Cuero, Tx…

Texax, oh how I miss Texas already! I think I’m gonna have to take up drinking to cope with the loss. Man, my life is shaping up to be an old country song really quick. Well if blogging doesn’t work out I can always take up writing country songs.

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We were in the little town of Cuero for about 2 months. It’s not an extremely large town but it was a decent size. It has a tiny little Walmart. Surprisingly it’s a better Walmart than most of the larger ones I’ve been to. It has an HEB… did anyone else hear the angels when I said that?… HEB…yep I heard them again. There is a Mexican restaurant on every dang corner but I never found one that even came close to Los Cocos Sports Grille They had a wonderful burger place called Monster Burger. It has great decor and a great burger.

There was a fancy park, Logan sure thought it was awesome. Park, Playground, community garden, pool, splash pad, golf course, and ponds. The RV park where we were was also wonderful, grassy (always trimmed), spacious, picnic tables, small, and out in the country. Spacious Country RV.  Downtown Cuero had a few downtown shops. Wagner Hardware has a cute shop above it. So don’t miss out on that.

 

 

I loved the historic homes, but my favorite thing about Cuero is the location, it was close enough to everything, We went to Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Gonzales, Mustang Island, and Victoria.

I completely fell in love with Texas while we were there. The wildflowers, the unlimited amount of stuff to do, the fact that they put roads around the beautiful trees, and the Spanish moss that hangs from them, the 80 miles an hour speed limit, the history,  and the fact at people are super proud.

Turkey Burritos in the slow cooker…

This was a concoction that kinda developed over time. I really love taco salad but I live with two picky butt heads! (I love them)

I started off making taco meat in the crockpot since I’m the only one who eats raw tomatoes I decided to add them to the mix. Then one time I got too lazy to make refried beans so I added a can pinto beans. (which I later switched to black beans) Dillon doesn’t like hard tacos or chips to much so he just had to have a burrito. One time making this last minute Dillon informs me he has a friend coming over. Well I hurried and made some rice and added to the mix so there would be a little more. Turns out everyone loves it that way! Now this is a staple in our house. Sometimes I just eat it as a burrito bowl! I’ve shared the recipes multiple times.

  • 1 lbs of ground turkey
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 can Bushes seasoned black beans
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir ground turkey, onion, beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and half the tomato sauce into crockpot on low for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked rice or quinoa. Before serving if it looks dry add more tomato sauce. We use Mission carb smart whole wheat tortilla. (When Walmart has them) Make sure you add cheese and top with your favorites.

* When I double this recipe I normally use 1 can Bushes black beans and 1 can of pinto beans just to give it a little more variety!

Falling in love with Claremore Oklahoma in a day…

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I recently had a chance to stroll down Main Street in the small town of Claremore, Ok.
I was immediately in awe of all the shops and character that it possessed. There was nowhere close to park, so I ended up in the public parking a little future down which wasn’t as bad as it sounds! I don’t mind walking and it was great that they had this overflow parking! As it turns out the town was having there Souper Saturday (more on this in just a bit) that’s why it was so busy. The weather was just perfect for a stroll down Main street.
IMG_5252I went into the first store, and was blown away! Farmhaus was not only beautiful and historic, but the farmhouse decor inside was to die for.

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 I literally wanted one of every inside. (Sometimes it stinks living in a camper 24/7) I got a chance to talk to the lovely lady who owns it and as it turns out we have mutual friends from Wagoner. (I’m always amazed by how large, yet small the world really is)

 

I continued on down store after store of wonderful and beautiful shops and boutiques with the friendliest workers.

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The District on Main had some beautiful clothes and some neat stuff. Very high-end stuff. I was just in love with their original brick wall inside the store and she told us the story behind finding the wall. (I’m Fascinated by old antique/historic-stuff)

