Friday, January 6, 2017

My First Recipe of the Year: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

        Hello everyone and welcome to our very first post of 2017 🎇🎆

Bacon... bacon... bacon... now say the word four times really fast!   (now you sound like the "Beggin Bacon Strips" commercial.. 😆

In our home everyone is a big fan of bacon... from the oldest to the very youngest and that includes our three fur babies!  

Bacon it's so delicious when cooked on its own but it's even better when you create different "drool-worthy" recipes using bacon as your main (or key) ingredient.   

In this recipe, we paired some nice thick slices of bacon with fresh asparagus covered in a rich sweet soy sauce.

The Ingredients....

*1 to 2 lbs of fresh asparagus
*1 lb of your favorite bacon

The Steps

wash and pat dry your asparagus;
gently bend the bottom of each spear to determine the breaking point;

Why are you doing this?   
The bottom of the asparagus is a bit woody, definitely not tasty and it's not something you want to serve your guests.  The woody part and natural breaking point varies from spear to spear, but it's really not that time consuming, so don't worry too  much about this part.   Just remember to bend and snap!  

Let's continue...

While your oven is preheating at 400 degrees, let's get to the "wrapping" part... 

*carefully place a slice of bacon on your cutting board (or counter);
*place from 2 to 3 spears of asparagus and wrap the bacon;
*place each wrap on your baking sheet. 

All about the sauce....

* 1/2 of dark brown sugar
* 1/2 of teaspoon garlic powder
* pinch of onion powder (optional)
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 stick of butter (or margarine)
             conversion note: 1 stick of butter = 8 Tablespoons 
* about 1 (to 1.5) tablespoon of soy sauce

Combine all of your ingredients in a small sauce pot and bring it to boil and simmer for about five to ten minutes.  (mixing your sauce every few minutes until it's nice and thick)

Pour your sauce on top of your bacon wrapped asparagus; (use as much or as little sauce as you want)

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes- (checking every so often to make sure the asparagus doesn't over cook)

and the results are tooooo die for.... 

Make sure you share this recipe with your friends and family especially during International Bacon Day!!  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Adventures at the Pumpkin Patch

Awww an adventure at the Pumpkin Patch… Fall is my favorite season of the year and I think my kids like it too!

What a better way to start our weekend than visiting our favorite farm, Holiday Farms in Ridgeland, South Carolina and just like they claim, "Just not a Holiday... an experience!"

Our family has visited this farm for a couple of years now and there are a few things I truly love about this farm, for example, they are family owned and operated, they transform the farm on each holiday and you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks.  We all now how expensive purchasing food and drink can be when visiting the local fair.   They also have a covered picnic area for all the visitors to enjoy. 

Holiday Farms offer many activities and my kids take advantage of every single one.  Well, let me take that back, they can no longer do the speedway since that activity is only for toddlers… 

As soon as we arrived we were able to see the welcome signs, the "fall" decorations and hay rolls sprayed painted with funny images of animals. 

 My favorite decoration was this perfectly shaped pumpkin painted in red... it looked so shiny!  

Not far from the entrance we were able to find a large group of colorful "mums".  Last year my best friend gifted me with some of her "orange" mums. I know, they don't last very long but they just look so festive!

And who can say no to their new Jumppad!  and guess what?  Adults are also allowed to jump on it too!!! Not that I got on it or anything... 

Our kids spent a good amount of time jumping and chasing each other on this pad.  Energy zapper at work!

Then we enjoyed some time playing with the cornhole boards!  This is when I realized my daughter has an amazing arm and aim.  Yes, they had 4 different sets of boards and they had to play on each one.  So we played this game for a w-h-i-l-e!

After playing with the conrnhole game, they moved towards the next game, "ring toss".   

When they realized the wagon was coming, they forgot about the ring toss game and ran towards the "Barnyard Zoo" in order to board the wagon! 

See, they ran.. we didn't.. because we knew that once they got closer to the barn, they were going to pet every animal before they actually got on the wagon.   And petted, they did! HAHA!

Their new covered wagon actually takes you around the farm to the back field which is where all the pumpkins are.  Another great thing about this adventure, everyone got to pick a pumpkin from the patch which was included in their $10.00 admission fee.

Pumpkins everywhere... big pumpkins, medium size pumpkins, tiny baby pumpkins, and it was so much fun trying to find that perfect pumpkin to bring home.  

Our only rule for the day was, if you can't carry it (pumpkin) then you can't take it. After all parking was at a good distance away from the grounds, so it made sense to put that rule in place, especially if you have to carry a pumpkin of your own.  But when you have daddy wrap around your little finger, who cares what mommy says! 

And we couldn't just leave without seeing a "pig race", that would have been an incomplete experience for them! 

It was fun to see all those little piglets running!

These are the faces of some tired and hungry kids!  Unfortunately, our kids waited too long to decide it was time for them eat.  

If you know me, then you already know that when I take the kids to places like this, I only go for one thing and one thing only, FOOD!  So, as soon as I got there I went straight to the extremely long line that promised to provide me with some good old fashion Funnel Cake, ribs and perhaps some good BBQ chicken.  Our children had other plans, they insisted that they were not hungry and there was no need for me to stand in line, so we decided to forgo the food and go straight for the activities.  

Let me say this, what a GIGANTIC MISTAKE that was! Since they waited until the last minute, all the greasy and delicious food was GONE and they had no other choice but to settle for snow cones and a small basket of french fries!  

