I’ve been waiting until the light was just right to take a picture of our entryway fall deco. I LOVE this little nook and the chance to decorate a little something extra that people can see when they first walk into our home.

fall deco

I also forgot to take a quick pic of the little bit of deco we have on our kitchen island. These pumpkins were way too cute to pass up at Hobby Lobby (hello… on sale!!!) and that frame gives a little nod to THE Texas A&M (we won’t mention last weekend’s game…). I’ve just got to get some pictures printed from Walgreens so I can throw one in the frame.

fall deco

This past weekend was my Aunt Joann’s (really, she’s my dad’s aunt so – Great Aunt Joann’s) 90th birthday! My WHOLE Pitcher family gathered in Chicago to celebrate her. We couldn’t make it because of Harvey – both logistically and emotionally it was just too much. One of our relatives took this picture of my great grandpa’s tombstone.

I know it’s kind of strange, but I’d really love to meet ALL my relatives. I wonder if that’s a section of Heaven we’ll be apart of one day: the Relative Meet-and-Greet. You know? Like, “Heyyyyyy great, great, great uncle Andy! What’s up, brotha!” I dunno… that would be kind  of awesome.

Anywho – I’m very proud to be a Pitcher, and I’m very, very sad I missed seeing so many of our relatives. Hopefully we’ll see them again soon!

albert w pitcher

I had to share this… Target had this in their “As Seen on TV” aisle. Sriracha 2 Go. It’s a thing, y’all. Like mini-hand-sanitizer-sized Sriracha bottles. Talk about a sincere First World Problem: SOLVED.

sriracha 2 go

And then there was this: the Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner. I mean, why’s she gotta be mad? I’d be happy if my microwave was easily cleaned, you know? It is kinda cute, but I’ll stick to my glass bowl of water + vinegar.

angry mama microwave cleaner During Hurricane Harvey, we started to run low on supplies in the kitchen, so I was having to get creative. I had some cooked chicken breast, spaghetti, and a few other pantry staples. So, I thought Chicken Spaghetti would be a super comforting meal to have while we were in the middle of watching all the awful things going on around us. This is a simple, scrumptious recipe that can also be frozen beforehand! Gotta love a good freezer meal.

Sautéing the onion and bell pepper beforehand really gives the dish an added punch that some other Chicken Spaghetti recipes don’t have. I’m also not the biggest pimento fan, and many other recipes use this instead of tomatoes. Feel free to sub as you wish, but just be prepared to have some licked-clean plates after dinner is done!

chicken spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti

1 yellow onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 tbs. EVOO 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained 3 cups uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded, divided 2 cups chicken broth 1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like spice) 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 11-oz. cans/boxes cream of mushroom soup Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and bell pepper in the EVOO until softened (about 8 minutes). Add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and cook an additional minute. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water (think: salinity of the sea) to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

While the pasta cooks, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, half of the cheese, chicken broth, Lawry’s, cayenne, pepper, and cream of mushroom soup. Stir to combine. Fold in the cooked pepper, onion, and tomatoes once they’ve cooled slightly. Fold in the spaghetti noodles.

Spray a 13×9 oven-proof dish with cooking spray. Pour in the mixture, then top with remaining cheese*. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

*To freeze: cover with heavy-duty foil and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed.

*To refrigerate: cover with heavy-duty foil and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove the foil and bake as directed above.

Jon and I got just a little stir crazy while we were hunkered down for Hurricane Harvey. We decided to clean and decorate for fall while we were waiting around. (Jon was so, so excited for this fun chore.) I’ll let the pictures do the talkin’ here.

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

hurricane decor

fall deco

My sister-in-law sent me some great links for t-shirts whose proceeds are going to benefit Harvey victims. I’ve purchased a few already not only for the donation, but also to have something tangible to hold to make myself feel like I’ve done something. May sound weird, but… these are weird times!

