Looking for simple, family friendly weeknight meals? I’ve got a meal plan and a free printable grocery list!


Happy Saturday!

Hopefully you’ll be spending the day relaxing and celebrating the Fourth. I love any excuse to break out the grill and plan a cook-out, so I’ll be spending the day eating. And applying sunblock on the kids. And eating.
Here’s what looks good for dinner this week. Don’t forget to print out a free grocery list. Everything you need is already filled out for you. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

I really love having all my meals planned and shopped for when I start my week. It is just such a huge weight off my shoulders! And it’s really nice to not be running to the store constantly with two kids in tow. Lucy is at the age where she won’t sit in the cart, so random things just “appear” in my shopping cart. Last time it was a massive bag of shredded cheese, a can of pink confetti frosting, and a loofah sponge. Yep, makes sense.

If any of the meals on this week’s plan don’t sound good to you, be sure to check out some of my previous meal plans. Lots of yummy and simple ideas to choose from!

honey-soy-steak-bites-3 Monday: Asian Steak Bites

We all love these!!

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Oven-Baked-Pulled-Pork-Flautas Tuesday: Oven Baked Pulled Pork Flautas

OMG how good do these look?? DYING to try them!!

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Wednesday: Chicken Paprika with Dumplings

This is a total cold weather recipe, but I’ve been craving it. It’s one of my favorites!

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Tex-Mex-Cobb-Salad-600x900Thursday: Tex Mex Cobb Salad

I’ll probably grill a couple of chicken breasts and chop them up for this salad. My kids only like salad with lots of “stuff,” so this is perfect!

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Friday: Pulled Pork Nachos

One of our favorites!! Feel free to substitute chicken or ground beef for the pork.


That’s it for this week! Enjoy!


I’m spilling all the details about episode 7 in my Bachelorette Recap!

Kaitlyn Bristowe Photo

As you might remember, we left off last week with Shawn completely losing it and confiding in someone behind the scenes. Apparently Kaitlyn had spent a night in his room with him (WHEN IS ALL THIS HAPPENING?) and had assured him that he was THE ONE. WHO this person that Shawn was confiding in isn’t certain, but I heard that each person has their own “handler,” so maybe that’s it.

And also, maybe people should be prepared for drama when they go on a show that assigns them their very own person whose entire job is to keep them from losing their ever-loving mind.

Keep it together, Ryan Gosling. Kaitlyn is no Allie.

So after losing his cool, Shawn surprises Kaitlyn in her hotel room. It’s obvious that she wasn’t expecting him because her hair is a mess and her mouth is overflowing with food. Which confirms what I’ve always suspected — no one eats on these “dates” that apparently last for 12 hours.

Haven’t you ever wondered? Where is the dang food??

Gosling confronts Kaitlyn flat out and asks her if she loves him. Suddenly Miss Rap Star is all goo goo ga ga, talking in her widdle baby voice. Eyes downcast, she tells him that she is “falling in love” with him and whispers to stop “putting her on the spot.”

I think it’s abundantly clear that she’s been acting out of turn when the cameras aren’t around.

Shawn tells Kaitlyn that he’s struggling with her dating the other guys and was upset that the date rose went to someone else.

NOAH. You renovated and ENTIRE HOUSE for Allie. Come on dude, channel your inner Gosling and pull yourself together.

After he leaves her room, Kaitlyn sobs, overcome with guilt because he doesn’t know she’s been intimate with Nick. He’ll know soon enough, girlfriend. Don’t you worry about that.

The next day is the two-on-one date with JJ and Joe. If you ask me, it’s all a waste of time. It’s going to come down to Shawn and Nick and we all know it — everything else is just filler.

So we watch Kaitlyn head out with JJ and Joe and pretend like she’s actually considering one of them as a husband.

They take a boat ride around Ireland, they sit and gaze out on the water, and Joe tells Kaitlyn that he’s falling in love with her.

Wait. WHAT.

Joe? Have I missed something between the two of them? Has she been visiting his room off the clock, too? What is even happening?

JJ drops a bombshell when he reveals to Kaitlyn that his marriage broke up because he cheated on his wife. Which should only make me hate him more, but I find myself feeling a little bit sorry for him. But still disgusted. Because he’s kind of a slimeball.

So the date comes down to who will get sent home — the passionate southern gentlemen who revealed that he’s in love with her, or the pompous bully who cheated on his wife?

Crying, she sends JJ home and gives Joe a “maybe,” asking for more time on the date with him before she can give him the date rose.

