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Ava Elisabeth: June 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ava’s Dance Recital


On May 20th, Ava had her 2nd dance recital. If you will remember, Adam and Dad were gone, hiking through the Grand Canyon during her recital last year (I’m kind of thinking they had wished they were there again by the end of the recital Surprised smile) Ava was originally set to continue in the same class she was in last year, according to her age, that’s where she should have been. However, Johanna thought she was advanced enough to move up since there were a lot of little ones in the younger class, Ava would have been way more experienced and older than most. The next class up was definitely more challenging, but in a good way, it pushed her to do her best and you couldn’t tell she was one of the youngest in the class by the end!


Ava’s class had 3 dances total, a tap, a ballet, and the finale with all the girls. Their tap song was a ‘running’ theme, so they had a lot of fun with that and dressed the part. Sweatbands and running shorts Smile


All the girls did so good. I’m always skeptical about it coming together in time, but somehow they always manage to pull it off!




During intermission was the first chance I had to snap some picture of her in her ballet outfit. I love Johanna’s choice in ballet attire. It’s simple, its innocent and sweet, and its exactly what I picture when I think of my little girl in a ballet outfit. Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t great since it was later and they pictures didn’t turn out great, but I have some better ones on the way!


She’s still precious!




She made so new friends and loved these girls to death! They had such a great time whenever they were together.


In fact, here are the girls at the dress rehearsal the week before…


So fun! I know she made many memories she will not soon forget!


It was a long night and quite a while before her class was to get back on stage, I think she was tired, especially since we had spent the morning at practice as well!


Finally it was time for their turn and they did beautifully! Aren’t they the sweetest thing you have ever seen?!



For the finale, they dressed up like cowgirls- Ava already had the hat and bandana so she was set and excited to wear it!


Everything turned out cute, but at the same time I’m glad its over- we’ve been in dance mode since late August/September last  year and this Mama is ready for a break!


After the finale, all the girls sat on stage and Mrs. Johanna handed out roses and certificates to each girl. You can tell she really cares for each of her girls!


Afterwards, Ava received flowers from her Daddy and presents from her grandparents. IMG_4897_1IMG_4898_1


Our little ballerina! We were all so proud of her!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tex Mex Casserole


I made this the other night and it was a big hit. It's a little on the spicy side, but definitely not over the top, at least not for my family. Mom came by shortly after I had pulled it out of the oven and wanted the recipe, so Mom, here it is :)



  • 1 lb lean ground beef

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1 can 10.75 ounce Campbell's Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup

  • 1 can 4.5 ounce green chilies

  • 1 10 ounce can Rotel Original (you could also substitute this for mild or hot depending on your taste)

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • 1 can 10.75 ounce Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato Soup

  • 2 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta

  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 15 ounce can Sweet Corn, drained

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Using non-stick spray, spray a casserole dish and set aside.

  3. In a large skillet, add garlic, onion and hamburger meat.

  4. Brown hamburger meat, garlic, and onion until cooked through and the meat is no longer pink. Drain any liquid out of meat and return to low heat.

  5. Add Campbell's Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup, green chillies, and Rotel Tomatoes to meat mixture. Add in the tablespoon of chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir on low heat for 3-5 minutes.

  6. In a medium sized bowl, add Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato Soup and ½ cup of reserved water. Whisk together until well mixed.

  7. In a medium-large stock pan, (Tip* reuse the same pot you used to cook the pasta) mix together cooked pasta, Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato Soup with water. Stir until mixed.

  8. In a small bowl combine black beans and corn. Add 1 tsp chili powder and gently toss to mix.

  9. Pour pasta into the bottom of casserole dish. Top with hamburger meat mixture and then add corn and black beans mixture to top.

  10. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.

  11. Bake casserole in oven for 15 minutes until heated through.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

I thought it might be fun to do a random post about some of my current favorite things.


Hair & Beauty:

Okay so anyone who knows me knows 2 things:

1. I used to have full, thick, gorgeous hair…. and then Ava came along and quite frankly since being pregnant it just hasn’t been the same


2. I’m not a big make-up person, in fact, half the time, I don’t even wear make-up. Plus, Adam doesn’t like a lot so when I do we are both perfectly happy with a little bit of make-up.

Keeping in mind both of those points, I do have some favorite things in this category!


1. Extra Volume Moroccanoil Shampoo & Conditioner

This has to be hands down my favorite shampoo every. Its funny because I think every girl on my mom’s side of the famiy got some as a Christmas present AND we were excited about it! I was almost out so it was perfect timing! I’ve even caught Adam using it and when I confronted him about it he admitted he really likes it as well. I’m not sure the volume part helps him Winking smile but it is excellent shampoo.


2. Moroccanoil Treatment

I apply this to the ends of my hair after each wash and it has really made a difference.  I received my first bottle of this for Christmas and I have used it religiously since- I fee like my hair is healthier and looks better and I attribute some of that to this oil.


3. Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask

(Am I sounding like a Moroccanoil Rep yet? ha!) Okay, so I actually have only used this a few times. You are supposed to do a weekly treatment and then you can use it less as your hair's condition improves, but oh. my! I love the way my hair feels after using this! Maybe I'm just buying into all the hype, but I do feel like my hair is thicker than it used to be.



4. HAI Elite Flat Iron

I love this flat iron. I also have a CHI flat iron, but this one is so much better. I’m not sure what makes it better they are both very similar in their make, but something about this one gives it the upper hand. Plus its extra light- not that the CHI is heavy, but you notice a marked difference when using one right after the other.


