2016 Houston Auto Show

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity of attending the Houston Auto Show, thanks to SheBuysCars and GMC! 

This is the time of year when cities all over the country host auto shows where manufacturers have the opportunity of showing off their latest and greatest, as well as award winning vehicles. I had the privilege of driving this beautiful 2016 Terrain Denali down to Houston from Dallas and I fell in love. Such a great car for anyone in search of a mid-sized SUV. 

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The Houston Auto Show hosted over 700 vehicles, including alternative fuel/electric vehicles and concept cars, in their 700,000 square foot space of the NRG Center. 16 different manufacturers also had more than 70 vehicles available for test drives. I’ve been to several auto shows over the year and this auto show definitely did not disappoint.

We began with an invitation to the VIP Gala the night before the event started, which was complete with amazing food, entertainment, and gorgeous cars.

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Every auto show features new vehicles different manufacturers are debuting to consumers and GMC revealed the all new 2016 All Terrain Sierra X. With a 5.3L V-8 engine and 365 horsepower to match the beastly look of this truck, it’s a dream for those looking to tear up the road or trail.

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GMC also introduced the newly redesigned 2017 Acadia with one of my very favorite features, one that could potentially be a life saver. The Rear Seat Alert warns the driver if he/she forgets a child or important  object in the rear seat. It’s aimed to reduce the accidental deaths in infants or young children inadvertently left in a hot car for too long. As a parent, it breaks my heart to hear of those tragic stories, so this is a huge advancement in prevention. 

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Camp Jeep was another big highlight of the show. Consumers were given the chance to ride in the passenger seat of a Jeep in a simulated off road dirt course just to see what the vehicle is capable of. Not only was it fun to ride along but it was fun to sit back and watch the vehicles take those steep inclines with ease. 

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The Houston Auto Show also had an even larger Interactive Aftermarket exhibit with more engaging exhibitors. There were tricked out racing cars, classic cars, and even this Hummer. I was amazed at this bad boy and I know I wasn’t alone.  I had to share with my boys back home and they thought it was one of the coolest vehicles they’d ever seen! It was great to see so many areas even the kids would fall in love with. 

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One of my favorite views was this new Air Stream trailer which I could totally see my husband traveling around with when our kids are grown and gone. These things have come a long way, and in spite of the small space, I couldn’t believe how nice it was inside!

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All of this to say there was so much to see and do at The Houston Auto Show, it’s an event that can’t be missed and there really is something for everyone. It’s just another reminder why I love auto shows so much! A huge thanks to Houston Auto Show, GMC, and She Buys Cars for making this trip possible for me. 

 

When Breakfast On the Go is the Only Option

After six years as a stay at home mom, I’m starting a new life this next week as a working mom. It’s a whole new world for me and something I have to admit I’m really nervous about. Balancing it all is my biggest fear and while it may sound selfish of me to say, I’m really worried about having enough time to take care of myself the way I’d like, as well. Getting the right amount of sleep, exercise, and proper foods hit the top of my list of worries when it comes to that.

I’ve been searching around for different foods I can make to take with me to work and since our mornings are inevitably crazy, like most homes full of kids who need to be at different places, I started with breakfast. Oatmeal is one of my favorite choices for breakfast, but in spite of being able to speed up the process with the microwave, there’s still time needed to clean up, which I don’t have.

plenti

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Navigating Life’s Ups and Downs with Life Coaching

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Life Reimagined. All opinions are my own.

Looking back on my life and thinking of some of the most influential people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, I almost always go back to a coach I had. You hear that often from other people who reflect on their childhood or adolescence, as well, and especially from college or professional athletes. I really thought the idea of having a coach in my life was left behind in college but thanks to Life Reimagined®, it’s not so.

I have always said everyone needs marriage counseling, even if you are in a great marriage. It’s nice to have someone in your corner to help you work through the issues you are facing. Now that I’ve learned a little more, I would say the same could be said for life coaching. It’s a guide to help you through life’s changes and help you reach your goals.

On the Life Reimagined site, before meeting face-to-face (virtually) with my life coach, I got the opportunity to participate in an exercise that created my very own Purpose Statement for my life. It was easy, fun, and had an eye opening result. This is something I plan to have printed out and posted in my closet or bathroom where I’ll see it everyday.

Life Reimagined Life Coaching LifeMap

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Houston Auto Show 2016

I’m super excited to be heading down to Houston this week to join in the Houston Auto Show, thanks to SheBuysCars.com and GMC!

I’ve been a huge fan of working with different car brands since the first day I got a press vehicle to drive around for a week. What fun, right?! I mean, who doesn’t enjoy brand new cars and seeing the advancement different brands come out with with each new vehicle?! I certainly do! And, the best place to see all of the different advancements from each brand is at an auto show.

Houston Auto Show

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Make Breakfast Healthy with Proats

clean eating proats recipe

If you’re a fan of oatmeal, you will love this clean eating recipe for Proats. Proats is really just a combination of oats and protein powder, which are two of my favorite healthy ingredients. Typically, after my workouts, I love to come home and make a protein shake to guzzle down, but sometimes I like to make some changes and find new ways to get my protein in. Whether you’re working out or not, it’s important to get more protein in our diets, which is a problem for most people. This Proats recipe will make it a little easier for you and you’ll LOVE the taste, too!

Clean Eating Proats Recipe

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Fostering the Dream of a Future Fireman

I love the age of my boys right now. Little kids are such big dreamers and as a mom, it’s so fun for me to hear their dreams on a daily basis. Just like little boys do, my boys are in love with the idea of being a man in uniform one day. My five year old dreams of being a fireman and my six year old dreams of being a police officer. As their mom, it’s my job to encourage those dreams and give them the tools and opportunities to act out their passions. 

