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Monday, 28th January, 2019

Freezer Friendly Loaded Mac N’ Cheese!

This month I am featuring pasta! Even though it is warming up, summer is a great time to stock up your freezer in preparation for busier months. Pasta dishes usually keep 3-4 months in the freezer and they are so easy to store using the foil pans sold at the dollar store. They are some of my favorite freezer meals to accumulate, not only for my family but also to share with other families for meal trains or just to give them a break. 
freezer friendly
 I have featured my plan Mac N’ Cheese before, but this one is a meal in itself. It is loaded with meat, vegetables and bread crumbs. I promise it is hearty enough to serve as a main dish. 
Loaded Mac N’ Cheese 
Yields: 2 8×8 Pans
16 oz. uncooked noodles
¼ cup butter 
½ tsp salt 
2 TB of coconut oil 
1 pound of ground beef or turkey
1/2 tsp onion powder 
1 tsp Cajun seasoning 
¼ cup flour 
1 ¾ cup milk
20 oz of cheddar cheese
 ½ cup Panko Style Bread Crumbs
Chop all vegetables into small pieces. In a large sauce pan cook the vegetables with a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Once cooked through, place to side.
Cook the meat in the same sauce pan, until browned. We use beef, but this would be good with chicken or sausage. Combine the meat and vegetables. 
Cook the noodles per package instruction for al dente. You do not want them completely cooked through, as they will be cooking more in the oven. 
Combine noodles with vegetable and meat mixture. 
Have all other ingredients laid out and ready to make the cheese roux. Over medium to high heat, melt butter in large saucepan. Once completely melted add in the flour and mix well. Take pan off of the heat and add in milk, mixing well. Place sauce back on low to medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and add in the cheese, leaving a small portion for the topping. 
Combine cheese sauce with noodles, meat and vegetables. Place in greased 8×8 pans. 
For the topping combine remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Place evenly over the different casseroles. 
Cook at 350° for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the bread crumbs. Serve warm! 
 freezer friendly meals
If freezing, let cool completely before freezing. Top with foil and wrap with Saran Wrap to keep from freezer burn. 
If reheating frozen, the cooking time will be 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, covered. Remove cover the last 20 minutes. You can also remove the dish 1-2 days before you are reheating to allow time to thaw. 
Your family will love this dish and trust me, it is the perfect freezer meal!! 
Next week I am sharing a money saving tip that you will LOVE to have in your freezer. Stay tuned! 
Happy freezing, 


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Easy Cinco de Mayo Celebrations!

Are you celebrating Cinco De Mayo this year? The fifth of May is not a celebration of Mexican Independence Day, as many think, but rather a day to celebrate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Living in the southwest, we are surrounded by the Mexican culture and it has been an amazing experience for us and for Luke! 


I thought it would be fun to tell you how we celebrate Cinco De Mayo! Typically, we celebrate with our friends, all of us bringing something different to the party. We are responsible for the the enchiladas and margaritas. Ryan has perfected an easy enchilada recipe, that even my Granny requests when we go back to Ohio. There are so many ways to make enchiladas and yes, we have had better but Ryan makes a pretty good (and easy) enchilada bake! 
Ryan’s Enchilada Recipe 
cinco de mayo festivities
Yields 6-8 large enchiladas
Use my chicken recipe, 4137722240 ! It is perfect for this recipe!
1 can of red enchilada sauce
1 can of diced green peppers 
Packet of 6-8 tortillas 
Mexican Blend Cheese
Grease a 13X9 baking dish. Pour in the enchilada sauce until it covers the bottom of the pan. 
In a large mixing bowl, add in the green peppers to the chicken mix. If you use my chicken crockpot recipe, it will already have black beans and tomatoes in the chicken. If you are using a rotisserie chicken or other chicken you will want to add in a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes and seasoning.
Put 3-4 heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the middle of the tortilla and roll up tortilla. As you assemble, place in the pan. When they are all assembled, cover with enchilada sauce and as much cheese as you like. They can be as thick or as thin as you want them to be! Use as much of the chicken mixture as you would like. 
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, uncovered. 
This is also a great freezer meal, so double the recipe and make one for the future! 
No Cinco De Mayo party is complete without a big pitcher of Margaritas! A few months back I shared my Margarita recipe, and it was a huge hit. I will say it is ten times better than the store bought Margarita mix and not quite as sugary.  I have made it for numerous parties and people always comment on how good it is and they are always so surprised by the “secret” ingredient, beer! 
The Perfect Margarita
1 can of frozen limeade 
(use the empty can as a measuring cup for the remaining ingredients)
1 can of 7-Up
1 can of Tequila 
1 full Dos Equis Lager or Corona beer 
Two full sliced limes
Combine all ingredients, place sliced limes in the pitcher and serve well chilled. You can always dilute with a can of water, as well, or add more 7-Up. The non-alcoholic version is to add Lemonade instead of the beer and tequila!


