Merry Christmas!

One of the things I love about this time of year is the going to parties and seeing friends and family.  We just had our annual Police Dance event, which is very similar in ways to a Military Ball event.

It’s a dance and it’s supposed to be for fun and entertainment, but it’s also very much a work event.  We had actually never gone before, so it was fun to read up on all the military ball etiquette advice.  It was a lot more relaxed, but the etiquette was proved to be useful just as well.

We had so much fun! 😀 ❤

Everyone there was dressed so nice, the food was amazing, and we were able to have a nice night, kid-free, to actually get out and dance.

My husband announced to me that we “have” to do this every year from now on 😀  It’s not mandatory like a lot of the Military Balls are, but still, it was very much a networking event, and a perfect “date night” to boot complete with live bands playing for music!

IMAG0362

***

dance2.jpg

My husband is not really a picture-taking person, but man he took a ton of pics and videos that night, a lot of them selfies of us together ❤  Really romantic 🙂

My only jewelry were two pearl and diamond pins in my hair, and of course, his badge necklace.

dance5

IMAG0372.jpg

When my husband smiles like this, I KNOW something is going right 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

He was so happy that night.  He doesn’t drink either, and the drinks were all free!  So this was a real, natural high on the joy of the moment ❤

25550190_913132098845054_7147313834861840127_n.jpg

A better picture of the dress I wore. It’s actually a dress from when I was 16 or 17, but it still fit and I thought it would be gown-appropriate, floor-length attire.

thumbnail_IMAG0385

Everyone’s dresses were so beautiful – I LOVED seeing all the girlfriends and wives dressed up 😀  What a nice way to celebrate together… someone remarked, “We all clean up pretty nice!”  LOL

dance.jpg

Merry Christmas readers!  Hope you all find joy and meaning in the spirit of Christmas this year!

Stephanie

 

Advertisements

Little Headbanger

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this hilarious and adorable collection of baby rock music, Little Headbangers, by Jammy Jams.  Having these famous rock tunes set to baby music is just crazy, and yet… the baby likes it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We finished the last of our homeschooling classes a couple of weeks ago, having class outside in the morning was so beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Orange Summer flats… ❤

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Art of Relaxation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The other day I bought some dark chocolate, an iced vanilla coffee, and a Sweet Sangria candle.  I was excited to again have a candle to light in the mornings when I wake up.  Simple things like that mean so much to me, especially during this busy life phase of raising small children.  Someone always needs something, it’s a never-ending job until they’re asleep around 8pm ❤ but it’s beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whenever I’m stressed or tempted to let the busyness get the best of me, I find myself going to God with my complaints and issues, and come away with the peace and fullness of a heart of Gratitude.  I’m reminded of my blessings in this beautiful life.  I’m so grateful for them, grateful for a house to clean and keep up with, grateful that we have so many dishes… grateful for a husband who adores me!  But with the loudness and craziness of a busy and full life, comes the necessity of knowing when to light that candle in the evening, have a dessert or a glass of wine, and just slow down a bit.

I found a treasure of a book a couple of weekends ago that was in a bulk of books being given away for free.  Free books!  Love ❤ !  Here is another excerpt from the Art of Living, this is The Art of Relaxation… welcome to my living room, sit down, stay awhile, put on some beautiful music, and relax.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Modern man must learn to break the tensions of daily living or the tensions will break him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He must learn to bend with the stresses and strains like a tree in the wind.  He must develop the resiliency of spirit to spring erect again after the storm has passed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He first relaxes his mind by thinking thoughts of peace, quietness and tranquility.  He mentally pictures the placid pool amidst whispering pines and puts himself in tune with nature’s calming mood.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He strives to carry an inner serenity with him so that even amidst a whirl of activity he will not lose his poise.  He learns “to cooperate with the inevitable” and he accepts life with faith in the ultimate triumph of right and good.

*

He relaxes his body by imitating a lazy person – a boy on the beach in the sun – a man in a boat fishing.  He takes a tip from the circus clown who says that the way he avoids being injured in his tumbles is by making his body become “like an old rag doll.”

