Sunday, June 29, 2014

Things Are A'changin

Good grief, I'm the world's worst blogger. It's embarassing really.

Well. I have a ton of news to share.

First things first. We bought a house! You remember our heartbreaking experience about a year and a half ago, yes? Well, we found the most adorable house in the cutest community, just east of Denton. We are so incredibly happy.

Also, about two months ago, I made a decision to leave my job as an agency recruiter and made the leap into the corporate world. This was one of those positions that presented itself at the perfect time and, what's even better, I'm not driving to Dallas everyday! It's been more than what I could've dreamed of and I'm just so happy.

Speaking of.....

After six incredible years, and two playoff appearances, we are sad to say we will not be North Bulldogs this fall but are very excited to join the Frisco Lone Star Ranger family. Coach deciding to leave North was one of the most prayerful, soul searching decisions of our life. Coach has been at North since he graduated college, where he was able to develop his skill with some of the most amazing men who became his mentors. I've made life-long friends at North and we are so grateful for our time and the relationships we've built there. It's so bittersweet, leaving the school that has seen every stage of our relationship and has been, honestly, our home. But Coach is from Frisco, so it's the perfect place for us, a place near and dear to his heart and its really the perfect time to make this leap of faith.

And our third anniversary is on Wednesday! How time flies when you're having fun!!

I told you we had a lot of news!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Brisket

This is Texas. Texans love brisket. 

So obviously I had to make one for Super Bowl! 

The plan was to crockpot it. Well I unwrapped the brisket and it basically doubled in size and wasn't going to fit in my pretty large crockpot. So wing it I did. 

What you'll need: 
3 lb brisket 
Half of an onion, roughly chopped
Can of Rotel
1 c beef broth
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Seasoning: (mix in small bowl)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1.5 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano

Preheat oven to 350. 

Pat dry brisket and rub in seasoning on both sides. 

Place in pan atop onions and Rotel tomatoes and bake uncovered for an hour. 

Remove brisket from oven and lower temperature to 275. In small bowl, mix broth, liquid smoke and vinegar and pour around brisket. Wrap with foil and place back in the oven for 3.5 hours. 

Remove and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Trim fat, slice against grain and serve.

Seriously, I'm really impressed with how this brisket turned out. It was perfectly cooked and really tender. And I'm a total idiot for not taking a picture of the final product. Idiot. Oh well, we murked it! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Your Dreams Are Our Dreams

It's been awhile. My b.

Being married to a coach is tough. There's not much family time and like I've said before, we are so incredibly blessed to be in a program where our head coach believes Sunday's are family days. We have coach friends who's families aren't quite as lucky.

When we got married, I promised Coach, and myself, that I would be as supportive as I possibly could of Coach's job, goals and dreams. I try to be at every game I can. I think a lot of the parents, fans and wives would agree, I'm more than present. I'm pretty loud.. I couldn't help that if I tried. I love football.

Obviously, one of Coach's biggest career goals is a state championship. In turn, this is one of my biggest life-goals too. When you watch you husband invest so much time, heart, passion and tears into his career, it's impossible to not make that one of your dreams too.

I think one thing non-coaching families don't understand is that this is more than just a game. This is our livelihood. This is what essentially pays our bills. This is what Coach went to school to prepare for. This is where our life, as a coaching family, is invested.

Earlier this season, after one heart breaking loss, I put something on Facebook about how difficult it is to see your husband outright devastated. After being asked what's going on, I said that we had just suffered a huge loss to a great, but beatable, team. The impression I got from the responses were "good grief, what's the big deal?! It's a football game!!"

I really wasn't offended because I get it. To most folks, it is just a game. But for a coaching family, it's so much more. He was hired, yes to teach young men more than just a sport, but to essentially win football games. Coaches don't get into coaching without a drive to win. And when you don't, it's equivalent to me losing a client in my job as a recruiter. It's a hit. It's a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking loss, where all you can think about is time spent studying, preparing and busting your butt in hopes that the deck will fall in your favor. Some times it doesn't.

Some times it does.

Two weeks ago, we beat a really tough team in overtime. A team that after the game, was half-way in shock and individually came over to our side and shook everyone's hand. This win gave us a playoff bid.

Last night, we beat another team that I'm positive most thought we would get stomped by. We didn't. We won 49-37.

Not only did the win solidify our playoff bid, but it made us co-district champs. Districts champs for the first time in school history.

We go on to play next Friday, in hopes of extending our playoff season beyond the first round. I realize this isn't necessarily the realization of Coach's big dream, but it's a huge step toward it and hopefully we will take many more forward in the coming weeks. Our playoff appearance two years ago was Coach's first time, either a player or coach, to go into post season. I was fortunate enough to play on softball teams who made play-offs, won championship games and got to see the look on the face's of people who thought we would never be able to even compete.

