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Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Day in the Life of Barley Bear Reese, our rescued treasure

Barley has been such a blessing to our family. I honestly didn't know if I was capable of loving another dog since we lost our sweet Bella but this goofy boy has shown me how...he has fit right into our family and I almost can't remember what our life was like before him.

Every day Barley wakes up with the sun and quietly, without a sound, heads downstairs to look out the dining room bay window. He watches the cars, people and especially the little family of chipmunks who live under the window. He waits for us to wake up but stays in the window and holds his vigil. Then he eats breakfast with us, walks to the kitchen window and waits for the chipmunks to run across the back yard, when they do he quietly sleeks over to the back door in a low stalking manner, although he is not stealthy, he believes he is, so we open the door, cheer him on, and tell him, "Go get em' Barley!" He walks slowly and quietly out the door then when he gets to the steps he, clumsily stumbles and makes a run for it and the chipmunks have plenty of time to get away!
Patiently waiting for a chipmunk!

Then we either go for a walk or take him to the lake for a swim. He LOVES to go for a ride, he waits by the garage door and in hopes to get to come with us wherever we go!
Heading to Lake Lanier with friends!

In the afternoon he lays in the garage and looks as though he would be a great guard dog, however he would never bark at anyone and if he decides you are worthy of even getting up you might just get licked to death! I check on him every few minutes but he never even leaves this spot until I bribe him inside with a treat!
His number 1 spot! Such a watch dog!

 He is AMAZING with Grant and Elle!! He loves sleeping with them, they are the only ones who let him on their beds. He usually falls asleep at night with Grant then splits the rest of the night with us and Elle.  The other morning I woke up and Barley was sleeping on the bottom bunk of Elle's bunk bed, she thought it was the greatest!
He's often a pillow...

A partner for dress-up...

This day he was working in the shoe store...please don't report us for dog abuse, Ha!!

Here the kids were introducing him to our Bella, so precious! This day, everywhere he laid they set the book up in front of him.

I probably have 30 pictures of just Elle and Barley, she always, says, "mom, don't we look cute? Please take our picture."

When we first got Barley back in early April, Barley came to us as a rescue from the great organization Labrador Friends of the South. Barley had so many issues and concerns, we adopted him knowing that it would take us some time to get him straightened out. He had a terrible case of mange, an eye infection, his hair was falling out, he had patchy bald spots. He was on Ivermectin for over almost 2 months and his hair was still falling out, he wasn't improving at all. Finally our vet had the idea to treat him with something called ProMeris (which we use in place of frontline), in combination with a supplement and a wild salmon and rice food that is full of omega 3's he is doing amazing! His coat finally looks so great! He is happy and very healthy and his coat looks amazing, something I wasn't ever sure I would be able to say. 

I had just gotten home from a bike ride and was trying to stretch, but Barley wasn't having that, he was so happy to see me he sat right on me!

Rescuing Barley has been such a wonderful experience, he fills our hearts every day with love, laughter, joy and companionship like no other. People always tell me he is such a lucky dog, but we think we are the lucky ones! If you are thinking about getting a dog I highly recommend rescuing, it has been such an amazing experience for us. Click on this link to check out the other dogs who need homes with Labrador Retrievers of the South 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pan Seared Grouper with Tomatoes and Feta over Saffron Rice

Holy Yum!!! This might be my new favorite dinner ever! I know this picture makes the fish look like a big piece of chicken, ha! It has all the components of a yummy dinner that I love, fresh fish, fresh veggies, feta cheese. We went to the beach, at St. George Island, at the beginning of the month and went out to dinner one evening. The restaurant in Apalachicola we went to had a special and it was something like this dish, it was delicious and I wanted to recreate it. I feel like I did a great job. This was wonderful, and the whole family ate it and enjoyed it. I hope you and yours will too!

My sweet little family on St. George Island, FL, such fun, a major thanks to my mom who takes us to the beach every year, we are so blessed!

1 large piece of grouper(my piece was just under a lb)
1 package of saffron rice
25 Grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese
Seasons for your fish (I used a few shakes of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder)
1 t olive oil

Cook the rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, slice the veggies, season the grouper, and heat the oil over high hea,t once the pan is hot add the grouper to the pan. Sear/cook the grouper on each side for 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Once the fish is cooked through, remove from the pan and add the peppers, onions, shallots, and garlic, saute for about 1-2 minutes then add the tomatoes for about 30-45 seconds, you don't want the tomatoes cooked, just slightly warmed. Immediately add to the rice, next add the feta then top with the fish. This entire dish took no more than 25 minutes from start to finish.

