Thursday, December 26, 2013

Raspberry Chipotle Cream Cheese and Catalina Shrimp Dip Recipe

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We had a great time celebrating with family. It's funny...this is the first year in a long time that I'm not itching to take down my Christmas decor. Maybe it's because with Thanksgiving being so late this year, we haven't really had our Christmas stuff out for very long. My kids always pitch a fit when I take it down so soon after Christmas, so at least they're happy it's still up. :)

With New Years Eve just around the corner, I had a couple of appetizer recipes I wanted to share with you. We had both of these on Christmas and they're always a hit. First up is the Raspberry Chipotle Cream Cheese dip. It's ridiculously easy to make.

new years eve appetizers

All you do is set out a block of cream cheese and pour some raspberry chipotle sauce over it and serve with crackers. So easy!
Below is a picture of the sauce we use. I get it locally at HEB, but I've seen different brands at other grocery stores, including Target. 

easy party appetizers

It's so good and really flavorful. 

Next up is this Catalina Shrimp Dip. My mom has been making this since I was little. :)

catalina dressing dip recipe

This one is really easy too. Here are the ingredients:

2 cans of tiny shrimp (drained)
1 eight ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
5 tablespoons Catalina dressing
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Garlic salt to taste 

Just mix everything up (I use my mixer) and serve with chips. We serve it with tortilla chips, but potato chips are good too. 

I've got some new dining room chair covers to share with you soon, but other than that, my posting will still be a little light for the next week or so. My entire family is home for 2 weeks, so I plan on doing a lot of nothing and just enjoying the down time. :)

Thanks for stopping by and take care!


I'm joining these parties: Chic On A Shoestring DecoratingI Heart NaptimeI Should Be Mopping The FloorDwellings The Heart of Your HomeBy Stephanie Lynn

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Giveaway!

Hello friends! I'm just popping in today to let you know about a wonderful giveaway my friend Selene is having over at her blog, Restoration Beauty

Selene and I are both big fans of Suave products and she's having a sweet giveaway with some brand new Suave products that aren't even on store shelves yet!

The giveaway is for the Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Range Collection that will hit stores in January 2014!

So, pop on over to her blog HERE to enter the giveaway, and good luck!!

While you're at Selene's blog, be sure to check out some of her posts. She has some great beauty tips and she's also a fellow Dollar Tree shopper (like me) and has some very clever and beautiful Dollar Tree projects and decor. :)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Tablescape

Hello! I know I'm posting a ton this month, but there's just so much to fit in before Christmas. I'd like to show you my Christmas tablescape today.

I'll keep the talking to a minimum and just let you enjoy the pics. :)

I used the same napkin rings from my Thanksgiving Tablescape. I just switched out the Fall ribbon for some sparkly red Christmas ribbon. 

A simple centerpiece with a glass hurricane and candle, cranberry garland, and some votive candles. 

I always hate to cover up my pretty Christmas plates, so I put the silverware to one side of the plate, and the napkin to the other. 

christmas plate

I just adore these miniature stockings for the silverware. I got them in a two pack at Dollar Tree.

This year, I used all different stockings.

I tied little candle rings to the backs of the chairs with some plaid ribbon. 

Here's an overview of the room. You can see the Scary Nutcrackers standing guard. :)

I bought a ton of these little stockings at Dollar Tree. I just love using them for silverware. Here are some of the other styles I bought: 

 Aren't they cute? Well, thanks for stopping by and if you missed my Christmas Home Tour, you can see part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE

I probably won't be posting much for the next week or so, but I'm sure I'll share a few things on Instagram. Feel free to follow along. You can find me here:  @texasdecor

Hope y'all have a nice day!


I'm joining the party at: I Heart NapTimeBy Stephanie LynnI Should Be Mopping The FloorDwellings The Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern StyleA Stroll Thru LifeThe Chicken Chick

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Wrapping, Christmas Cards, and a Sneak Peek

Hello again! Have y'all wrapped your gifts yet? I'm slowly getting it done. I wanted to share my favorite wrapping paper with you today.

I got this paper from Hob Lob. It's really thick and comes in so many pretty patterns.

What I love about it is that it has these little grid patterns on the back. It makes it so much easier to cut a straight line. 

Here are a couple of gifts I just wrapped. I always use wired ribbon when wrapping gifts. It makes it easy to curl the edges. :)

I'm in love with these tags from Michael's. I just adore a pretty tag!

I don't know if you can tell in this pic, but they're almost 3-D looking. 
fancy christmas gift tags

As soon as the Christmas cards started arriving in the mail, I knew I better hurry up and decide where I was going to keep them. I usually put them in a little Christmas box on the kitchen buffet, but I wanted something different this year. 

dollar tree wall pocket

I used this little wall pocket basket from Dollar Tree and tied some ribbon on the handle. So simple and easy. 

