May 28, 2012 - Leave a Response

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.  I can’t believe it’s almost over.  Time flies 😦  My weekend was spent packing boxes (more on that to come), getting inches chopped off my hair, making two new recipes, working on my Smashbook, playing tennis, watching the movie “Say Anything” and catching up on sleep.  It’s been quite productive yet also relaxing!

I want to rewind though to a few weeks ago when my husband’s great aunt, Isabelle, was in town.  We decided to go with Aunt Is, my mother-in-law, Nick’s aunt and some cousins to play BINGO!  Hence, the title of the post.

I had only played “real” BINGO one other time and ironically it was at this exact location a year ago.  Last year, the BINGO hall held a Memorial Day event and we played for hours.  For some reason this year, it was a no go.  Anyway, back to a few weeks ago.

Since BINGO starts pretty early in the evening and runs until 9 or 10 at night, Nick and I weren’t positive we were going to be able to get to go.  I never realized how early you have to get there to claim a seat.  Luckily, Nick’s family saved us seats.  There are some serious BINGO players at this BINGO hall.

These diehard BINGO players (sidenote: I think I’ll probaly be one when I get older) arrive at the BINGO hall over an hour early just to get a seat and get all their “goodies” out.  BINGO players are all about their good luck charms, snacks, having the best seat, fans to stay cool, having multiple colored markers, etc.  We even had a few goodies on our table:

Remember these as a kid?  Trolls!  I believe I had quite a few.  I never remember there being “boy” trolls, do you?  Supposedly, trolls are hard to come across these days.  Too bad I never saved mine.  Who would have thought the BINGO players of the world would want them one day?

In case you’ve never played ‘real’ BINGO before, it’s quite intense!  Let me explain.  When you first arrive there are different “packages” you can purchase.  You pay a set price to play the main games, but then there are games like the “early bird specials” and a winner takes all game at the end of the night.  Nick and I only did the main games.  You can definitely waste away alot of money playing BINGO, but then again you can also win big.  I could see how addicting the game could be.  I think the biggest prize of the night was $500.00  If there are ever multiple winners during a game, everyone splits the earnings.  That part stinks.

There are multiple ways to make sure you don’t miss a number on your board throughout the game.  At this BINGO hall they had a big board that would light up the numbers in the front of the room, a man that would call out the numbers and TV screens that would show the numbers.  So I laughed when our group got called out for being too loud and disturbing others.  Oops!  Come on though, if you missed the number, just look at the board!

Competitive by nature, it becomes frustrating after multiple games, you have yet to find yourself yell out BINGO!  So what did I do to release the frustration?  Dug my arm into a bag of these:

I will say time goes by fast playing BINGO.  Before you know it, 3 hours have passed and the night is almost over.

Forsee us being old folks one day hitting up the BINGO hall every week?  We were definitely the youngest couple there this night for sure!

So you may wonder if any of us won any moola that night.  Nick’s cousin, Niki won over a hundred bucks, but had to split it with another winner so I think she ended up with $75.  Better than nothing, that’s for sure.

I ended up winning one of the raffles.  Silly me thought the raffle would be $ or a cool prize.  I ended up with this:

Looks like we’ll have to go back!

Have you ever played BINGO before at a BINGO hall?  If so, did you win any $?  Any fun things happen for you over the long weekend?  More to come soon.  Stay tuned…


The solution to a busy week…

May 26, 2012 - Leave a Response

It was quite a busy and exhausting week.  So thankful for the long weekend!  Needless to say, I came home last night and proceeded to take a nap from 6:30 to 11:00pm.  I was still able to go back to sleep at midnight and sleep until 9:30 this morning.  I think my body was worn down to say the least.

Unfortunately, when the week is busy from work and other commitments, time cooking dinner at home gets neglected.  I had to come up with a quick and easy recipe one night this week and rice bowls were invented!  As you can tell by now, I prefer recipes that require little time and are versatile and this one is another example!