IMG_7731

He exercises – walks, stretches, works in the garden, plays golf – knowing that physical tiredness invites relaxation and sleep.

He knows that confusion is one of the chief causes of tension so he

organizes his work,

puts first things first,

does one thing at a time,

avoids hurry

and develops a spaciousness of mind.

IMG_8410

He uses the soothing beauty of great music to calm his nerves.

*

He observes that the face with a frown marks the tense person, and that the face with a smile is a symbol of relaxation, so he strives to meet life with a sense of humor.  He learns not to take himself too seriously and to laugh at himself now and then.

*

He takes time for meditation.  He accepts the wise counsel of Emerson, who wrote: “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

He recognizes that relaxed living is a way of life and strives to manage body, mind, heart, and spirit as efficiently as he manages his business.

Mexican Chili Rellenos – Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Beef & Cheese

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week was our city’s Fiesta week, a time where hundreds of thousands flock to our city from all over, to enjoy the parties, the music, the Mexican food, parades, and carnivals.  It’s a little not unlike California’s Coachella, except with a very Mexican twist and with the focus not being solely on music, but instead being a celebration of Texas’ unique history commemorating the Battles of San Jacinto & the Alamo.  Last year, my husband and I got to experience the night parade, but ended up instead escaping the drunken crowds and going under the streets to be near the romantic, quiet river.

Even though we tried to get out to experience it again this year, the rain kept us from staying for longer than a quick drive around before we headed back.  But there’s always next year to try.

Last night I decided to make a traditional Mexican dish called Chili Rellenos, poblano peppers that are stuffed and fried in a creamy batter.  We don’t usually eat fried stuff, and the last time I made fried chicken we had to eat it outside because the oil (never use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fry) smoked so badly it filled the whole house!

I was surprised to find that most Chili Relleno recipes only call for cheese to be the ingredient in the stuffing, every plate of Chili Relleno I’ve eaten in our area of Texas has always had hearty ground beef inside, so I’ve moderated the recipe to include beef and cheese.  It’s fairly healthy for “fried food,” with the beef adding an element of protein.  Ground turkey would also work great as a healthy substitute.

First, start the meat cooking, I used about 2 lbs lean ground beef.  Season it with a tablespoon of each: Cumin, Garlic powder, and Chili powder.  You can also add chopped onions for more flavor if you wish!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Broil and really watch the peppers, they burn very easily.  You want them to have just enough char on them so that they are easy to peel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe beef should be done around the time the peppers are done if not before, set it aside and wait to stuff the peppers with it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Watch the video below if you aren’t sure on how to peel the peppers, once they’re charred well, you’ll find the skin comes off quite easily.  You also want to make a slit or cut inside the pepper in order to cut out the seed pulp and remove any left over seeds.  You don’t need to get all of them, but in general, you don’t want many left over inside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next is to fill or stuff the peppers.  The skins rips easily, as you can tell, don’t worry if they split all the way down, they’re still salvageable if you “glue” them together with the batter when frying them.  Stuff with cheese and beef – Mexican Oaxaca cheese is the traditional cheese, but any cheese you have on hand is ok and adds to create a wonderful flavor with each bite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Use 4 eggs to create the creamy batter from scratch.  Separate the whites from the yolks, keeping the whites in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with a mixer (or if you really want to… by hand) until it gets to “soft peak” formation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I should have gotten a pic of when the egg whites are really done… it looks much different from the above photo as it turns into a thicker, creamier batter.  Watch the video to get the full effect of what you’re aiming for with this.

Once it’s at soft peak, mix in the egg yolks gently until they’re incorporated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Use a bit of flour (not necessary if you’re trying to keep this gluten free) just if you want to make the batter stick a little easier.  It will stick anyway so don’t feel like you’re missing much if you skip this step for your health.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then pat the batter over each side, closing any slits that may have opened while you were stuffing the peppers.  Fry until each side is nice and golden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flip!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd done!  I underestimated how much I would be able to make, this recipe was enough to make 8 stuffed peppers!  So delicious and so hearty.

!Viva Fiesta!