Thursday, March 31, 2011

DIY BBQ Chicken Pizza

So as far as pizza goes, I think there's nothing better than BBQ Chicken with Pineapple!
Papa Murphy's makes a good one, and Tad says that Hungry Howies' has an awesome version, but i wanted to try and make my own. I did it as easy as I could think of, and I gotta say it turned out pretty dang good!
PS-I only remembered to snap some pictures after the fact so my images are somewhat lacking.

Step 1-Dough
I started with Pillsbury Pizza Dough. I used the classic kind, but they also have thin crust. You spray a cookie sheet (any size the package says) and roll out the dough onto it. Then press and spread the dough until it covers the surface.
PS-Tad's a crust critic and he approved of the taste so that's a great sign
PPS-If you love crust too, Tad's favorite pizza crust is Domoino's garlic crust

Step 2-Sauce
I decided to go with KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, and I'm glad I did. The Pizza Crust instructions suggested 1/2 a cup of sauce, but since I think there's never enough I used 3/4 cup. And it was awesome. Just spread over your crust as evenly as possible.

Step 3-Toppings
Ok, this is where I seriously lacked on the picture front. I've made this twice now (in the last week!), and I tried a couple of different chicken options. CHICKEN-The first time I chopped up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts into tiny pieces and browned them in a skillet. The second time I used canned chicken. I gotta say they were both pretty good, but I'd give the award to the BS chicken breast. PINEAPPLE-I didn't have any pineapple tidbits, but I did have a can of crushed pineapple and that worked just as well. I recommend putting it on before you put on the cheese. CHEESE-I just used what I had in the fridge, shredded Monterrey Jack and it tasted great.

Step 4-Bake
Cook it at 425 for 12-17 minutes
I did 15 minutes and it was perfect.

I paired it with a salad of greens, spinach, grapes, and craisins.
No matter how sad your salad may look, if you use my favorite dressing it'll be awesome!

So there you go, if you're wondering what to make for dinner tonight and want to put forth minimal effort with an awesome result here it is! I don't know if this is actually healthier than getting your pizza from a pizza place, but it feels that way because you see exactly what goes into it. So I tell myself it is :)

You could really make any kind of pizza with this recipe. Next time I think I'll try chicken bacon ranch!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Conference Issues

General Conference is this weekend! For anyone that doesn't know, Conference is a bi-yearly televised broadcast the LDS Church has so it's members can hear directly from their leaders.

It's a special opportunity that I've come to look forward to, although I'll admit that I didn't always feel this way. As a kid General Conference was a chance to stay in my pajamas all day and eat breakfast during church. Now that I've got kids of my own I hope to make it a different experience for them.

A friend of mine from church did a post on her blog with some great ideas on how to make this a day to look forward to for the whole family! So if you've asked yourself:
'How on earth am I going to be able to watch any of it with my
kids running around like crazed hyenas?'

Here is the answer!

This post is for 6-12 year olds, but there's a link for another post she did for 2-4 year olds. It's a great post and I hope it helps!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

9 Fashion Mysteries Solved!

1. I've heard it said that there's one hemline that will always be correct. What is it?

The perfect hem hits the top of the knee or an inch above—no higher. Period. If you despise your knees, says O's creative director, Adam Glassman, wear a skirt or dress that grazes the bottom of the kneecap and a higher heel. But odds are your knees look fine.

2. Can I wear brown and black together? Navy and black?
There's nothing chicer. And since all three colors function as neutrals, there's not much heavy brain work involved. Especially on the upper half of the body, navy is kinder than black, which tends to draw color out of the face. "A brown or navy shoe, belt, or bag worn with a pair of black pants shows that you possess a certain amount of flair," says Glassman. To make this look no-fail, always match socks or hosiery to your shoe.What should a woman never wear if she wants to dress her age?

3. In your 20s: Matching suits—dressing like a Park Avenue matron just makes a young person look dated.
4. In your 30s and up: Colored tights—too juvenile. Low-slung jeans, shorts, or skirts—no one wants to see muffin top or midriff.
5. In your 40s and up: The schoolgirl look—rounded collars, pleated plaid skirts, and pinafores look wrong on grown women. Short skirts—hems that hit midthigh or higher aren't appropriate no matter how hot your legs look.

