Sausage Balls

These little sausage balls are awesome! They are the perfect treat to make ahead and freeze, then just throw them in the oven right before your party. Plus, you get to make all sort of jokes about balls, because you are making balls. And then you can go ahead and watch the SNL Schweddy Balls skit from way back in the day and continue laughing. Because inappropriate humor is just funny.

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I digress. These sausage balls are delicious. I made them for the Superbowl one year, Christmas last year, and other various times. It’s quite the versatile dish! 

Sausage Balls
Yields 48
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Bisquick [http://unsophisticook.com/bisquick-substitute-recipe/]
  2. 1 pound Hot Sausage
  3. 1 pound Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  4. Water
Instructions
  1. Mix together the first three ingredients. Add water until it is moist and holds together. Form into balls. Bake on cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. You can then freeze and store in a plastic bag (if need be).
Fire ♥ Wifey http://www.firewifey.com/
The cheese gets melty and amazing, and the flavors of sausage and biscuit meld together wonderfully. Please make these. You will be glad you did. Trust me!

 

Westin Well Being Weekend

This weekend was wonderful. As Bobbi shared earlier today, Westin asked her to come lead a fitness session and 5k run at the Westin Phoenix Downtown for their Westin Well Being kickoff. When she asked Heather, Alice and I if we would like to join her, we jumped at the opportunity. An all inclusive girls weekend (okay technically it was one night) in Phoenix? Yes, please!

IMG_5102I found these really cute wine sippy cups at the Dollar Tree (dolla store ftw!!) and had to get and personalize them for the girls. I also may or may not have thrown together some goodie bags with tiaras and sheriff’s badges and mardi gras beads. Just because it’s not a bachelorette doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun, right?

IMG_5112I found this fun hat for $6 and couldn’t pass it up!

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Alice and I munched on Trader Joes Cowboy Bark, which Rylee picked out at the register while shopping with Mama Bobbi! lol It’s chocolate, jo jos, pretzels, toffee, and salt. Girls weekend standby!

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We arrived with Steggy our mascot and got all checked in. The Westin definitely hooked us girls up! They had shoes from their well being fitness loaner program, and tees and water bottles for us to keep!

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Lunch was tacos and margaritas poolside. I want to go back right this minute!! The food was amazing, sun shining, and company delightful.

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After lunch we got ready for that fitness class and 5k and took selfies. Because what’s a girls trip without lots of selfies? Note the mardi gras beads for the race!

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Westin had one of their Heavenly Beds outside for us to check out. I mean, we slept on them at night, but they are seriously amazing!

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We “ran.” None of us trained. It was probably one of the worst runs in my life. Bobs did a great job leading us in dynamic stretching, but we three crapped out on the run. Literally none of us knew there was a 5k and had not trained. I haven’t run more than 10 minutes in 2 months. Yeah. Not good! Thankfully Westin’s Alex held up the caboose with us, kept us company, and showed us downtown Phoenix as we ran / walked. It was fun. I guess. Just never drink a margarita before a race. Okay?

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Post run we enjoyed massages (yes, please!) and food and drinks. Their turkey burgers and sweet potato fries were fabulous! Oh, and baked not fried, so healthy too!

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After dinner we got all dolled up for a night out on the town… and by town I mean downstairs for dinner at the hotel restaurant, Province. The food was amazing and the service awesome. Our waiter is German, and I actually got to speak a little German to him! Score!

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As Alice said, which she got from Blogilates,  Train like a Beast, look like a Beauty. AmIRight?

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The next morning involved lots of water, coffee, and a workout! We couldn’t go on vacay with Bobbi and not to a HIIT workout, right? Also, we all wore our Refresh Attire tops. I love that my girls support our business too!

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After brunch by the pool, a little more laying out, and a visit from a high school friend (what??), we hit the road. We made a few stops along the way, like Buffalo Exchange, the “Really Good” beef jerly store, and In N Out. Thanks again to Bobbi and the Westin Phoenix Downtown for an amazing getaway!

 

New Refresh Attire Tops

Good Afternoon! Do you know what today is? Day after shop opening day! Whoop whoop! lol I’m seriously amazed at how much people love our tops. I mean, I love mine (and have sooo many, but get more every time), but I never expected to see so many of you order. And especially so many repeat orders. Thank you all!

