October 22, 2013

Green Chile Chicken Casserole & A Milestone

Monday, October 21, marked 1 full month of no smoking for Scottie. I had planned to take him to whatever restaurant he wanted (which he chose Waterloo Icehouse for burgers ha) to celebrate him and to show him appreciation that he chose to live a healthier, toxin free lifestyle after 11 years of smoking over a pack a day - I could not be more proud of him. It has not been easy!! But it has been completely worth it.

When we got home from our trip to Colmesneil, Conroe, and pretty much all over east Texas, I was ready for a home cooked healthy meal that wouldn't take me too much work. I basically just looked around my fridge and threw some things together. Suzy helped me chop some veggies, and we went to work!

Green Chili Chicken Casserole
Makes 8-10 servings

2 small bell peppers (or 1 large one)
1 small yellow onion
1 can 7 oz. diced green chile peppers
4 cups cooked rice
3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
8 oz. sour cream or plain greek yogurt
8 oz. shredded cheese, mexican style
seasoning, to taste (I used light salt and some fajita seasoning)

1. Chop up your veggies, set oven to 350 degrees
2. Set aside 4oz of the cheese, but mix all other ingredients together
3. Put mixture into a nonstick 9x13 pan
4. Cook for 30 minutes, then top with the rest of the cheese (and desired seasoning), and cook for 5 more minutes.
5. Serve!

This was so delicious and so flavorful, I was a huge fan and after 3 people eating it for dinner, we still have half left for leftovers. I highly recommend! And it was SO easy!


October 21, 2013

Life Lately

Life has been quite the whirlwind, lately... but so fun and such a blessing. This will be week 2 that ,my best friend/sister Suzy is living with us, while searching for a job/place. It's still kind of surreal that she is finally in Austin for good! We spent this weekend packing up the rest of her things in Conroe, and also visiting Scott's family in Colmesneil, TX and enjoying the cooler and beautiful weather.

It has also encouraged me to keep things a little nicer at home aka clean more hah, and making tons of new recipes that I can blog about! Seeing my little niece Raelyn was one of the major highlights this weekend. She is now talking SO much and I am now "Aunt Minnie" since she can't say Amanda just yet. I like Minnie and I think it's here to stay :-). Also another highlight - Target has Boston Terrier Onesies!!! WHAT!? For this obsessed furmom, it was only right that I buy it........right?

one | The Shine Project Threads Shop sent me this cute little fall inspired bracelet with a gold leaf on it. I am in love and have been able to wear it with several outfits. 
two | We usually leave Huxley outside to do his business and I'll always look out the window at him to see if he's standing at the door or what. Now that it has been cool outside, I've been finding him sitting like this in the chair at our patio table. Hilarious! He is so cute.
three | Scott got a surprise bonus gift card at work and while he did go get himself a new Polo Shirt or two, he also brought him this little gem. I barely wear perfume but OMG Chanel Chance is the best I've ever smelled. And I used to be pretty obsessed with Michael Kors. It was so sweet of him. :-)
four | Road trippin' it ALL weekend. Friday night = 4.5 hour drive to Colmesneil. Saturday = 2 hour drive to Conroe. Sunday = 3 hour drive home. PHEW! It was so worth it though. Loved seeing Scott's family and being able to have some girl time with Suzy in Conroe. 
five | Seeing Scott "Bubba" with his niece, Raelyn, is one of the sweetest things. He is her favorite and just lights up with joy when he is around. They played on that swing all weekend. I also love that we are "Minnie and Bubba" now.. haha feels so country. 
six | Just as I was about to buy this adorable penguin blue onesie at Target, I browsed just a few more colors and BAM! There was a Boston Terrier onesie right in front of my eyes. I just about went nuts. Needless to say, I've already worn it three times and it is SO cozy. Don't judge.... I know that I'm the obsessed fur mom already haha. 
seven | Upon Suzy's arrival last week, I not only put up all my fall decor, lit all my mulled cider candles, but I also made a new recipe - Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin bread. Recipe to come this week! It was insanely delicious.
eight | Cuddles with my sweet Huxley. He is never really around kids but I was just in awe how he played with Raelyn this weekend. She adores him and would pretty much dive into him on the couch for hugs and kisses and he just licked her and loved all the attention but never was too rough. So proud!
nine | Last night I was wanting to use up some green bell peppers before they started to go bad since we were out of town all weekend and hadn't used them, so I whipped up a random recipe and have decided to call it my "Green Chicken Chile Casserole" and cannot wait to post the recipe! This meal was incredible and so many servings! We have half the casserole left and already fed 3 people (with some second helpings!). 

