Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta


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This is a recipe that is similar to the Bang Bang Chicken recipe I shared a few months ago. I found this at  It was a big hit with Tim. He had seconds!  Shrimp was on sale at Aldi, so I bought a few bags.  Living on a budget is hard, but it can be done!

I used Penne pasta because that is what we had on hand.  I think it worked well.

I didn’t see in the recipe directions when to use the olive oil. That may have been my bad since I was in a hurry.  I assumed it was for cooking the shrimp.  I added the olive oil to my skillet as it warmed. I added that to the directions.

For the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, I used some of the Panda Express sauce that I had on hand from making their Sweet Fire Chicken Recipe.  It tasted great!

I wasn’t sure when to add the parsley either, and honestly I skipped it. 🙂

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
1 lb spaghetti or your favorite pasta
1 1/2 lb medium shrimp
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
Black Pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice (I used fresh.)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/ Tablespoon onion powder

In a large bowl, mix together sauce ingredients, set aside.
Cook pasta according to box directions, Drain.
Place uncooked shrimp in a medium bowl. Add paprika, garlic and pepper. Stir.
In large skillet, on medium heat add oil and shrimp. Stir constantly while cooking until no longer pink (approx 10 minutes). Remove from heat. (at this point, I drained a lot of moisture from my skillet). In large bowl, combine shrimp, pasta and sauce. Mix well. Enjoy!

Koala with Regal Rose Flowers



I just LOVE this Koala stamp.  It is awesome to use the Watercolor Crayons to color it.  I use a Blender Pen to smooth out the color of the crayons. Very fun stuff!

The image makes me smile just looking at it, so I hope when people receive their cards it makes them happy too. Happy mail is FUN!

I decided on the colors by sorting through my big stack of Print Packs that  I have. I have three sets of them and at least two of each Pack. 🙂 Good stuff!  Regal Rose and Basic Gray go so well together!


Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Kind Koala
Card Stock: Regal Rose
Other: Print Pack II, Watercolor Crayons (Basic Gray & Regal Rose), Blender Pen, 7/8″ white organza ribbon,

Non SU! Product:
Jet Black Stazon ink pad, Cotton Candy Stickles (center of the flower)

Thank you for stopping by!

Stampin’ Up! Retired Items & New Catalog


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Hello!  For my stamping friends, this is a good and fun time of the year.  The Stampin’ Up! retired list has been posted and shared on many blogs.  Stuff is selling fast.  I am glad I got my teeny tiny order in because the items I wanted are gone already!  Stamp sets do not sell out quite as fast, but the embellishments and things like that sure do!

Head on over and check out what is retiring.  If you need a hostess code or demonstrator to hook up with, please let me know. Enjoy your goodies before they are gone.

Another great thing going on is that the new Stampin’ Up! catalog should be out in late May.  That will be here before we know it!  Make sure to let your demonstrator know you would like a copy. Again, if you need a demonstrator, please let me know. I know a few across the United States, and I follow one that is in Australia.

That’s it for today!  Thank you for stopping by! 🙂


Chicken Stove Top Casserole


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My dear friends Sandy & Nick had us over just before the holidays.  Sandy made two fabulous chicken dishes for supper.  She told me she found the recipe over at  I went and found it, and today I am sharing it with you. 🙂

Tim really liked it, and so did I.  I will be making it for us soon. It is a quick and easy meal that I would add a side veggie too. I think carrots would go fabulously with this!

Chicken Stove Top Stuffing Casserole
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (I think Sandy used four.)
8 oz Swiss Cheese (Sandy used slices.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups Stove Top stuffing mix (not prepared)
1/3 cup melted butter

Spray 9×13 pan, place chicken in pan. Top with Swiss cheese. Combine soup and milk, pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix over top of the casserole. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing mix. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Pretty Petals & Pretty Butterfly



I have been making card sets lately. I have been making sets of four.  Two of them I make into birthday cards and two into Thinking of You cards.  It has been working out GREAT!  My card stash is growing, and I like having a few Thinking of You cards on hand to send out right away. It seems that there is a need for happy mail these days!