The Beauty top (center and right below) is special to me because it is based off of a design that I created last summer. We truly beautiful women of God, and nothing is more beautiful than letting that shine from within us. Right?

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Matthew took these pictures after a quick little run the other day, and of course got some ridiculous shots of your truly. Also, I didn’t realize the raspberry shirt was rolled up. #fail We wanted to show how the shirts fit though. The newest material is a bit snugger, which I LOVE! As a petite girly, these fit me very well. I wear a small in all three. We also laid out the sizing better on each page in the shop. So… go check out the long sleeve tops, and the tanks!

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Now. Why aren’t you ordering yet? Also, which design is your fave?

Strength through Disagreements

I posted this a few years back over at NewlyWife. Matthew and I have changed and grown so much in our marriage, but I think this post still rings true. So I wanted to bring it over here, to share with you, and keep it forever!

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Matthew and I have had our share of disagreements over the course of our first three years of marriage. It is almost inevitable. In fact, I happen to believe that a marriage without disagreements will not grow stronger. It is through friction and fire that the strength of things is tested. The Bible actually has a little something to say about this. In I Peter 1, I found a few verses that talk about rejoicing through trials.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

To apply this to marriage, I think of the various trials as disagreements that we may have. Matt and I have disagreed on a few things. Most of them were small things (i.e. what to watch on TV) that go away in a matter of minutes, but others are much larger (i.e. how to manage our finances) and need to be dealt with. As we work through those things, our marriage is strengthened. Gold has to pass through fire to be purified, and I think our marriages go through the fire as well. I am not saying that we are to live in constant disagreement or that life will always be hard, but I do think we will go through trials over the course of our marriages.

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At the end of the passage above, it talks about how our genuine faith will end up glorifying the Lord. How awesome is it to think that our marriages can do the same? I also think that some of those small issues will diminish over time as we process through the larger things. It all sounds super easy on a blog, but in all honesty, it is much harder than that for me. I tend to take any type of criticism or disagreement as an attack on who I am and what I do. I often get very angry and then shut down and walk away once an issue comes up. When I stick to these patterns, we do not work anything out and our marriage is much worse for the wear. I am trying to find ways to diffuse situations that make me angry, so we can end up laughing — and then actually talking about things. Once I start laughing and remember that Matthew is not attacking me and it is so much easier to have those deep conversations. I have compiled a list of things to do to diffuse those fights and disagreements. Ready for it?

Diffusing a fight (or how to laugh amidst a disagreement):

  • Ask if you can walk away for a couple minutes to clear your head. Have some verses set aside specifically for that time. It helps me to meditate on verses that remind me of how loved I am by the Lord when I am feeling attacked. Then focus on being a woman after God’s own heart — she wouldn’t be giving lip to her husband would she? And the asking, well that is just so your spouse knows you are coming back and not walking out on the discussion.
  • Get naked. It’s just that simple. Argument = over. Seriously. In the middle of the argument just start stripping down. Just don’t be surprised if he starts to pick fights over small things after awhile…
  • Smush a cupcake in his face. This actually happened the other night. I was steaming about something and Matt had taken a shower to cool off. Once he got out, I just smashed that cupcake in his face. At this point, I was laughing because I realized just how ridiculous of a thing I was doing — he laughed too, and got me back!
  • Go on a walk together. Sometimes it helps me if I do not have to look straight into his face. I know it sounds weird, but it just works for me that way. I do not feel as trapped as if we are sitting on a couch and I have to stare straight into his eyes and not walk away.

How do you end disagreements? Do you feel like your marriage is strengthened by disagreements, in the long run? Or do you think I am just totally off base? Let me know in the comments, and please share anything that has worked for you!

March 17

Our yearly tradition continues… St. Patrick’s Day with the Nymeyers. Even on Mondays. We don’t mess around! haha

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If you remember from last year, we have been getting together with these two on St. Paddy’s day for the past 7 years! Crazy how time flies and traditions become just that, traditions! Last year I made gluten free Andes Mint cookies. So delicious!

