Sunday, February 27, 2011

{Taco Soup}

This has got to be one of my favorite soups EVER! I had it the first time I went to visit Corey's family in Utah and his grandma Hilton made it for us while we were there :) So I have to give credit to her!!
This makes a TON of soup...enough to have leftovers for a few days...and is super easy! 

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cans cream of potato soup
3 cans kidney beans
2 can beef broth
1-16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning
Any veggies you choose!

In a large pan, cook meat thoroughly. Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, and sour cream! DELICIOUS! 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

the leftovers

We made breakfast out of our birthday leftovers and it was delicious! We topped the fruit salad pudding with granola and used the BBQ ribs to create a fantastic breakfast burrito. :)

The burritos were great. We cooked some scrambled eggs and warmed the leftover meat over the stove in the same skillet on Medium heat. Warmed a tortilla with melted cheese and added the eggs and meat with some fresh green spinach leaves.

*Add salsa if you like...it's pretty delicious. 


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the birthday boy

Stu's Birthday - February 9th

I woke up that morning and made my sweet birthday boy blueberry pancakes for breakfast. :)


Then, I immediately started preparing for tonights dinner. The original guest list was 2, just him and I. And then we thought we should invite Stu's flying buddy Jeremy over... but Dan and his wife are in town to so we should invite them too... this process continued until about mid-morning when Stu told me to expect like 10 people! I certainly did not plan for 10! So I had a little bit of a freak-out moment, going "I don't have enough meat!" -- "I don't have enough sweet potatoes!". To help easy my mind the birthday boy took me grocery shopping again.... -- in trying to plan for this little shindig I had managed to take trips to the grocery store everyday for the last 4 days making sure I was fully prepared, and still he throws me a curve-ball-change-of-plans! I was planning to make mashed sweet potatoes with all the buttery and cinnamon goodness whipped up inside the dish, but Stu informs me, that same day, that he wants baked sweet potatoes, not mashed. Another swift alteration needed to be made, but I continued to move diligently, because I wanted everything to be just the way he likes it for his birthday.

do I look frazzled?

Just to make things a bit more interesting/entertaining/chaotic the kitchen in his apartment on base is a joke. It is seriously the size of the playhouse kitchen set I had when I was a toddler. So I have limited space for everything. Oh and did I mention we don't have a oven. Which is an obstacle I knew ahead of time and was prepared to work around, but with more people I needed more space. In an attempt to help fix this new dilemma, Stu asked Jeremy if we could cook and have the party at his place. Jeremy kindly agreed and said that we were more than welcome to do whatever we needed over at his place. Jeremy is also living on base, but his family visits him on the weekends so he has a much nicer and much bigger living arrangements. The best part though...is that for the last week or so Jeremy has been staying in a Best Western in town because the running water doesn't work in his base housing. Awesome. He assured me that the oven and electric and everything works but I just can't wash anything or use the bathroom. :) ha!

I had started cooking my BBQ ribs in the slow-cooker at Stu's apartment around 9 a.m. and after finding out that Stu was requesting baked potatoes I had to flip the script on that recipe a little bit too. I washed the potatoes. Instead of using all the ingredients I had bought to mix into the (mashed) potatoes, I mixed them separately to make a delicious sweet and cinnamon butter, which had to let set and cool after I mixed it. Because we had to run to the grocery store and get more meat I had to quickly cook more ribs on a skillet and toss them in with my already slow-cooking ribs in the Crock-Pot. We had enough meat to feed a small village!

So after shopping for last minute necessities and transporting my entire kitchen to Jeremy's kitchen, I was ready to get this show on the road!

Now at Jeremy's, it was about 4 p.m., I started immediately on my sweet potatoes. I coated them in Virgin Olive Oil, wrapped my cooking sheet in tin foil and popped them into the oven right away! These sweet potatoes were HUGE, I'm talking potatoes on steroids! We had six potatoes total and decided to cut them in half before serving. With the potatoes getting all warm and delicious in the oven I moved on to my fruit salad. This was the fruit salad of all fruit salads! At Stu's request this fruit salad was comprised of apples, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, mangos, blueberries, and mandarin oranges, served tossed in a strawberry pudding! It was delicious and I made a ton of it!

Delicious fruit salad!

this cinnamon butter looks questionable but it was so good on the potatoes!!

Things got a little frantic when I looked at the clock and it was 5:30. People are coming over at 6:00 and in a tizzy to get everything going I haven't even started getting ready! Thankfully I had showered earlier that morning, but I was still in sweats and my hair look like a hot mess!

I popped a couple bags of frozen veggie steamers in the microwave and let those heat up, while I quickly tried to tame my mane, fix my face, and dress myself. While getting ready I continued to check on my sweet potatoes and they were still hard. I started to panic because guest would be showing up any minute! I realized this was a desperate moment and I need a lifeline, so I called my mom. She told me that they just need a little more time in the oven and I should probably crank up the heat. I also cut them in half at this time to make sure the middle of the potatoes were getting cooked throughly. I shoved those potatoes back in the oven and threw my steamed vegetables into a serving bowl. Everything was coming together.

the potatoes were perfection when took them out of the oven

steamed broccoli and cheese

At Stu's request, I wore my hair up, because he thinks I look cute with my hair up. :)

the happy couple

People started walking through the door at 6ish and my potatoes were getting soft. It was great timing. Everyone sat around the living room and visited with each other for a little while. During this time I had to spread some garlic butter over my texas toast and warm those up in the oven. It only took a few minutes for the bread to golden and everything was ready to serve!


