Weekend Update

This past weekend we stayed in town as we did have quite a big game on Saturday to attend. It was our last tailgate that we can attend this year so we wanted to make a full day of it! Although the home team did not win we still had a great time! Here are some pictures of this past weekend!

I started the weekend off right by taking a Pilates class on Friday evening after work

Pumpkin predicted that my beloved South Carolina Gamecocks would prevail over the 
Florida Gators by playing with her gator on Saturday. She chewed it up and spit it out!
We attended an adorable gender reveal party for a friend who also teaches Pilates with me
More fun at the gender reveal with four of the six Midtown Pilates girls
We attended the game and there was a wonderful half time tribute to the Armed Forces halftime show and an a capella version of the National Anthem sang by the entire stadium that brought everyone to tears!
And there you have it, not a crazy busy weekend but busy enough for me! Sunday was a lazy one lying around with the pup and enjoying the rain. Now the countdown is on for Thanksgiving and family time!
Stay southern,

Weekend Update

This weekend was not as eventful as I would have hoped but we were both down with a virus at the end of last week so we used the time for a little R&R.

Saturday we watched the South Carolina v. Mississippi State game. Tensions were high and someone wasn’t happy with the outcome but at the end of the day we’re always on the same team so that’s all that matters(at least that’s what I kept telling the husband).
Sunday we had brunch at Restaurant Tyler where Mike ordered this crazy plate of chicken and waffles. The chicken was so crispy and the waffle so fluffy! Total diet killer!! But a must try.

We finished up Sunday by catching up on some HIMYM and snuggling with our favorite girl after her bath! 

After a restful weekend I am not looking forward to going back to work but I am looking forward to not feeling like death while I am there this week! Also, the countdown to Thanksgiving is on! Only three more full weeks and we’ll be having turkey with family! I love this time of year, so much anticipation and excitement! 
Stay southern,

2013 Pumpkin Decorating

With tomorrow being Halloween, I wanted to share with you the Arnold family pumpkins this year! I moved to Mississippi in October 2010 and one of the first things Mike and I did was carve a pumpkin(well he did more of the carving), so we have made it a point to try to do this every year! This year however, I wanted to try something a little different. I had been seeing painted pumpkins all over Pinterest and other blogs so I was thinking why not give something new a try this year! We purchased these pumpkins on our little outing last week that I wrote about here. I decided that I wanted to utilize my Silhouette Cameo that my MIL gifted me after the wedding! We wanted to each have a pumpkin for our favorite team and then one that was more unifying to the two of us. I was bad about taking pics as we went along so I will explain it in easy steps:
  1. Before you begin, cover your surface with newspaper or some kind of barrier between your table/floor/ground. We painted at the kitchen table so we covered it with newspaper. We used acrylic craft paint sold at any store that has a hobby section. 
  2. Paint each pumpkin with a base coat. Choose a color that you want your shape to be once you peel off your stencil(The MsState Pumpkin was pre-painted white). It may take several coats especially if you’re using a light color. Let dry one our between coats. Dry completely overnight
  3. Cut out stencil using vinyl and stick to pumpkin. Being careful and mindful of the paint
  4. Paint over the stencil and the entire pumpkin covering the entire under coat of paint(may take more than one coat) and let dry overnight.
  5. Peel away vinyl and reveal under color! At this point you can decide if you would like to add some dimension to your design(like above with the SC pumpkin, I traced around the edge with black to make it pop more). Finally, admire your beautiful pumpkin!

I will say that we did not paint The Arnold’s pumpkin. That is in fact just a vinyl sticker I cut and then adhered to the pumpkin. I love the simplicity and ease of that one!

We had a lot of fun decorating the pumpkins this year! Our dog, named Pumpkin, even got in on the action…
This is about 30 tries into it ha!
She’s a Ham!!
Pumpkin doing her Meerkat impression for a treat!
And you may ask how we got Pumpkin to pose and there is a good explanation for that it requires tons of patience and lots of treats! Look below I caught her as mid trick(roll over) to get said treats, the entire time I just wanted her to sit still. 
Pumpkin got her name for my love of fall and I wanted a constant reminder of my favorite time of year!

Gameday Recipe….Frito Pie

Yesterday was game day here in Starkville! With it being a Thursday a.k.a. a business day, the university let us have the afternoon off! How nice huh? It was actually because they needed our very coveted parking spaces. But hey, a free half day off, who would complain? Since Mike did not get a free half day we decided that being able to make it to the game on time would be pretty impossible so we decided to stay home and have our own little tailgate! I personally like this option because it allowed me to wear pj’s!

Anyway, there are a TON of Frito Pie recipes on the web but all I did was make my regular chili recipe(below) and then added to it some Frito’s in the bottom of a bowl and topped it with fun toppings. I used a rotisserie chicken(from the grocery store) and chopped up the meat to use in the recipe. This will save you a ton of time as you do not have to precook anything before you assemble it in the crock-pot! We love chicken chili even though I know some people will think this is blasphemy but it’s much healthier than using red meat and it’s still delish. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe with the bonus being that you come home from a long day to a home smelling of warm chili on a cool fall day! Enjoy!

Jen’s Easy Crock-pot Chili


  • 1 lb meat of choice(beef, chicken, turkey; I have made this recipe with all three) or I used 2 cups of chopped chicken from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes: drain one can and leave the other with the juice
  • 1 can light red kidney beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil(if you need to brown your meat first)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. If you are using raw meat you need to add the oil to a pan and brown it with half of the onion until done and drain.
  2. Add ALL ingredients to a 4-6qt. slow cooker and mix thoroughly. 
  3. Set the slow cooker to the LOW setting and forget about it for 8-10 hours.