6. In your 50s and up: Anything strapless—unless you're wearing a jacket or other shoulder coverage. Innerwear as outerwear—leave the bias-cut slipdress in the bedroom (and, for that matter, the terry cloth hoodie and sweatpants).

7. In your 60s and up: Bikinis—there are gorgeous one-piece swimsuits that don't reveal the whole landscape.

8. No matter your age: Nude or white hosiery—better to go barelegged with a spray tan. Shoulder pads—honestly, why? Ankle-length straight skirts—flattering to exactly no one. Retro trends—if you were old enough to wear it the first time, don't revisit it.
9. Safe at any age: Heels (two inches and up)—they make every pair of legs look toned. Jeans—there's a modern pair made for every body shape. T-shirts—a soft, fitted cotton tee always gives off an unstudied, contemporary vibe.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Army Wives

So my awesome Sister-In-Law JaNae and my favorite cousin Rachel have been telling me to watch Army Wives for forever now. A couple of weeks ago I found out that you can watch the first 4 seasons on Netflix so I gave it a shot. Now, 3 weeks later, I've watched them all and am upset that I have to wait for more!

If you're like me, someone who knows almost nothing about the lives of the military, then this show might just pull you in like it did me. I was fascinated with their day to day lives and the problems that they have to face. Especially since Rachel, yes the same favorite cousin, is an army wife herself, so I keep wondering if her life is anything like the women I see on screen. (By the way, her husband has been deployed for the last 6 months and is coming home this week!)

Here's the main cast
The show follows the lives of each of soldiers and their better halves.
The show starts with Trevor LeBlanc, a fairly new soldier who met the love of his life over a weekend's leave. Surprisingly he proposes to.....

Roxy. She's a southern girl who's had to learn to take care of herself, and does a great job of it. She's a tough as nails bartender who works two jobs to take care of her two sons, Finn & TJ. What might be even more surprising is that she says yes to Trevor. So with the start of the show, she begins her new life as an Army Wife. Roxy, however, is just as clueless as I am and makes quite a few mistakes in the beginning.

Roland is an army husband. He's one of my favorite characters, I love that they put this dynamic in the mix. He's a shrink who's wife, Joan returns home after a long deployment.

Joan is a Fort Marshall’s first African-American female lieutenant colonel, and has over 400 men under her command. She has a rough time adjusting to being back home with Roland after her tour over seas.

Denise is what you would think of as the perfect army wife, but later in the season you get to see a little of her wild side. It was a little weird to see our girl from JAG on the other side of the uniform, but she's great in this role.

Frank is Denise's husband. He's a major who's your classic soldier. Strong, determined, and with a great sense of duty and honor. They have a 19 year old son Jeremy who's got an interesting story line I did not see coming!

Claudia Joy is the big woman on campus. She's married to the Brigadier General and head of the FRG (Family Readiness Group), both of which keep her very busy along with her 2 daughters. Although she's made her way to the top she's a genuinely nice person who wants to help as many people as she can.

She's married to Michael the Brigadier General. He's just who you'd want leading an army, tough, fair, and not afraid of making hard decisions.

And then there's Pamela, my personal favorite. She's a blunt and somewhat loud mouthed woman who doesn't like to take crap from anyone. She worked as a police officer until she met and married her husband Chase. They have 2 kids and a lot of debt. She brings Roxy, Denise, Claudia Joy, Roland and herself together in the first episode. She's pregnant with twins and goes into labor during one of Claudia Joy's tea parties!

Her husband Chase makes me want to slap him a lot in the first few episodes. He's constantly buying things they can't afford, and just plain ungrateful to his awesome wife Pamela.
So those are the basics, if you already watch it tell me who's your favorite and why. If not, I hope you start! Especially because you can watch the first 4 seasons on Netflix! And after that the 5th season is not too far into it and you can watch those online here or on Lifetime when they air originally Sunday's at 9pm/8Central.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mortal Instruments Book 4!!!!

