Cleveland Bound

Hey girls! To make a long story short, I've had a few serious setbacks over the weekend, which resulted in me being put back in the hospital. My docs in KC believe that it's time to talk about some surgical options to save my heart. The meds have done all they can do, and my cardiology team believes  it's time to go the surgical route.

So this afternoon, my mom and I will board a private jet---thank you, Cleveland Clinic---and go to Ohio. Stephen and my dad will follow very shortly behind, just as soon as we can make care arrangements for the girls.

I'm not sure how long we will be there , but we are praying fervently that these docs can give me a new lease on life. It has been a very emotional few days and I try to mentally prepare for time away from my husband, Caroline, Ainsley and all the comforts of home.

Stephen or I will update as soon we know more. Thank you for praying us through this.




Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

Happy Friday, ladies! This is going to be short and sweet because I'm hoping to get out and run errands before the ugly temps and humidity come out to play.

1) I confess that I bought all the stuff to make Jello Jigglers yesterday. Just for Caroline, of course ; )

2) I confess that I'm A-okay with the fireworks coming to an end. (Our county apparently allows it until July 11?) Our poor German Shepherd lives outside and every night he has a literal panic attack until we can let him into the garage. I get it; fireworks are pretty and fun. But golly, it's driving these neighborhood dogs bananas.

3) I confess that I said I'd never be that parent that bought every backyard toy and contraption for her kiddos, simply on the principle that it would clutter our yard. Stephen and I are both eating our words, one swing set and an inflatable Nemo pool later.

Okay girls, I'm off to Ulta with mom to get some new hair product for a post I'm writing. Trust me, you're going to love this stuff as much as I do!


    An InLinkz Link-up


Pop Open the Bubbly! It's Our Six-Year Blogiversary

Six years, chickadees. SIX. I have been banging away on this Mac since 2009. (Insert wide-eyed emoji face.) I think my feelings on this, err, milestone (?) can best be summed up in one word, made famous by beloved Blossom character Joey:

I wish I had a very deep and meaningful post about this most auspicious occasion, but instead, I thought I'd just extend my thanks to all of you for sticking around this long through the medium of song.

In my extensive research for this post, I learned that candy (YUM!) or wood (giggle, giggle...wink, wink), are the two traditional anniversary gifts for year six, but I was afraid the candy would melt and the pencils would break. Those darn US Postal workers these days ; )

So, my friend Bette wrote a little ditty for you. Oh, Bette. Always on her game, that girl.

Whether you've been here since the beginning or you're just getting acquainted - thank you. I mean that. 


Gawww, y'all! Our friends at Nordstrom must have gotten wind of this momentous blog occasion because they're having THEIR anniversary sale! And girls, it's good. Real good. 

Beginning today, all Nordstrom Rewards members can shop the annual mega sale. How do you become a Nordie Rewards member? It's easy. Just apply for the credit card and take advantage of deals beginning today until July 16. 

No credit card? No problemo. On July 17, non-Rewards members can still take advantage of the awesome sales. Capice?


Alright, I'm off to do Thursday things. Whatever those are.

Be good or be good at it, ladies.


A Savory, Shrimpy Summer Soup

Two things:

1) This is not becoming a cooking blog. Cooking, however, is one of the "approved" physical activities that I'm cleared to do right now, so lately, I've been making more messes than Julia Child.

2) I triple dog dare you to read this post title out loud in a Daffy Duck voice. Go ahead. Do it. 

Looney Tunes characters and lisps aside, I found a recipe on Sunday for Shrimp Corn Chowder that sounded deeeeelish. The only problem was, said recipe was friggin' loaded with salt. And, as we health conscious folks know, SALT OVERLOAD = NO BUENO.

So, what's a girl to do when she wants her some shrimp reeeeeal bad? She overhauls the recipe and makes it her own.

And do you know what?

The end result was pretty tasty. Pretty tasty, indeed.

Did I mention that very soon I'm starting a business in food photography? Just kidding. I promise it tastes better than this photo looks.

Shrimp and Roasted Corn Summer Soup
Serves: 4-6
Spice level: 2 out of 10

-4 cups unsalted or low sodium vegetable stock, (I used unsalted.)
-2 cups whole kernel corn
-2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
-2 large carrots, peeled and diced
-1 or 2 stalks celery, diced
-1 small zucchini, diced
-One 14 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
-1 tsp. onion powder
-1 tsp. paprika
-1 tsp. chili powder
-1 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup real bacon bits
-1/2 cup half and half
-1 can condensed Campbell's Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp, tails cut off
-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt to taste at the very end.


