Friday, July 26, 2013


It's Friday!! It's Friday!! There is just something about Fridays that are so wonderful! I am a stay-at-home mommy and my hubby works retail so Fridays really mean absolutely nothing to us, but there is still something great about Fridays.

I skipped the gym this morning because we all kind of slept in this morning. So we had a nice relaxing morning at home followed by a trip to Target. What is it about that store? Sigh. {Cue Fiddler on the Roof…"If I were a rich {wo}man…."}

Well, here is what you have all been waiting for…my HIGH FIVES for the week! Just so you know I linked up with Lauren! :)


The hubby and I got to have a date night! Love spending some one-on-one time with this guy! 


My sis and her fam stopped by the other night for a visit and I got to cuddle my little Sophia! 


Tried out a new pizza...Chicken Alfredo! It was amazing!


I've been wanting to get Riley a Curious George for a while now since he LOVES him, but did not want to shell out $20 on a stuffed animal. So you can imagine how happy I was when I walked into Kohls and found him for five bucks! Score!


After dinner last night the kiddos and I went to the park followed by a stop at, as Riley calls it, Ol' McDonalds for some ice cream! I just can't get enough of these two! 

There you have it! Some highlights from our week! Hope you had some wonderful moments as well! And please say a prayer for no rain tonight! We are heading to Sun Splash for Aqua Theater night and don't want to get rained out!! :) 

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

{New Recipe Wednesday} Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups

As I think I've made it pretty clear, I love food. That just goes without saying. And what type of food is at the top of my list? Italian food…hands down. Not sure if it's that little bit of Italian floating around in my blood, or the fact that my dad also loves it so I grew up eating it all the time. But I could probably eat it every day. For the sake of my family though, I do try to mix it up. I don't want things getting boring around our house…so we'll do Chinese one night, Mexican another, some good ole' American thrown in there too.

So of course today I am sharing with you one of my new favorite recipes! I found it on Pinterest a few weeks ago and was so excited to try it! I am so happy that I did because it jumped instantly to the top of my favorites list! Not sure if it was the creamy cheese filling or the incredibly simple, fresh taste from the basil and tomatoes, but it was a winner! I served it alongside our favorite chicken cutlets, fresh bread, and a green salad. Delish!

Doesn't that look amazing? Well, follow this recipe and in no time you will be sitting down to a delicious dinner!

-Caprese Lasagna Roll-Ups-

8 uncooked lasagna noodles
3/4 c. ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
16 ounces freshly shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 32 slices)
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 c. spaghetti sauce (or Sunday gravy as I grew up calling it) 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook your noodles to al dente. Drain the noodles and lay them in a single layer on wax paper. 
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese and egg white until completely combined. Stir in 14 ounces of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese. Season with black pepper, to taste.
4. Ladle 1/4 cup of sauce into the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. 
5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture onto each noodle and spread from one end to the other. Top each noodle with 4 slices of tomato then sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes. Roll-up each noodle tightly from one end to the other and place the rolls seam side down into the prepared baking dish. Using the rest of the sauce, cover the top of each roll completely (so the noodles do not dry out). Sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese over each roll. 
 6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh basil.

I can smell it now…the fresh basil hitting the warm roll-up and unleashing one of the most incredible aromas ever. A-ma-zing. I seriously hope you give this a try! You will not be sorry! :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

mini photo shoot

So yesterday I had the chance to do a little "photo shoot" for my sister-in-law. She is big time into sewing and makes some adorable clothes…little girls, boys, and women too. She started an Etsy Shop to sell some of her beautiful creations. Well, a few weeks ago she mailed me a few skirts and some shorts for Riley, and asked that we take some pictures in them for her shop. Finally, my dream of being a model was coming true! Ha! Not so much. It took me a little while to actually get the pictures taken because I was a little self-conscious of "modeling" for her shop. So last night, {after a bike ride, mind you} we decided to do them. Probably not the best time, but between all the rain and just being busy, we didn't have many chances. So we went out back and Stephen started snapping some pics. I have to be honest, I wasn't really too comfortable in front of the camera, but it was fun nonetheless. Riley, on the other hand, was Mr. Stud. He was working it like no one's business. He had so much fun! It was really cute.

