|Walkway in 5 Hours|

Posted on Updated on

For real! We completely “up-scaled” our walkway to our front porch in five hours. Now mind you, this was over a course of two days because we had to make four, yes four, trips to The Home Depot to get supplies and replace our tools that kept breaking. So, for those of you who do not know the San Andreas Fault comes directly through our front yard which caused our previous walkway to just crumble.

[Note: San Andreas Fault = Blackland] It was time for an update.

How We Did It:

We dug up the old broken pavers, cleaned out the rocks and dug a level bed for the new sand and pavers to be laid.

The bad was so bad I am too embarrassed to show a before and after, you can improvise. 🙂

•My Inspiration• [from Pinterest]


•During•  

  


•After• [in love with the outcome]

 

|Blue Apron|

Posted on

I jumped on the Blue Apron bandwagon and I must say I LOVE IT! What is it you may ask? Simply:

You subscribe to weekly meals which are sent directly to your door with EVERYTHING you need to make (except the pan) with fresh, organic foods. Literally, down to the seasoning, and everything is perfectly measured. The only thing that is not included is salt and pepper and olive oil; but we should all have those basic things, right? RIGHT! The meals are great and have great variety and fairly easy to make. They come each week with complete meal cards with step by step instructions WITH pictures! The pictures make things go so much more smoothly than you would think. AND, if for one week you don’t like the recipes that are available or maybe you just don’t want to do it that week, skip the delivery and you won’t be charged. How great!?

Anyhow, I wanted to wait until I made a few meals from this company to actually write a review of it so that it would be credible.


WEEK 1

DAY 1:

|PAN SEARED STEAKS WITH PURPLE POTATOES AND CREAMED SPINACH|

IMG_1042

DAY 2:

|CRISPY CAJUN CATFISH|

IMG_1054

DAY 3:

|TURKEY AND CHICKPEA CHILI|

IMG_1070

WEEK 2

DAY 1:

|PAN SEARED SALMON WITH FARRO, BRUSSELS SPROUT AND APPLE SALAD|

IMG_1089


Looks delicious right?? They were all surprisingly delicious. If you decide to try this program [which I HIGHLY recommend], do not be afraid of ingredients that you normally would not like.

Make the effort to try this program; it is totally worth it. We held off on subscribing because of the price but after discussing this with Tommy we thought about how many times we ate out and the amount of money$$$ we spent on that, it’s much cheaper and healthier to eat Blue Apron… at home! [Plus, did I mention we don’t have to go to the grocery store as often.. That’s winning in itself!]


I’ll be posting the weekly meals I receive as I cook them on my Instagram: thrmarshall – follow me if you are curious!

|Savings Catcher Caught Me|

Posted on Updated on

For over a year now I have been religiously saving money with the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher. I’ve redeemed money onto a gift card multiple times. It has worked out so well for me… until yesterday. I try to log in to look at my account and redeem a gift card, and for whatever reason it says my email is not associated with any Savings Catcher account. Um, bull corn…. Anyways, I get in touch with a Wal-Mart representative via chat and they precede to tell me that my account has been hacked and the email had been changed. So, explain to me how an email can be changed on an account without authorization from the original email account. Makes no sense to me, whatsoever. After verifying my identity with the rep from Wal-Mart he was able to change my account back to the correct email address. I log in and my Savings Catcher money has been wiped out. This person had the audacity to have MY Savings Catcher money sent to them via email, so what do I do? I send their thieving butts an email. [We won’t mention what it said] This morning when I get up and check some emails, that person ACTUALLY emailed me back! I was in complete shock; they completely admitted to stealing my money and had no intentions of returning it. It was a just a big fraudulent scheme and I fell victim. So I warn you guys, please try not to save debit or credit card information on websites, even if you think they are secure. This person could have easily gotten my information and I could have been wiped out. Although it wasn’t a large amount of money stolen, it was our money and I want it back. Wal-Mart is working on getting my money back but it has to go through the entire process and be approved for reimbursement, etc, etc, etc. It may be months, but hopefully I get my pocket change back. I’ll still save my money and protect my information as best as I can. God will remember this troubled person.

