Friday, May 22, 2015

Mississippi Comeback Sauce

Y'all, I cannot be the only person out there that once they find the "perfect" condiment I use it on practically everything I can... right? RIGHT?! Well, thanks to my husband I have found this perfect condiment. Being the nicest blogger ever, I made him suggested he recreate the making of this sauce so I can share it with y'all!

This was something Josh found via facebook. One of those recipes that one of his aunts or friends or someone had shared on their wall. He thought "oh. That sounds good." and wrote down the recipe. Of course, he didn't actually share it to his wall, so I cannot fully credit where we found this. Also, I decided to leave the name the same, cause that's just what Josh keeps calling it.

It's so easy though, and the flavor... Y'all... I put this on scrambled eggs. It's just that good!

What you'll need:
* Don't let the size of the list scare you away. If you're like me, you most likely have the majority of these things in your pantry, spice cabinet, and fridge!
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce. (NOT the powder. There is a difference, y'all!)
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard (We used spicy brown mustard)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice. 
What you'll need to do:
  1. Combine all ingredients into an airtight container (like a good ole mason jar) 
  2. Refrigerate overnight
  3. Enjoy as a dip, topping, or whatever your little heart desires! 

Seriously, y'all. It's THAT easy. The reason to refrigerate overnight is to let the flavors "marry" together and get to know each other. Trust me... it makes all the difference in the world. So good.

If you try this, please tell me what you think. I love hearing from other bloggers when they try something I've shared! Hint, cucumbers dipped in this tastes really good too.
Happy Friday, friends! xoxo
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"We Bought A Zoo"

Pets! In my opinion, they really make a family feel complete. But then, I'm a lover of animals and I have a very difficult time saying no to a fuzzy face. So yes, we are a family with animals. If you follow me on instagram though, you already knew that!
Our first cat together, Keke... she was special...
Even before Josh and I had the kids, we always had animals. There was one point in our relationship (probably even before being engaged) where we had three cats and two dogs. It was a full house.
At that time, having pets was just a way to make our family feel whole. We were definitely "those" people that had as many pictures of our animals as parents have of their kids. Pets are just like people and having them in our life felt right for us.

Since having kids, keeping pets in the family is important to us.

They teach unconditional love.
Admit it, y'all... when you were a kid and you came home from school to see your dog and/or cat so excited to see you, it made your day. Right? Right! Zander gets that with Gambit now. Both kids are learning that even when the animals may not want
forcing their love on the cat but she secretly loves it!
They teach responsibility. 
At two years old Zander started having chores. One of them was to feed the pets. Now, Ainsley feeds the cat and Zander feeds the dog. Chores in general help them learn responsibility, but having to feed the animals and make sure they always have fresh clean water helps them learn to take care of live things.

Endless play!
Are your kids and pets getting antsy? No problem! Send them both in the backyard and boom! They wear themselves out with a quick game of tug-o-war. My kids absolutely love running around the backyard with Gambit. Taking him for a nice long walk around the neighborhood is a close second favorite activity though too. By the end of the day, dog and kids sleep very well.

Similar schedules. 
Potty training, eating, playing... Kids and pets have similar schedules. I think having animals before we had kids was a good idea cause it helped teach Josh and I the importance of sticking to schedules. Sure, going on vacations with pets in the house is tough, but we're lucky we have an amazing system down to where the animals hardly know we're gone!
Rambo didn't know she wasn't toilet trained as a kitten... 
But in all seriousness, who wouldn't want faces like this giving you the "I love you" look daily? Having pets in the family really makes our home feel complete. I wouldn't have it any other way and I couldn't even imagine it any other way.
we are family! 
This is the last week for the Mamas Tell All linkup. These past several weeks have been really amazing and I've absolutely loved getting to know other mamas in the blogging world! In case you've missed the other topics, you can follow along here. Also, do you want more Mamas Tell All? Let me know in the comments!

Do you have pets in your family? What do you love about having pets? If you don't have pets, would you consider adding them to the family (with or without kids! Fur mommies are mommies too!!)
The Rambling Llama
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Food Is Better in the South

Welcome to the south! Where grits are at every breakfast, our tea is sweet, and the chicken is fried.

It's no secret. I love food. Yes, food is needed to keep you going and keep your metabolism going. But for me, food is also fun. This is also why I gained a TON of weight several years ago. Granted, now I know how to splurge and enjoy something more fun than a salad. It's a happy balance, y'all.