Live Love Texas #TeamUpForTexas T-Shirt

live love gameday texas strong

Magnolia Texas Forever T-Shirt

Texas Forever Magnolia Tshirt

Josh Abbott Band My Texas Hurricane Relief T-Shirt

Josh Abbott Band Hurricane Relief Tshirt

The Lone Star State Texas Strong T-Shirt

doodles by rebekah texas strong tshirt

Rockets Houston Strong T-Shirt

Rockets Houston Strong TShirt

Some other ways to donate:

Donate to the Harris County Animal Shelter

(outright donation or Amazon Wish List)

Donate to the Orphan Care Solutions of Texas

What are some charities you’ve found that benefit Hurricane Harvey victims?

If you’re like me, when you hear Chicken + Dumplings, you think of the elementary cafeteria and the ‘mystery’ that would be slopped onto your plate and called Chicken + Dumplings. I had some friends who LIVED for Chicken + Dumpling Day. I was NOT one of those people. I dreaded that day. The soggy “dumpling” and the canned, processed chicken and sauce did not a yummy lunch make. I thought I’d give it a go and try a real recipe a few years ago, and OH YES – definitely not like the cafeteria days.

chicken and dumplings

Before I get to the recipe, here’s a little of our life lately:

This seasoning is the bomb.com. If you like everything bagels, you’ll love this stuff. I put it on my English muffin + cream cheese and have a couple of chicken sausage links on the side for my breakfast. Only about 230 calories and soooooo yummy!

trader joe's everything but the bagel seasoning

I don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, so I ordered mine on Amazon:

Uhhhhmmmm… if your daily getup involves elastic waistbands and/or draw strings, then you need these pants. I posted about these during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (they’re still a great price now though). They’re super soft and comfy, plus they’re slimming so you don’t scream “Frumpy McFrumperson”. They’re just one step away from sweatpants, but I don’t even care. They’re my besties right now.

Make + Model All About It Lounge Pants

Make + Model All About It Lounge Pants


They’re the perfect pants for building blocks with homeboy, too, I must say.

make + model all about it lounge pants nordstrom

It’s nothing really newsworthy, but we got a “grown up” piece of artwork for our bedroom. Hobby Lobby had this bad boy at 50% off, so I snagged him immediately! The blues fit perfectly with our bedroom decor.

hobby lobby wall art

We’ve still got a few other house projects until I’ll feel “finished” after our move (almost a year later). Y’all. It’s a friggin’ process.

home decor

Penny’s been breaking my heart lately. This baby girl needs a companion badly. Ever since Osa passed in April, she’s been slowly getting better but I can tell she’s still a bit depressed. I’m trying to convince Jon to let us get her a sister, but no luck yet. Stay tuned though… I have some skills in persuasion.


Nooooooooooow for this lovely bowl of comfort food. I have to say Jon Boy was extremely surprised when I told him the calorie count per serving. This recipe makes 6 very good sized portions coming in at (drum roll, please)…

405 calories per serving (14g fat; 21g protein)

Nope, you didn’t read it wrong. Only 405 calories per serving! Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

chicken and dumplings

One of the BEST things about this recipe for Chicken + Dumplings is the fact that you get a TON of leftover, homemade chicken stock. All you have to do is throw it in some freezer-safe containers and store it up to 6 months. It’ll save you some money, plus it tastes WAYYYYYYY better than the store bought stuff. No joke.

chicken and dumplings

In the recipe, it says to cut the garlic head by the equator and throw it into the stock pot. It means to cut it like the picture below, and throw the whole thing in (paper and all). You’ll strain out the solid stuff from the stock later, so no worries about the mess.

chicken and dumplings

The stock is as simple as they come:

garlic + bay leaves + thyme + black peppercorn + Kosher salt + a biggo chicken + cold water

Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

chicken and dumplings

I always have at least 6 quarts of leftover chicken stock that I throw in the freezer. I use 6-8 cups in the recipe, too, so that should tell you how much yummy stock you can get from this lil recipe. Also – word to the wise – always label your tupperware when you freeze something. I had a bad mixup one time when I thought I was thawing cooked, shredded chicken and instead I thawed an entire quart of jambalaya. Whoopsie poopsie!