Rice Bowls

Gather these ingredients:

1 package of raw chicken tenderloin

Olive Oil

Soy Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

Small piece of ginger root

1/2 bag of pre washed and pre chopped broccoli

1 bag of frozen vegetable fried rice (I used Trader Joe’s)

Follow these steps:

1) Cut the chicken tenderloin into bite size pieces and place in a medium size bowl

2) Grate your ginger root so you have a small handful of ginger and add to the bowl

3)  Cover the chicken and ginger with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  There are no measurements for this. Just add equal amounts until the chicken is coated well

4)  Cover and marinate 4-8 hours.  I marinated it overnight

5)  When you are ready to cook the dish, take out your broccoli and chicken

6)  Place your broccoli in a small saucepan and cover with water

7)  Cook on medium heat for ~ 5-8 minutes or until tender

8) Once cooked, placed on low heat to stay warm

9)  In a large skillet on medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil

10)  Add your marinated chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink

11)  In a large saucepan, begin cooking your rice according to the directions on the bag

12)  Drain your broccoli and add it to the saucepan with the rice

13)  Add in a splash of Soy Sauce

14)  Place your chicken into the rice mixture and cook until hot

14)  Be careful not to have the heat too high or cook the rice too long because it will begin to stick to the bottom of the saucepan

15) Serve and enjoy!


 Note that you can make this dish by adding the protein of your choice (shrimp, beans, tofu, beef) and any vegetables (red/green peppers, mushrooms, etc) you desire.  I just added the broccoli because we had it on hand from another meal.  You could also add sesame seeds for a little more crunch!  I really love Trader Joe’s frozen rice for this recipe because it already has some vegetables in it and it’s easy to cook. We’ve also had the rice as a side dish before and that works great as well.  If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, here’s the rice I used:


This dish tastes great reheated the next day for lunch as well.  I hope you enjoy!

Have a wonderful long weekend!  Much more to come later this weekend!

For the Love of B12….

May 18, 2012 - Leave a Response

I wanted to share a quick testimony of the importance of not putting off going to the doctor.  The answers to your problems may be an easy solution!

Most of last year and until the beginning of this year, I struggled a lot with ongoing tiredness, multiple headaches a day, numb fingertips and just pure sluggishness.

I kind of just chalked it up to the medication I’ve been on over the years for depression and the seasons changing.  It didn’t seem to matter if I got 8 hours or 13 hours of sleep; I still struggled with my energy levels throughout the day.  There were even a few times where I had to stay home from work simply because I had no energy.  I soon found myself in a vicious cycle because no energy usually meant no motivation which led to feeling frustrated with myself for not being productive.

Earlier this year, I was given a few nudges to go to the doctor and figure out what was going on.  It kind of all worked out in that I needed to find a new primary care doctor and in doing so I could start fresh with my history and the symptoms I was currently experiencing.  After deciding that running a panel of blood work would be our first form of attack, I was of course nervous of the results.  Have you ever had that feeling where you almost want something to be wrong so you’ll have an answer to your problems?

Well this was one of those times for me.  A few days following my appointment I got news that my B12 level was really low and that the deficiency was most likely causing all these symptoms.  Who would have thought?  This had never come up in my years of treating my body in an unkindly manner, so I was kind of shocked to see it be off now.

I decided to do a little research about B12 and here’s what I discovered……the foods that B12 are commonly found in (fish, shellfish, red meat and dairy products) are not foods that I eat regularly.  I am not a fish fan by any means and I hate milk.  I learned that the symptoms I had been experiencing were definitely similar to those with a Vitamin B12 deficiency.  B12 is important for red blood cell formation, neurological function (thus the tingling), DNA synthesis, helps prevent anemia and has been known as an energy enhancer.  Hmmm.

The solution?  B12 supplements at 2000 mcg a day for 6 weeks and then a recheck of my levels.  So off to the store to buy the horse pills I went!

Thankfully, I’m not one who has a hard time taking pills so I just added it to my normal regimen.  I will say I was a bit skeptical if they would work.

After the 6 weeks was up, I went back to have my B12 rechecked.  There was concern that my body may not absorb it through pill form and that I might require B12 injections.  I prayed that wouldn’t be the case.  I don’t do shots!  Thankfully my body absorbed enough B12 through the pills and this didn’t become an issue.  Woohoo!  I slowly began feeling a change in my energy levels and the headaches and numbness went away.  Crazy right?

Even though I’ll most likely have to stay on B12 supplements the rest of my life, it’s such a blessing to no longer deal with multiple headaches a day and ongoing tiredness.

Lesson learned:  Never put off going to the doctor!  There’s no need to suffer when answers might be one pill away!  Be well and happy weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

May 13, 2012 - Leave a Response

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!


