Like Gold on a Tortilla Chip

Today I want to share a fav. Straight from the heart of the Texan who didn’t know the gold she had in front of her until it was gone. Obviously I am meaning my queso recipe. From tried and true measures to failures, and only having certain kinds of cheeses in the UK (cough – not American which is what it’s actually made from in most Tex Men restaurants) here it is:

  • 1-2 blocks of cheddar cheese
  • 1 smaller block of Mexican or spicy cheese
  • 1-2 cups of milk (or more for liquid purposes)
  • 1/2 sour cream (optional
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • A generous splash of beer (optional – but actually makes a difference…)
  • Garnish with diced tomatoes and cilantro or Rotel if you have it (all optional)

Mix all together and slowly cook down. Add more milk if needed. Once it’s the consistency you want it, blend with a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Serve until you are satisfied.

This next recipe is from my Aunt Angie. I ate way to much of this stuff when I lived with her before getting married.

  • Salsa recipe:
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 big piece of garlic
  • A small chunk of yellow onion
  • Sprinkle cilantro in it
  • Pinch of salt
  • A little lemon juice (or lime)

Now we can’t normally get Rotel over here unless you want to pay top quid for it, but I’ve been known to ask a family member to bring it over when they visit. Otherwise, you can make your own here. Sometimes I just diced tomatoes and some jalapenos to make up for the lack.

Tranquility is the New Transformation

We have all felt the overwhelming societal pressure to “stay busy”, whether it be during these times, or before. Many of us have been furloughed from work and now have less of a rigid agenda to akin to. This allows us to carve out space for a new daily routine, one that can hit pause on life and re-connect with our Lord. 

I know some of us have kids and that can definitely keep us pretty busy. Or some of us are keyworkers and now have even less time to relax. But I invite you to form new habits; ones of rest, reading the word, meditation on it, and quieter walks along your road (challenge: a prayer walk!).

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a singular stretch of time with no timetable that I have to keep up with, probably since I was a child. Even on holiday there is always somewhere to go, something to do, or a new city to discover.

I now get to wake up when I want, sleep when I want, eat and drink… when I want. It’s freeing and a blessing. In fact, my head has never been so clear or at peace, even with traumatic circumstances. I’ve had time to catch up with life and breathe. I’ve been able to slow down with each turn and bend that needs to happen along the road we travel. It’s healthy, not only mentally but spiritually. 

Friendships I’ve neglected due to “not enough time in the day?” I’m now able to spend time re-connecting with them again. All of those emotions and feelings I’ve pushed to the side or have pushed down into the crevices of my mind? I’ve been able to think about them and embrace them. And I’ve been able to let them go as needed, too. 

I’ve never had so much time to sit, and to think, and also get bored. I have no pull to “do” anything, and this has faced me with the ability to thrive. It has stretched me, rested me, and even allowed me to grow and develop with a healthy and full-minded state of being.

I believe the Lord is calling us to this; our whole sense of being committed to Him, committed to His causes, and His times of peace. We are called to more intimacy and companionship with our precious Saviour. We are called to choose faith over our own fears and the fear that the world is throwing our way at every turn – if even for five more minutes than normal.

We can now find sheer moments of each day we are given to truly delve into our thoughts and feelings, and focus on them with the presence of the Lord surrounding us. It’s refreshing and life giving, and a necessity to our walk with Him. We no longer have to rush around and get somewhere, sacrificing ourselves for the sake of a job, or school, or dare I say it, people who might be toxic. We have time to soul search and see what’s really underneath the surface of our skin. 

This is our time of self-reflection; to turn inward instead of outward. How’s our relationship with God really doing? Now that we have time to spend with Him, are we doing so?

He is drawing us near with the intention of self-discovery, without the chaos of life tugging and pulling us every which way. He is inviting us to form a deeper partnership with Him with a stable foundation of time, peace, rest, and contentment. It’s something we can carry forward into whatever the world may look like after this virus has left us. In its wake, we will awaken.

Isaiah 32:17-18 says, “and the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

When has this ever been truer than now? We are in a true quiet, a true peace. Our souls are cleansed of the daily chaos and bustle of a busy life. We are slowed to the pace of a Sovereignty who is not worried about where He has to go and is certainly not worried about keeping face like we as humans often do.

Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

We can find true peace and now actually take the time to search for it; since let’s be real – what else do we have to do? Even as some of us head back to work or have had to continue working during these crazy times, let us embrace the slower crawl of the world as it is right now, and match our pace again to Christ’s who will never fail us. 


