Monday, March 3, 2014

Menu Monday: March 3rd-March 10th, 2014

It's Menu Monday! If you are friends with my on Facebook or follow me on Instagram then you know I was a busy little bee Saturday! We didn't end up doing a lot of last weeks menu because I was either working late or was at a photo shoot. I couldn't cook the food so it didn't get cooked. I'm sure y'all know how this goes. You work until 6 or 6:30, get home, change clothes, put the dogs out, get the kids settled down, make sure the hedgehogs are doing ok (ok, maybe y'all don't do the hedgehogs..). By the time you're ready to make dinner it's 7 o'clock at night and you're about to send kids to get ready for bed. BUT there is a wonderful little trick for those late nights. Two words: crock pot. Even better, four words: freezer to crock pot.

I went on a mission to either find crock pot recipes that would work with a lot of the same ingredients or to "convert" the recipes I was already doing into a crock pot recipe. I wasn't able to do this with everything but here's a look at the new menu!

Menu Monday
Creamy Crock Pot Lemon Chicken
     - Serve with asparagus and homemade french bread

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
     - Serve with steamed broccoli

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast
     - Serve with potatoes, carrots (cooked in crock pot)  and asparagus

     - Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli

Crock pot Chicken Fajitas
     - Serve with refried beans

Lemon Angle Hair Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
     - Serve with steamed broccoli\

Mac and Cheese
     - Serve with salad and french bread

Stir fry
     - Serve with rice

I have assembled the Lemon chicken, Pot Roast, Chicken Fajitas and Meatloaf. We actually had the pot roast last night because it smelled SO good when I was putting it together. We weren't disappointed. It was amazing. The chicken and wild rice casserole can also be made ahead of time and frozen and I could easily throw the stir fry together and put it in the freezer if I wanted to. More crock pot recipes to come!

Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed this Southern Soapbox!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Another Bountiful Basket!

I'm drowning in asparagus and zucchini over here! And baby bell peppers. Don't mistake this for me complaining though! I'm excited about this weeks Bountiful Basket!

So what did I get for the grand total of $32.50? Let's see!

The Loot:
11 oranges
3 grapefruit
1lb of strawberries
1-ish pint of mini bell peppers
6 bananas
3 heads of broccoli
1 cabbage
1 head of romaine lettuce
3 bunches of asparagus
1 pint of grape tomatoes
2 giant zuchinnis, and
1 jicama (it's ok I had to Google it too)
But wait there's more!
I also did an add on of 8 -1 lb containers of strawberries, which I'm splitting between several different people.
GIANT zuchinni!
The jicama is a bit "odd" and I wasn't totally sure what the heck I was going to do with it but I googled and it's basically a REALLY yummy and sweet "mexican yam". Apparently it's very good on salads. With the strawberries I will end up with 3lbs. I am keeping 2 from the add on plus the 1 lb that came in the basket!

So, how do you think I did?! I hope you enjoyed this Bountiful Southern Soapbox!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wonky and Woot-tastic Wednesday

Guess what day it is!!!! It's HUMP DAY! (said in the annoying voice from the commercial. Yup. I went there.) And you know what hump day means?! It's time for some Wonky and Woot-tastic!

- Am I the only one that is TOTALLY over winter? I didn't think so. Texas needs to figure out what side of the fence it wants to be on because I'm tired of this freezing cold one day and sweating hot the next day. Pick a side, Texas. Preferably the warmer side.
- Why does the conditioner ALWAYS run out before the shampoo? Every time. I'm pretty sure I could use a measuring cup or something to measure it out and the conditioner would still run out faster! UGH!
- I rarely proof read posts on here. And by rarely I mean I may have reread one like once. Mostly, I just wait for my sister to text me and tell me there's a typo and come back to fix it. That's probably not a very good process when writing a blog but it's what I do.
- Looking back at the Fashion Friday: Mellow Yellow post, I had to laugh when I reread it. "Welcome to Texas, where summer never ends". HA! This winter has totally sucked dude! Seriously. We were iced in for FOUR DAYS! It has been miserably cold (at least for us). And I don't want to here all you northerners making fun of me for not being able to take the cold. Come July you'll be complaining about your 80 degree summer and we'll be down here with 100+ degrees!
- Alright... for those of you who watch Game Of Thrones (and if you're not caught up WARNING: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!)......(seriously stop reading if you're not caught up MAJOR spoiler) O.M.G! The second to last episode in season 3. Ya. You know what I'm talking about if you've seen it. THAT episode. I had no idea it was coming! None! Not going to lie, I gasped and yelled "no!". It was awful! (and yes, I intentionally tried not to actually give anything away for those of you that just can't help yourself and kept reading. Go watch and you will learn!)