I bought the butterfly thinlits because I kept asking Vikki Jo to cut some for me, and I figured I should probably just get my own!  We trade items often, but I felt bad asking for MORE butterflies.

This card may be a little too colorful for some, but it has been so cloudy here lately I wanted to make some colorful cards to brighten my day.  We all need that sometimes.  I love how the jewels add to these cards.


I personally like the one with the rainbow ribbon better. I REALLY hoard that ribbon since it is no longer available, but I did use three pieces of it for these cards.  I went back to some retired Stampin’ Up! colors for this set.  I hope you like them too. 🙂

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Pretty Petals
Card Stock: Orchid Opulence and Taken With Teal
Other: Butterfly Thinlets, long retired Rainbow Organza ribbon, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Non SU! Product:
Calypso Kaleidacolor Ink Pad

Thank you for stopping by!

Be Your Own Health Care Advocate!



I know I have talked about this before, but I am going to take it to a personal level. I am going to tell you about me and my experiences over the past eight months. Sorry if this gets a little long winded.

Those that know me know that I am quite outspoken, and I don’t think anyone has ever said that I am shy and quiet.  That is just not who I am.  I have had to use these skills lately.  It did not make me happy. Instead it has been a very frustrating and annoying time of uncertainty for me.

In August of 2016, I went for my annual mammogram.  They did the regular mammogram, and then we went back and did 3D images. My mammogram results came back that there were nodules that needed to be watched in both breasts. I have a history of breast cancer in my family, so I was concerned. It was recommended that I come back in six months for a follow up 3D mammogram.

My insurance company had already notified me in May 2016 that I would not be able to renew with them as of 01/01/17, so I had to get new insurance.  Well, that was fine until I found out in November that due to the new insurance options available to me, I was not going to be able to keep my primary care physician of at least 18 years. No, I could not keep my doctor.  Let me tell you how much Obamacare has impressed me over the years. NOT ONE BIT! So, I went in search of a new doctor.

That became a rig-a-ma-roll.  The Molina website told me I was able to pick my friend’s doctor until  the very end of the process. I am assuming here that it is because that doctor is in a different county than the one I live in that I was not able to select her.  Thankfully it did turn out that I found a doctor’s name that I recognized.  She was a former client at an accounting firm I used to work at.  I called the CPA that had the account and asked for his opinion.  She is now my new primary doctor.

My six month follow up was coming up due in March.  I needed to get an appointment with this new doctor so it would be ordered.  I took care of that, and she put in the order for a bilateral 3D mammogram. I should hear from the hospital within 24 hours to get that scheduled and here is a copy of the order for your records.  Great!  This is moving along great!

But it really was not.  A week went by and I heard NOTHING.  So, I called the doctor’s office.  They said that sometimes the orders take a bit to get processed,  but they would send it over again.  Fast forward to a week later. I still had not heard anything. This time I called scheduling myself.  It was a good thing I didn’t have my blood pressure checked that day.

The lady at scheduling was rude.  Flat out RUDE.  She said there was no order, and I am not even in their system. I told her that I am a new patient, and I had a copy of the order I would be happy to send over. I would be glad to give her the info needed to set me up. I really needed to get this mammogram.  She told me that they can only accept orders sent to their computer.  Ok, great, give me the number. I will send it right over.  She gave me the number and hung up.  Seriously.  I faxed over the order.  And waited.

Yet another week went by.  My head is filled with thoughts of what if this is cancer?  Is it spreading?  Will I need to miss work? It’s tax season! I can’t miss work!  I called my doctor’s office again. The receptionist would look into it.  Great. Thank you!  48 more hours pass and still nothing.  I called the doctor’s office again. This time I yelled.  I said listen. I just want to know if I have cancer or not.  Can you understand that?  I need this mammogram to know if I have CANCER.  She said, you still haven’t heard from them?  I said NO!  Why do you think I am calling you!?  Ok we will call over there. Ok.  Great.

