Monday, April 29, 2013

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken Pasta

The temperature has been climbing steadily out here in the desert! It's only April and in the 90s! This is a great meal for a hot day. Although it requires a little use of the stovetop, at least you don't have to turn on the oven.


1 lb spaghetti noodles
1 lb chicken breasts

Chicken Marinade
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary (really good if you use fresh!)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Garlic Sauce
1/2 stick butter
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Cut up the chicken into 1 inch pieces. Add all the marinade ingredients with the chicken, seal in gallon ziplock bag and marinate a minimum of 20 minutes. (You can also marinate overnight for a more intense flavor)

2. Boil noodles with a dash of salt and olive oil. Cook until al dente. (Which means not mushy)
3. Melt butter in saucepan, saute garlic until soft. Add in flour slowly and mix well. Cook for a minute then slowly add in chicken broth stirring continuously.

4. Simmer until thickened then add in basil and pepper. If it looks too runny add a tiny bit of flour a pinch at a time until desired thickness.

5. Mix sauce with cooked noodles and set aside. Saute marinated chicken until no longer pink. (I like mine a bit brown)

6. Add chicken in with the sauce and noodles, toss until evenly distributed. Top with cherry tomatoes and a few shakes of grated parmesan cheese. Yum!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April T.O.Y Box

I sent out my April, Thinking of You (T.O.Y) box! This month's theme was De-stress. It's been a stressful, overwhelming and sad month for a lot of us. And although a box of stuff can't bring back loved ones, or stay on hold with Tricare for an hour for you hopefully it brightens someone's day and takes thier mind off of things for a while.

Here is what I sent to my match:

I found this cute card that said "Thinking of You" on the front. How appropriate right?
-An eye mask to shut out the world for a bit
-A pair of headphones to listen to some calming music
-A notebook (it always helps me calm down if I organize and write a to-do list)
- A bag of snacks. This is a dried fruit and nut blend with antioxidants. Being stressed out can take a toll on your immune system so it's good to keep up with those vitamins and nutrients.
-A list on how to DIY facial
-Candles. (I always find candles to be theraputic)
-Chamomile tea (scientifically proven to calm nerves)

Also a bottle of my homemade peppermint massage oil. I made it from sunflower oil and olive oil, peppermint and rosemary extract. (A trick in sending liquids in the mail or even for travel is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the bottle and then screw on the lid. I also ziplock bagged it for extra protection)

Are you a military wife and would like to recieve a box like this? Or maybe you are looking to do something sweet for a military family? Find out more about the T.O.Y Box project over at
 Kelly Mae's Blog There is still time to sign up for May!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Serenity's Tangled Party

My beautiful little Serenity turned 5 last week! It took me quite a while to plan her party, but it turned out awesome and she had a great time.
I got her a Tangled shirt to wear for the party. Isn't she pretty!?
 I had a table laid out with a poster for each girl. There were crayons and markers to make art like Rapunzel did in the movie. They also got a foam wand to decorate with glitter shapes.

I made each girl a long braid from yellow yarn and glued it to a headband.
This was our marvelous food table!
I handpainted a cardboard sign to be like the "Snuggly Duckling" on the movie. I cut the duck out of paper but painted the rest.
I made cupcakes and dyed the frosting green. I added a fake purple flower on top. The stand was also handmade from cardboard, styrofoam rounds and purple wrapping paper.
 I made jello boats from blue jello, half a mandarin orange and a toothpick with a purple flag.

We also had chips and dip, meats and cheese and fruit all served in frying pans. Notice the golden flower in the back? Yep got that in there too. (If you have seen the movie Tangled you will get the significance of it haha) I made brownie cake pops as well. I stuck them in styrofoam floral blocks covered in purple wrapping paper.
One of the games we did was pick a duck from the tub. If you got the duck with an X you got a prize!
We also played "Throw pascal in the pan". The girls threw rubber lizards into a frying pan.
This was our present table. I made the tower in the back from a pringles can, paper, yarn and fake moss. I wish I had gotten a better pic of it, it was a pain to make but turned out really cool!

I love her face, she was so excited about everything!
And here is the masterpiece tower my hubby and I made. He constructed it out of cardboard and I painted it and attached flowers and yarn hair.

Fun times!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bloggy Thought for the Day

As a blogger you are going to have haters, critics and cynics. You may even recieve nasty comments or emails that seem to spawn out of nowhere. You are going to reach out to companies and be rejected, or even worse your emails will be completely ignored. By opening yourself and your life up to the world you are already more courageous than those that would seek to tear you down. So keep on writing, working and sharing. Stay true to your beliefs but keep an open, non-judgemental attitude. Do what's right and you can't go wrong. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY Honey Face Mask

Relax & Refresh With A DIY Face Mask
Guest Post by Kendra Thornton

After visiting the beautiful island of Honolulu, Hawaii, I wanted to recreate the same refreshing spa experience in the comfort of my own home. My stay at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, one of Honolulu’s top hotels for spas and facials, was incredible. The staff at the Abhasa Spa made my stay wonderful and it is certainly not a trip I will soon forget!


So why do we only find time to relax and refresh a few times throughout the year?

