Friday, June 27, 2014

Five Faves Friday

Whoo Hooo!! Can you smell that?! It’s the smell of the glorious WEEKEND upon us!

I hope you guys and gals are kicking the weekend off with a kick-ass start and enjoying your Friday!

I have this week’s Five Faves are ya ready?!

Leggo. (trans: let’s go)

1. Man-Pleasin’ Meals: Gotta love a dinner that takes all of 10 minutes to prep and cook an then your man chows down like it’s the best thing he’s ever ate! Take for example this quick Philly Cheese Steak knock off, complete with leftover onion & poppy-seed hot dog buns. Anytime you can please your man, under 10 minutes, AND get rid of the extra hot-dog buns is a great day. Especially great if it’s a Monday. Starting off the week right. With meat, cheese, bread, and au jus!

2. Pioneer Women’s Lasagna: Whatever you’re doing this weekend, please PLEASE make sure that this Lasagna is incorporated somewhere in those plans. It’s the best stuff! And who the hell doesn't love lasagna?! This recipe is the bees knees.

3. Crazy Fun Straws: These little babies will mesmerize you and keep you giddy while sipping on your favorite drink. Probably not the most functional thing to drink from, but what the hell?! YOLO!

4. Pretty China: Funny story - B and I have had this China since before we were married.. Pathetic story -  I just now took it all out of the box and hand-washed the pretties THIS WEEK!
I now feel so refined and as if I have my life together when I sip my morning coffee out of these beauties. Aren't they just lovely? Even upside down.

5. Amazing Neighbors: It’s pretty obvious that we all wish to have the BEST neighbors, but guess what.. I really do! Not only did my neighbor to the right provide B and I with a haul of veggies this week (onions, cucumbers, squash, and jalapenos) but the neighbor to the right got me some Hyacinth Bean Vine seeds after we discussed all things Horticulture over dinner one night.. The bean vine was a hot topic that night, and then a week later he gave me a pack of the seeds he ordered (it’s not a condom people, it SEEDS! I know what you were thinking #psychmajor, remember?).
So sweet, and let’s face it, these are my favorite types of gifts - gifts from or for the garden.

What are your Faves from this week?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I deleted my Facebook & what it's taught me

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About a year ago I decided to “delete my Facebook”. I had absolutely no reasoning at all, except I just wanted to do it.
At first, I was only deactivating my Facebook temporarily. I guess to take a break, in a sense.
I was somewhat reluctant and felt like I would be losing a huge connection between some important people in my life…

Once I got over the tiny hurdle of figuring out what to do in my spare time, like: cooking, gardening, practicing my photography, BLOGGING. I was also able to spend more true quality time with my husband, my loved ones, friends, my pets, myself!
Time in which I was ALL THERE, not haphazardly listening while flipping through my feed.
I began to realize it was one of the most refreshing decisions I have ever made.

Deleting my Facebook gave me a whole new boost!

For some, Facebook provides a primary & vital source of information, networking and communication to those we love and know.

But, reflecting back on my hiatus on Facebook has made me realized a few things:

1. Information Overload. The abundance of completely ridiculous information that is flooding through Facebook is quite startling! Between millions of targeted ads, bright and shiny new items lacing the pages of those I knew, and nearly every last detail of someone’s day was really starting to take its toll on my mental state. Becoming so overloaded with unnecessary information I began to notice unhappy thoughts sinking in, bouts of rolling my eyes all the way into the back of my skull, and fits where I called my Mom and would ask her if she “saw what so-and-so posted on Facebook??!!”
What the hell was I doing with my life?! And, why in the hell did I care so much about someone I haven’t talked to in years?! Truth is, I didn't care. And if I saw that person face-to-face I probably wouldn't have even said a word, much less cared about their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  Weird. We all have good days and we all have bad days. We don’t need to blast it all over social media or have a virtual pity party. Get over it! No one on Facebook cares. I promise they really don’t.

2. Loss of contact. Contrary to my belief, I actually felt more disconnected with those I held near and dear. Instead of getting a phone call or a text to see how I am doing, how school is going, what’s new in my life - People already knew. No phone calls, no texts.. NOTHING. I really wanted to feel that true connection. If someone what’s to know how I am or what I've been up to I want to have real contact, I want to hear their voice.. Not a damn thumbs up icon. Bleh.

3. Privacy. One HUGE thing I learned while teaching a technology course is that Social Media is NEVER private. I don’t care if you set your privacy settings to Fort Knox-style, there is always a way to access your information. ALWAYS! 
Oh yea, and those annoying targeted ads, well they are targeted for a reason… think about it, do your research. It’s a scary virtual world out there, People! Use caution and be smart.

