Southern Crafted Goodness

Hi folks! I’m back with another product review!

This one is really special to me given that the company, House Autry, is based out of North Carolina.

I grew up with my grandma using House Autry products, so to be selected to review their breading and hush puppy mixes was a really precious moment for me!

I decided to make Homemade Chicken Strips and Chicken Fried Pork Chops.

Yesterday, I made the Chicken Strips according to the directions for oven fried chicken that can be found on the side of the box.  I really liked that the recipe had an oven preparation option since I prefer to bake my meats over frying them and if you’ve followed my blog at all you know I’m looking to incorporate as many healthy options into our eating habits as possible.  Simply put — baking was a win!

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The pork chops were also pretty simple. My husband assisted with this evening’s meal (and by “assisted” I mean, made the whole meal– I was beyond tired and went to the bedroom to do some work, only to end up falling asleep — laptop in hand– while he was cooking).

Now, I’ll be honest here.  I know I just said I like to be healthy and I prefer to bake items over frying them, and while that IS TRUE, the North Carolina girl in me still loves a good fried pork chop!  My husband will normally grill them for us as a healthier alternative, but I wanted to test out the breading mix on the pork chops, so that led us to this recipe experiment.

First he took the chops and breaded them using a zip lock bag and the chicken breading mix.
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Then he fried them in vegetable oil on medium high heat until browned on both sides.

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He served these along with Black Eyed Peas and French Cut Green Beans.

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FTC Disclaimer: I received the House Autry products for free in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased review.

Product Review : Bossywear Pink Wrist Wraps

This week’s next official product review item is this set of #BossywearWraps that I received to review.  As described by the manufacturer, Bossywear Wraps are pink wrist wraps designed especially for women.

Here are some additional details:

The set is made with very high quality, yet soft materials which are carefully stitched in order to prevent any discomfort, injury or irritation. I have rather sensitive skin and I didn’t experience any irritation or chafing — even after several days of repeated use.

The set consists of two, 15 inch long wrist wraps that can be adjusted to fit comfortably on each wrist and will stay firm until removed. For extra protection, they also feature thumb loops that will eliminate the possibility of the wristband sliding up your hand!

I have also used these during extended writing sessions to assist with the wrist fatigue I sometimes experience. It’s been a great help as I’ve been writing a close out report for my most recent project for the past week.

Now that I am at my desired weight goal, weight training to achieve increased muscle tone is going to be my focus for the rest of the year. These will definitely be in regular rotation! I am 100% a fan of this product!

I received this item for free in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased review.

Sweets for My Sweetheart — The Semi-Homemade Way!

This muffin pan kit arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day!  My husband is a pretty simple man, all he desired for Valentine’s Day was his favorite dessert: Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing! Our schedule was jam packed, so I used one of my “semi-homemade” recipes (Cake mix with a little something extra– read through the post to get my baking tip).  The cupcake pan is super cute and I loved that this really came with everything you’d need to make cupcakes (short of a bowl and the ingredients).

The liners were attractive and of good quality and I was able to support the pan with a simple cookie sheet or you could choose to use a shallow baking dish or a pizza pan if you don’t have a cookie sheet in your baking collection.  This would be a cute gift to send to a college student or a friend for a “galentines day” token of appreciation.  Overall, I was very happy with this item.

Here’s my “Semi-Homemade” Baking Tip:  I use Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix cake when I’m in a pinch– and to make it taste closer to homemade, I add in a box of Vanilla Jello Pudding— nothing extra– just make the cake according to the cake box directions.

The pudding really does make a difference!  You’ll thank me later!

Presidents’ Day Product Giveaway!

Hello wonderful people!

I know this is long overdue, but I’m living life on life’s terms.

Seriously, the past week has been full of several unexpected illnesses and deaths and other random life events and the combination of all those things hit my spirit really hard.  I took some time to process everything and blogging was less of a priority.

But JOY comes in the morning!  And I am happy to be back with you with my first bright and sunny PRODUCT GIVEAWAY!!!

I mentioned on my Facebook Fanpage that I had a custom circle scarf made by Suuchi.

First, let me tell you about the process of ordering the scarf. It was sooooooo simple!  I literally ordered it from my phone (and we all know that mobile sites can sometimes be a pain).  I opened the link, scrolled through the photo gallery of fabric swatches until I selected one I liked, entered my measurements (I had these readily available thanks to the tracking features on myfitnesspal!), added my coupon code, and proceeded to checkout.

Since I had a full discount code I paid nothing.  No shipping.  Nada.

It was a lovely experience.  The only thing better than receiving my beautiful scarf is this– I have a code that will grant the same experience to one lucky reader.  See below for details on how you can enter to win!

Suuchi Presidents’ Day Giveaway

Here are some shots of me in my scarf that you can entertain yourself with while you await news of the winner!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Who’s There to Save the Hero?

I know everyone is still occupied by “Formation,” but “Save The Hero” will FOREVER be one of my top two Beyoncé songs (The other being, “I Was Here”).

I don’t look to any celebrity as my standard of living, nor do I fault myself for any music I listen to (when I catch myself feeling myself too much, I check it QUICKLY). I have a faith that I’m growing in day by day and God prunes those habits REGULARLY. In the meantime, I take any revelations God gives me via any medium– which is often music (and not just Christian or Gospel genres).

All that being said, this particular song came to mind as I considered my topics for my next Podcast recording. It’s pretty much where I’m at right now.

I didn’t sleep at all last night. Not because I was stressed or anxious or upset or worried. But because I needed that time alone with God.

The first time I heard this song in 2008, I felt like it described my life:

“…I’m left with no shoulder, but everybody wants to lean on me.

I guess I’m their soldier.

Well who’s gonna be mine?

Who’s there to save the hero?

When she’s left all alone and she’s crying out for help.

Who’s there to save the hero?

Who’s there to save the girl… after she’s saves the world?”

I feel that way, OFTEN.  And, like any other time I find myself pondering lyrics during my quiet time, I heard God answer me.

His response was, “I AM.

I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today if I didn’t continue to remember these truths:

“Strong people” struggle too. The world looks at you as if you are some superhero, but you know all too well that you are STILL human.

People may overlook you, try to use you and manipulate your genuine heart to serve their own needs —  But God —

God is the one true, constant confidant that you have in the midst of all of life’s challenges.  He WILL NOT fail you and you CANNOT allow others to change who you are or stop the purposes and desires He has placed in your heart.

Take some time away with God and allow him to strengthen your heart.

 

I pray that my transparency helps someone else today.  It’s pressing on my heart to share so I’m sure there’s some person who needs these words at this very moment.

Scriptures to Meditate On:

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 New Living Translation (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

 

Psalm 91 New Living Translation (NLT)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

 

John 16:33 New Living Translation (NLT) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”