Beef and Cheese Tostada’s

I have been seriously neglecting my blog this year. I apologize to my regular followers who are looking for new content. I have a ton of stuff saved up to share and tonight I’m going to start with a fresh and tasty dinner recipe for your family to enjoy!

Tostada’s remind me of a flat taco. They use the tortilla toasted so that it’s crispy and can act like a plate for all of the yummy toppings. This is a quick and easy to prepare meal that your family will be sure to love. Here’s what you need, Enjoy!

**Preheat oven to 450°F

1lb lean ground beef

1Tbsp southwest seasoning

1 tsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. beef bouillon

1 small green pepper

1 small yellow onion

1 Roma tomato

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Lime

2 Tbsp. sour cream

1 tsp. Siracha hot sauce

8- small flour tortillas

1c. shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

salt, pepper, olive oil, and water

Dice the tomato, chopped cilantro if needed. Thinly slice half of the onion and finely chop the remaining half. Thinly slice the pepper, and quarter the lime. In a small bowl combine the tomato, onion, and cilantro. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the Siracha hot sauce and sour cream, stir in a small amount of water until the mixture is thin and can be drizzled like a dressing.

In a medium sauce pan add a small amount of olive oil, beef, southwest seasoning, and chili powder. Stir until combined and meat is broken apart. Once cooked through add the thinly sliced onion and green pepper and cook until veggies are tender. Add beef bouillon and a 1/4 c of water stir over medium heat until thickened and set aside.

Prick the tortilla’s with a fork and drizzle with olive oil, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy, remove from the oven, turn the tortilla’s over and place back in the oven to toast the other side.

Once tortilla’s are toasted you can assemble you tostada. Layer tortilla, cheese, beef mixture and then top with homemade salsa and sour cream dressing. If desired you can add another squeeze of lime on top just before serving! Enjoy!!

Tour the Town!

During a recent hangout with my BFF Amber, we decided we wanted to inspire something a little different for 2019. We were talking about some of the Instagram pages that really strike us, how the imagery makes us want to do more, and travel more, and eat more, and figure out internet fame! We cracked up over how popular some pages are and for such simple content. This discussion became a rabbit hole of ideas and before we new what was happening we were starting something pretty awesome!

We have decided to take 2019 and discover everything we can about our own hometown, and any other place that we might travel too or stumble upon along the way! And whilst exploring we’ll share these adventures with all of you here, along with pictorial reviews on Instagram! You can follow us @Tour_the_Town

Amber and I met 7 years ago when she and her husband moved back to Michigan from South Carolina. Her husband and I went to high school together, he and my husband grew up playing baseball together, and we had one other rather sad connection…. Her son was a cancer survivor and my late son was at the time a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Not something you expect to bond over but there was an empathy there that I needed, and 7 years later I don’t know what I would do without her!

We live a block away from each other in a small Michigan town that we both grew up in. We have thrown parties, held fundraisers, gone to community and school events, and even vacationed together! Our families often feel like one big family and we love that! So now that we are starting Tour the Town we hope you’ll have fun with us, laugh with us, and get to know us a little better.

Since we are so close to our little district of Vandercook Lake we plan to start there! There are a couple of awesome little restaurants right around the corner from us, and we plan to highlight these locations each week, or as often as our schedules allow! This week we visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub in Vandercook Lake! This locally owned restaurant and sports bar has quite a story to share and we can’t wait to get to it! More soon, until then enjoy some memories from Amber and I. Thanks for following along!

Kitchen Renovation

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you already know that we are in the process of renovating our kitchen.  Although quite  project we are doing all of the renovations on our own DIY style. Thankfully my husband is a licensed contractor and does amazing work.

So here’s the story… we moved into our home 13 years ago. When we moved in the kitchen was original to when the house was built in the 50’s.  We made cosmetic upgrades to get us by but the original cabinetry (handmade plywood) and chipped Formica counters stayed.

As much as I would like to go crazy and design and build my dream kitchen, this is not our forever home, and so we’re sticking to a $5000 budget. That’s $5000 to do EVERYTHING! Cabinets, Counter tops, Floors, Backsplash, Lighting… EVERYTHING! It’s kind of daunting to fit everything in that budget!

