Kiss the Cook

Jesse has been learning to cook. He has always been able to make simple meals like pizza and tacos, but now he’s expanding his recipe book.

Tonight, he made Creamy Chicken Pockets.

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He’s a natural in the kitchen. I give him the ingredients and he takes over from there. Next week, he’s going to try some fish tacos and homemade chili.

I enjoy cooking, but I must say that I could get used to this.

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My Weekend Without Him

Jesse went out of town this weekend on a “man trip.” It gave me an interesting perspective on marriage and how our relationship has changed in these (almost) 4 short months since our wedding.

Friday night I had a girls’ night with my best friend. It was so much fun just like it used to be when I was single. Then I spent yesterday relaxing and doing things I love to do (aka decorating and reading). I must say it was nice to have some time to myself.

Waking up today, I was almost miserable. Part of that was because I hate mornings, but also, I didn’t want to wait all day to see him. But I made myself get up and clean the house anyway, then I spent the afternoon shopping and talking with my sister, which turned my day around.

Even though I missed my other half, spending the weekend without him made me realize that I don’t spend enough one-on-one time with the girls who have been there for me since before I even knew Jesse. Going forward, I am going to change that.

It also made me realize that I should appreciate the time I spend with my husband while he is with me and not let our time together become a routine. I know that as husband and wife, our days together won’t always be special or magical, but I don’t want the everyday to make our relationship bland either.

This weekend made me to look at all of my relationships differently and has given me some goals to work toward to growing those relationships.

But for now, my husband will back any minute and I can’t wait to spend some time with him.

JesseFrank

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Custom Windows

A few months after moving in, we had a salesman come to our door asking if we wanted to buy new windows. We had been looking at replacing our windows with storm windows, but had not done it yet. Really, we hadn’t had the time and we didn’t know a lot about it.

The salesman sent one of their lead guys out to talk to us about the benefits of windows and blah, blah, blah. I thought it would be just a quick, boring meeting, then we could forget about the whole thing. Actually, the representative was very informative and helpful and even convinced us to buy the company’s windows.

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The windows are custom built from Woodbridge. There are several things I love about Woodbridge.

What I’ve loved the most is the customer service. Obviously, we liked the salesman, but we also liked the installation crew. They finished the job in less than a day and they were very friendly and informative. They were very courteous the entire time they were at our house.

Second, I love the way the windows look. They have different color options, but we chose the white-trimmed windows. Eventually our house trim will be navy blue, so we thought it would be a good contrast.

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And another thing that I love is all of the special features of a custom built window. They are triple pane windows with locks, which means that they are almost impossible to break into and let less dirt in the house (very important in dusty West Texas). You can also lock the window while it’s cracked open, so you can have fresh air without worrying about someone opening the window and intruding. Each half of the window can also open toward the inside of the house so I can clean the outside of the window from the inside of the house.

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What sold us on the windows is how much money they will make us over time. We won’t notice the difference immediately, but in the next few years our electic bill will decrease because of how well the windows insulate the house. Jesse and I plan on staying in this house for a very long while, so we will benefit from this change.

But ofcourse, custom-made anything isn’t going to be cheap. Fortunately, Woodbridge Home Exteriors is very flexible and offers financing. This deal was perfect for us since we’re just starting out. I would and have recommended these windows and this company to anyone interested in updating their home.

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The Honeymoon is Over

It’s been almost three months since the wedding and I am just now getting rid of all the bits and pieces. Of course, I’ll be keeping some of the sentimental things (the dress, the guest book) in a keepsake box, but it’s a little sad to not see wedding things laying around like it was in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

But, I’m not getting rid of everything. I plan on recycling some of the decorations from the wedding and using them around the house. This week I used one of the main pieces from the wedding to decorate our room.

