for him, I usually end up eating both boxes by myself. And that is precisely what happened this year. #sorrynotsorry

I confess... I also almost single handedly ate my entire birthday cake. The gym might be calling. 

I confess... One of these days I am going to have to learn all of our neighbors names. I know most of them, but for the ones I can't remember, I use their dogs. Referring to people as "Rex's human" and "The lady with the lab who always has a water bottle in his mouth" may not cut it much longer.

I confess... Parker loves video games. He's a boy, and apparently this is what they do. He always wants me to play with him, so I told him I would be delighted to play Mario Party together. We finished the N64 game, and he looked over at me and said "That was the worst game ever". Beggars can't be choosers, hubs. 

I confess... The sun came out, which was maybe the highlight of Jenny's week. We had snow and rain for about 4 days straight, so her daily walk was cancelled. She was less than impressed with the sudden elimination of her favorite activity. 

That's all for now! Yall have a great weekend!

The Boy Behind The Blog: Leap Year Edition

We are back for another edition of The Boy Behind The Blog! I get excited for this post every month. You've heard the expression "Kids say the darndest things". That's how I feel about my husband. He keeps our house happy and me thoroughly entertained!

This month's questions were all about 2016 being a leap year, and even though Parker probably couldn't care less about leap years, he was a great sport and participated per usual. Okay, here we go!

Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in gray):

This year is a leap year... what are you going to do to celebrate?
Is that something to celebrate? I had no idea. I guess my night is open!
Crack open that bottle of champagne and blast TSwift over Pandora!

If you could create an obscure holiday, what would it be and why?
National Pilot Appreciation Day
Every day is National Pilot Appreciation Day in our house. 

Have you seen the movie Leap Year? If not, tell us about another romantic comedy you have seen?
Leap Year was a good one. I just can't believe he lived his entire life and died at only 17. It's one of my favorites.
You and I both know you just made that up. You've never seen Leap Year

Tradition has it that women are supposed to propose to their men on leap day. What would you say if your girl popped the question?
Well we're already married, but I guess sure!
Glad to know you'd still marry me. Nobody likes rejection. 

If you had to have a special event take place on a leap day, what would it be?
Are we still talking about leap day? I think the person who wrote these questions is trying to push a sinister agenda, and I want to know what it is. Are these questions meant to help or to irritate?
No words. Just. No words. Except for that last line was a straight quote from Violet in Downton Abbey, which makes me extremely happy. 

Thank you Parker for such enthusiastic participation as always. Until March, that's the boy behind this blog!

Birthday Weekends & All The Chocolate

This past weekend, Parker and I celebrated my 27th birthday! He kept walking around the house saying "Can you believe you're 27?!". Glad to know he thinks that sounds as old as I feel. You can always count on husbands for an uncensored reality check!

We celebrate birth weeks around here, so the whole weekend really felt like my special day. I told Parker it was my goal to call it "my special day" as often as possible. Obnoxious, yes, but it only happens once a year!

It was absolutely freezing this weekend, and we had our second snow of the year. We only got a couple of inches, but with temps in the 20s, we felt like we were living in an igloo! That white stuff sure is pretty though. 

We kicked the weekend off Friday with a little date night to The Cheesecake Factory. I was trying to think of a fun place we haven't been in a while, and then I remembered if I go there I get cheesecake, so that's how that decision was born. A yummy dinner and a piece of Dutch Apple Caramel Streusel Cheesecake later, and we were happy campers!

We bundled up afterward and went on a little walk around our favorite area of Virginia Beach. We could spend every Friday night there and be so happy about it! "How To Be Single" was my movie of choice to round out the dinner and a movie date night, and it was quite cute!

Saturday we slept in (because when it's your birthday, you win the "please don't set an alarm" debate that we have every Friday night) and hit the gym for a little workout. Holiday weekends typically center around food, so we knew a nice run would make us feel better! There is something really fun about running on the treadmill and seeing your buddy on the next treadmill over doing the same thing. That said, 30 minutes goes by much slower on that thing. It's just science. 

We planned to cook breakfast after and stopped at the grocery store for some bacon and chocolate milk. #necessities. The chocolate milk was apparently too delicious to wait to drink until we got home, because I looked over and saw Parker chugging away at the bottle before we even left the parking lot. I'd be lying if I said I didn't do the same thing. 