I celebrate you for….

Your support through the good and the bad, your creativity that always inspires me, your love for teaching children and how amazing you are at it, your patience, your desire to help others, your gardening skills, the way you never give up, your ability to teach yourself new things, always giving 100+%, your words of advice and wisdom, your “Kathy’s Crazy Cocktail” creation, your willingness to listen, your generosity, your faith, your love for reading, your understanding, your desire to learn, the love you pour out on your family, your determination, your courage, organizing family vacations, being my chauffer for over 15 years, always thinking of others first, your DIY skills, your love for the outdoors, your sweet spirit, getting me hooked on HGTV and last but not least, I celebrate you for being YOU!!

I love you Mom,


Our God….

May 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

Merry Tuesday!  I met up with a friend tonight for ice cream and to pick up some Thirty One products that I had ordered from her.  On the way out the door, I grabbed a CD that I hadn’t listened to in a while and I was all smiles when the song , “Our God” (Radio Version) by Passion featuring Chris Tomlin played.  I wanted to share the lyrics and the song because it is such a good reminder of how powerful our God is.  No matter your situation or problem, God is greater and God is stronger!  Nothing or no one can stand against our God.  I was also reminded of how God has shown me these qualities of Himself in my own life.  From battling severe depression, struggling to find a job I thrive in, meeting my Husband, recovering from anorexia, stepping out of my comfort zones, etc God has proven that He is Healer and awesome in power.  Never doubt our God!  I hope you find goodness in this song.  Enjoy!


Our God (Radio Version) by Passion featuring Chris Tomlin

Water You turned into wine

Open the eyes of the blind

There’s no one like You

None like You

Into the darkness You shine

Out of the ashes we rise

There’s no one like You

None like You


Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power Our God, Our God…

Into the darkness you shining

Out of the ashes we Rise

There’s no One like You

None like You.
Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…

Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…


And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us

And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us

And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

What can stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…

Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us

And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

And if Our God is for us, then who can ever stop us

And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

Then what can stand against?

Then what can stand against?
Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…

Our God is greater, our God is stronger

God You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power

Our God, Our God…


If you want to hear the song go here:  Our God

Be blessed!



A Sweet Spring Frozen Treat!

May 7, 2012 - Leave a Response

I wanted to share an easy yet refreshing sweet, Spring frozen treat!  This treat dates back quite a few years ago for me, during the summer of my last year of college.

I spent that summer serving on a Summer Project with Campus Crusade for Crusade in Gatlinburg, TN.  The summer was spent growing in my relationship with the Lord, working at Wendy’s (making fries and chicken nuggets!), stepping out of my comfort zones, going to Dollywood, sharing Christ with others and much more!

We were split into male and female “small groups,” but a few times a month, the male and female groups would have activities together that always involved having to cook dinner for one another.  My small group leader decided to bring a version of the dessert below and I loved it!  I’ve been making it ever since.

The pie only takes a few ingredients, very little time to prepare and it’s cheap to make!  It’s perfect with the warmer weather now here.

Here’s what you’ll need:   1 container of Cool Whip (I used a low fat version), 1 small single size container of your favorite yogurt (I used Yoplait’s Fat Free Strawberry), 1 cup of fresh cut strawberries, and 1 graham cracker pie crust

How to prepare the treat:

1)  If you buy the Cool Whip frozen, which is how most grocery stores sell it, make sure you thaw it first

2)  Once the Cool Whip has defrosted, in a large bowl, stir together the Cool Whip and yogurt

3)  Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker pie crust

4)  Freeze the pie for a few hours

5)  When ready to serve, let the pie thaw out for 20-30 minutes.  This way you can cut the pie into slices

6)  Top with fresh strawberries!

**In this particular pie, I added fresh strawberries to the Cool Whip and Yogurt mixture before placing it in the graham cracker crust, but that is optional.  If you do this, beware that the strawberries in the pie mixture will stay frozen and will be crunchy!  I do not advise this for people with sensitive teeth**

The best thing about this pie?  Feel free to use any flavor of yogurt that you enjoy!  The possibilities are endless!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

May 5, 2012 - Leave a Response

Love Cinco de Mayo!  It means being able to indulge in one of my favorite foods….Mexican!  Nick, my mother in law and I, decided we’d go to the 4:15 church service this afternoon and then hit up On the Border for some Mexican goodness.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning because I knew I had alot of things to get done prior to our afternoon/evening plans.  The morning and afternoon were rather hot.  I ran all my errands in summer attire.  Crazy right?  During the middle of the church service though, the bottom fell out and a huge storm came through.  You could hear the rain hitting the roof of the building and the thunder roaring.  The power even went out briefly during the service.