Well, (see what I did there?) we finally managed to book a Holiday in AND it came as a complete surprise to me as Josh just booked tickets and told me, but wouldn’t tell me where we were going! Until we got to the airport. I had a couple of hints and managed to guess it (as I usually do! I ALWAYS guess the surprises, even our engagement. But that’s for another blog post.

I have NEVER eaten so much food, and pasta in my life and can’t even begin to explain the kind of flavors I tasted over there. Top vacation spot for good right now.

We went to: Bari, Polignano de Mare, & Conversano.

Our first day in we arrived about 1PM or so and took our rental car and drove from Bari airport to Conversano where we were staying. We got in, and apparently everyone in the afternoon shuts down shop. So nothing is open in regards to food, clothing, or even grocery stores. WE WERE STARVING. So we walked all over the town and managed to find a little restaurant who were having an Easter special meal of about like 8 courses for only 35 euros. So we said yes. I literally stuffed my face, and was full like 3 courses in. And they kept coming. Like it was a whole situation in a half. So we embarrassingly had to tell them to stop and we would just pay it and we left. I’m sure they thought us so rude but we had no idea what we were in for and this girl just could not do it.

Our first night in our AirBnB was LOVELY (the video shows it all). Yet we were awakened at 7AM by some banging outside by what seemed to be some sort of metal cladding. We were like okay, not very good… but let’s just see. The banging didn’t stop. So we eventually got up and got dressed and were ready to hit the day. We opened our door only to find out we were BARRICADED IN THE ROOM BY SCAFFOLDING. The guy was like “UN MOMENTO!!! UN MOMENTO!!!” Like could not even get out of our room. Apparently the spot we were in was with a ton of other holiday homes and the people above us were renovating and didn’t tell our AirBnB lady… We had one more night in there and it happened again and Yelled at them this time. We finally left and switched to a nicer AirBnB which actually saved us some money in the end. You couldn’t’ make this up!

We visited the beach, ate sooo much gelato, tried out 2 escape rooms, went sightseeing, and liked napped. Because we finally could. I did manage to get a bit of tan.

Video highlights below:

Hello from New Life Land

Tons has happened in the span of about a year.
I got married, moved into a small one bedroom flat, I have acquired many jobs/clients, and have decided to vlog about my life. Stay tuned for more details about that.

Our wedding was one of the best I have been too (I am biased, but it was really fantastic).
-Sunny day in the UK (Wow!)
-Josh singing Perfect to me by surprise as our first dance!
-Dancing the night away
-Marriage rocks

As AMAZING as our day was I honestly only have 4 regrets:

Lower lights:
-Missing our wedding band by almost every song because we were taking pictures and whoever organized that (no names) didn’t plan the timing right…
-Only eating a sliver of wedding cake, and not takin any with us to the honeymoon. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD. Handmade by the very best, Katie Owen, ya’ll!!!
-JOY FREAKIN JOBI. Our wedding “photographer” who came highly recommended. YOU GUYS. She right up until the day, NEVER made the time to meet us face to face… almost didn’t show up (or so we thought) because she didn’t return emails or phone calls up until the big day. AND TOOK THE WORST PHOTOS EVER. I am so mad. Like didn’t have high quality. Had poor framing, could not work the lighting in the room NOR tried to fix that as we told he hit was difficult and to come to the venue beforehand to try it out, AND just made us look bad. There were like fans and random crap in the photos, never edited them… like just the absolute worst. ON my biggest day ever. And my family, cousins, Grandmere, etc flew over. LIKE COME ON. Nothing can replace this. Luckily we had that fake wedding photoshoot which kind of makes up for it. The Lord knew… ALSO we made her give us a refund. Anywho if you ever come across DON’T USE HER!!! Also just realized she blocked me on Insta. Petty and sad. She got like 5 good photos total. Ugh.
-Wearing my hair up. Why did I change my mind and do this? Oh well. It looks amazing but I wish I had gone with a down look.

SO that is that. People wonder what you regret on your big day, and although there isn’t too many, those are my ones.

On another note, I will be uploading some of our “US vs UK” vlogs on my YouTube, and will be uploading our mini honeymoon trips on there also. = my channel. Cool. Not cool enough to get a custom domain yet. But we’ll get there.

Also very happy that I am traveling to Africa! We are going at the end of June to Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. Dates of June 27-July 8 for those who want to pray or donate.

Still trying to figure out what I want to do over there in regards to missions. Likely a few women empowerment speeches, maybe bring some bras over for them. I heard that the girls there won’t get raped if they are wearing a bra as it is a sign of wealth. Will let you know if that’s that is going to happen. Will be doing media with Josh, and will help out where I can.