4. Starting to dislike those close to me. There’s a vicious war occurring on the Facebook battlefield. Either you pissed off someone by something you posted OR someone pissed you off with what they posted. Oh and those little digs, where the post ends a little something like this: “... and you know who you are” Yea, that is why I will stay as far away from Facebook as possible. It’s so childish and dumb. If you have an issue, pick up the damn phone and hash it out like humans have been doing for centuries. We ALL don’t need to be brought into your petty fight over the INTERNET! Just move on and avoid blasting it all over Facebook. You look and sound ridiculous trying to solve the world's problems over posts and likes.

Now, I want you to know. I am guilty of all of these things! I was once that annoying Facebooker that posted about all things amazing in my life, called people out in a post, over-shared articles,  and started full on drama… I just didn't (and don’t) need that in my life anymore.

Instead, I enjoy talking on the phone for hours with my girlfriends catching up, reading something of substance instead of the dramatics of someone else’s life. I feel like my true connections are only growing deeper because instead of saying “Yea! I saw that on Facebook” I now have the joy of being told something for the first time, in person, from a real human about the great things going on in their lives or the BIG NEWS they've been dying to share. Like the good ‘ole days. And you know what, IT. IS. SO. NICE! And you know what else? I haven’t missed a thing!

That being said, I've also lost some connections over the last year. Probably some that needed to be lost long ago. No tears shed here. It was bound to happen and I’d rather it happen now, than later - most likely over Facebook.

Call me old fashion, but if someone really wants to know what I've been up to, I want to truly talk to them. Have a real and genuine conversation. Hear and feel emotions.

But please don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great! (ummmm hello, Instagram). Sites like Facebook CAN really help you connect to people on another level, or those you may not have ever met.

So, yesterday, I decided  to reactivate my Facebook and I am still on the fence about it.

As a new blogger I know how vital Facebook is to readers.. so my thoughts are to merely help grow this blog’s readership and to help connect with new readers by using Facebook, along with other social media sites.

I can’t blame Facebook, BUT I can choose when and how often I check it. So for now, I am vowing to use Facebook to connect to FITO Blog readers. And, if you’d like to follow the blog on Facebook you can do so by going here.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Have you encountered any of these issues? Do you love it? Hate it? Post your thoughts in the comment section, I’d love to hear what you think!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Happy Hump Day Everyone & Welcome to our 2nd installment of #WineWednesday

Today I am sharing my thoughts about Rex-Goliath Merlot

I picked up this bottle of wine precisely because I used to decorate my kitchen with all things Cocks... Chickens that is... Sheesh!

Therefore, the proudly displayed “Giant 47 Pound Rooster” on the label meant that it had to be good, right?

Plus, I knew if at the very least, if I only stored the bottle in my counter-top wine rack it would be a great addition to my kitchen decor. Priorities, People!

Lucky for us, I had to pop that cork and taste the Jesus Juice/ Rooster Blood (whatever you want to call it) And, boy oh boy! Was I ever glad I did!


Price: under $10 a bottle

Where: You can pick up this wine at any local Wal-Mart, CVS, and grocery store
(Please note: I like to shop around at only the finest of places… As you can tell)

Taste:  Bold, yet smooth. Light hints of fruit.

Serving Suggestions:  Serve at room temp. I also suggest pairing it with a nice chicken dish, like my Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms. DELISH!

Initial Thoughts:  mmmmm, mmmmmm gooood!

Final Thoughts:  No headache, no problem! That’s some damn good cock juice… okay, I’ll stop now!

So, what wines are you drinking this Wednesday?

Show me your wines using the hashtag #WineWednesday on Instagram and Twitter.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

4 Ingredient Creamed Corn

I love creamed corn. There’s just something about corn and cream that get me all sorts of giddy.
I think it’s a perfect side dish anytime of the year! And, therefore, it's only fair that I share with all of you my creamed corn go-to recipe.

