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Years ago we went to a BBQ at a friend’s house. My husband sampled the beans she had made and kept offering them to me.

Well, full disclosure: I don’t really love beans.

I kept declining to try them, and finally did (just to shut him up. Y’all know the feeling!). Well, I’ll be! I actually liked these beans!

She called them Settler’s Beans and gave me the recipe. I’m not sure where it originally came from, but over the years, I’ve tweaked it and we now call them Cowboy Beans since I added BBQ sauce and chili powder to the recipe.

These are hearty enough to be a meal, but will also be a great compliment to lots of main dishes. They are also great to bring to a potluck. I’ve taken them to my church picnic for the last several years and the bowl is all but licked clean.

You can make them in a pan or in a slow cooker if you want them to stay warm for a while.

Feel free to halve the recipe if you aren’t making beans for a crowd. But at our house, the more Cowboy Beans, the better.

Brittney Lee: Cowboy Beans {Foodie Friday}

Brittney Lee: Cowboy Beans {Foodie Friday}


  • 2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans pork n’ beans
  • 2 15-ounce cans each great northern beans and red beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash of hot sauce (more if you like them spicy)


  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat until flavors are blended and beans are warm. If putting in a slow cooker, you can keep them on low for 4-6 hours.


Brittney Lee is a native Arkansan with a love for bright lights and big city. She often escapes her 20-acre home south of Fort Smith to shop, eat, and catch a concert in the big city. She blogs about her life, her faith, her adventures, her dogs, and her country home at


Do You Love Yourself?

January 19, 2017

by Mandie Sherrod

Flashback to 2013. Not the absolute worst year of my life, but a really close second. I loathed my job, broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years, & was still having issues on a daily basis with the fact I would never get to talk to my mom again. I jumped in a dark black hole of self-destruction a few years prior when my mom passed away after a long fight with cancer, but now I was shoulder deep in some serious binge drinking & eating.

Bourbon & Dr. Pepper was my go to, to help me forget about everything. I didn’t care about anything or anyone, especially myself. I would drink as soon as I woke up, have a drink during my lunch break, have a drink and then drive somewhere, and drank myself to sleep most every night. This self-destructive behavior led to this woman, a 220-pound force of (drunken) nature. Is the woman in this picture me?!? HECK NO! And I will never be her again. No more hiding from the world behind black hair & a glass of bourbon. A few short years later, & I’m back.

I bet you’re wondering how I turned it all around or what I did to get back to functional human being status? The simple truth is, I did it step by step. One day I looked in the mirror and thought, “Mandie, You can’t do this to yourself anymore. You are better than this shell of a woman you’ve become.” That is the day I decided, to make a change.

I knew my first step was to quit drinking. I didn’t go to AA meetings, I didn’t quit hanging out with my friends who drank, I just quit. I took it one day at a time. Did I think about alcohol some days and want just a sip? Yes. Did I find myself in friend’s liquor cabinets just for a smell of their whiskey? A time or two. Have I drank in the past two and a half years? No!

A few months after I quit drinking, I felt the best I had in a while. I dropped 20 pounds in no time and I didn’t think about alcohol that much anymore. When I used to drink on a daily basis, my fibromyalgia was really, really bad, and now, even that aspect of my life seemed to be getting a little bit better. My change in weight and change in health made me want to change even more!

I decided at that point, that I wanted to be the best version of myself. Since I cut out alcohol, I decided to cut out other things in my life that weren’t allowing me to be just that. People that were holding me back. Habits that weren’t good for me. Then I took some time to myself. I sat down and wrote down some goals I wanted to achieve and what it would take to get there.

I wanted to be healthier, so I started eating healthier, doing yoga, getting monthly massages, and working out with a personal trainer. I wanted to inspire others so I started giving 100% at my job and with people that surrounded me. I wanted to give back so I started holding fundraisers and giving the proceeds away to families with children with cancer. All of these things brought good changes in my life & there are many more to come!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had setbacks. But each time, they’ve led to something even better. For example, right after I started this journey, I finally found a job that I loved, as the General Manager of a small business. I loved my team there, looked forward to going to work everyday, and we were almost like a little family. But after a couple of years of building the business up, the owner sold the company. When this person took charge, almost overnight, the whole place did a 180. This once happy place, turned into a not so happy place to work. Everyone was miserable. I was miserable. Did this newfound negative environment at work make me want to give up and dive back into a hole of Bourbon? Yes! Did it stomp on my newfound sunshine? Heck yes!  