We will be traveling with Gents Barbershop -Dunstable who are going over to provide hair cutting skills and tools and setting up a shop for the guys over there to earn a living and also going back year after year to see progress and train more people. What an amazing opportunity!

So that’s it for now. Setting up my Youtube now to get this ball rolling.

Edit: video highlight link –


Lord and Lady

We didn’t get married… yet! As I talked about on an earlier post, these are the photos from the photoshoot! Gotta top this with our own wedding photos, but how!?

Blog up on Engage Weddings. Thanks Lee Rushby and other involved in this shoot for all of your hard work! Flawless!

This shoot was beyond fun and prepared us for the big day, mentally, spiritually, everything. We almost wanted to call a few of our friends and fam and just get it all over and done with! I also honestly would have never done red and navy but the outcome made me want to change my whole wedding scheme.

You can view the rest here!

Alfredo Who?

You guys, they don’t know what Fettuccine Alfredo is here and I am going crazy. Needless to say I am making it for Josh’s family STAT so they can experience this goodness. Actually it will have to wait as now Josh’s dad and his brother Simeon and some of our friends are doing the green smoothie detox themselves. It’s spreading like wildfire. Talking about food, the great British Bake Off is the most amazing show. Especially when they have celebs on there (Teri Hatcher anyone?), and it has inspired us to celebrate the experience with a little baking experiment of our own. So Josh and I decided to try our hand at a red velvet cake. And after two little corner shops failing to have any food coloring, I knew we were going to end up getting kicked off our own version of the show… Josh, being the master cocktail maker that he is, decided on red grenadine as a substitute… raspberry flavor anyone? The cake itself turned out well enough, despite some burning on the edges, but due to pressure on time we iced it too soon and it all slopped around on the plate. And there’s no pics, all of the evidence is in the trash. Tasted about the same though, and that’s all that matters right?

We finished our wedding website! For those interested/Involved, you can view it here. You are all invited to the ceremony and the dance party in the evening, but will be hosting the reception to only close friends and family.

Another thrilling note, Josh and I won a contest to be models in a wedding photoshoot by Lee Rushby. I even got to go in for a wedding dress fitting! Will post some pictures after it happens, but for now here is a sneaky photo of me in a wedding dress that is not my own, but will be used for the shoot.

As you might be able to tell, it is slight too big on me (it was the smallest dress in the shop, and I’ve been eating tons of Cadbury chocolate!) but hoping with the shoot and with flowers and makeup and my hair done it will all blend in together.

Cheers for now x

Shameless Update

Easter has come and gone and I have soooo many chocolate eggs as it’s the thing to give here. Will definitely remember that for next year so I’m not looking funny when people hand me one and I haven’t got any to give back!

But He has risen, He is alive, and I love Him. The real reason here for my life is Jesus. Thank you Lord for saving me.

Got to watch Josh lead worship for COM Church’s Good Friday Service and wow! He is ever so stunning. He is my favourite to lead worship, along with a friend named Ted Jiboye who is incredibly talented, and has an album launch coming soon! When they both worship, the presence of God just floods the place.

I also got to see Leeland and Pat Barrett (from Housefires) as they came and did a show here for us, during their UK tour. Such great guys, and Leeland is from Baytown, which is fairly close to Beaumont, which is basically my hometown. Crowbarred that to fit? But we both have mutual friends and it was nice to see a Texan face.

I have also started another advertising job from the states since I’m not allowed to work here. Let me explain my current situation (and with a shameless gofundme request at the end) just so you all know.

I have moved my life to be in Dunstable with my future husband Josh Carr. I am happily settled in at the Pastor’s house for COM Church, where Josh works. I am also doing light contract work for two advertising firms in the states as I am not allowed to be paid for work in the UK yet. It’s fun and what I love to do, and just about pays for my student loans. I am currently here on a temporary visa which allows my to stay for 6 months before getting married. (It’s like 115 day until then… what even…)

 So the next few steps for us in all of this is to apply for a spousal visa which will allow me permanent residence, the ability to be full-time employed here in the UK, and grant me access to the National Health System. The spousal visa and all relating applications amount to about $2,500, which is a ton of stress for on one and a half salaries between the two of us. Anyways, we have to get it in early July so if anyone wants to donate to that, please feel free!!!

I got to meet baby Bronte Palmer and she is the cutest one. I know we have many hopping trips coming up and she knows that Auntie Sarah will spoil the mess out of her.