- I can't totally decide if this is wonky or woot but I'm all caught up on Game Of Thrones. It's kind of sad. I don't know what to do with my nights now.
- My Mammaw is here! She came in on Friday as a surprise for my aunt's birthday! Very exciting!
- The little boy I babysit cracks me up! He's a little over 1 year old. He's trying to walk and can if he's holding on to his walker. He also really enjoys playing with his little Batman toy and has very intense conversations with him. Saving Gotham is seriously work, after all.

- If you haven't already seen my post on Bountiful Baskets you should definitely check them out! Great produce for a great price!
- I went over at Maegan's house and played with AJ in the backyard. It was very interesting and you could definitely tell his father is a policeman. I was AJ's partner and he was walking running around the backyard yelling "We gotta find dem drugs!". I know at least one of their neighbors was outside and I'm sure is now wondering why a 3 year old little boy is looking for drugs in the yard. We did find several bricks, by the way.

- I am, almost, officially a photography business! I am going to the tax office, or where ever it is I'm supposed to go, to become "official" (get an assured name so other people can't use it and I can be legit which is required in the state of Texas). Is it odd that I'm a tad bit nervous about actually being a business? More so than I would be if I were just taking pictures of people. It's a good nervous though. Oh, my business name it Primrose & Ivy Photography! Obviously, the hedgies helped me name the business by donating their names. It's a tad bit long but I like it anyways. Originally I was going to just have the business named Julie Anne Photography but apparently my name is extremely popular. I will be doing some mini sessions soon to build my portfolio so stay tuned and feel free to email me at if you want to model!
- Speaking of photography, I have my first "shoot" by myself tonight! My sister's friend is having a gender reveal party and wants me to take pictures! I'm very excited, and a tad bit nervous but it's going to be so much fun!

Well, that's about it for this Wonky and Woot-tastic Southern Soapbox! I hope you enjoyed it and sorry for the lack of pictures (ironic since I'm becoming a photographer, huh?)!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Menu Monday: February 23rd-March 2nd, 2014

It's menu time! After getting my bountiful basket Saturday I had to come up with a menu that would incorporate, at least, some of those ingredients I got!

This menu is only for a week. I usually make menus for two weeks but I am hoping to get another basket this coming Saturday so I'll probably do another menu when I get the next basket. Also, please remember that I don't necessarily assign a particular meal for each day.

Menu Monday
Lemon Chicken
     homemade french bread

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole


French Dip


Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Spinach

Mac and Cheese
     corned beef

Chicken fajitas

     french bread

I have made all of these recipes, except the lemon chicken recipe. It is similar to one I recently tried though, just written a bit more clearly. The homemade french bread is really not that hard, although if you decide to make it, I suggest not using flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. A friend of mine told me to use oil instead, otherwise your bread will taste a bit "floury" (thanks Miss. Sarah for the tip!). The meatloaf recipe I posted is one of two meatloaf recipes that I like. The last time I made meatloaf I made extra and froze it so this will be one meal I won't actually have to make! Hopefully I will get some of my own recipes up here soon!

Happy eating and thank you for dropping by this Southern Soapbox!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Happy Heart

I keep seeing things pop up, mostly on Pinterest, that say something along the lines of "If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it". Have y'all seen these things too? Or maybe you just know people that think this is a great philosophy? Can I just say... what a load of crap?!

You have to do things that don't make you happy. You have to do things you don't want to do. That's life. Not doing something simply because "you don't wanna" is called being selfish, and no one likes selfish people. What a horrible more horrible world we would live in if no one did anything they didn't want to do. First of all... almost everyone would be jobless.

