Friday, October 30, 2015

Crock Pot Recipe ~ Beef Stew

Linking up with Mel from The Larson Lingo to share my favorite crock pot recipe!!
I've most certainly blogged about this before because it is so darn delicious!
It's not entirely "dump and go" but it's worth the extra effort, I promise!!
Crock Pot Beef Stew
What You Need:
2 pounds beef (I used London broil)
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 bay leaves
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
3-4 Beef Bouillon cubes, crumbled up
4 medium to large red skinned potatoes, washed & diced
3 large carrots, peeled & sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
What You Do:
If you didn't buy the meat that is pre-chunked up, cut your steak pieces to your size liking.
I like to cut it on the smaller side because no one likes
 gnawing on a humongous chunk of beef.
  In a zip lock bag, add the flour & seasoning salt. 
Throw in your beef and shake it up until it's coated.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet & add the floured stew meat to the pan.
Brown on all sides.
Remove using a slotted spoon or tongs & place into the bottom of your crock pot.
Season with pepper (The seasoned salt gives you that salt element, so just use pepper)
Sauté the diced onion in the same hot skillet for 2 minutes.
Don't worry about cleaning it out in between - that's added flavor!
Transfer the onions into the slow cooker as well.
Pour the Worcestershire, water, & crumbled up beef bouillon into the skillet and whisk until mixed, making sure you scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan.

Turn off heat & set aside for a minute.
Add the diced potatoes, carrots, celery, & bay leaves to the slow cooker.
Pour the broth mixture in the crockpot as well.
Cover; cook on low for 8 hours.
If the sauce isn't thick enough, make a slury of 1 TBSP of corn starch and 2 TBSP warm broth from the crock pot and mix up well, then pour in and stir around a bit.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.

I know it's not entirely crock pot because of the searing and sautéing and what not, but give yourself a little extra time to do this and then dump everything in and crank that baby for 8 hours on low. It's delicious.
My husband LOVED this!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Blog Swap

I linked up with a few girls for a fun fall swap!
We got to know each-other a little bit and then bought a few things for our partner and switched!
Now I'm blogging about what my swap partner sent me!
I was linked up with Tayler from The Morrell Tale

 My package arrived and I was super excited to open it up!
There was all kinds of fun goodies inside...

Pumpkin bread mix 
I'll surely be whipping this up this week!
Pumpkin spice icing 
I've never seen this before so I'm interested to see how it is!
Hello Fall sign 
Already on display in my bathroom!
2 fall candles 
I burn candles like nobody's business, these two are gonna be burned soon!
2 cute pumping bracelets
I haven't decided if I'm going to keep these or gift them to my two sweet little girl cousins...
but they sure are cute!

All my favorites!

Thank you Tayler for such a sweet package!
I hope you enjoyed yours!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Since I'm doing my fall swap recap on Wednesday,
I did the WUW today (Tuesday) !
1. What we're eating this week...
I made Pioneer Woman's Salsbury Steak
We had sliders and potato pancakes last week
I made stew - recipe on the 30th!
We went out a few times
Went to Chipotle for a fundraiser
And did what I think will be the last of the grilling for this year...

2. What I'm reminiscing about...
What I always reminisce about - Our honeymoon in Aruba.
I wish we would have gone back one more time before getting pregnant...
We'll get there eventually.
3. What I'm loving...
The fact that I have 76 days until I don't have to work anymore!

4. What we've been up to...
We've been pretty busy lately. Lots of parties, little get togethers, still having house showings, got a new cell phone, went to a few Devils games, shopping, fall know

5. What I'm dreading...
I'm not really "dreading" anything... but I have a love/hate relationship with the cold weather. I love being warm and toasty by the fire inside watching a movie while snow is falling, but I hate having to bundle up to go out in slushy yucky freezing weather.
So I guess I'm kinda of "not looking forward" to freezing winter. 

6. What I'm working on...
Preparing myself to be a mom.
Apparently I have to start getting ready for all of this....
I just don't know where to start.