Also, look at that fab wallpaper in the background. UK houses usually have fun colours throughout and sometimes one color scheme. Like everything will be purple or turquoise. They even have those color of cars here and it is random and funny. Can anyone guess what my house will look like? Black and copper and grey. Maybe a lil turquoise.

Cheers xx

Detox the Toxic

So for 10 days Josh and I are doing this new detox, where all you drink is spinach plus fruit in a smoothie with flax seed, and have nuts and dried fruit throughout the day. You’re allowed one meal a deal but it has to be clean eating should you choose to accept it. Today and tomorrow I don’t have a choice as I already agreed to meet with some friends so it’s ON for those two meals. Talk about wedding ready, though! Technically only doing this for Josh for moral support but it will be nice to flush out all of the GMO laden American food. I also found this incredible place to run called Houghton Hall. It’s a dog park, and if I run around the woodsy areas (it looks like Narnia on forest crack) like three times it’s about 7k. So no complaining.

Wedding update! We found a photographer named Joy Jobi (She’s gonna be a joy to have around!!! Okay I cringed too on that one…) and her photos are ridiculous and beautiful! And let me tell you, I DO NOT like wedding photo sessions where everyone has to stand around for hours snapping pics and not eating the food. And we’re having fajitas so I will be in there like first in line, lemme tell ya. So 30 minutes tops of some posed photos and then queso. Which I will have to either import because they don’t really have it here, make it myself, or find it in a speciality shop. Oh my. Other news is, we started to buy some decor for the tables and have decided on a flower girl dress. We’re just waiting for one of our flower girls to get over the chicken pox. My next saga here has been avoiding the pox since I have never had it, nor had the vaccine. And they don’t do vaccines here for it, so every year little kids are getting it. AHHH. Do I just get it so it’s not ever a problem, or just pray extra hard every year? Prayers ya’ll.

In other news, I am just hoping that my caffeine free next 10 days doesn’t get to me. I haven’t stopped drinking coffee since I started it like probably 15 years ago? Definitely due for this detox. Already popped an aspirin.

Cheers xx

Sno Day Like A Snow Day

My new residence in the town of Dunstable, UK provides many new feats of adventure I must pass through before fully feeling adjusted. Things like zed. Instead of “Z,” they say zed. How cool is that? Does America even know that? Another wonderful thing is the cold. If it’s gonna be cold, it might as well be snowing, am I right? Certainly the weather agrees. Now I can wear beanies anytime I want. Certainly things dreams are made of.

I have also put a deposit down on a wedding dress, (Thanks Mignonette’s in Luton!) and honestly it only turned out to be about £297, which is about $414 dollars ya’ll. I ain’t sorry. I am winning at life. Now my best attempts are needed to make sure Josh doesn’t see pictures of it. Difficult, as he only needs to scroll through my phone, see messages on FB or text or get on my laptop. But boo knows better.

Missing American way of life i.e. social cues and queso. Making enchiladas tomorrow to help me cope. Must say though, the coffee here is way better so I cannot complain, I cannot. Want to s/o my father and mother who have managed to sell my car back home in Texas in about a month. They’re the greatest. See you all soon in July.

Who knew wedding heels were so comfortable? Why can’t they make normal heels like that?


Listening to : In The Name of Love : Kari Jobe

Boating the Digital World

As many of you know, I just moved to the town of Dunstable, UK to brave the new waters of marriage and love and of commitment. You know how you dream your whole life of becoming a bride, and wait and wait and wait (a little patiently, mostly not patiently at all…) and then plan on your Pinterest board and mentally choose who will be a bridesmaid based on what friend was nice to you that day, or what friend started acting strange and then you no longer wanted to be friends. You know? Can’t just be me, ya’ll (have to bring out the southern more just to make sure everyone around me knows that I’m the foreigner for a change). So that’s where it began. Many some odd years ago, and now I think I’ve finally decided on a wedding dress. Not entirely sure how I got to this point, but I can mainly ay it’s by the grace of God.

So, I want to share my trip, my adventure, my life story. With the intention that it can bring help, healing, and understanding and a bunch of other necessities that sound so cliche when typing out. But are sincerely rudimentary to all humans who have gone through some of the same situations I have. Gonna start subtweeting hard in this. Subblogging? You know. And then you’ll really know. Oh, and also so that my logophilia remains safe because gotta use what you have, and not lose it…  and so Josh can finally stop pestering me to start my blog.

You wanna know what else? Josh bought me this domain name for Valentine’s day, because that’s how cute and nerdy we are. I bought him TRON cryptocurrency, because that’s the kind of girl I became. Another day another digital dollar.

Cheers xx