Since we were so productive in the morning, we literally laid on the couch the rest of the day like lounge lizards watching Downton Abbey and Friends. I wasn't mad about it. 

Sunday was my actual birthday, so I was officially kicked out of the 26 club. Even though I have mixed feelings about turning 27, I am fully convinced that Valentine's Day is the best birthday ever. You get class parties as a kid and chocolate as an adult. Boom. Best birthday ever. 

We went to church, hung around the house, and rounded out the evening with a Chili's date and birthday cake. Parker got me a cake this year, which I am pretty sure is the first year he has done that. I was so surprised and excited! I love me a good slice of cake. In his words "I went into the store, and this cake just screamed Chelsea". It's chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Well done, husband. Well done. 

As all weekends do, it ended way too quickly, but it sure was wonderful while it lasted! 

Enchilada Pasta Bake

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I could eat Mexican food every day of the week. I love love love it! I have about a dozen go-to Mexican casseroles but am always looking for more to add to the collection. Especially in the winter months, is there anything better than a Mexican casserole? I think not. 

I really liked this one! I ate on this bad boy all week and was sad when the last helping disappeared.

1 lb elbow pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
19 oz can enchilada sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. 
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside.
3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground beef and drain any fat. 
4. Stir in taco seasoning, green onions, enchilada sauce, tomato paste, black beans, and sour cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes. 
5. Add cooked pasta to your beef mixture and stir to combine.
6. Transfer mixture to your baking dish and top with shredded cheese. 
7. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 


27 Thoughts On The First 27 Years

My birthday is this weekend! Birthdays are just plain fun. 27 years have come and gone, so in light of this, I thought it would be fun to share 27 thoughts on my first 27 years of life!

1. Seeing Taylor Swift in concert was one of the best experiences of my life. I love me some TSwift!

2. One of my favorite parts of going home for Christmas is seeing my Pooh Bear stocking. Parents, you better never get rid of those Disney stockings. Please and thank you. 

3. Wishing away your college years is the worst thing you could do. They are pure magic.

4. I stopped being able to eat whatever I wanted without any effect on my weight at approximately 17 years old. And what a wonderful first 17 years that was.

5. I am really glad I didn't grow up in the smart phone era. Getting that first phone in 8th grade with the snake game was awesome.

6. Body wash may be the current trend but doesn't soap just work better?

7. I'd like to thank all of the terribly boring novels I had to read in high school for turning me off of books for 8 years.

8. FRIENDS is and always will be the greatest show I ever watch. Period. End of story.

9. High school prom isn't this pivotal, life-altering thing like it's cracked up to be, but I think everyone should go anyway.

10. Blogging is now a huge part of my life. When I was in high school, I didn't even know what a blog was. I'm not sure if the rest of the world did either. Funny how that works.

11. I will always have a love/hate relationship with technology. It's so great. I just wish I could understand how to use it.

12. I wonder what my personality would have been like without the influence of Chandler Bing? I guess I'll never know.

13. I am still proud of being named "Most Organized" in 8th grade by my teachers. Teachers pet, party of one. Then I broke UIL rules and switched places with my twin at her track meet, so I suppose that's a wash.

14. If you would have told me when I was little that I would have one dog when I grew up and love her more than most humans, I would have told you that you must be confusing me for my twin sister. I was a cat person as a kid. She is the one that loved dogs.

15. I don't understand why everyone is in such a hurry to get out of high school. Do they not realize they may never have summers off EVER AGAIN?

16. The sun is the greatest natural antidepressant in the world. It's almost impossible for me to have a bad day when it's beautiful outside. The TV show FRIENDS is probably the second greatest.

17. I wish I could go back and tell my 8 year old self to be nice to my little sisters.

18. You know how a lot of older people just sit there in silence with far off wonderment? I am starting to get that. Nostalgia is real, and sometimes I find myself sitting there and just thinking about the previous days and years. 27 going on 85, apparently.

19. I was pretty naive in high school and completely oblivious to the fact that many of my peers were drinking, doing drugs, and having sex. Seriously, I had no idea.

20. Losing touch with friends is really sad. In a perfect world, we would all live in the same place and stay best friends forever and ever.

21. As I get older, all I want to do is travel. It feels like there is a great big world out there of which I have seen so little.

22. It's amazing how many stores were cool when we are kids that we never shop at now. Claire's, Limited Too, and Hollister, we had a good run.

