Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I know, I know. When you see the pictures, if you know me, you will wonder who I am? Am I the same Shelby you talked to last week? I, myself, am a little surprised that this is my third food post/recipe, but I suppose I am working on my domesticity and becoming a little less Shelby/a little more Suzy Homemaker before June. (You're welcome, Andrew.) So without rambling further, the first is a recipe that I found off of Pinterest two weeks ago, and the second is the chicken that I made tonight.

These, my friends, are SKINNY Strawberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins. Although I do think these would have been better in "fat" form with the oil/butter that the true recipe called for, the skinny version, while slightly bland, is really not too terrible. It was a pleasant surprise. I mean, how can any woman complain with the words chocolate, strawberry, and skinny all in the same idea/sentence? This girl is not complaining a bit. Just another tidbit- I actually think they tasted better the day after I made them.

If you click here, you will find Sally's blog where the link from Pinterest took me and where I found the recipe/directions. Browse around on her site, (I just went back to get the link and saw cake batter chocolate chip cookies) I am sure you will find tons of good ideas!

I have tried to be healthier this year, so tonight I wanted to make dinner but wanted to keep it healthy. More than that, most recipes I found had a laundry list of ingredients that I did not want to ferociously hunt down in the grocery store. Therefore, I literally typed "5-ingredient recipes" into my search which led me to this find.
This is the actual chicken that I MADE. I think it looks pretty good if you'll allow me to toot my domestically-challenged horn for a minute. This recipe, which is actually a Weight Watchers recipe (I have no idea how the program/point system works so not sure if this is really a good one), only has four ingredients. To me, that is beautiful.

For this you need 16oz of chicken breasts, a 1.25oz packet of taco seasoning, 1cup salsa, and 1/4cup fat free sour cream.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. The directions said to use a sealed bag to shake the chicken in the taco seasoning, but I did not have the right-sized bag so I used a bowl to dip the chicken in the seasoning. Then you lay the breasts in your casserole dish/pan. You bake the chicken for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the chicken is done, you add the salsa on top of it. Add the sour cream before serving. That's it! So simple.

(I do recommend not using the entire seasoning though. My chicken were rather spicy!)

Happy eating and Happy Tuesday!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thirsty Thursday

I apologize for my week-long absence. It has been rather busy the past week- moving back to Oxford, beginning my first last semester at Ole Miss, and trying to adjust to the gruesome 8:00am classes. (Have I mentioned I am not a morning person?) So, I thought it would be fun to have a Thirsty Thursday. Thanks to Pinterest and my latest compulsive purchase at Target, I was able to make this heavenly concoction yesterday. and I liked it so much that, naturally, I made it again today.

This, my friends, on the left would be my new, adorable single serve blender that I stumbled upon at Target  for $15. (The best part about it is that the blending cup is a portable cup that you can take right off the blender and drink from.) On the right is the recipe (courtesy of Pinterest- you are redeeming yourself from my previous post) for the wonderful concoction nesteed inside of the blender. It is a SKINNY Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie. The even bigger hooray of this smoothie is that it has four ingredients- FOUR. When I began to look at smoothie recipes, many had so many ingredients, and quite frankly ingredients that I had no desire to taste (spinach, no thank you!). All you need to make this smoothie is:

  1. 1 cup of skim milk (This is what I used, but any milk would work obviously)
  2. 1 tbsp of Peanut Butter (Reduced Fat is recommended in the "Skinny" recipe)
  3. 1 banana, sliced
  4. 1/2 cup of ice
You add the four into the blender and blend until smooth. That's it! 
If you are as much as a Peanut Butter/Banana lover as I am, then you are sure to love this and its easy making!

Happy (almost) weekend, friends!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Topics: 8 TV Shows

I stumbled across a link-up/cute Tuesday theme for the blog and couldn't help but hitch myself to the bandwagon. In typical fashion, my acquaintance with the wagon was a little late, but as it has been said before, "better late than never", right? Right. So, before I give you my eight shows. Here's a rundown of Tuesday Topics.
The Austin Family Diary
Now without further ado, let's get to the shows. These are in no particular order except for #1 which will always hold a very biased place in my heart. 
 8. Homeland