9 more days until the 4th book in the Mortal Instrument's series comes out on April 5th! This was supposed to be a Trilogy, so I was super excited to hear there was going to be a fourth. If you're a fan of Twilight, Hunger Games, or even the great Harry Potter then these books will be right up your alley. I wrote about this series on my Books I Love page, but in case you missed it here it is.

The Mortal Instruments is a series about magical races living in secret within our world. There are the Shadowhunters who, with the help of special tattoos, are gifted with speed and strength to fight demons and the other dark things that threaten people. They are invisible to the human eye. And the Downworlders which include Vampires and Werewolves. Clary Fray is the central character who believes she is a normal girl until she starts seeing people no one else can see and is attacked by something she can only describe as a demon. She's protected and taken in by the local shadowhunters where she discovers that her family history is intertwined with her new friends. She finds herself in the tug of war of love with her best friend Simon and her shadowhunter bodyguard Jace. The series throws you so many curve balls your head will be spinning by the end!

One of my favorite things about this series is how funny they are, especially Jace. I love a book that makes me laugh out loud. If you want to find out more about these really cool books click HERE. And if you're already a fan and want to read the first chapter of the new book click Here

Friday, March 25, 2011

5 ALMOST Free Ways To Decorate

As a mom on a budget I'm always looking for ways to make my home feel like new without opening my wallet. And of course, Oprah gives me a great answer!

Just because you don't have a lot of extra cash doesn't mean you can't invest in your home. Artist and author Sandra Magsamen offers some artful, low-charge and no-charge ways to create a home that stimulates, captivates and motivates.

Color Outside of the Lines

Color is a wonderful gift, and paint is low cost. Repaint a room or all the rooms in your home. Dream about what feeling you want a room or rooms to share, and think through possible color choices. Journey down to the local paint store for an adventure, and gather tons of paint chips for your consideration and reflection (they are free).

Rummage and explore magazines, pulling out pages of rooms that you want to live in. Look for inspiration everywhere, including friends' homes, museums, movie sets and nature.

When you are ready to paint, make it fun. Host a paint party and invite some friends over. Make a plan for the evening and give everyone a job. Before you know it, you'll have splashed some new life into those old walls.

Remember when thinking about color that white brings in light and is the perfect canvas for hanging colorful art. Red is bold, primary and dramatic. Blue is reflective and peaceful. Green is all about nature and calm, and yellow activates and brightens any room.

I wish I was brave enough to use more color!

Putter the Clutter

In my home, clutter seems to multiply magically. Piles of books form here and there, baskets of unrelated items seem to pile up throughout my house and stacks of papers simply grow bigger in size without any human intervention.

For some of us, clutter can be daunting and can make our homes feel messy and unorganized. For others, clutter feels comfortable and fine. If you are one of those folks who love clutter, skip right past this section, but if clutter annoys you, my advice is to "putter the clutter."

It is really hard to declutter a house in one day because it is such a daunting task, so putter around in each room. Break down the job and pick a room to declutter, then move on to the next room another day. Remember, all this clutter didn't gather in one day and it doesn't have to go away in one day either.

If you break this job into small puttering steps, you'll have a better chance of getting it all done and not be overwhelmed by doing it. Make this job as fun as you can by putting on some great favorite music and dancing your way through the job. Ask yourself as you start this job, "What do I really need and want?" Today is the day to recycle old magazines and donate clothes, furniture and items that could help someone else. Pare down to what feels comfortable and nurturing for you.
We all know from a recent post that I'm no stranger to clutter. However today I de-cluttered my kitchen counters. Yes, we're all proud of me, and my kitchen feels 10 times bigger!

Rearrange for Change

If you have grown tired of the same old furniture in your living room and don't have the finances right now to go out and buy all new pieces, I suggest you do a little rearranging and you'll be delighted by the change. This tip costs nothing—the only thing you will need is the willingness to play!

Play around with what you already own and see how you could reuse or rearrange in your home. You could go wild with this idea, like moving the living room into the dining room and the dining room into the old living room, or simply rearrange the bedroom by m oving the bed under the window so you can feel the spring and summer breezes.

