One of my newest food obsessions is Dannon’s Oikos Dip in Jalapeño and Salsa. I go through about a tub a week. My husband loves it too! The dip tastes great with pretzels and chips or if I’m feeling really healthy, vegetables. Sometimes the vegetables are in the form of veggie straws (I’m not sure if that counts as a vegetable). Oikos Greek Yogurt Jalapeño & Salsa Dip is creamy with a little kick and will jazz up your snack foods. It makes me feel like I’m being decadent without all of the calories. read more…
My friend Angela loves to cook and try new recipes. She gets her love for cooking and sharing meals from her mother who is an excellent cook. I’m happy to announce Angela will be a regular contributor to my blog. At my recent ladies lunch, I sampled her deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon and capers and another with pesto and green onion. Angela has inspired me to try some new combinations on top of my deviled eggs for this years Easter dinner. I love taking an old classic and giving it a new twist. I hope you enjoy her deviled egg topping ideas and instructions for boiling the perfect egg below.
It was a beautiful spring day last Thursday and I decided to skip the gym and go for a walk instead. My friend and I walked a nature trail which backs up to a little farmstead called Deanna Rose which is in the middle of suburbia. When my kids were younger we visited the farmstead at least once a week. I could write a whole blog post about Deanna Rose Farmstead, but today’s post is about little treasures I discovered on my walk. These treasures are little acts of love and kindness that someone (or possibly several people) have left along the nature trail. We came across about five or six fairy/gnome houses built inside trees and hollowed out logs. Several had positive messages written on stones or inside the house. I had my iPhone with me and snapped tons of pictures. I was so excited to come across these little houses that I knew I had to share them. read more…
Spring is in the air! I feel like we’ve finally turned that corner where it feels like spring is here to stay in the Midwest and not just teasing us. I love entertaining pieces and styling food in different ways. I recently hosted a lunch at my house with some of my friends who’ll be contributing recipes to my blog. I was able to focus on decorating the table instead of worrying about preparing the food and put some of the things I learned from the online Skillshare Class: Table-Top Sytling by Justina Blakeney. I’ve enrolled in a few classes now through Skillshare and loved them. The classes I’ve taken are mostly for fun and are inexpensive, quick and you have access to the material at any time. read more…
Asparagus season is upon us! This recipe for asparagus toasts is from my friend Kristin. I’m excited to announce that Kristin will be a regular contributor on my blog and sharing some of her favorite tried and true recipes. Kristin loves to cook and peruse recipes. She often adds or subtracts things to them to fit her own tastes. She found this recipe for asparagus toasts in an issue of Everybody Cooks from Dierbergs Family Markets several years ago. She added the ham to the recipe and has also used a partial packet of ranch dry dressing mix in place of the Italian in the past. I tasted the asparagus toasts with the Italian dressing and they were delicious. read more…
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I love this quote I came across in the February issue of O Magazine by Oprah, “A healthy life is one that’s lived with the goal of making your body and mind feel nourished and alive.” I started a weight training program several weeks ago with a friend and I’ve been trying to eat a little less sugar. I still have room to improve on some of my eating habits, but I’ve tried to be a little more conscious about what I’m eating. I still enjoy sweet treats just not several times a day, seven days a week which used to be my norm. I’ve noticed that I crave sweets when I’m feeling anxious, stressed or depressed. The fact that I’m a woman and have hormones which fluctuate every week doesn’t help matters.
I’m very blessed in many ways, but I’ve been feeling stressed out this Spring. My son will be graduating in May and in addition to all of my usual spring projects like planting flowers and sorting through closets, I have a party to plan. If you need motivation to get some long overdue projects done in your house, just plan a party. I can never focus on one thing at time so I’m redoing my half bathroom, purchasing new patio furniture, redoing my gallery wall in my upstairs hallway and have piles of things to get rid of in my basement. In the meantime I receive a new email every day about a deadline that needs to be met for graduation. I’ve also been scanning Pinterest for graduation party ideas. My head has been swarming with to do’s, deadlines, and ideas. I’m also attending the SNAP conference, doing a makeover on the look of my blog, and celebrating a few family birthdays these next two months.
I’ll have lots of things to share in the coming months, but in the meantime I’ve learned I need to work on my mind and achieving some calm in my life. I need to release the need for perfection and just be present to enjoy working on those projects that bring me joy. I also need to spend less time thinking and more time doing. I wrote a post last spring titled Spring Clean Your Mind. I went back to revisit some of the thoughts I want to release and those thoughts I want to nurture.
Many people are busy during the Spring season. Mom’s, accountants, pastors and teachers all have extra activities and things that need to be done. It’s important to work on nurturing your mind as well as your body. When my mind is stressed out my body feels it. I get backaches and my blood pressure rises. A few things that help calm my mind are: prayer, journaling, creating to do lists, reading inspirational books, talking to friends or my husband about my worries, enjoying a glass of wine and engaging in a mindless activity like watching TV or a movie. As far as physical activity goes I really enjoy yoga. You can read about some of the many benefits of yoga here. I’m also enjoying doing the following video from time to time because it only takes seven minutes and forces me to focus on my breath. I discovered it from a post by Jess Lively on How Presence Can Be Strengthened. She gives great examples of strengthening your intangible muscles.
What are some ways you cope with stress this time of year? Please share in the comments.
Easter is in a few weeks and Pinterest has been flooded with of all sorts of Easter and Spring ideas. These are 10 of my favorite ideas which I’ve come across during my many hours of pinning things on Pinterest. read more…
My family loves to eat breakfast for dinner. I love it because it’s an easy meal to make and often economical. As hard as I’ve tried in the past, my kids rarely eat breakfast in the morning. They just aren’t hungry first thing in the morning so we rarely eat breakfast as a family unless my in-laws are in town for the weekend. The other exception is when my husband picks up Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits. I’m also not a morning person and don’t care to cook that time of day. However, I do like casseroles I can assemble the night before and just pop in the oven.
This breakfast pizza recipe is easy to assemble and makes a hearty meal. You can pair it with some fruit or a smoothie for a complete and budget friendly meal. This recipe is part of a budget friendly family meal recipe exchange I’m participating in. For lots of other budget friendly meal ideas check out the links provided.
- 1 lb. sausage
- 1 pkg Pillsbury crescent rolls
- 1 c frozen hash browns, thawed (I used the shredded)
- 1 c sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 eggs
- ¼ c milk
- Cook sausage and drain.
- Separate rolls and press into ungreased 9×13 pan. Press together and up sides.
- Spoon sausage over crust.
- Sprinkle on potatoes and top with cheddar cheese.
- Beat eggs and milk and pour on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes uncovered.