Showing posts from 2014

{Family Approved} BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

I was thrilled when this meal was happily consumed by O, who is my pickier eater. It did take a little convincing. But once he found out it was Meatball's cousin he was more willing to try and from there it seems to be history. Hopefully this is a meal that he continues to eat and not one of the fluke meals that he all of the sudden protests when I make. You all know what I am talking about...pouting, foot stomping and faces like I am trying to feed him duck poo!

Thanks to my girlfriend Erin for introducing us this is great dish! You can find the recipe here at Once Upon a Chef.

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: appox. 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes


BBQ Glaze:
2/3 cupketchup1/3 cuplight brown sugar, packed1-1/2 tablespoonsapple cider vinegar1/2 teaspoonDijon mustard
Meatloaf: 1 tablespoonolive oil1 cupminced yellow onion, from one large onion3 clovesgarlic, minced1-1/4 teaspoonsalt3/4 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper2 teaspoonsdried paprika1 teaspoondried thyme1-1/2 tablespoonsWor…

Sausage and Kale Pasta {21 Day Fix Recipe}

Don't let the "kale" in the post title scare you away. I know what you're thinking. I once thought that way. I'll share a little secret on how I started eating kale. It's like a little trick; your brain will forget it's eating kale. How you ask? Homemade kale chips! Delish. I eat them trays at a time, they're so addicting. Once I started making these, I started adding kale little by little to salads and pasta. It was just the trick I needed to try something new that I was unsure about. If you're interested in trying to make kale chips, here is an easy recipe from our friends at

Now onto the Sausage and Kale Pasta... so what's with the 21 Day Fix recipe you ask? Well, this house is turning over a new leaf. A friend and sorority sister of mine is a Beachbody Coach. I have been watching from afar (Facebook) her lifestyle transformation and realized I wanted that for my family also. I was not an easy sell though. Like anything, a lif…

Warning: Cute Baby Gifts

My family and I are currently in a state of Baby Bliss. Our little nephew, Liam Jack, arrived yesterday, October 10, 2014 at 2:04pm. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 18 1/2 inches of pure sweetness. Needless to say, we're in love. Liam is my 3rd nephew! Boys are plentiful in our family with my 2 of the now 5 grand kids on my side of the family being boys.

A lot goes into preparing for bringing a baby home, especially for first time parents like my brother and sister-in-law. The fun part of all of it, is shopping for the little guy! Luckily, we like to shop. My sister-in-law, picked a fun nautical theme for Liam's room. What I liked best, was she didn't go with the traditional red and blues that you usually see with the nautical theme. Instead she chose navy blue, kelly green and light grey. Love, love, love the combination. Check out the finished nursery below.

Being the Auntie of this little guy, gave me every excuse in the book to shop and spoil him. I love making h…

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This has become a favorite in our house. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical the first time I made this. My husband's favorite dish is Chicken Parmesan. What was I thinking trying to pull off some impostor Chicken Parmesan casserole thing? We sat down at the table to eat. I announced I was trying a new spin on an old favorite. The Mister looked at me with excitement and just a pinch of skepticism.  I held my breath as he dove his fork into the casserole. Well?, I said. "This is great!" exclaimed the Mister and the rest is history. This delicious, quick and easy meal has become a go to. I  even cut a few calories by using lower fat or part skim cheese. Every little bit helps, right?

So take note, because this is going to be a winner in your house.

2-3 chicken breast cubed
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce (this may vary depending on how much sauce you like and how much chicken you use)
Parmesan cheese (sprinkled to taste)
1 cup…

Life Hack- What to do with hanging blind cords???

{This is NOT a sponsored post, just my opinion, based on my experiences.}

We have a lot of windows in our house.  I love the natural light it gives, especially in our kitchen nook. This particular set of windows happens to be a favorite with the boys. The height of the window is just perfect for their peering little eyes. What stinks about these windows is that the blinds are typically open, which means the blind cords hang extra long. Long enough for a little boy to play with, tug on and try to pull off the wall! Not to mention, probably some sort of choking hazard.

In an effort to keep my blinds on the windows and the boys safe; I needed to find a solution fast. And I did! The good news is that it was a quick and cheap fix. Super cheap because I happen to have a package of Command Clear mini hooks on hand. If you haven't used Command hooks before, you're missing out! They're great because you don't have to put holes in your walls and they're easy to remove. I use…

Homemade Cookie Monster Ice Cream

Made with love... and lots of yummy ingredients! I was looking for an activity to do with O in the afternoon while P was napping. While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke and her recipe for Cookie Monster Ice cream. The hook, line and sinker was NO machine!

We love ice cream, all of us, even P (he eats everything). We love it so much, that I know better than to keep it in the house. Instead we find any reason to make a trip to our favorite ice cream place, Kilwins. Reasons might be- It's Sunday, it's hot outside or let's go to Barnes and Noble...hey, what do you know Kilwins is next door! Always a reason.

