Influenster Blogstar


Have you ever heard of Influenster?

If you haven’t, let me tell you a little about it but first, a couple of questions:

Are you one of the first people you know to try new products?

Do your friends ask your opinion about certain products or how to use them?

Do you like blogging/reviewing products on the internet?

If you do, then you will really like Influenster.

“Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media hotshots, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.

Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives!

We invite our most active and social media savvy members to participate in exclusive rewards campaigns, such as:

  • - VoxBox campaigns where members receive complimentary full-size products to test and review!
  • - Interactive Twitter chats with celebrities and in-the-know experts
  • - Fun contests where members can earn sweet giveaways
  • - Special discounts on featured brands, services, and more!

In return, all we ask of our members is to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media!”

I absolutely LOVE Influenster. I love getting that survey in my email that asks me to answer some questions to see if I qualify for a campaign and then getting that email that says I qualified.

I have received some really awesome VoxBoxes too!

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I’ve received full size products, tried them and reviewed them, either on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

I just recently started using the Influenster App (#InfluensterApp) and I LOVE it too! It makes it easy to read and review products from wherever I am so I don’t miss out on anything. I love that Influenster HELPS me be a better INFLUENSTER!(#Influenster)

If you haven’t joined, you REALLY should!

~Mrs Galvan~

 

Recap of Vacation


For the past week I have been on a lovely vacation. This is kind of a long post but totally worth scrolling through :-D

It started with a burger & nachos at Chris Madrid’s in San Antonio:

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Some of our friends recommended this place and it was a WIN!

 

Then a LOVELY Fiesta Wedding:

With Maracas,

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A beautiful kiss,

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 and awesome wedding decor!

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The next morning we ate at The Guenther House:

We had the Chicken & Waffles and Guenther’s Favorite Breakfast Platter.

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We had already kind of started eating when I realized that I needed a picture of the deliciousness that we were consuming. This is as good as it gets!

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That biscuit there is like 2 inches thick! It was so good!

For lunch we ate at The Dough Pizzeria. This was probably my most favorite meal of our time in San Antonio.

FIOR DI LATTE BURRATA

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The creaminess of this was just unexplainable!

BUFALA MARGHERITA PIZZA

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They only use San Marzano Tomatoes and their cheese is made in house.

TIRAMISU

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This was the best Tiramisu I have ever had and I’ve had a lot of Tiramisu in my life. Now if only I could get to where it originated, lol!

I got to visit The Container Store and Sur La Table. Those are not local stores for me so it was very nice.

We also made our annual trip to Trader Joe’s. I had to stock up on cookie butter and other goodies!

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The next morning we ate at The Magnolia Pancake Haus.

We have eaten here a few times whenever we are in San Antonio. It’s always so hard to choose what we are going to eat because there are so many amazing choices.

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The Mister had The Crab Cake Louie’s Benedict.

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I had The Stonewall Ranch Breakfast.

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After all that eating of food, later that evening we decided that we would like salad for dinner.

We had an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

Asian Lettuce Wraps for The Mister

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Skinnylicious Asian Grilled Chicken Salad for me

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Our last night in San Antonio we got to eat at The County Line BBQ but I didn’t get any pictures. I can tell you that the food was good and that the servings were HUGE! If you’re hungry, this definitely a place to EAT.

Before we headed home,we stopped at TEAVANA. Yea, I won’t ever go in that store again. LOL! Just kidding but we left with $136 worth of tea stuff. Luckily we drink a lot of tea!

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On our way home Tuesday, we stopped to visit my sister and her family. I got to see my beautiful niece and hold her in my arms.

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She even hugged me when we left.

I have been home for a few days now and it has been nice to be in my own bed, on my own couch and watching my own TV. It’s been a great vacation from my vacation. Tomorrow that vacation is officially over.

I’m grateful to have had the time away to spend with The Mister and relax with family and friends.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

~Mrs Galvan~

 

 

Try It Out Thursday: Homemade Pad Thai


Try It Out Thursday is dedicated to recipes, products or ideas that I find on Pinterest or receive in my e-mail. I tend to “pin” and save a lot of recipes and craft ideas and never try them so I decided that this will help me wade through the many pins and e-mails that I have.

I am a fan of Pad Thai.

There is a little local restaurant where I tried Thai food for the first time last year and I fell in love.

This little restaurant is run by a husband and wife and the wife does all the cooking. The husband is the front end guy and he just makes you want to eat there all the time. I wish I could eat there all the time but that would get pricey.

I found this great recipe by Kelly over at Just A Taste. I totally recommend this Homemade Pad Thai recipe. It didn’t take long to make once I had everything prepped and it was absolutely delicious. The recipe says that it makes around 4 servings. We liked it so much that we both had 2 servings each. 

The picture below is of the homemade Pad Thai in these awesome chinese soup bowls that a friend gave to me. They are my favorite bowls in the whole world!

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The flavor profile of this dish is explosive! It may look like JUST cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, carrots and lime thrown over chicken and noodles but oh my foodie goodness! 

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You have got to try it!

