Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting Up & Catching Up

I am thankful, because tonight, I took a shower. That may seem to be a simple, even routine, task, but after the week I've had, it was a big encouragement! I hadn't washed my hair since Tuesday and was feeling quite grimy! It feels so good to be fresh & clean. I had an "Amber moment" earlier this week that left me in bed for days. I never knew that sleeping could be a dangerous activity!

Early in the morning, while we were still cozy in our darkened room, I awoke to a loud pop in my neck followed by excruciating shooting pain. Apparently, as I rolled over in my sleep, I misaligned the vertebrae in my neck. I cried out in tears, waking up Truman, and after several minutes of pain that had me frozen, my hubby called the chiropractor and we made our first of three trips that day. I had a painful case of torticollis and couldn't do anything but lay flat on my back. I couldn't move my head even a centimeter, or really any part of my body, without the muscle in my neck seizing up in a spasm that was pinching a nerve and causing debilitating pain.

After several visits to the chiropractor, days of rest, hot and cold packs and sweet care from my hubby, I've begun to see improvement the last two days. I am so thankful that my neck has improved enough that I can prop myself up to read or use my laptop, can make it to the bathroom without tears, and even got a shower with the help of Tru tonight. I'm still going to have to be careful for a few days and don't think I'll be driving for at least a couple of days, but I am so encouraged to be on the mend!

I've been away from blogland for awhile because before getting stuck in bed this week, Truman and I were in California for a conference. Our days were full of workshops and sessions, but we did have a day and a half to enjoy the beach before we headed home! We spent a day driving up the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway from Long Beach to Malibu. I love the beach and really enjoyed putting my toes in the sand and listening to the waves!

I know this post is a random assortment of updates, but I want to share one more thing! Have you seen this commercial? I adore it! Truman and I rarely watch live TV since we DVR most of the shows we watch, but we happened to catch this commercial a couple of weeks ago. It's our new favorite....

Is Kylie not the cutest thing?! I hope we are blessed with a Kylie one day...I think she has the spunk I had when I was little and I've always hoped that our children will get my hubby's Asian good looks. (wink)

I have some creative projects ready to share this week! I'm so glad to be back up and around and am looking forward to catching up on posts!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Food For Friday: Green Chile Chicken Casserole

This is another quick and easy dinner that originally came from Cooking Light. I love that this recipe makes either a 13 x 9 casserole dish or two 9 x 9 casserole dishes. For just my hubby & me, I can make the two 9 x 9's and have dinner for that night, as well as freeze one for an easy dinner another night! You can serve the casserole with a salad and tortilla chips and guacamole to round out the meal. For me, this dish hits the spot as a satisfying comfort food.

1 1/3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup fat-free sour cream
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 (10 ½ oz) cans condensed 98% fat-free, low sodium cream of chicken soup
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
1 package of flour tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast-about 1 pound
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Combine chicken broth, green chilies, onion, sour cream, salt, cumin, pepper, cream of chicken soup & garlic in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
3. Spread 1-cup soup mixture in a 13x9 inch-baking dish or two 9x9 baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of tortillas over the soup mixture, and top with 1-cup chicken and ½ cup cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the cheese. Spread remaining soup mixture over the cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min. or until bubbly.

*If you assemble the casserole the day before, cover with cooking spray-coated foil. When ready to serve, bake 1 hour, then uncover and bake and additional 30 min. or until the cheese is bubbling and browning.

**I usually make it in two 9x9 casserole dishes. I freeze one for later and it's a great need-an-easy-dinner to have on hand. It will need to bake approximately an hour and a half when baking frozen. Uncover after 1 hour.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Food For Friday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I enjoy cooking and I love entertaining and I'm usually trying a new recipe at least once a week. I've decided to share some of my favorite recipes with you on a more regular basis. I am going to try a new regular feature here every Friday called Food For Friday. I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes, new or old, with you each week.

Since many of you are still in the middle of cold, winter weather, I want to share one of my favorite soup recipes with you! My sister-in-law Carita first introduced me to it, but now it is on regular rotation in our house, especially on the rare chilly nights we have in Texas. We love it's fresh flavor!

1 can (14.5 oz) Tomatoes, undrained
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 T. cilantro
1/4 t. sugar
6-8 c. chicken broth
2 medium avocados, cubed (optional)
shredded cooked chicken breasts (quantity desired; I usually use 5-6)
salt & pepper
tortilla chips
shredded monterey jack & cheddar cheese or fiesta blend

In blender, combine undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Blend until chunky. (Not pre-chopping the cilantro, onions & garlic is a big time saver! The blender will chop it for you!) In a large saucepan, add vegetable mixture, shredded chicken & chicken broth. Simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. To serve, top soup with shredded cheese & broken tortilla chips, along with avocado cubes if desired.

**This soup is also great to simmer in a crockpot on low for 6 hours.**

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Award, A Project & A Question!

Last week, I received my very first blog award for fab furniture makeovers from Jen for my buffet redo! I was quite honored to be recognized by Jen who is the queen of furniture makeovers, and excited since it was my first blog award!

I am supposed to pass this award on to one other person I feel has done a fabulous make over. Two of my favorite bloggers immediately came to mind and I couldn't choose, so I am going to bend the rule just a little bit and award two!

First, I want to pass along the award to Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee! She did an awesome re-do of an antique bed for her daughter's room, but you'll find other great furniture projects as well, from a side table to a bookshelf.

Also, I want to give the award to Pink & Polka Dot! I love her zebra chair makeover, the glider she turned into a treasure for her front porch, and the lazy girl's slipcover that I've added to my to-do list!

Drop by and say hi to these two creative ladies!

I also promised a project! I found this little sphere-with-potential for $1 at a tag sale last summer.

After removing all of the ivy, I used my trusty hot glue gun to cover it with dried moss. (You can find bags of real dried moss at a craft store. I got my moss at Hobby Lobby.) I changed the container to an urn that I snagged for $1 at the same tag sale. Here is the after that has found a new home on top of the buffet that I refinished:

And finally, the question! I'd love your help! I have this trio of apothecary jars that I have gathered to add to the other end of the buffet. I would love to hear your suggestions of what little treasures I should use to fill these jars! If you have posted photos of your own apothecary jars on your own blog in the past, please leave me a link to your photos in your comment.

I picked up something for one of the jars at Hobby Lobby last week, but I am still brainstorming for the other two and would love to hear your thoughts & ideas! There is such a creative wealth in blogland and I want to take advantage of your creativy, ladies! I'll be sure to let you know what I decide & post pictures when it's all done!