Monday, April 25, 2016

the most refreshing summer salad

I'm back to the hot Texas sun and a refreshing salad always takes the edge off the heat.  When I lived in Ohio one of my best buddies, Annika, made this salad for book club.  I seriously could have eaten the entire bowl.  It was so good even in the not so hot Ohio heat!

I posted a picture on Instagram when I made this on Friday night and got several requested to share the recipe, so here she is....

6 cups bite size watermelon 
4 cups bite size strawberries 
1/2 chopped red onion
2 TB lime juice
1 diced Serrano pepper
2 TB chopped cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Whisk together onions, lime, salt, Serrano, and cilantro. 
Add mixture to watermelon and strawberries and toss.

While I was shopping at HEB for the ingredients Layla was in charge of the list and she talked me into using a jalapeno instead of a Serrano pepper. It was still good, but it wasn't as nice as the Serrano.  Go big and get the hot pepper because all the other flavors take the bite out of the hot pepper. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

doin' a little pickin'

I am super duper proud of Layla and her sudden love for guitar.  She has a six week music class at school and they are learning to play.  She is loving it and yesterday she rushed into the house after school to play me a clip of this song!

She also has a very important decision to make between now and Monday.  She's had a few weeks to decide her elective next year for 6th grade.  She can pick art, choir, orchestra or band.  Last week she was leaning towards band and playing the flute, but now she is leaning towards choir.  She's hoping to also take private guitar lessons too.  I'm thrilled for her to have so many cool music choices.

    Gary has wanted to learn to play guitar for years and she is teaching him a few things here and there!  It's cute to see them learning together.  

I'm so bummed I can't get the video to work. Grrrrr!  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I have a built in best friend

I've met so many people in the last 4 years traveling from Texas to Ohio to Georgia and back to Texas.  I have also 'met' people via this blog and other forms of social media. God Bless social media and the way people vent publicly about marriage. Ouchie.  I sometimes feel extremely shocked by the way people treat their spouses.  The lack of respect, the insecurities, and putting the kids first.  You may disagree and that is fine, but in my opinion the marriage should come first and then the children.

Let me start by saying my marriage is not perfect. We have had bumps in the road, um hello we have moved more times in 4 years than I can stand to admit. Packing and moving will strengthen a marriage y'all!  I am not perfect and Gary is not perfect.  There IS no perfect person in this universe.  The way we are together is perfect for us and our situation.  He is a reflection of the way I treat him and I am a reflection of the way he treats me.  I believe that people see us together and think we come together quite nicely.  Our kids see this too because we act the same way at home as we do when we are out with friends and family.

We were friends first and we still are friends.  I would do anything for him and I know he would do anything for me.  It takes work.  It's hard and from what I've noticed some people don't want to put in that kind of work.  It is crazy to me how hard people work at their job and bettering their career, but they don't take the time to get to know their spouse as their best friend.  Mommas work so hard trying to become the perfect mom, but don't take the time to be the perfect wife.  Sadly, the kids leave and then that momma is stuck at home with a man she doesn't know at age 52.  A friend once told me she'd hang in there until the kids graduated from high school and then she'd be gone.  Well, that is another 10 years.  Imagine how wonderful her marriage would be if she started working now and then in 10 years she wouldn't have to leave to find another man to find out he isn't perfect either.

I love that I have a built in best friend.  We don't always see eye to eye.  We have different views on lots of things.  We get into heated discussions.  Our kids hear us sometimes and we let them listen in to some of our conversations.  They know we disagree at times and by listening to us they understand that marriage isn't perfect but we all learn how to communicate.  We learn to compromise.  We learn to be respectful and gracious.

I try to keep Just Shy of a Y a happy place.  It is a place for family fun, food and memories.  That being said, I don't want my kids to think life is all roses and rainbows, but I want them to know that their mom and dad work to build a solid foundation.  We work to be a good example of what marriage should look like. In every area of life our kids watch us.  They mimic us.  I want our babies to know what marriage is about and how it should work.  Mostly I want Layla to know how she should be treated and I want Hayden to know how to treat his future wife.  As parents we want them to have a best friend to grow old with some day.  

"Always strive to give your spouse the very best of yourself; not whats left over after you have given your best to everyone else."  found on pint-er-est.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

tacos on Friday

Layla was invited to a sleepover, so it was just Hayden with us for dinner Friday night.  

While I was dropping Layla off for the night Gary asked Hayden what he wanted for dinner and he said "On the Border and 7-11!"  Ok...that is pretty specific buddy!  He said he'd never been to OTB and he saw a commercial and wanted to go.  I'll never turn down Mexican food, so I was all in on that!

He ordered build your own tacos from the kids menu.  It was the coolest thing ever.  I didn't even know that was an option.  He got 3 crispy taco shells, taco meat, rice, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.  He did a 'Hayden vs. food' challenge and the tacos lost.  He devoured them in minutes.