But, I pushed through it for 6 months. However, during that time, I went back on a bit of a spiral. I didn’t drink any alcohol, but I found myself binging on food again. Every Day, I ate tons of sugar. Ice Cream, Brownies, Cheesecake, Dr. Pepper. You name it, I was stuffing it in my face. Although I was back in the grips of my binging habits, the wheels in my mind were still turning. “You can’t stay here in this work environment, this isn’t where you are meant to be!” So, I decided to take another step and start two businesses of my own. I worked diligently day and night and didn’t sleep just so I could get these new ventures off the ground.

With my newfound stress at work, binge eating, and lack of sleep from working around the clock, I was exhausted. The fact that one of my new tasks at work was slinging around 50 pound boxes didn’t help much either. I started getting sick a lot and was in and out of the doctor’s office on a weekly basis getting poked and prodded. My body was so tired that I felt like I could barely function. One day I went to the doctor and he told me that I couldn’t live like this anymore, and I had to quit my day job or my fibromyalgia was going to disable me eventually.

That visit to the doctor’s office was when it clicked again for me. I had to move on. The next Monday I turned it my notice at that job and now I’m self-employed. This new chapter of my life is so good! I love my new job(s) and my new life and wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel better than I have in a really long time and I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring! No matter what happens this year, I will keep pushing forward!

The whole point of this story is no matter where you are or what you’re doing, there is always a way out. A way to be better.  A way to turn your life around. But you have to decide to change. You have to decide that you don’t want to be stuck where you are anymore. No one is going to do it for you. With a little willpower, you can do anything! This applies to any situation you’re in. Just figure out where you want to be & start taking baby steps to get there.

Will you have setbacks? Yes. Will it be uncomfortable at times? YES! But guess what? Progress takes place outside of your comfort zone. Is there something you want to do or change? My advice: get up off that booty and go for it, because you are worth it! Life is short, so why not be the best version of you? You can do it! Deep down, you know you can. And, I know you can.

Take a day to yourself to think. Envision the future you want to have. What steps will it take to get there? Write them down, and then get started. One step at a time. One day at a time. Be persistent, be hungry for success, and make a little progress every single day. Don’t lie down and give up on life. It’s time to get up and love yourself. Baby steps may not seem like much right now, but they can be a real game changer.  And when you’re life changes for the better, you are going to be glad you put in the effort. Just remember, you are only one decision away from a totally different life.

What would you attempt to do in 2017 if you knew that you could not fail?

Mandie Sherrod is an Entrepreneur, Good Samaritan, Marketing Genius, Master Gardener, Gifted Napper, and Recovering Ben & Jerry’s Addict living in Little Rock, AR. Mandie runs a small marketing firm ( and also crafts handmade jewelry and accessories made from spent ammo rounds ( Her new blog, ( is where you can get the dish on Gardening, Farming, Cooking, High Heels, and Everything Country!


A Day in the Life of Arkansas’ Youtuber

January 16, 2017

by Mister January 2017, James “Busvlogger” Moore Okay, nobody calls me “Arkansas’ Youtuber”, except the precedent has been set on the Arkansas Women Blogger’s site… right here… because I wrote it just now. Being a stay-at-home dad / video blogger / homestead farmer comes with a lot of diverse daily experiences. Some are glamorous, like […]

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Sunday Link-Up {Jan. 15, 2016}

January 15, 2017
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Lyndi Fultz

January 13, 2017

  I’ve been dreaming about this salad for weeks. Seriously. As I filled out my content calendar for the January, I typed in this post title. You see, several months ago I came up with the title and giggled at writing the word “hearty.” It was going to be January and super frigid and figured […]

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A Year of Intentional Happiness

January 12, 2017

By Heidi Finley This past year has been a hard one for a lot of people, filled with political turmoil and personal tragedies that seemed to just keep piling on top of one another. The emotional weight has been heavy, and bright spots have seemed fewer and further between than usual. Fortunately, the beginning of […]

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Step By Step {Wordless Wednesday}

January 11, 2017

By Amanda Farris of  Amazing Grace and Living the Adventure Amanda Farris is a former teacher/coach who hung up the whistle when she got promoted to mom. She still keeps those competitive juices by running in local races and playing competitive board games with her kids. She is the reigning Jenga champion in her home.  […]

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Step by Step: A Story About Cottage Cheese Containers and Building a Barn

January 9, 2017

By Mister January 2017, James “Busvlogger” Moore So I switched places with my wife to become the stay-at-home parent right as The Great Recession dropped. (I think that’s what we’re calling it now.) Our income was halved just as we were taking on new college debt; as Jamie started nursing school. It was a sobering […]

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Sunday Link-Up {Jan. 8, 2016}

January 8, 2017


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