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Nov 30, 2012

Friday Favorites

I am going to try to do a Friday Favorites post at the end of each month letting you know what were some of my favorite beauty/home/etc. things for the month!

1.  Satin Taupe by MAC

This is my favorite eyeshadow! This color works perfectly with my skin color. It goes on sheer for daytime but buildable for nighttime. :) Available at
2.  Naked and Naked 2 by Urban Decay

These have been my go to palettes for over a year now. The Naked 2 was released last December and the original was released August 2010. I missed the release of the original and it sold out EVERYWHERE! It took me forever to get it. With the Naked 2, I hopped on that bad boy the second it was released! lol. I mostly wear natural colors and this covers every realm! They did just release the Naked mattes palette which features 6 matte shades. I will pass on this because I have on order the Tiffany D for Sigma palette so I don't need it. I have hit pan on the "naked" color in the original Naked palette and will probably order just that color from Urban Decay. It is the perfect blending color. :) Available at

Ok, enough with makeup for today. :)

3.  Deco Mesh

I am loving deco mesh this holiday season!  I added it to all my decor and could not love it more! <3  I will do a holiday decor post at a later date. :)

4.  Organized like Jen

I am slightly OCD about organization. I am not, by nature, an organized person, so it is extremely difficult to keep things the way I want them. But this little youtube guru is my all time inspiration. Thought I would share with you. :)  Click here for her channel.

5. Henri Bendel

I love my Henri Bendel bangle! I got this quite a while ago and I have worn it so much since! I love that it came in petite size. I have a hard time finding bangles to fit my wrists and this is perfect. It has a slight oval shape so it stays where it is supposed to perfectly. I wish I could have one in every color....oh it's fun to dream. <3

Until next time...


Easy Potato Soup

This is a delicious, easy recipe from my sister-in-law, Kim

32 oz frozen Potatoes O'Brien (with peppers and onions)
2 packets of Pioneer Brand country gravy mix
1 box of chicken broth
1 stalk celery, diced
sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
grated cheddar cheese

pour broth stock pot; heat
Once broth is hot, mix in both packets of gravy mix
Once dissolved, mix in potatoes and celery
Heat to a boil and simmer 20-25 minutes
May want to add water or more chicken broth to thin out a little

Top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon

Linked up to Blonde Ambition

Enchilada Bake

This is DH's favorite recipe I make. I got it from Passionate Homemaking

2-3 cups cooked ground beef or shredded chicken (I use beef)
1 large onion
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 (29 oz) can enchilada sauce
2 cans chilies (optional)
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 can black beans
grated cheddar cheese
12 tortillas

Saute garlic and onions
Add beef/chicken, sauce, chilies, beans, and enough sour cream to make creamy
Simmer 10-15 minutes
Layer-sauce, tortilla, cheese, tortilla, ending with cheese
Cover with foil and bake 350 for 30-35 minutes
Let sit for 10-15 minutes so not to be runny

I make in two pans and freeze one

Chicken Rotel

This recipe is from Tony's aunt Marla. She brings it to all the family gatherings and it is always a hit! It is an every-other-weeker meal at the Deal house!

3-4 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 stick of butter
2 cans Ro-Tel Tomatoes(if you like it less spicy use 1 can Ro-Tel and 1 can diced)
2 lbs Velveeta cheese, cubed
Vermicelli or Spaghetti noodles

Boil Chicken, reserving 1/2 cup broth
cook noodles in remaining chicken broth
meanwhile, saute peppers, onions, and mushrooms in butter until soft
add tomatoes
add Velveeta cheese/melt
put noodles in mixture
pour over chicken
mix well
put in banking dish and cook on 350 for about 30 minutes

This makes a lot, so I put in two pans and freeze one

Chicken Parmesan

This is Tony's aunt, Becky's Pinwheel Chicken

2-3 Tbsp parsley
1 stick butter
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb of chicken tenders
lemon juice

Melt butter
mix together dry ingredients
dip chickn in butter, then roll in dry ingredients
place chicken in greased baking dish
continue, try to get a tight fit (chicken touching)
sprinkle with paprika
squirt a little lemon juice all over
pour left over butter on chicken (that's my Paula Deen coming out) hehe!
bake 350 for 30 minutes or untl chicken is done

Top with fresh mozzarella and bake until bubbly, just enough to melt the cheese.
serve with marinara and noodles.

Spaghetti Pie

1 1/2 lb spaghetti or penne pasta
1 lb ground beef
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove pressed garlic
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped onion
1 jar pasta sauce
3/4 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

boil pasta til al dente
meanwhile, saute ground beef, s & p, garlic pepper and onion
mix in pasta sauce
bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes

in a small bowl, mix sour cream and cream cheese
mix with drained noodles

spray 9x13 or 2 8x8 pans with pam

put noodles in pan and cover with sauce
cover with cheddar cheese

cover and cook for 25 minutes on 350
uncover and cook 5 minutes more until cheese is bubbly

This is a great meal to take to someone such as a new mother, as a get well, etc! Pair it with salad, garlic bread, and a dessert!

Oreo Balls

My sister-in-law makes these at Christmas and they are so stinkin yummo!!! 

8 oz cream cheese
one pack of oreos
white almond bark

mix cream cheese and crushed oreos together until mixed well. 
roll into small balls (you can use a melon baller) 
place on wax paper and chill for an hour
dip in melted white chocolate, allow to cool

you can make them different colors for holidays and occasions. Also really good with mint oreos. Yummo!

Spaghetti Salad

I first had this salad back about 8 years ago at a covered dish lunch at work. I just had to have the recipe. It is so simple yet so yummy! My mom just loves it! I also love this dish because I make it the night before!

