Monday, August 10, 2015

First VLOG on my you tube channel!


New video is up on my you tube channel...  First time vlogging...hope you enjoy it

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Best Home Style Sausage and Gravy

Hey Friends, Today I would like to share with you what I like to call THE BEST home style sausage and gravy. It has quickly become my absolute favorite weekend breakfast. Not low fat by any means ;) but oh so worth it!
    The gravy is packed full of flavor and the perfect consistency. It's incredibly simple and quick to make and if you pre-cook your sausage the night before ( along with your homemade biscuits if that's what you fancy) then you can have this delicious , home made breakfast on the table for your family to oohh and ahhh over in about 20 minutes! Told ya, simple! :) 

Here is the recipe

Home Style Sausage and Gravy

1 pound of breakfast sausage  hot or mild (any brand of choice, I prefer Jimmy Deen)
1/3 cup of all- purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt
3 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon of black pepper, more to taste

Biscuits (homemade or store bought Grands)


Tear small pieces of sausage and add them to a large skillet. Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir until the sausage seems dry  then add more little by little. Stir and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the milk, stirring constantly.

Cook the gravy over medium-low heat stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take 10 minutes or so) Sprinkle in the seasoned salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Spoon the sausage gravy over warm biscuits, serve immediately and enjoy!

Homemade Baking Soda/Coconut Oil Facial Scrub and Apple Cider Vinegar Toner PLUS My Skin Care: Evening Routine (video)

Hey Everyone!
Today I want to share with you my evening skincare routine. For the past couple of months I have been following this routine of products I have mixed up using homemade all-natural ingredients found in my kitchen. I decided to make the switch to natural ingredients rather then use store bought lotions, scrubs and washes because 1. coconut oil and apple cider vinegar are so much better for your skin then the chemically made products out there. 2. it's a lot cheaper! This being my year of less (more on that later) I figured this would be a good area to start saving.  
 I have been using my baking soda/coconut oil scrub 1-2 times a week (I don't recommend using it more than that just because of how abrasive it is) followed by the apple cider vinegar toner then applying coconut oil. The other nights it's just the toner first then coconut oil to wash my face (no need for following it up with the coconut oil after, but if you have really dry skin ( like me!) then feel free to reapply a little extra. 
So you're probably wondering how well these products work right? Well, I am hear to tell you that they, for me have been working amazingly well! Before switching over I was getting breakouts often, my skin was dull,dry and showing signs of aging. At the time I was using store bought products that I figured should be helping my skin when in fact I think may have been making my skin worse! 
It was around 2 months ago I came across an article online that talked about applying apple cider vinegar to your face and how it can do wonderful things for your skin. Such as giving your face a brighter complexion, healing, getting rid of and preventing acne, and evening out my skin tone. 
After reading all that I figured it was worth a shot. I had apple cider vinegar in my pantry so I gave it a go. I was noticing results within a week! 
Next up I figured I should also change what I am using to wash my face.
I have used coconut oil in the past to remove eye makeup (it works amazingly well for that!) so I figured why not use it all over my face?  I know what you must be thinking... the horror! Wouldn't smearing oil all over your face cause you to break out big time? The truth? No!  It really does work! 
I have actually found that using coconut oil on your face tricks it into thinking it's producing enough oil to slow down the production of it and in return leaves you with moisturized skin that's not too oily. Awesome huh? I think so too!
One thing that is important in buying coconut oil for cleansing your skin is buying good quality coconut oil. Organic,unrefined, 100% real coconut oil is best. You can find this at many different stores, from Walmart to Whole Foods, just make sure it's the good stuff. I usually buy a big tub of it and take half for my face and use the other half for baking. 
So do I have you convinced yet? Well just incase your still unsure here's a few facts about both coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
Coconut Oil:
-Antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial (to help with those breakouts!)
-It is gentle on the skin and not laden with chemicals and ingredients you need to look out for.
-It keeps the skin's connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles.
-Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
-Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its well-known antioxidant properties.

