04/29/2017

Where I’ve been lately…

If you’ve been checking in wondering where the heck I’ve been lately, I definitely apologize!   I can’t believe it’s already the end of April and my last post was in early January.  I find it pretty humorous that one of my New Years resolutions was to become a better blogger.  

Well.  I failed.  MISERABLY.

Life has gotten pretty busy lately as I’m essentially working two jobs right now, while trying to catch the creativity bug to start making my jewelry again, and get back into all things beauty!
The bug hasn’t hit me just yet….but getting back into the swing of posting will hopefully help!

Also, in my last post, I mentioned that Maggie had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  
Well….it’s quite funny how life decides to throw all these curve balls at you!  
She came through that surgery very well, and we got better than expected results from her pathology results that it was the lowest grade tumor and least deadly cancer.  I was probably one of the happiest people on the planet at that time!

 A few weeks later, I noticed that she was reverse sneezing more frequently, but I just attributed that to the terrible pollen that we have in NC in early March!  Then one night, she started sneezing blood.  I knew this couldn’t be a good thing at all, so the very next day, I took Maggie to the vet and they referred me to a specialist.  Unfortunately, we got the worst news we could get after a very expensive CT scan.  

Maggie has terminal cancer.  

She has a rare form of cancer in her nose, and it has already damaged some of the bone structure in her face.  To say we are distraught is a total understatement.   The vet we were referred to said we could try some medication that will help slow the growth of  the tumor, but the prognosis was still not great.  The only treatment option was radiation, and from the way he described it, it would definitely reduce her quality of life.  Without making that decision in haste, we decided to take her home and enjoy a weekend where we focused solely on her and the things she loves.   We did just that, and after much thought and consideration, we decided to seek a second opinion of a vet oncologist in Charlotte, a doctor that my parents had used on our Doberman Reecie about 11 years ago.  

It’s amazing what a difference in knowledge and exposure to the disease can do for your soul.  After talking to the vet oncologist, we have decided to proceed with radiation for Maggie.  Now…let me tell you…this is not a cheap option, and we have been incredibly blessed to be fortunate enough to afford this.  When I say afford, I mean a credit card with a decent limit to get us through the time until we can save enough to pay it off – I mean, unfortunately, that’s the real world folks!  

So as of today, Maggie is doing fairly well.  She wrapped up her 10 rounds of radiation therapy a little over two weeks ago.   Unfortunately, while she came through the radiation with flying colors, she’s now experiencing some rough side effects.  It’s really hard to see her be in discomfort from something that I personally chose for her.  I honestly don’t think there’s been a day yet that I haven’t questioned myself wondering if I’m only doing this for my own selfish reasons, and if I have her best interest at heart.  I tell myself that I’m doing the right thing, and I hope and pray that I am.  Maggie is my baby.  Nick and I don’t have children yet, and for the past 13 years, Maggie has essentially been by my side nearly 24/7.  Other than the cancer, she’s in exceptional health as even all vets have been in agreement regarding that, so I just can’t give up that easy on her.

I cannot tell you how many people I have come across that think I’m being stupid, wasting my money, and some have even said “It’s only a dog”.  I honestly just have to feel sorry for those people.  They don’t know or understand the true unconditional love that a dog gives you.  No matter how crappy of a day you’ve had, walk right in the door to a dog that damn near knocks you down because they’re so excited to see you and still tell me you’re having a shitty day.

In all honesty, I don’t give a damn what people think of me or what I’m doing.   So to wrap up this wordy post, this in a nutshell sort of explains what I’ve been up there lately, and why I’ve had to neglect this blog.

Between daily 80 mile round trips to the vet for over 3 weeks and the other two jobs I’m working right now, I’m just trying to keep my head above the water.  
But…I’m ready to start focusing my attention towards things that make me happy….and that’s makeup, jewelry and blogging…so expect to hear more from me hopefully soon!

In the meantime, I will share a few pictures over Maggie’s treatment!  Also, if you want to follow Maggie’s journey, follow me on my Instagram!

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Stay tuned for a special jewelry fundraiser to help raise money for Maggie’s cancer treatments also!

xoxo,

Melissa

01/12/2017

New Year’s Resolutions….

Well Hello…and Happy 2017!

I’m just a LITTLE late posting in the New Year already – it’s crazy to believe that it’s already the 12th!

It’s been an already super busy beginning to the year, and not one that I’m particularly looking forward to based on how it has started out!

My heart hurts a little as my sweet baby Maggie, my best dog-friend has been diagnosed with a cancerous mast cell tumor in her skin on her leg and will be having it removed today, so she needs special prayers that they are able to get it all, and that she does ok under anesthesia. 