5. Nars Blush: Orgasm

Okay, okay, I know the name of the blush isn’t necessarily  very 'Baptist' of me Winking smile but this is my all-time favorite item of make-up. Ever. What’s even more amazing is that I have yet to hear of a person who doesn’t love it and it doesn’t look good on- no matter skin tone. Trust me: Run out and buy it- you can thank me later!


Workout Gear:

I don't have a lot in this category, because, well you don't need a lot of 'stuff' to work out, but I do have a couple of favorites that are worth mentioning.


1. Tuneband for iPhone 5

I can’t have something in my hands when I run, this armband/case has been the perfect companion for my runs! Easy to put on and off and/or adjust. It’s super comfortable and I never have to move it once I put it into place. They have them in all kinds of colors and for iPhone 4’s too.


2. Lululemon Bang Buster

I’m not one to spend money at Lululemon- way to pricey for something I’m going to sweat in, but this $18 accessory has made such a difference! It keeps my headphones in place AND keeps my hair from falling in my face. Even better it keeps sweat from dropping down- gross, I know! I wear one each time at Bootcamp and after 10 weeks of using it I think I love it even more!



You would think this category would be overflowing with favorites, but it really isn't. Technology is so richly integrated into our daily lives, but we are somewhat creatures of habit so once we find something we like we stick with it. I did think it would be good to mention a few things we "favorite" in this area!











1. Spotify

Hello! If you aren't on Spotify you are missing out. It out ranks Pandora in my book as you can pick specific songs and play them. There have been very few songs I haven't been able to find on Spotify- we love this service! And best of all, for desktop users its free if you can handle the few commercials they throw in there!








If you aren't able to go to church or are traveling  or just want to hear/watch a great service, do yourself a favor and check out NPO- I can promise you- you will not regret it! They have live streaming services Sundays at 9 and 11 am and rebroadcast the service at 2, 6, and 10pm on Sundays and again at 8 on Wednesdays. Just check it out!







3. Legacy Countdown App

I think I've mentioned once or twice :) that I know approximately how many weekends Ava has until she graduates, that's thanks to this handy little app designed just for that purpose. 670 and counting...







4. Feedly

So, Google Reader closed up shop and left a lot of us looking for the next thing to make keeping up with our favorite blogs easy...introducing Feedly. I use this and have been extremely pleased! I've been able to keep up just as I did with Google Reader and switching over was super easy as well!











5. NWS (National Weather Service)

This is strictly for Adam....He is our go-to weather forecaster. He reads the weather discussions the meterologists post and is the only one I trust when it comes to weather. He also has this super-intricate radar he uses to check the weather, but I'm not sure what the name of it is or even where to find it (and while I'm being completely honest, I don't even know how to read it- I just need a simple green for rain and white for snow- oh wait, we live in Florida- ok then, just the green for rain and the temperature!)

To keep this post from dragging on and on as I seem to have lots of favorites ;0 I'll stop here and pick up another time with some more favorites in other categories!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013



Its summer time in Florida, so you know what that means! Beach, water, sun and any combination of the three! We were able to spend on Friday with friends at the beach. Jenny and Lisa and their boys joined us and we all had a great time! The kids did well together and even at the beach despite the rough waves. We did have to keep telling them to come back down in front of us and stay closer to us, but they all had such a great time, and well, we moms weren’t complaining either! Its definitely on the list to do again!


Ava has been a bathing beauty, floating in our pool… this girl is something else! She loves to get on her float and just float around the pool! I’m so thankful she is a good swimmer and I don’t have to worry. I’m still careful to keep an eye on her, but it isn’t as stressful now that she is a good swimmer!


Mom, Dad, Adam, Ava and I took a trip to REI. Dad hadn’t been to the new one and Adam is always up for a trip to this store. They were having a sale so we thought we would check it out. Ava decided to make herself at home on in one of the tents set up!


Pigtails….need I say more?


Remember how I posted before on the number of Saturdays we have until Ava graduates…(670 if you are counting)…I decided to make the most of all that I have left. I had told Ava it was her day and we spent most of the day around the house doing things she wanted to do, later on and we needed to go to town for something else, so we made it a family date night that ended with cupcakes! You would have thought I had hung the moon with the phrase, ‘It’s your day!’ She thought it was so neat since it wasn’t even her birthday!


These two girls love each other to pieces!


We made a impromptu trip to Southern Soul BBQ in St. Simons Island, GA. It was rated #2 by Southern Living in their most recent magazine and has been featured on several other major outlets. Adam got their pork and Ava and I split a ‘veggie’ tray (the word veggie being used very loosely- ha!) It was delish! Definitely worth the drive and we will make a visit back soon!

They have several different BBQ sauces and they are named after various regions: South Carolina Mustard, North Caroline Vinegar, Sweet Georgia Soul (our favorite) and another hot and spicy kind. Trying all the sauces are probably my favorite part of a BBQ joint.


What added to the experience was sitting outside by the giant smoker, it smelled so good and to top it all off, its situated right near the airport so we saw several planes fly in. If you know my husband this was exciting as he looked up each plane number to see who was flying in from where- such a dork! haha! Ava thought seeing all the planes that close was cool too!


Last but certainly not least, Ava getting pampered…she thinks she is something else!

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Ava Elisabeth: June 2013

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Ava Elisabeth

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