Do I even need to go on? ;)

Apple Cider Vinegar:
-Psoriasis sufferers praise apple cider vinegar for reducing inflammation. 
-Apple Cider Vinegar is the by-product of fermentation of apples. Apples are loaded with potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium.
-It balances the natural pH of the skin, clears away excess oils and breaks up the bonds between dead skin cells (exfoliating) to keep skin pores open.
-Lightens sun and age spots, and can improve acne and acne scars.

Remember when using Apple Cider Vinegar you want to get the raw, unfiltered kind.

So  there are the facts now if your ready to give these all natural, homemade products a try then here are the handy dandy recipes.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

   For Sensitive Skin: 1 part ACV to 4 parts distilled water
For Normal Skin: 1 part ACV to 2 parts distilled water
For Oily Skin: 1 part ACV to 1 part distilled water

Apply with a cotton ball, cotton pad (or if your forgetful like myself and forget to pick up cotton pads at the store then a wash cloth works just fine)
The smell may be a bit overwhelming but have no fear once the vinegar has dried the smell will disappear.

Green Tea Version: Replace the distilled water with green tea and store toner in the fridge.

Coconut OIl/Baking Soda Scrub

    For Sensitive Skin: 2 parts oil to 1 part baking soda
For Normal Skin: 1 part oil to 1 part baking soda

Apply gently to skin and wash off with warm water
Use 1-2 times a week

To apply the coconut oil  as a moisturizer only about a teaspoon is needed. To soften up the oil just rub in the palm of your hand for a few seconds then apply to your face.
I am not a Doctor so these products may not be sutible for everyones skin type. I recommend starting with the mixtures for sensitive skin to see how your skin will react. 

And there you have it, my nightly skin care routine. 
Check out my YouTube Channel to see a video of me using these products. 

Talk to you soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meal Planning Series Part 2-How to shop stress free

Tip 1

When shopping with small children, bring a distraction

I like to keep a container of a snack my son likes ( goldfish, organic teddy grahams etc.) to enjoy when he gets hungry and cranky.

I also keep a mini notebook and a pen in my purse just for him. I make him a list to use while I shop. It makes him feel like he is helping and keeps him busy.

Tip 2

Always have a list!

Whether I am shopping for the entire month,just for the week or picking up a few things I ALWAYS have a list. If I didn't, I know there would be at least something I forget.

I like to organize my list by sections of the store (i.e diary, produce, meat etc.) this makes the shopping trip go much quicker and helps me to not forget anything.

I like to carry a copy of the list of meals I will be making... often when grocery shopping I will see something like Red White Vinegar and wonder why I would even have that on there. Having the meal list reminds me what it's for.

Tip 3

Pack an emergency supply kit

This may seem a bit extreme and odd but I assure you it is not! ha ha Not only do I bring a snack for my son I pack a small snack for myself and maybe even a water bottle. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is NOT.A.GOOD.IDEA! It will lead to buying treats you don't need just because your hungry. (Trust me I have learned from experience)

OR you could pick up a delicious cup o joe at Starbucks if there is one nearby. ;)

Tip 4

Bring your thermal bags

Having these in your car will keep frozen food cold while you go from place to place and keep your purchases from spoiling especially on a hot summer day.

Tip 5

Clean out your car!!

Having a messy car full of stuff leaves no room for groceries. 'nuff said :)

Tip 6

Pick up cooler items last!

Start with the non- freezer, refrigerated section first. I always pick up the cooler items and produce last to make sure it stays fresher longer.

Tip 7

Stick to the list!

I've mentioned this before but it is VERY important to save money that you stick with the detailed list you have written up.

So that's it! Those are my stress free grocery shopping tips! Hope these help!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping Series Part 1- intro

I am asked almost weekly from family, friends, friends of friends, people at my church and so on how I meal plan. How I save money at the grocery store and how to use coupons. 
Well, it's not an easy job. It takes detailed planning, research and organization but soon it will become routine. What once took a couple days, for a couple hours a day, I now can plan out my month of meals, clip coupons and organize my list by store in around an hours time. 

Here is how it's done.

I grocery shop once a month. I plan out my meals and shop for an entire months worth in only one trip. 

