September 29, 2012

Wow! It's been awhile!

It's been awhile since I have been here to post, or read any blogs. What a slacker I am! Actually, I have kept up with some blogs over the past week or so, but mainly I have been really focused at work....doing nothing. 'Tis true. This past week was our last "free" week before hell week starts on Monday. I did a lot of nothing. A lot. A little recap of my week: look at cookie designs, look at more cookie designs, work on my cookbook project, more cookie designs, shop online, place Scentsy orders, etc. 

Here's what has happened in my world (besides doing nothing at work). 

1. Kelly over at Keeping up with Kelly & Co. made these adorable shirts for me and a few of my favorite girls. I'm in love! I can't wait to order more, because a girl should have one in every design available, right? And besides, you can't have too many KU shirts. Seriously. (I love reading Kelly's blog, so if you get time, hop on over to her blog and visit. She is adorable, fun, crafty, and a KU fan!) You can also visit her Etsy store here

2.We got a new furbaby last Friday. He is absolutely precious and has been a joy to have in the house. And he's smart, so that helps! I have wanted one of these little creatures for as long as I can remember. With a little nudging from my not-so-dear friend, Honey Boo Boo child, I did some research and then purchased Boots from a local breeder. (Well actually my husband did, because he is sweet like that.)  Meet Boots. 
Precious to say the least! 

2. Cookies! I made a lot of cookies last weekend. I even wasted  used a vacation day to finish decorating those boogers. All. Day. Long. Cookies for work. Cookies for home. Cookies for the volleyball team. It was too much in one day! (All cookie photos are on my camera, so I will have to share the virtual yumminess with you another time). 

3. Teavana. Whoa. Like I love me some hot tea in the winter time, but never thought I would find myself shopping in a "nothing, but tea" store. It is a little slice of Heaven, all in one store. The aroma of the teas alone excite me. Drinking them is even better! 

A few of my faves:
My Morning Mate via

Maharaja Chai Oolong + Samurai Chai Mate via

Fruta Bomba via

4.  I have finally broken up with my frenemy, T-Mobile. Gah! Why did I ever think that was a better option for us? I'm glad they took the break up well, and though I will be (literally) paying for it, it was so worth it. Sketchy service while at home, no service on the highway...I just couldn't take it anymore! 
Hello Sprint! Such a pleasure you have been already! And looky...

I have been reunited with my Apple friends. (Love Apple products) It's not the 5, but it's the 4S (because they are like a steal right now due the the 5's being so new). 3 new iPhones (2 for the kids +1 for me), and our bill is $100 cheaper per month! Boom!! 

5. I have been (sorta) training for a race I have, oh TOMORROW. I'm actually ready to get it over with. I put so much pressure on myself (obviously not during the whole training part), but during the race. I just want a personal best, which will be difficult since I haven't trained nearly as hard this time as I did prior to my race in March. 

Man, that looks scary! via
5.  Lunch/Mimosas with 2 of my favorite work-girls. (One current, one former). 
Lauren - former co-worker. Currently lives in Dallas

Me, Lynn (current co-worker and the hippest 61 year old I know!), and Lauren

6. Advocare. My sister just signed up to be a distributor for Advocare (with a little nudging from me), so we are starting the 24 day challenge soon. I'm so excited. My ultimate goal is to (obviously) lose a little weight, but ultimately I just want to get rid of the soda and morning coffee (x2 cups with creamer and sweet n low). Spark is supposed to be a great replacement, so I'm hoping between that and the tea from Teavana will help break me of the coffee/soda habit. Side note: I don't drink soda all day, every day. I can go a day or two without one at all, but I like the fizz and the taste, so every once in awhile I get major cravings for a nice cold, fizzy diet coke. End side note. 

7. My mom, sister, niece, and niece's cousin are coming down this week to see the Fierce Five. (Although, I've read that two are injured, so maybe it will be the "terrific trio". ha.) I'm excited as I haven't been to an event like this. My mom and sister went many years ago, when they were visiting my brother and his family in Washington. I'm sure it will be a fabulous time and a I'm looking forward to seeing them since we haven't seen them since August. I'm sure you will be enjoying the event too, as I will be taking a lot of photos. 

