Saturday, January 21, 2012

Taco Soup

This is one of my favorite recipes to make this time of year.  It's so easy & makes so much that I can eat on it for days. 

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 large yellow onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 14 1/2oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 15 oz can kidney beans (drained)
1 15 oz can pinto beans (drained)
1 15 oz can black beans (drained)
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 1.25 oz taco seasoning mix

In a large pot, cook beef and garlic. Add onions when beef is almost browned.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. 

Topping ideas:
shredded cheese
sour cream
chopped avocado

Friday, January 20, 2012

Other Lives ~ "For 12"

I've been craving new music lately and found this new {to me} band.  This is a great song and they're from Stillwater, Oklahoma!  Bonus!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Blah, blah, blah.  I know this is on everyone's list every January.  But for me, it's no longer just about losing weight and being focused on a number.  We lived a pretty healthy lifestyle last year until August, when Scottie passed away.  We were looking and feeling better than we had in a decade thanks to our healthy changes, but after August, we slowly rolled back down hill.  And once Halloween came, we gave up completely.  By December we felt sick, tired and unfocused.  It's proof to me that all those little choices we make throughout the day add up to a big deal = how we feel.  And I want to feel good, rested, energized and driven. 

So I'm back to my healthy ways that I started a year ago:
Eating the right foods and the right amounts of them.
Limiting foods that make me feel sluggish and give me headaches {sugars and breads}.
Eating as organic and un-processed as possible.
Cooking from scratch using real food {what a concept!}
Eat an apple a day.
Having treats in moderation {duh, I'm a foodie!}
Yoga three times a week {I love Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy} & trying to be more active in general.
Plenty of sleep because I do not function well when I'm not rested!
As always, drinking lots of water {we've been a no pop family for 3 years now!}
Drinking apple cider vinegar a few times a week {1tbsp acv mixed with 8 oz water}.
Gargling salt water daily.
Taking vitamins.
And my new one I'm adding this year is green tea.  I'm going to try to drink at least one glass a day because green tea has antioxidants and is supposed to have numerous health benefits.

Be Creative and Productive
I've realized something about myself: I spend a lot of time finding great creative ideas and projects to try, mainly thanks to Pinterest {best thing ever}!  However, I rarely take the time to do any of them.  So I'm going to make a real effort to tap into my creative side and actually get things done. 

On my creative to do list:
Learn to sew {second attempt}
Learn to crochet {second attempt}
Revamp old stuff {spray paint is my best friend}
Makeover our house.  I've been working on this one a while.  We've lived here 5 years and my decorating tastes have changed.  I'm slowly trying to change the look in the house and make our spaces what we need them to be.  Projects in the works right now are turning our bonus room into an adorable playroom, turning our formal dining room into an office and making our utility room more functional. {All on a tight budget of course!}
Continue turning our backyard into our personal playground.  I'd love to add more landscaping, rocks, etc.  Maybe get a chiminea eventually.

Get Outdoors and Have Adventures
I hope 2012 is the year we finally take adventures.  We all want so badly to spend weekends camping, hiking and exploring Oklahoma.  And the weekends we aren't out having adventures, I want to be home.  I've decided we all hate running around.  We're just home bodies.  Don't get me wrong, we love going to arts festivals or bowling or any special outing like that.  We're just tired of running around just for the sake of finding something to do.  I think we all enjoy our time more at home, working on projects or playing outside.

Make More Time for Date Nights & Friends
You know when you hang out with friends and you leave thinking "that was fun, we should do it more often"?  Well, I really want to do it more often.  I hope to have lots of cookouts and nights out with friends this year.

Allen and I are pretty good about making time for date nights.  And we're pretty lucky that our Mom's are aways happy to watch the kids for us.  I hope 2012 brings many fun date nights for us, whether it's concerts or just a quiet dinner where we can actually have an un-interrupted conversation...something that's getting harder and harder with two young, happy and energetic kids!

And my last resolution is a biggie for me...

Let Go of Fear
I've been struggling for a while now with fear.  Fear of something bad happening.  But mainly fears over our health and us getting sick.  It seems I have to hit rock bottom on something in order to resolve it.  I have been gradually getting worse over the last year and hit my rock bottom this winter.  In my usual fashion, I've analyzed it all and I think I've figured out why I am trying so hard to control whether or not we get sick.  Even though my Dad died 4 1/2 years ago, this ugly scar of mine has moved to the surface.  I'm afraid of not being able to be healed.  The old me just assumed that if you got sick, doctors would fix you.  But I saw my Dad take his last breath and I could not help him.  And now 4 1/2 years later, seeing that has me paralyzed with fear of us getting sick and dying.  I know it sounds crazy, but it's amazing how such a tragic event can shape your thinking.  It hasn't helped matters that in 2011 both my babies had hospital visits for two very scary things.  And then losing Scottie so unexpectedly in August.  It's no wonder my fear of tragedy has gone off the grid.

But from this day forward, I am making a huge effort to let go of my fears.  None of it is in my hands and I'm just wasting my energy trying to control it.  It is time that I truly trust that God will take care of us.  That doesn't mean we won't get sick or experience tragedy.  But it means that God will guide us through it.  I need to trust his plan for me and I need to trust his timing.  Ironically, our first church sermon of the new year had a lot to do with letting go of fear.  Easier said than done, but I'm ready to take this leap of faith.