23. Crows feet... go away.

24. My hair will always be straight and flat, and I have finally come to terms with this. Straight hair, don't care. Except I'm jealous of all of the curly heads out there.

25. I think I reached true adulthood at age 24, when it became more exciting to buy decorations for my house than clothes.

26. My favorite car ever to drive is my first car, my dad's old 2000 Nissan Maxima, that I had from 2005-2007.

27. The greatest birthday present I have ever received arrived in the world exactly 42 minutes after I did. I love being a twin more than anything.

Three Things

Three things: I've seen this idea floating around the blogosphere and thought it would be fun for today's post! It's where I talk about three things going on with each member of the family. This is one of those random things that will just be fun to look back on one day when this current stage of life is but a distant memory. 


1. Parker just got a new laptop and is currently obsessed. It's a Razer Blade Stealth, which is apparently supposed to be decent for gaming while still being a sleek laptop. It looks like a regular old laptop to me, but it sure does make him happy!

2. Parker is happy to be back from Key West with his girls! He spent a week there for the Navy, and though it's a beautiful place to be sent, it's always nice to be reunited under one roof.

3. Parker is not too ashamed to say we paid someone to come paint our house this week. In the words of the husband, "How was I supposed to reach those high places?". I get it. The painters have done a fabulous job, and it's so nice to have it done and out of the way! Painting sounds fun in theory until you actually have to do it. 


1. I have been craving pho almost weekly since it's been so cold. It's the perfect cold weather meal that doesn't leave me overly full. I am terrible with portion control, so the fact that pho is on the lighter side bodes well for me. 

2. I am currently watching (and loving) the show Revenge. It's like Gossip Girl meets Alias and I am hooked! Netflix wins again!

3. I am embracing my new Costco membership. This means I am an adult, right? A giant bag of chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar for less than $10? Don't mind if I do!


1. Jenny gets a walk every day, something I look forward to in the summer and dread in these winter months. It is just too cold outside for a walk, but she doesn't seem to notice! I try to remind myself when I am freezing my derriere off that this is Jenny's favorite part of the day. Seeing her happy is worth a little cold, although I do wish she would remember that she smelled everything the previous day and it need not be re-smelled.

2. Jenny has a funny way of getting my attention during the day if she wants something. She doesn't whine or bark, which I appreciate. Instead, she walks over next to me and intentionally sits so her back is facing me. She looks out and waits for me to notice her. I guess she thinks that if she stares at me, I will ignore her, so she uses reverse psychology and pretends to ignore me. No idea where that pupper logic came from, but it does eventually work!

3. Jenny has always been a dreamer. I don't mean that in a figurative, "I have a dream to make something of myself" way. I mean literally, she has vivid dreams every time she goes to sleep. She moves her legs and twitches her mouth and occasionally lets out a whimper or bark, completely unconscious the whole time. We are used to it and think it's cute, but if a new friend comes over, sometimes they think she is straight up seizing. No seizures here. Just some heartfelt imaginary squirrel chasing. 

So that's three things for each member of this little family! Happy Thursday, friends!

Weekending In The Motherland, 27 (almost) Style

This past weekend, I flew home to the motherland (Texas, if you're new around here) for a little early birthday celebration with the family! Parker was in Key West for the week doing his Navy thing, so I hopped on a plane and traded in the cold for a weekend of sun and family. 

My birthday isn't for a few more days, but I've never not flown home to spend it with my family in some capacity. Especially being a twin... twins must celebrate their birthdays together. It's the golden rule of twindom. It was a low key weekend but honestly so very perfect. 

Both my sisters came in, so the entire family minus Parker was together. We all wish he could have been there, but such is life with our friend the military. 

My mom made us a homemade strawberry cake, which is what we request every year, and Danielle (twin) again blew the candles out before I had the chance. This is the second year in a row she's gotten to blow out all of the candles. Again, the things that matter when you're a twin. Even if you're a 27-year-old twin. 

Sunday was such a family day, which really is the best kind of day. We all went to church together, devoured a yummy brunch, and kicked back with a board game that got only mildly competitive. My brother in law snapped this next picture. We are missing two husbands, but so fun to have a picture of the original six!

Adulting with sisters is really quite neat. We fought about silly things as kids but now all love and care for each other so much. Four very different personalities but so much love.

