Native Texan Livin': January 2015

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Super Bowl Appetizers

Are yall having a Super Bowl party?  Yeah, we're not either, but I love making food for any occasion & since we'll be watching the commercials...I mean the game...we might as well cook!

I don't know about you but my ideal party menu would be appetizers or finger foods only!  I scoured Pinterest to find some new & creative bites that would be hearty enough to give our bellies a proper fill.
Here are the ones I'm hoping to try on Sunday:

Bang Bang Chicken  (I'm hoping this one's a winner because it sounds delicious!)

Copy cat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets  (The game is on Sunday & the real Chick-fil-A will be closed, so this will be our only option if we want anything close to one of their real nuggets.)

Chipotle Honey Chicken Poppers  (or I may I try this one instead...or both)

Mini Cheeseburger  These look so cute & easy. May just have to make the bloody mary too!

World's Best Sausage dip  This sounds really yummy so I'm hoping it truly is the World's Best! 

Mac 'n Cheese Bites  These look fun & I think the kids will really like them

I hope these Pinterest Party People know what they're talking about because now I'm starving!  Maybe I'll start cooking now! ;-)  Of course, Bo might have a different menu being planned in his head, so we may tweak this a little. :-)

Happy Super Bowl weekend everyone! 

(The pics above are taken directly from the websites the recipes were found on.  Not taking credit for any, just wanted to show how delicious the recipes are supposed to look.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My new 2015 Toyota Highlander

Hey, did you hear I got a new car? ;-)  (please don't get sick of me...I'm just excited!) :-)

We upgraded this weekend to a 2015 Toyota Highlander & I am SO happy!  We've had an Expedition for the past 10+ years & it was really just more car than we needed now...and it was starting to fall apart, so...  We originally got an Expedition because we had a big ole dog and needed to tote him around, along with the 3 kids.  But with Bec driving now, the times that we're all 5 together are pretty few & far between.

Meet Silvermist!  Yes, we name our cars!

The things I knew for sure I wanted were 2nd row Captain's chairs, a DVD player, a 3rd row & Navigation system.  A few pluses we also got are leather, a sun/moon roof, sun shades on the back doors, backup camera, and seat warmers in the front seat.  Some of these things were standard & may be old news to some of yall, but I didn't have most of those things before so I'm happy!  I think Bo's favorite feature is something called Speak Easy.  The kids can speak at their normal tone from the back of the car, or we can talk from the front & our voices go thru the no more yelling back & forth! (that's the plan anyway!)

Star Toyota did us right & found us what we asked for!  Actually, Bo did most of the legwork over the phone with our sales person, so that made the process much easier (for me)! :-)  We were able to take Izzy to cheer, trade our Expedition (Snow White) in at a different location, sign all the paperwork at Star, do the financing stuff & drive off the lot in just enough time to pick up Izzy 2 hours later!

Now to keep this one clean...  :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I know you should never be happy to see the passing of time, but I for one was not sad to see 2014 end.  There were tons of good times, but unfortunately, an equal amount of not so good times.

But I have high hopes for 2015.

This year, I resolve to have a better attitude, an open mind, more patience, less doubt, more confidence, find that balance between what I want vs. what my family needs, say "yes" more, say "no" more & to finally defy gravity.  Not literally, but like the song.  Have you heard it?  Read the lyrics?  I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so.  Some things I cannot change but 'til I try, I'll never know. I love it!  I've said it before...I'll say it moves me...and I find me in almost every song I hear.

But enough about me, let's get back to US...
This year, we went to Austin to visit my sister Valerie and her family. (I guess she wasn't sick of us from being in Houston for almost a week for Christmas!) My other sister Julie also came with her family.  It was a nice 2 1/2 days letting the kids play with no definitive plans, visiting with each other & being together as we rang in the new year.

We started our New Year's Eve with some bowling.
Did you notice Bo's tight-rolled pants? :-)

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting & we ordered dinner in.  Afterwards, the dads played poker while the rest of us played board games & got hypnotized by tablets. ;-)

Valerie's neighbors were having a NYE party so we went down there around 8pm.  The kids played on the trampoline, played in the play room, ate (again) & posed for some pics at the photo booth.  We stayed there til about 11pm and then went home to get ready for the "kids countdown."

The kids did sparklers in the backyard & then put on their jammies to see "midnight" & go to bed.  (Don't tell them, but Val rewound the NYC NYE countdown so the kids would think it was really midnight!)