And here is me…

So there you have it. My brief moment of fame. :) And if you are in the mood for some adorable custom clothing, check out her shop! It's the Pinkaboo Boutique!

Have a wonderful day!

**And here we are ~ Riley and Me :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cheeseburger Soup {new recipe Wednesday}

I am a big fan of soup. Give me a big ol' bowl of soup and a piece of bread…or better yet, soup in a bread bowl {yum!!}…and I am one happy girl. As much as I love it though, up until about six months ago I never really tried making it. I think I was a little intimidated by soup. Not exactly sure why, but I was. So a few months ago I decided I wanted to start making soup once a week. I started easy. Chicken soup. Who doesn't love a nice hot bowl of chicken soup. I made mine with brown rice, barley, and as many veggies as I could fit in the pot. It was delicious! That was all I needed. Intimidation gone! From there I decided I wanted to try as many new soups as I could.

Well, one glorious day as I was browsing the internet for some new recipes, I came across a soup recipe that I had never heard of before. Cheeseburger soup. Well, me being the big fan of {turkey} cheeseburgers that I am, I had to try it! And try it I did! It. was. amazing. It's nothing extravagent. Nothing too out of the ordinary. But for some reason I am just in love with this soup!

{Turkey} Cheeseburger Soup

1 Tbs. butter
3/4 c. diced onions
3/4 c. peeled and diced carrots
3/4 c. diced celery
3/4 lb. ground turkey
2 c. peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
4 c. chicken broth
3 Tbs. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. milk (I used 1%)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. sour cream

In a large stockpot, saute the onions, carrots, and celery in 1 Tbs of butter for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the ground turkey in a skillet until no longer pink.

Add the ground turkey to the stockpot along with the potatoes, basil, parsley, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25- 30 minutes.

Ten minutes before the soup is done, use the skilled you used to cook the turkey and melt 3 Tbs. of butter. Add the flour and stir for one minute. Add the milk to the skillet and bring to a boil. Continue to cook and stir until thickened. Remove the skillet from the heat, add in the cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Stir the cheese mixture into the stockpot until combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream.  Enjoy!

The first time I made this I made homemade bread bowls to serve the soup in. That was pure perfection! If you want to skip the bread bowl, you can't go wrong with a big chunk of crusty bread on the side too!

I hope you make this and love it as much as we did! If you make it, I'd love to know what you think!

Monday, July 1, 2013

a handprint and grace.

So today I am having one of those days. You know, the kind where you are pretty sure life doesn't get much worse. Everything goes wrong. Your very energetic four-and-a-half year old is pretty sure he doesn't need a nap, although his attitude begs to differ. You have no idea what your family is eating for dinner since you haven't made your meal plan for the week. You start to feel kind of gross and wonder why…then realize you are still in your workout clothes from the gym this morning. Yeah, one of those days.

I decided I was tired of looking at our very dirty floors…two kids, a dog, a cat, and a husband dirty. I pulled out the vacuum and sucked up last night's {who am I kidding, the past few day's} breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, after-dinner snack crumbs. I then saw all the smudged-on food that was just not going to be taken care of with a vacuum. I whipped out my amazing deluxe steam mop two rags, filled up the sink with bleach water, and used my feet to swoosh around the floor and give it a good clean.

I then looked over at my handprint smudged glass doors and realized that I could barely see out thanks to the smears of who knows what all over them. I sparkled them up and was finally able to see through them again. I was about to open the door and come back in when my oh-so-adorbale four-and-a-half year old {you know, the one who didn't need a nap today} smudged his cute little handprint right on the glass. My first reaction was to lose it and ask him why in the world he would rub his dirty little hand all over the glass that I just cleaned. But instantly I heard a voice in my spirit whisper to me asking me how I think God feels when I go and rub my dirty hand print all over His "sparkly clean glass."

Grace is a powerful thing, and I am so thankful for it. I don't even want to think about how many times God goes and washes me white as snow, then I turn around and do something that turns me to filth again. This is something that happens over and over. I hope that God would never "lose it" on me. I am striving to be more and more like God everyday, but I fall short. And in those times I am so thankful for  grace.