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Creamy jalapeno is heading our way!

22 Oct

Yes!!! Tyler keeps getting better and better. 🙂

(you can click on the pic to enlarge it so you can read it – its an email to/from the VP of Real Estate & Development at Chuy’s Corporate – ha!)

*Funny thing about this…I posted it on Facebook and was asked to forward the email to my friend, Joe Terrell, at KLTV and it made the news today. Haha!


Friday the 15th

15 Oct

The last few day have been a lot of fun. Staring with Ryan’s birthday on Wednesday. I don’t know how most people do birthdays, but we celebrate birthday weeks! The full week is about celebrating that person. Much fun, especially when it’s your turn!

Wednesday afternoon, we headed to Dallas with three main things to accomplish. 1. Go to Apple Store and get Ryan’s iPhone fixed. It was recently cursed with the white screen of death. 2. Enjoy birthday dinner at Chuys…thanks to my Mom for the “gift card.” 3. Pick up Ross, Ryan’s little brother, from the airport! Mission accomplished.

Got home very late that evening and then stayed up talking to Ross until almost 2! He lives in Minnesota and we get to see him about once a year. The last time we saw him was in San Fran last July for the half marathon/Napa Valley trip. We are thrilled he is here!

Ryan took off work the rest of the week while Ross is here. Yay! So, Thursday, the girls went to school and we all headed out to the lake, so I could show off my new place of employment. I had some work to get done…have I told you lately how much I love my new job? Still praising God for it! Then we had lunch at BWW, a little shopping, and the night ended with Ryan & Ross making homemade pizza. Great day…almost. It was great until about 9 p.m. My stomach started killing me. I thought I was just overly full…ya know, with all of the creamy jalapeno dip, Caribbean jerk wings, and stuffed crust pizza I had inhaled the last couple of days. I was feeling miserable and thinking it was definitely time to go on a diet. I was hurting. Went to bed early trying to shake it…but apparently I had a little bug or something. Ugh. Feeling better today though, thankfully.

Tonight, we took Ross to another one of our fave places to eat here in Tyler, Villa Montez. Then, to have a cappuccino at Cafe Tazza – which, by the way, is amazing. Best cappuccino ever. Funny how much of our lives revolve around FOOD! Of course, that is one of the main reasons we run.

Tomorrow, we are heading to Beaver’s Bend for a camping trip! Ryan & I went last year and had a blast. We determined we wanted to make it an annual birthday tradition. Excited to spend some time in the peace & quiet of the woods down by the river.

Here are some pics from the last couple of days…


Ame’s Caramel Yummies

14 Jul

Got this recipe from my friend Ame and it is delish! Baking some tonight to take on our road trip…always get a sweet tooth while traveling!

Ame’s Caramel Yummies

3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)

3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
3 T. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. For bars, combine butter and sugar in large bowl; mix well. Add flour, oats, baking soda and salt; mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove half of the oat mixture; set aside. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of greased 9 inch square pan. Bake 10 min; sprinkle with choco chips and nuts. For topping combine caramel topping and flour in a small bowl; drizzle over chips & pecans. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake 15 min. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy:)

Cheap lunch option.

26 May

Ryan & I usually go home every day for lunch. Both of our offices are located close to our house, which makes it very convenient to just run home to eat lunch…not to mention the money it saves! This is one of the ways we are trying hard to be frugal as we work to pay off our debt!

Recently, we were out of our normal lunch options & hadn’t been grocery shopping yet – no sandwich stuff, no leftovers, nothing. So I rummaged through our pantry and our fridge to see if I could be creative and come up with something. This little recipe is what I came up with! These ingredients are pretty standard for us – we usually always have them. Its super easy, but its actually surprisingly very tasty! So, if you’re in a pinch and need quick, easy, & cheap lunch – give this recipe a try. It can also obviously be modified with whatever ingredients you have on hand that particular day.

Mexican Style Mini Pizzas

  • tortillas
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (LOVE these)
  • torn fresh cilantro
  • chopped onions
  • mexican blend shredded cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lay tortillas on a cookie sheet and top with desired amount of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese, and salt & pepper. Drizzle olive oil around the top outer edges of the tortilla. Bake for about 10 minutes or until tortilla is golden brown and crispy. Enjoy!

Running with the family.

14 May

Lately, when we go walk/run at the trails, the girls will ask to get out of their stroller at the end so they can go “running” too. I love this! So adorable to see them run with their rosy cheeks. Of course, Addi always wins. But Kam has the cutest little stride and arm flail that you’ll ever see!

