Black-Eyed Pea Dip

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Happy New Year’s Eve! Growing up, in true Southern fashion, my family always made sure to serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. They are supposed to bring luck in the New Year.

As you can imagine, eating plain ol’ black-eyed peas can get kind of boring. So this year, I looked for a way to change things up. And I found this dip.

It’s really yummy and would be the perfect way to serve this Southern tradition on New Year’s Day.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Adapted From: Paula Deen

2 (15-oz) cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans Rotel, drained
1 c chopped red bell pepper
2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh jalapeño pepper
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sugar
Pinch dried oregano
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c vegetable oil


In a large bowl, stir together the black-eyed peas, corn, Rotel, bell pepper, jalapeño and onion.

In a jar fitted with a tight lid, mix together the vinegars, oils, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar and oregano. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl, adding just enough to coat the vegetables but not drench them.

Chill in the refrigerator until time to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

An Anniversary Surprise — Frederick’s of Hollywood Lingerie #CBias

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Next week, The Nerd and I will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. I can’t believe that it’s already been four years since I married the man of my dreams. This has been kind of a hard year for us. We’ve both had to adjust to sharing our lives with a baby, and I’m sad to say that spending time together has become less of a priority. That’s something that I really want to work on together this next year.

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Dreaming of a White Christmas

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Christmas morning was cold and rainy in Dallas-Fort Worth. For days, the weather forecast had been going back and forth on whether or not we’d have a White Christmas. But by early afternoon, the rain had turned to big snow flakes and the white stuff had started sticking to the ground.

We had gone to my brother’s house for Christmas dinner, and the kids could hardly wait to go outside and play in the snow. It was so cold and windy, though, Andrew was less than pleased. River and Eli had fun, though!

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This morning, snow still blanketed the ground. So we thought we’d give it one more go and headed outside to play in it. But even without the wind and the falling snow, Andrew was not a fan.

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I got a new Macro lens for Christmas, and decided to snap a few photos of the Winter Wonderland. It had already started to melt, so I knew it wouldn’t be around for long.

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Did you get some snow on Christmas?

‘Tis the Season: Christmas 2012

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We have had such a wonderful Christmas. Andrew had a lot of fun and we loved spending time with our families!

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The Nerd’s family came up to visit and we were able to spend a couple of days with them. We had a yummy Christmas Eve dinner and opened presents together before they had to head back home early Christmas morning. Andrew loved playing with Grandpa, Grandma and Kate. He opened presents with Kate, chased the puppies with Grandma and even stole Grandpa’s toy plane.

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Christmas morning, Andrew discovered that Santa had visited and brought him a train set. He was so excited to see it! He also opened some more presents from Mom and Dad. I think his favorite was Maximus from Tangled, his favorite show of all time.

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That afternoon, we went to my brother’s house for Christmas dinner. River, Eli and Andrew got to open presents and went outside to play in the snow. We ate a delicious meal (thanks, Alex!) and settled down to watch the Dr. Who Christmas Special together.

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I cannot express enough how blessed we feel and how wonderful it was to see everyone. Andrew had a wonderful time and it was so great to see his joy in spending time with all of our loved ones. When I think back to this time last year and how much he has changed, my heart is so full.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Andrew with Santa

Andrew got to meet Santa for the first time this year. We took him to meet The Big Guy at A Real Bookstore in Fairview (thanks for the recommendation, Jamie!). This Santa is the real deal. He was awesome!

At first, Santa held Andrew so he couldn’t see who was holding him.

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Pretty soon, though, it dawned on Andrew that *someone* must be holding him if Mommy and Daddy were standing over there.

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It was at this point, he started to freak out.

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But Santa gave him a candy cane and they were friends again.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, filled with joy and happiness (and lots of presents from The Big Guy!)

Happy Holidays, y’all!


Don’t miss my recommendations for the best places to visit Santa in Dallas!

Visit Santa

Family New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at the Medieval Times Dallas Castle

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If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that one of my absolute favorite places is the Medieval Times Dallas castle. It sounds silly, but any time we have a special event come up, we head to the castle to watch the knights joust and eat with our hands.

A few years ago, we even celebrated Valentine’s Day at the castle and The Nerd was jealous of my seat on the throne.

I love it.

This year, Medieval Times Dallas is going all out to help families ring in the New Year. This is one of the only NYE events I’ve seen targeted specifically for families and children, so if you’re like us and have a little munchkin hanging around, you won’t want to miss this!

Medieval Times Dallas

Family New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at Medieval Times
4:30 pm Dec. 31 at the Dallas castle
Featuring Free Knight Training and Free Face Painting*
Every child will receive a Free Action Poster!

Adults are just $35.95 and Kids are $29.95. Tickets include admission to the castle, two-hour live show, and a four-course feast!

*There is limited spaces available for Knight Training. First come, first served for kids ages 5-12.

You can book tickets by calling 1-888-We-Joust or visiting

And be sure to LIKE the Medieval Times Dallas Facebook page — they always have lots of fun giveaways going on!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Medieval Times Dallas, and I received tickets to the show in exchange for writing it. All opinions are my own.

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of year. I love holiday decorations, Christmas music, and the excuse to do lots and lots of baking — especially when the recipe is an easy one, like these holiday chocolate chip cookies.

While stocking up on baking essentials (you know, like candy canes and butter — lots and lots of butter), I found these Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels and knew I had to make some holiday chocolate chip cookies.

These cookies are super-easy to make but still look fun and festive. They would be a great treat to serve at a holiday party or bring to a potluck!

Easy Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted From: My

1 c butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour $
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels


Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the wet mixture, stirring until dough is consistent. Stir in Holiday Morsels.

Drop by the spoonful onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 400-degrees F for 8-12 minutes, until bottom edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to wire baking racks to cool completely.

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Don’t miss these yummy holiday cookie recipes!

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies Microwave Gingerbread Cookies Dear Santa Cookies Christmas Oreos Stained Glass Cookies Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Fruitcake Cookies Snickerdoodles Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies Image Map Protection Status