Parents need to be teaching their kids to have serving, selfless hearts. I know when I babysit kids and tell the kids to clean up their toys they say "I don't want to". Shocking, I know. I almost always respond with "I didn't ask you if you want to. I told you to do it." Then they grumble and complain because they are having to do something they don't want to do and I'm complaining because they are complaining. Why don't I, instead, use this as a moment to work on their hearts? I heard my aunt ask her daughter, who was complaining about having to do something she didn't want to do, "How should we do things?" my cousin replied, "Right away, all the way and with a happy heart". For some reason this saying has stuck with me. When we are asked to do something we need to do it right away. We need to do it well (all the way) and, most importantly, we need to not have a sucky attitude while we're doing it. Of course, that's so much easier said than done. I know, even as an adult, I don't usually have a happy heart when I am having to do something I don't want to do. So how on earth do we teach our kids to have happy hearts? "You will do it and you will like it!" doesn't actually work, does it? I definitely think it starts with the parents (or in my case babysitter). Lead by example. Seek out opportunities to serve, even though you might not particularly enjoy doing it, can't we enjoy that we are making someone else happy?

I don't have the answer to this and I'm sure a lot of you zoned out when someone who doesn't even have kids started talking about parenting, but this is something that, as a babysitter and eventual mother, I ponder about. How do we teach our kids to WANT to serve? How do we teach our kids to have happy hearts when doing something they don't want to do? No, these are not rhetorical questions. I want to hear from you! How do you do it?!

I suppose my point is, not everything is about YOUR happiness and just because you're doing something that doesn't make you happy, doesn't mean you should have a crap-tastic attitude about it! Have a happy heart!

And that's enough of this "deep" Southern Soapbox.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bountiful Basket

How much do you spend on produce in a week? $30-$50 maybe? What if you could get produce for $15? Wouldn't that be awesome! You could have nice, yummy, healthy fruit and veggies and not break the bank! AND what if most of it was locally grown, or at least regional? Sign me up, Jack!

Well, I did sign up! For Bountiful Baskets! It's a great little co-op type program where you order your basket on Monday or Tuesday then pick it up at a location near you on Saturday for only $15 (or $25 if you want organic). You get a good 50/50 mix of fruits and veggies that at least fill up a decent sized laundry basket! I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!

The Loot:
2 heads of romaine lettuce
1 bunch of spinach
2 bunches of broccoli
1 acorn squash
1 pint of mini bell peppers
1 pint of mini heirloom tomatoes
2 giant zucchinis
7 apples (only 5 are pictured because Dad and I got hungry)
6 oranges, and
7 bananas

All for $21.50 (there is a $3 charge for your first basket, which is used to buy extra baskets for the fruit and veggies to be sorted into and in Texas we have a $3 handling fee. Every state has the handling fee but it varies depending on where you live). Not too bad for $18!

I can't wait to make my menu for the next week! If you're interested in participating in Bountiful Baskets you should click here. If you have questions I will do my best to answer them just leave a comment!

Happy Saturday and I hope you enjoyed this Southern Soapbox!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fashion Friday: Just a Little Cardigan

It's that awkward "season" in Texas where it's 80 degrees one day and 60 degrees the next, which makes planning things a pain in the hind quarters (because the forecast is almost always wrong)! This is the reason why I don't put away "summer clothes" when it's "winter". Yay for Texas weather!

Cozy Cardigan

I must say, I quite like this outfit. One should hope so since I'm the one that put it together, but you know what I mean. The cardigan would be perfect for those days when spring tries to peak it's head around to see what's up. I had a hard time choosing between this pink colored bag and a black one but I was getting tired of black. A grey bag could be really cute with this too but I couldn't find one online that I liked. Toms... how I love Toms. And yet I still don't own a pair. What's up with that?! For those days that start off cool and turn rather warm you could trade the tank top for a short sleeve shirt. Then you could ditch the cardigan as it got warmer! Layers people, use them to your advantage!

Alrighty, that's my simply Fashion Friday Southern Soapbox (I should start abbreviating that! FFSS?). I hope you enjoyed! Stay warm, or cool.... who knows. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Did you know...?

I was over stalking my friend's blog and decided to steal this idea from her. Here are a few things you may, or may not, know about me.