Almost right after we yelled "Happy New Year" Val's doorbell rings & it's her other neighbors who were gonna do fireworks in the cul-de-sac, so we went out.  While the rest of us enjoyed seeing the fireworks, Luke decided it was time for bed...on the neighbor's driveway!

Ringing in the new year w/ Dom Perignon.  Ooh la la!  Valerie got this bottle as a gift & she INSISTED on sharing it with us...and we glady accepted! :-)

first selfie of 2015! 
Happy New Year everyone.  May this year bring you as much happiness I hope to have in mine!

The Nutcracker 2014

Bo & I took all 3 of our girls to The Nutcracker matinee on the Saturday after Christmas.  We hadn't been since Bec was 8 or 9 years old & finally felt the littles were old enough to sit & watch the show in its entirety.

We all got dressed up in our finest duds & headed into town.  (Yes, that's I'm calling Houston, the big city, 20+ minutes away) :-)

We went extra early so the kids could look around, shop for souvenirs, eat lunch, etc...but we got there SO early that they wouldn't let us up the escalator!  We ended up walking over to The Hard Rock to have an appetizer lunch.

Once done, we went back to The Wortham Center to shop & enjoy some drinks before the show.

Having fun with photo filters!

Fam o' 5 selfie at The Nutcracker
We had pretty good seats in the Grand Tier. (Easy in, easy out, right in front of the accessible seats in case Maggie wanted to stand up, she wouldn't block anyone's view & no obstructed views)  We were about 15 mins into the show when Izzy & Maggie asked Bo & me separately, but at the same time, "When are they gonna start talking?"  Oops!  I guess we forgot to mention there was no talking or singing in a ballet!  You'd think they'd know this since they both take ballet, but in their ballet classes, they sometimes sing the songs out loud.  Oh well, they quickly got over it.  Bo got to enjoy sitting next to Maggie for the first half & I got the pleasure in the second half.  (Note the sarcasm in "enjoy" & "pleasure")  ;-)  Actually, she didn't do too bad...nothing a bag of candy couldn't fix. ;-)

We actually made it through the entire show & the girls seemed to really enjoy it.  It was a great afternoon & hopefully we'll continue going back every year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas: UNwrapped

The holidays are over and it's definitely been a whirlwind.  Here are a few things we did leading up to our triple threat Christmas...

Ballet performance, Cheer competition, Parade performance, PTA meetings, Booster Club meetings, cheer practices, church classes, 2 cheer Christmas Parties, doctor appointments, our annual cul-de-sac Christmas Party, Breakfast with Santa at the school, singing at a nursing home, Preschool party, Ballet party & Maggie had new tubes put in her ears & adenoids removed.

After all those things were completed, we finally got to settle down & focus on good times with family.

We spent Christmas Eve at the Watson's house this year.  We attended mass at 4:30pm then went to their house afterwards for dinner & gifts.  The girls were SO excited to have received their very first American Girl dolls!  I think Izzy was the most excited!
Someone was excited to get some moola!
Maggie's doll is winking saying Heeeeey! :-)

Izzy & Maggie got dressed in their new Frozen footies before we went home.  Once home, we put out cookies for Santa & reindeer food & carrots for the reindeer & went to bed in hopes Santa would soon arrive!

SANTA CAME!!!  The girls woke up Christmas morning around 6:30am to find Santa had come while they slept!  I guess we were all really good this year because Santa was extra nice to everyone!  Ride on car, ziggle, tablet, bedding, a grill, wine fridge, phones, makeup, bean bag chairs, etc.  You name it, we got it!  I also got a new shower door from Bo to be chosen soon by yours truly! :-) (why do I suddenly hear a major renovation about to happen? ;-)  )


Izzy got a Samsung 7" tablet & was SO excited!
My family showed up later that morning for a late breakfast, to play with all of their new toys & to get ready for our family dinner that night.
Val, me & Julie with our mommy.  :-)
Nothing like playing in the street on Christmas morning with all of your cousins!

Even the adults got in on the action!

The rest of the family arrived and we got the tamales on the stove & the turkey in the fryer!
Memaw with her 4 kids....Aunt Gloria, my mom, Aunt Jenny & Uncle Louie
Dinner is served! 

Let's open some gifts...

At the end of the night, Maggie grabbed her Hideaway Pet & passed out on the floor.  
Long, fantastic day surrounded by family!

The next day, we celebrated Christmas with my dad.  Our evening was filled with fajitas, crafts & more cousin time.

Santa even made a special appearance just for us!

I don't know about you, but I was officially pooped after all of our festivities...but I wouldn't change one thing!
I hope you had all a very...