How do y'all display your cards? Do you have any neat gift wrapping tips? Come back Friday when I'll be sharing my Christmas tablescape. Here's a little sneak peek...

Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Insta Pics

Have I ever told y'all how early my son starts school? It's ridiculously early. Let me just say we get to watch the sunrise together every morning on the way to school. :) Anyway, their teachers let them bring Starbucks into class and my son wanted to stop and get a coffee before school. Before school. That means before the sun even comes up. Ugh. But, being the fantastic mom I am, I got up extra early so we would have time to go through the drive thru before school. ;) We have a ton of Starbucks close to our house, but I knew they'd be busy in the morning, so we left about 25 minutes early. It's a good thing we did because there were 6 cars ahead of us in the drive thru. I sure hope he enjoyed having coffee in 1st period because I don't know when I'll be up for that again. Ha! 

Anyway, I'm back today sharing some more Instagram pics. :) 

Oh y' know I'm terrified of frogs, right? Like, I should get professional help, it's THAT bad. :) I literally can't even touch a stuffed animal frog. It grosses me out. Someone asked me the other day what my fears are, and I said: "Frogs, roller coasters, the dentist, and camping." Yes...I can't imagine going camping in a tent, outside, in the elements, etc. Scary stuff. Plus, there might be frogs out there. :)

Well, I went out to bring in our recycle bin the other day and as I was walking back up the driveway, I spotted this little guy in our water meter lid. 

He's actually reaching out for help! :) I thought he was dead because he wasn't moving. I really thought he got stuck inside the meter and was trying to crawl out and starved to death. I thought his hand was all stiff like rigor had set in. :) Well, I was not about to go near him. I just thought I'd wait until my son got home and have him check out the situation. 

When my son got home, he very carefully lifted the lid and the frog started wiggling around. He was alive! The poor dear was hanging by his neck. It looked like he was inside the water meter and was trying to get out and got stuck. Eeeewwww! It was so gross for me to watch my son try to free him. His head was stuck in the hole, and his little body and legs were dangling. Yuck!

My son finally got a pencil with a big soft eraser and tried to gently push him back down. We figured it would be easier to push his head back down out of that hole, rather than try to get his whole big fat frog body up through the hole. my son was trying to push him back down, the frog freaked out and somehow squished his whole body UP through that tiny hole that his head was in! Ugh! 

As we quickly tried to put the cover back on the meter, the stupid gross frog promptly jumped right back in the hole where the meter is and disappeared under water. (it was raining, so it was pretty wet down there) We just left the lid kind of askew so he could jump back out if he wanted. Stupid frog. Oh, and you can bet your bottom dollar we threw that pencil away! Ha!

This is one of my favorite ornaments. My oldest made this gingerbread man in his kindergarten class. The next year, my youngest (who was one year old at the time) promptly walked up to the tree and ate the leg! I guess it looked pretty real to him. Or maybe he was just hungry. Anyway, this all resulted in me contacting poison control, but thankfully he was fine and all was well. :) 

You can see how we've also had to hot glue some other parts back on through the years. :) 

I almost hate to admit this, but I get so excited about getting new kitchen towels! Oh the joy! I absolutely love to get new cleaning supplies or linens. I know...weird. :)

There's my sweet baby Holly cat. :) We got her a year ago on December 10th. I can't believe she's been with our family a whole year! My boys make fun of me because I'm always talking baby talk to Holly. I say things like "Oh, there's mama's little schmoopy sweet, pretty whisker face princess who's so pretty she ought to have a crown!" LOL!

And yes, she's sitting ON a present under the tree. :)

This is my son's backpack on the scale. 19 POUNDS, y'all! I couldn't believe how heavy his backpack was! Thankfully, his school just ordered tablet computers for all the kids. It'll be so nice because they will be able to access all their textbooks on the tablet and won't have to carry books anymore. 

How neat that they can just carry around a tablet instead of 6 or 7 huge books. Wish they had that when I was in school. 

I have to brag on my son just a little...when his school decided to get these tablets, they chose a few kids who were tech savvy to be "tablet leaders." My son was chosen as one of these kids. :) He was able to get his tablet a couple of months before everyone else. That way, they could send him to a training class and he had a little while to get familiar with using it. Then, when the rest of the school receives their tablets after the holidays, my son will be one of the leaders that will help train all the kids on how to use it. Pretty neat, huh? :)

And speaking of tech hubby brought these home from Target the other day...

I finally got an iPad!! I'm the last one in my family to get one. :) My hubby also picked up these straws for me at Target's dollar spot. Gosh, he knows me well! I was almost as excited about the straws as my iPad! Ha!