|Too Much Coffee|

Posted on Updated on

One of the wedding gifts we received was a gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond and for the longest time Tommy and I wanted to buy a Keurig, well more me than Tommy, but I’ll just throw us both under the bus, so we purchased one. It arrived yesterday on our front porch and we took advantage of it quickly… 2 cups of coffee at dinner was not one of the brightest ideas I’ve had. Midnight rolls around and I am still wide awake – and I have to be up for work at 6:00am, this isn’t going to go well. The last I remember looking at the clock it was 12:45. Oh my gosh! Eventually I doze off, but am quickly awakened by Rhett screaming – as loud as he can – for as long as he can. Poor baby is sick! Congested, head cold, upper respiratory infection, something, maybe it’s all this dang Texas ragweed and pollen that has taken over Northeast Texas, whatever it is, it’s gotten my little baby boy sick. Tommy gets up, takes him medicine and rubs his head for what seemed like forever. [he said it was about 10 minutes] Tommy crawls back in bed… 1…2… 3…. and the screaming starts again. I can’t handle it, I walk to the other end of the house and pick him up; he’s sleeping with mommy and daddy tonight, or this morning, oh wait, it is morning, and I have to get up… in like 4 hours. I. Need. Sleep. Alarm goes off at 6:00, which feels like it had only been 30 minutes when I fell back asleep. So tired, hardly any sleep. Rhett sleeps like a fish out of water. I get up, and he’s peacefully sleeping, somewhat of a snore, but with a little smirk across his face. What a turd! But he’s our turd and We are The Marshall’s.

|Cheesy Crisp Chicken Casserole|

Posted on Updated on

Yesterday’s thoughts: I just got home from work, it’s Monday, and what a “great” Monday it was. [You can insert sarcasm where you please.] I thawed chicken out last night in hopes that I would come up with something new to cook today. I’m all about throwing stuff together as long as it tastes good, quick and easy to make and doesn’t require me going to the store for additional ingredients. You know, I’m all about saving money and not throwing anything away, so I found some out of date [so far out of date I won’t even tell you how bad] crackers that I wanted to use. My inner Giada de Laurentiis came out on this meal. My husband was surprised at how well it tasted so I have included the recipe below. Try it out, add some other stale/out of date products if you like… Just kidding, I don’t advise you to use out of date products. I’m sure there is a reason these products have expiration dates, however I am very frugal and a rebel – dates don’t mean anything to me, unless it’s milk, I can’t do out of date milk. [Well, sometimes I can.]


Cheesy Crisp Chicken Casserole

1 lb. chicken [or however much you want to eat]

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

Milk [just enough to cover chicken to soak]

Breadcrumbs [or in my case, I used crackers with pretzels on the flip-side that I put in the food processor]

1 tbsp Tony’s Creole [add to breadcrumbs]

Shredded Cheese [about 1 cup…ish]

For Chicken Sauce:

1 can cream of chicken

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp mayo

1 tbsp milk

IMG_0002

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Soak chicken in milk for about 5 minutes – don’t ask me why because I don’t know why. Ha!

IMG_0005

  • After soaking, cover chicken in breadcrumbs.

IMG_0006

  • Place in casserole pan, or whatever deeper pan that fits the chicken.

IMG_0007

  • Cover with shredded cheese.

IMG_0009

  • Add salt and pepper. [more or less to taste]
  • Add some of the milk that you soaked the chicken in, you kind of have to eyeball it. You don’t want it all to float, but just enough to make it ALMOST soggy. I would guess about 1/4 cup. [I don’t like to measure things]

IMG_0013 IMG_0011

  • Cover with tin foil & bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.
  • Take off tin foil and place back in oven for about 5 minutes.
  • Change setting to broil [while chicken is still in oven] and broil for 5 more minutes. [watch this, cheese may burn]

IMG_0016

  • Remove and let cool before eating.

