Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer "Spaghetti"

Every summer growing up, one dinner that always landed on the table at Sunday night dinner at my aunt's house was Summer Spaghetti. After an afternoon of swimming, we'd all sit down and enjoy this summer dish. Now each of us liked or hated bits and pieces of all of it, so this is my version of what we were served over the years of my childhood.

This recipe is one of my very favorites and I hope you enjoy it.

Summer "Spaghetti"

Box of Pasta (Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Penne)
1 1/2-2 Cups diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Olives, sliced
3/4 cup of Frozen or Fresh Peas
1/4 cup Capers (optional)
Packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing, prepared with Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Boil pasta to the instructions on the box. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Good Seasons Italian Dressing to the instructions on the packet. Normally when I use this dressing, I use red wine vinegar but for this recipe I use Balsamic vinegar.
  2. In a deeper skillet, combine all the ingredients including the dressing and heat over medium heat until warm. My family eats this dish cold but I prefer it warm. If you would like to eat it cold, thaw your peas ahead of time.
  3. When the pasta is done, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. And enjoy. My family also add's fresh parsley but I'm not a fan of the leafiness so I omit this but feel free to add some to yours :)!
I hope you all enjoy this simple summer dish and if you need some meat in your meals, adding some grilled chicken breasts to this would be delicious!
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where did 4 months go???

Oh my goodness has life been INSANE! Life with two kids was a huge challenge and adjustment for me and just when I was starting to feel like I could get back into my creative world again, we decided to move! So a week ago today, after an awful experience of buying a home with my mom (we are the renters), we got to move into our brand new home.

This is a dream come true.

As you may know, we have lived with my mom for 4 years in her 4 bedroom house. We were all very comfortable in our life but adding another body last October(Leia) made things feel like they were getting a little tight. It was doable but we were all starting to feel the strain a little bit. Well, back in April, as I drove Aston to school, I noticed a piece of property that I've watched transform over the last 3 years, was going to be up for sale soon. Three years ago the same property was on the market but it was in rough shape. It had two homes on it and way back then, I had thought that a 2 on 1 property like this would have been perfect. Well someone else bought it and flipped the two houses. I think they weren't planning to move when they redid it but then changed their mind.

Anywho, we entered into what turned into a CRAZY endeavor to buy this house and after a headache of a time, we are here. I'm jumping back into this blogging things to keep a record for us of all that we do to the house and property. I'm getting close to a big redo of the blog but I wanted to keep track of things we are doing so here I am, hopefully back to it more frequently then I have been. I can't wait to get back into this hobby that I have so loved and missed!

I'll be back soon to share what we are doing around the house and to get life organized in this move.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Inspired: Beyond Bath Time

Moms! I have a book that I think every mom should read! I have been discouraged in my role as a mother as we have been thrust head first into some discipline challenges. Aston has hit the "twos" with a terrible everyone has mentioned. It has been hard to watch our sweet boy sin but we are all born sinners and we have much to learn in this world.

Motherhood takes it's toll. It is a 24/7 job that never ends once you become a mother. You always think about, worry about, pray for, take care of and love on your babies, no matter how old they get. I have felt a great worry about my parenting and whether I was doing it "the right way." Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role (True Woman) by Erin Davis gives me so much encouragement. We are designed to be mothers. We will fail and fall short but our purpose is to raise and train our children to be followers of Christ and we are the ones training them for the legacy. It's a daunting task but in this book, she give great examples of mothers in the Bible whom have gone before and none of them were perfect and they raised some unbelievable men and women of God.

I seriously urge you to read this book if you are a mother or plan to be a mother at some point. I am halfway through this book and it has opened my eyes in such encouraging ways and given me such great inspiration! I cannot wait to keep reading this book and look forward to nap time when I get a chance to read the next chapter.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

No Longer Just Surviving...

Well hello little blog! I've missed you!

I finally feel like I'm getting a handle back on life! Praise God! I have been in survival mode for almost a year now and I am seeing the light now.
Pregnancy is hard on my body. I feel sick for the majority of the time, lack energy and just don't have motivation to do anything. Over the 38 weeks I was pregnant all the extra I had in me went to Aston and Max and even then, I didn't feel like they were getting all that they deserved!

As soon as Leia was delivered, I seriously felt like a new person. I had energy (even though we had sleepless nights) and felt like I could once again conquer the things I'd been missing. I was hugely blessed to have Max home with me for 3 1/2 weeks after she came and that made me spoiled!
Then reality hit. Max went back to work, Aston was sharing mommy all day and really jumping into the "terrible two's" title. Life as a mom of 2 kids is hard. Harder then I expected and different then I anticipated. Trying to be everything to two little people is EXHAUSTING and rewarding at the same time.
I have felt very alone in this new venture and felt like I was the only one who struggles with being the always on mom. After much prayer, a little break down and some very God ordained blogs and instagram feeds, I am more encouraged, feeling less alone and am determined to lean more heavily on God in this challenging time.

I'm working on making more "me" time, while that will be looking a bit different then it used to. I'm planning on reading more, getting more quiet time on my own (if both children nap at the same time) and focusing on what I am called to a mom.

This little blog will probably be changing a bit as I transition into a new place in my life. I will still post recipes and crafts but more importantly I'll be posting about life. I'll be writing more for me out of a journaling type experience in hopes that it can encourage someone else and just as a place to stop and gather my thoughts. Things will be looking a lot different then it has before but thats how life goes right? We grow, God changes us and we move on, following Him to more intensional ways to spend our days.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples

I know I've been MIA recently and that probably won't be changing much anytime soon but I made this super yummy recipe on Sunday and had to share it!

Side note: If you don't have a cast iron skillet, I highly recommend you getting one. I'm LOVING it!

Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples

4 Thick Cut Pork Chops
3-4 small Apples or 2 large Apples
1 Shallot
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
1/2 cup Apple Cider
  1. Rinse pork chops and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. I used boneless chops but you could use anything you have. Peel and thinly the apples and chop the shallot. I used Empire Apples but you could use whichever are your favorite apples.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter until melted. Place pork chops in the pan and cook about 3-4 minutes per side to get a golden crust. (If using thinner chops, cook for a shorter amount of time.)
  3. Once the Pork Chops are golden, transfer them to a plate to rest while you get the apples started. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan along with the apples and shallot. Saute mixture for about 5-7 minutes until the apples start to soften and the shallot becomes translucent. 
  4. Add in the Cognac and Apple Cider and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes before adding the pork chops back into the pan. Cook the chops until the are cooked through (160 degrees). The sauce will thicken but if it needs more time after the pork chops have been removed, continue to cook until it looks right to you. If you need more liquid, add more apple cider and continue to cook.
Serve with potatoes or squash and enjoy!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made the yummiest and simplest soup this week. I modified this recipe and it turned out so good!

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Adapted from Baked by Rachel

4 Frozen Chicken Breasts
1 Jar Salsa
5 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Chopped Celery
1/2 cup Chopped Carrots
1 15oz Can Chopped Tomatoes
1.5 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream

Throw everything into the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

This is seriously one of the easiest soups to make and it was SOOOO very good!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Well, I think I'm back to this for a little bit. Life is getting a bit busier and it's time to get back to having a more tight schedule before things are thrown again :) In a good way you know :)

Anyways, here is the plan for this week.

Monday: Stuffed Zucchini
Tuesday: Carne Asada
Wednesday: Greek Pasta Salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday: Quesadilla's with Leftover Meat
Saturday: Hawaiian Grilled Chicken
Sunday: TBA maybe out
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