I cannot begin to explain how much I love my dogs.  It’s a love that is really difficult to put into words, but it is truly unconditional.  My two are my children, my heart, and Nick and I’s world right now, so our world just experienced a little earthquake…but we will be strong and do what is best for Maggie. 

So…on that note, I’d like to share with you some resolutions I have for this year! 
Honestly…I am not one to really set resolutions, and don’t think they are really make or break for your life, but it is always great to set some goals for yourself because when you achieve them, you have something to celebrate!

I am not writing this as first person, so maybe you can implement some of these resolutions in your life as well!

 

Resolution #1

Spend more time with family and friends!

 

Resolution #2

Don’t let inherently crappy people ruin your mood.  There are always people who will only befriend you when it’s convenient for them, or when you can be of benefit to them.  Don’t let that rule your life and get rid of that toxicity!

 

Resolution #3

Learn to say NO!  You must learn that you are only one person and you can only do so much.  If you don’t look out for yourself, no one else will.  You aren’t able to help someone when you aren’t in decent shape yourself!

 

Resolution #4

Lose some weight!
I mean, who doesn’t have this goal, right?  I have really fallen off of the wagon with my 21 Day Fix plans I started last year, so I will be getting back on track with that – we have a goal we need to reach this year!  But, it’s not just about losing weight – it’s about implementing healthier, cleaner eating and exercising for health!  This is just a personal resolution for myself!

Interested in my success with the 21 day fix so far?  See below for my posts!

Round 1 of 21 Day FixRound 2 of 21 Day Fix

and for grins…a great recipe!

21 Day Fix Lettuce Wrap Salad

 

Resolution #5

Set time aside once a month for date night!

Nick and I have never been much of the “dating” type – we are really homebodies honestly….but, we are trying to make it a goal to do something different with one another once a month, whether it be cooking classes, movies, etc. 

 

Resolution #6

Be a better blogger! 
It’s not a shock to you if you’re a regular reader of this blog that I honestly have FLOPPED majorly in my first year! 
This year, I am aiming to devote more time to posts, especially beauty posts since that was my original inspiration to start this blog!  I am aiming to set “office hours” this year where I actually sit down during the week and work on nothing but the blog (or videos)! 
Hope you all can hold me to that!

 

So, I guess I’m being pretty ambitious, but I don’t believe that any of these resolutions are unattainable!  Hopefully implementing these 5 things into my life will make for a happier, healthier 2017!

 

What New Year’s resolutions did you set for yourself this year? 
Comment below or tweet me!

 

 

12/22/2016

Christmas Brunch Ideas

Can you believe there’s only 3 days left until Christmas?
  Neither can I!!
I honestly have no clue where this entire year has gone!  It seems like just yesterday it was the New Year, and here we are getting ready to ring in 2017! 

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, as true to nearly every December, our family got hit with what I’ve termed from here-on-out as the “holiday jinx”…further explanation here…and it just gets better!

It seems that in the past, I’ve apparently done something to my foot – tweaked it or something – and the more I walked on it, the worse it got.  Last week it got so bad I was unable to walk or bear weight on my foot at all, so off to the orthopedic urgent care I went!

…and above is the result! 
A severe sprain and stress “reaction” nearing a stress fracture!  So, needless to say, I’ve been forced to rest and stay off of my foot, and if I must walk, I must do so with my lovely expensive accessory! 

Then, of course, the next day, I end up with a fever, chills, body aches and the like….so off to the minute clinic I go for a flu swab because, of course, someone has been an asshole and hasn’t gotten her flu shot (yes, me)!  Luckily, it’s just some type of viral cold or whatever it is, and no flu….but it still hasn’t been pleasant!

So, since I’ve obviously had some time this week, I wanted to compile a roundup with some fellow bloggers for awesome brunch recipes for Christmas morning. 
We are planning on having an early breakfast, but with brunch type dishes, so I came up with some great options if you will also be doing the same!

 

Bacon Cheddar Scones from Blossom to Stem

 

Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls from An Italian in My Kitchen

 

Eggnog French Toast from DIY Candy

 

Breakfast Bubble Bake from Small Town Woman

 

Bacon and Cheese Quiche from Thrifty Treasures

 

Gingerbread Pancakes from Dorky’s Deals

 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish from Retro Housewife Goes Green

 

Orange Cranberry Bread Pudding (made with CROSSIANTS!) from The Organic Kitchen

 

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole from Cincy Shopper

 

 

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast from My Organized Chaos

 

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole from The Coral Dahlia

 

Ricotta Pancakes with Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream from Domesticate Me

 

Baked Potato Breakfast Bake from Six Dollar Family

 

 

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful, safe and a very Merry Christmas!
Enjoy the time with those you love!