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We used antique doors as an (untraditional) alter for the ceremony. I was in love with the doors at first sight and I couldn’t let go of them, so I picked my favorite one and put it against the blank wall in our bedroom. Then, I draped it with the wedding gift Jesse bought me, a quilt embroidered in my favorite color with our names and wedding date.

This project took very little effort to put together, but it means the world to me. It’s a perfect reminder of the day we became Mr. & Mrs.

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New Opportunities

Two weeks ago on Saturday my husband lost his job.

He had been working for an irrigation/contract company for over four years with no benefits and little pay. The owner of the company (with only a handful of employees) treated them all unfairly and overworked them. I’m not under-exaggerating. Some employees could show up to work drunk, but he would get put down for going to church and not cussing everyone out.

After an unexpected falling out, he was without a job for not putting up with all of it anymore.

We submitted countless applications and talked to everyone we could about getting him a new job. And thank goodness for West Texas’s fighting economy. There are so many job opportunities here.

Today, he had an interview with a telecommunications company and got the job. This will definitely be new for us, but we can only go up from where we were.

I’m so thankful for a husband who wants to work and has strong discipline. These two weeks would have been much more difficult if I wouldn’t have been so confident in him and our relationship.

hearts

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Creamy Chicken and Rice

This recipe is similar to one I found in a Campbell’s cookbook, but I did make some changes. It is one of my favorite comfort foods. I used to make this dish for my husband when we were first dating and he was very impressed.

Keep in mind that I don’t use exact measurements for this recipe, I just mix the ingredients to taste.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Green onions
  • Butter
  • Paprika
  • White rice
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, put the chicken breasts in a large pan or casserole dish. Place a small tab of butter on each chicken breast. When the oven has reached 350, place the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes.

While waiting for the chicken, cut the green onions and start to make the rice. When the timer goes off, flip the chicken breasts over. Then, put another tab of butter on each breast, then sprinkle with the green onions. Place the chicken back in the oven for 15 minutes.

white rice

While the chicken is baking, keep an eye on the rice, adding butter, salt, and pepper to taste.

When the timer goes off this time, flip the chicken again and cover with cream of chicken soup.  Sprinkle some paprika on the soup, then bake for 15 minutes.

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After the time is up, take chicken out of the oven and serve with rice. This is a perfect meal for cold days and can be easily multiplied for guests.

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Repurposed Bottles

Hello! I wanted to share some of my homemade decorations with y’all. Of course, they are Pinterest inspired, but I made some changes so that they would fit our home.

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The above picture was the pin I found on Pinterest. This gave me an idea for a centerpiece in our kitchen. I wanted our bottles to be blue and yellow, though, since those are the dominant colors in the room.

This project was very cheap. We already had the bottles, so all I had to do was remove the labels with Goo-Gone, then wash them. I bought the ribbon and glass beads at Walmart and I had the burlap twine and paint from a previous project.

First, I picked out which bottles I wanted and how I wanted them arranged. I chose two bottles and a vase, all of different heights and widths so that there would be some depth.

I painted the tallest bottle blue with washable acrylic paint and let it dry while I worked on the other bottles.

Art Supplies

The second bottle I wanted to keep as simple as possible, since the bottle was so nice, so I just layered the colored ribbons, then added a twine bow.

For the little vase, which I placed front and center, I filled it with the various blue glass beads. I took a few pieces of twine and tied it in a knot around the vase.

After the bottle that I had painted dried, I glued some yellow ribbon to it for contrast. Next, I braided a few of the twine strands, then glued the braid to the ribbon. And here is how it turned out:

kitchen centerpiece

Simple, but effective.

I also used decorated bottles for the centerpieces in our wedding, but they were a little fancier. We used satin ribbon in the colors of the wedding (chocolate brown and lavender) along with some white lace. On top of all of that, we added broaches.

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I now keep the  bottle from our head table on a cabinet in our kitchen, along with our unity sand from the wedding. The glass we used for our unity sand was an old whiskey bottle. I painted the L on myself with some brown acrylic paint.