Surprisingly, Monroe doesn't have a whole lot of authentic southern restaurants. There's one BBQ/ Wings place on the edge of town, but I'm 100% honest in saying I'm scared to go in there. That side of town is essentially the other side of the tracks. #IDontWantToBeMugged. True Story. lol. However, if you were to come visit me there are some true "southern" venues we'd have to visit.

|| The Varsity. "What'll ya have? What'll ya have? Have your order in mind and money in hand". This is their classic welcome. I would insist on a good ole fashioned chili dog, onion rings, and their signature Frosted Orange.

|| Blue Willow Inn. Downtown Social Circle, GA. This is like 10-15 minutes from where I live. Imagine tree lined streets, old southern houses, and friendly neighbors. Literally old movies with the pretty antebellum houses is how the street looks where Blue Willow is set.
So not only is the scenery perfect, the food is to die for! We're talking fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, black eyed peas, corn on the cobb, and of course sweet tea. For dessert? We cannot forget the peach cobbler.
Have I mentioned how excited I am that I have a peach tree in my backyard? lol!
For Sale at the inn or on 

|| J. Christopher's. While doing research for this post, I actually discovered there's one of these in Nashville! Good news for my TN friends!
This place is strictly breakfast, lunch, and brunch. So tons of grits, oatmeal, and BLT's! Their motto is "familiar food with flair". Always good and super affordable.

None of these places sponsored me to write this post. These are just three really amazing southern restaurants that we would absolutely visit if you came to see me. Of course, if you wanted to eat in I'd make some fried chicken, greens, mashed potatoes and fresh corn from scratch. Who can turn down a good home-cooked southern meal?
Want more southern? Head over to Lora's page today to check out a southern recipe I'm sharing!

Linking up with Amanda
Amanda Moments
What are your favorite southern foods? Tell me about the food in your area!!
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Best Friends

Happy Last Day of School to the kids in Georgia. We're a crazy state that has school run from very early August (Zander will go back Aug 5 this year) to Mid May. So I'm pretty sure most, if not all of the state starts Summer Vacation today.

Earlier this week, when I picked up Zander from school his teachers were giving all of the parents a little "last week of school" package. It included a lot of artwork and projects the kids had been working on throughout the year, snippets of paper to show how much their writing had improved, and my favorite thing: pictures. Each student had a CD full of pictures from their year in pre-k.
This was at the beginning of the pictures on the CD. I may have cried a little reading it.
I'm blessed to have a very social, friendly son. He takes after his mama and makes friends with ease. I knew throughout the year he had become close with a handful of the kids in his class and eventually I could identify his "best friends". The ones he talked about the most. Having this CD of pictures really showed me how Zander interacted with the kids in his class during the year.

Y'all. I can tell he's really formed strong bonds with his best friends. Twice during the school year we had parent teacher conferences. At each one his teachers gushed over the fact that Zander is such a good friend. He's kind, caring, forgiving, and loving. He thinks about his friends' feelings before his own. He shares.  His teachers made sure to let us know "not every child in this class has those traits".

I'm gushing with pride, y'all. My son has learned at a very young age the true value of friendship. He's already developed close bonds with children that he will most likely know for several years to come. I still remember my first best friend from pre-k. This person leaves a mark with you. An imprint if you will.

On this very special Friday, I'm going to photo dump some of my favorite pictures of Zander and his friends. I'm grateful for the fact that my son has these special bonds, these amazing friends, and the fact that he loves school so much!!

my little scientist. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

Linking up with Emily
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Broken, Flooded, and Yet Still Alive

Y'all... I'm gonna share something with you today. I had every intention of linking up with Faith for the Golden Vlog, but this week has been A WEEK for sure. And it's not even at the end of the week yet. So I'm just gonna dump some stuff on y'all, deal?

If y'all follow me on snapchat and twitter then you know I had to say good-bye to the only pair of flip flops I own.

A few people on snapchat also saw I very nearly flooded my kitchen earlier this week. Pretty sure it was Tuesday.
You see, we have a relatively old dish washer. It cannot take liquid dish detergent... even the ones made FOR the dishwashers. We ran out of the powder, and to try and save me some time from having to wash dishes by hand, I borrowed one of those pod things from a neighbor. Guess what? The dishwasher doesn't like those either. Strictly powder only.
This was in 2006 in our first apartment. clearly I cannot operate dishwashers...
There were a few other cases of "having the monday's" all week, but I've shared some of those with friends over the phone. It's not really "blog-worthy",,, plus I don't have a fun picture.

What I've gained from this week is much better than what the actual week threw at me. 

Despite being in a bit of a rut, I know my bloggy friends still care about me. I think Cassie was secretly scared that I was going away again based on her tweet yesterday. It's important to remember friends are still there and looking out for you.

My sweet boy is finishing pre-k tomorrow. When I picked him up from school yesterday his teacher had a huge folder full of artwork and projects from the year. It was so refreshing to look at what he's accomplished throughout the year. One of the things included was "this is how I write my name: Aug 2014"... at the first of the school year. It was just dots and lines. Now he can write his full name with ease. Despite a rough week, it's important to sit back and enjoy the little things.
Zander at his school playground last week. :)
I'm going to end with this... 

