Thoughts and Favorites: Christmas Edition

December Sunsets - Thoughts and Favorites: Christmas Edition

Christmas had a way of taking forever to get here and then all of a sudden being over. Did it feel that way to you? Or perhaps, somehow I got sucked into a different atmosphere for a spell and missed all of the fun. But don’t you worry, the Christmas cheer did reach me in time. Our first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. was just as we could have planned. Low key, but far from boring. I think that could be our life motto, really.

Some of my thoughts and favorites, from this Christmas season:

Spending time with family. At times hustling back and forth between our family functions can seem hectic; however, once we get to where we’re supposed to be, it is simply wonderful sharing this time of year with so many we love and adore.

Christmas cards. As much as some would call them a waste of money, I love Christmas cards. They’ll be so fun to collect from year to year and watch your family grow and change as life leads them. Here is our first Christmas card..

Recently, I begun to save and paste my family and friends’ cards into my daily journal so that I can look back on them in the years to come. With my family ever-growing, I know it will be even more fun to look at these in years to come!

Did you send out Christmas cards? Were your envelopes handwritten on or did you use labels?

Cookbooks. Opening up a brand new cookbook is so exciting! Am I the only one that gets jittery at all of the possibilities?!? Maybe that’s the book nerd and cooking-fanatic in me. Although, I must admit, when buying cookbooks for myself, I enjoy buying used. Their spines are usually already worn in and the occasional spill or tear in a page makes me appreciate it even more.

Notable cookbooks I got as gifts:

What is your favorite cookbook at the moment? Or do you get recipes from the internet? I do a bit of both. Although, if I get them off of the internet, I prefer to print them out or write them down.

Baking sugar cookies. Listen. I’ve made plenty of sugar cookies before. However, they were always the non-decorated, rustic get. This year, I don’t know exactly what inspired me, but I decided to go all out and decorate some darn cookies. I used the Genius Kitchen recipe for both the cookie and icing. I plan on making some for Valentines, Easter and pretty much any holiday I can find reason for to practice my craft. I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures!

Instagram stories. I remember when Instagram launched their stories. I thought how silly, Snapchat already does that. Now ask me what I think. Ha isn’t that funny how our opinions can so drastically change. Anyhow, over the last six months, I really have come to appreciate numerous IG accounts for their stories. Not only can they be entertaining, but they can be educational too!

Do you have anyone you love following for one reason or another? I want to hear!

Did you catch my last post, Our Wedding at-a-Glance?
As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all!
To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

January Favorites // 2018

January Favorites // 2018 - sheerheart.org

Is it ever too late to do a favorites post? I sure hope not, because even though we are already seven days into February, I’ve got a handful of January Favorites that are still worth sharing.

The first month of the year was, for the most part, a blast. Full of family time, ranch time and lots of time with the cows. To my amazement, I haven’t accidentally wrote 2017 on any of my journal entries or work documents! How long does it normally take you to adjust to writing the date correctly after New Years?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo courtesy of Amazon - January Favorites // 2018 - sheerhart.org

Alrighty, I’ve got a number of favorites, so I better get on with it. FYI, this post may contain affiliate links, please see my Disclosures page for more information. Thank you for your support!

My January Favorites

Favorite Books

With 45 books as my reading goal this year, I figured I better get a quick start.  And a couple of books wowed me. First, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you are looking for a simple read packed with a ton of meaning, pick up a copy of this book. You won’t regret it. Here is my review. Secondly, Killing Floor by Lee Child was fantastic. It was the first of his Jack Reacher series. I have a feeling, I will be hooked on this set of books as well. And I promise you, the books are wayy better than the movies. Jack Reacher, the book version, is far cooler than Tom Cruise could ever be, just saying.

Favorite TV Shows

The Incredible Dr. Pol on National Geographic Wild has kept me rather entertained. Dr. Pol is hilarious and getting to watch a series about a country vet is exactly how I want to spend my TV-watching time. I would have never thought a show like his would be on national TV and so many seasons in.

Secondly, Hometown on HGTV is another Fixer Upper-esque show. Good people and beautiful house transformations, seems to be HGTV’s formula these days, and I’m not complaining.

Lastly, The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Well I remember years back watching this with Sydney on PBS. But then incredibly, there are 4 seasons of it on Netflix! If this show doesn’t inspire you to want to spend some free time baking something, I don’t know what will. P.S. season 3 finale made me tear up a little!

Also, I appreciate that the contestants compete on the weekends and go home during the week. During the week they are able to prepare for 2 out of the 3 challenges they’ll face on the upcoming weekend. This to me, makes for a far better quality competition than some of the cooking competitions you see on (cough, cough) The Food Network. Highly recommend, but be careful, this will tempt you to binge-watch.