Lastly, the salsa. Our good friend makes the BEST salsa, like award winning salsa, and she has been kind enough to share her recipe with me! Consider yourself lucky, because this recipe should go in your recipe book and never leave!

Lisa’s Salsa512-637-5636

1 large can of S&W Tomatoes (they sell them at Costco)
3 Whole Embasa Jalepenos
½ white onion, chopped
Cilantro – which is sold in bunches, use roughly half
The juice of ½ a large lime
Garlic salt to taste 

Chop all veggies, onion and jalepenos. Combine all ingredients, using only half a can of the tomatoes per batch, in a food processor and blend well. If you double the batch, use the full can. You can store extra in mason jars to keep fresh. 

Trust me, this salsa is AMAZING! 

 How are you planning on celebrating Cinco De Mayo? Celebrating holidays can be so fun for kids, and adults, so hopefully you live it up and enjoy a fun night with the family!

Happy celebrating, 

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Mother’s Day is coming up and if your guy is anything like mine, he needs very obvious clues on what I would like to happen on any special day. He is a great husband, and great dad but ask him to plan anything and he looks like a deer caught in headlights. So, show this post to your guy, add in some of your own ideas and get ready for the best Mother’s Day yet! You deserve it!
1. Wake up with the kids and get busy
In the kitchen that is! Spend the morning with the kids making breakfast in bed for mom. They will love helping out in the kitchen with Dad and delivering that tray to mom will be so much fun! Breakfast in bed is so cliche, but oh so amazing! Add in some bonus points and have the kids make a card and put a flower on the tray! 
2. Find a tour of your town and surprise her 
This is something no one would be expecting, but such a fun way to spend the day. Tucson has some541-705-1596 and though it is not something I would ever plan to do, I would love to go on one! Maybe your town has a walking tour, or a horse carriage tour? Nothing right in your town? Take a drive and explore a nearby city. 
3. Pack a lunch and head to the park
No, not a playground park but an actual park where you can take a nature hike or check out some of the scenery around you while you snack on a picnic. Cross two things off and gift her an amazing (253) 922-1183 to use. Kids LOVE picnics, so it will be a fun day. Whatever you do, make sure you plan the entire thing! 
4. Take in the Sunset
Pack special drinks for the kids and the adults, find a spot and enjoy the sunset! Maybe it’s just your backyard, with the fire pit going, or a mountain lookout near you. Wherever you decide, it will be the start of a nice tradition and something she will never forget! 
5. Plan a date night after the kid’s go to bed
Listen I know it’s a Sunday night, which is a weird night for a date, but you made her a mom so chances are she wants to be around you. Put the kids down, get a sitter and head for a late dinner or even a night cap. That way she is with her little loves all day and her big love the night of Mother’s Day; perfection! 
We all want a day where we don’t have to think of activities or spend the day in the kitchen. So, happy planning and most importantly 

Happy Mother’s Day! 
(541) 698-5620

Cucumber Cranberry Smoothie

We have been loving having a freezer filled with smoothies. Out of all the ways I have shown you to freeze them, I think our favorite is definitely the mason jar option. It is so versatile and easy to take out of the freezer and hit the road! I also like that it if you wait long enough, it becomes more of a fresh juice than a smoothie! What has been your favorite way to freeze smoothies?

Our last smoothie of the month is my Cucumber Raspberry Smoothie. Raspberries can be so tart, but the cucumbers along with the basil make this smoothie delectable! The color is perfect for upcoming Cinco De Mayo celebrations, so serve it up as a kiddie option or I am sure it would taste yummy with some tequila added in! A great variation of the good ol’ margarita!
Yields: 3 cups
1 cup coconut water
1 ½ cup frozen raspberries
1 cup diced English cucumbers (no seeds)
3-4 fresh basil leaves
Blend all ingredients, enjoy cold!
Tune in next month for an ingredient that is hearty and will please any freezer!!
Happy freezing,
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My results with Nerium and a *GIVEAWAY* !!

Turning 30 has been all sorts of fun! My husband will complain all day long about how old he feels 30 is, but I on the other hand, have never been in better shape, mentally and physically! That being said, my skin has taken a major hit. I never had a huge problem with my skin. Of course I would have my monthly breakouts and the occasional zit, but it was never a huge cause of concern. Then I moved to the Mecca called the desert. And BAM , I started getting zits. Not the little acne but those large and in charge bumps. I also started noticing dark spots and wrinkles around year 29. I was looking for something that would help my skin and not cause me huge breakouts.

