Southwestern Chicken and Bacon Wraps

 

 

 

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I can’t remember where I found this recipe but I knew I needed to share it. It is so tasty!! I also made a grilled corn and black bean salad with mango, cilantro and balsamic vinegar!

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Toppings:

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Cut up watermelon and you have a great light summer dinner!

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Southwestern Chicken and Bacon Wrap

Makes: 4-6 wraps

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Southwest Chicken Marinade (see recipe below)
Southwest Ranch Sauce (see recipe below)
8 pieces bacon, baked or fried, crumbled
½ c cheddar cheese (could sub Mexican cheese blend)
½ c mozzarella cheese (could sub Pepper Jack or Mexican cheese blend)
shredded lettuce
tomatoes, diced
4-6 whole wheat tortillas (use corn tortillas for GF option)
Southwest Chicken Marinade:
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
4 teaspoons chili powder (I used 1 T chili powder and 1 tsp ancho chili powder)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
Southwest Ranch Sauce:
About 1/2 cup ranch dressing (my all-natural favorites are Annie’s Organic Buttermilk Dressing and Brianna’s Classic Buttermilk Ranch)
About 1/2 cup salsa (used half mild and half medium heat)
Directions:
Marinate chicken for 1 hour or longer in fridge. Grill over medium-high heat 6 to 7 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through (no longer pink inside). Let meat rest and then slice into long, thin pieces.
To assemble wrap: Add grilled chicken pieces, bacon pieces, some of each kind of cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes to each tortilla. Roll up like a burrito. Dip in Southwest Ranch Sauce or add inside the wrap.

 

 

Best Mojito’s Yet!

My summer drink this year is Mojito’s!! I have always really liked Mojito’s so I decided to master the recipe. I did a little research, tried  quite a few  of the recipes and then came up with my own.

I do grow mint in my raised garden so I have tons of it but if you have to buy it, buy a lot.

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Linda’s Mojito’s

12 mint leaves

1/2 lime to juice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 shot or 1/8 cup rum

club soda

ice

straws

First I put the mint in the cup and bruise it with a wooden spoon.

 

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Then, add lime juice, sugar and rum. Stir well.

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Add the ice and club soda. Stir and add a straw.

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I fill the glass with ice and then fill it up with club soda. I was taste testing this one and forgot to take the picture when the glass was full.

You can also add red seedless grapes with the mint and bruise. YUM!

If you want make these ahead of time for a lot of people do all the steps except adding ice and club soda. I think it makes the flavors marinate well.  You do have to make them one at a time.

You can also add more rum if you like.

YUMMMMMMY!!!!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day upon us I had to write something about it because it is such an honored day. As a mother of three, I have always worked very hard and done most things myself. “Back in the day” when my kids were small, most husbands worked and more moms took care of the kids. Those days (at the time) seemed long and forever hard but now that I have grandchildren and those days seem too short and missed. I always say that when I get to heaven I am going to ask God why our children came with no instruction manual and why after we kinda figure it out …they are grown?

Our three children were all pretty good kids who made good grades, played sports and loved to help others. We never had to pay lawyers and no one ever served jail time. (Thank you Jesus). I did spend a lot of time with them being their mother and their friend. I tried as best as I could to respect them and teach them to respect others and things. They have grown up to be fine adults. Two teachers and a fireman.

At that time in life we did not have money and could not enjoy the things that most people could. But life was still good because I made life fun. You don’t have to have a lot of money to make your kids successful or to make them have fun. You just have to be willing to try some different creative ways to have fun and make them believe it is the greatest thing ever! Like, have dinner on the trampoline (that someone gave us). Crazy…yes! But memorable…just ask them. Make brownies for a neighbor just because, do something for someone else.  If you can’t afford a nice vacation, take your family camping. Our kids loved it!!! It is not about the money, it’s about the time. Be creative! Think like a kid. If your not creative “Google” it. Buy a book. Do something and start enjoying you family! They really do grow up too fast.

I am only a mother because of my children, so today and everyday I want to thank my children for making me a mother. Without them I would not be able to celebrate this holiday! They have taught me to love deeper than I ever knew possible and to give to the end.

