Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Over the long weekend, I watched the documentary "Fed Up". I've heard a lot about it and it was on Netflix so I gave it a try. 

Now, I'll say that I thought the documentary was a little politically slanted...I prefer my docs to be neutral, but the information was still very, VERY interesting and eye-opening. As a result of the documentary, I'm taking the Fed Up Challenge, which is basically going without added sugars for 10 days. This means cutting out diet soda (of which I'm a huge fan) artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Since most processed foods contain added sugar, this is an attempt to only ingest sugar naturally, like through fruit. 

I'm on day 3! So far, so good...with one minor slip up. I'll blog more on this after my 10 days. Anywho...on to the recipe! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas 
adapted from Cooking Classy

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I had these sliced lengthwise so I had 4 thin ones)
1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies (check the label to make sure there's no added sugar)
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Tortillas, cheese, sour cream, salsa, or whatever you top your fajitas with

In the slow cooker, pour half a can of tomatoes on the bottom.
Spread the peppers over the tomatoes evenly.
Add the onions over the peppers.
Combine spices together in a small bowl.
Squeeze lime juice and pour half of spice mixture evenly over one side of the chicken. 
Place chicken breasts on top of the onions in the slow cooker and flip so the seasoned side is down.
Add seasoning to top side of chicken. 
Cover with the rest of the tomatoes. 

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours. I kept mine on low while at work and it was perfect by dinner time. Chicken should be completely white all the way through.

When you're ready to serve, remove chicken and slice it (or shred it if desired). Add sliced chicken back to the slow cooker for a few minutes to help it absorb more flavor.

Serve warm in tortillas with the toppings of your choice. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Over the Weekend: Memorial Day Recap

I live for long weekends. Normally my weekends are run around like crazy on Saturdays with errands, social engagements or house cleaning and then do nothing once I get home from church on Sunday. However, this extra weekend lent itself to a number of new/different activities. Oh how much potential one extra day has!!

Not pictured: Friday, M rewarded himself with a new 60" smart tv. It was a planned purchase for the new house but the Memorial Day sales were too good so he decided to take advantage of them just a couple of weeks before we move. :)

Not pictured: Saturday, M and I went to Lowe's to use up a Christmas gift card on some awesome new smaller patio chairs. We had some wooden Adirondack chairs that M made but they are so huge on our patio. I'll post pics when we get them settled at the new house.

Not pictured: Saturday, I became engrossed in a Hallmark tv series based on a book I read when I was younger called "When Calls the Heart". They've altered the plot a bit and made it a lot more interesting and built out the character stories of other minor characters. (so the love story part of it isn't at the forefront) Plus, I was introduced to Daniel Lissing.'re welcome. I finished season 1 over the long weekend and look forward to season 2!

Sunday: M and I went to hike/explore a state park about 20 min from our house. It didn't disappoint! While it wasn't quite as rustic or nature-y as I'd like, it did have some great views and a fun little nature trail. And yes, I have makeup on while hiking. BITE ME. I put it on for church and we went hiking after church. So boom.

Sunday: I had my very first QT hot dog ever. It was DELICIOUS! 

Monday: M and I went to his parents' house for Memorial Day lunch. My sister-in-law made me this super cute koozie and we feasted on grilled chicken (and shrimp for the sea dogs), potato salad and corn on the cob. YUM! 

Monday: In typical long weekend fashion, I came home and took a nap while M watched something on his fancy big tv. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to hot breath and this face. Literally...inches from my face. It was getting close to dinner time after all.

Finally, I leave you with an image taken by my mother-in-law of me holding my nephew. He is really cute...and not so slobbery. Me voluntarily holding a baby + my willingness (and even excitement!!) at venturing outdoors = a very confused April, indeed.

Monday, May 25, 2015

We Say Thanks

Traditionally, Memorial Day is the day we appreciate those who gave their lives for the sake of this country and for freedom. The difference between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day being one honors all who served and the other honors those that lost their lives while serving.