7. What I'm excited about...
Going to see the Devils tonight!

8. What I'm watching/reading... 
Food Network & Re-runs... I'm not a big TV person

Jenny McCarthy's - Belly Laughs
Jesus Calling
Southern Living Magazines

9. What I'm listening to...
 Well I'd be lying if I said I wasn't listening to Christmas music last week...
But currently I'm listening to:
Bob Marley

10. What I'm wearing...
Maternity clothes.....

And all things comfy
I don't have much just yet so I'm repeating outfits and mixing them up a bit.
It's exciting, really.
11. What I'm doing this weekend...
Going to our towns annual Halloween Parade!
I'm so excited to go, we go every year with a big group and it's so much fun!
12. What I'm looking forward to next month...
We have a week off from work....and I have lots of plans!
We may be going to the Hershey Chocolate Factory too!
Also, Thanksgiving and then immediately after,
decorating for Christmas and ALL things Christmas!
13. What else is new...
Aside from being pregnant, not much. I believe that in itself is quite a lot.

Question of the month is:What is your favorite Thanksgiving Recipe?
Hands down, my moms home-made stuffing.
She makes it all from scratch.
There's sausage, cranberries and apples among all the other deliciousness!
I could eat just that!

Anyone with maternity clothing suggestions that would like to share in the comments would be awesome!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mid-Month Confessions

Linking up with Heather & Elizabeth to confess!!

It's been a while since I did a mid-month confessions post.
I think.
Jeez, I don't even know at this point.
But here I am with my confessions!
My first & biggest confession is.....
We're Having a Baby !!!
We are so excited.
And personally, I'm thankful that the first trimester is in my rear view!
I wasn't sick, but very nauseous every morning.
I was exhausted. I mean, put me to bed at 4:00pm - pooped!
I still get tired, but its manageable now.
So here goes....
I hate working. I am SO mentally checked out now that I'm pregnant.
I am going to stay home once the baby is born, so just knowing that "the end is near" has made me completely despise being here.
I'd much rather be home getting things situated NOW...
January 8th can't come soon enough!
We've had tons and tons of house showings. But not one single offer.
I am so desperate to make a deal and sell the house that I'm offering a gift card to home depot to at closing to the person that buys the house.
Its on our listing. #noshame
I'm not loving maternity clothing just yet. Well pants at least. I have a little belly so my regular pants don't fit comfortably and maternity pants seem extreme (although I am wearing them!) so I've been rocking leggings and long cardi's for a while now.
I'm sure as my belly grows and I "look" pregnant, I'll embrace the preggo clothes :)
If I get a craving for something, for example, a root beer float and a jar of bread and butter pickles, I need to have it. Haha.
I was a big pickle eater before I was pregnant, so that's nothing new, but the combo is new.
I also want all things icy whether it's ice pops, slush, Italian ice... I just want it all.
I'm currently dying for a cherry lime aide slushy from Sonic.
When I turned 30, my mom bought me a beautiful diamond cross necklace.
I took it off one day and left it at her house, probably to go in the pool or something, and she gave it back to me in a paper towel inside a zip lock bag.
Because of this wonderful packaging, when Ted cleaned out my car the next day, it got thrown out - or so we think that's what happened.
 I was devastated. I dug through trash, cried. It was awful.
So for my birthday the next year, she bought me a new diamond cross necklace.
I was SO careful with it. Well it went missing again about 5/6 months ago.
And one day in the summer I broke down crying and told her I lost it again.
She was sure that I lost it in the house with all the moving and cleaning hassle.
Ted said the same thing. So I searched high and low.
I looked in my car more than a dozen times.
Under the bed, dressers, in all my pockets. Everywhere.
Well finally last week I was running late to work and had my earrings in my hand and dropped one down between the seat and center console of my car.
I decided to wait until later in the day to look for it because it was dark and rainy that morning. When I got home and pulled in the driveway I moved my seat back and turned on the flashlight on my phone and looked under the seat where the earring fell and BAM!
There's my necklace.
I screamed Ted's name so loud he ran outside nervous that something happened.
I was crying tears of joy and was just so darn excited!
The earring was also there...
So now all my jewelry is accounted for and I'm a happy gal.

