Author Archives: Aunt LaLa

About Aunt LaLa

Passionate about her marriage! Loves to encourage wives in their marriages. Juggles being a student, a working woman, being a wife, and Aunt LaLa to her niece and nephews. Loves blogging about life, marriage, infertility, and her faith.

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwich 2

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwich

Since becoming a mom to E only 9 short months ago my main concern is to find ways to fix a good meal but quickly and something that doesn’t take a lot of work. Not too long ago I decided that I wanted to use my crock pot skills and take them to another level.

I decided the first thing I wanted to learn how to fix was pulled pork. One of my favorite things is a good pulled pork sandwich but I am kind of picky about how my pork is cooked. So I decided to take what I like most about the other pulled pork dishes and make my own. 

*Disclaimer: I don’t usually cook with measurements but by taste. And some estimations *

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches


  • 1lb pork Loin
  • Bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Sam’s Choice hickory honey, so yummy)
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 Yellow onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

First in the crock pot place your two stalks in the bottom and slice about half the onion then place in the bottom. Put enough BBQ sauce to cover the bottom. Turn crock pot on low (6hrs) or high (3hrs)

Season the meat with the above seasonings and sear each side of the meat before putting into the crock pot. Then put some BBQ sauce over the pork. 

If you are leaving this to cook all day then cook on low for 6 hours and if you don’t want to wait com on high for 3 hours.

Then you just let it cook! The juice is so good! My mouth is watering now just typing this all up. 

You can shred for sandwiches or use for a topping on nachos (we did that with left overs, so good!)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know how it turns out!


chicken in white wine sauce

Aunt Vivian’s Chicken in White Wine Sauce

I have never much cared for Italian cuisine. I could leave pasta, the red sauce, and the rich meat sauce alone. Oh but this was until I met an Italian who cooks authentic Italian food. Sharon, our associate pastor and dear friend, introduced me to authentic Italian cuisine about five years ago now. I have tried the best fresh ingredients and flavors. With Sharon’s permission I am sharing this gem of a recipe!

Something I’ve noticed about Italians and the way they cook: It must be made in love! :-D

From listening to her stories about her family and seeing her love pour out onto us I know that these dishes are more than just making a meal. It is about showing people you love them and wanting to sit down and fellowship with them.

This recipe has been my favorite thus far (and trust me, I have had some amazing dishes).

The Italian name for this dish is: Pollo zia Vivian in salsa di vino bianco which translates to…

Aunt Vivian’s Chicken in White Wine Sauce

  • 4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup olive oil (approximately)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 5 oz white wine (vino bianco)
  • 6 chicken bouillon cubes

With a meat mallet pound the chicken breasts into flour (I put them in a ziploc bag).

Pour approximately 1/2″ of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken. Cook chicken until it turns white. Remove chicken to a separate plate.

Lower the heat and add the parsley and garlic into the pan. When the garlic turns transparent. Add the butter, wine, and the juice of the lemon letting it simmer on low.

In a mason jar (or container with a lid) add about 10-12 oz hot water & bouillon cubes, taking care to not burn your hand on the hot jar. Shake vigorously, then add 2 Tbs flour & cold water. Shake well. Add this mixture to the skillet. Pour over the chicken. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. It should be bubbly and yummy!

This can served over mashed potatoes (that is my vote) or over pasta!

Hope you enjoy!


chicken stir fry

Easy Chicken Stir Fry

My dad went to culinary arts school. So growing up I had a chance to taste all sorts of creations! 