Stu and his Air Force buddies

It was my first attempt cooking for a big group and everything was wonderful!

the man I love

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Boyfriend!
I love you!


(click read more to see recipes)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

it's always fun to wake up and begin the day with a hearty meal! you never know what the day will bring, what kind of obstacles you'll face, or if you'll even have time for lunch! on top of that, what better excuse could one have to enjoy each other's company than to prepare food?! =)

1. First cut some potatoes into whatever size suits you, add oil to the frying pan and let it heat up in the mean time
2. Add the potatoes to the frying pan and allow them to sit for 5-10 minute intervals while flipping and stirring around
3. Once golden brown remove from the pan and set them in a bowl with a napkin to soak up the grease

these were fairly simple...already prepped and ready just need to be laid out on the pan!

cleaned as we went...

and had a blast while doing it!!!
hello =) my name is joanna! i am a married woman who is in the middle of NOWHERE but loving life and its challenges as they come. i enjoy scrapbooking my memories and crafting things that sometimes don't make sense! being married to a marine has its tough times but at the end of the day, having my family and husband who loves me is all worth it! 
life happens way too fast and if you don't pay attention you'll miss the best parts! brittany and jen have been a part of my life since before i can remember, and life without them, is just miserable! they are beautiful through and through and i enjoy different things about both of them...brittany is the wild side i never had! ha ha she is a fiery red head and definitely spices up my life ;) she challenges me in ways that i never knew existed and truly loves me for me! jen, what an amazing woman! you have grown so much over the past two years and i am so proud of you. you are a beautiful friend, an amazing wife and an adoring mother <3 to be able to experience this chapter of life is something that i am truly blessed to be a part of! you have taught me so much, more than you'll probably know. you're there for me, support me and just love on me WHENEVER i need it...you both are such a huge addition to my life and words can not even begin to express how much love i have for you!

i am excited to begin these next chapters of life and see where they take us! i love you so much!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hi! I'm Jennifer, the married one with a baby!! My husband, Corey and I have been married for almost 2 years (in May) and have a 4 month old baby girl, Rilynn. We have new things happening on a daily basis and keeping up with housework is the biggest challenge! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to craft and look at craft blogs (probably more than I should). Goodwill Saturdays are my absolute favorite and I'm so glad that the hubby is starting to enjoy me dragging him along.  I try my hand at experimenting with cooking...so far so good (according to my love). 
I'm super excited to be starting this blog with my two best friends, who I love unconditionally. It's been so fun to see where our lives have taken us in our 8 years of friendship and excited to see where the next years will take us. :)


the 3 best friends that anyone could have

Jen, Joanna and I have been friends since high school. We have been through so much together over the years. I love these girls with every piece of my heart. They are the two people I have always been able to count on and knew I could turn to when I wanted to laugh, to cry, or needed someone to listen. Sometimes they know me better than I know myself and still love me. :) It is because of these women that I know what true friendship and love feels like; and the constantly growing life-long bond that comes from a friend. 

Since our friendship began we have always been able to trust one another, stay loyal to one another, and always make time for "girl’s night". No matter how much time or distance separates us, when we come back together, it's like no time has passed. We still laugh just as hard and act just as silly as we did when we were younger, when life was simple. 

I love going through the craziness and adventure of life with these women beside me. They are two of the most beautiful souls I know. They are strong in their faith and when God shines His light through these women, it sparkles. They have big hearts and brilliant minds. They inspire me to be a better person and a better woman. They have carried me and supported me through some of the most difficult times in my life. They have given me unconditional love and encouraged my heart. 

They are talented, creative and imaginative. I am privileged to be sharing life's most lovely moments with two of my best friends.

We decided to start this blog when "growing up" started "growing us away from each other". So, 3wives3lives, is about three girl friends who decided not to let miles or life separate us. Instead we plan to share these chapters of our lives, whether near or far. 


the start of something beautiful

Hello Everyone,

My name is Brittany! I'm not technically a "wife" yet, but I'm hoping to be one someday soon! My boyfriend Stu and I are learning more about each other as I am on an extended visit while he is stationed in Altus, Oklahoma. It's a little bit difficult to explain our situation, but we are treasuring our time together and soaking up every precious and shared moment that we can. 

We started off as friends (for about a year) and over time our friendship blossomed into something much stronger. Stu is a officer in the United States Air Force, and was stationed in Texas when we first met. We traveled back and forth to visit one another and did our best to maintain our long distance relationship. The miles between us soon increased and he was deployed over seas.  That disconnection period shook our relationship and put our romance on hold for a while, but when he returned to the states, we rekindled the spark and reunited.  We were still miles and miles apart. I traveled to Mississippi to see him. We traveled to Washington to visit his   family. He traveled to Arizona to see me and my family…

…and finally we decided to just be together.

His next training assignment brought him to Altus, Oklahoma and he invited me along for the ride! :) So I took a leap of faith in our feelings and commitment to one another and with a leave of absence from my job, said goodbye to all my friends and family.  Stu came out to Arizona and we  packed up some of my stuff and drove to Oklahoma! 

While in Oklahoma I've had a lot of time on my hands. So I've started perfecting my cooking skills :). I've also been doing some crafts and scrap-booking during my free time. I will be posting some of my delicious dishes, cute crafts, and, of course, crazy/hilarious stories of daily life.