Foodie Friday: Hot Crab Dip

Merry Christmas from my crew to yours ! Hope everyone's celebrations were full of love and family .My absolute favorite part of Christmas is the 3 F's ...Family , Friends, and Food!!!! My family celebrates Christmas with the extended family on Christmas Eve during the day. We do an appetizer and sweets kinda thing in hope that no ones appetite will be spoiled before dinner. As for me, I stuffed my face with all of the appetizers and skipped out on dinner :) If I had my way every meal would consist of a mix match of bite sized goodies . This year mom and I went with some old favorites as well as a few new recipes. My mom's Double Tomato Bruchetta is always a big hit so we had to throw that in the mix along with barbecue meatballs,hot crab dip, and mini ham sammies. The crab dip and bruschetta were the only two that had real recipes . The rest were kind of just thrown together ( thats generally how I cook lol). To be honest , even the dip was an experiment.The crab dip was a combo of a few recipes that I gathered .I used the sophisticated culinary approach of  "pick n choose" and mixed the two recipes together, luckily it was a successful experiment ;)


8 oz lump crab
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup mayo
1/2 large yellow onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/2 can artichoke hearts ( cut into small pieces)
1/2 teaspoon. garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


1.In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. I was able to mix with a spoon because my cream cheese was really soft but if not a hand mixer would work well 
2.Spray a square baking dish 8x8 and pour mixture into the pan. sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top
 ( we had a large crowd so I doubled the recipe and used a 9x13)
3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes then broil the top for just a few minutes until the top gets browned just a little bit 
4. I served with a sliced baguette as well as pita chips

Thank you for checking out this week's Foodie Friday post. If you try any of these recipes be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you like it:)


Christmas Cheer .. Cookies and DIY gifts


This years cookie tins were filled with Cranberry Bliss Bar copy cats ( I wish Starbucks sold them all year long!), Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies,Lemon Ricotta Cookies, and Mint Oreo cookie balls.The Recipe for Starbucks Copy Cat Cranberry Bliss Bars can be found here . They turned out so good! The only thing I would recommend is using some sort of triangle cookie cutter to help you achieve uniform sizes.

These Chocolate Chip Cookies use a package of instant vanilla pudding which keeps the cookies light and airy. I used red and green chips just to keep with the Christmas theme.

These are quite possibly the best cookie/candy combo I've ever tried! Simplicity, Oreos, Chocolate and Cream Cheese.....nuff said!

15 regular Oreos
15 mint Oreos
1 package of softened cream cheese (8 oz)
2 packages of melting chocolates -2 flavors
( I used dark -mint chocolate and candy cane white chocolate )

1.Crush Oreos in a food processor of by placing them in a ziplock bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
2. Mix the cream cheese with the Oreo crumbs
3. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls
4. Place balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for an hour
5.Melt which ever type of chocolate you will you use for dipping. Dip the tops of the balls in chocolate
6. Refreeze for 30 minutes
7. Melt the second type of chocolate and place in a piping bag . If you don't have one you can pour the melted chocolate into a zip lock bag and cut off one of the corners
8. Drizzle tops of Oreo balls with chocolate
9. Keep in freezer until ready to serve


The recipe for my cousin Nicole's delicious Lemon Ricotta Cookies an be found on my Foodie Friday post from a few weeks ago. My family just loves these!
My mom and I tackled four types of cookies and 2 days of baking and we've got 17 tins all ready to roll :) I hope all of you have been enjoying the holiday season! What is your favorite tradition?
Hope ya'll have a great holiday!

Sharpie Mugs Tutorial

The past week since I've been back from Texas has been going really well. I have been working on my home treatment program on a daily basis and my symptoms have been slowly improving. This weekend I was able to do a few of my favorites...crafting and baking. I've been wanting to try the "Sharpie Mug " project ever since I pinned it on Pinterest a few months ago. A few weeks back my blogging friend Tearsa posted a tutorial with a few hints and tricks to achieving the perfect mug. I bought these plain white mugs at the dollar store and the Sharpie Paint Pens for just $3 at the craft store. I added a fancy candy cane and a pack of hot coco and voila a cute little DIY gift to go with the Christmas cookies.