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This year, in addition to Irish Car Bombs (above), I made corned beef and cabbage and potatoes. I also harked back to the Guinness dessert traditions (cupcakes in 2012), and made a Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake. So delicious! I also tried to make it gluten free by using gluten free honey vanilla grahams for the crust… but forgot that there is gluten in beer. #fail

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Sadly, it did not cut very well. Although the leftovers we had on Wednesday seemed to cut pretty well. So maybe it just needed two days to firm up in the fridge? or a tighter wrap? The saran was pretty loose after baking.

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And in case you were wondering what we did in other year’s past, well now you know…

Green Beer in 2008

Green Beer in 2008

2011 (Chocolate Stout), 2010 (post rehearsal dinner Guinness), 2009 (Irish Car Bombs), 2008 (Green Beer). . 2008 was the weekend we got home from our Honeymoon and I NEEDED to see people! We probably did something in 2007, but I can’t remember!

Jumping in with Both Feet [FireFighterWife post #2]

Today I am back at FireFighterWife sharing about our journey in this whole fire career. Plus, I have some exciting news to share (sneak a peek below)!

Some of my friends from the group at the Hard Rock in San Diego!

Some of my friends from the group at the Hard Rock in San Diego!

That (full time EMT and paid call fire) has been our routine for the last couple of years. He’s been applying for jobs constantly, and putting in the studying, testing, and interviewing hours. It has been  somewhat routine, even if I had to adjust to him working nights (boo!) and barely seeing each other at times (three cheers for that being over)! The routine left Matt with more time at home though, and I got used to having him help out with things. Things are about to gear up though, and those days of him doing laundry are over for the moment!

Speaking of gearing up, last week he was conditionally offered a limited term (three year) full time fire fighter position in our county and I could not be prouder! He started his academy this week, which means we are back into digging our heels in and getting it done. On my end, it is mostly about meal planning and preparation and housekeeping (and there will probably be a lot of ironing and laundry thrown in there). Basically, I want him to only have to think about the Academy. Seeing as I work full time, this isn’t the easiest task, but seeing as we survived twelve weeks before, this four will fly by! [Sidenote: I was talking to a friend today who was a stay at home mom with a four year old, 18 month old, and six week old when her husband went through his twenty week academy. Now that's digging heels in! And I can see the benefits of ALL of her hard work now, sixteen years later!] I know that someday it will slow down again, as it has been for the last few years, but I’m just not entirely sure when that will be.

Head on over to find out more about us and our journey!

WinStagram

Winter through Instagram. Catchy, right? Only a little delayed?? And, sadly, a little out of order. But oh well. I’m still enjoying re-living this Winter! Oh, and they are described in a clockwise rotation, beginning at the top left. Enjoy!Photo Mar 10, 10 24 03 AM

Baking party with the girlys at church (top left and bottom right), family Christmas party with Matthew, Christmas day (Matt worked, dressed like an elf, I delivered cinnamon rolls to friends, footie pajamas at a friends house on Christmas morning!)

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Gifts: Keurig & a Downton Mug, Duke makes himself at home on the couch with us, Selfies with Jules!, Christmas “morning” at my parents’ home.

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Fake tattoos with Julie, picking up Matt from his ride along with Julie’s man, a fun afternoon at my parents, Mama’s birthday dinner (she’s 80)!

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This is the out of order portion of the day. The top two pics were actually the earliest.. our early Christmas gift opening, and the Fresh & Easy holiday party. Then the bottom two are the last, attending a New Year’s Eve pajama party at Matt’s co-workers home. So fun!

Fall

We are really backtracking now. Somehow I haven’t done an instagram update since last summer. And I miss them! So here goes nothing!

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Top: Flower from a friend, free date night – box tickets, oh the life with just one pup!
Middle: Study Date, Earrings & curly Hair, I love braiding hair
Bottom: Fashiony, Tobin James tasting, Kai in the Cat Door

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Top: Refresh Summit Headshot, Mermaid Makeup, Halloween Décor (note Kai)
Middle: Napping Kitties (oh I miss Kai), Halloween party @ church, Tuesday Date Night
Bottom: Girls Wine Night, Women’s Retreat, Duke & Kai cuddle with my parents

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Top: Crocheting, Thanksgiving Day, Brewcakes with friends
Middle: Lobster Rumble with Chobani, Oak Glen Date, Twitter Tasting with Fresh & Easy
Bottom: Walk in La Quinta w/ family, More Lobster Rumble fun, Spreecast for FireFighterWife

Looking back at this reminds me again of so many joyous times last fall. We can easily focus on the bad things that happened, but I’m seeing lots of goodness right here!