How was your weekend?
Sami's Shenanigans

October 8, 2013

Chipotle Pepper Pork Tenderloin

This weekend, Scott and I were in the grilling mood and made quite possibly the BEST pork tenderloin I've had in my life. SO incredibly juicy and perfectly cooked in 1 hour on the grill. Easy easy recipe.

Chipotle Pepper Pork Tenderloin
Servings: 2-4

1 non-seasoned pork tenderloin (ours I believe was right at 2lbs, $7)
1 packet of Chipotle Pepper Seasoning from McCormicks ($.89)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Season pork tenderloin in chipotle pepper seasoning and marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour while you heat up the grill.
2. Wrap tightly in foil to make sure juices stay with the tenderloin and cook covered for 1 hour.
3. Use meat thermometer to ensure pork is cooked to 175 degrees, and take off the grill.
4. Let sit for about 5 minutes to soak the juices in, then serve and enjoy!

I made some veggie kabobs to grill for the side and used Raspberry Chipotle Sauce for dipping - this is a must y'all! You can get this at your local grocery store for about $3-5. Raspberry Chipotle sauce goes THE best with Pork and Salmon. You won't be disappointed.

For those wanting to know what were on the kabobs:
Zuccini, Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Bell Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Medium Sized Red Onion 
Insanely delicious!


October 7, 2013

The Last Weekend

This weekend was officially the last weekend for the next few weeks that we have the place to ourselves.... and I am so excited to announce that after 10 years of living apart with my best friend of 12 years, she is taking the plunge and {finally} moving here to Austin!! My heart was overjoyed to hear this news and Suzy will be staying with us while she gets a job and apartment. I couldn't be more excited!

So we took advantage of having the house to ourselves this weekend and did some great cooking, some fall decorating, moving things around, and some outdoor fun since the weather was SO beautiful!!

one| friday was super rough and the bf treated me to a delicious rooftop steak dinner at Bob's in downtown Austin.. have I mentioned how much I love this man? so sweet.
two| after dinner we went back south in search of some good live music near the casa
three| feeling pretty toasty after some drinks and music so we decided to go get some redboxes and popcorn
four| movie date night!! redemption SUCKS. World War Z, SO so good.
five| Saturday. lots of driving, errands, moving, Huxley tagged along for some good breezy weather 
six| worked on the guest room some more, love the color scheme and how its coming together for Suzy
seven| fall decorating and picture printing, making the house look so much more homey! currently working on doing a frame wall going up the stairs.
eight| Sunday had a craving for *almost* burnt hot dogs on the grill. SO GOOD! & I spot a creeper
nine| lots and lots of playtime for little man. open windows and doors. he just ran inside and out all weekend

What did you do this weekend? Link up with Sami with your weekend shenanigans!

Sami's Shenanigans

October 3, 2013

Home Tour + Projects

For 4 out of the 6 years of Scott's and my relationship, we have lived from one apartment to another apartment to another apartment, all of 800sq feet usually, and one bedroom. Despite close friends and sometimes family coming to stay, we never really had any get togethers because it was SO small! Both of our parents live over 200 miles away (mine 500 miles away), and we have been sick of not having the extra bedroom for them to come more often or not having a backyard for Huxley to play in. Well, I had been just searching and searching in the Austin area for a possible home to rent and in early June, we found one!

Located at the tip of South Austin, this beautiful home became available and we jumped on it as soon as we could. It may look ginormous for just us two, but it is about 1800sq ft and had the perfect sized little backyard for Huxley. The community is all young adults and it was located less than .5 mi from the nearest shopping outlet (dangerous!), grocery, gas station, hole in the wall bars, we loved it.

