Speedy Salsa Recipe

My go-to salty snack is, and likely always will be, chips and salsa. But the salsa has to be homemade. I'm picky like that. When I get the craving for Speedy Salsa, my quick fix involves some fresh ingredients and a Blendtec blender.

Speedy Salsa

1 small jalapeño, seeded (leave seeds in for extra heat)

1/2 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1/4 C cilantro

1/2 tsp salt

pinch pepper

1 lime, juiced

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 scoop Red Blendfresh (optional)

Place all ingredients in Blendtec and pulse 3-5 times.

Bam! Done. Enjoy with some delicious corn chips.


If you're interested in purchasing a Blendtec blender for $199 through Blendfresh, let me know!

Don't Be A Flake with Head & Shoulders

Just when I thought Sofia Vergara couldn't get any cooler, I watched a video of her dancing to Footloose with Derek Hough after the Emmys. They tore that dance floor up! Honestly, I don't know if I'd have the guts to whip my hair all over the place. (Not that my hair would whip that much at this length anyway!)

It's not the dancing itself that would cause my humiliation, but the flakes that would shower the dance floor sure would. See, I've been blessed with seborrheic dermatitis. I affectionally call it dandruff. It's not severe, but it is constant. Or, should I say, was constant. I finally had the sense to try Head & Shoulders and it's been a game changer!

I've been using it for a few months now and can tell a serious difference. I don't see flakes on my shirt like I used to. I've been using Original, but I recently tried the Head & Shoulders Fresh Scent Technology Collection. Um, yum! I can't speak for the other scents, but Green Apple is amazing.

You know who else uses Head & Shoulders? Sofia Vergara. We finally have something in common! I might not be able to have her bombshell waves right now, but you can. Sunnie Brook Jones, Head & Shoulders Celebrity Stylist, shares her how-to for some awesome hair.

  1. Start with a clean and fresh foundation by using Head & Shoulders Shampoo and Conditioner.
  2. Blow dry hair and create volume on the sides and crown by lifting the hair with your fingers.
  3. Comb hair back and then use the tip of the comb to part hair in the middle.
  4. Curl hair away from the face using a 1-1/2" curling iron. Let hair cool and comb through with fingers to loosen up waves.
  5. Caress your hair with love and be #PartOfOurFamily!

Speaking of Sofia Vergara, how would you like to meet her? There's an amazing sweepstakes, running until September 1. For a chance to meet Ms. Vergara at an upcoming Head & Shoulders advertising shoot, follow @HeadShoulders on Twitter and post a photo of your gorgeous, flake-free hair tagging #PartOfOurFamily #sweeps and @HeadShoulders.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Warm Fuzzies

A few years ago we taught the children in our church about service. We purchased huge packages of chenille pom-poms and a glass jar. These pom-poms symbolized the "warm fuzzies" we get when we serve. Each child had a chance, week after week, to perform acts of service. For each act, they put a pom-pom in the jar. The goal was to have the jar filled with warm fuzzies by the end of the year.

Image via Martha Stewart

Image via Martha Stewart

It was beyond motivational for me to hear these kids share their experiences with service. One thing I noticed was they weren't always huge acts. One child picked up their classmate's pencil when it rolled off their desk. Another saw a weed in their neighbor's yard and pulled it for them. Sweet and simple.

I need to serve like these children served. To seek for opportunities to lighten someone's load. If someone drops something in a store, help pick it up. See a weed in a neighbor's yard flowerbed? Go ahead and pull it. Not every experience needs to be huge to have an effect. My father once said, "Sometime's you won't know until after this life how you've affected someone's life for good."

Since I'm going to work on having warm fuzzies on the inside, I have to take care of keeping myself warm on the outside. One of my favorite ways to keep myself warm is created by my sweet friend Jann Marie, owner of Hoodie Love. She's a crazy-amazing seamstress who makes the softest, most delicious hoodies out there.

Her new line launches next month and I couldn't be more thrilled for her and for us! She's chosen a new fabric that is like butter, it's so soft. I'm beyond excited to give one of you a brand-spanking new Hoodie Love hoodie! YOU choose the color and style you want and you'll receive it after launch in September.

Enter using the widget below. Contest open to residents of the US. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be contacted Friday, August 29 via email. If the winner doesn't respond within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Bring Back Mail

Each day when I get the mail, my kids immediately ask, "Is there anything for me?" I used to give them the junk mail, but that doesn't work as well since my daughter can read. "My name isn't current resident!" Aw, nuts.

I'm not going to lie, though. Each day I secretly hope there is something there for me too. Not a bill, not an ad, but something handwritten. An envelope with an actual stamp and not metered postage. Why am I so enamored with getting an actual letter?