The only ingredient that I had to really go looking for was Tamarind Paste but I found it at our local Spices & Grains store. It was super inexpensive too! 

If you can’t find Tamarind Paste you can substitute lime juice  mixed with an equal quantity of light brown sugar. This will give you the sweet and sour effect that the tamarind flavor is being used for.

Just a reminder to go and enter my 3rd Blogiversary Giveaway! It ends on midnight, Nov 21st so there is still plenty of time!

I’m giving away a $40 e-gift card to Target and a Pioneer Woman Cookbook.

It’s cold here so stay warm!

~Mrs Galvan~

3rd Blogiversary Giveaway


It’s that time of year again! My little old blog here has been on the “world wide web” for 3 years this month and well, I am growing fond of CELEBRATING!

I’m giving two items away:

A Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays cookbook

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AND

A $40 Target E-Giftcard

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YAY! BE EXCITED WITH ME!

The giveaway starts today and will end on November 20th. The winners will be announced on November 21st which is my actual blogiversary date.

You do need to do some fun little things in order to enter and one of them is leaving a comment on this blog post answering the question, “What is your favorite holiday tradition?”

And here we go!

May the odds be ever in your favor!!

~Mrs Galvan~

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Getting Ready! #fbcookieswap


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It’s that time of year again! Time for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

This time of year is exciting for me because I get to bake up some cookies that will be sent to three other people across the United States. 

I have had my recipe for this picked out since August and I’m thrilled about getting my matches soon.

Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen have done such a great job hosting this swap! 

This is my 4th year participating and it gets better and better every year.

I love that as a bloggers we get to give back too.

The swap will be partnering with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Here are the recipes and blog posts for my past 3 years of participation:

Christmas Cardamom Cookies (2013)

Chai Snickerdoodles (2012)

Dark Chocolate Cafenela Cookies (2011) from my old blog

I should get my matches in the next week or two. Be excited with me!

You wonder what the big deal is? Well aside from sharing those cookies that I make with others, I will be sharing a recipe that I have been keeping all to myself for the past 3 months! 

Hope you’ll keep up with the excitement too!

~Mrs Galvan~

Homemade Helper of Hamburger


I haven’t had Hamburger Helper in quite some time but I have to tell you that as a child, it was one of my favorite things to make. 

As an adult, thinking about the stuff from the box kind of makes me want to gag but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought about picking up a box at the store and making some. 

I decided that I would make my own version of Hamburger Helper with added vegetables and I was quite happy with what I came up with. 

Homemade Helper of Hamburger

Ground Beef Mixture:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1lb Lean ground Beef
  • 1 tsp NO MSG Taco Seasoning
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 ½ c hot water + 1 c more
  • 2 ½ c milk
  • 2 c whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 16oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided in half

Seasoning:

  • 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp NO MSG Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced

1. Combine all seasoning together in a small bowl, mix together and set aside. 

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2. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil and then brown the ground beef with 1 tsp taco seasoning and diced onion. (I added the olive oil because I got 96/4 lean ground beed-it needed some fat)

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2. Add 1 ½ cups of hot water, milk, pasta and spice mixture. Stir to combine.

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3. Bring to a boil. This mixture will thicken quickly because of cornstarch. When it starts to thicken add the extra cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender. Since I used whole wheat pasta, it took almost the full 10 minutes.

4.Add the squash and zucchini and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.

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5. Add half the shredded cheese and stir until melted through.

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6. Season to taste. I had to add a little bit more of all the spices because the squash and zucchini muted some of the flavor but it was just a sprinkle of each one.

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7. Add the second half of the cheese to the top and serve hot!

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This was great comfort food! I know it doesn’t exactly look BEAUTIFUL but looks are most definitely deceiving with this dish.

The Mister absolutely loved it! Hope you get to make it soon!

~Mrs Galvan~

Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Sweet Potatoes are some of my favorite things to eat year round.  Last night I was trying to figure out what I was going to make for dinner. I wanted it to be simple. It didn’t need to be done in 15 minutes, I just wanted something that didn’t require me to stand in the kitchen all evening.

I remembered that I had an extra large sweet potato and I began thinking about what I could do with it. In the end I decided to dice it up and roast in the oven.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 Extra Large Sweet Potato (or 3 medium)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary (dried or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

1. Prepare a sheet pan with some parchment paper and set aside.

2. Peel your sweet potato and dice it up. Try to keep the dice all the same so that they cook evenly and all at the same time.

3. Pour potatoes into a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them.

4. Stir the potatoes around with a wooden spoon until the olive oil is evenly distributed.

5. Sprinkle in the rosemary, salt and ground pepper. Give it all another stir to make sure that all the spices are evenly distributed.

6. Pour potatoes onto your sheet pan and spread into one layer.

7. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes.

8. Then pull the sheet pan out and with a spatula flip the potatoes as best you can.

9. Put the sheet pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes and when that time is up, they are done.

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Once my sweet potatoes were done, I remembered that I had a microwaveable bag of Brown Rice & Quinoa by Seeds of Change. I love this stuff! I love that it takes 90 seconds to make in the microwave and that I can add whatever I want to it to kick it  up a notch or just eat it as is.