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I went into a store that I had spotted on the drive in, LoliPop. I thought it was going to be a bakery and candy type store. Truth be told I was mildly disappointed that they didn’t have cupcakes. They do have candy, but it is also a boutique. They have some of the cutest clothes, and the sweetest girls working! I bought a cute sweater dress/shirt. I tied it up and the girls in there oohed and awwed on it and made me have an absolutely giant head (maybe I should start a fashion blog, ok just kidding)
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Next, I stopped in at She Brews Coffee House and treated my self to a coffee (The Misty) and a piece of delicious Lemon Ooey Gooey Cake. (Y’all I almost died and went to heaven. I love lemon flavored everything!) I was so glad I waited in line and studied their info. She Brews not only has coffee, wonderful desserts, and a lovely lunch menu but also helps women transition form negative/troublesome pasts into better futures. (I am a sucker for this stuff. I almost cried standing in line reading a success story on their wall.)
The Misty– cappuccino with half the espresso, but a generous serving of white chocolate and caramel and topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of white chocolate.
OutWest Home Decor had everything you need to decorate in a cabin or western theme. Beautiful stuff and again the lady who owns it was super sweet. I bought a cute wooden state of Oklahoma ornament that said Claremore on it.
I had just enough time to run into Burlap Closet Boutique and check it out. I was in love with some of their tee shirts but didn’t have enough time to try them on and/or by anything. The lady working gave me a card and told me they ship. I’m definitely going to be getting me some cute new shirts.
I went in as many shops, boutiques, and antique stores as possible before I had to head back and pick up Dillon. But I’m telling you I was amazed at the charming and bustling Main Street. Everyone seemed to be helpful and friendly. Claremore really has the best downtown shopping district that I’ve ever been too. I love supporting small shops!
IMG_5247Y’all I parked my truck at 1:30 and walked into the Farmhaus a few minutes later. Some lady asked for soup. (It’s a home decor store) I was thrown for a loop! I kinda interrupted the lady’s talking and asked what was going on. She told me that 2 times a year they have Souper Saturday, to promote businesses on Main Street and as fundraisers for stuff the town needs. I was very intrigued and asked if she could explain more. (I later found out her husband is on the city council) she said the business on Main Street dish out soup if you get the ($8) package which includes a cup for your soup. I was so bummed to be coming in at the end of this! (11am-2pm) (Y’all know food and shopping and two of my favorite things)
She also told me about food truck Thursday’s during the summer months, where they practically close down Main Street for food trucks and shopping. (I’m telling y’all it sounds like heaven to me!)
She told me that Claremore had also passed a city ordinance that you may walk around with beer now also. (Which is a big deal here in the Bible Belt)
I am so marking my calendar for all the fun events coming up this year. If we didn’t already have a cabin in Arkansas, I’d be ready to move to Claremore!

Hashbrown Casserol

This is my Hubby’s absolute favorite, he always requests it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So this year I made a double batch and froze them so they were ready to go. We actually traveled Thanksgiving Day, this year and these bad boys were perfect to pop in the oven once we got there! Everyone loves Hashbrown Casserole on both sides of our family so I always get stuck making them (I can’t complain they are super easy and perfect for me because were are never in one place for very long so they are great to make ahead of time) Can you guess what I’m bringing for Christmas Dinner?
I’ve done them separate so I can just show you one! I’m also doing them in cheap disposable aluminum pans because there will be too many dishes to do already. My Mother-In-Law and I don’t just love doing the dishes while everyone else is in their food comas!
The onions are optional because… well let’s face it, I forgot to chop them up and put them in for the Thanksgiving ones. (I’m not perfect) Dillon informed me he likes it better without the onions. So ha! We will just say I did it on purpose, Okay? Just keep it between us! I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to put them in for Christmas or not yet.
(Anyway your gonna need)
Ingredients:
 
  • 1 bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 can of cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom)
  • 2 Tbs of butter softened
  • 1 Small thing of sour cream (8 oz)*
  • 2 cup of cheese (halved)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • Small onion (optional)
 (This recipe is not doubled)
Stir salt, pepper, garlic powder, sour cream, cream of whatever soup, butter, onion (if your using), and 1 cup of the cheese together until blended. Next, add the hash browns in and mix well. Spread into pan and sprinkle leftover cheese on top. Cover with foil and freeze or bake.
When you’re ready to bake preheat your oven to 350. Bake for 25 minutes with foil on. Then remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes. If you froze them first like me just thaw out before baking.

 

*I have the bigger tub because I made two batches and just used half in each.

Hamburger soup

Ok, I’m like 90% sure you’ve heard of this and or you call it something different. 

I grew up on Hamburger soup although, Mom isn’t too fond of it. My Dad, sister, and I loved it. I now make it in my crockpot, for my family. It’s cheap it’s easy and it just reminds me of my childhood. (Am I the only one that associates memories with food?!?)

Ingredients 

  • 1 lbs hamburger meat (get the one with the lowest fat ratio)
  • 1/2 diced onion 
  • 1/2 tablespoons of seasoned salt
  • 1 can corn 
  • 1 can green beans 
  • 1 can diced potatoes 
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can carrots
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 stick of butter (sorry y’all but that makes it better)
  • Medium squirt of ketchup 

Cook hamburger meat, onions, seasoned salt on low in crock pot for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Then add your can goods juices and all. Add the ketchup. Stir. Add all that butter (try not to cringe too much) Stir frequently until butter is melted and all vegetables are warm. Enjoy! 

I normally make cornbread with it. But we also eat it with crackers occasionally. 

Tortellini Lasagna-ish

Y’all this was one of my first concoctions. 