We have a skunk friend. Well. Skunk and Friend don't exactly go together in the same sentence, but we do have a skunk.
I feed the birds and squirrels in our yard.
We have a pretty tree filled/wooded yard.
I have 2 feeders, a bird bath and a bird house.
I put peanuts on the ground in the afternoon for the squirrels.
The other day they didn't get eaten so the next morning when Ted got up to let Jake out around 5am, Mr. Skunk was there chowing down.
Ted was all bent out of shape and then I'm there like aww, he's just hungry leave him alone.
But seriously, I don't want a skunk in our yard at all.
I think he lives under our shed though so it's not quite ideal.

ALSO ~ we had a "possum situation" were I let Jake outside one night and BAM he attacked a poor possum. Luckily both involved were ok - except me, I almost threw up.

I made this "Fall Bark" for our family bon fire we have every October.
It was a big hit. My hubby loved it too.
It was the easiest thing in the world to make...
Here's why it's a confession:
I usually make something detailed and fancy from Pinterest or whatever.
This year, not so much.
Blame it on the pregnancy or just plain lack of motivation...
I melted some chocolate and dumped a bunch of yummy things on top and called it a day!

Texas Amanda was here this past weekend and I soaked up every second of her!

We went to Friendly's for ice cream, and I got a 5 scoop sundae.
It was amazing!
I ate every. single. bite.
I'm listening to Christmas music right now....
Don't judge! :)
That's it for now...
Have a fantastic day !!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WCW ~ Salisbury Steak

What's Cookin Wednesday?
Salisbury Steak!

On Monday night, I made the best dinner.
Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans
What you need

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 cube beef bouillon, crumbled (or powdered beef base)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 whole onion, halved and thinly sliced (or diced if you prefer)
2 cups beef broth, more if needed for thinning
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon seasoning sauce, such as Kitchen Bouquet, optional
4 dashes Worcestershire
1 teaspoon cornstarch for thickening
Salt and pepper

What you do
For the meat mixture:
Combine the ground beef,
breadcrumbs, ketchup, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon and some salt and pepper.
Knead until all combined.
Form into 4 to 6 oval patties, and then make lines across the patties to give them a "steak" appearance.
Fry the patties in a skillet with the butter and oil over medium-high heat on both sides until no longer pink in the middle.
Remove from the skillet and pour off any excess grease.
For the gravy:
Reduce the heat to medium and add in the sliced onions.
Stir and cook until golden brown and somewhat soft, for several minutes.
Add the beef stock, ketchup, seasoning sauce, if using, and the Worcestershire.
Then combine the cornstarch with a little beef broth and add to the sauce.
Stir and cook to reduce.
Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and more broth if needed for thinning.
Then return the patties to the gravy.
Spoon the gravy over the top and let them simmer and heat back up for a couple of minutes.

Recipe compliments of: Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Currently I'm....
Dreaming ...
about moving. It's getting old at this point. And having our new house under contract based on selling the current one is absolute torture. I know it sounds so "first world problem" but the house has been on the market for almost a year, and we have had a contract on the new house since the spring...

Reading ...
Nothing at the moment... but I'm flipping through Southern Living magazines regularly ;)
Listening to...
Accuradio at work. Michael Buble to be specific.

Watching ...
The only thing I really make a point to watch is The Worst Cooks in America and Cake Boss. Otherwise I just watch the food network randomly as well as reruns of Friends and Full House. Boring I know.

Thinking ... 
About this weekend. We have a lot going on. We're going to the first Devils game of the season, we have a family bon fire and my bff from Texas is coming to visit. The last thing I want to do right now is be at work. I have so much to do!

Fall meals.
Tonight I'm going to be making Turkey Corn Chili
Drinking ...
Hot chocolate... I was so in the mood for one this morning.
Other than that I'm a big fan of ice water with lime or unsweetened iced tea.

My hubby, my bff in Texas and my friend Katie who I text all day long.

Wanting ...
This week to be over. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow that can go extremely well or be a little concerning... I'm hoping it goes well

Looking forward to ... 
seeing Amanda from Texas. I haven't seen her since last September. I'm so overdue for a trip there to see her family, but she came for my wedding last year and now is coming for her oldest sisters birthday. It's definitely my turn next.
I'm also looking forward to colder weather.

Enjoying ...
The past couple of weekends with my husband.
We've been keeping things low key and just enjoying each other.

Laughing ...
about the fact that I want to listen to Christmas music already.
I love the fall and Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I LOVE all things Christmas!
All things fall. The food, the drinks, the smell in the air.
Pumpkins. Apples. Oh My.
I've been doing a lot of shopping lately for fall/winter clothes...