We may not really have the appropriate words to express our gratitude to the almost 850,000 people who have lost their lives fighting for this country's freedom. So, we simply say thanks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our New Home: Intro

No, you didn't read that wrong...M and I are BUYING A HOUSE! Well, a townhouse...BUT STILL A HOME! It will be ours! Well, I guess the bank's technically...BUT STILL OURS! We can paint and hang things and plant things and do whatever we want.

You have no idea how excited I am to paint. Seriously, y'all.

Anywho, we close on June 8th. I cannot wait to start moving in. We are adding a 3rd bedroom to the mix and a little extra square footage from the place we are currently renting. The best part? Our new house is literally down the street from our current one. So, we are staying in the same neighborhood and moving a couple hundred feet away.

I do realize that at 30, I'm getting a bit of a late head start at buying my very first home, but I'm okay with that. I like to think of it like I was just waiting for the perfect time. :) I'm tired of paying an exorbitant amount in rent...when I could own something LARGER for less. And I'm not planning on moving anytime soon. I'm settled in my career and M is settled in his. We have no desire to leave the Charlotte metro area, so why not?!

I'll be doing a series of blog posts on our new home. Maybe share some tips or good advice that I learned or received along the way...and I'll definitely share about some of the DIY and remodeling projects that we have planned. The new place is totally move in ready and perfect! We don't even have to paint if we don't want to. We will eventually want to update/upgrade the kitchen a little and maybe change out some flooring but it's really in amazing shape for a 9 year old place.

No big post for today...I really just wanted to prepare y'all for what's to come. We are so excited about becoming homeowners. Once we close, we will make things "FB Official" so y'all are getting the deets even before our friends. Shhhh. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hewitt's Thoughts v.4

Hello bipeds. Hewitt, here.

I've taken over mom's blog again today to share some of my thoughts with you. You can catch up on some of my other blog posts here, here and here.

My thoughts on fruit: I'm convinced I was a fruit bat in a previous life. So far, I've decided that I love apples, bananas, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries. The fruit I love the most is grapes but mom won't let me have them. That jerk.

My thoughts on storm doors: This is a requirement in mom and dad's new house. How else will I survey my kingdom when I am only 18 inches tall?

My thoughts on peanut butter: Give me ALL THE PEANUT BUTTER. That is all.

My thoughts on the American work week: Don't get in your head that you need to pattern your work weeks after the Europeans who tend to work only 4 days a week. Keep your work weeks to 5 days please. The longer you are home...the more you are bothering me and the fewer naps I get.

My thoughts on dogs with middle or two names: [Holds paw up] Stop. And I'm looking at you, mother, who has all my stuff monogrammed with HCP in honor of my middle name "Clarence". Dogs do not need middle names. Dogs don't even need two names. I don't even know what my original name was...the shelter just started calling me Hewitt and it stuck. [April's note: This is actually the name of the road he was hit by a car on. The vet that treated him didn't know his name so that's what they named him. Shhh....don't tell Hewitt. He'll probably get a complex.]

My thoughts on Mom's exercise ball: I have never hated something more vehemently in my entire life. Except for grooming. And baths.

My thoughts on dogs wearing clothes: Fellow dogs suffering this horrible fate of wearing clothing...the secret is to pee on whatever your human puts on you right away. Your human will be disgusted. They may try once more but if you continue to pee on the clothing it won't be an issue. Trust me on this one.

My thoughts on car rides: They are cool provided that I have the following things: a blanket or towel to rest upon, car snacks (carrots or a fruit), the air vent blowing on my face and a consistent speed. This stopping and starting and turning mess is for the birds. Also, if said car trip means I end up at the vet...or worse...the groomer...just leave me home.

Welp, those are today's thoughts. See you around jerks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Show Us Your Books: What I Read in April

Linking up my latest reads today with the love Steph & Jana...

Life According to Steph

Here are the books I read in April. Not sure how it happened but 2 of the 4 were about wolves...well, the title mentioned wolves, I should say. Also, I couldn't finish one. It was really disturbing for me to read for whatever reason. Read more below...