So, I guess I owe fiance credit for this one considering the only time I get to watch it is when I am in Houston! He, fortunately, has this channel; I, unfortunately, at school do not. However, absence makes the heart grow fonder, so when I do get to watch these episodes, I love it. Even when I don't, Andrew has to give me the play-by-play of the episodes. I mean, did they, or did they not both just win Golden Globes?
7. Modern Family
I often try to pick a favorite character on this show, and it is just about impossible. From Gloria's voice alone to Phil's complete obliviousness/gooby arrogance, they all make Wednesday nights much more entertaining.
6. The Bachelor
I don't know if I would feel like the dramatic female that I am if I did not list this show. Given, I did boycott it for a good few seasons after Jason Mesnick dumped Melissa on national TV and then chose Molly/that whole Courtney season I happily neglected, but this is too much of a hormonally-raging bad train wreck that you simply can't take your eyes off of. It is also a reminder that no matter how crazy I think I can be at times, that my life is fairly normal compared to some of the women that grace this show with their emotionally-unstable presences.
5. Criminal Minds
This has been a new addition to my shows lately as I have been home for the Christmas break. My aunt watches it which led me to watch it, and now I love it. I actually think it's a love/hate relationship because I blame my lack of sleep some nights on this show due to my analysis of every noise and creak I hear.
4. Law and Order: SVU
I still remember my older sister coming home from college and buying this series on DVD. I instantly loved it. I mean how could you not with Stabler as one of the main characters? Ice-T, you are much better as an agent. Coco is not your best role.
3. Gossip Girl
Being locked out of my dorm room one night my freshman year of college led me to a friend's room where this series was playing, and it was love-at-first-Chuck-Bass-and-Blair-saga sight. 
2. One Tree Hill

As I mentioned earlier, I am late to get on the bandwagon with things, this being one of them. I had always heard of this show in high school, but it wasn't until fiance got a Netflix account that I was diagnosed with quite an unhealthy obsession with this show. Embarrassing to say, I watched all nine seasons in less than a year and shed quite a few tears along the way.
1. Boy Meets World
 As much as I love the previous seven shows, I just don't know if they can possibly hold a candle to Fa-fa-Feeny, Cory, Topanga, Eric, Sean, and the rest of the crew.

What are your favorite shows? Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mishap Monday: Mississippi Manners

I have decided to bring a theme to the Monday posts, which we are going to call....

.....Mishap Monday
and we are using this cute little guy as the theme picture (courtesy of #whatshouldwecallme) because let's face it, Mondays can have this effect on us, and the mishaps, that seem to only find me in the most awkward and unbelievable of ways, make me want to morph into the turtle guy above and hide beneath the bowl. So, let's get started, shall we?

 What is this you may ask? A shopping bag? Why yes, yes it is.
But this is not your ordinary paper bag. This bag belongs to a rather cute boutique (you should check out their Facebook page- look at that viral marketing in the midst of my mishap.)
But that is not its unique characteristic that I am referring to. This bag alone caused 
complete and utter 
public humiliation.
Dear Shopping Bag,
      I do not think you understand what grave humiliation you put me through last Monday. I had just finished eating a grand lunch with one of my close friends and had climbed into my car when I noticed your "absence." You instantly sent me into a state of befuddlement because I just knew that I had carefully placed you in the floorboard before I left my house that morning so that I could return a shirt you loyally carried to the store after lunch. Being the slight dramatic that I am, naturally I called my mother in a panic, insisting that someone had broken into the car (which was completely intact, with absolutely no sign of disturbance) and stolen you from me. In the midst of this phone call, I noticed a man in a truck behind me waiting for my parking spot. Trying to be attentive to him but still frantically trying to locate you, I pulled my car back into the spot so he would understand I wasn't leaving. I even turned around, pointed to the phone, showed him my keys, and shook my head that I was not leaving.  I thought I had relayed the message to the  man behind me and had safely parked the car, so I returned to the phone call with my mother and kept searching the car for you. I failed miserably with both of these attempts. As I began to look for the bag again, I realized that the car, indeed, was not in park as it continued to roll towards the car in front of me. Once again, naturally, I went into the second panic attack on the phone with my mother that my car was rolling forwards, and I had no idea why. I then looked down to see that I had not placed the car completely in park. After securing this, I turned to see that the man was still waiting behind me after I had tried to communicate multiple times that I was not leaving. Keep in mind, although my writing makes this seem to span across an exasperating amount of time, this chaos all occurred within approximately two minutes. Noticing the man behind me, I hung up with my mother, and began to get out of the car to tell him I was not leaving and had to go back in the restaurant to see if I took you, the bag, inside. 