In the middle of summer using the stove or oven (or both) really heats up your camper. Dillon works in the heat all day so he hates coming home to a hot camper. So I had to get creative! The crockpot is my favorite. It’s so easy and stress-free to just throw crap in the crockpot and let it cook all day with little to no work, and the best part Dillon has a  cool camper and a hot dinner when he gets home. 

So I was really craving lasagna. But dang I’ve never tried the lasagna noodles in the crockpot. (Still, haven’t) I had some Buitoni three cheese tortellini noodle hanging out in my fridge (I can’t even remember what I was gonna make with them) So I drug out all the fixings for my Lasagna and my tortellini noodles and went to throwing stuff together. Dillon and Logan loved it. Well, Logan picks out the mushrooms but he’s a strange kid.

I don’t even know what to call it because it’s not lasagna. I have started making it with turkey meat and I’ve tweaked the process since but the end result is delicious. Easy comfort food. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of ground turkey (you can use beef* if you want) 
  • 1 jar of your favorite Spaghetti sauce 
  • 1 tbs minced garlic (I cheat I buy the squeeze jar) 
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning 
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash garlic & herb
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 
  • Small tub of cottage cheese
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Half package of Buitoni 3 cheese tortellini noodles
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1 can of tomato paste ( if needed)

Stir ground turkey, Italian seasoning, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms together in the crockpot. Add sauce and stir again. Cook on low for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Add cottage cheese and noodles. If it looks really dry add half a can of tomato sauce. Cook on low for another hour stirring occasionally. Again if it looks dry or you like it a little saucier, add more tomato sauce.

*if you are using beef make sure you get the lowest fat content or that you drain it before adding anything else

In the picture, I have Walmart tortellini noodles because I couldnt find Buitoni ones! (I didn’t like the walmart ones)

Please let me know if you try this. Also, questions and name ideas are always welcome!

Co-parenting…

As you all have probably put two and two together. Dillon is Logan’s Step Dad. Logan’s Father is very much in the picture. He and I have known each other for around 15 years. We met through a cousin of mine (they are still good friends). We were young and dumb and “dated” on and off long distance forever. I won’t go into the whole story because I’d be here all day and it’s all water under the bridge now. When we found out we were pregnant, I wasn’t near old enough at 18 and he only 19! We were scared yet excited. We ended up breaking up for a while then married when Logan was around 1.

We tried our hardest to make it work for Logan. In the end, I decided I wanted to raise Logan in a loving relationship (not that it was just ugly and awful between us) We just both agreed that separation was best for Logan. We had the easiest divorce (ugh, Y’all I hate that word) we split everything, we each paid half, we didn’t fight over who was getting Logan when we didn’t fight over child support. We both knew we are doing what is best for Logan.

I do not say mean, or awful things about Logan’s father to or around Logan. I’m NOT going to say that we get along 100% and agree on everything (because we don’t, who does?) But in the end our arguments die pretty quickly because we start to realize what is best for Logan.

We co-parent Logan, and he also understands that Dillon is also a big part of Logan’s life. He knows Logan has to respect Dillon, as I know Logan will have to respect anyone he has in his life because of his father. [too many times I’ve heard of parents trying to teach their kids to disrespect the step parents. That makes me so angry]

Also, Dillon is under the same understanding, Logan’s father is a part of his life. We both support any conversation that Logan wants to have about his father and half-brother. We all work with each other on dates, schedules, and holidays. Y’all our schedule is crazy and he works with us a lot. Meeting times and spots change regularly because of us moving around.

When logan played baseball this past summer. We didn’t have to tell him. Dillon and I paid for everything. We were the ones taking him to practices and games. BUT, Y’all should have seen Logan’s face when most of his family was there to cheer him on for his final game. I know it sucked to drive 3 hours away on Tuesdays or Thursday to come watch him play, yet he did it regularly. Because it was best for Logan! [if you cant tell we are a goofy bunch]

Logan has a half-brother, from his father’s side. One day he’s going to want to spend the night with Logan (with us) or go with us where ever Logan is going. It wouldn’t bother us one bit to have him with us (his Mom probably wouldn’t allow it but, that I can’t change) it’s what is best for Logan. He is his brother after all.

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Logan had a big birthday party this year and we worked together to make sure Logan’s Dad and his brother could come. Again It made the whole day better for Logan! (Look at Logan help him with the pinata)

I have one friend that is also able to have this relationship with her kid’s dads. (We met after both of her ex-husbands, yet I know both of them and they know me)

So my question is why? Why can so many parents not see this? Why do most step-parents want to cause friction? Why do so many parents spend thousands of dollars in court to fight? Why can’t they choose what’s best for their child?