I kind of lost a little respect for Joe watching him snuggle with Kaitlyn for the remainder of their date. You told her you were falling in LOVE with her, bro. And she can’t even commit to handing you a rose. Find another girl to ride  your tractor. They’ll be lining up after this, believe me.

Joe eventually ends up with the date rose and comes back beaming, which sets Shawn off yet again.

Look Shawn, I get it. You need a girl who can fully commit. Let me be that for you. I mean, I have a husband, but at least I’m only with ONE other guy, versus 12.

After this latest blow to his ego, Shawn heads to Kaitlyn’s hotel room. AGAIN. Apparently this is his new thing. A dude gets a rose, he shows up in her room, demanding an explanation.

Kaitlyn is terrified that he knows she slept with Nick and she’s sobbing before they even start talking. Oh Kaitlyn, I’m sorry you’re so stressed out. Flying in helicopters and dating sexy men and drinking free cocktails must be incredibly difficult.

Shawn tells Kaitlyn that when they talked “off camera” in Texas, she told him that she said she thought he was “the one,” and it made things for him difficult. Blah blah blah, more whispering, more reassurance, more kissing. At this point, it’s old hat.

The next day it’s time for the cocktail party/rose ceremony. How are we even having a rose ceremony in the middle of an episode? You’re losing your touch, Chris Harrison. Stop writing romance novels and whip these people into shape.

Kaitlyn shows up to the cocktail party so nervous that she’s shaking. Of course the men are totally confused as to what the drama is about…while Nick knows that he slept with Kaitlyn and Shawn knows that he’s been visiting Kaitlyn in private.


Peter Brady has some alone time with Kaitlyn and basically asks her if he really has a chance or if Shawn has it in the bag. Well listen Ben H, no disrespect meant, but he’s Gosling and you’re Peter Brady. Just go ahead and pack your bags. You’re a nice guy, there’s someone for you out there.

Kaitlyn and Nick spend some alone time together and she takes the opportunity to ask him not to mention their little late night Monopoly marathon. Better late than never, I guess? Suddenly insecure, Nick starts crying, remembering how things went down on Andi’s season. Kaitlyn falls for it hook, line, and sinker, and they are making out within seconds.

Kaitlyn and Shawn converse privately while I sit and snore. All the talking about that conversation in Texas. I get it, Gosling, I get it. But in Kaitlyn’s defense, those producers ply you guys with a LOT of alcohol and you’re cute.

Finally it’s time for the rose ceremony. FOR THE LOVE. We’re only 2/3 of the way through the episode for Pete’s sake.

Roses go to:

Ben H.




Ben Z and Tanner go home. Oh Ben Z, you were such a cutie pie.

The next day the group piles up in a bus to go to Kilarny. Except for Jared, who gets to ride with Kaitlyn while Shawn’s head explodes.

Kaitlyn and Jared enjoy some time alone together, kissing a Blarney Stone and chilling at a castle. I honestly really like Jared, aside from the unfortunate patchy beard. I kinda just want to grab a sharpie and be given free reign to fill in his face.

Jared leaves and Kaitlyn is hardly even settled from her road trip when Chris Harrison shows up in her room. And what follows next is truly something else — they are changing the order of the hometown and fantasy suite dates. Basically because she spent secret off-camera time with Shawn and Nick, they feel that they need to level the playing field by giving ALL the men off camera time. So before meeting any families, she’s getting the chance to try the milk for free.

Good grief. When Chris shows up on your date and tells you that for the first time in history, they are giving you your Fantasy Suite dates EARLY, you kind of have to wonder how you should take that.

Personally. I’d take it personally.

The next day Kaitlyn has a date with Chris (cupcake). They head out in a helicopter and land at the edge of a gorgeous cliff overlooking the ocean. They sit and have a picnic and talk about what their future would be like if they stayed together. For reasons I can’t understand, their conversation feels awkward and stilted. And suddenly…Kaitlyn is sobbing.

While poor Chris comforts her, she tells him that there is “something wrong” with her and that while he meets all of her “checklist” items, she is just not feeling it. Crying, she walks away and leaves him standing alone on the cliff. Imagine last year’s badlands, but only more awkward as the poor dentist watches her take off in the helicopter alone.

Sobbing, Chris gets dangerously close to the cliff. Thankfully he wore a man scarf, which he uses to sop up his tears. Oh Chris…he’s convinced that Kaitlyn doesn’t want him because she’s “scared” and I just want to scream, “IT’S NOT YOU!! NICK PLAYED “MONOPOLY” WITH HER ALL NIGHT AND NOW SHE’S BLINDED!!”

Next week looks dramatic. Kaitlyn appears to come clean with Shawn. But who really knows.