1. Wash mugs
2.Find a pattern or design that you like and use an Oil-Based Sharpie Paint Pen to create your masterpiece
3. Bake mugs at 350 for 30 min after the mugs are completely cooled bake for another 30 minutes to ensure that the paint adheres to the cup
                         Here are a few of my completed mugs . Which one do you love?
Pin It!


Take Over Tuesday: Tearsa

This week I want to introduce you all to Tearsa who is the writer of one of my favorite blogs Living In Color Mom. She has THE cutest little boy and is quite the DIYer ,the girl can make magic with a Sharpie I swear . Check her out !

Name: Tearsa

Blog Name: Living in Color Mom

Where are you from ?: Utah

Favorite quote: "I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it."

How'd you choose your blog name?: I grew up all around the world, surrounded by so much culture & color. My husband is African American & our little boy is a mixed baby. I'm living in color!

Why did you start a blog?: I am always working on a new project and I love showing it off. What better way than to share it on a blog for the world to see?! I also wanted to give a little glimpse of our wonderfully unique interracial family.

Where do you find inspiration for your posts?: Everywhere! Magazines, Pinterest but most of my ideas come to me while I'm in the shower!

Which blogs are your three favorites to read ?:
 I'm biased. My sister-in-law just started a blog,B'sknees & her pics are to die for! 

Also, my blogger friend, Whitney at My Life as Whitney  has such cute style & her little girl is adorable! 

My favorite design blogger is Sarah M. Dorsey Designs She gives me amazing ideas for my home.

What is currently your favorite post that you've written?: Every post I write becomes my favorite. I love telling stories with my weird humor & giggle all through writing them. My favorite post right now, which is a family tradition, is my tutorial on English Christmas Crackers .The posts that are most relevant to my blog are my Meat & Feat mixed-race family features & of course when I write about my own life as a mixed race family!

Why do you read fabulously faint? Brittany's story is so inspiring! She has such a positive outlook on life dealing with P.O.T.S. She is a beautiful reminder to be grateful for everything we've been given in our life!

5 random facts about you:
-I will dance to just about anything. And now that I'm a mom, there is nothing cool about my dance moves
-No matter how hard I try, I can't draw faces. All my paintings from my art class are faceless people
-I was born in Brazil & switched at birth
-My favorite pair of sweats look like hobo pants & I'm pretty sure my husband wants to burn them
-I despise the word MOIST.

For more crafts & awkwardness, come visit me  :)

To see Fabulously Faint's answers visit Tearsa's Blog. If you are interested in participating in a Takeover Tuesday let me know :)


Health Update #2

I got released from the hospital finally !In a nutshell, I had some sort of infection but the doctors weren't able to find the initial source . They did pretty much every test under the sun trying to figure out what was wrong . The only test that came back abnormal was the adrenal test. They found that I have adrenal insufficiency ,meaning my adrenal glands don't produce the right steroid hormones to help regulate blood sugars, fluid retention,sodium levels and other important functions. I will follow up with a endocrinologist when I get back to California and most likely start hormone replacement . BAD NEWS: another illness and another pill to deal with GOOD NEWS: adrenal insufficiency can usually be treated pretty easily . I was able to reschedule my missed appointments at the POTS Treatment Center so instead of leaving Saturday I will stay until Tuesday so I can get all caught up. I feel pretty good today and as a bonus ..... Its Queen Bey Day! This Beyonce album will be responsible for hours worth chair and car dancing , I can see it already . If you missed today's Foodie Friday post check it out. Sorry for the late post .Thank you guys for all of your prayers,support, and kind words :)

Foodie Friday: Taco Soup , Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

With all of this flu and freezing cold weather mess all I've been craving is a huge bowl of piping hot soup with some warm French bread mmmmm. As soon I get out of this mini hotel kitchen and home to my favorite part of the house I will most definitely be throwing a pot of soup together. Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes . They are both beyond easy and the taco soup is even low cal (but doesn't taste it at all)!