Frito Pie

  • Original Frito’s corn chips
  • Chili(recipe above)
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Sour Cream(optional)
  • Lettuce(optional)
  • Tomato(optional)
  • Jalapeños(optional)
  • Green onions(optional)
  1. In a chili bowl, put a layer of Frito’s corn chips in the bottom. 
  2. Add chili to the top
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2
  4. Top with Sour Cream and/or optional toppings listed

Stay southern,

Weekend Update

This past weekend was Homecoming here at Mississippi State and the town was buzzing with people!

It was Mike and I’s turn to host the tailgate so in true Mississippi fashion we decided to have a catfish fry. Mike was responsible for all of the cooking(which was nice for me). He fried up 15 lbs of catfish and we also had french fries and a true southern delight, hush puppies! The Dawg’s won so it was a good end to a fun day!

Mike frying up the Catfish! 

Sunday was a nice lazy day spent cleaning and reorganizing the disaster known as my closet! I also spent the day snuggling with this little angel! All in all it was a great weekend spent at home and it was a nice break from traveling!

Stay southern,

Weekend Update

This past weekend we had no real plans except for watching football and hanging around the house. So Saturday we decided to have another mini home tailgate for the two of us. I whipped up a few old favorites and tried out one new recipe! This recipe is from a restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill. It is such a yummy dip that I think will add to any occasion quite nicely! Make sure you use the full fat ingredients so you will have a thick and creamy dip!

Ted’s Montana Grill’s Creamy Ranch Onion Dip
Makes 4 1/2 cups

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, cut into 1/8-inch pieces, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, ranch dressing mix and Tabasco. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. May be made up to 2 days ahead. When ready to serve, garnish with remaining green onion slices and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with chips or fresh veggies for dipping. 

We finished out the weekend with a little organizing and cleaning as we prepare for a busy few weekends coming up!

We love our Ikea Expedit unit! It holds a TON of stuff! Sorry for the blurry pic.

Stay southern,

First Tailgate of the 2013 Season

As you know by now we live in a college town. An SEC college town to be precise! Tailgating here is as important as taxes and it is what you are doing on a Saturday here if there is a home game. Bear in mind that this is Mississippi so you need to factor in a heat index of 95-100 and you will be good to go. Saturday was no exception, it was disgustingly hot. But it was a blow out game so we left early and headed back to the tailgate to enjoy some great company and food! This week has gone so fast it has been a blur. We’re looking forward to a weekend of rest and relaxation to prepare for the busy few weeks we have coming up!
Sneak Peek of the stadium improvements at Davis Wade Stadium
Stay southern,

Finally Football!

The then “future Arnold’s” at the MsState v. Carolina game 2011

Today is the official start of the 2013 college football season!! As a southern girl I grew up going to games and listening to sports talk(ad-nauseam) from everyone I knew. My parents were not huge sports fans but I had plenty of family that was and I quickly became a lover of all things SEC football. It truly is a way of life and it is a great time of the year to go to games, tailgate or just sit at home and watch on tv! We live smack dab in the middle of a college town and we take part in all things Mississippi State football! But if you know me AT ALL then you know I am hands down a Carolina Gamecocks girl! Today Carolina plays Yankee Carolina…we need to send those guys back up north where they belong 😉

In honor of today and the beginning of football season I wanted to share a recipe that would be an amazing addition to a tailgate party! We’re actually going to enjoy it tonight as we watch the game! If you have never heard of the Captain Rodney’s products then you’re in for a treat! We discovered this great recipe at a Christmas party a few years ago and it has been a go to appetizer for us since! The recipe is a fantastic addition to any party you host or attend!

Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • One 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • Two cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • Two green onions(chopped)
  • Six Ritz crackers(crushed)
  • Eight slices bacon(cooked and crumbled) or 1/2 real bacon pieces
  • 1/2 cup of any Captain Rodney’s glaze

Mix mayo, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan(or 8×8 pan). Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with bacon and Captain Rodney’s glaze. Serve with crackers.

I hope you enjoy this football season as much as I plan to! If you don’t like football there will always be delicious food and cocktails!

Stay Southern,


Catching Up

I am a bad blogger. It has been a while since I have checked in probably because this is a highly stressful time in our household. That does not mean that nothing fun has been happening it just means that I have a lot more things taking up my time that are not as fun 😦 However, I want to do a quick catch up post with mostly pictures to give a little insight into what we have been doing since my last post.

Mike’s 25th Birthday lunch at the Arnold’s! 
My student researcher presented our work at a
student symposium here on campus. I am so proud of her!
Crawfish boil at the Picard’s.
Graduation Day!!! What a special day for Mike and I!
His hard work and dedication finally paid off!
There he is receiving his diploma and shaking hands with the university president!
My Master boyfriend!! So proud of him and we were both so happy that day!

We have some fun things coming up. We are headed to PTC to see Mike’s brother Danny graduate from High school soon and to spend time with the family. I plan to go and visit the HGTV Green Home while I am there as well(this is right up my alley) and I cannot wait! My fingers are still crossed about the future. Waiting is so very hard and straining on your mind though. I have to figure out a good way to de-stress and I may have a solution to my stress in my next post 🙂

Stay southern,