We ended up skipping the 7-11, home of the slurpee, trip because he was full from the tacos, but I'm sure now that we live near 7-11's again we will visit them often especially in the hot summer months!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I'm into bowls lately

I am loving throwing food into a bowl and tossing it around and calling it a meal.

This is a taco salad of sorts.  I had it for lunch.  Spinach, black beans, red onion, ground turkey taco meat, avocado, cheese, jalapenos and tomatoes.  That's it!  I topped it with salsa and called it a taco salad bowl.

Here is where I'm cooking these days.

I'm using all the old stuff from all our other houses for this house.  I mean isn't that what we all do.  The rug bugs me because it should be larger, but it's a rug and this is a rental blah blah blah....  

I have a cute kitchen with plentiful storage so I'm happy.   

I get to cook and put the food into bowls.

This one is pinterest inspired.

It is a sushi bowl with brown rice, cocktail shrimp, shredded carrots, avocado, cucumber slivers and green onions.  I topped it off with soy sauce and yum yum sauce.  

Hello easy sushi bowl!!

The whole family ate a variation of this bowl and we all liked it.  In our 1950's kitchen.

Stay tuned for the 1950's bathroom. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why Waco?

As you know our family just moved back to Texas after living in Ohio for 2 years, and then Georgia for 1.5 years.  Before our state to state adventure we made our home in a north Fort Worth suburb. We bought our first home in Haslet.  Layla and Hayden were both born in Fort Worth just like their daddy.  I am the only non Fort Worth baby.  I was born in a little town in Texas near Waco.  I attended Clifton schools my entire school career.  Go Cubs!!

Since our recent move I've had several people ask why we decided to move to Waco.

Waco is home for us.  Waco is where our story began.  Gary moved to Waco in 4th grade and he graduated from high school at Midway.  I grew up in Clifton which is located about 30 minutes from Waco.  

I remember as a kid we traveled to Waco for everything.  Groceries, clothes and restaurants were all better in Waco, so essentially I grew up in Waco too.  I remember sitting under the shopping cart when I was a little girl.  I would ride around HEB (the best grocery store ever!) while my mom tossed groceries into the top part before checking out and loading the car to drive back to Clifton.  All the coolest clothes were in Waco.  Clifton had stores, but nothing as cool as Waco.

Gary and I met while he was attending Baylor and I was attending McLennan Community College and working at a local optical shop.  We dated for 4 years and all those years were here in Waco.   We loved Waco, but I have to say it is much cooler today than it was back when we first met.  There are tons of stores and attractions that just weren't here back in 2000.  Waco has blossomed and grown into a beautiful city with so much to offer.  

Now you know ... 

That is why Gary and I picked Waco.  We met and fell in love in Waco.  We got married on a Texas beach, but we made our first home in Waco before we decided to chase the money and move to the DFW area in 2001.  

When we found our rental home (built in the 50's and could totally be a Fixer Upper.) in Waco a few months ago we realized we have been gone from Waco for almost 16 years.  We are so excited to see this town now.  It is amazing!  We have plans to buy a 'forever' home in a year or two.  We are excited to plant roots and the kids are excited to stay in the same schools from now on.

Just so you know, since I am a foodie, my plan is to try every single fun restaurant and maybe open my own. ;)  I'll be able to give you the scoop when you plan your trip to visit our fun booming town!  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

bluebonnets and a salmon burger

We took a little drive after breakfast this morning and saw a patch of bluebonnets.

I can't believe it is April.  April in Texas is just amazing.  The fresh spring smells and the slight breeze.  It's a real treat to have moved back to Waco just as spring has sprung.

Can that sky be any more blue?  It's gorgeous.  Hayden is throwing some sort of gang sign I'm sure. hahaha.  We took the top off the Jeep and we took a nice drive through town.

When we got home we sat in the backyard all afternoon.  Lily and Daisy are so happy in our backyard.  They love the grass and Layla laid down a blanket and they all snuggled up together on that too.  Lily is just as long as Layla. :-) 

The kids begged to play on the trampoline in the sprinkler.  I thought is was a bit cold, but they didn't care.  They had a blast!!

I found two more blooms in the backyard today.  I promised I'd share them and I will!  I'm beyond thrilled to have ROSES!

I found these cranberry Gorgonzola salmon burgers at HEB and I knew I'd love them.  It was a great treat.  I'm a huge cheeseburger fan and it was hard for me to try something new, but I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new.  HEB is my best friend with all their fun foods.  I'm so happy about shopping there again!

Yum yum!  

Gary is a great chef as usual and I'm thankful for a fun Sunday in the sun with my little family!  Here's to many more here in the Lone Star State!