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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I loved Shel Silverstein growing up.  
The Giving Tree was one of my favorite books!
I can still remember curling up for a bed time storing and listening to either my mom or my dad read me the Giving Tree as I drifted off to sleep. 

A  few weeks back I ran across this poem by Shel Silverstein...
I just had to share it with you all today!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Touching Base

Hello Lovelies!
How are you all on this lovely Tuesday morning?

Im doing well but the state of Minnesota cannot decide what season we are in.  One minute it is 41 and sunny the next we have a severe winter weather advisory!  Can I just jump on a plane to someplace warm?
St Thomas would be nice!

I thought I would take a look back today at the goals I set for the 2012 year.  I wanted to see how I was doing at keeping my New Years resolutions!
Check out my 2012 goals here!

So how am I really doing...
I would say some goals I am doing really well on and others I could still use some work on!

Running a Race:
This is one of those goals that is a work in progress.  I had both races planned out that I wanted to run, unfortunately shin splints and tendonitis has kept me from running.  But I am determined to run a race by the end of this year!  
Not sweating the small stuff:
 I have noticed I am a lot more conscious about letting the little things get to me (I still let somethings get to me more then they should).  I am trying my hardest to sit back and let things happen as they will.  Trust me for a type A person like myself this is not easy, but hey I am a work in progress!  
The path to healthy living.
This is one I can safely say I am succeeding at!  Even though I am not running I am cross training and changing up my weight routines!  Feels good to get into a new routine!  The pin challenge that I have embarked on is helping me to expand my healthy cooking, and to be honest I am loving all the healthy recipes I have been trying!  
Loving Myself, and improving relationships 
This is a tough one, because I find it extremely easy to pick out the qualities you dislike about yourself. 
I am trying to focus on the positive things about myself verses beating myself up about all the things I disklike.  Sometimes this is easier said then done, but hey like I said above I am a work in progress!
Improving relationships was another big one with me.  I wanted to spend more time forming deeper connections, and spend more time listening to the people I love.  As far as my relationship with God and growing deeper in that area I can say I am trying.  This new year has brought about new struggles espicially the struggle of knowing there is a plan.  My biggest problem is I want to plan to happen now when in reality its not entirely up to me.  Yes this I am struggling with, but with time things change.  
How are you all doing with your new years resolutions or 2012 goals?
Are you checking in on your progress from time to time?

Monday, February 27, 2012


Hi There!
Everyone have a relaxing weekend?
Anyone watch the oscars?  I caught  little bit of it last night,  however I missed the red carpet which is always one of my favorite parts!

Anyone have a best dressed?
I really liked Gwyneth Paltrow's dress.  I just like the shape of it for some reason

Now I have to say my brain still seems to be in weekend mode this Monday morning.  I am having a hard time switching my brain from relax mode into work mode!  I have to say that this past weekend was exactly what my body needed.  I had no to do list this weekend, can you believe that.  I am the girl that lives by a running to do list.  I almost feel lost without one, but this weekend I ditched the to do list and went with the flow.  And man oh man did that feel good.  

Friday I had the Butler Alumni Event in Minneapolis.
 We cheered on our Butler Bulldogs who unfortunately did not pull off a win.  But that is ok I still had a wonderful time meeting new people.  It was good to get out and socialize.  I was a bit nervous going to this event because I knew absolutly no one!  But everyone was welcoming and made me feel comfortable!

Saturday I slept in and had a lazy morning in my PJs... Finally! 
I enjoyed a slow morning of coffee, and chatting.  It was nice not to rush through these morning rituals that seem so hurried during the week!   A quite night in was the perfect ending to a slow paced day. 

The relaxing vibe of the weekend carried over to Sunday with a slow pace morning before church followed by a large pancake brunch.  Yes I made my favorite pancakes!  
I would much rather be home munching on leftover pancakes and more then likely still in my PJ's!

For this weeks dinner I decided to go back and make some old favorites, because nothing really stood out to my taste buds as I looked through my pin board.  I know that is hard to believe when there are still well over 1,000 pins!

So what oldie am I bringing back this week?

Queue BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls!
Always delicious, and always unique!  I feel like I have not made these in forever. 
We will also be enjoying Renotta's famous spaghetti!

But don't worry I still have two new recipes to highlight this week. 
The first is from the pin board.  Tortolini Ministrone soup from Taste of Home. 
I made this soup yesterday night for dinner when I couldn't find sweet potatoes for the second new recipe of the week!  The ingredient list remind me of my Grandmothers Ravioli soup which is one of my favorites.  I cannot wait to enjoy this soup for lunch today!

And the second recipe is this Stew...

My sister sent me this  recipe on Saturday and I knew I just had to make it!  The stew features chickpeas, sweet potatoes and quinoa!  I had fully planned on making this for Sunday night dinner but when you cannot find sweet potatoes that presents a bit of a problem!  Yum!
I cannot wait to try this recipe!  My sister knows me so well I just have a feeling I will love this soup!

