Monday Randomness: Trips, Enchiladas, and Leaf Bags

Well we are really globe trotters this month. Sort of.

In an introvert/we really don’t like flying sort of way.

Bozeman, MT and Beaufort, SC are both destinations in October.

Long weekend will be spent in Beaufort just because.

Hurricane Joaquin canceled our plans…

And then we are spending a week in Bozeman just hanging out, fly fishing, going to Yellowstone, shopping and sitting in some hippy dippy hot springs.

Joe and I kept discussing this trip out West that we were going to take someday.

And then I finally said, “What are we waiting on? Let’s just go.”

So we are going.

Norris Hot Springs

We got a sweet place to stay in downtown Bozeman.

For the cost of two nights in a hotel, we got this whole place for a week.

Go check out some of the amazing listings on (including our apartment listing!)


Then last weekend I tried out this SUPER simple recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog.

It’s called Mexican 5 for 5.

It’s genius I tell you.

5 ingredients, 5 recipes.

I whipped up these enchiladas in 30 minutes flat after church last Sunday.

Go check out the recipe here. 


And I know some people choose to put leaves in their leaf bags, but I put clothes in mine.

Seriously, I filled 3 leaf bags with clothes and cleaned out a whole closet this week.

Every time I send stuff to Goodwill for donation I think, “Well there is nothing else left in my house that I don’t need.”

And then I wait a few weeks and find more stuff.

#tryingtobeaminimalist #thestruggleisreal wpid-wp-1443462871664.jpeg

Recipe Index

I have had several people mention that they are having a hard time finding recipes on the blog.

And without paying a website developer to come in and revamp my blog, it’s quite difficult.

There is a search feature on the front page, but it still seems to cause issues.


So I came up with an alternative.

I REVAMPED pinterest.

Or at least my pinterest boards.

All the recipes I recommend or review on the blog will be pinned.

Plus you will see extra recipes that are just my favorites.


You all.

I have a board for just mac and cheese.

And a pizza board. It kinda makes me salivate just looking at it.

So go over to my boards and look around.

There is something for everyone.

Thanks for reading,


My Favorite Soup Recipes

I have become a soup Nazi fanatic.

And I am super picky about my soup recipes.

Here are a few that made the cut.

Now go forth and make soup!

click photos for recipe

Corn and Cheese Chowder

I lighten up this recipe, but it’s a family favorite. Sometimes I also use leftover ham in place of the bacon.

White Bean Chili with Chicken- gluten free and dairy free

I love this recipe! I actually just made it again last weekend.

Great option for white chili without a mix.

Slow Cooker Thai Coconut Soup

I order this soup at a local noodle bar. And this recipe is the best way I can replicate it at home. YUM.

I leave out the tofu and just use chicken. I also have left out the lemongrass; it turns out fine without it.

Basic Chili and Corn Bread Muffins

This is the chili recipe I grew up on. And I still make it regularly.

It’s also awesome with some big crusty grilled cheese sandwiches.

Italian Chicken Noodle Soup

I was never a fan of chicken noodle soup until I came across this recipe. It’s divine!

Beef and Barley by The Food Charlatan

Barley scares me. Or at least it used to. Make this and you too can get over your fear of barley.

Creamy Slow-Cooker Tortellini Soup

My husband LOVES this soup. It’s a great weekday meal. Super fast and flavorful.

Retail Therapy: The Fringe Hours

I read(listened to) A LOT of books this summer. Fifteen to be exact. And this is one of the top two.

Yes, yes, yes to everything in this book. If you are a woman and you live life, you need to read this book.

So so so refreshing!

I have been a long time admirer of Jessica at, but just got around to reading her book.

She has 3 children, works full-time, runs an amazing crafting blog, and writes for (in)

And yet she still finds time for herself.

If you have ever had a hard time saying no to others to the extent that you are stressed out and exhausted, you need to read this book!

This is one (like For the Love) that I will be reading at least twice.

Are you convinced yet?

Go here to purchase the book on Amazon.

This post contains affiliate links to help with the costs associated with this blog. 

My Favorite Fall Recipes plus a plaid shirt that you need!

Fall, Fall, Fall is here.

Or at least it’s almost here.

And that means lots of apples and pumpkins.

Here are a few of my favorite fall recipes.

click each photo for the recipe

Pork Chops with Apples and Cheese Grits
Easy! Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls
Southern Living Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This cake is divine. I think I leave out the pecans.

Apple Doozie

This dessert pizza is really easy. But I will be honest. I don’t use canned apple.

I just slice the fresh apples really thin, Then add some brown sugar, cinnamon and a couple tbsp of water in a large skillet.

Cook on medium heat until the water evaporates. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Feel free to use canned apple. I won’t think less of you. :)

Biscuit-Style Apple Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are my all time favorite. I may need to make a batch this weekend. Simple food is the best!

All Apple Crisp II

I love fruit crisps and have tried lots of recipes.

But I always come back to this stand-by. It’s great and just so simple.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These⇑ are the best muffins I have ever made. I LOVE them

I was on the hunt for a couple plaid shirts for fall that didn’t gape at the chest and that were long enough to get away with wearing leggings.