{Adapted from Capturing Joy with kristen duke}


ice cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream1- 8oz package of lite cream cheese1- 14 ox can of fat free sweetened condensed milk mix ins: 10 Back to Nature cream filled cookies10 Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip CookiesBlue food coloringDirections-
Chill 2 metal bowls and beater blades for at leas…

30 Day Water Challenge- Game On!

I have recently been inspired by all of my Beach Body friends, who knew I had so many! While I am not ready to join the Beach Body family; I am learning a lot from my friends who have made the lifestyle change. I am enjoying seeing everyone's success, reading their tips and hearing their words of encouragement.

Last night while perusing Pinterest, I saw my friend Sabrina, (who is also a Beach Body coach) was pinning a bunch of information about 30 Day Water Challenges and it got me thinking. Drinking water has always been something I've struggled with. Even while pregnant with the boys, I would have to force myself to drink the recommended amount. I would leave myself notes, set alarms on my phone and even mark my water bottle with times during the day to remind me that I should have drank so many ounces by certain times. It just never came easy to me. I've decided to change that. I have accepted the challenge. I have challenged myself to drink 60 ounces of water a day for…

Spinach, Mozzarella and Tomato Quesadilla

A must try! So delicious and easy. It was an added bonus for our family because it was something I could easily make an adapted version of for the boys. They prefer a much simpler, cheese only version. Not to mention, I already had all of the ingredients (besides feta cheese) at home.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. It's was a little crazy, as it usually is in the dinner time hour, rushing to make and get everyone fed before they turn into gremlins and their heads start spinning. The picture that I am sharing below is from The Garden Gazer. It was this photo that had me running for the grocery store to pick up feta cheese.

Photo credit: The Garden Gazer
Ingredients: -sliced grilled chicken breasts -roma tomato, sliced thin - pesto -baby spinach -low fat crumbled feta -part skim shredded mozzarella -tortillas
Directions: -Place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat. -Spread a layer of pesto over tortilla. -Add a layer of shredded mozzarella and feta cheeses. -Add a …

UPDATE on our Summer Bucket List!

Too long, it's been too long since I've posted. Hard to believe it's the end of July and we'll be ringing in August at the end of the week. July has been a whirlwind. I honestly can't even begin to tell you where it's gone. I can tell you we've been busy and enjoying our summer despite some stomach bug that has run circles in our house, Ugh! That is finally(hopefully) behind us and will NOT return.

Camp is over for O, so we've been trying to keep busy. Being busy = mommy's sanity. Plus it means less screen time for the boys. I am not super strict about the TV or iPad, but I know when enough is enough.

We've made it a 1/3 of the way through our bucket list. We've got a ways to go, so it's a good thing the first official day of Fall is not until September 23.

Here's a snap shot of a few of our Summer Bucket List Adventures and Activities!
The Summer Bucket List has been so much fun for me and the kids. It has kept us on the ball and bu…

4th of July Deco Mesh Wreath

I made this beauty last week, but am just finding making time to share about it. It's not my best work. I wouldn't coin it a failure, but it's definitely a first attempt at its finest.

Materials: -Wood letter -Paint- red, white, blue -Wire wreath (size is personal prefrence) -Deco Mesh- I used a burlap and then an actual burlap ribbon instead of mesh for my 2nd layer. -Pipe cleaners (appox. 20)- these should be the same color as your mesh. (This was my first rookie mistake with this wreath. Because I couldn't find a light brown pipe cleaner, I used a white pipe cleaner which you can clearly clearly see in the wreath.)

This was a two part project. Painting the my wooden letter and then creating my mesh wreath.
Part 1was painting the wooden "S". I bought a white "S" so all I need to do was add the red stripes, blue and white stars. I used a ruler to measure my red stripes. There is no science to this. It's really just personal preference as to how …

Spoiling our Super Hero for Father's Day

Father's Day is almost here. I was actually on the ball this year and started my Father's Day shopping over a month ago. Shocker, right? I ordered this awesome HERO DIY picture book from Thoughts In Vinyl. If you've never heard of this website, stop what your doing (well, after you read this post) and check it out now! She has such cool stuff. I found her site through a daily deals site when I ordered a pre-cut vinyl and since then, I've order a few times from her. This is the first time I've ordered one of her DIY projects and I wish I had ordered one sooner.

I was impressed with the simplicity of it. She does all of the hard work. In this case, she cuts the wooden letters and all I had to do was personalize to my liking. Instructions are included.

 I used an assortment of comic book/super hero scrapbook paper that I found in Michaels. Seemed fitting for the theme. After all, Dad is OUR super Hero!

I traced each letter onto the paper, cut and then used Mod Podge t…