I shared this picture with Meagan via text yesterday. I saw it randomly on one of my facebook friend's pages. She had shared it and it jumped out at me. I needed to see this yesterday. Meagan is one of my bloggy soul mates (along with Rebecca)... and something told me she needed to see it yesterday too. So now I share it with y'all.

So friends, happy Thursday. If you're having a week like I am, stay positive. It's almost over. If you have something to look forward to, remind yourself of that. Or, like, Emily... just get outside!
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Project Date Your Kids

Growing up. It's something kids look forward to, but something parents dread. As parents though, it's up to us to make sure kids have a good grounding and what to expect for when they do grow up. This includes learning how to date.

Mamas Tell All || Week 7 

Our kids are still at ages where we don't need to be concerned about who they're dating yet. Thank goodness. But that doesn't change the fact that they are forever watching my husband and I and taking everything in. What you do as parents and how you act impact your kids at a very young age.

Josh and I hug and kiss each other in front of the kids. Not only because we love each other, but because we want the kids to know it is okay to show affection. I grew up in a home where affection really wasn't shown all that much. I want the kids to be okay with hugs and kisses.

We have yet to actually take either of the kids on a "date", but it's absolutely something we plan on doing. It's important for them to know acceptable dating behavior. I have several friends that have taken their older kids on dates. The dads will take the daughters out and the moms will take the sons. They all dress up and go on a genuine date.

Some ideas I had for taking Zander on a date included the typical dinner and a movie. We'd probably start with some Chick Fil A and go to a movie he'd enjoy.

This is still new to us though, so any tips or date ideas would be appreciated! Have you dated your kids? What do y'all do together?

link up with the other mamas and share!
The Rambling Llama

Next week is the final week for Mamas Tell All... talking about pets!
May 20: Last Year We Bought a Zoo (or Not) – a discussion on pets in the family - do you have any? why or why not?
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Snapchat Tips and Tricks!

Hello love! I'm Kelly and I blog over a little place called Love, Kelly Lorene. I live in the Pacific Northwest and have the best group of a friends a girl could ask for. In a nut shell - I believe that there's a country song for every situation, baseball is good for the soul and a good book has the ability to give you a break from everyday life. Want to know more? You can always check out my about me page.

About a month ago I posted a tweet asking if anyone else used SnapChat. Melissa answer and a few tweets, SnapChats and emails later here we are... sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks to an app that we're kinda crazy about! 

I've had this app for way over a year, but it's been over the last few months that my friends and I have started using it more than sending regular text messages. Yes, we're the weirdo's walking around town looking like we're taking selfies every two minutes. I had to up my data plan because of this app people! 

While Melissa is diving a little deeper into app over on my blog, I'm going to cover the basics.

SNAP CHATSThey're pretty much exactly like they sound. 

Snap a picture
I would just like to point out that this doesn't always have to be a selfie. We use it to send pictures of outfits as we try them on in the dressing rooms or of other random things without having to clutter up our phone's photo gallery.

Add some text/emoji
It kinda sucks that you're limited to <31 characters, but we've found fun ways to get around that. Such as using specific emojis for people rather than actually typing out their names. Not only was it fun to sit down and decide which person got which emoji, but it's kinda fun because should they see it they don't know we're talking about them.

Decide how long people get to view it for
This can be anywhere from 1 second to 10 seconds. Keep in mind that people can screen shot a snap so if you're sending a really embarrassing face, keep it quick.

Swipe for filters should you want to add them 
I thought I got screen shots of all the options but apparently I didn't. Sorry. 

Send it on it's merry way
Select which of your lucky friends gets to receive it and click send! Don't forget you can add it to your story too. For more on that visit my blog where Melissa is talking about it.

This really isn't any different than sending a text message other than the fact that once the person's read it, it's gone. This has really come in handy when planning surprises and complaining about spouses.

That's right! You can send videos. They're limited to 10 seconds so talk fast ;-)

This is a new feature that I haven't really tried out to much, but that I'm pretty excited about! When you're both in the text chat you'll notice that the yellow icon on the right will turn blue. All you've gotta do is hold it down to send live video to your friend. If they hold it down as well.. It'll start a live chat! You can switch cameras my dragging your finger up or down. If you don't want to keep your finger on the screen the whole time then just drag your finger to the little lock icon that is floating around the bottom of the screen!

Alrighty folks! That's all the fun that I've got for you today. I know you're a little less scared to use SnapChat now. Head over to my blog to see what Melissa has to teach you and follow me on SnapChat at "kellylorene"! 

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