A Wolf at the Table - Augusten Burroughs
In keeping with my Augusten Burroughs theme from the last few months, I read this one, which was a memoir about his father. This, I think, was the most disturbing book of all. Maybe because of how frightening insane the author's father seemed to be. It also painted his mom and brother in a completely different light than what you get from some of this other books. I'm weirdly enjoying getting to know Augusten's family and life a little better. But the father is straight up wacko. Nevertheless, like his other books, this will probably make you a little more appreciative of your own family. :) Three of 5 salted caramels. 

Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult
In typical Jodi Picoult fashion, this book is a roller coaster of emotions centered around a family who struggles with making a life-ending decision for a critically injured father on life support. The story is interspersed with excerpts from the father's journey with the wolves he's raised and lived with (hence the title). The end is exciting and emotional all at once. I really liked this one. Four of 5 salted caramels.

Brain on Fire - Susannah Callahan
Okay, first off, this is the one I couldn't continue reading. It was giving me horrible anxiety. This is story of a woman who gets ill and basically "goes crazy". She is hospitalized and what the doctors think are extreme mental illness conditions and even a demonic possession. Turns out, she was suffering from a very rare auto-immune disease that attacks your brain. I stopped reading this because I was becoming so anxious over the fact that no one could figure out what was wrong with her and just were convinced she was going insane. I just couldn't take it...the thought of being helpless and not being able to figure out what was wrong...I couldn't finish the book. So, 1 salted caramel out of this one.

The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian
Real life trauma coupled with a strange new small town and "herbalists" SEEMED like a great recipe for a nice mystery novel. Unfortunately, I was left with a bit of a weird taste at the end of a book that turned out to be a lot more like an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you're a fan of the almost sci-fi/mystical plot twists of that sort of show, you will probably like this book. It started out okay then it just got weird. At the end I sort of felt like I'd wasted hours of my life reading it. I gave it 2 salted caramels.

I'm ready for more recommendations, y'all! :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bright Colors + Pale Skin = A Fashion DO!

As a lifelong wearer of pale skin I've learned a thing or two about the colors that tend to look best on it. My skin is pale with a cool undertone...meaning, bluish tones. If you're unsure of what your skin's undertone is, this may help.

I have a sweet work friend who was chatting with me about this the other day. She said, "I love your colors." (meaning the colors I wear) She said she's always heard that people with lighter/paler skin should shy away from brights because it makes them look paler than they are. (she also has pale skin)

This is old school fashion thought. Old school says to wear colors in the same intensity as your skin pale people wear paler shades. Basically, it's not a good thing to look pale...they say. But I say, to heck with that way of thinking. Pale people can wear bright colors and ROCK them. Embrace the paleness and it's okay to not try and look "tan" all the time! I call pale skin wearing brights a new school fashion rule.

Yes, I threw Snow White in there. She was one of the first pale girls to rock those primary brights, after all. Pale-hued modern ladies these days can draw inspiration from celebrities like Emma Stone, Rooney Mara and Zooey Deschanel who all rock their pale skin proudly.

The point of this post isn't to isolate or offend, it's to show that us pale ladies can buck the fashion rules a little and wear bright colors. Even though I love a soft pastel on a pale girl with pale hair, I still almost always wear brights as a go to. My favorite colors to wear are pink, red, cobalt blue and jade green. But I also love purple, aqua and coral.

Do you like to wear brights?

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Love My Mama

First off, I am digging that this year's "Mother's Day Song" is upbeat and happy. Sometimes mother songs get sappy and sometimes we want to happy celebrate our moms. #amiright

Take a listen below...

Here are the lyrics. Not only are they funny, they are pretty dang accurate.