It took less than 5 minutes to chop these up.
I seasoned my fish with a few dashes of salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder
Seared up deliciously
Wish this yummy stuff wasn't so fattening!
Top the rice with the veggies and feta, yum!!
Finally add the fish!
Just posting this makes me want to run down and eat the rest!

Weight Watcher Friends: This meal makes 4 servings and each has 9 points per serving. The saffron rice is pretty point heavy but it sure is good and totally worth it! Serve this wish a salad and it will be a huge hit with your family.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Quinoa, you say like this Keen-Wah, it's a delicious little seed, seems like a grain but it's actually a seed. If you want to learn more about it and it's amazing health benefits click here. I love it as an alternative to rice and pasta because it is super healthy and it cooks so fast! I first tried quiona for my family about 2 years ago, I made it with water and we did not like it. Then my friend Catey told me to cook it in broth or stock and that was the ticket. Really it makes a huge difference, a step I would highly recommend not skipping. There are tons of things you can do with quinoa, eat it warm or cold, in salads or just eat it alone. This recipe is very basic but it's my favorite way to eat it.

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 t olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1/3 cup carrots, diced small
1 T Fresh parsley, chopped

Add quinoa and chicken stock to a pot, turn the heat on and bring to boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes until the stock has been absorbed. Then fluff with a fork and remove from the pot. Add the oil, onion and carrot to the pot and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion and carrot begin to soften. Add the quinoa back in and stir to combine then add the parsley and serve.

I love Trader Joe's!

It is a beautiful little seed...

Did I mention that it cooks so fast???
These just add extra flavor and texture.
If you haven't tried it, you should!

Weight Watcher Friends: This makes four 1 cup servings, each has 5 points.


I love summertime for all the yummy veggies we grow right out of our garden. My mom's garden is so over-run with delicious cucumbers that we need to figure out something to do with them! My mom makes this and it is wonderful, I took her basic recipe and added my own touches.  My daughter and I can't stop eating this one!

4 ripe tomatoes
3 cucumbers, unpeeled
1/2 red onion
1 bell pepper, any color
1 shallot
3 cloves garlic
1 handful fresh parsley
2 cup tomato juice (I used V8)
Juice of a lime
1/4 cup vinegar (red or white wine)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Roughly chop vegetables, (tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, shallot, garlic, bell pepper and parsley) in large pieces. Add them to your food processor and pulse so they are combined but not puréed. (I like it a little bit chunky, for the texture otherwise I think I would feel like I was just drinking tomato juice!) This may take a couple of rounds depending on the size of your food processor. Next transfer the vegetable mix to a bowl then add the tomato juice, lime juice, both vinegars, salt and pepper. If I wasn't going to be serving this to my kids then I would have added a jalapeno pepper but since I knew my 4 year old daughter was going to devour this one i didn't. place in the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours. This is best served the next day!

I love having homegrown vegetables available!

I took the seeds out of the cucumbers because they were so big and rough chopped the veggies

Throw them in the processor, how easy is that??

It looks frothy at first but once it chills and settles down it looks much prettier

Like this! Yummy!

Weight Watcher Friends: This makes about 7 cups of soup, each cup has 1 point! Actually individually there are 2 points in the whole recipe but when I put them all in on the point builder on the WW site it says it has 1 point per serving, regardless whether it has 0 or 1 points, eat up it's super healthy  and delicious! I love making weight watchers 0-point soup in the winter, so this is my summer version!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Roasted Corn and Poblano Peppers

It's been a long time since I have posted, but I do have some great recipes to make up for it! On June 29 swim team ended, while the kids attended their 'end of the season' parties we packed up the car and headed to with beach with my family for the week. It was a great trip! We have been back for just a couple of days and now I finally feel like summer has actually started, Hallelujah!!! This recipe is my husband's creation, I asked him what he wanted this week and this is what he described. I had to call him a couple times to make sure I was making it just right and in the end he said it was a winner, we hope you like it too!

3 Ears of Corn, kernels removed
2 Poblano Peppers, diced
1 Sweet onion, diced
1 t olive oil
2 T cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 t salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste

Grill corn in husks or clean and wrap in foil to place on grill (either way works fine), cook until done, allow to cool then remove kernels from the cob. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet, add onions and peppers, saute over medium-high heat until they begin to soften. Then remove from heat and combine with the corn. Finally add the cilantro, squeeze the juice of the lime on top, add the salt and pepper toss together and serve. We ate this on chips, on our forks on the side of of plates, it was just good!

Weight Watcher Friends: This makes 4 servings each are 1 cup and each have only 2 points per serving. Makes it a great app or side dish!