It may come down to my Love Language. The way I receive love is through acts of service and, strangely enough, I view writing and sending mail as one. Probably because it takes time, thought, and effort. It's so easy to get on the computer and shoot an email out or get on your phone and text. But actually putting pen to paper and sending out a part of you means so much more.

When my grandmother died, I helped my family go through her belongings. I'll never forget opening a drawer full of cards she'd been given throughout the years. I was 11 and can still remember finding a card in there that I had given her years earlier. My messy, childish signature written inside.

I vote we bring back the handwritten word. The next time you go to the post office and they ask if you need stamps, say yes! Choose the most lovely, the most fun, the most personal stamps you can and USE them. I'll even help you get started.

These gorgeous cards are by Alexis Mattox Design. Each is made from laser-cut 1/8" cherry wood. If I received one in the mail, I'd wonder why the heck someone loved me that much to send a card like this!

Alexis also creates stationary, letterpress, even cake toppers. Anything and everything to make someone feel special.

One of you will win the 4 wood cards shown above! Use the widget below to enter. Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be contacted Thursday, August 28 via email. If the winner doesn't respond within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

I Can Do Hard Things

I distinctly remember the first time I drove a stick shift. My parents were thinking about buying me a VW Rabbit, but wanted to make sure I could drive it, so they taught me the basics, took me out on a country road, and guided me along.

I killed it. And not in the "I was so freaking amazing" way. I literally killed the engine so many times, I was afraid I would break the car and we'd be forced to buy it. I cried, my parents caved, and I ended up with a Mercury Grand Marquis named Bessie.

Seven years later, I marry a man who owns a manual pickup. Needless to say, I never drove. After pestering me for months about why I wouldn't even try, I finally admitted to my husband something that is true in all aspects of my life.

If it doesn't come naturally, I won't do it.

I'm a prideful perfectionist. I don't like to lose. I don't play sports because I know I won't win. I'm simply not athletic. Could I be if I tried? Probably. But man, that would take years of trying! I'm not afraid of many things in life, but I am definitely afraid of failure.

But recently (and I'm talking in the last two weeks), I've been thinking about who I need to be. Not just for my husband and my children, but for me. How many things should I be working on that I'm not, all because I'm afraid I'll fail?

I attended a blog conference earlier this year where all the attendees received this necklace.


If I'm going to move forward, I've got to start pushing myself to do hard things. I can't stand idly by anymore. Even a paper airplane needs someone to throw it before it can fly. And you know what? People are the same way. Sometimes it's a nudge, sometimes a shove, but we all need a push now and then to discover what we're capable of doing and WHO we're capable of being.


The ladies at Charmed Collections know this better than anyone. I'm so grateful to call them my friends, because all three of them are such an example to me of thriving while doing incredibly difficult things. They've been kind enough to donate this "I Can Do Hard Things" necklace to a lucky reader.

To enter, just use the widget below. Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be contacted Wednesday, August 27 via email. If the winner doesn't respond within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Say Hi First

Back in the day, I was shy. Wallflower shy. Guaranteed I would never say hello to you first shy. The reason? I was afraid if I said hello first, they'd think I was a big loser and trying too hard and would want nothing to do with me. I waited for everyone to speak first so I knew they actually took interest in me.

Doesn't it sound absurd? Turns out the entire time I was trying to make friends by not speaking to them, people avoided me because they thought I was a snob. My strategy failed! Too bad I was in my 20s before I figured it out.

I wonder how many opportunities I missed and friends I could have made when all I had to do was say hello. Not that every person I spoke to would have turned into a best friend, but it's such a simple thing, why not try?

So here I am, 15 years after the fact, using this blog to say hello. I'm reaching out to you and I want you to do the same. Say hello to someone. It could be a stranger, it could be an acquaintance you've had for years, it doesn't matter who it is. Just say hi.

Bravery doesn't go unrewarded. I said hi to a couple ladies at Craft Lake City who own an insanely creative company called Salty Bison. I mean, come on. The name alone is phenomenal.

I'd been eyeing Devenie & Shawna's work for a couple years, so I was excited to actually meet them. They're as lovely and fun as the art they produce and I'm so glad I was brave and spoke up because they graciously offered to give something to you!


Isn't this the sweetest little sign you ever did see? I kind of love it. This 7.5" x 9.75" wooden piece is the perfect size to hang next to your door. Every time you step outside, it will serve as a visual reminder to speak up and say hello.

Enter using the widget below. Contest open to US residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be contacted Tuesday, August 26 via email. If the winner doesn't respond within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.