So Here is the plan…

BEFORE

Kitchen Before

We have already removed the upper cabinets, and the trim you see at the ceiling has now also been removed. We are keeping some of our appliances and since they are stainless steel this works out perfectly. We will invest in a new Microwave hood vent for over the stove.

We are making the risky decision not to re-install upper cabinets. This is a cost savings, and I feel like it’s kind of a trendy design choice. I also had a mini heart attack at the thought of losing all of that storage, but I think we came up with a way to resolve that and stay on budget… We’re incorporating some open shelving near the sink for glass ware and a few other dishes that we use a lot.

We are installing a stock cream colored cabinet from Lowe’s from the Caspian Collection… They look like this…

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I like the fact that they aren’t super white… I was really afraid to go too stark white as this is a LARGE room. Once lowers are installed we found a stock black Formica counter top, stainless steel sink, beautiful stone back splash, and vinyl plank flooring. We’re installing a new soffit with can lighting, and pendants over the counter top. The finished project should look very similar to this… although this is a crude cut and paste rendering that I did myself lol!!

Kitchen After Rendering

I’m ready to see the finished project already, but we have a long way to go… it will be interesting to see how close we get to my conceptualized drawings! Wish us luck!!

Let me know your thoughts on our idea to eliminate uppers! I’m still nervous! Thanks for reading!

 

Labor Day at the Last Minute

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and although I had to work on Saturday, we still managed to fit in a brief get away.  My husband and I love to travel and frequently do quick weekend trips to some of our favorite hangouts. We seem to gravitate toward the water here in Michigan (maybe because there’s water everywhere lol) but this time we decided to try a new… or newer destination. We had both been here before but not in a very long time. I think I was in high school!! We visited none other that Frankenmuth MI.

Welkommen

Frankenmuth is a couple hours north east of us, and seemed like a good fit for a quick stop vacation. We however didn’t take into account that this was after all a holiday weekend in a tourist town. We didn’t make reservations ahead and upon arriving found that all of the hotels were fully booked except the Frankemuth Motel. Now, I’m not usually a fan of Motel’s but this was a surprise, a little dated but clean, spacious, and the staff was very friendly. It was a quick walk from there to the Main st. action.

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Once checked in we traveled over to main street to see what was happening there are a tons of little shops and specialty stores.  We walked and walked, stopped by the Historical Museum, listened to the Glockenspiel, walked the historic covered bridge, and took in the sites…Did I mention that this place is literally coated in tons and tons and tons of gorgeous flowers!!

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They had flowers everywhere lining the streets, hanging from the light poles, across all the building fronts, it was beautiful! In the evening we visited “the Tavern” a local hangout bar, it was OK. traveled from there to Tiffany’s there we had a couple of drinks and appetizers, and shared a dessert. It was a nice quiet laid back evening.

The next day we had lunch at Zehnder’s. They are famous for the chicken dinner served family style with all the delicious sides you can eat. We opted out of an all you can eat menu and order individual meals.

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Now I usually order a pretty healthy entree’ I’m not overly picky but I don’t like a lot of heavy food especially early in the day.  So I thought I’ll play it safe and order a hot chicken sandwich… This was not an ordinary chicken  sandwich…

What I thought I was getting… Chicken on sandwich bread or bun with lettuce, tomato, etc… something like this…

Chicken sandwhich

What I actually got was a monotone plate covered in gravy! It was like drowning in gravy lol. Everything gravy…gravy…gravy…gravy…

Zehnders chick sand

Although not what I was expecting I ate it and it was delicious and I was super sleepy the rest of the day lol.

We let our food settle after that on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat tour, this is a nice relaxing tour of the river and the surrounding hotels and establishments there is an entertaining tour guide telling you about the boat, the covered bridge, and many of the area attractions that can be viewed from the river.

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We ended our quick visit to Frankenmuth with a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a huge holiday store with everything you could possibly think of that is holiday related. I remember it as a kid and it’s still that awesome.