Favorite Things

  • my bullet journal
  • my fountain pens
  • bad weather days
Bullet Journaling

Perhaps, in coming weeks I’ll share some of the pages out of my bullet journal. Since the beginning of the year, I have been dedicated to a bullet journal rather than a traditional agenda/planner. If you aren’t certain what a bullet journal is, I recommend you Google it or watch a YouTube video on it. Pretty neat and a great way to make something fit your lifestyle and needs perfectly. This month, I have turned my focuses to budgeting in my journal. I’m curious to see how this helps me. All in all, I have found it keeps me organized, has increased my creativity and helped me get excited about documenting my life on paper.

Fountain Pens

Now, fountain pens. When’s the last time, if ever, you have used a fountain pen? I think I had used one a long time ago, but really didn’t appreciate it for more than just a pen. However, in late December, I purchased a Pilot Metropolitan (Fine Nib) off of Amazon. I had heard great things about how much easier writing with a fountain pen is on your hands versus ball-point. And beings I have tried journaling more, I thought it would be worth a try. Since getting that pen, and loving it, I found out about Goulet Pen Company. Seriously, they are awesome over there. Start following their YouTube channel and maybe you’ll find a new hobby as well. :) More fountain pen favorites coming in the next month or so. And P.S. while some fountain pens can be found cheaper on Amazon than GouletPens.com, but unless it’s by a whole lot, I still enjoy buying from Goulet instead. Never thought I’d stray from Amazon!

 

Bad Weather Days

And now to bad weather days! Mid-January, Texas was blasted with winter weather again! In December, we actually saw a sizeable amount of snow, in Texas standards. And while, we didn’t get snow this time, we did get sleeting and ice. So we actually got to work from home because of the weather. I did get some work done, but I also did get some reading and baking done as well! And it was fabulous, other than trying to get a prescription filled on that day.

Favorite Recipe

Cheater Cinnamon Rolls - January Favorites // 2018 - sheerhart.orgThe bad weather day leads me to my favorite thing I made all-month-long, Cinnamon Rolls. Now, now, before you get excited or quit reading because you think this would be difficult, I ask you to hold on. These are more like cheater cinnamon rolls. No yeast involved. I used my favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe and adapted it to another recipe to make something quite delicious.

Would anyone like me to share the recipe on the blog?

Etc.

This time of year, for what seems like forever, has meant County Stock Show. This year was no different. Once again the Tschirhart girls (sister and cousin) had commercial heifer projects. In short, with this project, they have a group of heifers that they validate in September. Starting weights must be 550 lbs. at minimum. Then for the next 120 days, they must gain at least one pound per day. Kymber’s heifers started out weighing 692 lbs. and weighed in before the sale at 1,007 pounds. So yeah, they passed on that note.

On top of that, the exhibitors must prepare themselves for an interview with a panel of judges and complete a record book of their project. Once scores are tallied up on the heifers, interview and record book, placing is awarded. I really couldn’t be more proud of my sisters and cousins that have competed in this over the last seven years or so. They have represented our family well and shown how much we love and appreciate this life we live.

Kymber's Heifer Project - sheerheart.orgJanuary was a pretty good start to the year. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the months not speed by so fast!
What was your most favorite thing in January? Be sure to comment below or on Facebook or Instagram.

As always looking forward to hearing from y’all!
For more of my favorites posts, click here.
To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

August Favorites

August Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

Whew August was wonderful, and this post is about to be full of my August favorites! Being my birthday month, August is always one to look forward to, even though it marks the endish of summer. Not only did I have many favorite things, but I also had a blast making memories. Whether it was spending the weekends at the lake with family and friends, working and hauling cows from sunup to sundown, or hanging out with the family and “old peeps”, August brought me so much to be thankful for.

FYI, this post may contain affiliate links, please see my Disclosures page for more information. Thank you for your support!

August Favorites

Favorite Book

‘Twas another good month for reading. My favorites from August had to be The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro and Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman. I can’t seem to recall how I came across The Perfume Collector, but I am so glad I did. Like other books I have appreciated lately it jumped back and forth between characters and time periods. As someone who rarely wears perfume, I found it fascinating and even felt to go check out a fragrance counter asap.

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro courtesy of Amazon - Hot Reads Part 3 / What I am Reading - sheerheart.org

Britt-Marie Was Here is a story about a woman who finds herself amid a separation from her husband after many years needing some form of work. After being a homemaker for most of her life paired with a declining economy, she was having difficulty finding employment. That is until she took a position that wasn’t necessarily going to be a paid one, in a less than fortunate community and with little hope of long term opportunity. Nonetheless, it was inspiring watching Britt-Marie make the best of the job, her distaste of soccer and her unease.

Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman courtesy of Amazon - 8 Books to Read This Summer - sheerheart.org

If you have read any other Backman works, you’ll appreciate how his writing is upfront and a bit dry, yet at the same time so colorful. I’d highly recommend this read. It may not be the easiest to get into at first, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded.

Favorite TV Show

I know, I know. I’m showing up real late to the show with my appreciation of Duck Dynasty. But seriously. Funny and wholesome is hard to find on television these days. Thankfully, the show still runs on other channels so it’s not impossible to find it on. I’m not on Netflix these days, but do y’all know if it’s on there?

Speaking of Netflix, coming shortly, I expect to be on there more often. Any recommendations?

Favorite Instagram

If you ever wonder how I find some of the books I read, I’m going to share right now. Instagram. There are countless accounts of people who post nothing but books! How wonderful, right? I am constantly getting lost in their

Here are my two favorite accounts:

Favorite Restaurant

Stella! I have always loved this place in Southtown San Antonio. And for my birthday we visited Stella. Everything was absolutely fantastic (..except the Peach Cobbler, avoid that).

Favorite Amazon Buy

My love/fascination with cookbooks continues to grow. This month, I’m testing out Bread Illustrated by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen. Other than cornbread, I have close to zero experience making bread from scratch. I’m looking forward to sharing the results of my experimentation!

Bread Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen - August Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

Favorite Meals Cooked

  • Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan – easy enough to make during the week. So glad I found this during a random Google search.
  • Chicken Enchiladas Verde — I kind of made it up, but will be posting shortly.
  • Apple Pie – do you and your loved ones a favor and make this
  • Brownies – the best I have ever made. Stay tuned!

Beef Stir Fry - Weeknight Dinners - sheerheart.org

Favorite Picture Taken

Birthday Fun / Turning Twenty-seven - sheerheart.org

Favorite Post(s)

August was a good month for the blog. I accomplished my goal of at least nine posts for the month and am looking forward to all that September will bring me.

What were your favorites from the month of August?

As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all!
To see more favorites posts, click here.

To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

August Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

August Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

July Favorites

July Favorites 2017 curated by sheerheart.org

HAPPY AUGUST! One of my most favorite months out of the year, I wonder why ;) But before we get deep into August, here are my July favorites!

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my Disclosures page for more information. Thank you for your support!

July Favorites

Favorite Book

I had to do some serious catch up on my Summer Reading list. Halfway through June and into July, I didn’t feel like reading whatsoever. I blame that on the book I was reading at the time, but now I’m back into the game. In July, I ended up loving three books:

The audio book version of The Son was wonderful. Unfortunately, I liked it so much I don’t care to watch the new TV series based on it. Again I listed to A Gentleman in Moscow. I’m curious if I would have the same feelings toward A Gentleman in Moscow if I had read through a hard copy. milk and honey is a book of poems recommended to me by a friend. Reading poetry was a new experience for me. Although easy to read, it was highly impactful.

Favorite TV Show

Shark Week courtesy of DiscoveryChannel.com - July Favorites 2017 curated by sheerheart.org

SHARK WEEK! Ha Last week that is all we watched. No baseball, only sharks and the Cooking Channel. Which leads me to my next July favorite, Cheap Eats. So far I have only seen this come on the Cooking Channel. In short, the host has $35 to eat breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner in one city. Maybe this would be a great prompt for a blog?!?!

Cheap Eats courtesy of The Cooking Channel - July 2017 Favorites curated by sheerheart.org

Favorite Movie

Hey we actually watched a movie this month! Meet the Joneses was finally on HBO this month. I’ll admit, I have yet to watch this in one sitting. More often than not, I catch the beginning one day, the end a few days later and then finally the middle through the end days after that. I’m getting used to his way of watching movies. Now if only I can get some oldies recorded asap.

Favorite YouTube Channel

Off the Ranch. This isn’t a new favorite, but it is about time I share it with y’all. Basically it’s a family from Texas that go around living life and vlogging their way through it. I like it so much because they are totally relate-able, not to mention, I love Vet Ranch, another one of Matt’s channels, so much.

Favorite Instagram

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Caption this.

A post shared by Krista | The Farmer's Wifee (@thefarmerswifee) on

Seriously I have come to LOVE seeing @thefarmerswife in my Instagram feed. Coming from a background in the beef industry, the dairy world has always intrigued me. So much so that I took a dairy science class at Texas A&M. Not only will you see cute pictures, but she provides an incredible amount of information throughout her posts.

Favorite Amazon Buy

I surely surprised my UPS man this past month. Very few packages were delivered! But at the beginning of the month, I purchased three books by Andrea Beaty as a birthday gift. They are cute and smart at the same time!

Favorite Meal Cooked

Peach Pie - July Favorites 2017 curated by sheerheart.org

The oven and stove top were busy in July. I made 8 pie crusts in one month. Each week I buy two pounds of butter. But once you eat homemade crust, you realize how much better it is. From multiple Quiches to Angel Food pie to this peach pie, I have loved baking pies. Again, all of the credit goes to Kate McDermott and her book Art of the Pie.