Another weekend highlight was Scattergories. This was one of my favorite games growing up! I may or may not have stolen the family game to take to Virginia, and they may or may not have had to replace it with this new and improved version. The jury is still out on what really happened there. ;)

All of the girls managed to be mostly sweet to each other despite our competitive nature, and my dad couldn't help but shout out answers despite his refusal to actually play. Sounds like family game time to me!

Jenny was back having a sleepover with her best pal Dug, but I got to love on my two other favorite pups in her absence! We are big dog people over here.

And before I left for the airport to go back home, my mom said "Oh wait, take some Girl Scout cookies for the trip!". Bless you, sweet mother. She knows the way to my heart, and it's called a Samoa. Sorry, I mean a Caramel Delite. The Girl Scouts of America pulled a fast one on me and renamed my favorite cookie. Thankfully, the recipe is in tact.

All in all, it was such a wonderful time. I love coming home to these special people and was excited to return to the east coast late Monday evening to my favorite husband and pup. Said husband got a talking to when I walked through the door and saw said pup's water bowl was bone dry. But, they were both happy and healthy, so all is right in my little world!

Baked Italian Meatballs

I typically meal plan, but the other night, I looked at the clock, realized it was dinner time, and thought "oh shoot". I had no idea what I was going to cook and had about 5 minutes to figure something out. I had half a box of spaghetti and a package of ground beef, and these baked Italian meatballs were born. 

I looked at a few recipes but really just winged it, and they came out wonderfully! The husband loves anything with beef in it, so he was a big fan of these meatballs. Plus, they made great leftovers for him to take to work for lunch the next day!

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp marinara
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until just combined, and do not over mix. (I used my hands)
3. Portion out meat into 1 inch balls and place on your baking sheet. 
4. Bake 20-22 minutes or until cooked through. Serve over a bed of pasta with marinara sauce!


5 Years With The Furball Who Stole Our Hearts

I'm not sure how, but today marks 5 years since Jenny adopted us as her humans! We always say Jenny is the best spontaneous decision we have ever made. We weren't planning to get a dog on February 5th, 2011, but sometimes you walk into Petco and a brown dog steals your heart. 

Jenny really does make our little world go round. There is something about having a member of the family who is constantly happy, unconditionally loving, and just grateful to be part of the pack. 

I often refer to Jenny as "my best girlfriend", and ain't that the truth. I count hanging out with Jenny as being social, and that brown fur holds all my secrets and many tears. I talk to her like she's people and sometimes think she can almost understand. Then she licks her butt in the middle of my story, and I remember that she is, indeed, a dog. But she's my dog, my companion, and my buddy.

Jenny's interests include: playing with other pups, chasing woodland creatures, peanut butter, licking her butt, and Parker. The order is still up for debate, but those pretty much sum up her interests. She basically thinks Parker hung the moon and wants to be around him all the time. If he's outside, that's where she'd like to be too, please. Those two are a package deal.

I am so glad we decided to go "pet the puppies" on February 5th, 2011. Jenny has taught us so much about love and joy and patience and really has changed our lives for the better. We are forever indebted to the wonderful organization God's Little Creatures in College Station, TX for giving us our pup. We may have rescued her, but it sure feels like the other way around. 

The Ordinary Become The Extrodinary

Sometimes, I think we get too caught up in the big moments in life. 

It's like we live for the extraordinary moments and live through the ordinary ones. 

I have always been the person to look forward to the "next thing". When I was in high school, I just wanted to get to college. When I was dating Parker, I just wanted to get engaged. When he proposed, I just wanted to get married. The list goes on and on. I don't think I am alone in this way of thinking, but there is so much beauty in each stage of life that I may miss if I am always trying to get to the next extraordinary milestone.

This past weekend was a moment of clarity for me. It was so completely ordinary yet one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. Parker and I were together from Friday night to Sunday night and spent time with nobody but each other. I can't remember the last time we did this. We usually reserve weekends for spending time with friends or traveling, both of which we love and are blessed to do, but sometimes, you just need to shut the world out and reconnect. Our weekend is hardly an advertisement for the exciting married life, but man, it was wonderful...

Dinner Friday night followed by a movie that was just okay. 

Picking out paint colors Sunday followed by a lunch that put both of us in a food coma. 

Nature walks with Jenny. 

A trip to the grocery store together to get random things to eat for dinner followed by Parker showing me how to eat ramen noodles for the first time. 

