Baby Emma’s Arrival!


Our sweet baby girl is here! Emma Grace Gipson was born on Tuesday, December 16th at 5:43pm. She weighed 7 lbs., 12.5 oz. and was 19 inches long. She’s beautiful and perfect.


I had a doctors appt on Monday afternoon and due to some signs of preeclampsia they decided to induce labor that evening. My husband and I went into a bit of a panic mode, as it was totally unexpected and we still had some things to prep at home. So we rushed home and got our bags ready.

It was a loonnggg night, and I was so relieved when it was time to push! Everything went smoothly and we got to go home Thursday evening. Baby girl turned a week old yesterday and it has been a roller coaster! Very little sleep, lots of diapers and crying. But, we are taking it a day at a time and know it will get better each week 🙂 Plus, how can you not adore this face?!?!


We are all three doing well and wish you a very Merry Christmas! We were certainly given the BEST gift!


Spicy Sausage and Peppers with Penne

Remember that post where I said I hadn’t fallen off the face of earth and I had more recipes to post??? …. #dontjudgeme I wasn’t lying to you, it has just been one of those weeks! My husband and I have been busy with, well, life, and this pregnancy is really wearing on me.

I had my weekly doctor’s visit yesterday and did not get the answers I was hoping for. We’ve been crossing our fingers that the doctor would say if Emma was not here by her due date (the 24th) that they would induce. Not so… they say they have to wait a week after the due date if baby has not come naturally, unless there is some medical reason to induce. Major bummer! My swollen feet and aching body wanted to jack-slap someone yesterday. On top of that, my blood pressure was high so they had to do a couple tests, I’m assuming to make sure I don’t have preeclampsia. I go back Monday for a follow-up. At this point, I’m just tired and tired of being pregnant, but I still want my little Emma to be healthy and all to go well, so say a little prayer for us this weekend 🙂

But, moving on… I have a delicious recipe for you today! It’ll knock your socks off with how easy yet flavorful it is! And if you like a spicy kick in your meals, this is certainly for you, as the little secret ingredient is… habanero peppers #Iwentthere

This Spicy Sausage and Peppers with Penne is absolutely delicious, and I have to give credit where its due: the husband made it. Or he was at least inspired to make it from a co-worker. The day he heard about it, he called me immediately and said he was making dinner that night. I was not opposed! Nor was I disappointed with the outcome of this dish.

Kick up the heat in your kitchen tonight and make this! You may need a glass of milk later, but you’ll thank me 😉

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Spicy Sausage and Peppers with Penne


  • 5 mild (or hotter if you like) Italian sausage links
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced*
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped**
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • General Tso’s sauce
  • Salt and pepper

*If you’d like to use a white or yellow onion, that works fine too. We’ve used both and just prefer the sweetness of the red onion.

**When chopping habanero peppers, use gloves and wash your hands thoroughly when finished. DO NOT touch your skin, especially your face/eyes, until you’re certain there’s no pepper juice on your hands. Thoroughly wash the chopping board you use as well. The pepper juice lingers and can burn!


  1. Heat your oil in a large, deep skillet on medium high.
  2. Brown the sausage links on both sides, about 3 minutes per side (Caution: the oil will splatter, so be careful).
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add your peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper, mix, and cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir about half-way through to cook veggies evenly.
  4. In the meantime, boil the water for your pasta. Be sure and salt the water! Follow directions on the box for cooking; should be about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. After 20 minutes, make sure your sausage is cooked through. If it is, remove the links and slice into about 1/2 inch pieces. Add them back into the skillet. If the sausage is not cooked, wait 5 more minutes and check again (although we have made this dish a few times, everyone’s skillet and stove temps vary, so there is no way to be sure yours will cook in the same time as ours).
  6. If your skillet is large enough, add the cooked pasta and mix well. If not, add the sausage mixture and pasta into a large bowl and mix.
  7. Pour in about 1/4 of the bottle of General Tso’s sauce. Taste your dish to see if it needs more salt and/or sauce. The sauce layer should be thin and just coat the noodles/meat (I like using extra sauce on mine. Its so sweet and delish!).

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So, I know my pics do not have the pasta in them #epicfail but be assured we did use it. There’s no way I’d pass up an opportunity to eat pasta!

The first time hubby made this, he used 4 habanero peppers, and it proved to be TOO much heat. My mouth and belly were on fire! So, the next time around, we reduced it to 2 and it was perfect.

We have also experimented with using frozen chopped veggies vs. fresh. It was convenient, but made the dish too wet. The fresh veggies are best for us, but feel free to do what you like!

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

Who does not love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter night? Soup and chili are two of my favorite things to eat during the colder months. They’re easy to through together, and the longer they sit on the stove or in the crock pot the better they get! Plus, leftovers go for days sometimes; its a beautiful thing all around.

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This Taco Soup is one of our staple winter meals. Its spicy and hearty, and of course comforting. We like to eat ours with tortilla chips (or scoops). They add a nice little crunch and make it a “hands-on” meal 😉 It would also be delish with a nice grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmm… #mouthisnowwatering

I hope you guys enjoy!

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Taco Soup


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 can corn niblets/kernels
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can great northern white beans
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)


  1. In a skillet, brown your ground beef and drain. Mix in half of your taco seasoning.
  2. In a large pot, add all your ingredients. Only drain/rinse your black beans; add the juice of all the other canned ingredients.
  3. Heat on medium until bubbly and warmed through. Add sour cream, shredded cheese, and maybe some tortilla chips and enjoy!

If you’re not much of a beef eater, shredded chicken or pork would work just as well in this soup. You could even shred a rotisserie chicken to save time. Also, I normally add 2 cups of water to my soup to save on salt, but feel free to use beef, chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor. Whatever your preference 🙂