Soon I will be sharing my go-to quiche recipe as well as the beef stir-fry I have loved making lately!

Favorite Picture Taken

If you read my post, Lake Bound, you would recognize this picture. I still cannot get over how beautiful this world is!

Lake Bound: Fun at Medina Lake - sheerheart.org

Favorite Post

July was a great month on sheerheart.org! Choosing my favorite would be asking a lot. Which was your favorite??

Well I believe that about wraps up my July Favorites. Believe it or not, I already have a few August favorites!

As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all! To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

July Favorites 2017 curated by sheerheart.org

June Favorites

June Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

Before I get to my June favorites, I want to wish you a Happy 4th of July!!!

Holidays that fall during the middle of the week make work so interesting. I had off this past Friday, but worked Monday and then we have today off. So it has made for a weird week. Actually it has felt like a long vacation. Especially since most of my time has been spent at the lake over the last few days. No better place to be this time of year!

June was one heck of a month. Vacationed, cooked, baked, read, photographed, etc. And do I have some awesome favorites to share with you!

June Favorites

Favorite Book

Shouldn’t I always start these lists off with favorite book? After all there is a dedicated category to reading on this blog. I had the chance to read several books in June. Now that I think of it, I need to do an update on my reading challenge in 2017! I really couldn’t narrow it down too much so I am going to list my few favorites:

Milk Street Radio Podcast courtesy of 177milkstreet.com - June Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.orgFavorite Podcast

Hands down, it has been Milk Street Radio. I always loved America’s Test Kitchen, and now Christopher Kimball started this podcast. If you love food and learning how to make it, check this out.

Favorite Movie

Whoohoo I watched one movie, in its entirety, this month! Good thing I loved it! The Accountant is spectacular, had me guessing the whole time. Until I had it figured out that is.

Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott courtesy of Amazon - June Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.orgFavorite Amazon Buy

It may be hard to believe, but with all of the cooking/baking I do, I had never baked a pie before. Well that is other than quiche and pudding pies in store-bought crusts.

But I have crossed that off my bucket list now thanks to Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott. I happened to stumble on this cookbook through Amazon’s recommendations to me. I guess knew I needed to overcome fears this month! Sure enough my first pie, Angel Food Pie, turned out amazing! And that was with time constraints, uncertainty and my usual over thinking involved. Looking forward to the next one I make!

Favorite Meal Cooked

Synonyms for summer may include peach cobbler and homemade ice cream; I’m almost certain of it. The cobbler recipe I have been using is perhaps the easiest out there (click here for recipe). So easy that I made it three times in June! Almost have it committed to memory by now.

On top of the cobbler, I also made a dish using orzo, baby broccoli, carrots and chicken thighs. I baked both the broccoli and diced carrots while I cooked the thighs in my cast iron skillet. Once the orzo was cooked, I placed in the skillet with all of the remanences left behind from the chicken. Added the chicken I coarsely diced, and the carrots and broccoli back to the pan. Easy weeknight dinner!

Favorite Picture Taken

Favorite Picture Taken - June Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

Isn’t my godson the cutest?!? Tomorrow he will be 365 days old :))

Favorite Post

Naturally…farm feature: My Favorite Cow Pictures I Have Taken - sheer heart.org

Other Favorites

Usually I stick to these categories, but this month I had a few other favorites I found to be worth including!

What were some of your June Favorites? As always, thank you so much for visiting sheerheart.org. Come back soon! Hope y’all have a happy and safe 4th of July! Happy birthday America!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click and or purchase thru on of them you would be supporting sheerheart.org. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com or other sites in the Amazon family.

May Favorites

May Favorites

Four days into June, I’m having a hard time remembering what I even did in May! But nonetheless, I did have some May Favorites to share with you.

May Favorites - 2017 Favorites - sheerheart.org

Favorite Book

The Last Mile by David Baldacci courtesy of Amazon - May Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.orgP.S. I just checked, and I am apparently three books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads Reading Challenge! Woohoo!

Reading books like The Last Mile by David Baldacci, makes it pretty darn easy to read. As I have said before, Baldacci is a special author. Between his memorable, likable characters and the way he details each scene, his books are absorbing. As many Baldacci books as I read, I have to resist from choosing one of his for each of my favorites posts.

The Last Mile is the second in the series featuring Amos Decker. The first Memory Man, caught me off guard with how much I appreciated his character. Different from Will Robie and John Puller, the characters in the other two Baldacci series I have read, Amos Decker has no military background. Rather, he was former detective who has an interesting story and skills that lead him to be in the investigative field.