Within 20 minutes I received a call from the hospital.  A very nice woman apologized several times and took all of my information.  Great!  Let’s get this scheduled. Two weeks later I was going to finally have my mammogram.  YAY!  Oh, but wait, we need the images from the other place for comparison.  I had signed the release forms, but nothing was sent to my new doctor nor had the mammogram images been sent to the hospital. I went to the prior place and picked up a CD with my images.  There!  We were finally all set!  YAY~

But we really were not.

The day finally comes, and I am nervous.  I get to the hospital for my 8:15am appointment.  Great, I should not be too late for work, and we can get this done and figure out the next step.  They took my CD and my printout of the information I had regarding the mammograms from August.  We did the 3D mammograms, and I was told to just wait in this room and they would be right with me.  An hour later, they come in and say that they are still trying to download the CD.  Really?  Um, Ok.  Another hour later they come in and tell me that the 3D images from August were not on the CD and they really want me to do an ultrasound.  I said no.  I said if you have nothing to compare these images to, I am not paying for a test that you may not even need. So I signed another release form, and I left.

They called the next day.  They got the images from the August 3D, and the nodules are more prominent.  They would like to do the ultrasound.  Ok great.  We need to figure this out.  OH, by the way…my insurance won’t be paying for this because I did not meet the deductible yet!  So $1876 later, I was getting myself an ultrasound…two weeks later.

I will say that the ultrasound technician was incredibly wonderful. I really liked her, and I hope they send me one of those little surveys so I can tell them that.

We did the ultrasound.  I told her that I was VERY nervous. I barely slept the night before. I felt sick to my stomach. I figured at this point I should start planning for chemo and missed work an how the heck we were going to figure out how to pay these bills.

Good news! For real!  I have cysts. The cysts line up well with what they saw on the mammograms.  This is good. No cancer.  However, I do need to go back in six months for another round of 3D mammograms and ultrasounds.  Maybe by this next round the insurance will actually pay for some of it. For my peace of mind, I will be going in six months to go through this process again.  Hopefully now that I am in their system, it will go much better for me. I can hope!

Please be sure that you are your own best health care advocate.  Speak up.  Call.  Make a pest of yourself.  You need to take care of yourself.

I prayed a lot.  I thanked God above for answering my prayers.  To be continued in six months…..

One Pot Chicken Thighs with Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice


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Tim and I love cilantro.  I think that if you like cilantro and black beans, you will like this recipe too!

The recipe tells you to use 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro.  I went right down the middle with 1/3 cup, but next time I will use 1/2 cup. Tim said more than 1/2 cup would over power the other flavors, and we don’t want that!

This recipe went together very well for me. I measured everything out before I started cooking the chicken, and that went very well.  Next time I would season the chicken under the skin as well as on top, but that is just a personal preference of mine.

I bought two limes thinking I would need two to get the two Tablespoons of lime juice.  I only needed one!  All is well. I am sure we will find another use for the other lime.  Tim and I also enjoyed the lime flavor as it goes so well with the cilantro, so I was glad I used the two Tablespoons. YUM!

Regarding the rice – I used Uncle Ben’s rice. It took about 20 minutes to cook, and it turned out PERFECT!

I had some very large chicken thighs so I cooked them for five minutes on each side in step one, and I left them in the pan for thirty minutes in step two. Everything turned out perfect.


One Pot Chicken Thighs with Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 chicken thighs
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice (or any rice that will take 15 minutes to cook)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (use 1 Tablespoon first, before adding the other)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot. Add olive oil. It should run easily because the skillet is hot but not sizzle or smoke. Season skin side of chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear them on medium-high heat in the skillet, skin side down for 5 minutes until skin is golden brown but not burned. Skillet should not be burned on the bottom. Flip the chicken thighs to the other side and sear for 2 more minutes on medium heat. Remove the chicken from the skillet. You will finish cooking it in the next step.