I make 3 stops, Sam's, Super Walmart and a Bakery outlet. 

It takes me about an hour- hour in a half to shop (depending on what else besides groceries I need to get) in Walmart, 30 minutes in Sam's and about 10 minutes in the Bakery. Having such a detailed list helps me get in and out quickly.

I buy some in bulk.

I make as much homemade as possible.

I set a budget and DO NOT go over it. -If you want to save money you have to discipline yourself to stick to a certain amount. 

I use a calculator. It helps to make sure I am sticking to my budget and it is much easier than adding it all up in your head. (Being good at Math is not a gift I possess) 

Get yourself a binder, to hold your calculator, shopping list, and coupons. (I will go into more detail with this later) My binder sits next to my pocketbook in the front of the cart for easy access. 

Don't forget to look online for coupons! I rarely will spend the extra money to buy a newspaper to clip coupons from and instead with print them off from online. will lead you to where all the great deals are at.

So that's how I do it! Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and a video or two.

Part 2- How to shop stress free
Part 3- Planning out your meals
Part 4- How to use coupons and where to find them
Part 5- Organizing your grocery list
Part 6- Creating a shopping binder
Part 7- Making homemade to save money

See you later for part two!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

starting the week out right

Make me a servant like you, Dear Lord,
                                                              Living for others each day
Humble and meak,
Helping the weak,
Loving in all that I say.
Give me Lord, a servant's heart
Here's my life, take ev'ry part.
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart.
Help me draw so close to You
That Your love comes shining through
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart,
Give me, Lord, a servant's heart.

As I go into this coming week this song comes to mind. 
As a Mom and a Wife there are times I can get overwhelmed and my servants heart isn't always there. I get tired and at times my focus will shift from serving my family to "when do I get a break?" "why is there always so much to do!?" 

The line "loving in all that I say" I need to ask the Lords help in how I handle situations and how I react to them.

I pray as I go into another week in this wonderful role the Lord has blessed me with that I will have a heart like Jesus, caring and humble. That my priorities will be as they should be and that I will hand my week over to the Lord. Drawing unto Him. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

how I get through a "mama needs a vacation" kind of day

As Mom's we all have those days... you know, the ones where you just feel burnt out and defeated only an hour into your day kind of days. With only 1 child, a husband and now a puppy I may "have it easier" than those with larger families but this does not make me immune to the "mommy needs a vacation" days.
There are times when child rearing, dog potty training, church activity planning, housekeeping etc. just overwhelm me. I am only a person. I am far from perfect or having it all together.

For those days when I just know it's going to be one of " those days" here are my go-to's to help me press on and do what I am called to do.

1. Pray!
I may not have it all together but I know someone who does and is more perfect then we can fathom. His name is Jesus and he is always willing to help me out. The best way to break from a bad mood or to relieve some stress it to kneel and tell the Lord all about it. Give thanks for all that you have, praise him for the family he has blessed you with and ask Him to give strength and give you joy to better serve your family. I promise you, this works!

2. Break time!
 Sometimes Mom's need a break. My son doesn't take naps anymore but once in awhile I like to have "quiet time." This is where he has to stay in his room for 30 minutes-1 hour.
He can nap if he chooses, look at books or watch a video but has to do it quietly and stay in his room. This gives me a chance to sit, relax, read, or even nap. I know of many Moms who do this every day but for me once or twice a week helps me out.

3. Ask others for help!
This one is very hard for me. I am a do it yourself type of gal. But there are times when I will ask the Hubs if our son could ride with him while he goes out to run errands so I can have some time alone to get projects done around home or just sit and catch up on emails and such. Of course he is always willing to help and tells me all I need to do is just ask more often but gosh that is hard for us Mom's isn't it?

4. Turn on some music and light a candle!
Sometimes turning on some good ol' southern gospel and dancing around the room with my boy is an instant mood booster. I also like to light a lovely smelling candle. Seeing the flame as I walk by is very soothing and cozy.

So there you have it, my tips to go from grouchy to joyful.

Have a blessed day, keep on keeping on!