But they had so much fun that not been able to get a funnel cake was totally okay with them.

We highly suggest you make plans to visit Holiday Farms.  Your little ones will enjoy participating in the many activities like barrel racing, duck racing, corn grinding, steer roping, cow milking and getting to know the animals at the Barnyard Zoo.  

Every Saturday you will be able to enjoy the food from their concession stands as well as live entertainment!

Don't forget to stop by their General Store while you are there and check out all of their items like their local honey, jellies, jams as well as soaps, candy and toys!

But our adventures are not stopping there... today we will be putting our costumes on and having some fun with the officers at SCMPD Precinct 5!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Giveaway Alert!

All Things Beautiful Book Giveaway!!

Hello everyone and welcome back!!

Reading is one of my passions.  I can enjoy a really good book regardless of its genre.  I could literally read all day and all night, unfortunately, adulthood prevents me from doing just that.

Because reading is my personal way of escaping reality for a couple of hours, I always find time to read.  I mean, Sleep is overrated if you ask me!

If you follow me on "GoodReads" than most likely, you are aware of my 2016 Reading Challenge.  So far, I've read 92 out of my 100 books… what did I tell you, I love reading!  You can follow me here: Elena's 2016 Reading Challenge.

I deeply believe reading gives you access to an experience that is deeply personal yet shared with the writer and world they lived in.  Self-help books are very personal, especially when the writer has had personal experience with the topic.  

Our friend Beth, owner of All Things Beautiful has an amazing Book Giveaway!  These are the prizes:  

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig;

Reasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn't; how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. It's also an upbeat, joyous and very funny exploration of how live better, love better, read better and feel more.

Humans: An A to Z by Matt Haig;

A) Know a human?
B) Love a human?
C) Have trouble dealing with humans?

Whether you are planning a high level of human interaction or just a casual visit to the planet, this user-guide to the human race will help you translate their sayings, understand exotic concepts such as 'democracy' and 'sofas', and make sense of their habits and bizarre customs.
A phrase book, a dictionary and a survival guide, this book unravels all the oddness, idiosyncrasies and wonder of the species, allowing everyone to make the most of their time on Earth.
The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam:

Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions.  David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts? Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness.  Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

How to Enter:

How can you enter this amazing giveaway?  Very easy, simply visit our friend's page All Things Beautiful Giveaway! and follow the steps!  

*Make sure you complete the extra steps for an even higher chance of winning!  BUT you better hurry, this giveaway will end in three days.... 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DIY: Stitch The Copper

Welcome back my pretties!

Just a few more days for the big Halloween celebration and today I have an even easier nail design!

Let's start with our latest "stitchy" and fun design.. 

For this super easy and fun design I used the following:

1:  SinfulColors Professional Nail Hardener as my base coat;

2: SinfulColors Professional #1503 Copper Pot;

3: SinfulColors Professional #103 Black on Black;

4: Kiss Nail Art Tool Kit; and

5: SinfulColors Professional Top Shine Coat


First, on clean nails apply a coat of SinfulColor Professionals #901 Nail Hardener or your favorite base coat; 

After your base coat is completely dry, place the design guide (of you can do it free hand if you have steady hands) close to the tip of your nail; 

Apply two coats of the SinfulColors Professionals Copper Pot; (allow a few minutes in between coats for the polish to dry- NOTE: a thick coat polish takes twice as long to dry)  Once the polish is dry, carefully remove the nail design strip. 

For the next step, you will need the "Multi Art Brush". 

Using the Multi Art Brush carefully paint a think black line.  You can go over the black line twice if you need to.  

Allow the black polish to dry completely.

Using the same brush, now draw very thin vertical lines.  You can do them as short or long as you want the lines to be.

Make sure you allow the black polish to dry completely before applying the shiny clear top.  If the polish is not completely dry, you will end with smudge lines. 

and all done!!  How easy and fun is this design??  

Friday, October 21, 2016

DIY- Glow Chameleon Glow

Hello Bootiful Ghouls! 

Yeah, I think I've watched "Monster High" movies for way too long!

Let's start with our latest "spooky" and fun design.. 

For this "Glow Chameleon Glow" design I used the following:

1:  SinfulColors Professional Nail Hardener as my base coat;
2: SinfulColors Professional #2122 Nice Guise
3: SinfulColors Professional #2124 Got a Bat Attitude
4: SinfulColors Professional Top Shine Coat

On clean nails apply a coat of SinfulColor Professionals #901 Nail Hardener;

Apply two coats of SinfulColor Professionals #2122 Nice Guise to all the nails for the exception of ring finger.  This Nice Guise polish is a shimmering green with a gold iridescent hint to it.  Please allow a few minutes to pass in between coats. 

The Top coats on the above photo are part of the Glow In The Dark collection. 

This is the tricky part.  As you can see, #2124 Got a Bat Attitude polish has small "bat figures mixed within the polish.  It IS a bit difficult to grab the figures with the brush and place them on the nail.  By the time I was able to strategically apply the figures, I had a very thick coat on my nail.  

However,  IT DOES GLOW!! So their claim it's true!!

Apply your favorite Top Coat to seal the design, let it dry and YOU ARE NOW DONE!! 

Note:  I used the regular #1353 Glow in The Dark (without any figures in it) and applied it on top of the Nice Guise so that it would glow as well.   Although I regret my choice of applying it, the effect was still mesmerizing.