Well I found the SHIRT. It’s a boyfriend cut which means its a little over-sized which is perfect if you have a larger chest like me.

click the photo for the link

Old Navy Women’s Boyfriend Plaid Pullover


3 Months of Bad Hair

At the beginning of this year I was in dire need of some help.

Hair help.

This is how my hair is supposed to look.



Unfortunately, my hair did not look like the examples above.

I know I was going through some crazy hormonal stuff at the time which sometimes causes my hair to be extra oily.

But the build-up/oil in my hair was beyond some basic PMS symptoms.

I was not using extra hair products, conditioning, or excessive washing.

I just could NOT get my hair clean.

It was strange and disheartening.

In the past when I had a mild problem of hair product build-up, I had used the old stand-by.

click photo for affiliate link

And I still love this Neutrogena Shampoo.

It’s just not for extreme cases of hair funk.

Anyway, I went to my hair dresser and told her my problem.

She washed my hair and was SHOCKED at how dirty it looked even after a deep shampoo and blow out.

So she said, ” Go buy cheap Suave Natural Clarifying Shampoo and use it for every wash.”

click photo for affliate link

I have to say I was a little skeptical, but I did as she said.

And after two weeks my hair funk was cured.

I still only wash my hair every 2-3 days, but the oily build-up is gone.

And I am so thankful to have my normal hair back.

Thanks, Rebecca!!!!

Entertaining: A Cuban-style Meal for $30, Serves 8-10

wpid-wp-1442096374706.jpegI have talked about my goal to entertain more this year.

Yall, I am overachiever with this goal this year.

I need to make more New Year’s resolutions involving food, because I EXCEED at them. :)

Anyway, I forgot how much I enjoy entertaining.

And our house is not even ideal for hosting many people because of our super small eating area, but we are making it happen anyway.

I have made this meal 3 times now, and it’s just so dang good.

Simple food at its finest.

The whole meal can be made a day in advance and reheated before serving.

It is dairy free, gluten free and can even be made for vegetarians/vegan if you leave out the chicken stock in the black beans/rice. 

A crowd-pleaser for sure. 

Cuban-Style Pulled Pork

  • 4-5 lb pork roast (fat trimmed)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin

Place all the ingredients in a large bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Then place the roast and marinade in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low. Let the roast cool on a cutting board and then shred pork with two forks. Remove the lime slices from the slow cooker and discard. Place the shredded pork in the cooking juices in the slow cooker. Re-heat in slow cooker when ready to serve.

Black Beans

  • 32-40 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa or Rotel
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

In a large skillet cook black beans, salsa and stock in a skillet. Heat uncovered at med high until the liquid is reduced almost completely. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. Serve warm with hot sauce.


  • 3 cups rice
  • 2  12 cans coconut milk
  • 1  cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, combine all the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes or until boiling. Reduce to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave the cover on until ready to fluff and serve.

Mango salsa

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cups diced mango (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and serve cold or at room temperature.

Note: if you are not a fan of mango, pineapple will work too.




Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

This recipe is packed with fiber and other good things.

And it’s delish!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

 serves 4

  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1  32 oz box black bean soup (Trader Joes or similar)
  • shredded cheese (garnish) optional
  • cilantro (garnish) optional

Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan (I have also used leftover taco meat). Drain off the fat. Add in the chili powder, onion powder and sweet potato, corn and black bean soup. Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes then serve.


I served mine with my easy corn bread muffins. Click here for the recipe.

Home Improvement: $3 door hardware update


This project may take the cake as the cheapest ever.

It is very easy and is perfect for rookie DIYers. Just follow the instructions below.



One $3 can of paint covered 12 sets of door knobs.



A couple of tips to make sure this project is successful.

1. Make sure the hardware is clean before you set it up to paint. Do NOT place the hardware on a plastic bag to spray. Use cardboard.
2. Buy Rustoleum paint with primer built-in. I bought flat black. It worked great. Don’t cheap out on the paint.
3. Do 2-4 light coats with a hour of drying time between coats. Do not spray paint in direct sunlight. The sun causes the paint to do weird things.
4. Do not touch the painted hardware for at least 48 hours! It really takes that long for the paint to cure and defume. DON’T RUSH.


I seriously can’t believe I didn’t do this 3 years ago when I moved in. It makes such a big difference in the look of our home.

Next up, painting brass ceiling fans!

This post contains affiliate links to help pay for the costs of this blog. 

Monday Randomness: a new book, caprese garlic bread and I am in love with my washing machine

If you need a real life Christian living book that will make you laugh, cry and challenge you in 10 different ways I highly recommend For The Love.

I listened to the whole thing on Audible in 2 days this past week.

I cannot tell you how encouraging and challenging this book was to me right now.

If you aren’t familiar with Jen Hatmaker go over to her site. She also has a TV show on HGTV.

And while you read your book you probably need to make this caprese garlic bread because it’s delicious.

And since our comedy of errors weekend a few weeks ago I got a new washer and dryer.

And so now if you sit still in my house too long you will get washed.

One of my stepsons sat down on the sofa and asked why the pillows smelled good.

Um, because I washed them.

Guess I should have gotten new W/D a while ago.

Anyway we purchased a commercial grade washer and dryer from Speed Queen.

I have heard great reviews on this brand for years and loved that it had no fancy features.

It just cleans and dries the clothes really really well.

If you are interested here is their website.