By simply playing around and moving around what you already own, you can change the whole look and feel of your home.
My husband will be the first person to tell you that I have an addiction for re-arranging my furniture. I blame my mother. :) I've never lived in a house for longer than 4 years, and I just get fidgety. I love how it feels like a new house every time I move the furniture around!

Get Creative

There are so many fun projects to explore and create as you invest in your home. Instead of running to the store to buy an accessory or home decorating item, think about how you might recycle, reuse or create a work of art instead.

  • Make new pillows for the sofa by recycling and reusing fabrics.
  • Sew a quilt from clothing that you no longer want to wear but that would be beautiful as a patchwork quilt.
  • Paint a whole wall in chalkboard paint and enjoy writing, doodling, drawing, leaving messages, sharing famous quotes, creating or simply jotting down the grocery list.
  • Need some lighting? Instead of purchasing a new lamp, why not decorate a lamp shade to match the room? Hot gluing colorful ribbons, buttons or fabric to a shade can look beautiful and artful. Using ceramic tile adhesive on a lamp base and gluing in shards of pottery or stones can create a beautiful mosaic feel to any lamp.
  • Need a new rug in the foyer? Try painting a large piece of canvas and make a durable canvas rug. Using acrylic paint, paint the canvas with a design, paint splatter, words or any art that you love. Once dry, varnish with water base polyurethane four or five times, and you'll have a canvas rug that will be a work of art.
  • Make a wreath out of vines you find on a walk in the woods. Gather vines and roll them up in a circle, then tie them together with string. You can decorate the wreath with anything or nothing.
I LOVE the chalkboard paint idea!

Grow Beauty

Create a garden in a window, a window box, a terra-cotta pot or the whole front yard. Growing flowers and vegetables is fun, satisfying and always makes a home more beautiful.

Enjoy planting and nurturing your garden, no matter its size. There is great joy and accomplishment that comes from helping anything grow. Make a lettuce garden and enjoy wonderful salads, plant herbs to use all year round, grow flowers you can cut and make a beautiful bouquet from and share your garden with others. You'll grow great friendships.

You don't have to spend big money to create the home of your dreams—you only need to spend some time and energy putting your imagination to work.
I've never been one for gardening, but I love how beautiful these window sill boxes look. Maybe i could handle one of these mini-gardens!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Wish List

Here a few of the things on my wish list lately

The last Wheel of Time book, A Memory of Light
It should be out this fall and I can't wait!
A tan for the girl with the transparent skin
hmmm, that sound like a book title

A pair of boot cut, olive green pants
I have a mad crush on olive green.

A slice of seriously awesome chocolate cake.
I'm in love with chocolate cake, and I would LOVE any great recipes you'd like to share!

Pizza Factory BreadTwists
Theses are my absolute favorite treat (non-sugar treat that is) and I've been deprived of them since I had Scarlett for nursing purposes. But as of last week I'm done so it's open season on these twisted ropes from the heavens.

I'd love to hear what's on your wish list :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. Pepper Chicken

Ok, everyone has their go to recipes, and this is mine. You know I love recipes with 5 ingredients or less, and this is no exception. It's so simple and SO delicious you'll be adding it to your cookbook before you can finish your meal! Another great thing is that you can put the chicken in frozen in case you forget to thaw meat for dinner.

Dr. Pepper Chicken
4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Dr. Pepper
1 cup BBQ Sauce
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper

You can make this 2 different ways. In the oven or in a crock pot. Either way is awesome! Today I went with the crock pot, but I think the chicken is juicier in the oven.

Put chicken in baking dish or crock pot
Salt & Pepper Chicken to taste
Mix Dr. Pepper & BBQ sauce together, and pour over chicken. (I like to do this in my 4 cup measuring pitcher. It makes it way easy.)
Sprinkle Brown Sugar over the top

Either bake at 350 for 1 hour
Cook on low in crock pot for 4-5 hours
Serve with extra sauce on the side because it's amazing!
5 Ingredients
No Pre-Planning
In 1 hour

it all spells AMAZING


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