I would not be the person I am today without them. Thank you for all the love, good times, late nights, lack of sleep, “shows”, handmade Mother’s Day cards, chats at dinner, soccer games, football games, baseball games and basketball games (I miss them all now). You three make me proud to say I am your mother! All of the days that seemed long and were forever hard are now missed and you all have grown into such wonderful, kind and giving adults. I love you Amy, Michael and Amanda! I thank God he let me be your mother!

This is a old picture of our family which needs to be updated because we have 2 new members.

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The newer members:

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Now that our children are grown and we have grandchildren, we still all take a vacation together once a year in the same beach house and I try and have family dinners at least once a month. It can be tough to get together with all the crazy schedules but we all work at it to make it happen. We want the next generation to know the love and “tightness” of family!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers. Remember your time with your family is short and live each day as it was your last. Teach your children to grow up and love people, be generous, and help others! 

 

Cleaning Tricks and Tips

I was on Pinterest today and came across this most helpful website about cleaning. I thought you might enjoy it as much as I did. It caught my eye with the Pour and Restore oil spot remover for driveways. I have an old Suburban that leaks oil bad so I will try anything. There were also other cleaning tricks and tips. 

Check it out!

 http://www.listotic.com/55-must-read-cleaning-tips-tricks/ 

Happy Cleaning!!!

 

More Shower Ideas

Here are a few more shower pictures for you. If you have any questions on how things are made leave a comment. This was the other serving table. One table had savory food items and this table had sweet food items and the drinks. Love the tutu clothes lines on the window.

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This wreath was made with strips of tulle on a cross stitch frame. 

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The party favors were coffee. The said “A Baby Is Brewing”

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Our “thank you” notes…..please address your own envelope. 

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The corsage was made by Amy, our oldest daughter. Great job!

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We displayed gifts that came in the mail on the mantel.

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Wrapped scrap book paper around Starbucks bottles and added fun straws.

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Baby Shower Idea’s

Last Saturday we had a baby shower for our youngest daughter who is expecting her first baby. It was a lot of planning and work but it was all worth the out come! 

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There were so many things that were made for this shower that I will have to divide it up into a few post but if you see anything you want info on before I post it leave a comment or shoot me an email.

It took me a bit to figure out what to do but once I had that idea it was on! Busy, busy, busy! Every spare minute was spent on shower stuff.

Let’s start with the table cloths:

1 King size pink sheet (size depends on your table)

20 yards of pink tulle

2 rolls of ribbon

strips of fabric 

handmade flowers

sewing machine (optional)

glue gun

Wash and iron the sheet.

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Get your sewing machine out or glue gun. I choose to sew the tulle together. I just pleated it and sewed away:

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Place the sheet on the table and pin the tulle to the sheet:

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Then the ribbon:

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I went right over the pins that held the tulle with the ribbon.

Next the handmade flowers and strips of fabric. Cut skinny and wide strips for this and make them uneven. I bought 2 yards of 3 different fabrics from the colors from the baby’s nursery and used them over and over.

After you are sure that you like the placement get your glue gun warmed up and glue away. Don’t forget to remove your pins after the glue dries.

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I placed my strips under the ribbon but it really doesn’t matter because it doesn’t show.

Next the flowers:

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These are made with twisted fabric, ribbon and button covers. I did leave a few pins in on the corners to help hold the flowers but I also glued them on.

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Lastly, I made a table runner with gray chevron fabric. It took 2 yards per table but you would have to measure your table to decide how much fabric you would need.

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Tutu’s

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Items needed:

1 yard tulle

ribbon

pins

sewing machine

Fold the tulle to be the length you want and pin

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Next, sew and remove pins.

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Add ribbon.

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Cut tulle open at the bottom and you have a tutu.

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We used clothes pins and twine to hang and added fabric strips and flowers to the ends.

More to come later.

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Baby Girl Headbands

This is another little tidbit of a baby shower idea. We can’t do this at our shower due to having so many people but for a smaller shower, this would be awesome! I have made a few baby headbands lately and they are extremely easy!