As soon as church was over, we were in for a wet mess.  It was pouring out and of course we didn’t come prepared with an umbrella.  A dress and sandals was definitely not proper attire for the downpour.  We were all drenched by the time we made it to On the Border.  I was honestly a bit bummed.  The restaurant wasn’t running any good specials and the food wasn’t very hot.  We sat behind an extremely rowdy table to boot.  By the time we made it home I was ready to get into warm dry clothes and call it a night.  It was nice though to spend the evening with my husband and mother in law.  Oh and I dominated in the game, Phase 10!

Since Mexican food is one of my favorite types of food, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give you a recipe that brings me goodness!  This recipe came in this year’s March issue of Woman’s Day magazine.  The dish is called Mexican Black Bean Lasagna and I can’t wait to make it again this week.  Below is my modified version.  You can find the full recipe, as well as a picture, on page 142 of the March 2012 issue.  There are a few reasons that this dish brings me goodness:  1) It’s easy to make   2) It makes a generous amount of food   3)  It doesn’t require many ingredients..my modified version at least    4) It’s customizable  5)  The leftovers taste good!

Mexican Black Bean Lasagna


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small can of diced green chilies

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup  frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 tsp chili powder

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce

9 small corn tortillas

6 oz Mexican blend cheese, shredded

Sour Cream for serving

Steps to Goodness….

1)  Heat your oven to 425F. 

2)  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

3)  Add the chopped garlic and allow it to turn golden brown.

4)  Stir in the beans, corn, green chilies and chili powder.  Cook for 2 minutes.

5)  Add the lime juice and cilantro.

6)  Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of and 8-in square or 1 1/2 qt baking dish.

7)  Top with 3 corn tortillas.  You may need to tear them if necessary to fit in your dish.

8)  Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas.

9)  Top with a third of the bean mixture and 1/2 cup of cheese.

10)  Repeat this process twice.

11)  Once you have the lasagna all layered, place the dish in the oven.

12)  Bake until the lasagna is heated through and the top is turning brown.  This will take roughly 12 to 15 minutes.

13)  Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

14)  Serve with sour cream and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Variations to this dish…..

The original recipe calls to add onions, red bell pepper and jalapenos at the very beginning of the recipe but I omit these and instead I add a can of green chilies.  If desired, you could also add ground beef or turkey to this recipe either in addition to the beans or in place of the beans.  If you favor flour tortillas over corn tortillas, you could make that change as well.  I actually like how the corn tortillas add more texture and a bit of chewiness to the dish.  Make note that you can use 1 cup of canned corn instead of frozen corn that has been thawed if that’s easier.  Feel free to add hot sauce, if desired, when you serve the dish.  Woman’s Day recommends this recipe to feed 6.


If you love Mexican food, give this recipe a chance.  I have a feeling you’ll like it!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Snapshots through Florida…

May 4, 2012 - Leave a Response

I hope everyone has had a good week.  I’ve been going non-stop for what seems like the past 3 weeks!  Unfortunately, the blog has suffered and I apologize.  I have so many things I want to add to this blog and I can’t wait to launch my new pages!

After returning from our vacation to FL, my husband and I got to celebrate the marriage of two of our favorite friends over at 3 Minute Kitchen.  Congrats to Ashley and TJ!!  Such a fun wedding at a downtown arts and cultural center.

The following weekend, we traveled to my parents’ for the weekend.  On Saturday, we drove to where both of my brothers live and helped surprise my younger brother, Brandon for his 30th birthday!  Happy Birthday BB!

Outside of weekend goodness, I’ve been trying to play catch up on laundry, cooking healthy meals and starting a Smash book!  Work has been crazy busy as well, so I’ve been struggling with having a lot of energy by the time I get home.  My husband and I are also trying to make a better effort of exercising in the evenings since the weather has been so nice.  We’re fortunate to have a small lake a few minutes away that makes for a perfect 45 minute walk.