My job. And I hate to say that. But it's true, unfortunately.
I just truly don't like what I do anymore.
Looking forward to the day I don't have to come here anymore.

Trying ...

to relax. This is a tough one for me.
I over stress about EVERYTHING.
I currently have a lot going on. (more on that later)
I am trying my darnedest to stay calm and let God lead the way, but it's difficult to do sometimes. But I'm trying...

 Wearing ...
50's clothing today for spirit week.
I have on cuffed jeans and converse and a white t-shirt with a big ribbon in my hair.
My poodle skirt was in the wash ;)

I haven't been pinning a whole bunch
But feel free to stop by and check out my boards....
I think I'm gonna hang out on Pinterest after I finish this post!
Feeling ...
Nervous! Ugh. But hopefully after tomorrow around 12:30pm I'll be good.
I have a lot of fun things going on this weekend so I should be excited.
I'm trying.... I'm trying....

Grateful For...

My husband and my mom.

I'd be LOST without them!

What are you up to currently?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Show & Tell - first job

My first job was my absolute favorite thing ever. I mean, at 33 years old I'd happily go back to this job in a heartbeat.  It was the summer of 1998. I had just turned 16 and was itching to make my own money. So I got a summer job on the beach. I grew up "on the other side of the bridge" from all the beach towns. I'm sure you've heard of Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Island Beach State Park, Ortley Beach and so on. Especially after Sandy.... Everyone pretty much heard of my hometown after that horrific storm. And everyone remembers this picture:
Ted and I went over to see it as soon as we were able to get over the bridge which was like 2 months after. Scary. 


My first job was at Water Works. 

The water park on the island. It was
The best place to go on a hot summer day. I started off putting on and taking off the paper wrist bands. There was a different color and pattern for each session which was 2 hours.  And they (we) made an announcement which I remember word for word to this day... 
Just for kicks:

May I have your attention please, it is now time for all customers wearing the blue star wrist band, that's the blue star wrist band, to please exit the park. As you exit, an attendant will remove your wrist band. Thank you for visiting Water Works and have a great day! 

Haha I love it. I had such a great time working there. I made lots of friends. Met my first boyfriend that I dated for like 4 years. I moved from wrist band attendant to slide attendant to lifeguard. I had allllll the gear. I had the stereotypical speedo lifeguard bathing suit. The shorts, sweats, tank top, long sleeve shirt, hat, windbreaker, you name it - I had it. We all thought we were such hot stuff working there. 

The rides were fun too. There was an inter locking twisty thing that went diagonally across the park called super twist. There was a 60 foot straight drop slide called free fall. There was a lazy river, a kiddie kove, a mat ride which eventfully went to a double tube ride.  As short crazy tube slide called octopus. It was awesome. I genuinely loved that job. I worked there for 4 or 5 summers. 

There were several shifts. I typically worked the morning or the break shift. And the break shift was the most fun. You basically worked the middle section of the operating hours and went around to several spots or "rotations" as we called it, to give the morning shift people their breaks then we had a long spot which we were at in the middle of our shift until the night shift and morning shift swapped out. Then we would go and give the night shift their breaks. It was fun. I loved that dang job. And back then I think minimum wage was like $5.25 so the money was minimal. But it was so fun just having that job. 

My best friend Amanda who now lives in Texas worked up on the boardwalk. So on my breaks I'd walk up and go visit her and get a slice of pizza. It was awesome. It was the best way to spend the summers at that age.

Not sure who this is posing -  but that big statue thing was referred to as Pepsi Man. To the right of that blue bench you can barely see was a guard station called "Pepsi River" because it was on the lazy river near Pepsi man. Haha. It was fun yelling at kids who weren't following the rules and kicking people off rides and stuff. Lol 

Now, it's transformed to Breakwater Beach. It's almost completely different. There's a lot of exchange students that work there in the summer now and it's geared toward kids. 

I made a lot of memories working there. And I made a lot of friends. It's definitely a part of my life I'll never forget. Nothing beats being young and carefree with no living expenses and major responsibilities. 😁

Can't wait to see everyone's first job! 


Linking up with Andrea