Items Needed:

Stretchy Ribbon

Fabric

Glue Gun

Sewing Machine

Scissors

This is the stretchy ribbon:

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I measured 12 inches for newborns and then used the sewing machine to connect it. You can also buy the headband already made at Wal-Mart or Target.

I then made flowers from fabric that I twisted and glued and button covers that you can get at fabric stores:

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Then added to the headband with glue:

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For a girl baby shower you could have a station with all the items above. Make all the flowers and sew together the headband ribbon ahead of time. Place the glue gun, scissors, buttons and what ever else you choose in a area for whoever wants to can make a headband. Check this out for a cute set up that I found on Pinterest:

http://blog.lb-boutique.com/2012/09/12/tired-of-the-typical-baby-shower-game-2/

Tired of the typical baby shower game? » Lb Boutique Blog

It is a cute and easy project and will last past the baby shower. 

More to come later………..

 

 

 

Tutu’s and Baby Showers

This week I will be having a baby shower for our youngest daughter at my house. Our new grand child will be a girl so of course I have to do something really girly. I can’t share everything but I wanted to give a little preview of the shower.

One of my decorating ideas is the diaper cake. Not that I came up with the idea, I just copied someone else and made it my own. I couldn’t find direction or instructions on how this is done so I hope this helps you if you decide to make a tutu flower cake.

This was my inspiration from Pinterest:

Diaper cake Baby Girl Shower - I love the headbands on this cake and the tutu can be reused!

I like the simplicity and the light colors but the fake flowers are just not my thing. So that is where I made it my own.

I took strips of fabric and twisted them to make flowers. You twist and twist and the roll it in a circle using a glue gun along the way on the back. Do a little at a time until it is the size you like. I like to make different sizes.

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I also used buttons that I covered with fabric.

For the back drop of the flower I took 6 pieces of tulle cut about 8 inches long and folded them like a fan.  I bought this tulle at Hobby Lobby. Wrapped wire around it as if I was making a pom pom.

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Then you just pull the pieces apart to make a flower/pom pom. I cut the edges to make it round.

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Add the flower to tulle with a glue gun and you have completed your flower. With this diaper cake I made 3 flowers. I like to decorate in odd numbers.

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Now to make the diaper cake:

Cut a lot of strips of tulle 22 inches long. I used a little hot pink tulle to make it pop!

Cut a 10-12 inch piece of stretchy headband ribbon. (You can find this with the ribbon at most craft stores. It is a stretchy ribbon with holes in it). Sew the headband fabric together and wrap 10-12 diapers with it. You can make you band bigger if you want a bigger diaper cake. Of course the top layer of the cake has less diapers.

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The smaller diaper layer has a headband around it that I made a flower out of ribbon and a button that I covered with matching fabric. This layer was made small so Ady can really use the headband. You can buy button cover sets at most craft stores that sell fabric.

I put the flowers I had made earlier on top by pushing the wire into the diapers. I also added tulle on the inside under the flowers to hide the wire. You could use white pipe cleaners to skip this step but I didn’t have any.

Now to put it all together…….my final product:

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I really dont know why it looks like my diaper cake is glowing…I just took a picture with my IPhone.

If you are giving a girl baby shower and need ideas…check back next week for a lot more!

More to come next week!

These Cold Winter Days

The days here in the south have been very cold! Most people are staying inside to keep warm. It makes me want to go to the islands where there is clear blue waters and warm sunny breezes! But instead I am working on redecorating my bedroom. With this project I have tried to incorporate some (island) blue in my room. I am not 100% done but I wanted to share what I have so far.

This is a before picture:

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I also was trying not to repaint my room since the paint is in perfect condition.

Here is a picture of the same chair but recovered.

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Do you notice that I took a very tradition chair and made it modern with fabric and removing the skirt. I think it is beautiful!

I had never made curtains for this room because I was afraid it would darken the room. Well, it didn’t!!! It made the room look grand and finished.

Before:

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The curtains are hung as close to the ceiling as we could get them so your eye will be drawn to the height of the panel and the room will seem bigger and taller. I am not finished by far. I have pictures to replace, lamps and picture frames. The towels and rugs in the bathroom etc.

I actually have one lamp with the plastic still on the shade because I am not sure if I like it for 50 bucks or not.

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I buy things and bring them home to decide if I like them or not. I leave the all tags on until I decide. If I love it I keep it, if not I return it. Still undecided on this one.

So far I have bought new bedding, made panels and had a chair recovered. All for about $500.00. You could do this for less if you found fabric that you like for less.I am not buying new furniture due to budget but the changes make a big difference for me. You can also buy panels cheaper than you can make them but it will not have the “custom” look. I am making pillows this week and switching out some of the small things. I hope to buy new art work for above the bed too.  I will post finished pictures when completed.

If you would like some warm homemade soup to sooth the soul during these cold days, check out this recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/broccoli-cheese-soup/

I have made it twice this winter and it is great with homemade bread:

http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/rosemary-olive-oil-bread

I hope this helps warm your soul!!

 

Office Christmas Party……Fun or Dud?

At this time of year there are many parties going on with lots of family, friends and yes, that dreaded office party. Well, I wanted to make a change from dreaded to AWESOME with the office Christmas Party. We have a family owed carpet and rug cleaning company and we do an office party every year. I am forever trying to make it fun and enjoyable. We have done dinner and Tanglewood, lunch at the Tavern and the candle light tea in Winston to mention a few. This year we have a young group of guys who may have thought that the office party would be a dud so I had to come up with a new party plan.

Our ice breaker was a “beer tasting” that went over well. I went to Total Wine and bought several strange beers. I took pictures of the descriptions with my phone and read them aloud while trying each beer. I covered the lables on the bottles with red paper so no one knew what they were getting. I don’t like beer so I have fun picking the cool looking bottles and I had a little help from the staff at Total Wine. It was fun to watch the faces of our guys as they tried the beers. 

Next, I gave out small gifts.This gift was several fast food gift cards that you could keep or…….give to homeless people on the street corners. I hope to instill the joy of giving. The feeling you get when you give is unexplainable and makes you want to do it again and again. I gave the dates of our employees a small hot chocolate gift.

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Our dinner menu was: Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Cheese and Sage, A Baked Potato bar, Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, Salad and Bread! I made candied pecans and a vinaigrette dressing for the salad. Dessert consist of Strawberry Cheese Cake and one of our employees, Joel, made a Apple Cobbler. I put an ornament on everyone’s napkin that they could take home.

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After dinner we did a Dirty Santa exchange. All the presents were already under the tree because I didn’t want anyone to bring anything! I Googled “good dirty Santa gifts” and came up with: itunes, Starbucks…the normal items but I wanted to get some different gifts. I did do itunes and a Starbucks hot chocolate with mugs but also our gifts were: wine with stemless wine glasses, Jersey Mikes, Movie tickets with Godiva chocolate, brownie in a mug, Juice Shop Certificates, Hickory Farms gift set, a gift card to a local beer store to make up your own 6 pack and Bailey’s and a pound of coffee. All gifts cost between 15-20 dollars. It was a blast. Everyone, including dates got a gift.

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I googled office games and came up with this: wrap a cool present several times and play a game by using music. Sorta like hot potato but if the music stops you unwrap one layer of the wrapping paper. The person who opens the last layer of paper gets the present. I bought a “Catch Phrase” game that was gender neutral. 

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I was at the stereo turning the music up and down. Not looking at the people passing the gift. Becca, one of our employees girlfriend won. 

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This was a fun game because you didn’t have to be and employee to win. Everyone was on equal ground!

We also gave small bonuses with a “Thank You” card to let everyone know how much we appreciated them. I made a small speech stating our great appreciation of their hard work and how important they are to us. I think if people feel appreciated they will work hard for you and feel like a team!

Our last gift of the night was a gift card to a popular restaurant in town.

If we as employers make our employee feel appreciated it builds team mentality. If I feel appreciated, I will work even harder for the cause. My reason for posting this party is not to make myself or our company look good but to help others have party idea’s and to help companies see that we need to appreciate our employee’s. After all, they are the face of our business. we truly couldn’t do it without them!

 

 

 

 

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