Wedding Bottles

Very simple project that can be easily personalized.

Next, I will be sharing one of my favorite comfort food recipes. In the meantime, feel free to give me some feedback or advice. Have a great week!

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Home Sweet Home

I would argue that we have the second cutest house on the block. I would also argue that after we finish a few of our projects, ours will be the cutest house on the block.

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I never thought I would be a homeowner at 21. After we got engaged, we had planned on staying in the house Jesse was renting at the time, until we had money to rent a bigger house.

Then one day his mother suggested that we look into buying a house, rather than renting. In my mind, I panicked. I thought, “so much responsibility at such a young age” and “too much while we are planning the wedding.”

But after doing my homework, I realized that buying a home isn’t as hard as it seems. And why not? We know we want to stay in West Texas so that our kids can be near most of their grandparents. Also, paying a monthly mortgage is lower than rent each month for the same size house too.

Needless to say, we decided to buy a house.

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We started browsing the market. We knew we needed a yard for the dogs and at least an extra bedroom for guests (and all of Jesse’s instruments). We looked for months and months and even picked a couple, but got outbid. It started to get really stressful and just as we wanted to give up, we found the perfect house.

It was not until several months later, after we actually finished the mountains of paperwork, that we finally got to move in.

It has been a dream come true for me.

It’s a red brick, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a big backyard for our wild pack of animals. Most of the house has tile floors and the kitchen/dining room is huge! Plus, it just has a really cozy and homey feeling to it.

The family that lived in the house before us took really good care of it and even did some remodeling. We have a few things we want to do for the house, but it isn’t a big fixer-upper project.

Some of the changes we have in mind are:

  • Remodel the man cave (or at least get rid of the bright pink paint)
  • Paint all of the outside trim navy blue
  • Set up the back patio for parties
  • Decorate EVERYTHING

But of course, you will be seeing those projects in future posts.

I’m working on some DIY decorations and will be putting up that post in a few days. Until then, check out my Pinterest account to see some of my ideas and inspirations!

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Mrs. Erica Lane

Let’s start at the start. Who the heck am I and why am I doing this?

I’m a newly-wed and on top of that, I’m a first-time homeowner. Homemaking is the most important thing to me right now. I want to start off my marriage by becoming at least a mediocre homemaker so that when we have kids I won’t lose my mind…or I won’t lose it as much. Also, I want for me and my husband to be proud of our home. But to be honest, I work full time and that makes homemaking a little bit difficult. Mostly, I just never feel like I have enough time to make the house look the way I picture it. I may also have unrealistic expectations, though, because I constantly want it to look like those homes in magazines.

So that’s why I’m doing this. I want to write about the struggles and successes of being a homemaker and a breadwinner, or kind of a journal of homemaking by the working wife. Some topics I would like to cover would be decorating, cooking, cleaning, time management…blah, blah, blah. But there’s more to a home than the house, right? What makes a house a home is the people who live there and the life they share. That is what I want to focus on, so I’ll including pieces about my marriage. And that’s what we will start with…

Praying husband & wife

I married Jesse on November 16, 2013. We met in a high school year book class six years ago. Our friendship awkwardly bloomed into a relationship a little more than two years ago. We don’t have an actual date, since he never officially asked me out, but he made up for that with his proposal. The past year, while we were engaged, was the fastest and slowest of my life, but definitely the happiest. Without a doubt, Jesse and I were made for each other. We agree on all of the important things, but he’s opposite of me in so many ways. He is the best and most interesting person I’ve ever met.

Together, we have three dogs and they act just like human children. They’re so smart, but they love to get into trouble.  It seems like they can tell when they are down to the last straw, then they turn into sweethearts. We don’t have any kids yet, but that is definitely in our future.

I would love to start rattling off about our new home, but I don’t want to overload anyone. I’ll pick back up with that in a couple of days.

Also, always feel free to comment with any ideas or advice!

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