Help Find Maki

So Maki is a Brussels Griffon, like my little girl dog, and she is missing in Alabama.  Please go to her Facebook page and share with everyone.  If you have a blog and would be willing, please share this post.  Maki is her Mama’s baby, and she needs special food and medication.  I’d love to see another good thing coming out of social media!

Thanks everyone!

I knew it would happen

I knew it would happen.  I knew the day would come.  I thought I was ready for it.  I wasn’t.

What I wasn’t ready for was the day when Seth felt sad because he has Autism.  It happened yesterday.  Well, it’s been happening over the last few days and yesterday I was finally able to get him to tell me what was wrong.  He was upset because kids at school stared at him and thought he was weird.

It started on Friday, he came home from school and things were pretty normal.  He had Valentine’s Day candy, and he was hyped on sugar!  Saturday was an okay day.  Sunday he was acting a little “off” at church and by Sunday night he hardly wanted anything to eat.  For Seth that is unusual!  Normally he eats anything put in front of him.  He’s one of those kids that likes almost everything.  But Sunday night he didn’t want to eat.  He didn’t want to eat much on Monday, and by Monday afternoon all he wanted to do was be held.  He refused Cream of Mushroom soup and Strawberry Shortcake.  All because he was sad because he’s different.

He sat in my lap for a while at the restaurant and told me that the kids stare at him because he’s weird.  As I fought back tears, not very successfully, I told him how awesome he is, how God loves him so very much and how special he is.  I reminded him that not everyone has Autism, and not everyone understands.  I reassured him that we all loved him very much and we think he’s fantastic.  He went over to my husband and sat in his lap for the rest of the meal.

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After we left Seth went home with Grandpa and Trina, and I went over later to get him.  He made me promise that if something was wrong at school that he could tell his teacher and she could call us.  Of course I promised him.  It’s important for him to be in school, but it’s more important that he knows no matter what his Mom and Dad are there for him.  He has a great teacher, and they love him at school so I knew sending him to school was the best thing to do this morning.  It was hard.  He tried to tell me he “thought he had a sore throat” but after asking him if he was lying, he said he was.  He asked several times to stay home.  Consistently I told him he had to go to school.  He made me promise again that if he couldn’t make it he could have his teacher call.

It’s 12 noon, and we haven’t heard from the school!  That’s a good sign.  I always knew this day would come.  I knew there would be a time when Autism wouldn’t be his Superpower, but his “thing” that made him different from everyone else.  I knew it would happen.  I really thought I was prepared.  I wasn’t.  I cried last night.  I cried for my son, I cried because I can’t make it better for him.  I can only be there to help him through it!

I don’t really think the kids are being mean.  I don’t think Seth is being bullied.  I think that kids don’t understand why Seth does the things he does.  They don’t know what Autism means.  They don’t know that staring makes Seth uncomfortable.  I really don’t think the kids are being mean.  They are just being kids.  Which is exactly what I want for Seth.  A chance in a regular school in a regular classroom, to be a regular kid, who just happens to have Autism.   I want people to know he’s a blessing, he’s a gift from God.  He is smart, and funny.  He loves to play Legos, and he’s really good at building things without instructions.  I want people to know that he’s going to be a great adult!  I want people to know that I am blessed beyond words to be his Mom!

Will it ever end?

I had this great plan to blog and keep you all entertained for the whole year.  I was going to eat and blog, and show you the sites of Arizona and Blog…and so many other plans.  But life happened.  I still have a quest to do these things, I just need to re group a little.  I’ve been sick for a few days now so my 50 states adventure has been delayed.  I am hoping to get back on track next week and bring you the fare from the state of Alaska, as featured in Phoenix Magazine.

I have a new laptop so my accessibility is easier as well.  I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and catch ya’ll up!

What a difference three years can make

So thanks to the app Timehop I have a visual record to remind me that I’ve been in Arizona three years.  It certainly has been a great three years!  There’s not question about it, I love Arizona!  I miss my family and friends in Indiana, but I really do love it here!




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There have been a lot of changes in our family.  The kids have grown up, we added a fur baby, and Joe and I are losing more pounds every week.  Mack wasn’t happy at all about this picture, Emma was screaming, and Seth was joining her.  Yeah, that’s pretty typical around here!


Southern Rail-Fried Green Tomatoes

When I came up with this project I knew I would be eating some seriously good food.  I didn’t know I would get to start the very first day with some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.  I have to say, it’s going to take a great meal to measure up to today’s fare.

We headed to the Eastside of Phoenix, to Southern Rail at 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Az.  When we arrived I took in the whole site.  There’s a garden store, and a book store, Changing Hands, and a book bar called The First Draft and Southern Rail, the reason we were here.  I had looked online beforehand and had a good idea of what we were going to order.  So we came with a plan.

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We were greeted and seated in the charming restaurant. It was an updated southern look.  Sprigs of cotton adorned the upper walls, and pretty chandeliers made you think you’d just stepped into a “proper Southern home.”  It is a charming place.

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The menus were filled with delightful creations making you feel like you were down home.  The children’s menus were placed inside a children’s book.  A fabulous idea to give the kids something to do while waiting for their food!  How can you not love a place that has books for the kids! Mack and Grandpa got to read while they waited! But enough for the reading!  We were here to eat and we had a plan!

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We were here for Fried Green Tomatoes!  The menu is filled with delectable sounding delights that transport you to the South just from reading the menu.  The drink menu has some good names on it about a drink of

That Dog Won’t Hunt

Hush Puppy Hush

Blackwater Rising

King Rex-a nod to New Orleans King of the Carnival

We passed on the libations today and ordered our food, after all it’s why we came!  We had:

Fried Green Tomatoes

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The House toast n jam n cheese, Brioche bread, with house made pimento cheese, bacon onion jam, and tomato jam.