While the chicken is in the oven, you can make your chicken sauce.

Chicken Sauce Directions:

Mix can of Cream of Chicken, butter, mayo and milk in sauce pan until heated through. [easy right?]


To Plate: Place a piece of chicken on plate [we put it on a bed of boxed stuffing] and add the chicken sauce on top.

Tasty, easy and CHEAP. Score!

IMG_0017

Note: This recipe is great with a side of boxed stuffing and homemade mashed potatoes with skins.


One of the things Tommy and I do together that we truly enjoy is cooking. It normally consists of me cooking and Tommy sitting at the bar while we converse about our days, the food, life, whatever comes to mind. Closeness and communication are some of the things that keeps us together and will keep our marriage successful. These are our times and We are The Marshall’s.

|Honeymoon – Trip to USVI|

Posted on Updated on

The River Walk in San Antonio, Texas is where our honeymoon was initially planned. This place was decided by Tommy and I because it was one of our favorite places to be together. Great food, drinks and views. However, what Tommy didn’t know was I changed these plans. As of July, our plans for the honeymoon to San Antonio had been replaced with a fabulous trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands! At dinner the night of our wedding rehearsal, I gave Tommy a letter and told him it was his wedding present from me. Of course with Tommy’s humor, he had to make this moment memorable. He was completely surprised! So here we go, the night of the wedding, we are headed to Dallas Fort Worth Airport because our flight leaves at 6am. Romantic night sleeping in the airport? You got it!

The time has come: WE HAVE ARRIVED!!

IMG_0731

Words cannot describe this place. The people were incredibly welcoming, the food was amazing, and the beaches… breathtaking!


Although we were only there a short time, our time there was fantastic. We stayed at the Marriott Frenchmen’s Reef Resort in St. Thomas. We walk in and are welcomed with a complimentary Rum Punch. If you haven’t had a Rum Punch, go to the USVI and you will be greeted with one quite frequently. They are pretty tasty – and STRONG. [Disclaimer: every time you walk in the reception area of this resort, you are welcomed with a Rum Punch. Be prepared to consume alcohol.]

First stop, the beach that the resort is on. We were exhausted from the flights over, so the beach was the escape we needed. A little packed this first day, but I’m okay with it, because when I say “packed”, I mean about 7 families. It was relaxing and the water was perfect.

IMG_0690


Sky Ride at Paradise Point was probably my favorite adventure during this entire trip to the USVI. The adrenaline was pumping because I am extremely terrified of heights and the thought of riding up the side of the mountain in a cable car made my stomach hurt. I was completely surprised once I got in the car. It was fun and the views – AMAZING. The top of the mountain featured a few shops and a bar which we stopped and had an appetizer and a few drinks. Coconut Me Crazy was our favorite. Room service for the night and we were out.

IMG_0704

IMG_0745IMG_0716IMG_0717


The second afternoon we took a taxi to Magen’s Beach which was a north beach on the island. It had a little tiki hut bar with snacks and drinks. After a few hours there, we headed back to the hotel.

IMG_0778

IMG_0776                                                       IMG_0756

That evening we chose Havana Blue as our dining experience. Our one “nice” restaurant experience we chose for this trip. Nice ended up being the wrong description – it was FANCY. The food was phenomenal! Although we ended up spending $150 on our meal, yes, $150, it was totally worth every penny. When we make another trip to the USVI, this will definitely be on our list of things to do.


Some of the locals told us to take a trip on the ferry over to St. John, so the day before we had to leave, we did just that. It started raining on us while we were on our ferry ride, but we didn’t care. It was beautiful! We went straight to Trunk Bay which is in the National Park of this island. The water – I can’t even describe it – it was as clear as can be and as blue as you can imagine.

Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI

Tommy decided he wanted to snorkel right here off of the beach [pictured above] so he went to the park station and rented us snorkel gear. He was almost the professional and I was clearly a beginner. I’m sure I drank more water than I needed. Snorkeling was actually very fun. Tommy and I saw schools of fish that were colored in the prettiest whites with stripes of black.

Quickly did my fun time snorkeling change. Out of the blue, about 4-5 feet from the beach where we were snorkeling, we see this huge, and by huge I mean, like, almost 4 foot sting ray. He was HUGE! This girl, flippers and all, high stepped all the way back to the beach. Snorkeling was no longer fun for me. Ha! I cooled off a bit and decided to get back in and give it a try, after all, the sting ray had plenty of time to move on down the beach away from me. The same schools of white fish kept swimming around Tommy and I, and then I saw it… my first jellyfish – literally like 8 inches from my face. Again, my fun time was over. This time, for good. I was done snorkeling. We left the beach and went and had lunch at Driftwood Dave’s – totally recommend his chicken wings! [Just don’t inhale them, they are HOT!]


Ferry ride back to the town of Charlotte Amalie to do last minute shopping for souvenirs and funky t-shirts before dinner at Coco Joe’s. Our time in St. Thomas was coming to an end and our honeymoon was almost over. It had been a trip to remember. It was perfect!

8:00 am flight back to reality. Not ready to leave but at the same time ready to be home to see our precious Rhett. So many memories made in St.Thomas but more memories are to be made at home. These are our memories and We are The Marshall’s.

|Then Comes Marriage|

Posted on Updated on

In a perfect world it is supposed to be “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage”, right? Yeah, well… we aren’t perfect and this sure isn’t a perfect world. A little over four years ago I was set up on a “blind date” with Tommy by one of my closest friends who worked with him. There was an instant connection, or maybe it was the alcohol talking, but whatever the case, we hit it off and I have absolutely adored every minute with him. Okay, okay, enough mushy stuff, I promise. (Well, for now)

In August of 2013, I found out I was pregnant. [Happy Birthday to me! – long (somewhat funny) story that I’ll blog about later] Then later sometime in September, Tommy and I were on our way back home from my sister’s wedding in San Antonio, TX and we both just had a thought, “Hey, let’s stop by Zales and see what they have”. I was not even expecting to purchase an engagement ring, but he did. It was one of those oh, so romantic proposals. You know the kind, right? The “I guess we need to get married now” proposals. By that statement I do not mean that we were forced, because the Lord knows if I didn’t want to marry this man, I sure as heck wouldn’t. Timing kind of worked out great for us, although we weren’t in the “perfect world” order of doing things. We were engaged… and I was pregnant and I was completely in love. Anyways, a few months later I found out I was having a little boy and after a short conversation one night on the front porch with Tommy, we decided to name this sweet little boy, Rhett William Marshall.  The night of March 23, 2014 I was scheduled to be induced so I headed to the hospital with my posse – my family, Tommy’s family, we all loaded up and went and were prepared to have Rhett by the next morning, but apparently this boy was not ready to make his appearance when we wanted him to and after two days, yes, that is correct, you read it right, two days in labor I decided to have a cesarean section. March 25, 2014 our little bundle of joy was here. Finally! He was perfect!

RWM

Months have passed, Rhett is growing, I’ve gone back to work, and the date we set for our wedding [September 19, 2015] is fast approaching. All the little details really do take a lot of time, and word to the wise, if you plan on spending a certain amount of money, expect to spend more. Staying within a wedding budget is really hard work (for me at least), especially if you want EVERYTHING for that fairytale wedding you’ve always dreamed of. I got my fairytale, my King and my little prince. I am truly blessed.

Our small, intimate, outdoor wedding turned into a large one, and quickly at that, especially with both of our large families combined and The Savannah in Sulphur Springs, TX was the perfect place for all of us to gather. After a romantic ceremony, fabulous food, great music and lots of dancing, our life as a married couple had begun, and it could not have been started any other way. It was our way and We are The Marshall’s.

THR

[photo credit: Amie Wood]