We moved in July and since then have had guests almost every weekend which I love! I couldn't be more blessed and happy that we were able to take the plunge, and it has encouraged me to do DIY Projects and start making this house our very own first little home.

I spy a peepin' Huxley in the above picture...

I love our living room and how open this layout is. A lot of my decor is from previous apartments I've lived in, so I tried to incoporate more navy into the picture. Found these beautiful curtains with the perfect amount of sheer from Target! Still looking for a rug to tie everything in together. 

We have 3 bedrooms... So far the only bedroom I've really worked on is the Guest Room since we are always having someone stay with us. I re-did one of Scott's old dressers from HS in a coral color (Flamingo Lily) and am currently working on getting some more yellow accents to go with what is already a Coral/Aqua room. 

I have a queen bed in there with a geometric quilt in aqua and white, but have not found shams and decor pillows to go on it or a headboard just yet - another project I can do.

Our room seems so white and all the decor I have right now is brownish stuff so any advice helps!! We've decided not to paint this home since we're only renting and would need to paint it back, but when we buy a home I am dying to throw some colors on the walls!!

Some other features of the home:

1. Up the staircase we have a little nook there with two windows and hanging lights. Love love loved this feature!
2. Our 3rd bedroom which is currently becoming an office right now. We plan to put a desk, bookcase, and futon or daybed in there but am still looking for the right furniture (and a good deal!).
3. Upstairs is our game room. There isn't any wiring for cable or internet which stinks but Scott has turned it into his music room. He has his guitar, an amp, and I'm letting him do the decorating. We plan to put a loveseat or couch against the wall for seating since we have pretty much nothing in there.
4. A CUTE CUTE find at Garden Ridge. Looks just like Huxley huh? 

Here is our backyard: 

The only downside (and it isn't even a downside really unless its super hot) is having no covered portion of the patio. We saw a canopy umbrella at Garden Ridge for $80 that we may end up getting just for some shade, but as you can see below Huxley is just LOVING it, and it makes me so happy that he can run around and play instead of being cooped up in a tiny apartment. We don't plan on landscaping back here since it is a rental, but we have added a little baby pool for Huxley and a Corn Hole game set for us for parties. And a grill! :-) 

The only picture I'm missing is the one of Scott and me in front of the house. Let me just tell you I am still working on learning my camera and the self timer, so those pictures came out hilarious. LOL I might post them one day once I at least have one decent one to finish it off. :-) 

We couldn't be more happy in this home and the neighbors, landlords, dog neighbors, everyone is so so nice and the area is wonderful. We only plan on living here a year for right now while we search for a home to purchase, but for now - it is the best and I will be updating the blog with my DIY projects as I complete them.

Have a great Thursday!

October 2, 2013

Four Bean Hearty Chili

To have the perfect recipe in time for fall and football season, I have been looking around to find a chili recipe that is not only flavorful, but hearty and easy to make. I had pinned a few recipes here and there on Pinterest but what really caught my eye was Katie's 4 Bean Chili on her blog. I tweaked it a little as we had guests (bunch of guys for football) so I took out the carrots and added some beef, but WOW was this chili amazing and so flavorful.

Four Bean Hearty Chili
Servings: 4-6

5 Cloves Garlic
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
3 Celery Sticks, Chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 15oz can Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
1 15oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis 
1 15oz can Kidney Beans
1 15oz can Pinto Beans
1 15oz can Black Beans
1 15oz can Chili Beans
1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Garlic Salt (to taste)
3 Cups Veggie Broth

1. Sautee the garlic, the "holy trinity" (celery, bell peppers, and onions), and let simmer for a few minutes in the olive oil.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil for about 15 minutes.
3. If the chili is at the consistency you want, it is ready to serve. For me, I like mine thicker and heartier, so I brought down to "low" setting and continued to simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes or so, and it was PERFECT.

Top with anything from sour cream to cheese to chives or fritos, this chili is delicious, and was a huge hit at our football party!