If you appreciate suspense, mystery and feeling like you are right there with the character, read this book. Well, read Memory Man first, but then this one. Looking forward to number three in this series!

Favorite TV Show

Quick Pitch courtesy of mlb.com - May Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.orgIn drafting my list of May Favorites, I knew I had to include Quick Pitch. This is a show on the MLB Network channel (#213 if you have DirectTV). If you love baseball, you would love love this show. Unlike Sports Center, Quick Pitch is all highlights and very little fluff. In the morning as I get ready for work, I just about always flip it to 213 and catch up on all of the games I went to sleep too early on. I especially love it when they show replay after replay of the Astros kicking butt!

Favorite Picture Taken

Favorite Picture Taken May Favorites 2017 - sheerheart.org

I mean, it just doesn’t get cuter.

Favorite Meal Cooked

Drumroll please, I’m about to share one of my favorite crock pot meals to make.

First, I start with a package of HEB’s skinless, boneless chicken thighs. It’s like Christmas time for my mom and I when HEB is nice enough to run these packages on sale for $0.99/lb. I need to dedicate a whole post to all of the different things you can do with a package of these. This time around when we were up at the lake one day, I decided to make shredded chicken tacos. Get a pen out, this is a complicated.

Take a package of chicken thighs, 3-4 pounds, and place in crock pot. I use my 6 quart Crockpot Mom had given me when I went off on my own. I’m not sure there is a more useful gift you could give someone. Ok once you have the chicken placed, pour a jar of picante sauce or salsa over top. Naturally, my favorite is the HEB brand mild picante sauce. Then fill empty jar with water. Pour water over chicken and picante sauce. Place lid back on your crock pot and turn on Low for 6-8 hours or High for 4 hours.

Sounds tough right? I stir every so often just to make sure all of the chicken stays submerged in liquid. Shredding the chicken is easy. I either throw it all in the blender a pulse a few times or use two handy forks and spend a little time admiring the yummy goodness. Once chicken has been removed from broth, either discard or save by pouring in ice-cube trays or recycled sour cream containers and freezing to use to make a soup on a rainy day.

Top the shredded chicken with smashed avocado, a little shredded cheese and maybe a tiny dollop of greek yogurt seasoned with smoked paprika. Yum. Dang, I’m hungry now.

Favorite Amazon Buy

Kitchen Aid Flex Edge Beater - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.orgIf you have a stand mixer, I couldn’t recommend this paddle more. This Flex Edge Beater is so good that I rarely use the paddle that came with the mixer, because this one is so easy to use and clean. Stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of whatever you are mixing up may not take much time out of your day, but not having to do that so often, allows you to be multitasking even more than you already do. This would make a great gift too!

Favorite Post

I have to share two with you. Out of the eight posts I shared last month, I had a favorite and clearly y’all had a favorite by the number of views.

First y’alls favorite:

Facts About Me - sheerheart.org Blog Post Idea

Now my favorite:

Not For Sale - May Favorites 2017 sheerheart.org

I’m especially looking forward to these next couple of months. I have spent some extra time on brainstorming what next I can share with y’all. As always if you have any ideas or feedback, comment below! I always enjoy hearing from y’all!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click and or purchase thru on of them you would be supporting sheerheart.org. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com or other sites in the Amazon family.

April Favorites

April 2017 Favorties

Pssstttt it’s May. April ending on a Sunday and May beginning on a Monday is pretty darn sneaky. Driving to work I knew the date, but sure enough, the first chance I get to write the date down, I’m beginning to pen “April”. Never fails.

April was yet another good one. A wedding, plenty of parties, family gatherings, good eats, good reading, kinda sums it up. But to sum it up further, I’m going to share some of my favorites from the month of April.

Favorite Book

Jubal Sackett by Louis L'Amour - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.orgResisting Happiness - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.orgTo be fair, Jubal Sackett had me completely won over. But once I started reading Resisting Happiness, I knew it’d be impossible to choose. There will be a full review of Resisting Happiness coming up. It’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a book to help you look inward and work toward being the the-best-version-of-yourself, Resisting Happiness is the one you want to pick up. However, if you are a fan of westerns, you really should start reading the Sackett series by Louis L’Amour. Jubal Sackett was the fourth book in the series and so far my favorite. Don’t you just love when you love a character in a  book so much and there are many more books in the series to come?

To buy Jubal Sackett, click here.
To buy Resisting Happiness, click here.

Favorite RestaurantJulianna's - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.org

Well it’s about time I mention, my most favorite restaurant of what seems like the entire year plus a few months. Julianna’s outside of Castroville has done nothing but impress us. By far my favorite thing on their menu is their pizzas. To our surprise it just keeps getting better. Other favorites at Julianna’s are their calamari, bistro salad, brie wontons, and like I said any of their pizzas. And don’t worry, no matter what you order, I’m sure you’ll be taking some home. To visit their Facebook page, click here.