To the same, now empty, skillet, add chicken broth, water, uncooked rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt (I skipped this.), and minced garlic. Bring to boil. Mix everything well. Put the chicken on top, making wells for the in the rice. Reduce heat to low boil simmer. Cover the skillet with the lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, covered, until the rice is cooked through and the chicken is completely cooked.

Remove the chicken from the skillet. Mix in the 1 Tablespoon of lime juice, rinsed and drained black beans, and fresh cilantro into the cooked rice. Taste and add more salt and/or the rest of the lime juice if desired.


Recipe from:

Another Artfully Asian Birthday Card


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I have had a lot of fun with the Painted Blossoms Designer Series Paper. I still have some!  YAY!  I love how well the Pacific Point and Wild Wasabi work together – so pretty!

I have a lot of flower stamp sets.  I have been trying to use stamps with the same types of blossoms as the Designer Series Paper does.

My Elegant Butterfly punch gets a lot of use.  It is so fun to put a butterfly with the flowers on cards. I have started putting coordinating butterflies on the insides of my cards too!  Hopefully that isn’t overboard.


I kept this card pretty simple.  Well, ok, most of my cards are pretty simple. However, I think the DSP keeps this card busy enough that simple is good.

This card uses the technique of coloring on your stamp with markers to get the multiple colors.  Color your stamp with your markers and then huff on it to reactivate the ink.

Stampin’ Up! Items:
Stamp Set: Artfully Asian and Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card Stock: Pacific Point and Wild Wasabi
Ink: Pacific Point and Wild Wasabi markers
Other: Pacific Point stitched grosgrain ribbon, Elegant Butterfly punch, Painted Blossoms DSP

NON SU! Items:
Papertrey Ink white card stock, notched corner punch

Tim’s Stuffed Jumbo Shells


Oh my goodness am I spoiled!

Tim wanted to go to our favorite Italian market in Milwaukee – Glorioso’s. They have such amazingly yummy stuff. Their homemade sausage and sauces are just incredible.  A bonus was that they were giving samples of three of their sauces.  We had previously tried two of them.  The new to us was Tomato Cream.  We tried it, and we loved it!

At this point, I didn’t know what Tim’s plan was for supper. He just told me that it would be obvious when we got to the market.  Stuffed Jumbo Shells!  YUM! A first for us.  They were awesome!

The leftovers warmed up very nicely the next day.

Tim’s Stuffed Jumbo Shells
1 pound bulk Italian Sausage
1 pound high quality Ricotta Cheese
1 24 oz jar pasta sauce
1 box jumbo shells
Shredded mozzarella

Brown the Italian sausage and cool.
Cook the noodles according to box directions until done al dente
Combine the cooled sausage and Ricotta cheese
Stuff the shells (Tim just used a spoon to do this.)
Top with sauce and mozzarella cheese.

You may want to put them in a preheated oven just for a couple of minutes to get the mozzarella melted a bit.


A Very Melon Mambo Card


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I needed a few general blank cards for just writing some notes in.  I like to send happy mail every so often.  I have some Designer Series Paper left from the Sunshine & Sprinkles set.  I was told by a  friend of mine that this card was too pink.  Your thoughts?

It was  a dreary day when I made these cards.  I made two of them. I still have some of  the paper left, and I a trying to figure out what to do with it.  I am trying so hard to use up what I have for supplies.  Believe me that I have just tons of card stock and designer series paper. 🙂  Good reasons to get creative!  I can’t wait to have more free time to play at the card making table.


Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Painted Garden
Ink: Melon Mambo and Old Olive
Card Stock: Melon Mambo
Other: Sunshine & Sprinkles DSP, Melon Mambo striped organdy ribbon

Non SU!
Papertrey Ink white card stock

Thank you for stopping by!