1. Wash and prepare all fresh veggies, rinse and drain corn, and drain juice from can of tomatoes.

2. In a stock pot, combine vegetable stock, sour cream, half and half, and Cheddar Cheese Soup. Whisk together until smooth.

3. Add in onion powder, paprika and chili powder. Stir well.

4. Now, add in all your veggies: corn, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes. Cook this on high until it starts to boil. Immediately reduce to medium heat and continue cooking.

5. In a grill pan or non-stick skillet, add your olive oil and warm it on medium. Now, throw in your shrimp! (Because I am a mom, I feel the need to give you an annoying mom-like warning: watch out for oil splash back.)

6. Toss the garlic powder, red pepper flakes and bacon bits into your shrimp and stir well to coat them all nicely.

7. Once the shrimp are golden and pretty, drop them into the stock pot with the soup mixture.

8. Cook on medium-medium low heat for 30 minutes, or until all veggies are tender.

9. Top with a small dollop of sour cream, parsley, bell peppers, freshly grated cheddar - whatever your little heart desires. Or all of it. Or none of it. It's your world. I just provide the recipes.

10. And...serve!


It's a deceivingly healthy recipe that even your toddler will enjoy. Okay, well my toddler enjoyed it. Caroline ate two servings, then proceeded to put down her spoon and lick the bowl.

She's weird and awesome and eats anything, though.


Confessional Friday: {The 'I Slept In' Edition}

Hey, internet friends! Getting off to a bit of a late start this morning, but I didn't think y'all would mind. Hope your Friday is off to a great beginning, err, middle. Unfortunately, it's supposed to rain buckets here for most of the holiday weekend, so I'm planning to curl up and watch some high-quality Lifetime TV movies and re-runs of Dateline ID.

And eat dip. Lots of dip.

Hopefully the forecast is looking a little better where you live, so please take a swim in a pool and watch some fireworks for me, pretty please. So, the girls went to visit their grandparents for a couple days in Oklahoma City meaning it's just me and the Mister and a lovely bottle of Prosecco (me) and some Blue Moon (him) for the next three days.

I am not sad about this one bit. Except this made me all mushy this morning...pic was taken on this very day last year : )

In other news...

1) I confess that I needed this Tulip-Back Top in my life. And so do you. How cute, cute, cute would this be paired with white skinnies and gold or brown sandals? I'll tell you how cute...NAUSEATINGLY cute. That shade of pink sort of makes my heart flutter, too. Oh!! Oh!! And it's only $14.99.

This is from Forever 21's Contemporary line and it runs half a size larger than usual. Size down for the perfect fit!

2) I confess that I bawled like a baby when we watched The Judge last night. Netflix it this weekend if you haven't seen it. To me, it's some of Robert Downey Jr.'s best work.

3) I confess that I accidentally called the little guy at the Tropical Smoothie drive-thru "honey" last week. I had Caroline in the back and am so used to calling her "hun", "honey" or "babe" eleventy thousand times a day, and I guess it just slipped. Bless his little 16-year-old heart. Poor kid was so confused.

4) I confess that we are loving our Nutri Ninja blender, but holy smokes that thing is LOUD. Beware if you plan to make yourself a delicious smoothie for breakfast while your kids are still sleeping. It will wake your whole house and possibly your neighbors, too.

Loud, but awesome. We love our Ninja! Stephen has even lost three pounds just by replacing his usual morning breakfast with it!

5) I confess that I am having the hardest time finding tops that will cover my IV port on my chest. I have a dual lumen Hickman port -- y'all impressed with my med-speak? -- that pumps heart meds into me 24/7 and let's just say, it's not subtle in appearance.

I'm certainly not embarrassed to explain what it is or why it's there, but sometimes a girl would just like to eat in a restaurant or shop without inquiring minds asking twenty questions. (And for the record, I completely get it. It looks crazy and I would wonder, too.) However, if any of you have ever had a port or PICC line and had luck finding higher cut shirts from a particular brand, please let me know!

6) I confess that it's time for me to meet one of my gal pals for some shopping and it's time for YOU to link up! 

Happy Fourth of July, you hotties of the interwebs, you. 


    An InLinkz Link-up