When I was hungry, she cooked me something yummy
And when I was sick, she would take care of me
Face me out say gazoo, let me stay on for school
But if I did I couldn't leave the room
'Cause dad was the rule
I could run in a race and come damn last
She say that's my baby, stand up and clap
She taught me respect and I'm thankful for that
And if I ever fell in love make sure that girl love me back

Oho, a couple times when I was bad
Oho, she hauled off and whooped my a**
Oho, but I'm still her biggest fan
Oho, 'cause she made me who I am

This song is dedicated to my mama

Taught me how to put on my pajamas
Always let me have a couple dollars
But told me that my dreams are there to follow

I love my mama, I love my mama
Oho, I love my mama, I love my mama
I love my mama, mama

I'ma hold her hand, I'ma kiss her cheek
'Cause that's my mama, I don't care who says
I can't lie to her face, I can't lie on the phone
She get hit on my voice mail yeah she knows something wrong

She keep the family together, make sure we get along

You'd swear she a bodybuilder, man that lady so strong
And I'm still her baby, even know I'm grown
You can call me mama's boy all you want!
You could call me mama's boy all you want!

This is for all the mamas
Grand-mamas, great grand-mamas
Step-mamas, single mamas, yeah
All the mamas working more than one job
Working real, real hard
Mamas all over the world, you know

To all the mom's out there that taught us how to put on pajamas, how to follow our dreams, disciplined us when we were bad and gave everything you had to us...we salute you! (For the more traditional, sentimental Mother's Day blog post, click here.) Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By the Numbers

Thanks to Steph for the post idea.

12 - The day of the month (April) that I got married.
2007 - The year my car was made. And she's still going strong!!
32 - The number of cardigans I own.
15 - The number of books I've read so far this year.
2 - The number of books I've read that had "Wolf" in the title. So random.
0 - Broken bones I've had
30 - Years I've been on the Earth
84 - The age of my dog in dog years. (1 human year = 7 dog years)
369 - The number of people on my original wedding guest list...before we started trimming it down.
8 - The number of years between my older sister and I.
14 - The number of months between my younger sister and I.
6 - The number of minutes it takes me to curl my hair in the morning. I've got it down to a science!!
32 - Days until we [hopefully] close on our new place!

What are some of your numbers?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday's Mumbling + Why is Boxing Still a Thing?!

A few random thoughts for today.

//1. This weekend was beautiful. M and I went hiking at a local nature/river walk area near where we live. This is like the third time we've done something like this in the last 3 months. When did I become one of those people? When did I become a hiking/outdoors girl? It just happened!

//2. People. WHY IS BOXING STILL A THING? Seriously. I understand in the 60s and 70s when people didn't have the variety of entertainment available at their fingertips like they do today. So, I ask again, why is boxing still a thing? I've never been a fan of boxing and I'm so over it. (For the record, I'm also not a UFC/MMA or wrestling fan either.) Not to mention that this "big fight" turned into some huge back-and-forth about domestic abuse and it wasn't really even about the actual fight. I just don't get it. PLUS it cost $100 to watch it?!?! No thank you. Moving on.

//3. I made this Cheesy Chicken Wrapped Bacon goodness over the weekend and it was amazing. The only problem is (and this is a common problem in our current house) that any time I make anything that is quasi smokey (like bacon) in the oven, the smoke detector goes off. Every. Dang. Time. I cooked this for 45 min and guess how many times the blasted thing went off?? Four. Yes, FOUR. My poor dog was curled into the tiniest ball behind the couch he was so scared. And my poor husband kept having to get up and silence it...because he's the only one that can reach it. By the time the chicken was ready, I needed a drink.

//4. Sometimes, I angry clean my house. I get so frustrated with how "dirty" something is that I go bananas and clean like a mad woman. I mean, my house is always Company Clean...well at least the downstairs is...but for some reason I'd had it with the kitchen so I angry cleaned it for about an hour. I'm talking washing walls, removing stove grates to clean, cleaning the trashcan, the fridge, the sink, taking everything off the countertops and scrubbing...I was probably a little insane. I have no idea where the anger comes from...probably because cleaning kitchens is my least favorite chore of all. But the only way I could describe it is angry cleaning. If that makes any sense.

//5. M and I are about 1/2 of the way through the house buying process now. Well, we have a closing date...but I'm suspect of it. Don't they always get moved around? Anywho, all I've been doing lately is daydreaming about how I will decorate the new place. And painting the walls. I've never been more excited to paint the walls in my life!

Well, that's all for now. I hope my random thoughts didn't scare you away. :) Did you have a good weekend?