1 (16 oz) package of spaghetti-broken in half
some grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 diced cucumber
1 diced green pepper
1 diced red onion
1 (10 oz) bottle of Italian salad dressing (I use Kens) 
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to directions, rinse in cold water and drain
2. Mix together spaghetti and vegetables
3. In a separate small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients
4. Toss all ingredients together
5. Refrigerate overnight
6. Toss before serving

Pineapple Casserole

My sister-in-law, Kim makes this dish and it is absolutely divine! I never would have thought that cheese and pineapple would be so delish together! Yummo!

1 cup sugar
6 Tbs flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 (20 oz) cans pineapple chunks, drained (drain really good) 
1 Tbs reserved pineapple juice
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1 stick of butter, plus extra for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease medium sized baking dish

Stir together sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until combined.
Pour into dish

Combine cracker crumbs, butter, and pineapple juice. Spread on top of pineapple.

Bake 25-30 min or until golden brown

Homemade Bread

This is such a yummy bread. I have not experimented yet on adding different things. I want to make wheat and maybe some cinnamon rolls with this. If you don't like your bread sweet, you can cut down on the sugar; but don't eliminate it completely, it feeds the yeast. This is yummo! I have made 4 loaves already this week for Thanksgiving!

2 cups of warm water (very warm tap water)too hot will kill the yeast, trust me :)
2/3 cup white sugar 
2 small packages of active dry yeast 
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup veggie oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Stir in yeast. I mix this together with a hand mixer. 
Allow to proof. (about 10 minutes, the top should be covered with a white foam)
Mix the oil in the yeast
Mix in flour 1 cup at a time. I used the dough hooks on my mixer for this. Add the salt somewhere in between the flour. If you add it straight to the yeast, it may kill it.
Once all flour is mixed in (it should be doughy but still a little tacky) transfer to a lightly floured counter. 
Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Get that gluten working! :)
Place in a well oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with the oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Allow to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size. 
Punch dough down to deflate. Knead a few minutes more. 
Divide in half and shape into 2 loaves. (you may freeze at this point)
place into two loaf pans.
Allow to rise for 30 minutes more
Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Last but not least, put a little flour on your nose! You put in some hard work!

Grandma Johnston's Sweet Potatoes

Tony's maternal grandmother makes these for him every Thanksgiving and I finally got the recipe! I would have never guessed they were so easy...and so yummy! I actually like these as a dessert!

1 can carnation evaporated milk
fill that can with regular milk
1 cup sugar
around 1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 stick of butter

Bring all to a boil
Reduce heat and add cut up sweet potatoes-not too small 
Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft/done


Smothered Pork Chops

I am going to be copying my favorite recipes from an old recipe blog of mine. :)

From Sandra Lee: Food Network. I don't always love her recipes, but these were yummy. :)

5 pork chops
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons oil, divided 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 cup sliced mushrooms 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth 
2 tablespoons spicy mustard 
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves 

Preheat a skillet over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the pan. Add the pork chops and sear on both sides until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside. 

In same skillet over medium heat add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil, the onions and mushrooms and saute until slightly softened. Add the flour and cumin and cook until lightly golden in color. Stir in the chicken broth and mustard, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the parsley and return all pork chops back into skillet. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the gravy over the pork chops. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through.

My new job!

Yes, you read that title right! After working in finance for 10 years and teaching reading to primary school students for 3, I have decided to change careers. :)

I am a homemaker! <3

I was planning on my last day of work to be December 7th, but because of my borderline blood pressure, my OB decided to take me out early to rest and try to keep my BP from rising any higher. So my last day of work was Tuesday, November 27th.  Tuesday was a tough day. I love those children at my school so much! I love my coworkers as well. Luckily, I know I will stay in touch with some of my coworkers and that makes me so happy. :)

A lot of people ask, "why do you want to stay home"?  Being a stay-at-home-mommy has been my dream since a very young age. I went to college, I got a real job, I got married and added two beautiful stepdaughters to my heart. Oh, how I wanted to stay home with them even. We have them every other week, so why not? But of course, logically, that didn't make sense at the time, so I decided to take on a part time job at the school.  I was working 8-2 and my first year there was my youngest DSD last year at that school.  I loved working there and seeing her smiling face every day.  I loved being able to get off of work before they got home from school. I cherished those moments so much.

Now that I am about to embark on this new journey of mommyhood, there is and was no question as to whether or not I would go back to work.  I am very blessed that financially, my husband and I are able to have me stay home.  Money will be tighter, of course, but oh how it will be worth it. :)

Let me spend a second on my sweet hubby. My husband works very long hours. He is on the management team at our local Chevrolet and Toyota dealerships, so he is busy. all. the. time. He works very hard. He puts in a lot of time, energy, effort, and heart into his job. He is great at his job. I am so proud of him. <3 Because he puts in on average 12 hour days, I of course want his home to be a haven and sanctuary for him to come home to.  I am so blessed that he not only "allows" me to stay home, but he supports it as well. He wants me to be a homemaker. To those of you mama's who are feel like you and your husband are not on the same page as far as staying home, please pray about it. Five years ago, that is how my husband and I would have been and of course as the head of this home, he would have made the decision for me to work.  But God works in mysterious ways and I am so blessed that I am married to a man who knows home is where my heart is. <3  Just last night, after 2 days home, he looked at me and said "honey, you have the glow" I asked him if he was talking about the pregnancy glow. He said "no, you have the glow from being home, this is where you are supposed to be". Thank you, God, for giving me such a loving, supportive husband.

With that, this long post, I want to say that I am so excited about staying home.  I strive to be the wife rare as rubbies.  Days are not always going to be easy, especially when Ty arrives. Some days, I may run out of hours! But I am so excited, blessed, thankful, and honored to be serving my husband and my family at home.

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.