Workout Wineout

After our trip to San Diego, I got right back into the swing of things. As I alluded to in the last post, things got a little challenging on Saturday morning when we got back (well, actually starting Friday). You see, I’m emotional, and I’m empathetic, so I carry the burden of my friends emotions. I thought that it meant something was wrong with me, but over that past few weeks I have realized that it is just how God made me. I experience their lows, but I also join in their highs. I wouldn’t be able to experience so much joy without the pain. I digress. I woke up Saturday to a text that my friends dad had passed away. Unexpectedly. She’s only 10 years older than me, and just 10 years ago my mom lost her dad, and it just hit me. And I thought about what would happen if I lost my dad in 10 years and I couldn’t imagine it, and I just broke apart. Matt came into the bathroom to find me sobbing, mascara all over my face. I was tempted to skip the gym, but I realized that time with my friend and being active was what I needed. So we got in a killer leg workout. And laughed a lot. Which is always awesome.

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The next day we had planned to check out a few wineries in Temecula. I’m still hoping to do cheese tasting before my birthday (a little over a month away now)! The girls asked if I wanted to cancel with everything going on (oh yeah, my cat had disappeared and I had a little health issue as well). I said no, I wanted time with them. And I realized that we can experience joy in the midst of our pain. We can choose joy. Oh, and we can send each other funny ecards to laugh too.

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We started our day at Wiens and then checked out Ponte. We ended up chatting for far too long at Ponte, so we missed the cheese (actually it’s brie baked in sourdough and AMAZING, so I’ve heard), but had a delicious dinner at Ponte instead.

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20140227-100659.jpgBobs and Heather are my workout buddies. Well, I usually workout with Heather, but we do Bobbi’s workouts. Sometimes she joins us. Regardless, I started saying workout wineout, because that’s what we do. We work hard to stay fit, but we also enjoy ourselves.

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I came home to take a nice bath while the puppies relaxed. So nice to see them getting along. Less than a week later they got into a little fight over a rawhide that sent KO in for sutures. Like I said, the good and the bad tend to run hand in hand. Also, I finished the Giver, which I have so much more to say about! Post coming soon (I hope!)

Fire House World

Last month we had the opportunity to attend the Fire House World Exhibit Hall / Expo as a part of Fire Fighter Wife. Matthew was able to take the time off of work to join me and we had a great mini weekend away. I was able to meet some of the ladies whom I have come to know and love via Fire Fighter Wife, and share the love for the website (and our mission)! Cindy wrote a great post about the experience at the Fire House World website.

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Lunch Date at the Tin Fish

I volunteered at the Fire Fighter Wife booth, and also to help sell t-shirts at the Fire Fighter Throwdown (a crossfit style competition for fire fighters). We also had a fun time wandering around the expo.

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My handsome date before the meetup!

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The ladies from Fire Fighter Wife were given a suite at the Hard Rock for a meetup, as well as some Fireman’s Brew to enjoy. Quite tasty! I really just had a blast connecting face to face with the women that I know so well online.

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The conference ended Thursday, but Matt and I stayed around til Friday night. We wanted to spend some quality time with his friends that we stayed with (thanks again, Bennets!) and also just wander around the City. We visited the Fire Museum and the Fire Etc store in San Diego.

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I wish that I could sit and talk face to face with “my wives,” as we jokingly refer to each other, daily. I also cannot believe that this was just a few short weeks ago. So much has happened since then, and I feel like that was a mountain of goodness, and I am now in a valley. I’m just drained emotionally. But looking back at this reminds me of such wonderful times, and I know they will be back soon! I also can’t wait to hug my twinsie, Jules, again. I also love that Matthew finally started doing crossfit, I think watching the throw down was the catalyst he needed to get in gear. I also should find a better way to transition my sentences than with I also! ;)