Oh to the beach we go…

Keith and I are going to the beach tomorrow!!! YAY! We are going with our favorite traveling partners, my mom and stepdad, Jim! My mom has a condo in Port Aransas and we will be there until next Saturday! 6 GLORIOUS DAYS! (I will have my computer and internet so no worries…I will still be blogging everyday!!)

Once we get to Padre Island we always spend the first day going to the fresh seafood market to pick out some good local fish and we go visit the organic vegetable lady who sells all organic fruits and vegetables that she locally grows herself! It is very cool…we can walk through her garden and just pick what we want! So fun! (My mom has already promised to make her shrimp creole with freshh shrimp!) It will definitely be  a week of total relaxation! After the holiday craziness I am really looking forward to it! Call it my detox! haha!

The Island House Condos...this is where my mom's condo is!

The View From the Patio of Our Condo!

 We are also members of the Padre Island Country Club and so we have access to a gym and a hot tub there! Plus we will play golf one morning. (well they will play golf…I will drive the cart…haha!) And Keith will be fishing most mornings as well. Here is a picture from our summer trip to Corpus:

So, back to today. What am I doing? Packing. I never realized how many things I use on a daily basis until I have to pack it all up! I really need to embrace the concept of less is more I think! 🙂 Santa brought us lots of DVD’s so we plan to watch them this week. Here’s what we got:

  • The Hangover
  • Australia
  • Julie & Julia
  • Inglorious Bastards
  • Stepbrother

I haven’t seen any of them so it should be fun! We are also taking GAMES! We are huge game players in my house. True story: growing up we had “family game night” every Saturday night until I left for college. There was no getting out of it! Our friends were allowed to come over and play games with us but there was no going out on Saturday nights! So now I am by default a game lover! We are bringing:

  • Cards (for Spades…boys vs girls…my mom and I ALWAYS win!!)
  • Boggle
  • Jenga
  • Scrabble
  • Kismet
  • Battles of the Sexes

I am sure we will play them all multiple times over! In fact New Year’s Eve will probably be spent playing Spades and drinking champagne! 🙂

Also during the week we plan on watching lots and lots of FOOTBALL! I am a Texas Aggie alum and my bowl game is Monday night; the Independence Bowl against Georgia! Jim is a Florida alum and so we will definitely  be watching the Sugar Bowl on Friday night. My mom is a Longhorn alum (can you imagine if Alabama hadn’t beat Florida…my mom and stepdad’s schools would have been playing for the National Championship against eachother…eeks!) We are football family for sure..very passionate!! Poor Keith…he went to UNC (University of North Texas) and they didn’t quite make a bowl game so he is throwing his support to UT! But first: GO AGGIES!


I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday! In between my packing I am watching football! (ha…go figure!) GO COLTS! (As we have already discussed I PEYTON MANNING!) Cheers!


Merry Christmas!!

 Merry Christmas everyone! I am pooped but I had a GREAT day! I am right now curled up on the couch in one of my husband’s old fraternity sweatshirts watching my favorite Holiday movie…A Christmas Story. The only lights on are the twinkling Christmas lights. My belly is full and I am HAPPY!! I hope everyone had a great day too filled with everything that makes it special for you!!

I am going to start with pictures from last night.  Christmas Eve was at my house and we always open presents on Christmas Eve…yay! Check it out: 

All of our presents! There were tons!! 

The loot!!

This was my BIG  gift…isn’t it gorgeous?!? 


My GORGEOUS New Chair!!! YAY!

 Santa was GOOD to Keith too…look at that thing?!? 


Everyone had fun ripping into their gifts!! 


My Brother, Josh

Wow Mama!


Even Kodi got into the holiday spirit!

Christmas Eve was a fantastic night. Everyone slurped my tortilla soup and licked their trifles clean!!   

Christmas Day was even better! My mom’s house was perfect! 

The table was beautiful!

The food looked AND tasted amazing!  

My favorite appetizer: cream cheese with raspberry chipolte dressing!

Our Christmas Ham!

The Whole Spread

The fudge we made the other day that I forgot to snap a picture of!

Sugar Cookies


Homemade Pecan Pie...my absolute favorite!

It wasn’t all about the food… 

The NEW love of my life, Parker!

Mammaw (my grandma), Paige (Parker's sister) and Me

Mama and Paige

Mama and Parker ("the chunk")

Mammaw and Jim (my stepdad)


It’s Christmas Eve!

YAY! I am SO excited!! Everyone (being: my mom, my stepdad, my brother, his girlfriend, and my grandma) are coming over around 5:00 p.m for PRESENTS and good food!! I have the Tortilla Soup going in the crockpot and my mom is bringing the Tamales! We are also going to have chips (blue-corn), salsa, queso and guacamole for some pre-dinner noshing! Here is the tortilla soup recipe I promised…it is SO easy!!


1 lb shredded cooked chicken (I boiled the chicken in chicken stock yesterday)

1 (15 oz) can whole canned tomatoes, mashed

1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chili peppers

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup water

1 (14 1/2 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 (10 oz) package frozen corn

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilis and garlic in crockpot.

Pour in water and chicken broth.

Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and bay leaf.