Taco Soup


3 cans fat free chicken broth
1can chili w turkey
1 can black beans
1 can Mexican crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 onion 
3 zucchini
3 yellow squash
1 can corn

1.Sauté squash,zucchini,and onion until translucent . 
2.Add all ingredients together in a pot including the sautéed veggies and heat through.
3.Top with whatever you'd like. I use shredded cheddar a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips .

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup 

I found this recipe on Pinterest via Taste of Home and I added a few spices to make it a little more aromatic . I don't have any photos of my own of this soup so I figured this delicious looking one will do :)


2 -10 ounce cans tomato soup
3 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder 
3 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups half and half 
1 cup milk 
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus enough for garnish
9 oz package of cheese tortellini 


1.combine all ingredients except tortellini and Parmesan cheese in a pot and bring to a simmer 
2.once simmering add in tortellini and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until done 
3.add in the Parmesan cheese at the end and allow to melt . If I don't have Parmesan I use mozzarella
4.garnish with extra parm and serve with warm French bread

Thank you for checking out this week's Foodie Friday post. If you try any of these recipes be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you like it :) I love when people share  my recipes but please credit Foodie Fridays.


Treatment and health update

Usually I try to stay pretty positive and not post Debbie downer posts but it wouldn't be a true reflection of my treatment program if I didn't share it all with you . The first week at The POTS Treatment Center went flawlessly, no passing out , I was able to control my heart rate pretty well,and even had enough energy to go on a few outings (with the wheelchair of course). This week,not so much. Monday night my friend and I both came down with what we thought was food poisoning but it turned out to be some sort of flu / viral infection. Getting sick sent me into a downward spiral and after my chest pain and a Heart rate of 170 lasted for about half an hour even when lying down I decided to pack it up and head to the ER. The plan: get some fluids and go home . A few hours later the doctor came in to say that most of my electrolytes were depleted so they were going to replace them in iv form and send me home in a few hours . After the electrolytes were finished running the took a final ekg and discharge vitals but the EKG was abnormal and my vitals were all over the place oxygen saturation 83 (normal is a voice 92ish), blood pressure 75/51(normal is 120/90), and heart rate of 146 (normal is 60-90 although mine is always high when standing but usually in the normal range while lying). So needless to say ,they admitted me . Yesterday and today I have been spiking fevers and my blood pressure is still pretty low so they are going to be keeping me for at least another night, which means I will miss another day of treatment :/ Hopefully I will get out of here tomorrow so I can double up on my sessions at the POTS Treatment Center. That's all for now but I will keep you all updated .


Foodie Friday: Crock-Pot Carnitas , Panini , Snickerdoodle Cookies

                       Crockpot Carnitas

This recipe for crock-pot carnitas is one of my families favorites. When I was working I would season and brown the roast at night, stick it in the fridge and put it all together in the morning , come home from work, shred the pork and voila dinner is served! We usually use the carnitas to make tacos or burritos but it would also make good quesadillas or enchiladas. Lime and cilantro are good toppings for these tacos the flavors compliment the pork very well.


2.5 lb pork roast ( trim all the fat off)
6 cloves of garlic cut in half
Dry adobo seasoning
Garlic powder
1 cup chicken broth
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ( omit if your family doesn't like spicy)
2 bay leaves


1.Season pork with salt and pepper
2.Heat oil in a skillet and brown all sides of the roast ( usually about 10 minutes total)
   remove from heat and allow to cool
3.Season the pork with adobo, cumin, and garlic powder-I season pretty generously and then rub into the meat
4.Cut holes with the tip of the knife and insert the halved garlic cloves into the slits all over the roast
5.Add chicken broth, peppers, and bay leaves to the crock pot and set the roast on top cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours
6.Shred the pork using two forks
7.Remove the bay leaves and peppers and adjust seasoning as needed
8.Cook for an additional 15-30 minutes

             Last Minute Meal :Panini

Being stuck in a hotel for two weeks means a lot of eating out and frozen foods. We are stuck in the hotel for the next few days due to a crazy ice storm brrr!Rather than resorting to 3 days of hot pockets I whipped up a little panini for lunch. I have made these for dinner before with whatever ingredients I can scrounge up .
Earlier this week we bought some artichoke dip and pita chips so I substituted the dip for the pesto that I usually use. I have also used Italian dressing in the past when I was out of pesto. This is an easy meal and there are about a thousand different variations you can come up with.