Bronner's

So all in all a nice trip away and something a little different that our usual get away. If you’ve never visited Frankenmuth I highly recommend a visit. It has a lot of beautiful sites, shopping, attractions, and a little old world German/ Bavarian flare. Thanks for reading!

 

Mob Museum, and The Underground Las Vegas – Review

I get a lot of positive feedback on my vacation reviews so I thought I would share another one with you.

The Las Vegas Mob Museum opened several years ago in downtown Las Vegas just a block or two away from Fremont St. It’s easily walkable if your already visiting downtown. The museum occupies the former courthouse house building lending further credibility to its contents as the courthouse was the scene of many Mob related prosecutions in Las Vegas.

The museum itself has added a lot of great interactive attractions since it first opened. It’s a great place to visit for all ages. He have historic memorabilia, video presentations, hands on experiences, and a nice gift shop with unique Mob related swag. Photography is allowed, and it is easily accessible for all ages and talents (meaning handicapped accessible).

Located in the basement level of the museum they have now incorporated a speakeasy bar called The Underground. This is a highlight for sure! They are currently distilling their own brand of moonshine in the basement that they offer free samples of, you travel from there into a very nice bar area with flapper style displays in cases built into the walls, unique art and a full service bar with era specific cocktails that have special presentation twists.

Andy ordered the underground old fashioned. He was presented with a book and glass of ice!

We quickly discovered what a good book this was 😂.

So all in all I’d say this is a Las Vegas must. If you enjoy the culture of the city itself then you’ll truly enjoy this, and the alcohol doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy!

Cheers to 20 Years!

Cheers

Today my husband Andy and I celebrate 20 years of marriage. It’s quite a milestone, and I’m both glad and sometimes a little surprised we made it this far lol. One thing they don’t tell you when your young and in love is that marriage is HARD! You have to be willing to work at it, and understand that not every moment of your life is a family picture… Christmas card…pumpkin spiced latte…perfect date kind of day with your spouse.

In twenty years we’ve lived together in three different homes, our first was a tiny two bedroom bungalow with dated blue carpet… but it was perfect for us then. We’ve lived through the births of three beautiful babies, and survived the devastating loss of our Logan.  We’ve collectively held 8 different jobs, and now live in the challenge of working together. We’ve made countless friends, enjoyed hours of fun together, and have done a bit of travelling.

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In twenty years we have learned how to both communicate effectively, and shut each other out… not a proud moment usually. We’ve laughed, cried, screamed, sulked, joked, surprised, and most of the time loved each other. On less of a becoming note I will say though that we have also hurt each others feelings, forgotten to be the most responsible people we know, called each other terrible names, and yes even contemplated a divorce. What you come to realize after 20 years though is that all of it is normal, and sometimes expected and although not always fun, it’s part of life.

I’ve enjoyed the last 20 years.  There are things I would have done differently but I would never change the person that I have spent those 20 years with.  So, Cheers to 20 years Andrew Richard Bailey. I love you.

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Introducing the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year! ~ Ultra Violet

I love when the Pantone color of the year is introduced and my style feeds start to fill up with inspiring uses of the new trend setting colors!

This years Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra- Violet and I am loving it!

Color of the Year

This color could be viewed as a seemingly difficult color to introduce but it’s actually really fun and easy! You can go for the gusto and introduce it as a primary wall or accent wall color.  I utilized a very similar color when redecorating a medical office that I worked for at one time. Needless to say it met some skepticism until it was on the wall, and wow what an impact. This color has a soothing effect, and has an unexpected appeal.

Ultra Violet Wall

Not sure about painting an entire room purple? No problem! Try adding accent pieces, a vase, a chair, maybe just a picture frame. You’ll be amazed!

Ultra Violet Furniture

Is you’re interior not ready for a splash of color try your garden! Ultra-violet is a prevalent floral color! Go for a classic Nikko Blue Hydrangea, or purple campanula in your perennial gardens and purple verbena, and night sky petunias in your patio pots and hanging baskets!

There are a ton of ways to make this year’s Ultra-violet influence part of your indoor and outdoor decor. How will you use it?

Color of the Year 2