Monday, August 31, 2015

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans??

This past week was full of emotion for New Orleanians.  Saturday August 29 was the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  

Just like every other family in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, my family lost everything.  

They were fortunate enough to be able to get out of the city before Katrina made landfall. 

 My father, who was a homicide detective in New Orleans at the time, had to stay. 

My mother, brother, aunt, uncle and 3 cousins all came to Tennessee where I was living at the time.  

They were all able to return to New Orleans about 3 months later to begin rebuilding their lives.

Over these past 10 years, my entire family was able to return home and rebuild. 

 Many of their homes are nicer now than they were before Katrina.  

I wish we could say the same about many parts of New Orleans. 

 Most of my family lives in the Gentilly area and they are still in need of basic necessities found in most neighborhoods in this country.  

It is disheartening that most people have to drive at least 15 minutes to get to a decent grocery store or to a restaurant.  

Don't even think about any quality shopping, unless you are looking for a Dollar store!

Even though New Orleans still has a way to go, it has improved tremendously since Katrina.

 It is plain to see that the folks running the city want it to look entirely different than it did pre-Katrina and for the most part that is a good thing.  

What isn't a good thing is how slow the progress has been and how only certain areas of the city are being revitalized.  

New Orleans is my home and if one day the stars all lined up correctly I would love more than anything to move my family back, but that is not something I can see happening in the near future.

I will continue to pray for my city to get back to the wonderful place we all know,  love 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Florida Fun!!

As soon as school let out for the summer we hit the road. This was my first time leaving Denver since we moved here last summer.  We flew to NOLA on a Friday night and Saturday morning my family of 4, my parents and my brother made the 4 hour drive to Destin, Florida.  

We rented a beautiful house in Miriamar Beach, right off of Scenic Highway 98.  The house was in a great location.  We were in walking distance to the beach, a short drive to restaurants and close lots of activities and shopping.  

In addition to enjoying lots of rest and relaxation, we ate A LOT!!  Living land locked in Colorado all I wanted was seafood so I definitely wanted to steam crabs.  They were delicious.  I also ate seafood at every restaurant we went to.  

One of the best restaurants we ate at was called the Surf Hut.  Not only was the food delicious, the service was awesome and the drinks were amazing. The restaurant was right on the beach so while you wait for a table you can spend time in the back playing corn hole, enjoying the view or having a drink. 
Beach Bucket Margarita :-) 

The view from the Surf Hut restaurant
This was the first time the 7 of us took a vacation together and we had WONDERFUL time.  Everyone hated to see our week to come to an end.   

 You can see from these pictures why Destin is part of the Emerald Coast.  The water is so clear and the beaches are sandy white.  
I've already started looking at the calendar to schedule our return visit next year :-). 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Where have you been????

It has been a while since I've written but these last 16 months have been a whirlwind for my family. At the beginning of 2014, Hubby was offered a wonderful position in Denver.  Even though Denver was not on our list of places to settle down, he could not pass up such a great offer. So, very reluctantly, we put our Texas home on the market and began the process of moving.  By the beginning of the summer we'd sold our home and were headed to Denver.

And the journey begins...

The view from my window as we drove from Texas to Colorado

When we first arrived we were leasing a home until we got the lay of the land.  When our lease was about up we bought a new home which we all LOVE!  July will be a full year for us in Denver and I must admit it was the best move for our family.  We have made so many new friends, our kids love their schools (and so do we) and you couldn't ask for better weather.  Even though I was not happy about moving, I am so grateful we did. I pray our family will live here for many years to come.

Now that we are all settled in and my life has returned to normal I will be able to share all of our fun adventures once again.


Friday, January 24, 2014

My Favorite Books of 2013

I love reading.  When I get wrapped up in a good book I become a bad mother and wife. My mom has even told me that I am not allowed to read when we visit each other because I ignore her.  In 2013 my goal was to read 100 books, unfortunately, I was only able to read 91.  I want to share with you a few of my favorites from last year (in no particular order).