The past two nights I took some time to look through some of my photos from our Florida vacation and I wanted to share with you some snapshots through Florida.  For a week at the beginning of April, my husband and I were blessed to join my parents, as well as my older brother and his family in St Pete, Florida.

My parents rented a house and we couldn’t have asked for a better vacation.  It was also a celebration of sorts!  We celebrated my 31st birthday, Easter and our 1 year wedding anniversary.  Since the trip had been planned for some time, my husband and I decided that for our 1 year anniversary, we would treat each other to some of the theme parks in Orlando.  In order to do so, it meant renting a car and driving an hour and a half each way, but it was totally worth it.  Enjoy the snapshots below of our trip!

Sea World 


Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom


Lowry Park Zoo

In the air and on the ground…

Fort Desoto

I hope you enjoyed the photos!  I hope you have a weekend full of goodness!

Bring on the Goodness…

April 24, 2012 - Leave a Response

It’s a new month and it’s time for me to share the things that are bringing me goodness this month!

The song, “The Shape of Us,” by Ian Britt.

The song was featured on the hit TV Show, Parenthood.  Below are the lyrics and a link where you can listen to the whole song for free.  Enjoy!

You’re no longer alone.
We’ve found a space to name our own.
There aint no need to fret or fuss.
We’ve got all the strength we need in the shape of us.

And I know you’ve had it tough.
Your road’s been bumpy and rough.
But say goodbye to a world that you once knew.
I have every faith in me and you.

Hold my hand.
Hold my heart.
Let go your fear.
Darling I will always be here.

I never felt quite so at home.
Your sweet caress is the best I’ve known.
Now that I’ve proved to you that I’m worthy of your trust.
Let us build a world in the shape of us.


Darling I will always be here.

Care to listen to the tune?  Check it out here:  The Shape of Us


Obsession Wine from Trader Joe’s.  I must say I generally favor a white wine over a red and this is another example of why.  This month I purchased my first Symphony wine and it as delish!


Tom’s!  I guess I’m behind the fashion trend and these shoes have been out for quite a while.  Guess what?! They have kids sizes and they are some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn and reasonably priced.  I’ll definitely be buying more of these!  Two great things about Tom’s shoes:  1) When you buy a pair, they give a pair to a person in need.  It’s basically 2 pairs of shoes for the price of one!  How awesome is that?  2)  There are tons of styles and colors, which is not something I usually luck out on so I’m a happy camper!  If you plan on buying some, make sure you try them on first.  The style I bought below ran incredibly small….a good size and a half smaller than normal.


Chevy’s…a restaurant I can never resist!  My husband got me hooked on this Tex-Mex restaurant one year when we went up North to visit his family.  Now I’ve kind of made it part of our travel plans where I always check and see if there’s a Chevy’s near where we are going.  Unfortunately, not all states have one, including where we live, so it’s a special treat when we get to go to one.  There happened to be a Chevy’s right across from the theme park entrances in Florida and this made me quite happy.  We ended up eating there twice and I’d go back in a heartbeat if I could!


Family Vacation…how can it not bring goodness?  A week in sunny FL with my husband, parents, older brother and his family.  Pure bliss!


Lastly, the goodness of fresh asparagus!  It’s funny how your taste buds change as you get older.  I never liked these green stalks growing up.  They just always tasted bitter to me and had no flavor.  A year or two ago I decided to give asparagus another go and my opinion changed.  I decided when bought fresh and cooked correctly, I loved the crunch and texture.  With it still in season, I eat it on almost a weekly basis as a side dish for dinner.  Yum!


The month of April has been full of so much goodness!  I’ve truly been blessed this month and my wish is that you have been too!

Much love…

April 19, 2012 - Leave a Response

My heart was heavy this morning when I arrived to work and read an email that my nephew, Court, had an accident and was injured.  Unfortunately, my older brother and his family live about 3 hours away, so there was no way I could be by their side.  Thus, texts and emails flowed throughout the day with updates.  Praise God, Court is doing a little better this evening, but he has some recovery ahead of him to endure.

In times like these, I’m reminded of how precious life is and how things can happen so quickly.  It really brings another perspective to how important it is to ‘celebrate the goodness’ in life and how not to let moments pass you by.

So this post goes out to my sweet, cute and wonderful nephew, Court.  Wishing you a speedy recovery, little man!