chicken and dumplings

The original recipe I started from years ago is from Tyler Florence. I loooooove me some Tyler. He has/had a show on Food Network (not sure if it’s still on air), and I really liked the way he broke down the technique and steps in his recipes. I learned a lot just by watching his show. For example, don’t over-mix your biscuit mix otherwise they’ll be too dense. Just fold it together until it looks like this:

chicken and dumplings

Y’all. I can’t even with these biscuits. So light, easy, and delicious. The balance of the dumpling + the sauce are perfect in this recipe! Not too much sauce, not too much biscuit. Yummo!

chicken and dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Stock
1 5 lb. whole organic chicken
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
5 black peppercorns
1 head garlic, split through the equator
2 tbs. Kosher salt

Buttermilk-Chive Dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
¼ cup chopped chives
1 cup buttermilk

2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. EVOO
2 carrots, peeled and diced (or about 10 baby carrots, diced)
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
8 cups chicken stock, divided (may not use all of this)
¼ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen pearl onions
Chopped chives, for garnish

For the Stock
Place the chicken and all stock ingredients in a large Dutch oven or pot and cover with cold water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Occasionally, skim the surface of fat and scum.

When finished, remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool. Shred the chicken into large pieces. Place a large sieve into an even larger bowl and pour in the chicken stock to strain. Discard the solids and save the chicken stock. (You should have way more than enough – usually at least 6 quarts remaining to freeze after you’ve cooked this recipe.)

Stock + chicken can be made up to three days ahead. Store in fridge in airtight containers, separately.

For the Dumplings
While chicken is cooking, sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs, chives, and buttermilk together; pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just until the dough comes together; the batter should be thick and cake-like. Do not over mix! This will make the biscuits tough. Refrigerate biscuit dough until ready to use.

For the Sauce
In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, and bay leaves and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux (this makes the sauce thicken). Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the vegetables in the flour. Slowly pour in a total of 6 cups of chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add heavy cream and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened. If sauce is not thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then combine 1 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 cup flour in a small measuring cup, whisking until smooth. Slowly pour this mixture in to the large pot, stirring to combine. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If this sauce is still not thick enough, repeat this process again (1 cup stock + 1/4 cup flour). Allow sauce to simmer at least 15 minutes after each addition. (I usually only do this once and it’s thick enough.)

Once sauce has thickened, add frozen peas and pearl onions. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Fold the reserved, shredded chicken (I use about 12 oz. chicken) into the sauce and turn the heat up to medium-high. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. Feel free to turn the dumplings, but not more than three times.

Garnish with chopped chives before serving.

Freeze reserved chicken stock and shredded chicken in airtight containers for up to 6 months for the stock and 3 months for the chicken.

Whew! What a week we’ve had so far. Corey’s getting over some bad allergies + rotavirus (grossest freaking thing ever), so we’ve been in the house A LOT this week. I’ve been trying to contain the germs and clean as much as I can. I’ve also been trying not to go insane because I’ve been stuck in the house so much. So, yesterday, my sweet sister-in-law watched the big man so I could have a day to myself. I desperately needed my hair done [evidence: below], and I had a gift card burning my pocket at my favorite boutique (Magpie’s Gifts).

life lately

I was excited to get out into the real world, so I actually wore clothes without elastic in them. I love this Eileen Fisher dress because it’s very breathable, comfortable, but still cute. Most of her dresses are still on sale at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, too! I’m obsessed with my jellie sandals! Who doesn’t love feeling like they’re back in the 80’s (but in a stylish way). I also had to sport my new Charleston Rice Beads from our recent vacay for a pop of color.

life lately

To make myself feel better about my birds’ nest hair, I redid our mantle because the right side was just not jiving with me.

Here’s the before:

home decor

and the after:

home decor

What do you think of the redo? It’s not much, but I like the spacing + height of the pieces. I’d love to know your thoughts!