Provolone cheese
Sliced tomato
Italian Seasoning
Deli Meat ( I like chicken or turkey from the deli)


1. Butter two slices of bread
2. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the buttered side of the bread
3. Spread pesto on each piece of bread ( un-buttered side)
4. Place one piece of bread ( butter down ) in a skillet
5. Layer bread with provolone cheese,tomato, meat bread
6. Cover the bottom of a smaller pan with foil and place the pan directly on top of the sandwich ( this is your     make shift panini maker)
7. Cook for a few minutes until bread is golden brown then flip sandwich and cook until golden brown

              Snickerdoodle Cookies

 I love snickerdoodles and this is the best recipe I've tried so far.They are nice and chewy and the cinnamon sugar balance is perfect !


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For rolling:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt ,and baking soda
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees while you let the dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes in the refrigerator
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the topping
  6. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press it onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookies
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes and no more.The cookies may seem undercooked, but will continue to develop after they are removed from the oven. When the cookies have cooled they should be soft and chewy in the middle

Thank you for checking out this week's Foodie Friday post. If you try any of these recipes be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you like it:)


POTS Treatment Center Week 1

So far the Treatment Center has been very informative and helpful. The basis of the treatment program is learning to retrain the way your Autonomic Nervous system works and responds to stressors. In the normal person your body is mostly in parasympathetic mode or "rest and digest" mode. When a traumatic event takes place your sympathetic nervous system is activated and you respond by either fight or flight .In POTS patients, we are always in fight or flight mode because our Autonomic nervous system no longer functions appropriately and sees everyday life as a stressor. Imagine getting in a car accident , you get that rush of anxiety, your heart races , you get short of breath, and you may even feel the urge to get sick. This is the reaction my body has to standing up . When lying down I am in rest or digest mode but the act of being vertical triggers fight or flight. The treatment program helps teach symptom management by teaching ways to recognize when your body enters this mode and how to "calm down " your autonomic nervous system. The goal is to eventually spend most of your time in parasympathetic mode and train your nervous system to act appropriately.

The program consists of a three hour session each day that primarily focuses on using biofeedback to allow you to physically see the way your body is reacting ,making you more aware of the things that need work. So far I have used three methods of biofeedback that have already started to help. 

1.EMG : electrodes are placed on both shoulders to read the level of Muscle tension . By seeing  the level of tension on the computer screen it increases awareness of tension and allows you to relax even more. 

2.Heart Rate Variablility: the goal of this training is to get the heart rate and breathing rate to be in total coherence (at the same speed)

3.Thermoregulation: a sensor placed in the index finger takes the temperature which is pretty low in people with autonomic dysfunction . The goal is is to keep the peripheral temp (hands and feet) above 90 degrees which means that blood flow is regulated and not all pooling to the head (this is what causes flushing of the face)

So far I have been able to increase my peripheral temperature to 95 degrees and have mastered level one of heart rate variability training. All of my training has taken place in a overstuffed comfy recliner with my feet up . If I am able to maintain this progress I will be able to start training next week while sitting with my feet on the ground and then standing. Sounds simple , but it's a big deal :) Today I was able to walk for about 6 or 7 minutes and the highest my heart rate went was 124, a huge improvement already . 

This beautiful park  ( Harry Moss Park ) full of fall leaves is right down the street from the POTS Treatment Center so we stopped to hang out and of course have a little photo shoot ;) The weather was so nice today, in the low 70's . We've been gearing up for the ice storm thats heading for Dallas, but so far it hasn't happened yet .