  • My mom and I share a birthday. I came a month early to come on her birthday. You're welcome, Mom.
  • Most people assume I was either born in Mississippi or Texas (most guess Mississippi). I was born in Alabama. I moved to Texas when I was three. Although I have never lived there, I consider Mississippi my home. Even I sometimes forget I wasn't born in Mississippi and Ryan forgets all the time, so don't feel bad if you didn't know!
  • I can list every single member of the Backstreet Boys and can probably sing most or their songs. Same with The Dixie Chicks.
  • Dr. Pepper is the best drink ever. Better than wine or beer.
  • Speaking of beer... ew. I don't like it.
  • I started riding horses when I was 5 years old. Every summer, spring, winter, fall break (and pretty much any other chance we got) my family would go to Mississippi to see the rest of the crazy clan. They had horses there and my cousins and I learned to ride together! It is still my happy place, even though I rarely get to ride.
  • While I'm not super "in your face" about it I am very firm in my beliefs as a Christian and have grown up in the Presbyterian church.
  • When it comes to football I follow some seemingly random teams. I follow the Giants, the Saints, and the Broncos. Can anyone guess what these teams have in common? Eli Manning, and Payton Manning are both from Mississippi. As for the Saints... they are the closest NFL team to Mississippi so my entire family follows them. If I didn't I would be banished.
  • I do not like the Cowgirls.. I mean boys...
  • I took dance for a very short period of time when I was younger. I was in hip hop when I was 8 or so years old. My pants ripped during my first recital.
  • I played the cello. I started when I was very young, like 5, then picked it back up in middle school. Unfortunately when I changed schools I was the only one that signed up to play in the orchestra (everyone else chose band) and refused to switch over.
  • For one semester in 8th grade I went to a private Christian school. It was AWFUL.
  • I can be a bit OCD at times. I get on cleaning sprees and go a little nuts.
  • I can check my own oil and fluids in my car, patch a flat tire, and change a flat tire. I also kind of enjoy working on cars, although I don't do it very often.
  • I am a little obsessed with  shows on The CW. The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Arrow, to be exact.
  • I have seen The Lion King once and will never watch it again because Mufasa (that's his name, right?) dies. I also won't watch I Am Legend because they kill the dog. Basically if an animal dies in it, I won't watch it, although I have been watching Game Of Thrones... and I have somehow been able to make it though that.
  • I am somewhat shy. If you know me you might think I'm lying but it's true. I don't like meeting new people. It makes me incredibly nervous! Once I know you I'll never shut up (yes, that part most of you know) but initially I'm quite shy.
Alright, that's enough of that. Hopefully you learned something knew about me. If so let me know what it was in a comment below!'s almost Friday people! I'm going to the zoo tomorrow! Thanks for reading this Southern Soapbox! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where the heck have I been?

Normally this is Wonky and Woot-tastic Wednesday but I'm going to try to recap the last few months to catch everyone up on the highlights of my super exciting life (please note sarcasm).

Woah! Where have I been?! A little bit of everywhere! We have had a busy busy last few months. So, here are the highlights. Or at least the ones I can remember.

My first "real" photo shoot. I went with my friend,
Marissa, and got some cute stuff!
I am still sticking with my photography and actually got a new lens and flash for Christmas! I am going Sunday to talk to my friend over at Marissa Ann Photography to set up a contract and get the ball rolling on becoming a legit photography business! Definitely still building my portfolio and gaining experience but it's exciting to enter into this phase! WOOT!

I JUST signed up for Bountiful Baskets and am ridiculously excited to pick up my first basket on Saturday! You pay $15 (or $25 if you prefer organic) for a bunch of fruit and veggies! From the pictures I've seen, you get A LOT for your money! I'll definitely be posting pictures of my loot when I pick my basket up!

Maegan is pregnant! She's having a baby girl in June!!! I'm going to have a niece! AJ has named the baby Mater, from Cars.

Prim and Ivy are still alive and well!

I am still looking for a job. Why is it so flipping hard to find a job? It's seriously ridiculous. I have a few applications out so hopefully we'll hear back soon! One of them I'm actually really excited about! Fingers crossed!

Ryan and I are still together, and happy... and weird.

Alright, sadly, that's all I can really think of! I hope y'all have a Happy Hump Day and have enjoyed this Southern Soapbox! See y'all Friday for Fashion Friday!