So, back to my adventure in The Day of Just Me. Like I said, I got to run into Magpie’s Gifts for a little shopping fun! I wanted a new Kendra Scott piece that was gold and longer. This is a new one that I just loved and had to have. It’s called the Carole necklace, and I can’t for the life of me remember what the name of the stone is. Gotta love all that color though!

kendra scott

I also picked up another Alex and Ani piece (love, love, love this company because of their charity work). I had to get the pineapple because of my personal love of the word but also because of our trip to Charleston. The pineapple is a symbol of warmth and welcome because back in the day, sailors would return home with a pineapple for their wives. Pineapples were very precious and symbol of wealth because they were so rare to have in the States. The wives would spike them on their fences as a sign of welcome and good news. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with all that happiness.

alex and ani

alex and ani

I’m back tracking, but we had so much fun this weekend at Murdoch’s Backyard Pub. If you live in the Cypress, Tomball, or Woodlands area, you’ve got to check it out! It’s literally a backyard that’s turned into a great burger place + kid-friendly pub. We had to document Corey’s new favorite thing to do: The Corey Sandwich.

life lately

Homeboy was jugging that water. It was friggin’ hot y’all. But oh dem cheekies!

life lately

This was a “show me your teeth, Corey” smile. I love that tooth gap!

life lately

Definitely one of our favorites at Murdoch’s: fried pickles, fried jalapeños, and fried onions. It comes with a homemade tangy sauce that’s ridiculously delicious.

murdoch's backyard pub

This was a really quick, easy read while we were traveling in Charleston. It’s the kind of book you can read before bed, and no matter how tired you are, you’re not going to miss too much. I really liked the book for its simplicity, and there was also a little bit of a message intertwined into the story. It’s not a “deep thought” kind of book by any means though.

purgatory road

The story takes place in the desert near Las Vegas. A couple gets stranded when the husband arrogantly drives their rental car way too far from civilization. The purgatory theme comes into play with a God-like character v. the Devil-like character. It’s a dark, very mental plot that cues you into the real thoughts spouses have about one another.

It’s a “good versus evil” type theme, but you can definitely see that the author tries to tell you there is a grey area in life as well. Hence: Purgatory. Enjoy this one for a lazy, easy summer night read!

This casserole is a super easy weeknight meal we love. It’s definitely in our “repeat wheel” for weeknight dinners. The ingredients are easy to find [and cheap] and you can whip it up in 10 minutes. Oh, and did I mention it’s friggin’ yummy? [Click here for a link to the whole recipe.] Here are the easy step-by-step instructions:

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

salsa verde chicken tostada casserole

Gotta love Costco for their meat and produce, but also their beautiful [well-priced] flowers! This huge bunch was only $14. Gives me something pretty to look at while I’m doing dishes… that never end.


We recently had some furniture refinished, and I’m SUPER happy with the results! If you’re in the Houston area and in need of reupholstery and/or refinishing work, check out Texas In Home Antique Furniture Repair. Here are some of the pieces we had done:

These bunk beds are the ones Jon and his brothers grew up with. I love that they’ll be Corey’s one day!

furniture refinish

The toy chest next to the bunk beds was actually one my dad made for me when I was little. We had it refinished and stained to match. Gotta love keepin’ it in the family.

furniture refinish

This set of table + chairs was mine as a kid, too. My dad put them together when I was little, and let’s just say… they’ve seen a lot of action. The fella who refinished them and painted them blue also went ahead and made them a bit sturdier. They were quite wobbly after years of use.

furniture refinish

I love the pop of blue! I think it really lightens up the playroom [which is very much still a work in progress].

furniture refinish

This might possibly be my favorite piece that we had refinished. It’s my dad’s old trunk from his college days. I got ahold of it at some point when I was a kid, so it had glitter all on the inside and outside that just wouldn’t come off. It’s a mystery how the glitter stayed on for that long really… Anywho! It’s got a new lease on life and will be hanging out in Jon’s office from now on.

furniture refinish

furniture refinish

I had to leave the inside in its original condition w/ the stickers and all. Reminds me of my good ole Daddy-O.

furniture refinish