8. Mailbox Money. Last Saturday we took our son to do a little shopping. We also stopped at Sam's, which could be quite deadly for us. We were very respectful of our financial boundaries and made it out of Sam's without any casualties. Once it was all said and done, we went home with our treasures only to find a check in the mail from our mortgage company. A refund for over-paying into our Escrow account. I knew our payment was ridiculously high by the time you figured in taxes and insurance, and this gem of a refund check proved it! It seems like we have spent it all, but we haven't. We have used a little for play, but we have also paid some bills, and still have a nice cushion in the bank. Mailbox money makes my heart happy! 

I think that pretty much wraps up my life lately. This post took forever as I was having a terrible time getting my pics to fall in order. Blogger likes to post my pictures at the very top of my blog, instead of in line with the rest of them. Any tips on how I can just load a picture and it automatically drops in order vertically? 

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September 18, 2012

Chicken Taco Chili - Crockpot Style

A few weeks ago, I mentioned (briefly) a recipe that we tried and loved. I promised then that I would post the recipe soon. Ta Da!! Here it is...


CALORIES: 203.7 • FAT: 1.4 G • CARB: 33.3 G • FIBER: 10.0 G  • PROTEIN: 16.9 G




Notes drafted by the Cunningham's......
  • we didn't add the chili peppers and it was just as delish without them.
  • this time (I'm making it again as I type this - lunch and dinner for tomorrow are done and done. Well, when it's finished cooking.), I'm adding the fresh, chopped onion towards the end, so it has more onion-y flavor and a little bit of crunch. (Or at least that's what I'm hoping).
  • it's chunky like chili, not soupy. We like to eat ours with Multi-Grain scoops. 
  • This recipe is so easy. So, so easy! It's basically an open and dump recipe, which I love & it's weight watchers approved! (And great as leftovers!)


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September 17, 2012

There are a lot of things in life that I'm not, but wish I were. One of those being a cook. I don't like cooking meals. Like, ever. If I were asked to cook something for a pot luck, or a party, I could handle that. I love making snacks, appetizers, and desserts (especially). However, to be the one responsible for preparing a meal from start to finish and making sure it tates good - intimidates the hell out of me.
My husband is the oldest of 5 boys and enjoys cooking, so he is the chef in our house by default. Every once and awhile I will prepare the meal, but it's not my forte and I don't want to fail miserably, so I pass the buck to the experienced one in our family.
I'm envious of the people who can just throw this and that together and make the most delicious meal. The person I think of most often is Aunt Vicki. She is definitely a "little bit of this and a little bit of that" and it always, always tastes so divine. Not even kidding. I love going to her house and will always choose her cooking over take out. Always. (and if you know me, you know my preference is take out, especially when it's my night to cook.)
Anyway, the reason for this post is because I stumbled upon this blog and just started pining through her posts. After awhile, I came across a post about "". I had joined up with "e-mealz" once upon a time, so I gathered they were pretty similar. And they are.
I may not be a cook, but I am sort of a planner and like to plan out a menu a week at a time. Typically this is done on Sunday, but I have slacked a bit the past couple of weeks.
Basically you join the plan by choosing a membership. Build A Menu membership rates include:
  • 1 month – $8
  • 3 months – $22
  • 6 months – $40
  • 12 months – $76

(I chose the $8 - just to get a feel for it)

Here are the steps as shown here:

You can Build A Menu in three easy steps:
Step 1: Choose your store
Step 2: Choose your recipes
Step 3: Print your recipes and shopping list
Here are some notes to help you make the most of your experience with Build A Menu.
1. The cost of each recipe in Step 2 reflects what it would cost you to walk out of the store with the ingredients for just that recipe (minus staples, which are not included in the costs.) If you use half a bag of cheese in one recipe and the other half in another recipe, the cost of each recipe will reflect one bag each. Once you’ve selected all your recipes, our menu builder will combine your choices and your shopping list will show you only need to purchase one bag of cheese, making your total cost lower in Step 3.
2. You can click on any of the recipes prior to selecting them to see the ingredients used. An easy way to keep your grocery bill down is to make use of ingredients already in your pantry or freezer. If you recently stocked up on a sale product, look for recipes that call for that item and you’ll be able to cross it off your shopping list.
Here are a couple of recipes from my recipe selection. (We don't have several of the stores they have pre-selected, so I chose Wal-Mart. Of course, there is an option which says "None of these stores". I didn't select that one, but I would assume that it prints the shopping list, but may not list the price, or it may list an average.)

(They have options for kid-friendly, slow-cooker, low carb, cost efficient, gluten-free, vegatarian, etc. and you can pick and choose from each category, you aren't just limited to one!)
Here is a portion of my shopping list. Overall, I selected 8 meals and 1 dessert from the options available.
Build a Menu - Walmart Shopping List
DATE: September 17, 2012
Prices are approximate and may vary by store. Unless otherwise noted, prices are based on store brands. Be sure to check the list of staples at the bottom of the list to be certain you have them all.
LF = Low Fat FF = Fat Free GF = Gluten Free
QtyShopping CategoryCostRecipes by Ingredient
1 green bell pepper(s)$0.68Chicken Veggie Pasta
2 tomato$1.48Chicken Veggie Pasta, Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas
2 onion(s)$1.28Chicken Veggie Pasta, Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas
1 16 ozcarrot(s) (16 oz bag)$0.78Chicken Veggie Pasta
2 crownfresh broccoli$3.56Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Salad
1 red onion$0.67Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Salad

I didn't post the entire shopping list, but the end total was $95.07 - not too shabby for a family of 4 (and 8 meals + 1 dessert).
All in all, I'm excited to try this out for at least a month. If nothing else, I have a month to gather additional recipes for our mouths to try and to add a little bit of a variety in our weekly menu.
Another great thing about this website is a portion of your membership $$ goes to charity and you get to select from a list, where you want your $$ to go. Yay!
If you decide to give a try, please comment back and let me know! I'm excited to share reviews with anybody else who tries it.
**I'm not affiliated in any way with and did not get paid for this endorsement.**

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September 16, 2012

The Awkward Moment when.....

The awkward moment when you buy a phone (Blackberry - love me some Blackberry) from a complete stranger and in the midst of setting it up and making it completely yours you stumble across a peculiar picture. 

A picture that appears to be of a baby's bottom. (Front bottom - not back bottom). First thought? "Oh he has a baby girl. Awww!" Second thought. "Oh baby girl must have had a diaper rash or this dude is into child pornography." Third thought. "Um, yeah. Babies don't shave, so I'm guessing wifey decided to get rid of the carpet and sport the all natural look and share with the hubs." Fourth thought. "Who forgets to delete their inappropriate pictures from their phone before selling it?" Fifth thought. "My hands have been all over this phone already, please God don't let there have been any love juice on this phone."

Still love the Blackberry. Maybe I should nickname it the "crack"berry. Eww! 

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September 14, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Dog Groomer: Why does it cost so much money to shave two little dogs? $86 for two furbabies and me and my daughter's hair cost $60 (and that was giving the stylist a $15 tip)

Dear NY & CO:  Thanks for the special email coupon. I was able to get 3 new tops, a pair of earrings, and a necklace for less than $75.

Dear Danielle- Seriously??!?!? How DUMB can you be? You have been duped by Dan more times than I care to count, yet you continue to enable him to do you dirty. (Stay tuned peeps. If you don't follow the live feeds, you will see the dumbness in all its glory Sunday evening. If you watched BB14 last night, you got to see a portion of it. Tune in Sunday for more!)