Being a mom is a full time job - a rejuvenating face mask is exactly what you need to calm your nerves and replenish your skin. After months of dry skin this winter, this Avocado and Banana Face Mask is just what you need! Avocados contain high levels of vitamin E, vitamin K and antioxidants that can prevent premature aging, repair skin cells, and fade dark spots. Bananas are full of vitamins and packed full of antioxidants. This mask will brighten and hydrate your skin all from the comfort of your own home!


1 avocado

1 banana

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of honey


Take one banana and cut it into small pieces with a knife. Cut your avocado in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Place these into your blender and mix until there’s a smooth consistency. Once the consistency is smooth, drizzle the olive oil and honey into the blender and blend once more. If you don’t have a blender, mash the ingredients using a fork.


Pour your smooth mixture it into a medium size bowl and use your hands to apply the mask to your face. Let your face mask sit for 20 minutes while you relax! Afterward, rinse the mixture off with warm water.

With this refreshing face mask, you’ll feel the day’s stress lifted away.  You don’t have to wait for a vacation to feel refreshed and relaxed!

 Bio: Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine and rejuvenating beauty remedies to my own home with some of my unique recipes and tips. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lace tank, daisy dukes and cowboy boots

I haven't updated the fashion page in a while! I've honestly just been too busy to get dressed up lately. And of course the few times I have I forget my camera. We did a little photoshoot for Easter and I went for a country look since we would be taking pics in the desert. Here is some celebrity inspiration for my look...

I'm not always a big fan of Miley Cyrus's style but sometimes she has some cute looks.

I found this cute, cute top from Evanity. $30 price tag on this baby.

And another one from a favorite store Zumiez. This one is cheaper at $20, but I still wouldn't pay that much for such a small piece of fabric haha!

I found this aqua lace tank at Goodwill for $3.49.
Aeropostale jean shorts via Goodwill for $4.00
Tony Llama boots. I bought these years ago from a Western store so not sure how much I paid.

Here's a better look at the tank. Its sheer so I wore a white cami underneath. Wet Seal was having a 5 cami's for $20 deal and I took advantage of it, even though I rarely buy anything brand new.
Necklace (Found in a storage unit)
Blue gem studs and blue dangle earrings via clearance rack at Claire's. $1.
Hair-I wore down, and by the time we were done the desert wind had made a mess of it haha!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Monkey Bread and Summer Fruit Salad

I fell in love with monkey bread (aka cinnamon pull-apart bread) when my Aunt R and Uncle R made it for me and my sister one morning. We had a sleepover at thier house many years ago, just me and my oldest sis, it was so fun! I almost hesitated to share this recipe since its kind of my secret "thing" I like to pull out and impress people with. Like BAM! Look at me I'm as good a chef as Emril! Haha. But who am I to keep the world from this delectable goodness? So here you go, enjoy!

2 cans Pillsbury refridgerated biscuit dough (flaky works best)
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 stick butter

Mix together sugar and cinnamon. I estimated the amount of cinnamon but I usually eyeball it. You can add more or less depending on how strong you like the cinnamon taste.

Cut the biscuit rounds into 4 pieces like so.

Roll each piece in the sugar/cinnamon mixture until well coated. Set in bundt pan. Make it even all the way around and don't press down.

Next melt the butter and add in the remainder of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. I usually add in a bit more sugar and cinnamon at this step so it makes a nice glaze, but not too thick. Pour all over the top.

 Bake at 325-350 for 20 min or until the top is browned and bicuits are no longer doughy.

Flip the bundt pan over onto a plate and let cool. Now you have a nice cake looking thing! Mmm so good! The outside will be sweet and crunchy and the inside is soft and warm. Loooove this stuff, my stepsons always beg me to make it when they visit! (And I just have to add that no this is not healthy at all, which is why I only make on special occasions hehe!)

Now onto the fruit salad. This is actually incredibly easy.

1 can pinapple with juice
4 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding powder
Any other fruit you want

First add the pinapple with juice and stir in the instant pudding powder. Cut up and add in all the fruit you want. (I had strawberries, apples and bananas in mine because thats what was on sale)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our Easter 2013

How was your Easter? We had a wonderful Easter break! The hubby got a 4 day weekend and it was so nice to be able to catch up on some stuff and just spend some much needed time together. We had planned to go to the Easter sunrise service and then come home to an brunch but we forgot to set our alarms. We did have an awesome brunch though!

Summer fruit salad, monkey bread (aka cinnamon pull apart bread) and egg and bacon "muffins"

(I'll be posting the recipe for the fruit salad and bread here soon!)

While I was getting brunch together, Steven hid easter eggs for the girls and they had a little hunt.

We relaxed all day, swam in the pool and then got dressed up for our annual family Easter pic. The girls looked so cute in thier dresses it kind of turned into an impromtu photoshoot! (This is what happens when you're a photographer haha!)

 A few of my favs of the girls!

Love black and white!

We are a goofy bunch ;)
Happy Easter from half the Brownings!
(We tried really hard to get our boys for a visit this spring but unfortunately thier mom refused to let them come. We will get a great family pic this summer though!)