Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recipe Share: Chili Con Carne!

I love Chili! Absolutely. In. Love.
I am even more in love with the recipe that I have been using that has been passed down to me from my mom. Being in Mississippi recently, my mother in law made some chili and it got me craving my mom's chili recipe.
I decided to make some the other night and figured I would do a recipe share.

Katrina's Chili Con Carne

Ingredients:
2 lbs Hamburg
1 Small Onion, pealed and chopped
1/2 Cup Water
2 Cans Tomato Soup
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
Hot Sauce
1 1/2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Large Spoon Fulls of Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1tsp Oregano
Red Pepper Flakes
2 TBS of Chili Powder
2 Kidney Beans
Olive Oil

In large pot, cover bottom with olive oil and put in onion. Cook down for 7 minutes on medium heat.
Next, put in meat with salt, pepper, oregano, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cook until fully cooked through.
When meat is fully cooked, drain and then add 1/2 cup of water and both cans of tomato soup. Additionally, add diced tomatoes, hot sauce to taste, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Mix together, then add brown sugar, chili powder, and both cans of kidney beans.
Make sure you stir well and taste. Add additional spices and hot sauce to taste!

Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve with cheese on top :)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Find the Right Tablet {Guest Post: Kristine Williams}

 To be honest I'm not very technical. I mean, I keep up with how to use items in the tech world, but when it comes to really figuring out which direction to go, I'm utterly useless.

My guest blogger today loves tech and has written a blog post to help people (like me) figure out their options. Here is a message from Kristine and make sure to read this post!

Guest Blogger: "Hello everyone, I'm Kristine Williams, a tech savvy mom who has a strong passion for writing, and fortunately for me, Katrina has been kind enough to let me share my writing on her great blog. So today, I'd like to share with you tips on choosing which tablet is best for you! If anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to ask; feel free to email me!"

Finding the Right Tablet for You
 
In the last year or two, tablets have really made a big splash!  They can be used for anything from streaming movies, to reading, to researching recipes, and more. They are much more convenient to travel with than a laptop and oftentimes can be just as powerful. There are a variety of different tablets on the market today and it is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide on the right tablet for you. Here are some points to consider when picking your perfect tablet.

Screen size and weight: Whether you are looking at a reader or a full-feature tablet, one of the first features to consider is screen size and weight. Tablet sizes generally run from seven inches to 10 inches and weigh from roughly one pound to three pounds. While these weights may not sound like a real consideration, it is important to remember that after holding a tablet for a little while, it can prove uncomfortable.

Features: Think about how you will use your new tablet. Will you use it to primarily read books? Stream movies? Just check email and look at social media sites? How you will use your new tablet will have a direct correlation to the features that are most important. For example, if you are looking to just read with your tablet, then you may want to look at either the Kindle Paperwhite or the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch Glow Light. If you want a full-featured tablet, you may want to look at either the Apple iPad or the Samsung Tab.

Operating System: Just like the Apple-PC war years ago, it is now the iOS-Android war. And just like the original operating system war, the battle lines are again clearly drawn. Those who use iPads running iOS are often already Apple users and are comfortable with the navigation and system similarities. Those who utilize Android tablets generally like the openness of the operating system not offered by Apple. The iPad is offered in a few different configurations, sizes and price points, but are all from Apple. Android tablets are offered by a wide variety of manufacturers, creating a broader market and more price competition. Add to the tablet war, the recent emergence of the Windows Surface tablet running the Windows operating system has really added an entirely different component to the mix.

Price: While we all wish price was not an object, the truth is this can be a huge factor in your decision process. Prices can vary from less than $100 for a basic reader to multiple hundreds of dollars for a full-feature tablet. By considering all the points listed above, you can begin to have an idea on the price range for a tablet to meet your needs. What is most important is to go to an electronics store where all the tablets you are considering are out and available for you to try. You could do plenty of research ahead of time, and you should, but until you hold the tablets you are considering and see how they perform, how you like the screen, how comfortable it is to hold, you will not be 100 percent sure. When I was deciding on my tablet, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted – until I went to the store and saw all of them in person. Then my number three choice became my top choice and ultimately my purchase.

No matter what tablet you decide to purchase, make sure you get coverage for your tablet that will protect your investment. As you look at all the different tablet options, you will quickly discover you can wind up spending a lot of money. And if you drop it and crack the screen shortly after its purchase, you will have a constant reminder as to how fragile this piece of electronics is. Make sure you purchase tablet coverage like one of the plans offered form ProtectCELL, so you are covered not just for small issues, but if you accidentally drop your tablet in a puddle or your kids spill their juice on it while streaming a movie. Then you can be sure you will enjoy your tablet for years to come.
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Packing to Move Series}

We are on our way out of the condo! In about two weeks we will be closing on our first home and moving. The packing has begun, and I figured it would be nice to share how I stay organized while packing to move.

First off, we picked up some materials.
We get our boxes from U-Haul. I like the policy they have that if you don't use all the boxes, they will buy them back from you at the same price you purchased them. Joey likes to get the medium sized boxes because they are the easiest to carry without a dolly. If you go much bigger it is hard to wrap your arms around them.

We also got the wrapping paper, newsprint. This time we only got one box because previously when we moved we had too much left over that has since then disappeared.