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Game Day Nacho Bites Recipe

For huge sports lovers like us, this is an exciting time of year. The football playoffs are in full swing and the big game will be here before we know it. If there’s a football game going on, it’s probably on our TV and someone in our family is likely sitting in front of it. :) My favorite part about watching football games at home is the FOOD! I’m excited to share this Game Day Nacho Bites with you for your big game celebration!

Game Day Nacho Bites Appetizer Recipe

These were so easy to whip up, but the most time consuming part was in the presentation, which really didn’t take too long.

Game Day Nacho Bites Appetizer

Once I got my ground beef browned, I added cheese, black beans, and one of my very favorite ingredients — roasted red peppers. Y’all, I could eat these straight out of the Mezzetta jar, and I might have actually done it. :)

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Mezzetta, family owned since 1935, has been bringing locally grown fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Spain, Italy, France, and Greece and prepares them in their state-of-the-art facility in Napa Valley. 

Nacho bites with sour cream

After I mixed in the Mezzetta Roasted Red Peppers, I added a tablespoon of the mixture to each tortilla chip scoop. Then I loaded each one with the rest of the nacho ingredients I know everyone enjoys.

Nacho Bites Appetizer

Nacho Bites

Nacho Bites

Check out this video for three different nacho versions with Mezzetta and you’ll find my recipe below!

Game Day Nacho Bites
A quick and easy way to please your game day guests with these bite sized appetizers.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb ground beef
  2. 1/2 tsp allspice
  3. 1/2 c black beans
  4. 3/4 c grated cheddar cheese, divided
  5. 1/2 c Mezzetta roasted red peppers, chopped
  6. 1/2 c sour cream
  7. 1/2 c salsa
  8. Bag of scoops tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef adding allspice while you're browning. Then mix in 1/2 c of cheese and black beans.
  2. Place 1 tbsp of meat mixture in each tortilla chip.
  3. Top each chip with sour cream, followed by salsa, and then sprinkle with grated cheese.
Roubinek Reality http://www.roubinek.net/

Mezzetta Giveaway

Mezzetta is hosting a Homegating Sweepstakes where you have the chance to win a 55″ 4K LED TV plus a Mezzetta Homegating Party Pack including Mezzetta branded football, blanket, pint glasses (4), cooler, party tray, cocktail napkins, and a jar each of Mezzetta Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini, Deli-Sliced Tamed, Jalapenos, Deli-Sliced Mild Pepper Rings, Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, Roasted Bell Peppers and Deli-Sliced Roasted Bell Pepper Strips. 

The contest ends Jan 26th, so don’t delay in getting your entry in and good luck! 

 

Baked Ziti


During the holidays, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in all of the food we want to serve the adults. For the past three years, we’ve had a Turducken for our family, which we all absolutely LOVE. But, truthfully, my little ones don’t particularly care for it. They want something with pasta, so I decided to whip up this Baked Ziti recipe for them.

Baked Ziti

I love that not only are they able to help me make it but after the holiday, when we’re busy feasting on leftovers from our big meal, they are able to have their own leftovers from this Baked Ziti dish. 

One of my favorite recipes from this dish is the Ragú. Just like the recipes I enjoy sharing with my extended family for the holidays, this is ingredient also stems from a family recipe. It’s slowly simmered to add layers of flavor and includes farm grown ingredients, which means no artificial flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. It’s perfect for my entire family but also keeps my mind at ease when it comes to wanting to serve wholesome ingredients to my growing kids. 

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My five year old is the biggest helper in the kitchen. He loves to be involved in everything I’m doing so this dish is perfect for him to help with. It also gave me a chance to teach him about my favorite couple of tricks I like to use when browning meat. For starters, my husband is a hunter, so we often have ground venison in our freezer from his hunts. My little guy likes knowing the meat daddy brings home is used to help feed our family. I also like to add allspice to our meat as we brown it. It’s like my own little secret for any dish I used browned ground meat in. It just adds a little something extra delicious to the flavor. 

Baked Ziti
A delicious and cheesy pasta dish everyone in your family will love.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 pound lean ground beef (I used ground venison)
  4. 1 teaspoon allspice
  5. 2 26 oz jars Ragu spaghetti sauce
  6. 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  7. 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  8. 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  9. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add ziti pasta to cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add allspice while browning meat.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until cheeses are melted.
Roubinek Reality http://www.roubinek.net/
Baked Ziti
I started a new tradition this year, but I’d love to know, what are some of your favorite holiday traditions in the kitchen?

Raspberry Lime Spritzer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DASANI Sparkling Water. However, all opinions are my own. 

The holidays are an extra stressful time of year but it’s the best time of year to get together with friends and family. In spite of all of the stress it takes to get everything together and ready for guests, I look forward to this family time together all year. I always want to try and add a little something extra to our holiday fun and this year is no different. 

Raspberry Lime Spritzer

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Vanilla Cake Bites with Chocolate Frosting

I’m hosting Christmas this year for my extended family and although we’ve done it for several years now, I still get so nervous every year. So many things to make sure I have planned and prepared just right. A group full of hungry people is very intimidating. LOL! So, I’ve been practicing a little to get a head start on some things I would like to serve. These Vanilla Cake Bites with Chocolate Frosting will be a hit with both kids and adults. My little ones can’t wait for me to make them again and my husband was so glad when they were gone because he couldn’t stop eating them. Haha!

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