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I scooped about ¼ cup of sweet potatoes off the sheet pan and into a bowl, poured in the pouch of Brown Rice & Quinoa and then about another ¼ cup of sweet potatoes on top. I sprinkled a little more kosher salt over it all, mixed it around and then ate it up.

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It was delicious!

If you don’t have access to the Seeds of Change pouch, you can always make some brown rice or quinoa on the stove or , I know there are other pouch products that can be substituted.

This is a great fall meal. Early dinner and then a walk, YES!

It makes for a great lunch too because I had a lot of left over sweet potato so I can just pack it up in a little container and take a pouch to work with me and VOILA! Instant lunch!

~Mrs Galvan~

 

 

 

Favorite Fall Soups Round-Up


Fall is here officially  and the mornings and evenings are little cooler. I’ve felt the humidity lessen a little as well. It is still 80+ degrees outside but nonetheless wonderful out. The evening sky and sunset colors are also screaming FALL IS HERE!

 Favorite Fall Soups Round-Up

This post is a round up of all the fall soups that I have been making and some that I recently pinned on Pinterest and will be making soon. Have I mentioned how much I love soup?!?

Vegetarian Chili 

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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

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Red Pepper & Tomato Tortellini Soup

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Tortilla Soup

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Tex Mex Chili Caviar

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Italian Wedding Soup

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French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs

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Ramen Noodle Soup

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Mushroom Stroguignon

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Cauliflower Chowder

Lasagna Soup

Chicken & Rice Soup

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Hope you’ll get to make some soon!

Enjoy!

~Mrs Galvan~

American Cheese Enchiladas


I’m a Sharp Cheddar Cheese girl. I won’t EVER deny that. I can eat it by the slice! (even though I know it’s not so good for me)

Last weekend (anniversary weekend) we went to COSTCO and I bought a big block of Tilamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese! It’s my favorite.

As I looked into the fridge I realized that I really needed to open up that block of cheese and I started thinking about what I could make. My stomach immediately went to Cheese Enchiladas. I love Cheese Enchiladas! My mom used to make the best enchilada sauce in the world (in my opinion).

I made these enchiladas with a can of doctored up sauce because I had a can but I usually like to make my own sauce.

To doctor up a can of Enchilada Sauce I usually buy the Old El Paso Mild (Red) Enchilada Sauce.

American Cheesy Enchiladas

For the Doctored Up Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 28oz can of Old El Paso Mild (Red) Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (NO MSG, or the low-sodium one)
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

1. Pour the can of enchilada sauce and tomato sauce into a large skillet and allow to heat through.

2. Add all the spices and let simmer for 3-5 minutes. Then set aside.

Enchiladas:

  • 20-21 fresh corn tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I prefer to shred my own-I think the cheese melts better that way)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Spray 9×13 glass cooking dish with cooking spray.

2. Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the baking dish and evenly distribute throughout the pan.

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3. Assemble enchiladas by putting about 3 Tbsp of cheese onto a tortilla  and rolling it up.

4. Place the enchilada seam down into the baking dish. Assemble all the tortillas.

5. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cheese over the enchiladas and then pour remaining sauce evenly over the top.

6. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and place in the over for 25 minutes.

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Serve hot with a side of rice and maybe even some refried pinto beans.

Listen to them sizzle! Yum!

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Be careful, it’s easy to eat a whole bunch of these. I had to ask The Mister to hold me accountable to the number of enchiladas I ate.

Enjoy!

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~Mrs Galvan~

6 Years


Happy Anniversary to:

The “nicest” man I’ve ever met

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My BEST FRIEND

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My Mister

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My confidant

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Let me tell you why I happily celebrate today. . . After 6 years of marriage, this man still comes home from a long day at work and smiles at me as though he has just woken up from the best nap ever. He happily rubs my achy feet and gives me manicures and pedicures to show me that he loves me. He is my biggest fan, my protector, my provider, my prayer partner, my confidant,  and my best friend. He does laundry, dishes, he sweeps and he packs my lunch every morning. He holds me when I’m sad, celebrates with me when I’m happy, hugs me all the time, asks me about my goals and dreams and makes me feel so special EVERY SINGLE DAY.

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I’m grateful that God brought him into my life at his ripe old age of 19. I’m grateful that he pursued a friendship with me even though I didn’t like him when I met him. I’m grateful that we went through so much in ministry together as friends. I’m grateful for all his honesty in every part of our relationship. I’m grateful that he chose to “court” me. I’m grateful that being married to him is one of the easiest things in the world to do.

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This year has been a growing year. It was a hard year but I’m so grateful for it!  It has grown our friendship with one another, it has strengthened our love for one another and shown us that with God by our sides we can get through almost anything.

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Mighty Max, I love you so very much and I am looking forward to many, many more years by your side no matter what they look like. Good or bad, silly or serious, hard or easy, fun or boring–I’m not going anywhere.

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~Mrs Galvan~