Roam series by Kimbery Stedronsky

I am a fan of paranormal fiction and the Roam series was wonderful for me.  It is a very interesting and imaginative series, different from most paranormal books I've read.  West and Roam have seven lifetimes to protect her from evil and save the world.  West fails six times and the series picks up with them finding each other in the seventh.  This series is unique and I fell in love with it immediately.  I believe I read the entire series in a week.  

Inferno by Dan Brown

I love Dan Brown and have read all of his previous Robert Langdon books.  This book did not disappoint.  I have always been fascinated with Dante's Inferno so when I found out that the plot of Brown's next book was based on Dante's Inferno, I couldn't wait to read it.  Just like previous books in this series, Robert Langdon is on one huge mysterious adventure where he needs to decide who to trust before the world is forever damaged.

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

The story takes place in 1968 and tells the story of a young white woman and an African American man who have been placed in the School for the Incurable and Feeble-Minded.  The story spans a 40-year time frame and tells of the seemingly unsurmountable obstacles these two go through for their extraordinary love.  Be prepared to shed some tears if you read this amazing book.

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Once I start reading and liking a book in a series, I must read them all in succession.  A friend of mine recommended the Outlander series to me and it has become one of my favorites of all time.  This series is a beautifully written, historical fiction work detailing an epic love story.  The time travel satisfies my love of fantasy and the love between Claire and Jamie is great for my need for romance.  The only downfall I have with this series is that the novels are LONG and at times Gabaldon's attention for detail can get a little boring.  I am excited about the fact that the Starz network is creating a series based on the novels.  I can't wait to see how the tv show compares to the books.  I highly recommend this series to any fan of historical fiction and romance.

Crossfire series by Sylvia Day

For any of you who are fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey, the Crossfire series will be perfect for you.  I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, but I am a sucker for smutty books and this one fits into that category.  The love story between the two main characters, Eva & Gideon, who are both flawed and damaged, is very hot and steamy.  Day also tells about both of their pasts which come back to haunt them as they move forward to their future.  If you are a fan of the hot and steamy with a decent story line, this series is for you.  

The Blackdagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward

I am also a huge fan of vampires which is why the Blackdagger Brotherhood series is probably one of my favorite series ever.  It is about a brotherhood of vampires who work together to protect the world from their enemies in the Lessing society.  Each book is about a different sexy vampire brother,  the woman he loves and the brotherhood's fight with the lessing society.  These books are perfect for the vampire and paranormal romance lover, like me.  

If you take my recommendations and read any of these books I'd love to hear what you think about them.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Roast

Last weekend when I gave my guys the options for the weekly dinner menu they all voted for the pork roast to be their first meal of the week.  I must admit I'm not a huge pork lover, unless it is bacon or ham, so I wasn't as excited about this meal as the guys were.

  One thing that did get me excited about this meal was that it is a crockpot meal which meant less work for Mommy.  I don't have many crockpot recipes, but when I find one that is good I cook it as often as possible.  

Even though I'm not a huge pork lover, this one makes the cut for me because it is really good.  The caramelized outer layer is delicious.  I love the flavor from the glaze.  It isn't too sweet, just enough.  RJ really liked it, he kept asking for more of the bbq ribs??

One change I made from the recipe I found on Laura's Sweet Spot was that I cooked the roast in chicken stock instead of water.  Emeril always says water has no flavor so I figured I should cook the roast in something that will add to the flavor.  

If you decide to make this, I hope you enjoy it as much as my guys did.


2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce


Mix together the seasonings:  sage, salt, pepper and garlic.  Rub over tenderloin.  Place chicken stock in crock pot.  Place tenderloin in crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  About an hour before roast is done mix ingredients for glaze in a small sauce pan:  brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water and soy sauce.  Heat over medium and stir until thickens, about 4 minutes.  When roast is finished cooking, remove from crock pot and place on aluminum lined baking sheet.  Brush roast with glaze and put under broiler for a few minutes until caramelized glaze is achieved.  Brush roast 2-3 times while under broiler.  Serve with glaze on the side.