When I got married and started cooking for my husband (at the time I could NOT cook) and we had some adventures. I tried simple recipes. After awhile I started making and mixing my own stuff. This has been a slow process simply because I am a busy woman! I have things to do besides slave over a complicated recipe… oh did I mention I am not that patient? :)

So a couple weeks ago I made a dish.. from scratch! It was SO easy! I had to share with all you other busy women out there! (Also this was my VERY FIRST time cooking with ginger! I loved it)

Easy Chicken Stir Fry


  • 2 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 bag of minute rice / instant / boil in a bag
  • 2 green peppers or red peppers
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Vegetable or Olive oil
  • Salt
  • ginger powder
  • garlic powder
  • soy sauce


Preheat oven to 425. Cut chicken breast into strips. Season chicken with salt, ginger powder, and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly across the chicken. I did not measure this. Just eyeballed it :) Cook the chicken until done. Then cut into bite sized chunks. 


Cut the peppers and onion into strips. Then heat up a skillet or frying pan to medium heat with a little oil. I didn’t measure the oil, but my guess is that it was about 3-4 tablespoons. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ginger and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Saute with the onions and peppers (when the onions are clear they are done). 

OK, now I had some instant rice because that is the extent of my talent with rice :) I followed directions on box. 

Add the chicken to the veggie pan. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Thoroughly mix into the rice. 

Viola! You have a healthy, yummy dinner!! 

Disclaimer: I made this portion for just the two of us, so you may want to add more if your cook for a larger family. Also add or take away spices for your families taste buds. Feel free to add more veggies if you want (carrots, snow peas, red onions, water chestnuts, or broccoli). I used what I had on hand. If you have fresh garlic and ginger, use it. It will make it even better!!!


Aunt LaLa

Granma Pruitt's Tender Chicken

Grandma Pruitt’s Tender Chicken

I have such fond memories of my maternal great grandmother. Grandma Pruitt came to our house frequently.

There was a recipe my dad created that Grandma Pruitt loved!

She would always eat several pieces.

Dad made it for her every time she came over. So I am going to share it with you.

It is one of my favorite things! (and sooo simple!!)

Grandma Pruitt’s Tender Chicken


  • 4 Chicken Breast
  • Jar of Miracle Whip (or salad dressing)
  • Bottle of Italian salad dressing
  • Lemon pepper
  • garlic powder

You will need to marinate chicken first. Lightly dust chicken with the lemon pepper and garlic powder. In a bowl that you can cover put the chicken in there and pour a little less than half of the Italian salad dressing. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Let sit for a few hours – or longer if you decide. I usually leave it soaking while I’m at work.

Sauce: (Amounts can be altered depending your own taste)

  • Add 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip
  • Add the remainder of the Italian dressing
  • Mix it and it’s ready. As far as consistency it needs to be thin enough to go over chicken and have some in the bottom of the pan. Just needs to be placed in a medium/smaller size pan. A little deep for sauce.
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Pour sauce over chicken
  3. Bake until done (40-45 minutes) – I like mine crispy :)

That is it! See how simple? It is so good! I usually pair it up with a good salad and maybe some rolls or biscuits.

Let me know how you like it.

What’s your favorite chicken recipe?

Come visit me over at Aunt LaLa !



blast the music

Blast the Music – a Practical Fun Date Night

I really hope I am not the only one that feels a little overwhelmed by all the Christmas decorations needing to be put away, or the presents still needing to be organized now that all the holidays are over!

I did not think so. :)

Sometimes I think we as couples get into a routine, I know we do around here.  It can also get a little stale with all the mundane things.

We do not have kids to keep us busy, so unless you count the MANY times of getting on our dogs – reminding them they are not 10lbs but close to 70… then its pretty calm and um… boring? 

OK, I said it. We can be boring!

This may not be an Einstein-like idea but come on… stay with me.

I was brainstorming on how to do things differently around here when the mundane things get … well mundane. (giggle)

So I’m going to share what we do around here.

I’ll be willing to guess that putting away your decorations, presents, or even cleaning the house is not what you want to do for date night, right?

Moving the furniture back to its pre-Christmas locations or rearranging things for the New Year is not romantic either.. I know this.

So why not make it be?