What’s the best thing about the military? Meeting people and staying in touch with them throughout the years! I met Rachel 7 years ago, while our husbands were stationed in Florida and we have remained in touch since. I had noticed some posts of hers speaking about Nerium, but never really thought too much about it.
Then, she reached out to me a few months ago and asked if I would be willing to try out (910) 828-4993 and see what I thought. I’m not going to lie, I had never heard of the brand and unlike other brands, I was not being inundated with sales pitches. So, I said absolutely and next thing I knew I had a sample and was applying 3-4 pumps every night. Below are my results after just one week!
Nerium AD Cream
I was super happy with the night cream. I felt that it was lightweight and the application was easy. Some complain about the smell, but to me it was a very natural smell and I liked that it did not have any perfumes or fragrances added to it. Nerium definitely makes your skin feel tight, but that just showed me it was working. When you wake up you simply splash some water on your face and your skin feels AMAZING! Not only was the cream better than I expected, the company also surprised me with their other products and their sales pitches.
Nerium claims that their products can help with:
• Reduces the appearance of cellulite
• Smooths, tightens, and firms up loose skin
• Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
• Help with hyperpigmentation
• Even out skin texture
• Heal sun damage
•Closes pores
• Sooth rosacea
• Restores youthful vitality

Another huge benefit is that the product does not use Parabens, Gluten, Propylene glycol, Sulfates, DEA, Synthetic colors or Phthalates. Everything seems amazing on paper, but I really wanted to chat with Rachel about why she loves the company and has partnered with the company!
What is your favorite Nerium product? 
This one is a hard one for me to answer, since I am completely in love with all of the products. But if I have to narrow it down I would have to pick the Nerium AD Night Cream. It makes my skin so soft and gives it a pretty glow. Before using Nerium AD I wouldn’t dare go out without at least putting on foundation, now all I need is my day cream and I feel confident enough to leave the house without makeup. 
How has Nerium helped you?
As a mom of three young kids, I have endured a lot of body changes due to being pregnant three times. My stomach took the hardest hit, as you would imagine. I figured that my only option to get my stomach back was surgery. I can happily say that Nerium’s Contouring Cream helped so much that I no longer have to worry about stretched saggy skin. I honestly can’t believe how much this cream helped my stomach. 
Why Nerium?
Before I fell in love with the products I fell in love with the company. I was looking for a Plan B, since I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but financially this wasn’t an option. Nerium helped get me home with my babies. They have a simple business plan that anyone can follow and succeed. 
With all of the skin care lines out there these days, why did you choose Nerium? 
So many reasons…lets count them… 1. The products WORK! If there is one thing I hate, it’s buying something with high hopes and expectations and then feeling disappointed because it didn’t end up being what I was hoping for. 2. I am also a health nut and only use the best quality products on my skin. I love that all the ingredients are healthy and safe! (i.e. No parabens, no phthalates, no sulfates, no synthetic color, no GMO, no synthetic fragrance, no mineral oil, no gluten, no DEA, and no PABA) 3. You can get the product for FREE! Even my customers can receive free product. All you need are 3 friends who also buy product monthly and yours is FREE! 4. It is SIMPLE… As I mentioned, I am a mom of 3, and by the end of the day I am exhausted to say the least. I love that Nerium offers a one step option. I don’t have time or energy to apply a 3-5 step system. All I do is wash my face, pat dry, and then apply 4 pumps to my damp skin. DONE. 5. Nerium AD is the result of an accidental discovery in biotechnology research (for skin cancer) at MD Anderson. In addition, Nerium gives 30% of it’s profits to continue the research. I don’t know about you, but for me, my family has a long history of skin cancer issues; so I use the cream to help keep my skin healthy, and the added plus is that each purchase continues to fund cancer research. 
Also super exciting, Nerium is launched a brand new product: Eye Serum. The serum offers immediate AND long-term results. Below is a picture of Rachel using the eye cream on one eye. Can you tell which one she applied it to?

Working with brands and ambassadors who support them, has been one of my very favorite parts of running this blog.  This product speaks for itself, no need for huge sales pitches, the results are everywhere!

Rachel has been kind enough to  giveaway ONE bottle of Nerium Firming Cream! She raved about it in her Q&A and I have seen her before and after pictures, they are amazing! Remember, this product is for your whole body, not just your face. Make sure to enter below for your chance to win, who doesn’t have some areas they would like to see become a bit firmer?
Hands down, I am a supporter of Nerium and I am so excited to see where the company is headed! More questions about the product?
Rachel just launched a Facebook page that is loaded with information. Join for all of the latest information! Also, in the month of April, if you order and choose auto ship (HUGE savings) you will automatically become a unquickened which is HUGE! Ready to give Nerium a try? Use this website to order!