Before I could even put one toe completely on the ground, the aforementioned man in his truck, began to scream at me in the middle of this public restaurant parking lot. He, in a completely disrespectful and inappropriate/barbaric manner, yelled at me, asking if I was leaving or not. I, in utter shock that a middle-aged man was publicly screaming at a twenty-year-old girl, tried to calmly explain to him that I had tried to tell him multiple times I was not leaving and was having to go into the restaurant because I misplaced a bag. Well, the man in truck made it completely, crystal-clear he had no concern over my lost item as he continued to scream at me about the whole line of cars that were waiting on me. As he continued to have his Mr.Hyde display, I turned my head to the side and took in the nonexistent line of cars (his being the only one) and other available parking spots in the lot. I turned back and tried to smile despite his continued barking as he pulled away. Might I add, his wife sat silently the whole time in the seat beside him, and let her husband scream at a young girl in a public parking lot. After this display of humiliation, Bag, I returned home after still not finding you. Do you want to know where you were, Bag? You were....
....on the kitchen counter.
Where I left you that morning when I had to switch keys to take my dad's car instead of mine.
I suppose I should apologize for how tightly I clenched you into my hands and the utmost negative thoughts I sent your way when I found your hiding spot.
To offer an olive branch for the guerrilla warfare you caused earlier, when I finally returned you to your store after an hour delay and a Jerry Springer display under my belt, I pulled up to the store to see a 50% off sale sign in the window. I may have cracked a smile at you, a little bit. Although with great relief, I returned you to your proper place, I do commend you. You put up a rather large fight, so kudos to you, paper bag.

As for the man in the truck, I hope that you find your Mississippi manners sometime soon. Either way, thank you for your contribution to this blog post.

To the rest of you, I hope your Monday ran smoothly, and if not, learn to laugh and simply write it off as a Mishap Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles

So, this is definitely a lesson I learned in life at a very young age, but I was ever-so-kindly reminded of it last month in the midst of the holiday festivities. I, personally, blame it on Pinterest. Yes, I agree that Pinterest is a wonderful time-filler and the ultimate procrastination tool. Yes, I agree that Pinterest is a great way to get DIY ideas and projects, twenty-minute work-out plans that you are not going to try at all but make you feel like you are at least motivating yourself, terribly fabulous baby clothes and outfits that your nonexistent child will absolutely own and strut, and ways to turn a simple object/household item into a Michelangelo wonder. However, for girls like me, it gives us false hope. It tells us we can be Elle Woods when in all reality we are Vivian Kensington just refilling the coffee. Yep, good old Pinterest jaded my life-lesson mindset that I obtained many years back and told me that I could create this pretty....

..... I should have known this was a disaster waiting to happen from the get-go. For starters, I was making this for our annual Christmas party. This is the same Christmas party that, two years ago, I took a store-bought caramel cake to(cut me some slack, I was in a hurry and was a Sophomore in college: failed attempts at cooking weren't even attempted at this point). This aforementioned caramel cake, sat rather low in its container which limited the human eye to viewing only the brown icing and not taking in the dimensions of the cake itself, and was mistaken for a Mexican-layered bean dip. Yes, in horror, I watched as someone began to dip a Tortilla chip into what they thought was a dip, and I had neither the heart nor the dignity to tell them that it was, indeed, a cake. Therefore, I should have waved the white flag forevermore and never tried to cook anything for this annual party again. However, I thought I had progressed within two years and could tip-toe out on the Baker's limb and try to make my own creation, which is where the Pinterest paradox began. I saw this wonder and was determined that I could recreate it. Head held high, I went to the store, bought my supplies, and slaved away all afternnon (literally) to only offer up this to be burned as the next laughing-stock sacrifice...

Should I even mention that when my sister walked in the door and saw the leftovers sitting on the kitchen counter, her first words were,
"Why are there Halloween cookies on the counter?"
(I am not kidding. A little piece of me died and sunk into the couch when I heard that.)
Apparently, my snowmen were skeletal. 

All jest aside, I think this was a good reminder of the life lesson I mentioned earlier and a problem that I, and many other women, probably face on a daily basis. In so many facets of my life, I strive so hard to be the best- to be the perfect snowman cookie. It literally can be all-consuming. I want to be the perfect student, the perfect friend, the perfect child, the perfect person who does my best at everything. Recently, this has also started to trickle over into the realm of marriage with becoming a wife in less than six months. I feel as if I am bound to be a Wonder Woman wife who has the perfectly decorated rooms, the immaculate home, the Paula Deen meal in the oven, all the while with a smile on my face and perfectly-kept hair. Don't get me wrong. I think these are all great ambitions and goals, and I definitely want to be the best person I can be in life, succeed in my career, wholeheartedly love those around me, be the best wife because that's what my fiance deserves,  
Sometimes, that's just not the way the cookie crumbles. There are going to be days where our hard efforts and snowmen are going to be mistaken for skeletons. There are going to be days when we mess up and fall short of our pedestal perfections. There are going to be days when I let down the people I love. There are going to be mistakes that I make in careers. There are definitely going to be days when I walk into a messy apartment and send a nice-prepared meal through an inferno and back. However, I think we have to remember, as I learned long ago but seemed to forget, that this is what life is all about. Life is found in the mishaps, the mistakes, the learning processes, the blunders, the laughs over the burnt dinners (I hope), and the moments when the best you can give is a mistaken Halloween cookie (figuratively speaking of course, I am sure you are all much better at baking than me).