Hear me out. This is how we do it here…

1. Get a game plan – this can be just you and the hubby or you can get the kids involved. Decide what room to tackle, or maybe you split up? Kids do their room and the parents do one… whatever the case may be, HAVE A PLAN.

2. Make it FUN – I’m not even in the same category as June Cleaver, so I know cleaning and organizing isn’t glamorous nor could I tackle it in heels. But when the hubs and I crank some 80′s music and start dancing around, now THAT is fun!

3. Have a reward for a job well done: Shower together and go ahead and give a massage while you’re there. Then go OUT for dinner (don’t dirty the clean kitchen), whatever suits you!

So you see, it is not all that bad right? Come on… Can’t you see yourself dancing to Dead or Alive’s “You spin me round”?

You know you want to Youtube it now.. go ahead! It is one of my favorites!

Now it’s your turn, go ahead, Blast the Music!

Come visit me over at Aunt LaLa!

Happy With My Family of Two - Love and Infertility

Happy With My Family of Two {Stories of Infertility & Love}

Happy With My Family of Two - Love and Infertility

If you’ve read my journey of marriage over the past ten years, you likely know there is one thing our love has not been able to overcome: Infertility.

“Our reproductive system is broken,” I reminded a few friends of mine over lunch on Friday.

We all shared a good laugh because -according to them- I said it like a little kid, matter-of-factly, and with complete abandon.

I’m not ashamed of it and don’t feel ‘less than’ because we haven’t been able to reproduce.  It’s just a piece of fabric in the beautiful tapestry that is our marriage.

We’ve never allowed it to impact the strength of our friendship or love.  We know expanding our family would be amazing; a dream come true.  But if that never happens, we are perfectly happy with our family of two.

That is why this post by HWC contributor, Lauren (aka Aunt LaLa) touched my heart.  There are so many couples who face the challenge of infertility and allow it to chip away at the armor of their marriage.  

Don’t allow that couple to be you.

Your love is stronger than infertility and your family of two is more than enough.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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On my wedding day someone asked me, “So when are we going to see some little J’s and little L’s running around?” Seriously, I’m not making this up.  I just smiled and said the same answer I’d been telling people. “I need to finish college first.”

I was already weary of that answer and it was just the beginning of our marriage.  Now, years later, that question never seems to go away.  

At times, I’ve thought about answering with: “Well, we’ve been trying to get pregnant for four years, have suffered one miscarriage, and at this point aren’t sure if we ever will be pregnant. But thanks for the reminder.”

Maybe that’s a tad dramatic of a response but some days I am definitely tempted. 

This is not coming from someone who embraces the thought of not having kids.  I am not someone who thought it would take this long for us to have children (I had a plan, you know).  This is someone who desires to be a mother…one day.

It was a process to be able to accept our family of two.  Honestly, my husband has been a great encourager and began to help me embrace this thought of a family of two.

There were some truths I had to come to grips with:

1) I can choose to set aside the “plans” I had for my life.  Those plans I felt entitled to that have not happened as I thought they should/would.

2) I can either continue to let our infertility overtake my life or embrace what is in the now.

3) I came up with the first plan, I can come up with another.  I am able to make new and improved plans with my husband.

4) To find happiness in this moment, and not allow life to pass me by, I must embrace our family of two and start making memories today.

For some time, everything had become overrun with grief over the loss of our precious baby and the dreams I had for our lives.

That was the past, this is now.  And in this moment, this point in our life, I can honestly say I am happy with our family of two!  My husband and I are crafting new plans! If you too have a story of infertility (or other plans you made for your marriage that haven’t yet happened), take this time to reevaluate.

Infertility can really be a stumbling block in your marriage and can take over your life…if you allow it.

Remember you still have each other and are the best companions for one another. So live life in the now and see what great things you can achieve TOGETHER!

Since I made this decision, I have had the weight lifted off my shoulders. There is not as much pressure in reproducing. My answer now is “We are a family of two for now and are enjoying every minute of it.” Guess what? It is actually true.