Happy pampering,


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Disclaimer:: I received this product at no charge for my honest and unbiased review. All reviews are my own.

My Post-Workout Snack Choices!


If you are anything like me, you are STARVING after finishing a gym session. Like, “move out of my way, I have a yogurt in my bag and nothing will stop me from devouring it while you change”, type starving. Oddly enough, my little guy is usually pretty hungry after a play session in the child watch so if there is anything that I never forgot to bring with us, it is after gym snacks. I lean towards snacks that are heavy in protein and good fats.


 Recently, 2083423988 inspired me to post about my favorite post-workout snacks. I love referencing their 320-400-1250 for new ideas on high protein snacks and advice on what I should put into my body to get the most of my workout. Check 416-316-5067 and 9204254639 for some of their favorite healthy and high protein snacks!
Here is a peek into my mini travel cooler that I take to the gym with me. Some of my go-to snacks include 2 hard boiled eggs, a small greek yogurt (I prefer a form of Greek yogurt) or a ½ cup of cottage cheese and a dash of cinnamon. Including veggies helps me to get my 5-9 daily servings in, and baby carrots are usually my number one choice! I almost always have some nuts to snack on throughout the day, usually unsweetened almonds. Of course, I share with Luke. He usually likes to munch on an egg or I will bring him his own yogurt to snack on.
 high protein snacks
Not only do I load my cooler with quick snacks, but I also like to come home to a hearty lunch. It is so easy to eat Kraft Mac N’ Cheese and Dino chicken nuggets for lunch, but honestly the past two hours that I spent at the gym would be completely pointless if I caved and ate that every day. Lately, I have been obsessed with’s Kale Quinoa Salad. It is heavenly! You know I have a slight obsession with Quinoa, so naturally this is one of my favorite recipes on the website.
Honestly, I have gobbled mine up too quick (twice) to snap a picture, so photo cred goes to !
It is so important to fuel your body after a good workout. Sometimes, I don’t even make it out of the locker room before I dip into my snack!
What are your favorite post workout snacks?
Happy sweating,


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I have told you many times before that Chardonnay is my spirit animal. I sort of lied because ginger is a close second when it comes to my spirit animal. I believe that Ginger cures all and I LOVE the taste of it. Did you know that mango pairs exceptionally well with ginger?
This smoothie would be a magical concoction for all you ladies out their struggling with morning sickness or if you are like me you find that ginger helps with muscle soreness and fatigue (780-719-7747). Mango makes me want to find a beach and plant my bum on a towel for the day, so this smoothie is all around perfect!  Not big on ginger? That’s OK, try it once and if you think it has too much of a ginger kick, lessen the amount of ginger you add.

 Beachy Ginger Mango Smoothie

2 cups frozen or fresh mango
1 cup coconut water
½ cup water
½ t fresh ginger
Handful of ice
splash of POM juice
Blend all ingredients, minus the POM juice. Pour smoothie into two cups and top with a splash of POM juice!
easy smoothies
Happy freezing,


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The “not so obvious” Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and while you may be tempted to walk into your nearest spa and purchase a gift card, this is my formal warning, DON’T! Unless you have been told, very forcefully, that this is the one thing your wife wants, than yes go ahead and buy one! While we love your completely cliche idea, we would much rather receive something that reminds us why we are celebrating Mother’s Day, our kids!

Here are some amazing and oh so sentimental gift ideas for the special Mother in your life.
1. Cooking class at septemdecenary 
Here’s the deal; we love cooking for you and for our kids but the idea of cooking for a few hours with expensive ingredients that don’t have to be toddler friendly, is simply amazing! Who knows? Maybe we will invite you too!
2. Her favorite Workout Item 
As much as you worship our mom bod, we do like to be somewhat active. Find out that one piece of gym equipment she has been wanting, and give it to her! We promise, we won’t take it the wrong way when we open up a set of weights, we will know that you have the best intentions! Me personally, would LOVE a BOSU. Think someone could forward this to Ryan? Just kidding, I make him read every blog post!!
3. Coffee
Like, really good coffee! The kind of coffee that makes waking up at 5:30AM not such so bad. Hell, maybe you should just make it a cappuccino maker.
4. A personalized pot of flowers
No, don’t just go to Lowe’s and pick a pretty one. Go to Lowe’s with our children, have them pick out a few flowers, you pick out a few and than come home and assemble it with the kids. We will love it, we will cherish it and we will try really hard to not kill it!
5. A painting or a piece of art made by our littles 
There are these really amazing studios that have kid’s events and they are super family friendly. Don’t have anything near you, that’s OK Michael’s and Jo’Ann’s do some really amazing sales and you can buy anything there! