Tuesday, August 31, 2010

this week's menu... a day late

Hello all! Sorry I've been MIA since last Thursday evening. It was my birthday weekend and I did A LOT of relaxing. I also did a ridiculous amount of eating and it was all yummy! :D

This week's menu was made to be simple since I wasn't sure how demanding my classes would be right off the bat. I hope you enjoy it as much as we will.

Monday: Crockpot BBQ Ribs w/ Mashed Potatoes & Corn
Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff 
Wednesday: Anniversary Chicken
Thursday: Pizza Rice
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Mexican Casserole (just in time for college football kick-off!)
Sunday: Four Envelope Roast (Crockpot)

Beef Stroganoff
1lb. ground turkey or beef
1 pkg French Onion Soup Mix (or 1 can condensed)
1/2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 can Cream of Mushroom 
1/2 pkg fresh mushrooms (or 2 small cans)
1 cup sour cream
dash of pepper
noodles of your choice (I use corkscrew)

-Make French Onion Soup w/ only half of water per directions (i.e. mine says 4 cups, I used 2 cups).
-Brown meat in soup to lock in the flavor.
-Drain meat (soup and all).
-Stir in garlic salt, cream of mushroom, mushrooms, and pepper. 
-Simmer covered 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally. 
-Prepare noodles per box instructions.
-Uncover meat mixture and stir in noodles. Cook 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.
-Remove from heat, stir in sour cream.
-Serve and enjoy!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I feel like a broken record. I have started this post quite a few times and even gotten to the end before I hit the delete button and move on. I think I have this semi-emotional breakdown every other month. And to correctly place the blame, I look to myself, because there is no one else to blame for this level of loneliness. I used to be a great friend, one of the best friends a girl could have... but I changed. I got bitter and angry and a large assortment of other negatively connotative words, and I decided in reaction to become selfish. I focused entirely on myself and my own happiness and simply ignored other people. At one time, I was everyone's go-to girl and I was the crowd-pleasing, feel-the-temperature-in-the-room-and-adjust-yourself-to-it girl and I got sick and tired of it. I ignored myself for so long to be bubbly and friendly and loving and exactly what everyone else needed me to be... and I found myself broken because of it. So I guess now I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I don't recall ever actually hurting anyone with my words or my absence. I think that I was just absent for so long, that no one cared to remember me and no one cared to be there for me through what I lovingly refer to as my "broken year." Let me back-track a bit... Gary was there. And he was incredible and he started dating me when all of this was happening and I guess part of why I knew so quickly that he and I were destined to be together was that for the first time, someone got me and someone listened and loved me regardless of how broken and neglected I had become. But I've gotten way, way, way off track. I'm not complaining that I had the gift of loving people. I actually rather liked it. I was born to be a care-giver in every sense of the word. My complaint is that now, I'm all alone except for my husband. Don't get me wrong, I know he's my best friend and that he's supposed to be... but none of you can tell me that a girlfriend isn't an altogether different kind of love that we all need. People move on in their lives and people move away, but I have not had the kind of friend and confidant in anyone else like I see others having. And I feel so hurt and broken and most of all lonely because of it. This feeling is almost paralyzing. Why is it so difficult to make friends now? And why am I so incapable of being close to anyone but Gary? I just want to find the happy medium. And now that I've made this huge, ugly confession, I feel the need to apologize for it. I'm not trying to offend any of my friends. I know I still have friends (though most of you moved away!) and I deeply love all of our memories and talks. But having someone to call just to talk, or having someone to do dinner with, or God-forbid having a meaningful, constant friendship with seems like an unattainable goal. I am broken, but we all are in some way. This is my way... I am lonely.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

different chicken divan

The bell peppers went over incredibly well around here - Gary probably would have eaten all 6 if he didn't have to share with me, Lucy, and Christopher. :) Here's the recipe for tonight's dinner.  

Different Chicken Divan
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 lb. broccoli, cooked and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup 
1 can French-fried onions 
*To make this a gluten-free recipe, we buy soups that are verified gf and 
do not include the French-fried onions.*

-Spread chicken in bottom of 9x13 greased baking dish. Top with broccoli.
-In a medium bowl, combine mayo, curry, cayenne, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
-Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, soups, and mix again. 
-Pour mixture over chicken and broccoli. 
-Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with onions.
-Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes.

Miss Lucy's Monograms Laptop Giveaway

I'm trying to win this awesome Laptop Case. Sponsored by Mommy Living the Life of Riley

And feel free to check out Miss Lucy's website: http://www.misslucysmonograms.com/

Monday, August 23, 2010

all this sleeplessness has made me productive

I have lost a lot of sleep lately. I don't know for sure why, but probably because I don't handle stress as well as I used to and all the scheduling of classes and missing out on various fun activities, has stressed me out and made me depressed. (Side note: I have two classes now, they were the only two that I needed that were left. BUT, I have classes and I'm happy about something to show for all my hard work!) This lack of sleep has a few perks though. I've made a menu for our family for the next five weeks. All of my coupons are clipped and filed and ready to go. I finally finished going through all the toys we need to get rid of. And I also finished putting my tags into the system for the resale at the end of the month. And of course, I've been reading a lot again. This is our menu for the coming week:

Monday: Stuffed Bell Peppers
Tuesday: Different Chicken Divan
Wednesday: White Bean Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
Thursday: Spaghetti Pie  
Friday: dinner out
Saturday: Italian Gumbo
Sunday: Grill (guys cook - it's my birthday!)

I've never made Stuffed Bell Peppers before, but they are one of the hubby's favorites, so it is high time that I give it a try. I'll go ahead and post the recipe today and let you know if it's a yummy one tomorrow. :)

Stuffed Bell Peppers
6 large green bell peppers
1 lb ground beef or turkey (I plan to add just a bit of Italian seasoning)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
dash of salt
2 cups cooked rice
1- 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

-Remove seeds and membranes from each pepper and rinse. 
-Cook peppers in enough water to cover on medium-high for 5 minutes and drain.
-Brown meat and onion in skillet and drain. 
-Stir in salt (and Italian seasoning, if desired), rice and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Heat thoroughly.
-Stuff each pepper with mixture. Stand upright in greased baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over peppers.
-Cover and bake @ 350 for 45 minutes. 
-Uncover and sprinkle cheese over top and place back in oven to melt.

I plan to post some of the other recipes from our menu this week. I am especially excited about the Different Chicken Divan. A friend from work gave it to me a couple years ago and I had forgotten about it. It is very tasty and I can't wait to make it again. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. And no, you aren't reading things incorrectly, I really am up and posting a blog at 5:00am. I went to bed early and woke up at 4am, wired for sound. Maybe it will make me even more productive today to get my blog-fix this early. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blog Hop - August 20th Edition


Only one blog hop this week and it's new (at least new to me)! So, if you are also new to me, check out some of my favorite posts: Loves - 100 Things - My Book Challenge  and check back often for recipes because they are my latest obsession. Happy Friday Friends!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I go through phases. Right now is my negative Nancy phase, because I don't know what will happen. I decided a couple of weeks ago to consider going back to school. I pretty much make up mind within an hour of considering any idea. And when I make up my mind about something (whether it's a well-researched idea or not), I want things to be taken care of yesterday. Regarding school, I've been on the phone, e-mailing, and basically jumping through hoops since last Friday. The whole time, I've been praying to God, asking Him if this was truly what He wanted me to do or if this was all me. I've asked him countless times to make the entire process fall through if that is His will. For a lot of people (me included) that's a hard pill to swallow. I really like being in charge. I am a prime candidate for control-freaks anonymous. So I'm wondering, if I'm having to jump through every hoop that a school can find, is that God trying to tell me that now is not the time or is He making me work for something that I want. I guess I'll find out when I'm either readmitted or put off until the Spring semester. But you know me, Control-freak Cassie, I want to know now! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Product Review: Snikiddy Snacks

This product review was written Thursday, August 12, 2010, however, due to technical difficulties (on my behalf), it was delayed until today. Sorry friends!

Yah for my first product review! Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries are a Gluten-free snack alternative to your typical crunchy snack (i.e. potato chips). Gluten-free for our family is a major plus but hubby is fairly picky and a lot of the other Gluten-free products we've tried over the last eight months have been not so good or even horrible. I am happy to report that these snacks are an exception to that truth. The Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries have wonderful flavor. They are crunchy and not greasy. They were gone quickly at our house and we were both pleasantly surprised to know the nutritional value is much greater than our typical snack. There are many other flavors and they are all Gluten-free, so we'll definitely be trying each of them! 

In Chattanooga, these snacks can be found at EarthFare or you can order them online from Amazon.com. I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did!

Disclaimer: I was approached some time ago to try and review the above product. A sample was sent to me yet, this review is my own personal opinion and was not "bought."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

In the event that you enjoy breakfast for dinner nearly as much as I do, here are two of my favorite recipes for such occasions.

Cassie's Quiche
2  pie crusts
10 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
1 pkg frozen spinach (thawed)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
breakfast meat of choice (I use cubed ham)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper
1/2 white onion or minced onions (optional)
-Mix all ingredients well with whisk and divide evenly between pie crusts. 
-Bake @ 350 for 45minutes. 
Breakfast Potato Pile
4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pkg sausage (8oz), cooked and crumbled
3 eggs
2 cups cheese (your choice)
1/2  red bell pepper chunked
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp chopped chives or green onion tops
1 tsp thyme or oregano
salt and black pepper (to taste)

-Spray Pam on 8 or 9" square baking dish.
-Arrange 1/2 of potatoes in baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
-Cover with 1 cup cheese.
-Cover with 1/2 sausage.
-Repeat and finish by covering with red bell pepper.
-Beat eggs, milk, chives and thyme (or oregano) until blended. Pour over potato mixture.
-Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 45-55 minutes. 
-Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
-Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.


A lot of people deal with varying degrees of OCD. When I was younger, particularly regarding the matter of school, I was plagued with my OCD. As I got older and gained my freedom from my parents and from school, I stopped taking my meds and really didn't feel too bad. Overall, I definitely couldn't say I was miraculously cured, I would say that the main problem for me was no longer in my life and therefore, I was a much more functional version of my self. When I am in school, I obsess and fret over EVERYTHING to the nth degree. I used to write a paper three or four times because I was never satisfied. And I worried constantly that my instructors would fail me. I never even got Cs, but I was absolutely terrified that I would fail. Logically, I understand that this makes no sense, but literally, I was insane. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I'm going back to school. I decided to allow myself the luxury of a degree and hoped that maybe my life would not be taken over and ruined again by my education. However, I'm starting to think that I'll never be able to accomplish that. I applied very late for the community college in town that I've already taken several classes with previously. My application is late but because I'm an established student and left in good academic standing, I was told that I should be able to sign up for classes online by Wednesday morning. Since that phone conversation on Monday morning, I've been obsessively looking at my account. I literally cannot stop myself and I keep looking at the status of the classes I plan to sign up for, as well as some back up classes in the event that those fill up. My readmission has yet to be processed and the classes are fluctuating so frequently that I'm having a near anxiety attack. I don't know why. I can't control myself and I am freaking out. I want so badly for things to work out. I want to log in when I'm finished writing this post and see that I CAN take classes, but I'm losing hope. I know they said by Wednesday morning, but I am not patient and I am ready to buy my books and begin classes. WHY AM I SO OCD?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a couple of things

Later today I'll post my first ever product review. But for now, I'm going to start sharing recipes. I find that I am often asked for my recipe for this or that and I think it will be fun to share a lot of the "friend favs" as I call them. Let me also add a disclamer that I don't remember where I got most of these and therefore, I am not giving due credit. However, I usually make a recipe my own in some form or fashion and hope that no one is offended that change it up. :) Today, I'll share two recipes - one appetizer and one entree.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
4-5 cups white meat chicken (I use Tyson cans)
1/2 bottle of Frank's Hot Wing Sauce
1 block of cream cheese
1 bottle Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing (I use Ken's)

-In crockpot*, add shredded chicken and hot wing sauce
-In medium saucepan, melt cream cheese and bleu cheese until smooth
-Pour cheese mixture over chicken and stir well.
-Heat on HIGH until bubbly, then return to keep warm
-Serve with chips or crackers of choice (I use tortilla chips)

*I find it's best to use a crockpot to eliminate reheating throughout dinner party, etc.

Italian Gumbo
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 white onions ( I used minced instead)
1 red bell pepper- chunked
1 yellow bell pepper - chunked
1 green bell pepper - chunked
2 cups red wine
2 Tbsp white vinegar
6 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
3 Bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
3 cans diced tomatoes or 4 fresh sliced tomatoes
1 lb. Italian sausage (I used Turkey usually)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (again, I use Tyson cans)

-Heat oil. Add onions & peppers and saute 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
-Pour wine and vinegar into pan. Add garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Simmer until wine reduced to half. 
-Add tomatoes and simmer until they start to breakdown. Return veggies and simmer 20-25 minutes.
-Cut and brown sausage. Add sausage and chicken to veggies, cooking 5-10 minutes (until all well mixed and warmed). 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lately I've been thinking about our version of normalcy now vs. pre-Lucy. Oddly enough, so has Kate West. She posted this today and all I can say is ditto: Lives Forever Changed

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

as I was saying

So I know I mentioned my unhealthy obsession with children's consignment sales. Apparently as a result of my inability to pass up a good deal, I found THREE more totes of clothes I was storing to put into the upcoming Fall/Winter sale. I've been hanging clothes, pinning them to those hangers, and typing in descriptions for three days and I'm only about half through. Thus far, I've got over 100 items. Originally, I wasn't going to donate any items that I didn't sell, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea that I wouldn't have to store away three-ish totes again. So while I hope I'll sell tons, I'm also content that regardless, it isn't my problem anymore.

Yesterday, I took Lucy in for her one-year well visit. She looks so huge to me! She weighs 23lbs. 9oz. and is 29 3/4" long! That makes her in the 75th percentile for weight and 90th for height. If that girl outgrows me by the age of 12, I might cry. I'm just kidding! I love that she's tall and I hope that she'll enjoy it. I had a roommate in college that was 6' tall and she didn't like it so much. Well, I better get back to tagging. My house looks like it spit-up baby clothes and there aren't a lot of places to sit with all my various piles.

Much love and many blessings,

Friday, August 6, 2010

100 Things

I love things like this, they help you get to know the blogger. So, this was originally posted by Trendy Treehouse and asked us to join in! Woot! All of the things I've accomplished are in bold.

 (not my photo, I found it through google)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Playing in a Band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (only Disneyworld for me)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (not yet!)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (sadtimes)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (helped my grandmother)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (on purpose, but I guess it counts)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish counts, haha)

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

5 Question Friday & Blop Hops

1. Are you a neat sleeper or a messy sleeper?
I throw the sheets off. I steal back more than I had originally. I turn my pillow a time or two. I fall asleep on my stomach and wake up on my back. I am a mover and a shaker. But hubby is practically narcoleptic so he doesn't seem to mind. :)

2. Fill in the blank. I wish I was more ________________.
patient - There pretty much isn't a patient bone in my body and I get so bent out of shape about things I can do nothing about.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?
Why didn't anyone tell me that I can't plan everything?! 

4. What was the best thing you ever found at a garage sale/flea market?
Honestly, I find lots of my treasures at garage sales. People have given me furniture... no cost, just GIVEN it to me and it's all been in great condition with little to no work.

5. If you could have any meal brought to you right now, what would it be?
 I'm not too picky, I'd just like someone else to cook sometimes and for it to be worth eating. Hahaha

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I hope you all have a great weekend. We have family visiting from Kentucky this weekend, so who knows if I'll be around. We always have a lot going on around here! Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

here's the latest

There's a lot to talk about, so I'm confident I'll forget to touch on something from the past week, but if I don't mention it, you'll never know the difference. :)

I've missed blogging. I've missed connecting with anyone and everyone. And I thank you all for not giving me a hard time for being a major slacker. To say that I've been worn out is a major understatement. I have been getting a good amount of sleep, but I'm waking up often and I have this never-ending "to do" list going through my head. I don't know how or why a family of three has this much going on (i.e. appointments, play-dates, errands, laundry, etc) but spending a few days on the couch with my back issues has put me WAY behind. My bedroom looks like a tornado touched down and letting someone else into my kitchen for a few days means it's still not back to normal. I've found at least four empty boxes in the pantry. I'm not kidding. Men are hilarious. And throw into the mix a visit from an old friend and I got nothing done this weekend.

Okay, enough ranting and enough excuses.

My visit with Shaun was great time. I recently watched an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" in which Marshall references how people revert back to the way the were when they are around people from their past. I definitely do this and I realized it this weekend. I have my old phrases and my new ones. Shaun brings out my old stories, they are like war stories, and this weekend we filled my husband in on the girl I once was. He was thoroughly entertained and I think has a new understanding about that part of my life (what I refer to as the short-lived college years). We spent the day just hanging out and I was introducing him to the joys of parenthood. Lucy is an easy baby to "learn" with because she goes with the flow. This weekend was the second time a guy friend of mine told me that I make mothering look easy and that my child makes them less afraid of having one of their own some day. Again, men are hilarious.

In addition to my slacking at home and with blogging, I've read much less. I'm still ahead of schedule, but not by much and I really need to get back into my groove. About the only thing that I did not fall behind with and in fact got caught up with, were my coupons. Today I hit Publix spending only $40 and saving $80. Getting these great deals is an excellent mood-booster. And Lucy was an angel the whole time. I pray that she will always be better than I expect her to be... even as a teenager. :)

I am a big fan of children's consignment. I feel like it's a complete waste of money to buy things for $20-60 each and have a child either a) wear it one-two times or b) ruin it the first time they wear it. We're talking about babies and toddlers here, they constantly make messes that you can't prepare for. So, I buy about 95% of Lucy's things (particularly clothing, strollers, etc) through consignment sales. I went to a sale Monday and bought everything she will need (including a beautiful, brand new winter coat for only $15). And though I doubt she'll need anything else, I'm going to be participating in another sale at the end of the month. I can't seem to resist just looking around for things that I know she'll look adorable in. I love that I can keep things I want to for another child and also sell back many things that she wore once or twice, which allows me never to feel guilty. I think that more people should buy and sell things used. It's those little adjustments that save our planet and your checkbook. :) I have some BIG news, but I'll have to save that for another time. This lazy mommy is worn out from playing catch-up!

<>< Cassie

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