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The Cuban Sandwich with Gumbo

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Since we were here for the Fried Green Tomatoes I will start with them.  They came presented on a plate of pimento cheese and topped with pea tendrils.  They were so very good!  They had a crisp batter and a nice tangy tomato perfectly cooked inside.  The Pimento cheese had the traditional taste with a hint of heat to finish it off.  It was really good!

I almost shouldn’t talk about the jam plate.  I hate overshadowing the star, but OH MY GOODNESS the jam plate was amazing!  I mean totally knock your socks off amazing!  The Pimento cheese was accompanied by Bacon Onion Jam, which tasted like heaven on a fork!  The onions were flavorful and cooked perfectly and the bacon was crisp and just the right amount of chewy for the jam!  Finally, the Tomato Jam.  It was “slap your momma” good! There was sweet, there was tang, and it was fantastic!  FANTASTIC!

The Cuban and Gumbo were also fabulous.  The Cuban boasts homemade pickles to go with shaved ham and lettuce served on a soft roll.  YUMMMY!  The gumbo was tasty and no heat at all, my kids appreciated that!

As you can read nothing we had here was less than fabulous.  My kids loved it!  Mack loved it so much he proclaimed it “better than mom’s cooking!”  Our waiter warned him that saying that was dangerous, and Mack just responded with “I speak only the truth.”  I nearly choked!

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Emma enjoyed the old-fashioned water bottle.  She was being a big girl pouring her own water!

To top our meal we asked our waiter, Garrett to pick the best dessert.  We all had a difference of opinion so we just let Garrett decide for us.  He chose Beignets.  And he chose well!

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The beignets were warm and fluffy and covered in powder sugar so deep you almost thought it snowed on the plate!  They came out of the kitchen warm and delicious!  The kids were transfixed for a moment, until Grandpa told them to lick their finger and slide it through the powered sugar!  They were more than happy to oblige!

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We polished them off and Emma just had to have a little more powered sugar!  No spoon required!

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Their prices are right for the food they serve.  Our check total was 38.00 without tip.  It may seem a little high priced, but the food is amazing and well worth it.  This is not your typical deep fried Southern food!  This is high class food in a relaxing family friendly environment.   Southern Rail uses local food to make it’s decant foods, so paying a little more for the food is worth it!

We had a great meal at Southern Rail.  We certainly will return between now and the next new year!  I’m can’t wait to try their brunch.   Southern Rail is Southern food sophisticated and delicious!

Southern Rail was the first of the 50 restaurants, all I can say is the rest have a lot to live up to.  Fried Green Tomatoes from Southern Rail was a great choice to represent food in Alabama!

Please check out their website here:

One down…49 to go!  Stay tuned!

A year in food

January 5, 2015 I am starting my new food challenge.  It’s not about weight loss this time, although I’m currently working on that, it’s about eating foods from all 50 states and not leaving Phoenix to do it!

In their January issue Phoenix magazine featured 50 restaurants in Arizona.  Each one of these restaurants has food that represents each of the 50 states.  I thought this would be a great idea to do this year and blog about it.  Stay tuned to see my review from each place! Check in here each Monday for my trip through the United States with FOOD!!!!



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Happy New Year 2015 is going to be AWESOME!

I was going to post yesterday but decided instead of looking back I would post today and look forward.  I am really excited about the new opportunities for 2015!  I have plans!  Big plans!!  Okay maybe not so big, but I do have plans.

I try not to make resolutions. I never keep them.  I do try to set goals for myself and I’ve done that again this year.

Goal 1.  Continue fitness journey.  I’ve done okay in 2014, and now in 2015 I need to kick it up. I have 365 days to really rock it with my health goals.  One of my main goals is to get off medication for type 2 diabetes.  I want to lose weight, but I don’t have a number in mind.  I want to concentrate more on eating well and exercising.  Of course, I will be continuing with Shakeology  and my Beachbody programs.  I also want to help others change their lives with health and fitness.  If you are interested in joining me leave me a comment and we’ll chat.

2.  My second goal is to be more present for my kids.  I need to start to say YES more.  I’m not talking about giving them everything they want, but more about giving more of my time to them.  Games, crafts, going to the park, the fun things they like to do.  I need to say YES more.

3. Continue to build I love couponing and saving money.  I need to continue to grow this site and save more.  I had a friend of my mom’s post on her Facebook that she saved over $12, 000 in 2014 using coupons!  In the six years that she has been couponing, she has saved over $58,000!  WOW!!!  It’s time to step up my coupon game!  The better my coupon game, the better my budget!  It’s a win win!

4.  I have plans to keep this blog growing too!  I’m going to kick off one project tomorrow and I can’t wait to share it here!  I have plans for a few other special days to keep growing and to keep ya’ll reading!  So keep watching and reading I have one project that starts tomorrow and I think ya’ll are going to love it!


5.  Lastly, and most importantly, I need to keep growing closer to God.  It’s a relationship that always need to be nurtured.  Without Him I can’t do any of the above items.  Without Him my life doesn’t have meaning.  I’m blessed beyond measure.  I have an awesome family and great kids.  I have a fantastic church and good friends there.  I’m excited to see what God has planned for me in 2015!


Thank you all for reading along last year!  I’m so happy you choose to read my ramblings.  Keep following and look for some great things coming to SouthernGirlinArizona!