Take-Over Tuesday: Michelle

This week I have the pleasure of introducing Michelle from Sugar, Spice, & Newlywed Life. Michelle is the cutest teacher and newlywed whose blog features delicious recipes and stories about her everyday life. Reading her 5 random facts makes me even more excited to continue following her blog :)

Name: Michelle Irons 

Where are you from? : beautiful Tennessee ,USA 

Favorite Quote: walk by faith not by sight

How'd you choose your blog name?: Growing up I had a cute sign my mom had in my room about sugar and spice. It just came to mind when thinking of a title.

Why did you start a blog?: I've enjoyed reading blogs for years now. I love getting new recipes, ideas, and getting to make blog friends. Everyday life is funny, stressful, and always full of the unexpected so it is fun to share these experiences with the blog community and support one another. So I decided to join the blog                                                                  family!

Where do you find inspiration for your posts?: Everyday life! I love blogs that are just that, everyday life. I find them fun to read and relate to. I especially enjoy decorating and home things also I love cooking (yay for your Foodie Fridays, delicious!).

What are your top three blogs to read?:

I love this blog and following this awesome mamma and her beautiful family! Kayla post fun everyday life post that are fun to read as well as posting great favorite things post. I could list 10+ reasons why I love her blog!
I recently found Linzi’s blog and instantly loved it! She recently posted an awesome coffee post that I can’t get enough of! This stunning mamma also recently posted an amazing list of great cosmetics under $10. I’m a make-up/bathroom products junkie and love stuff like this!
This was one of the first blogs I ever followed and really got into. At one point I even e-mailed her about starting my own blog but finally after a year did so.  Jenna postall favorite things:  DIY projects, awesome recipes, she’s an organizing queen, and so much more. I really enjoy this blog so much!

Do you have any special weekly posts that you do?: I enjoy blogs that share favorite products and give honest feedback about them. So every Wednesday I’m {{attempting}} to post a favorite item or thing. I also am interested in doing some more Link-Ups. This blog is a working progress and I look forward to where it is going.

Why do you read fabulously faint?:I enjoy Fabulously Faint because of Brittany's  optimism and outlook on life. Faced with an illness, I love the way she takes it one day at a time and adjusts to the curve balls life sends us all. Also, Foodie Friday has become one of my favorite blog post all week! The recipes and pictures make me so hungry, I'm just sad we can't meet up for a glass of wine and enjoy some of the goodies! So, so grateful that our blogs found one another :)

5 random facts about you:
Drew and I are both advanced scuba divers
I was born in Houston, TX but raised in TN
I absolutely love teaching and feel it is my calling
The older I get, the more of a home hermit I am becoming
I rode on the back of Drew’s Harley to Panama City Beach and back. Over 20 hours round trip on no joke, a >5 inch seat. Ouch! But one of the best adventures we've had!

You can find Fabulously Faint's answers on Michelle's Blog . Let me know if you are interested in participating in a future Take-Over Tuesday :)


Dallas Day 1

Yesterday we ( my mom and best friend came with me ) made it safe and sound to Dallas without any glitches. In the past I have had trouble on plane rides due to the pressure changes but yesterdays ride was totally fine! Today we went to the cutest little town just outside of Dallas. Grapevine is known as The Christmas Capital of Texas so the town was all lit up with some of the cutest places for photo ops. We did a little bit of window shopping in the downtown area and stopped at the Great Wolf Lodge for dinner. It is seriously every mom and kids dream resort with a huge indoor water park, arcades, laser tag, spa, kids spa, bar ,movie theater, bowling alley, every thing you could imagine to entertain the whole family.Tomorrow is Day One at the treatment center :)

My mom and I 

The three of us
The cutest little picture spot 

My mom could only come for two days before she has to leave so Andrea is staying with me in Texas for the whole two weeks of my treatment. Basically, she's the BEST best friend ever!
                                                                                                                               How cute is this little town!
                                                         My beautiful Mama and I before dinner
                                    The Great Wolf Resort . The indoor water park is HUGE! the photo on the top right is a 360  degree spiral that the indoor yellow water slide does. The water slides start inside and go outside around the side of the resort and end up back inside. I mean , as an adult I was excited to see this, I can't imagine how kids feel when they walk into this hotel !