Dear Body for Life for Women: I downloaded your book on my nook (love that it ryhmes) last night. Yeah I've finished it already. Granted, I need to go back and re-read a few areas so I'm sure I'm 100% on board with the facts and information I need to get this 12 week challenge underway. I'm kind of excited about this. I think it is attainable. Eat right, exercise regularly, and voila! In 12 weeks, I should feel and look better. Easy enough. Oh wait...

Dear Cookies: I allowed others, outside of my family, consume you. The verdict? Everyone loves the taste and nobody bashed the frosting! Boom! I still have a lot of practice to do, but I need to keep plugging away because I really, really want to make volleyball cookies for J's vb team at the end of the season. (which is like 2 weeks away).

Dear nice man at my office: Thank you for offering us your tickets to the OU vs. KU game on 10/20! How exciting! Although, we will be stuck in the middle of Crimson & Creme country, we are sure to have some fun. (And hopefully KU doesn't get completely slaughtered that game.)

Dear Social Calendar: My, My! Aren't you filling up quickly over the next couple of months? Fierce Five 10/4. KU Game 10/20. EYB Concert 11/4 Eric Church 12/7 I just won't know what to do with myself getting out and about doing fun, social things.

Dear Cool, Rainy weather: Where did you come from? It was like 105* a few days ago, now it's like 55*. I get the fair is in town, but really? A 50* change is a lil drastic. Although, I am loving the fact that I can lounge comfortably in my sweatpants now, so I guess that's a positive. Anyway, ease up a little bit. Let's gradually go from summer to fall and not just "Boom! In your face", like. K? Thanks.


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September 11, 2012

If you really knew me.....

I've seen this post around the blog world, so I thought I would give it a spin. 

If you really knew me, you would know that......

  1. I'm emotional. (that's what I get for asking my husband for thoughts)
  2. I suck at lying.
  3. I am not one to lounge around the house for long periods of time.
  4. I love 100%.
  5. I forgive easily.
  6. (but I don't forget easy! heh.)
  7. I am a people pleaser
  8. I'm not a people person (so they tell me) ((Funny how 7 & 8 are pretty much opposites, yet describe me))
  9. I don't like talking on the phone
  10. I like to have my gifts wrapped in  wrapping paper. Sorry mom! 
  11. I'm not a picky eater, but there are a few things I just won't eat
  12. Pregnant bellies freak me out. (And don't even ask me to touch a preggers belly)
  13. I've had two kids of my own, so to be freaked out by preggers is a little odd, I admit it.
  14. I don't really like cats, except for when they are cute little kittens
  15. I'm a KU fanatic. Just seeing a Jayhawk warms my heart
  16. I suck at getting my hair done a regular basis
  17. I love diet coke
  18. I especially love diet coke from Sonic, with a splash of vanilla
  19. I'm not a huge dessert person, but if you put a brownie or cheesecake in front of's on
  20. I'm not good about finishing craft projects.
  21. I don't like surprises, but like to be surprised! (Take me a on a weekend getaway - spur of the moment adventure, but don't taunt me for 6 months about a gift that I've always wanted, that I have to wait 6 months to before I can unwrap it)
  22. Country music is my preference
  23. I'm sarcastic a lot. 
  24. I have a dirty mind.
  25. I bite my nails
  26. I love to socialize and have a good time with friends
  27. I love time with family
  28. I hope to reside near a beach one day

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September 10, 2012

The Weekend: Recap in Photos

Linking up today with Sami's Shenanigans to recap the weekend.

Jayden and I got our hurr did on Thursday!
Freezing in the cool and rainy weather - EHS Homecoming game Friday Night!
Go Indians!! (Lost by 1 - sad face)
Practiced more with the cookies: Royal Icing
My piping and flooding is getting better, but I still have a long way to go!
Go Team Shidiots!! (Fantasy Football Team)
Sibling Love

All in all we had a nice weekend! The weather was gorgeous, so we managed to get in yardwork (and when I say we, I mean the boys), made some delicious taco chili (I will post the recipe soon), and of course, watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad!

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