Question: What have you enjoyed most about your family of two?


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The Power of Touch

The Power of Touch

I am assuming that almost everyone is aware of the power of touch. Coming from my education background I always find these topics of interest. I read an article recently by Psychology Today that grabbed my attention.

In the article Dr. Herbenick talks about her desire to be touched.  She mentions benefits for our husbands sexual satisfaction by the power of touch.  To my surprise it was not a sexual touch, but instead cuddling, caressing, and being together.

This article made me think back to my husband and my favorite times together.

Here is the date night that walk down memory lane conjured up.  It’s a date my husband and I did without any planning involved.  At that moment we had no children at home, so for those with kids this may require some planning.

We did this when we were feeling disconnected because of schedules and such. When we do not have quality time together, it generally shows in our communication.

To start off the date night, the first thing we do is to get comfortable. For me I’m usually in a tank and shorts. And ladies… no bra! I have not met one women who is comfortable in those blasted things. :)

This date can take place on your porch, couch, wherever you are comfortable, yet can be touching… but my favorite place is our bed.

(I’m blushing… geeze)

There are a couple of reasons.

1. CUDDLE TIME! – It is so much easier to cuddle and have skin-on-skin contact.

2. It’s a presence and environment of rest.

We start by talking about things we have miscommunicated over the last day-week-month. We talk things out while holding hands, hugging, and caressing. Even when we discuss things that may have upset us, because we are cuddling and touching our defenses are down. It becomes much easier to get out what we are feeling and solve any conflicts.

We talk about our dreams and plans. I think this is important. We get so busy with life we forget all those dreams and plans we have. Reconnect through those.

We also talk about funny stories, or things we have been through, that we can now laugh about.

There are a few rules to this:

#1. NO electronics… put them away. Your spouse needs to feel you are listening to him. 

#2. No Sex – I know that could possibly (or probably) will lead to this… but hold off. Trust me after having a connection and talking things out you will feel incredibly close.

#3. No time limit- If you have children this might be a challenge, or if you are really busy. But set a couple hours aside for just you and your spouse.

I love the benefits of this date! Communication, touch, and quality time with the one you love. Try it and let me know if it helped you connect! I know it has for my hubby and I!

Staying Hopeful, Aunt LaLa



Welcome to Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach With Aunt LaLa

Myrtle Beach, SC was a great get away! Full of things to do for a family and couples! The places to try new in eatery, activities are abounding!

My family had never been to Myrtle Beach, SC. I am so glad that we did!  We’d heard so many great things about it from family and friends. We planned to go in April for a couple of reasons:

1. Before the heavy tourist season;

2. It was cooler;

I searched several hotels for our stay. Reading over reviews and such. We finally decided to stay in Coral Beach Resort.

This was our first time staying in a resort and I personally don’t believe another hotel would add up!  Then again, it was our first time at a resort so we don’t have much of a basis of comparison.  Either way, the Coral Beach Resort was beautiful!  The price was not that bad compared to other resorts surrounding it.

The property is located on the beach, has 10 different water areas: pools, hot tubs, kid water park, lazy river…even a sauna!  For activities, they offer bowling, arcade, restaurant, cafe, work out room, and a general store.

There are a couple of things I think that need to work on however. You can read more about that on my post at Aunt LaLa.

During our week stay we visited several places that I loved! These places are great, some are your normal touristy places but some were unique finds.

There was the Gay Dolphin (Which had 9 levels), Nostalgia Museum, Sky Lift, and Christmas mouse, the Boardwalk.

Of course who can forget about where to eat!

I highly recommend:


Margaritaville (Yep, we are Parrot Heads)

Plantation Pancake House

Mammy’s Kitchen

Damon’s Grill

These were my favorites!

As you can clearly see we had a great time! And I would recommend going to Myrtle Beach, SC!