We tried to get an iPad at Target on Thanksgiving night. (Normally, we NEVER go shopping on Thanksgiving or black Friday, but they were offering a $100 gift card if you purchased an iPad.) Well, by the time my hubby got there, they were sold out. We held out because I just knew they'd offer another gift card deal, and they did! Just a couple of weeks later, they were offering a $30 gift card with iPad purchase. Not as good as the $100 one, but still. They also had the iPad on sale for $20 off the regular price, so that was nice too. :)

Well, that's about all for now. You can follow along on Instagram @texasdecor if you like. :) Y'all have a great day!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Turkey Injection, Sweet Tea Recipe, and Glass Markers

Hey, y'all! I wanted to share our "recipe" for a really moist turkey. I know Thanksgiving is over, but maybe some of you will be cooking a turkey on Christmas. Or maybe you scored a great deal on a turkey after Thanksgiving. This might give you an idea for a really tasty, moist turkey. :)

Here's what we use. It's a turkey injector kit. We bought this at Academy for $3.50. You just sprinkle the seasoning on the inside and outside of the turkey, then inject the creole butter sauce into the turkey's breasts, legs, and thighs. 

It comes with this handy little syringe to inject your turkey with.

After you inject it, just cook it in one of these oven bags. (the instructions are on the box) It took about 4 hours to cook our 21 lb. turkey. I've always used oven bags because you don't have to keep basting it over and over. You basically sprinkle a little flour in the bag and shake it up. Place the bag in a roasting pan, then pop your turkey in there, close the end of the bag with the enclosed ties, and cut a few slits in the top of the bag, and the oven does the rest of the work. 

You can see where I wrote the date I purchased these on the box. :) They come in a two pack and I always forget when I buy them, so I started writing the date right on the box. 

Our turkeys have always turned out perfectly when using this method. Very moist and very delicious! And easy too. :)

Let's talk sweet tea. I say "sweet" tea because in the South, there's no such thing as "unsweetened tea." ;)

I had several people ask me for my sweet tea recipe this summer, so I thought I'd jot it down here. I know it seems weird to have a "recipe" for tea. I mean, it's pretty self explanatory, but I do have a few tips and tricks that I use. This is for a gallon of sweet iced tea.

These are the family size tea bags I use. 

I put 4 family size tea bags in a 3 quart pot.

Then I fill my tea kettle with water and heat the kettle to boiling. Then I pour the boiling water over the tea bags in the pot. It really doesn't matter how much water you boil. I just fill the kettle all the way up.

I let it steep for 4 minutes.

Then I take the tea bags out and add 3/4 cup of sugar and mix well. You want to add the sugar when it's still hot so it'll melt the sugar and you won't have "grainy" tea. 

That's probably my biggest have to add the sugar when it's hot. If you add it after it's cooled, the sugar will tend to settle at the bottom and never get mixed up. 

I like to call this my "tea concentrate" because it's so strong right now. :)
After adding the sugar and stirring well, let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool a little. 

Meanwhile, fill your gallon pitcher half way up with ice. I just use a plastic pitcher.

After the 10 minutes is up, carefully pour the sweet tea concentrate into the pitcher. I usually do this over the sink just in case. :)

It will fill the pitcher all the way up and you will instantly have ice cold sweet tea! Yum!

Now that you've made all that sweet tea, you'll want a festive way to mark everyone's iced tea glasses. Here's what I do. 

I take an 8 inch piece of ribbon (I used white so the names would show up) and just write everyone's name on the right hand side with a permanent marker.

Then tie them onto the stems of the glasses and there's no mistaking which glass is yours. :)

Here's a closer look. I untie these when we're done and reuse them over and over. I used to use wine glass charms, but we were always forgetting which charm was ours. It's much easier with your actual name on them. ;)

homemade wine glass markers

Do y'all have any tips for the perfect glass of sweet tea?


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hot Cocoa Station

Well, after seeing hot cocoa stations/bars all over blogland, I finally decided to make one of my own. :) 

My kids were over the moon excited about this idea! I think it's going to become a new tradition. 

I had this little table in my dining room and it was the perfect spot for a little hot cocoa action. (if you missed my Christmas Home Tour, you can see Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE)

hot cocoa bar

This Christmas Countdown chalkboard was one of many things I bought on my Target Dollar Spot Run

creating a hot cocoa bar

I got these little mason jars with gold lids at Dollar Tree and just tied some red and white baker's twine around the top.

This little scoop is from Lillian Vernon about 10 years ago.

My mom bought the boys these reindeer spoons many years ago. :)

You've got to have some Hershey's Kisses in your hot chocolate, right?

This little snowman basket holds candy canes.

I used a couple of Christmas napkins on top of the table.

fancy coffee scoop

hot chocolate station

So, we have hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, candy canes, and Hershey kisses. Yum! 

Here's how the table looked before I started loading it up with all the goodies. 

And here's my secret...I wanted the items to be a staggered height, so I elevated some with a box of plastic spoons, a box of chocolate baking squares, and a box of chocolate chip muffin mix. Hey, use what works, right? :)

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