12/03/2016

The Holiday Jinx…

Well…it seems as if lately I’m writing more apology blog posts than actual blog posts at all right now, but the “Holiday Jinx” (as I like to call it) has reared its ugly head again! 

I always love this time of year, but I also dread it at the same time because so much ends up happening…and as usual, this year doesn’t seem to be much different! 
I have been taking a break to take some time with family and take care of loved ones – over the past week we have had a death in the family, and I have a sick Mother and Grandmother…so I’m taking some time to spend with everyone and get everyone well!

Being an only child and grandchild has it’s blessings, but also it’s trials!

In the meantime…here’s some adorable pictures of my babies to hold you over…

 

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Enjoy – and I’ll be back soon!

-xoxo-

Melissa

11/23/2016

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

sp-casserole-featured-photo

 

Today I have for you one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving side dishes/desserts!

Every year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we ask my uncle to bring this casserole because he always makes it so well, so I thought I’d try my hand at it…and I have to say – I didn’t do too bad!

I mean, how can you go wrong with this?  Sweet potatoes, loads of butter, sugar and pecans all mixed together!  He said he always adds more pecans to the topping because we all love pecans, so that’s what I did and I’ll bump the amount up in the recipe listed below!

This recipe comes from a sweet lady who is missed dearly, Mrs. Nancy who was a family friend.  There are many versions of this recipe out there, but this is the one that just takes the cake!  So…enough of my rambling…on to the good stuff!

 

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I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking at recipes, I love when the person does a total ingredient shot so I know what I’m dealing with…so i always like to include these!

 

sp-casserole-step-1

First I peeled the sweet potatoes and then sliced them as evenly as possible so they would all cook in the same amount of time.  I used 4 medium/large-sized sweet potatoes and it came out to be the perfect amount for my dish!

 

sp-casserole-step-2

Add the sweet potatoes to a pot and fill up with cold water. 

** Tip – Make sure to start potatoes out in cold water.  Using hot water makes the potatoes cook unevenly.

I boiled the potatoes on medium/high until fork tender – about 20 minutes or so.

sp-casserole-step-3

While the potatoes are boiling, I chopped the pecans up for the topping.

sp-casserole-step-4

I also diced the butter for the topping into small cubes…but this isn’t necessary – you’ll find out why later!

 

sp-casserole-step-5

After the potatoes are done, drain them really well.  I added the potatoes to my food processor with the butter and pureed really well.  You can also mash your potatoes with a fork or potato masher also, but I wanted them really smooth so I used the processor.

sp-casserole-step-6

I also drizzled in the milk slowly, then pulled the top off and added the sugar and eggs.  Add the eggs last so your sweet potatoes have cooled off some and you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.
I also forgot to photograph me adding the eggs and sugar – don’t be like me.

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Add your potatoes to a buttered casserole dish.

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In the bowl, I added in the flour, and brown sugar (and I add a pinch of salt also to bring out the flavors).  I added in the butter after that – and you’ll see now why it was a total waste to cube it.  I didn’t read the recipe properly which called for melted butter – lovely.

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This is what your topping will look like all mixed up.

sp-casserole-finished-product

Add topping to the top of the sweet potato mixture.  Bake in oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, when topping is nice and brown.

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This is what your finished product will look like!  Dig in and enjoy!

 

Still looking for the perfect dish for Thanksgiving?  Check out these great side dishes and desserts!

 

I hope that everyone has a Happy and safe Thanksgiving with their loved ones!

 

-xoxo-
Melissa

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
840 calories
128 g
109 g
34 g
11 g
16 g
215 g
108 g
56 g
1 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
215g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 840
Calories from Fat 295
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g
52%
Saturated Fat 16g
80%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 109mg
36%
Sodium 108mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 128g
43%
Dietary Fiber 7g
27%
Sugars 56g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
17%
Vitamin C
47%
Calcium
11%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Sweet Potatoes
  1. 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 3/4 cup milk
  4. 1 cup white sugar
  5. 1 stick of butter
For the Topping
  1. 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  2. 3/4 cup flour
  3. 1 stick, butter, melted
  4. 1 cup pecans, chopped
  5. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and spread into a buttered casserole dish. Add topping and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until topping is nice and brown.
beta
calories
840
fat
34g
protein
11g
carbs
128g
more
THE CORAL DAHLIA http://www.thecoraldahlia.com/