I like to whip up this quick 4-Ingredient Creamed Corn for a delicious addition to any meal and the best part is it’s super fresh and super easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

+ 1 bag of frozen corn - I like to use sweet corn
+ Whipping Cream
+ Butter
+ Cream Cheese
+ Plus some garlic salt & black pepper for taste

Here’s what you’ll do:

+ Add about 2 tablespoons of butter to a large pot. Let it melt over medium heat
+ Once melted, Add the frozen corn. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is thawed
+ Next, Add some whipping cream. Depending on how creamy you like it  add enough whipping cream for your desired consistency. If you like it really creamy add more, and if you like it only slightly creamy keep it to a minimum. I’ve noticed I use about ¼ to ½ cup of cream depending how naughty I’m feeling that day
+ Next, add some cream cheese. Just enough to give it an extra cheese-y kick and to thicken up the cream a bit! I usually put about an ounce of cream cheese. Let the cream cheese melt into the corn, and give it a nice stir
+ Lastly, add some garlic salt and pepper to taste
+ Serve immediately and ENJOY!

AND, if you’re feeling real FANCY you can add some amazing toppings to give it some added flair! Here’s some of my favorite topping ideas:

+ Diced Fresh Jalapeno
+ Feta Cheese
+ Couple of dashes of paprika
+ Green onions (pictured above)
+ Bacon (what’s not good with added BACON?!)

And there ya have it! Easy, peasy, Cheese-y 4 Ingredient Creamed Corn


Friday, June 20, 2014

Five Faves Friday

Happy pre-weekend Everyone! I hope your week has been filled with greatness and all things good. Are you looking forward to a fun & relaxing weekend? I know I am. Emphasis on the relaxing.

Ready for another round of Five Faves Friday?
Good, because I've got some really great faves this week that I think you’ll totally love too!

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1. Fountain of Health Roasted Garlic Hummus - So I've never really been a huge fan of hummus. At least not until recently. I've tried and tried and tried again to love the stuff, but just couldn't stomach the taste. For some reason, maybe it was the texture, maybe it’s the blandness, but I just never really liked it and thought it to resemble the taste of dirt. And, yes, I know what dirt tastes like.. between mud pies as a child and working with plants over the years, I'll admit dirt has ended up in my mouth one way or another... But, never-mind dirt, let's talk about filling your food hole with something delicious and as far away from tasting like dirt as possible. Fountain of Health has got the hummus game on lock! It is THE BOMB! 
Mom introduced me to the roasted garlic hummus and I have been on the Hummus Bandwagon ever since. If you have had an aversion to hummus like me, you've got to give it another try with this stuff. The texture is perfect and the Roasted Garlic flavor is the best (love me some garlic! not so much dirt). I pair it with some Wavy Potato Chips and I am happier than a bird with a french fry! And, now healthier than a bird with a french fry too! It’s really, really good stuff.

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2. Dial hand soap - Have you been to your local Walmart lately? Right now, they have Dial hand soap for under $1!!! AND, they have brand-new tropical scents which are out of this world!! My two fave scents for Summer right now are Tropical Fruit Splash and Himalayan Pink Salt & Water Lilly. Both smell simply delightful. Keep your hands fresh in the kitchen with these hand soaps and smell amazing at the same time! They’rrrrrrrrrre grrreeaaatttt!

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3. Zip Fizz - This post is currently brought to you by my surge of natural energy thanks to these little tubes of fun! Mix it into a 16 oz of water and have un-jittery energy for hours. You can grab a huge stock of all 3 flavors at Costco, or pick some up in the health aisle at your local grocery story. I love them all, and the best part, no crash or jitters.

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4. SoBe Life Water - Ready to fill your mouth up with liquid Coconut Snow-Cone bliss, but without the brain freeze? Do yourself a favor and go and grab a bottle of SoBe’s Life Water in Pacific Coconut Flavor. I promise it is Summer-Time in a bottle & only 80 calories! Plus, it has coconut water in it adding more hydration to your body. It’s a nice little refreshing treat after a hot day working in the garden or soaking up the sun. I found them at Brookshire’s for only a $1 - heck of a deal!

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5. OXO Angled Measuring Cups - These measuring cups are perfect! You can read your measurement from any angle, literally. Ever have those moments when you've poured too much or too little and then had to battle with getting the measuring just right? Trying to bend down and become level with the counter to see if you're on the mark? (so annoying!) Not anymore, my friends! OXO has the perfect measuring cup in three different sizes for all your measurement needs. The angled feature makes it a cinch to read how much you're pouring and you'll never have to second guess. Plus, they're dishwasher safe. You can pick these little kitchen helpers (all three) for under $20 bucks here. They make wonderful wedding and house-warming gifts too.

So, what items are you crushing on this week? Have you discovered something new or have a all time favorite kitchen tool? Share with us here in the comments section. I love reading about new products that make life a little more fun!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

and on Wednesdays...

We drink WINE!