Favorite Show

Bosch An Amazon Original - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.orgAgain, I’ve got two favorites. The first being Bosch, an Amazon Original. I’ve watched the first two seasons and it’s been great. Being based off of Michael Connelly books, of course I thought I would appreciate Bosch, but it’s even better than I could have imagined. Not your typical detective or CSI-type show. Entertaining and invites you to think and try to figure the case out before they do.

Inspector Lewis Masterpiece Mystery - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.orgThe second show I have been loving is an oldie, but a goody as they say. Inspector Lewis! I watched this series while in college, and am starting it over now, because I love re-watching series. Inspector Lewis is an extremely smart series to follow. 1 1/2 hour-long episodes, cases get deep and intricate. At times, I have to take a little break to figure out exactly what is going on in the series, but I love that about it.

To find Bosch on Amazon, click here.
To find Inspector Lewis on Amazon, click here.

Favorite Meal Cooked

Gosh, I wish I would have had a picture of this. But I’ll explain it to the best of my ability.
First, I lightly roasted two poblano peppers and 5-6 tomatillos (removed from husks), in my cast iron skillet. Then I dropped them in a pot of boiling water and let them sit in there for 5-8 minutes until soft or until the tomatillos turned an olive-green color. Then I moved those to the Ninja food processor, along with a few cloves of garlic, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper, a handful of cilantro and a bit of water, used sparingly, to thin it out. I pulsed 8-10 times, then switched to Low until well-blended. My sauce was loose but had a few coarse chunks of peppers, here and there. I used half of this sauce to douse boneless, skinless chicken thighs before they went on the grill. I don’t know how long these took, grilling is not my job ha. Nonetheless, couldn’t have taken too long because I wasn’t even done preparing the sides when they were finished. Anyhow, I used the rest of the mixture to marinate other chicken thighs overnight. Those chicken thighs found themselves baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes and then shredded to be used on our chalupas. This sauce had to be one of the best things I came up with in the month of April, besides my ice cream of course. :)

Favorite Inspiration

Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet. - St. Augustine April Favorites 2017 by sheerhart.org

Favorite Post

Top 5 Friday: Guy Clark no doubt about it. I truly believe I could listen to his music every single day.

Top 5 Friday: Guy Clark - April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.org

Favorite Amazon Buy

As many know, or probably could assume after reading a number of my posts, I love Amazon. Whether it’s buying a better deal on my favorite shampoo or even toilet paper, or buying something big like my camera, I always give Amazon a shot. This month, I finally stepped into the world of Kindle. From time to time, Amazon runs deals on their Kindles. I choose the Kindle paperwhite after comparing the different models. I would highly recommend having patience and waiting for a sale to come again. Rather than spending $120 for the paperwhite, I got it for around $80. Same goes for the rest of the Kindle models.

After having the device for several weeks now, I am hooked. Resisting Happiness was the first book I read on it. And I already have several Zane Gray novels queued up. It is amazing how many books you can read for free. If you appreciate the classics or books with some age to them, you will probably find some free of charge to check out! Plus there is a program called Kindle First, where at the beginning of the month, you have the opportunity to preview one of six books that are set to be released in the following month. I have been surprised by some of those books!

I also downloaded the bible. Now I’ll be the first to admit, I have never really and truly sat down to read the bible. It just seems too daunting. But my grandpa gave me the idea to download it on my Kindle so that little by little I’ll be able to read it. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

To check out the Kindle paperwhite or other Kindle versions, click here.

Favorite Picture Taken

Sullivan Wedding - First Dance April Favorites 2017 by sheerheart.org

Black-and-white first dance picture, what’s more to love? These wedding pictures have me enjoying editing for the first time in a while!

With that, I think this is one heck of a favorites post. Whether you’re looking to read, eat, buy or smile, I think I have you covered for the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to continuing these Favorites posts.

Don’t forget to check out my March 2017 Favorites post, click here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click and or purchase thru on of them you would be supporting sheerheart.org. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com or other sites in the Amazon family.

April Favorites 2017 sheerheart.org

March Favorites

March 2017 Favorties

Where has March gone? I couldn’t wait for March. Promises of baseball, good weather and free weekends to play with cows. For the most part, March did not let me down! Well Aggie baseball did, going 1-2, the first weekend of March in the Shriner Baseball Classic in Houston, but nonetheless, it was a great month and the Aggies shutting out lsu last night was a cherry on top.

April is looking just as promising. Engagement pictures to be taken of my sister and her fiance! My cousin’s wedding! Fish Fry, birthdays and Easter, oh my!

To wrap March up with a pretty bow on top, I am choosing to share some of my favorites this month. For the most part, other than book shopping, I have limited my spending to groceries, which isn’t all that depressing considering the food made from those groceries! But more on that.

