2013 Concert Calendar Updated

I’m super excited to be adding on to my 2013 concert calendar – I just heard about this “Country Megaticket” promotion that Live Nation is doing. It’s amazing – five shows for $149 (for the lawn seats, which are good enough for me!). To make it even better, there are some great performers that I’ve wanted to see for a really long time. Hooray for music in 2013!!!

January 27: Rock of Ages

January 31: George Strait, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour

May 10: Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser and Joanna Smith

June 2: Les Misérables

August 8: Luke Bryan with Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line

August 23: Brad Paisley with Chris Young and Lee Brice

September 22: Keith Urban with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch

October 11: Jason Aldean with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett

Four The Record

This week I heard a great Miranda Lambert song on the radio (possible “Favorite Song Friday”?) and decided to get her “new” album from 2011. It’s her fourth studio album and is called Four the Record. Catchy, isn’t it? This was a great album – it continues to have her signature style and bounces between sad ballads and upbeat up-yours songs. It’s definitely worth the money. I feel like she’s come a long way over the last few years – to be honest, I didn’t totally love her when she came out. But she’s continued to develop as a singer and songwriter and it definitely shows in her recordings. I’m pretty sure if she toured near here I would go see her!

Four The Record
Four The Record

Favorite Songs: “Fastest Girl In Town“, “Mama’s Broken Heart“, and “Baggage Claim

Winter Minestrone Soup with Garlic Bruschetta

Today I decided to try another Pinterest recipe. I wanted something hearty and wintery. This soup was just the ticket – Mike and I both went back for seconds! The garlic bruschetta was super easy and a really nice addition.


Winter Minestrone with Garlic Bruschetta


olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
26 ounces canned tomatoes
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
1 baguette


Cook the pasta according to directions, set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 table-spoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Stir in the wine and pesto. Serve with bruschetta.

To make bruschetta, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle in 1/2 inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Today I decided to try another one of the recipes from my Crock-Pot-A-Polooza several weeks back. To give credit where credit is due, I got the recipe from Melissa Fallis’ blog via Pinterest. The recipe below is for two bags, so if you’re going to freeze, split the ingredients evenly. Again, one bag is perfect for two, so if you have a family, make the full recipe. Enjoy!

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken


2 green bell peppers, cut into slices

1 red pepper, cut into slices

1 zucchini, chopped

3 onions, chopped

6 red potatoes, chopped (you can also use sweet potatoes)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 chicken breasts

1/2 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca

one 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

1 tablespoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt



Cook in crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Serve over rice or egg noodles.


Rock of Ages

One of my birthday presents from Mike was a trip into Sacramento to see Rock of Ages. Neither of us had seen it before, so we didn’t know what to expect. I seriously loved this musical. Shy of Movin’ Out, I haven’t seen any other musicals that really incorporate pop music. Honestly, this was genius. It incorporated all of the 80’s anthems that we know and love (it’s like four hours later and they’re still stuck in my head!). One of my favorite parts of the entire experience was when I heard the lady next to me lean over to her friend and say “Do you think this is going to get much louder”? Seriously made my day. Check out the song list:

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with Journey, except for the fact that it’s going to be stuck in my head for the next six days. Up next on the musical list for the year, George Strait on Thursday. I can’t wait!!!

January 27: Rock of Ages

January 31: George Strait, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour

June 2: Les Misérables

Saturdays with Shadow

I can’t believe it’s already Saturday again – the days seem to be flying by lately! This morning Mike and I decided to finally finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy… my parents own it and let us borrow their copy. Did you know that The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is FOUR HOURS AND TEN MINUTES long? Apparently my parents bought the extended version, because why watch only nine hours when you can have eleven? Holy cow. That said, it was a great trilogy, just very time consuming. Shadow wanted nothing to do with it, so he spent the morning playing outside. Now he’s tired and lounging around:

Lounging With Shadow
Lounging With Shadow

Favorite Song Friday

Another fun new feature (for me at least) that I’m kicking off is Favorite Song Friday… each Friday I’ll share the song that has been stuck in my head all week.

This week I’ve had a great little song by The Band Perry stuck in my head, called “Better Dig Two”. I absolutely love the vibe to this song – the banjo part rocks! This is definitely a “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” kind of song! I’ve been very impressed with The Band Perry’s music so far – if you actually listen to their songs there are a lot of neat chord progressions and harmonies. Not to mention they’re super catchy!

Enjoy and happy Friday!