Staying Hopeful,
Aunt LaLa

Movie and a Picnic

Movie and a Picnic

My husband and I operate on a very tight budget. However, we don’t let that keep us from having date night.  Each month we plan to have two date nights. We each take a date night and we are responsible for this date. I thought of what we could do for a cheap date at home. I thought what better thing is it to cuddle up with your honey where you can be comfortable and romantic without any interruptions. 

Items you will need:

  • Jar/bucket/bowl
  • Questions to encourage conversation and getting to know each other better
  • Movie (you already own)
  • Rose petals (Dollar Tree)
  • Your own blankets/pillows
  • Candles (whatever you have around the house)
  • 2 envelopes with instructions
  • Printed out quotes for the movie
  • Tickets to the movie (I handmade them)

I Decorated my jar (you can use whatever container your want) and placed the questions in the jar. During the week leading up to the date I would text him little cute messages about our date or little clues. I wrote some questions out and tore them into strips. On the day of our date I sent him an actual invite to his email.  When he arrived home after work I was ready to go. 

We lived across the street from a park. I had packed a little bag with a candle and some apple slices. I also had my jar (That I decorated) that had strips of questions in there that we could ask each other.  We found a table and sat down. I put some music on my phone and lit the candle. We sat there just enjoying each other’s company. The questions were great and provided some laughs! 

I told him it was time to move on. 

“There is more?” he asked. Giggle. 

I gave him two envelopes.

#1 Envelope: Money for a cheap lunch. $7 to be exact, pizza and fries ( which is a meal in the movie ..sticking to my theme); His instructions included taking me home and going to get the food.  Open #2 envelope when he arrives back home

#2 Envelope: had his movie ticket in it and instructions to come in

While he was gone I made a romantic picnic scene in the living room. I made a padded area with blankets pillows. I spread the rose petals everywhere. I lit candles around the living room.  I also posted the quotes from the movie in random places and then a movie poster on the door so he would see it before he walked in. Made sure the movie was ready for just to hit play. 

It was a great night! He enjoyed my efforts and felt very special. 

It was a little prep work but worth it! He still says that was his favorite date night ever  

All together this date was under $10! 

Staying Hopeful, 

Lauren @ Aunt LaLa

Chicken Wraps

Aunt LaLa’s Chicken Wraps

I love chicken! You may not know me but everyone around me certainly knows I love it! So I’m always looking for new ways to change it up and be creative! Since being healthy is a big focus in my home these days I wanted to come up with a recipe that not only was yummy but good for me too! I love to make a recipe of my own and I think these wraps are the ideal things for that! You can put in as much or little ingredients as you want while the flavors blend together giving you a tasty healthy meal! Plus, if you’re not a big cooker (like me) you need something easy and simple to do! And ingredients you can pronounce, am I right? So go ahead and try this! It’s a new staple in my house!

(Makes 4 wraps)


  • 3 boneless chicken breast frozen
  • lemon pepper salt (approx 1 tsp per chicken breast)
  • coarse black pepper (depending on your taste)
  • 1 bottle of Kikkoman teriyaki base and glaze
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 4 regular home style tortilla shells (the burrito or regular size)

Directions for Chicken

  1. Pre-heat oven 425-450 for approximately 40 minutes. My chicken was frozen so if thawed cooking time will be less.
  2. Before cooking poke holes in chicken then season the chicken with lemon pepper and black pepper
  3. After chicken is cooked drizzle teriyaki sauce on your chicken
  4. Turn off oven and place chicken back in oven
  5. Make your cilantro topping while chicken is warming in the oven

Cilantro-Lime Topping

  • Take your ½ bunch of cilantro and chop it finely
  • Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice 
  • Mix it in bowl
  1. Warm tortilla shells according to the bag/container
  2. Cut chicken into strips

Now you can put your wraps together with as much cilantro as you like or add more teriyaki. Remember the great thing about this recipe is that you can add or take away different things, make it your own!

Staying Hopeful,

Lauren @ Aunt LaLa