Lets take on last look at the final recipe from last weeks pin challenge!
Pantry Chicken and Beans From Bev Cook's
I baked the dish just as the recipe was written but served my portion with pan seared tofu!  I think this recipe has a lot of potential, but I want to play around with it a bit!  I left out the anchovy paste because I didn't think my family would like the flavor it lended.

So there you have it!
How was everyones weekends?
Did anyone else have a relaxing and lazy weekend?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Friday Friday!

Hello Lovelies!
It is finally Friday, and one word sums up this week... long!
I am ready for a little R&R this weekend.  But tonight is all about my Butler Bulldogs!
 Thank you everyone for your input yesterday on the pot luck dishes, I ended up making this salad...

I was all ready to bake up something yummy but just lost my motivation as the day went on (does this ever happen to you?).  The salad came together in minutes, and will be a perfect dish to snack on during a game! Maybe the chocolate pretzel cookies or red velvet brownies will be a special treat this weekend! 

Now lets look at this weeks dinners.  
Lets start with Lasagna Rolls from Skinny Taste.  Lasagna is one of those dishes that screams comfort food to me, but I hate how tedious and time consuming the prep time can be!  Lasagna was always a favorite meal growing up and when I was younger I would eat a half pan of my moms lasagna.   Yes a half of pan just for me!   Now I have to say that lasagna rolls are my new favorite way to enjoy this favorite comfort food of mine.  Easy to assemble can be made ahead of time and all the flavors I love! 
I added some vegetarian sausage into the mix and oh man was it good!  Great addition to an already wonderful recipe!
Make these!

Our next meal went from Italian to Mexican with Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas from Cooking Light.  
My picture did not look as neat as theirs.

The sauce on these enchiladas were delicious, but I think there was a bit to much of it.  The enchiladas fell apart as I served them.  But that did not stop these enchiladas from being down right delicious!  I am for sure going to make these again, only next time with less sauce!
The third week in this weeks pin challenge has yet to be made. 
 Pantry Chicken and Beans. 
Come yesterday evening I just did not have the energy to cook.  So this lovely dish is going to be dinner on Saturday night!  

On a totally random side note this lovely little skirt brightened my day yesterday!

Love the salmon pink color, this JCrew skirt is the bright color part of my early morning!
Anything brightening your Friday morning?
Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Need Your Help-Pot Luck Dish!

Hello Thursday, oh how I wish you were Friday!
My days seem all messed up this week!  I have been working longer hours at work the past few days in order to get off early on Friday!  

Friday I will be heading up to Minneapolis to attend a Butler Alumni Event!
I am really excited for the oppertunity to get together with fellow Butler Alum and watch the last Horizon League Basketball Game!
The evening is going to be full of cheering on our Butler Bulldogs in basketball, a yummy pot luck dinner, and I am sure talking about how adorable blue 3 is!

Here is where I need your help!  I am drawing a bit of a blank on what to bring to the pot luck.  I can't decide between bringing a dessert (cookies/Bars?) or some sort of salad.  I was leaning towards a pasta salad, because I figured a it would travel well!

Here are a few of the recipes I was thinking of making!
Any recipe really sticking out to you?  
Which one would you love to enjoy at a pot luck!
I am also open to any other suggestions!!

Do you have a specific go to dish for a pot luck?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I am Loving Wednesday-Kitchen Edition and Ash Wednesday

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  And Happy (do you say happy?) Ash Wednesday!
Just a few short days till the weekend!

Since it is Ash Wednesday the season of Lent is officially upon us.  For me each year I pick something to give up for Lent.  I usually spend a couple of days trying to figure out what exactly that one thing will be.  This year I have decided to give up Splenda and all forms of artificial sweeteners.  But also this Lent season I really want to focus more on the meaning of Lent and what the "giving up" of a specific item in my life truly means. For me I think it is easy to say oh yes I gave this up without thinking twice about why I gave it up, this year I want to change that! 

Now for what I am loving...
My what I am loving post today was sparked by my parents.  My parents have been talking for weeks about remodeling our kitchen.  Not sure how serious they are about this whole remodeling thing.  All their talk about beautiful kitchens has gotten me thinking about my own dream kitchen!

So what would my dream kitchen look like?
I love the look of an all white kitchen, bright, sparkling, clean clutter free, stainless steel, and clean lines.  Big windows with a lake view would be nice too!

Here are just a few kitchens I just fell in love with from Pinterest!

How lovely are all these kitchens?
I could see myself whipping up a wonderful meal in any one of these kitchens!  Maybe whipping up this or these?
Oh how I cannot wait to someday have a house!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012



I feel this past year has been one full of surprises and unexpected obstacles/hurtles...
I needed a little reminder that there is something great within me.  I needed a reminder to believe in myself and trust that my day to truly shine is coming!

What do you need to be reminded of today?