When I pack, I like to established a color key for my boxes. I do this using different colored and sized Post-it notes.
The larger Post-its I use for the larger rooms in the home. For example, our kitchen, living room, formal dining, etc. Then the smaller Post-its I use for some of the smaller rooms.
So how this works is each Post-it note color corresponds with a room in our new house. Then on those I can write what is in the box.
I normally don't write which room the box goes in on the Post-It, this one was an exception. Typically the color of the Post-it dictates where it belongs in the new house.

I made a video to help explain some of this and it is done more in a vlog type style for those of you who are interested. It can be seen here.

More to come as we pack up to move!

Cheers!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Candles! {PartyLite}

Y'all know that I love me some candles! I talk about the BBW candles all the time and love to add them to my home as I decorate for the different seasons.
I was contacted by a friend from college who is now an independent consultant for PartyLite and she asked if I would like to try some of the candles they have to offer.
OF COURSE!
I love candles!
So I had this package waiting for me when I arrived home.
The first item I was sent was an "Escential Jar" scented candle in the scent Autumn Glow. This is a one wick candle and it is 8 oz. The scent is a mix of apples and pears with spices and a hint of pine. Makes for an AMAZING harvest scent. The candle is very smooth to the touch and doesn't have a waxy smell to it, like some candles can. You can really smell the scent by having it sitting on the counter; when you walk by you can catch a waft. They are listed on the website as $15.00 regular, and it looks like right now they are on sale for $11.25 ea. According to the site, they burn from 40-60 hours. I have not burnt mine all the way yet, but for the price that seems like a GREAT burn rate.
BBW 3-wick candles are advertised as burning 25-45 hours. Those are 14.5 oz. Don't get me wrong I love my BBW candles...LOVE them. But if you can't get them during the 2 for $22 sale they can be on pricey side for burning 25-45 hours.
The next item I received were the Universal Tealight Candles in the scent Iced Snowberries. This scent has a mix of berry scents with fresh crisp winter air. They are $10 per dozen. They even have an offer right now for 3 dozen for $25 and you can mix and match scents. There are over 40 scents to choose from!
I absolutely love this scent and I'm definitely going to order it in the larger jar candle.
 The final item is the Woodland Retreat Tealight Trio. I couldn't find this on the website so I'm not sure if the product is out of season or if it is a PR product only.
This trio is too cute! Perfect for the fall season to house these little tealights :)
Looking forward to placing these around my home!

Have y'all ever tried PartyLite candles? If so, what did you think? What scents would you like to try?

I will have to give you another update as I burn through these candles! If you are interested in checking out everything PartyLite has to offer check out their website!


Cheers!
***Disclaimer: I was sent these items for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I did not receive compensation for a positive review and I am not affiliated with PartyLite as a consultant or employee.***

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

BACK IN FLORIDA!

We are back in Florida!
I will be back to my regular posting schedule on Thursday!

Cheers!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Game Day Bliss! {Ole Miss}

Even though Ole Miss lost to Texas A&M...I still had an AMAZING first time in The Grove!
It is so beautiful in Oxford, MS! 
Everyone gathers in The Grove and at The Circle! They set up tents (usually the night before) and bring all kinds of yummy food, Ole Miss decor, lights, and TVs. We got there around noon and were there until about 6:30 PM with a game time at 7:30.
Even the kids love The Grove!

I had a blast :)

Cheers!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mississippi Life {The Good Life}

oooo Mississippi! So peaceful :) We headed up to MS a bit sooner than we had anticipated, but what a fun trip it has been so far.
Nothing like that country air that starts to linger around when the start of fall begins.
The fields in Mississippi are one of a kind! I love the open land. When we were driving by and stopped to take pictures I didn't hear another car...just the mooooo of the cows and the gusts of wind.
Spending time with the family at the family business has been fun. It has been awesome  learning more about the sawmill and the operations around here.
Isn't my husband so cute!? haha
The beauty is just breathtaking!

Good food and amazing family!

Cheers!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Home Management Binder}


I just love sharing how I stay organized with y'all! On top of that, I love hearing what you do  to stay organized as well. Today I wanted to share with you my home management binder system. I have talked about my home management in the past, but I have not addressed this binder.

Our home management binder helps my husband and I stay on top all things related to managing a home. I designed this fun colored cover to insert into the top of my binder. I have a link for you to download this Home Management Binder Cover in PDF form. Please only use for personal use.

I then went ahead and determined the information I wanted to keep in here which then dictated the tabs I created.

I created my own tabs using small cubed Post-Its, my label machine, and packing tape. I did this for two reasons (which I explain in the video as well). The main reason was I didn't have any tabs on hand and they are easy to make this way; but also because it can be a struggle to find tabs that are wide enough for labeler labels. Most tabs can be a bit narrow.

I went ahead and made both my own tabs and dividers. For the divider I printed out the divider cover I created and inserted that sheet along with a piece of card stock in a sheet protector. The tab was then attached to that. Check out the video to see more.

The tabs were labeled as follows:
Home Maintenance
Family Finances
Family (Home) Budget
Shopping
Inventory
Home Insurance
Travel
Home Inspiration
Contacts
Holiday Prep
Food

I keep a bunch of different sheets and forms that help my family stay organized. Some I created myself and others I was able to print from some other blogs.

It would take a really long blog post to show pictures and describe all the items that I'm keeping in our home management binder. I thought a video would help. Now I'm a blogger and have zero skill when it comes to recording videos. I know this video is a bit choppy and the camera really picks up all the movement...but nonetheless I wanted to include it so you could see how I set up my home management binder.


There are so many ways to set up your own home management binder. Hopefully you find the best way to keep your family organized as it works for you all!

Cheers!