Because, at the heart of it, life, love, and beauty are all found in the midst of all the imperfections.
and That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prodigal Son

Considering the fact that I haven't blogged in almost five months and the inescapable conclusion of another holiday season, I figured the little guy above was more than suitable. I have survived a horrible crash into a Writer's block that sealed my thoughts in plaster and stitched the loose ends of imagination and expression into complete captivity. To put it more simply, my mother said that I haven't blogged because I am "happy"- that I blogged the most when I was quite frankly, miserable. Maybe, there is truth to this theory because writing makes me happy, and it has served as a safe haven in times of need.  Yet, I have missed my little escape and have inevitably returned to turn over a new leaf with the start of a new year. Be patient with me, there is much to update, but we'll get there in time. For now, I have to tell you, I haven't been a Modernday Lucy. I've been a Modernday Prodigal's Son.

I was frolicking in frivolity, spinning wildly, basking in the worldly blessings that I never deserved when my inheritance ran out.

It was the first week of December. I should have been studying for my upcoming finals, but I had just received my engagement pictures. Obviously, I threw priorities to the wind and dove into the pictures trying to pick my favorites. I picked up my phone, figured I would have a conference call with my mom over the extremely important task of choosing a favorite, and was blindsided when her tone wasn't as engaged as I presumed it to be a few minutes before. Then my pot of gold came tumbling down to the words
 Severe Pain.
I tried to process the words, but they didn't align in my mind. I wouldn't let them. My moment of frolicking in the sun was now replaced with howling winds and noise as my world began to spin. I pictured my dad, the man who gave me my quick-temper, my silly nature, gift of gab, and above all, appreciation for prayer. I saw his youthful brown eyes with all their sparkle as the light went out of mine. I saw him practicing dancing with me in our kitchen and heard the futile arguments he would present about why he should get to eat a second roll at lunch. Tears filled the corners of my eyes as I thought about him walking me down the aisle in six months. Winds of worry began to thrash against me as the words pain and uncertainty began to erode my foundation. My mom couldn't talk long, so I was alone in the chaos.

Immediately, I tried to call my fiancĂ©. He didn't answer. Frenzy rising, I called a friend. Again, no answer. At the sound of my sister's voicemail, I began to lose hope. I couldn't find anyone to talk to. I was alone in the howling winds and cracking foundation. I was nineteen again, crying in a wheelchair, alone in a hospital room staring at brain monitors. I was back to a fall day holding a dear friend's hand not knowing what to say to an old man that had stolen my heart as I watched him die. I was afraid, helpless, unsure. One moment I had been carelessly dancing in my world of fortune and worldly riches- the next I was standing in rags in a desolate pasture. 

Through the wind, I began to hear a soft voice. It was calling my name, asking me where I had been, asking why I was relying on others to make sense of the chaos, not judging me for frolicking in frivolity, but trying to show me the way back home. 

I was the Prodigal Son standing ragged in a pasture, dirt on my face, tears in my clothes, scrapes on my knees from falling over my own traps, and even after depleting my worldly resources, my Father was still calling out to me, telling me to come home. He met with me in the middle of my emptiness and welcomed me. He would take my rags of worry and burdens and clothe me in comfort and assurance. He would forgive my dependence on the world and my own stubborn heart and allow me back into His chambers. He loved me despite my wandering. 

As I laid in my bed that night, I began to be calmed as God touched my heart. I received a call a few hours later that my dad was fine. It would wind up being his gall bladder. Yet, I took away a bigger message that night. God was reminding me that I can't depend on the world. In a moment where it all began to shake around me, I couldn't reach anyone because only One was trying to guide me home. He watched as I chased after loose coins, and as they eluded me, He began to walk towards me in the pasture. He began calling my name over the wind as I tried to find my way home. He reminded me that I am a Prodigal Son who misplaces my riches at times and reminded me that only He can quiet the winds, guide me home, and holds and promises my true inheritance.