Disclaimer: This is not a paid sponsorship. The products and opinions are soley expressed 100% on my own. If you're interested in having your product featured on FITO Blog please send an email to

To me, wine is proof that Jesus loves me... and you.. and well all of US!

And shoot, Jesus drank the wine.

Therefore, you should too!

Since I love Jesus and I love the Wine, I decided to start a new series. 
Each week, on Wednesdays to be exact, I will be bringing my “Pick of the Week”  from the Vino aisle.

We shall call it #WineWednesday

Sounds sooooo good, doesn't it?

I know I want a glass now too!

This week, I am going to talk to you gals and guys about unoaked wine, specifically Chardonnay, and all its unoaked glory.

But first, lemme tell a story... (shit, I should hashtag that, huh?)
But first #lemmetellastory. 
(ahh much better)

Last weekend I went to my favorite place the Liquor Store and I was approached by the lovely teller (quickly after I just downed a tester of Texas Honey Liqueur - BTW delish!) I assume she thought I needed some help walking as I was quickly proceeding to the wines. It was urgency that I think she was mistaking for being drunk. Anyway, seeing as she worked there I thought she and I could share some great conversations about WINE and other sorts of spirits, and possibly become the greatest of buds - so I decided to take her on my trek to the wine aisle... However, there was a quick halt in the urgency as she directed me to the Kendall. I was out on that with a quickness. No offense and nothing against a cheap wine. In fact, I LOVE CHEAP WINE! Just not the Kendall, and definitely not Beringer (unless I am desperate buying roadies at the gas station to help soothe a hellacious day that was ending at wedding with no alcohol!! What?! I didn't even think that was possible) Anyway, I digress… and yes, I did sneak wine into a wedding. Call me what you want.

But seriously, and back to the story, if I am out in 90+ degree whether shopping for (& in dire need of) some wine, Kendall is definitely NOT what I had in mind. She was a wonderful lady, and I sincerely appreciated her kindness and company, and I guess subtle help, but I can only assume that she was new in the Vino district. So I took things over from there.

My new liquor store friend kept touching and pointing to a lovely little bottle that said unoaked Chardonnay. She proceeded to ask me if I had unoaked wine and I told her “I didn't even know that existed!” “What is unoaked wine?” Feeling slightly ignorant after my gag-face when she pointed to the dreaded K, and then realizing we were probably on the same level of Vino knowledge. I decided to try it regardless.

According to Liquor-store Lady, unoaked is wine that has been aged outside of the oak barrel…

Okay guys, I kind of figured that it had something to do with the barrel and production!! But what the hell does it do to the wine??

I grabbed the bottle and hit up the Google, and now, I give you my thoughts and knowledge on this whole Unoaked Wine Thing.

BTW, I did check with my very legit wine expert. One who I've know since middle school, and who happened to be one of our groomsmen in our wedding.

Yep, that's him. He's worked and lived in the beautiful wine country for several years now, and we happened to take a nice little trip to visit him the night after we were engaged. We talked about wine and even privately toured one of the wineries. Therefore, his wine knowledge is precious to me so I had to pick his brain over the whole unoaked thing. Now, this is where I have to tell you, he is not endorsing this wine, he simply made it sooooo easy for me to understand unoaked Chardonnay and I'd feel really silly if I didn't ask for his help. Plus, he drinks the good fancy stuff, it's practically right at his fingertips.

Basically, Chardonnay is typically fermented or aged (OR BOTH) in oak barrels to give it that beautiful rich bold flavor that I've come to adore. However, using oak barrels can become pricing which leads to an increase in price... did I mention I like inexpensive wine? But this wine, and it's unoaked process was so good and just as good as any of my other go-to Chards with bold nutty flavors.

So here's the deal:

Wine: 2013 A by Acacia Chardonnay Unoaked (love that it has my first initial right on the label)

Price: $10.49 + tax (to be exact - I would know since I spent an hour trying to peel of the price tag label for photos)

Taste: Very smooth and definitely BOLD (which is soooo my type of thing!)

Serving Suggestions: Serve this wine chilled, like I would suggest for any other white wine

Initial Thoughts: Now this is MY KIND OF WINE. Honestly, I was completely expecting to have a mouth full of sweetness (sorry, just not my thing), and sure enough it was right up there with my go to!

Final Thoughts: I would totally buy this wine again, especially for myself, or as a hostess gift if I am feeling generous. No dreaded headache the next morning like some other less expensive wines. Nope, just a nice all-around great wine. Go getcha some!

Have you tried an unoaked wine? Did you love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts, I'd love to know how you feel about unoaked wines.