Monday, February 20, 2012

If I had the day off..

Hello Monday, I can't believe I get to see you again so soon!

If I had today off I could think of a million things I would have done today like... Sleep in, make pancakes for breakfast, baked... maybe I would have even treated myself to a mani and pedi!  The list could go on and on!

 A three day weekend would have been glorious!

 Any of you enjoying a lovely three day weekend? Alas I am at work, so I need to make the best of it!  But on the bright side I do have a great line up of recipes for you this week. Recipes that I am really excited about! 

 Shall we take a look at them? I think we shall! 
 Two of these recipes I made this weekend, but I am going to include them in our list this morning! Since the weather in Minnesota was beautiful (think sunny and 40's this is wonderful for MN) my family grilled all weekend! Grilling makes me excited for spring even more then I already am! Alright winter you can end already!  

Lets begin with a delicious side dish that was served along grilled scallops (and steak for my dad).  A healthy version of Cheesy Broccoli rice! Brought to you by Better Homes and Garden. 
I actually cooked the rice in chicken broth instead of water and added a bit of garlic!  I was happy with the added flavor!  Fresh steamed broccoli was also used.  Healthy comfort food is always a winner in my book!

Sunday I prepared this wonderful Italian Rice Salad from Cooking Light!  
Served along side grilled Tomato Basil Chicken (live near a HyVee?  go pick that chicken up)!!  I used grilled asparagus in place of the green beans.  The smoky grilled flavor from the asparagus added a great flavor dimension.  
This recipe makes a large batch of salad, perfect to pack for lunch!

Oh but wait there is more!  There are three more recipes in the line up this week!  
I did the prep work for these Skinny Taste Spinach Lasagna Rolls Yesterday!

They looked wonderful, and I cannot wait to eat them tonight!  I have had a serious lasagna craving the last few weeks!  

Stay tuned for the results!  Happy Monday!
And if you have an added day to your weekend enjoy it!

PS check out my guest post from Saturday over at Foodie Fiasco!   Kelly has a fabulous blog, I just love it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Puppies and Recipes

Hello Friday! 
Glad to see you again!  
Now can the weekend please not fly by, that would be much appreciated!

Before we get to pinterest recipes I have to share this with you, because cute puppies just melt my heart!

Yesterday afternoon my Alma Mater Butler University unveiled the newest Butler Mascot!  Throughout my four years at Butler our live mascot was the lovable and adorable Blue II.
Blue II was a highlight of every basketball game and well loved icon on Butlers campus (he even gets a huge birthday party every year)!!!
Well now Butler has a new cutie wandering around campus Trip the newest Butler Bulldog aka Blue III!  Third in line to be the official mascot of Butler University!
How cute is he (thats Blue II with him)!!
Just look at that face!  Such an adorable wrinkly face!!
Trip will be making his Butler Debut along with the original Blue and Blue II at this Saturdays Men's Basketball game!  I seriously wish I could be there to see that little cutie!

Now that I have made you all want to run out and buy an adorable bulldog  how about I share something tasty.  Like two delicious recipes I made this week.  Two more keepers off the pin board!

Lets start with the Kick'in Chicken Chili!
My dad made this  chili Monday night for our families impromptu dinner party!  We had Melinda and Mark over along with our family friend Renotta for a night of tasty food, relaxing and good conversation!

The chili was delicious (and we made this salad again); just enough spice and packed full of flavor!  This chili reheated great the next day at lunch as well!  Always a win!  My dad made the soup on the stove verses in the crock pot!

This next recipe fueled my love for roasted vegetables!  
Wow, that word sums up this recipe.  While this recipe takes sometime to prepare the time is worth it.  Especially when each bite you take is a bit different depending on what vegetables you get!  My favorite part of this dish was the roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms!  Love me some mushrooms! 

So there you have it!  
Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope you all have a fabulous and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Still on Cloud 9

Say What?
It's already Thursday!  I have no idea where this week has gone but let me tell you I am not complaining.  I think I am still a bit on cloud nine from my weekend with Mark!

I figured I would share this with you today...

It's Ok Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays
It's  Ok That... 
... I got back Monday night and I have yet to unpack!  
(now if only my suitcase was that organized)!
...After seeing The Vows this weekend I now want to watch every single chick flick I own!  Movie night anyone?
...I have stayed up way later then usual this week because I am putting apps on my Ipad.  
Any suggestions?
and finally
...that it is Thursday and I am just now getting around to sharing this weeks Pinterest Challenge Recipes!
Better late then never right?
Thats what I thought!

Only two recipes this week, well if you count yesterdays shrimp risotto thats 3!
So here they are!

And  just because this recipe was delicious I have to mention it again!
Happy Thursday Everyone, one day closer to Friday!!

Ps look what got picked up from Color Me Mine!
Very Happy with the end results!  The colors are so bright and vibrant, and the flowers ad a little something! !