Favorite Book

The Expats by Chris Pavone pic courtesy of AmazonMy favorite thing of all this month was a book called The Expats by Chris Pavone. Unlike a lot of books I read this one was not through Audible. I cannot recommend this book enough. On Goodreads, I gave it a four star review only because four and three-quarters isn’t allowed. Maybe I should have just rounded up, but I’m trying to be tougher these days! This seems like it’d make a great movie. Going to put another Chris Pavone book in the queue once I scratch a few others in the read column! Speaking of books, I can’t wait to update y’all with a new Hot Reads post. So many good books read since my last post. Five books in March. And only two of those on Audible. A book review of All the Light We Cannot See is in the works, but giving myself plenty of time to get my words right with that one!

Favorite Movie

Despicable Me 2. I don’t watch many movies, but this one had me laughing constantly. Definitely will watch again.

Favorite Restaurant

Goode Company – Seafood in Houston. If you find yourself in Houston and pulling your hair out because of all the traffic, find a way to stop in at the Goode Company. When we were in Houston for the Shriner Baseball Classic, we happened to be staying in Memorial Park which was down the road from the seafood restaurant. Well worth the time and money. It was one of the more memorable dining experiences I have had. And the bread pudding, oh the bread pudding was a taste to be cherished.

Favorite Meal Cooked

Semi-Instant Pancakes courtesy of altonbrown.com

Hands down, pancakes. I may be chastised for how many recorded episodes I rack up on the DVR of Alton Brown’s Good Eats, but now because of this pancake recipe, I don’t hear about it all too much anymore. This pancake recipe is a little more trouble than using one of those mixes you grab from HEB, but I’m telling you, it is well worth it. From now on, buttermilk will be kept on hand at all times. Which comes in handy since his waffle recipe and my favorite biscuit recipe both use buttermilk as well! Click the picture for the link to the recipe. If the waffles turn out just as good, I’ll be sure to share.

Favorite Picture Taken

Favorite Inspiration

Recently, I began following The Catholic Company on Facebook. Every morning they share a quote, usually from a saint. This was one from this past week. Seemed timely for me.

St. Teresa of Avila courtesy of MorningOffering.com

 

Favorite Post

My review on Vaquero. I poured a lot of time into that post, and I truly do love that album.

As Good as Advertised: Vaquero by Aaron Watson

Do you have any favorites of the month? Share them below! Out of all those that comment between now and April 15th, I’ll draw a name at random, and send a print to them of the my favorite picture I took this month!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click and or purchase thru on of them you would be supporting sheerheart.org. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com or other sites in the Amazon family.

2019 Resolutions: Yea or Nay?

2019 Resolutions

Twenty-nineteen is here, ready or not! Never have I been one to set intense resolutions for myself, at least on paper. I guess this is in part because of a fear of disappointing myself. On the other hand, I’ve never needed a specific calendar date to want to make changes.

However, this time of year does make my mind spin around the various things I’d like to focus on, improve, stop doing, and so on.
Do you make it a point to make New Year’s Resolutions?

After much deliberation, I came up with a loose list of what could be considered my resolutions. First and foremost, I expect this list to be ever-changing throughout the next twelve months. I’m sure within two weeks, I will realize I left something off. While at the same time, one of these items will be escalated to the very tip top. But like they always say, “you’ve got to start somewhere.”

So here is my starting somewhere.

My 2019 Resolutions

Delete negativity, when possible.

This is what I want to focus on the most. The other week, when I was mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed, there were things that made me literally laugh out loud, and then there were others that had a negative effect on me. Then I thought, “Why don’t I unfollow anyone or anything that takes away from the good in my life?” If someone is constantly spreading negativity, unfollowed. If a news outlet is continuously posting stories without outlandishly negative headlines just to get clicks, unfollowed. If an account spreads hate instead of love, unfollowed.

I don’t need anyone or anything to remind me of our world’s shortcomings. I need accounts that verify that there is still more good than bad, more love than evil, more care than neglect.

Now I don’t want to stick my head in the sand. But, if I want to read the news, I can grab a newspaper or look it up myself. I don’t need social media to get the news.

Highlight of my day.

On December 31st, I took a small lined notebook paper and wrote 1-31 down the side of it, giving each day a line. Then over the last eight days, I have filled in the “highlight of my day”. My goal is to have twelve pieces of paper by the end of the year with each day filled in.

As simple as this is, I envision it being a great resource to look back on when days get tough. Some of my highlights thus far, “felt accomplished when I left work,” “sweet text from mother-in-law,” and “car ride with Elliott to check on a job.”

Nothing ground-breaking, but all just reminders of how simple happiness can be.

Use my words, correctly.