Stir in corn and cilantro.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Garnish with tortilla strips or chips, cheese, avocado, etc…

Serves: 8

170 Calories; 5.1g Fat (1.2g saturated fat); 42mg Cholesterol; 816mg Sodium; 14.7g Carbohydrate; 2.2g Fiber; 3.3g Sugar; 17.5g Protein

Tortilla Soup Goodness!

I will be back tomorrow evening with fun Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day pictures of family, presents and food! Happy Holidays to EVERYONE!!!! 🙂 CHEERS!

Martini Glass Trifles

Okay I have finally assembled the pumpkin gingerbread trifle I have been raving about. (PS…it won the Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) Contest that was hosted on Julie’s site.) And I did it in the martini glasses for a fun change of pace. These little individual desserts are so cute and perfect! Check them out:

That's my kind of martini!

So seriously…MAKE THIS! 🙂 I am super passionate about this dessert for some reason, aren’t I? haha! Anyway…off to do more cleaning. The hubs is fantastic…he is getting the Best Mopper Award for sure!

Tomorrow I will post the Crockpot Tortilla Soup I will be making for Christmas Eve. It is definitely a keeper of a recipe and would be perfect in the New Year because it is healthy! You know me! 🙂 Kelly Out!

Busy Busy Busy

Today is going to be a busy day! The hubs and I are going to be CLEANING!! We are hosting Christmas Eve tomorrow night so I must have a sparkling clean house. Thankfully Keith is always willing to help and does his fair share of honey dos! 🙂 Love him!

I am also going to be assembling my trifle today. I am going to do something a little different this year and make individual trifles in martini glasses! FUN! The trifle tastes better if it sits overnight so I will take pictures and post later to show you! I am excited! I also need to boil and shred my chicken today for the Tortilla Soup tomorrow night. I already set my table…look how pretty! Ah, I love the holidays!

Dinner last night was EASY! With all the holiday preparation I have been doing plus keeping my normal work and running (10-12 mile runs everyday) schedule; I haven’t had the desire to cook big dinners at night. So last night we chowed on chicken (simply roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and poultry seasoning) with steamed zucchini and Keith had Amy’s macaroni cheese. Nothing fancy…but it was easy and tasty! Can’t beat that!

Easy Dinner

Are you finished with all your holiday shopping?

I am 100% finished! Yay! But UPS just stopped by and delivered a package that Keith snuck off with mighty quickly!! Hum…wonder who that could be for?!? Happy Wednesday everyone…I will be back later with trifle pictures!! 🙂

You Just Thought I Was Done…

So you might have thought after my all-day Sunday baking day that I was finished, right? WRONG! Yesterday I made a gluten-free Pumpkin Pie for my hubby (his fave) and Pineapple Meatloaf (another household staple) for dinner. I also made the gingerbread for the Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle I will be making for Christmas Eve.
 I am also responsible for the Christmas Eve dinner since it is at my house. The menu will be Chicken Tortilla Soup and Tamales! Plus for Christmas Day I am making my traditional Raw Broccoli Salad and a 5-cup Fruit Salad to take to my Mom’s. Okay…now calm down, all of those recipes will be coming in the next few days, but for now let’s stick with the Pumpkin Pie and the Pineapple Meatloaf, shall we?


Keith's GF Pumpkin Pie

1 unbaked 9 inch gluten-free pie crust (I use the Whole Foods brand)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 can (15 oz) canned 100% pure pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) fat-free evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl and stir in pumpkin and spice mixture. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes (or until knife inserted comes out clean).  Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours and either serve or refrigerate.

Serves: 8

247.3 Calories; 6.8g Fat (2.3g saturated fat); 55mg Cholesterol; 323.7mg Sodium; 41.2g Carbohydrate; 3.5g Fiber; 29.3g Sugar; 7.1g Protein


Meatloaf with a Pineapple Twist

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup steel-cut oats (or 1/2 cup regular oats)

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2  red bell pepper (or any color of your choice)

1/4  teaspoon salt

1 pound lean ground beef

8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

BBQ sauce

Combine egg, oats, onion, bell pepper and salt. Add beef and pineapple. Mix well. Place in a 8 x 8 baking dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Top with BBQ sauce and bake for another 3 minutes.

Yields: 4 servings

CALORIES 235.9; FAT 8.6g (3.4g saturated fat); CHOLESTEROL 118.1mg; SODIUM 138.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13g; FIBER 1.4g; SUGAR 7.1g; PROTEIN 26.6g


Christmas Bake Day

Yesterday I spent the entire day at my mom’s house doing our Christmas baking!! It was so fun but we were pooped afterwards! Especially my mom…she did most of the work..such a good mom! 🙂 So here is what we made:
Candied Pecans
Praline Pecans

 Hello Dolly Bars

7-Layer Bars

 The Classics

Sugar Cookies

Texas Trash

Jim’s Favorite!

Cherry Berry Oatmeal Cookies

 Cocoa Drops (these are my favorites!!)

 Chinese Haystack Cookies

Peanut Butter Classics


We also made fudge but I forgot to snap a picture of it! 😦 Boo!

But it wasn’t all work…we played some too!

My laughing Mama!

Self Portaits are BEST!
Tasting Time!

All in all it was a GREAT day!! Cheers!