Downloading Mario Kart and getting way too competitive about trying to beat the other. 

Church via streaming on the couch because we overslept (again). 


Cooking Sunday night dinner together and eating steaks that were arguably still mooing. 

We went to bed Sunday night feeling energized with hearts full. This weekend, I got to take a step back. And it reminded me that the ordinary moments really are so often extraordinary. 

Bisquick Chicken Parmesan | The Best Homemade Chicken Parm Ever

I'll go on record and say we don't eat a lot of chicken in our house. I prefer ground turkey or will occasionally go with sausage or ground beef just so I can avoid using chicken. Why? Because I am constantly overcooking or undercooking, and it just always comes out so bland. My husband tends to feel the same way. Chicken is just not our friend!

Now that I have completely contradicted this post on chicken parmesan by writing my disdain for chicken, I am here to say that this recipe is one of the few exceptions. 


This is the best homemade chicken parm ever.


It is. 

This will forever be my go-to recipe for chicken parmesan and really just chicken in general. I can't say enough good things about it!

1 lb chicken breasts (mine were thick, so I cut them in half vertically)
3/4 cup Bisquick 
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 heaping Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Spray with cooking spray and set aside. 
2. In a shallow dish (I used a pie plate), combine Bisquick, Italian Seasoning, and cheese. 
3. In a second shallow dish (I just used a bowl for this one), beat your egg. 
4. Take each chicken breast and dip first into the Bisquick mix, then into your egg, and one more time into the Bisquick mix. Make sure you are coating all sides each time you dip. 
5. Place chicken on lined baking sheet and brush half of your melted butter over the tops of each chicken. Bake 8 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and flip chicken. Brush the remaining butter over the opposite side. 
7. Place back in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes, or until your chicken is cooked and juices run clear. 

Top with pasta sauce and a little cheese, and enjoy! I served ours with a side of pasta and a sweet potato. Easy peasy!


February Goals

Happy February, friends! There is something fun about starting a new month, and it's crazy to think we are already 1/12 of the way through 2016. February is funny, because people typically either love it or hate it. Valentine's Day has a lot to do with that one. Since I was actually born on Valentine's Day, I've always thought February to be a wonderfully awesome month, but I may be biased just a little. ;)

With the start of the new month, it's time for some new goals! But before we get to February, let's see how January's goals went...

Get 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days each week... check! There were exactly 4 days this month that I didn't get 10,000, so I just barely made it. If you caught this post, you know I have fully embraced the Fitbit life. 

Paint the house (or at least get the ball rolling)... checkish. The ball is definitely rolling! We have chosen a color (so much easier said than done), and have painters scheduled to come this month! We are so excited!

Read the book of Philippians... fail! Oops, I totally forgot to do this. I need to remember to look back at this post throughout the month, because I completely forgot this was a goal. Fail. 

Update the Recipes tab on my blog... check! It's a quick process when I actually remember to do it, which is apparently rarely. 

Make an appointment to get a retainer... fail! I remembered this was a goal but sat on it all month for really no reason at all. I still have my old retainer, but it's a little tight since my teeth have shifted. I kind of just want to wear it anyway and avoid buying a new one. That's probably not the orthodontist recommended way of doing things. 

So I didn't do great with my goals this month, but it wasn't a complete bust either. 

And now for February!

Turn 27. What a copout of a goal. I am going to turn 27 this month whether I try to or not, so this is more of a to-do, I suppose. Either way, it's my birth month, and those are always fun!

Add a breakfast section to my Recipes tab. When I updated that tab last month, I realized I have enough breakfast recipes to divide them up into their own category. I really don't know if anyone looks at this tab, but the OCD in me needs the breakfast recipes separate. :)

Do 1000 push-ups. This is a recycled goal. I have done this once or twice, but I can always tell a teeny tiny difference in my arms after I do, so I want to do it again!

Find a new show to binge watch. I mentioned Friday that I finished Gossip Girl and am already sad it's over. I need a new show that I can watch an episode of here and there when I have the time. Suggestions welcome!

Go skiing. This has been on the to-do list for a long time, so it's time to make it a reality! I have been skiing once as a kid, and Parker has never been, so we will be those adults going 1 mile an hour trying not to fall down and twist an ankle. Here goes nothing!

Yay goals! So tell me, are you a February lover, or would you be a-okay just skipping to March?


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