Red, white, and blue whoopee pies are an adorably patriotic treat for this Independence Day. Bring out a platter of these at your barbecue!

Red, White, and Blue Whoopee Pies Picture Happy almost 4th of July!

It’s hard for me to imagine that some of you live in places where you can’t buy fireworks. How is that even real life? I’ve lived in Arkansas for over 20 years now, and I’ve gotten so used to the abundance of fireworks stands that set up shop every year at around the end of June.

Most stands sell both firecrackers and fireworks.

And although I love fireworks as much as the next girl, I don’t understand the point of firecrackers. They make lots of noise and smoke and scare the love right out of people, but that’s about it. No pretty sparkles, no shimmering lights, nothing. It’s redneckery at its finest. And trust me when I say that you only THINK you’ve seen rednecks until you’ve visited Arkansas around the 4th of July. Our people love nothing more than loud noises, cold cheap beer, and kiddie pools.

Which can be either awesome or terrifying, depending on the company. It could go either way in this fine state. Trust me on that.

Red, White, and Blue Whoopee Pies Photo

My husband and his friends actually had fireworks fights when they were younger, which is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of rowdy boys aiming bottle rockets at each other and hoping no one loses an eye.

I can’t even make this stuff up, you guys. But this is the kind of thing that happens when you have exploding things packaged up like candy and sold on the side of the road. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

When it comes to celebrating the Fourth, I like to keep things a bit tamer. Swirl some sparklers around, eat a hot dog, watch the fireworks put on by the city (AKA professionals) and later indulge in an appropriately-themed treat. These red white and blue whoopee pies? As wild and crazy as I’ll get.

Red, White, and Blue Whoopee Pies Image

These red, white and blue whoopee pies use cake mix and are filled with a fluffy marshmallow frosting. They are so delicious and festive! Enjoy.

You can also find this Red, White, and Blue Whoopee Pies recipe on Food Fanatic, where I am a regular contributor of all things sweet. Be sure to poke around while you are there — they’ve got tons of festive cocktail and side dish recipes to complete your 4th of July celebration!

Enjoy and have a great day!

I’m sharing my June Favorites in make-up, clothing, books, and TV!

Confessions of a Cookbook Queen June Favorites Picture Favorites, favorites!!

I have kind of slacked on trying new beauty products lately. The kiddos have kept me so busy and I try really hard to be “present” with them over the Summer. So I spend a lot less time browsing online and adding things to my Sephora cart. Funny how boredom = shopping…

With that being said, my make-up favorites this month are items I’ve actually been using for a couple of months now. But that’s great because it means that I still love them!! Also, Summer TV is finally starting to pick up which is helping me get over the fact that I had to say goodbye to Game of Thrones until next year.

It really should be against the law for television seasons to be that short. Also, let’s not even talk about that season finale. I spend infinity Googling all kinds of fan theories and alternative meanings and basically got myself all wound up with ideas. Hi, my name is Kristan and I’m super cool. Sigh.

1. Blowfish Granola Sandals

I LOVE these!! They are very reasonably priced and SO CUTE! The colors are just too fun. Unlike most sandals I own, these actually have a decent sole, which is nice. I can wear them all day and they feel so comfortable. I have very narrow feet and they were a bit wide for me, but I fixed that by poking an extra hole for the buckle. Once I did that, they fastened tighter and they were perfect.

2. True Detective on HBO

I have been waiting for the new season since it ended last year and it did not disappoint! I can tell that it’s going to be really good. The casting is perfect!

3. Lorac Unzipped Palette

I LOVE this gorgeous rosy gold palette! The colors are so so pretty — there’s a great mixture of shimmer and matte.

4. That’s So Fetch Tank Top

This is my absolute favorite Mean Girls phrase, so I knew I needed this as soon as I saw it! It’s kind of flowy and loose fitting and very cute. I like to  wear it knotted with a maxi skirt.

5. Bio Ionic OnePass Iron, 1 inch

This is the straightening iron my hair dresser uses and I loved it so much I bought one for myself! It’s reasonably priced and makes pretty curls, too.

6. IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes Extensions

I’ve tried so many fiber mascaras and although I love the length they give, I HATE all the fuzzies that get in my eyes and on my face. I LOVE this mascara because you get the fiber length without all the fuzzies!! You will not get volume with this mascara, so I apply this first and then top with a volumizing mascara for long, full lashes that last all day.

7. Orhan’s Inheritance

This book was on my June Reading List and it was SO GOOD. It’s definitely not light — it’s sad but also so interesting and hard to put down. It reminded me of The Kite Runner in a lot of ways.


I’d love to hear what you’ve been loving lately, too!