Oh boy, a journalism major reminding herself of this. Palm directly to face. I am embarrassed of how many times I use the word literally incorrectly. Although, I did use it correctly above. Immediately after saying it in a story, I feel the need to edit and exclaim FIGURATIVELY to the hills.

But beyond the trivial, literally versus figuratively, obsessed, who vs. whom, and so on; the most important words I want to use correctly are love and hate.

Yes, I hate littering. I think it’s awful and can’t imagine why anyone would do it. However, do I hate the person that littered? No. Do I strongly dislike litterers? Mostly, yes. But hate is too strong of a word to associate with something like this. Maybe their toddler did it because they didn’t know better. Perhaps, it flew out when they were opening their window to get air after a long day of work. The reasons, although some highly unlikely, go on and on.

Either way, I don’t want to invite the feeling of hate into my heart if I can avoid it.

Declutter, both physically and mentally.

If you know me a little, you know Elliott and I live in a very small, very old house. Our six hundred-some odd square foot house is far from efficient, but it is great all the same. With that being said, I could definitely use a cutthroat declutter.

From my closet to our housewares we can replace with wedding gifts, it has to be done. Thankfully, there is a donation bin for the local women’s shelter up the road for me. Since most of our stuff hasn’t been used too hard, I’m glad it won’t just go to waste.

On top of that, I think the decluttering of my social media follows will be a good effort as well. Do I really need to follow brands of clothing, cosmetics, dog food, subscription boxes, and so on? HECK NO.

And something really tough to think about: Amazon. Should I delete my Prime account? Would I shop less on Amazon, if I didn’t have the convenience of Prime? Have any of y’all taken this step?

Improve my skills.

The dear Lord blessed me with a handful of skills, and others I have picked up over the years. It’s about time, I quit trying to learn new skills and focus on developing the passions I already have. Stay tuned.

Brainstorm ways to strengthen my faith.

Beyond reading more books, listening to podcasts, following different religious accounts, what can I do? I don’t know the answer to this, hence the word, brainstorm. :)

Read 47 books.

I completed my goal of 45 books in 2018. It was tough. I was finishing up my last book on NYE, but I do enjoy the feeling of a challenge. In 2015, I set my first reading challenge of 30 books. That was hard. But once I completed it, I decided 35 for the following year. Then for 2017, I set it at 40, and last year 45. Each year has been hard and a push to get them all in. However, I know I still have more to give. Rather than continue to go up by increments of five every year, I want to randomize it to a certain extent. Therefore, this year, my Goodreads Reading Challenge is 47. I have already finished one book, so take that procrastination!!

Be more active.

That is beyond running around with the cows. It’s time for me to take my fitness and overall health seriously. I have been blessed with good health and a fairly decent metabolism, but my thirties, and forties, and fifties, and so on are fast approaching…

Lastly…

Print pictures.

Last year, my baby sister graduated high school, my niece was born, I got married and my other younger sister got engaged, and our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.

Our First Christmas

Do I have printed pictures of any of that? Well I did print pictures from my wedding already and a photo album, but zero otherwise. There are so many good things about being able to take pictures with our phones an digital cameras, but this is the most glaring downside. But here’s to printing pictures in 2019!

Whew, ok so what are you working on? Is it necessarily a resolution you set on January 1st, or rather like me, something that has always been nagging your brain?

Did you catch my last post, Thoughts and Favorites: Christmas Edition?
As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all!
To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.

Just for Fun // March 2018

Just For Fun // March 2018 - sheerheart.org

It’s been awhile since I last did a Just for Fun type of post. So here you go :) Go ahead and comment below with your answers to these questions!

Just for Fun

Favorites

Book: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’amour

Snack: Alamo Candy Co. Picositas Candy Belts

Show: Diagnosis Murderer or Bonanza

Podcast: Catholic Stuff You Should Know

BeverageWater with a squeeze of lemon

Savory Food: Beef tenderloin, cooked whole and to medium-rare on the rare side!

Sweet Food: Warm brownie topped with my vanilla ice cream

Girl Scout Cookie: Samoa (aka Carmel deLites)

Color: Green

Music: Old country music from the 1950s-1970s

School Subject: American History

Smell: Bales of hay or fresh-cut grass

This or That

Queso / Guac

Book / TV Show

Early Bird / Night Owl

Summer / Winter

Lake / Beach

Breakfast / Dinner

Pancakes / Waffles

Well there you go, just trying to keep it light on a Friday! Hope everyone has a spectacular Friday and weekend. I have lots on the agenda for the next couple of days. Of course, something will be baked this weekend. Be sure to follow on Instagram or Facebook to find out just what goodies I make!

As always looking forward to hearing  from y’all!
To keep up with all the goings, be sure to like sheerheart.org on Facebook and @alyxsheerheart on Instagram as well as the ole Twitter.