Ryan & I strive to promote a healthy lifestyle in our family. This is very important to us as a couple and a goal we set as parents – take care of our bodies the best we can. For the most part, our weekly menu is pretty healthy. Whole grains, proteins, veggies, fruits. We do have our splurge days and enjoy our fair share of sweets often – but we try to steer clear of fast food, fried foods, and cokes. We also drink a lot of water, take vitamins, and run/workout often. We feel like including our kids in exercising is a great way to get them involved & enjoy fitness as well. Since our sweet friends gave us a jogging stroller, we have been going out a lot more often as a family to run/walk around the neighborhood or at the trails – we love it. And they love it. I hope that when our girls grow up, they will remember the times we would “go running” as a family!

Race for the Cure & Mommy’s Day

9 May

Yesterday, the girls, my Dad, and I participated in the Race for the Cure 5K here in Tyler. Addi was so excited to “cross the finish line with Poppy” – that is all she talked about for the days prior to the race. And Kam is just always happy to do anything. We got up early & walked across the street to the starting line. Chilly morning, very surprising for May! It was a packed out race with over 6,000 participants! Dad & I enjoyed it…it was a beautiful day.

This morning before breakfast, I was handed a precious card that led me here for a special Mother’s Day message. Gosh, I am so blessed! I LOVED this. I am truly thankful for two beautiful daughters who make me a Mommy. And for my sweet husband who took the time to make this video for me. It definitely made me feel special! 🙂

After church, we went to Quitman to celebrate with my Mom. Ryan grilled steaks for everyone, Mom made all the sides, and I made a German chocolate cake..delish! I am grateful to have such a wonderful, loving mother. She is such a great example to me as a mom. At nearly 30 years old…when I need advice, I call my Mom. When I am sick, I call my Mom. When my girls are sick, I call my Mom. Her caring heart and Godly wisdom is something I admire. I love you Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my sweet friends who are Mommy’s…I love you all!

Chopping Block

28 Apr

If you like to cook, or know someone that does – you NEED this custom, handmade chopping block! I have one and LOVE it. My talented Dad builds these. And if you know my Dad – you know how much time, effort & thought he puts into things! These beautiful cutting boards are heavy duty and a great size. The legs help keep it sturdy for chopping.

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing one or have questions. You can comment me, or email me at The cost is $60 plus shipping (if necessary). This would make for a perfect Mother’s Day gift!

Another one of the million reasons I love my husband.

19 Mar

He’s an awesome cook!

On the menu this evening:

steak fajitas w/cilantro & cabbage

grilled peppers & onions

mango salsa

grilled corn on the cobb

Spring has sprung!

14 Mar

I am absolutely loving this beautiful weather! Today was perfect. 70 degrees & sunny. We spent a lot of time outdoors. Took a walk, played outside with bubbles, kicked a ball around the yard, chatted with neighbors, grilled chicken kabobs for dinner. I love this time of year. The changing from one season to the next is exciting…each season has its perks & I always look forward to each. Spring is the time of year that stuff starts to come back to life, flowers bloom, people get out of their houses more, running is easier & a lot more enjoyable, its acceptable to wear flip flops, grilling is a must, and there is just a freshness in the air. Spring is just good for the soul.

Our Holiday Happenings

23 Dec

Today is my last day of work until 2010 – YES! Ryan has been off since last Friday. Well…not really “off”, since he’s had to take care of sick kids & a sick wife for the past several days – poor thing! Not really what he planned for his days off.  🙂 Love you honey!

We are so excited to have this extended time off to spend extra time with the fam. Ryan’s parents are flying in from Virginia today at noon. We can’t wait to see them!!! Its been way too long. The girls are excited to see Grandma & Grandaddy Dixon. We plan to show them around Tyler, take them to some of our favorite restaurants, cook some of our fav meals for them*, and just enjoy spending time together.

Tomorrow, for Christmas Eve, we will spend it at my parents house…a big feast & opening presents. Then, we will head home so Santa can pay a visit to the girls. Christmas morning, I will attempt, for the first time ever, to make chocolate gravy & biscuits.* I have to say, I’m nervous. My mom usually makes it – and its always awesome! So I have some big shoes to fill. Then, we’ll cook Christmas dinner at our house for the whole Dixon crew.* We are thinking Mexican or Italian food to change things up a little.

Saturday, is the big Skinner Family Christmas…where the WHOLE family joins together for lunch in Quitman. I’m talking 50+ people here…its nuts, but good times!

Then, next week – relaxation, chilling, and then more resting. Stoked about this, for sure.

I love Christmas!!! I am thankful for my amazing family. I am especially thankful for Jesus and His love for us. This year has been special because Addi is really starting to understand this whole Christmas thing…and when she sings Silent Night, it melts my heart. Wow, I am blessed!

Here is a pic of the girls in front of the big tree downtown on the square. We put on our pj’s, made hot cocoa, threw in a Christmas CD, and drove around looking at lights last night. One of the many holiday traditions we have started this year!

*Note all the references to cooking. We watched Julie & Julia last night and now I can’t wait to get in the kitchen!!! Great flick & motivation for those who love to cook.