Last night, Coach got to experience winning a district championship. What an accomplishment!

Coach, I am so thankful to be here with you, witnessing your career dreams become reality. Don't let up though, we have much more to accomplish. And there isn't a coach on this planet I have more faith in than you. I love you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Welcome Back October

Hello lover.

Fall just so happens to be my favorite time of year. What's not to love? 90 degree days instead of the 110 we've been dealing with since April.

I'm obsessed with anything and everything pumpkin. If you follow me on Pinterest, I think you know that is an understatement. This obsession includes (of course!) Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. If I didn't think my heart would explode from caffeine intake, I would drink them all day long. I found a Skinny version on Pinterest not too long ago and gave it a shot.

  • 1 1/2 c Skim milk
  • 2 tbsp. Pumpkin Butter (there's a recipe here, but I bought mine from a local shop)
  • 2 tsp. Sugar/Stevia - there is so little of this in the recipe, I used actual sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c strong coffee (or 1/4 c of espresso)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Fat Free Whipped Cream

Whisk milk, pumpkin butter and sugar in a small sauce pot over medium heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into two mugs and add coffee/espresso. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Motivation - Weight Loss Day 14

It's been 14 days since I published the first post (which has received some really awesome responses, so thank you btw) and I have to admit I'm pretty impressed with myself. I've had about 3-4 pounds of fluctuation but I'm not too worried about it. As of this evening, I weighed in at 148. Not too shabby considering I can feel myself getting stronger. I'm not sure I'm seeing the difference yet but I'm definitely feeling it! Like I said, this blog is helping me stay accountable so here's my Day 14 picture. Happy Monday and keep up the good work friends!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What We Ate Wednesday

I love salt. LOVE. Most of the people in my life crave chocolate or sweets. Not me. Chips, pork rinds (don't judge me), ranch Corn Nuts, I'm completely non-discriminatory when it comes to salty snacks.

Starting this "lifestyle change", I knew a lot of my favorites wouldn't be able to come with me. Jack In the Box tacos, my homemade chicken friend chicken and mashed potatoes, McDonald's french fries.. I could go on for days. I knew this would be difficult. I've tried making some of my favorites into "this doesn't taste healthy!" recipes and I wanted to share some of my favorites!

(Also, I am worst at taking pictures of my food. I create these beautiful masterpieces with the intention of posting them and always forget to take pictures, so the one's here are from similar recipes. I'll do better.)

Potatoes are my favorite. I think I've already said that here, but I really mean it. Growing up, we never ate sweet potatoes. My parents hate them. Can you believe that? I'm a little upset that they kept the amazingness that is a sweet potato from me for 18 years. I'm pretty sure I could have eaten the whole pan of these. They were life changing.

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking sheet - or you could use fat free cooking spray
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher Salt

Cut the sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick fries. Pop them into a bowl of water for about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and rub two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil or coat with cooking spray.
Towel-dry the sweet potato fries, lightly coat with cooking spray and sprinkle seasoning on potatoes and mix by hand until well coated.
Divide the seasoned sweet potato fries among two rimmed sheet pans and pop them into the oven for 15 minutes.
Once the fries start to brown flip, rotate pans and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes more.
Depending on how thin or thick you cut the sweet potatoes and the heat of your oven will depend on if they’ll need any further time in the oven.
If the sweet potatoes stick, let them cool slightly before flipping. .
Season the hot fries with a couple pinches of kosher salt before serving.

Similar recipe found here

This one came about because Olive Garden started advertising their Endless Pasta bowl and, let'sbehonest, who doesn't look forward to that!

Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce
1/2 c 1% milk (whole milk will make it thicker, skim will make it thinner)
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 c shredded parm cheese (not going to lie, I used probably closer to a 2/3 c)
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the milk and greek yogurt in a saucepan over low heat.
Add in the parmesan and garlic salt and continue to whisk until there are no lumps.
Keep the heat very low and whisk occasionally, the sauce will thicken a bit as it warms, about 5 minutes.
Pour over whole wheat or gluten free pasta with some grilled chicken. We also added a salad with an avocado vinaigrette I got from Whole Foods. Perfecto.

This recipe definitely hit the spot when I was ready to hit up the 7-11 around the corner for a snack.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
2 cups (500ml) cooked chickpeas (1-19oz/540ml can)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas well.
Line a 9 x 13 inch (23x30cm) pan with baking parchment paper or tinfoil. Plop the well-drained chickpeas in the pan.
Drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings. Then toss them with a rubber spatula until they are evenly coated with the spices.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the chickpeas are crunchy on the outside. Test a few to see if they are crunchy enough (let them cool a minute first or you will burn your tongue!) If not, bake a few minutes longer.
If you think they need more salt, give them a sprinkle while they are still hot. I put these in a little ziplock and took them to work and they kept for a few days. If you put them in a tight lock container, they lose their crunch.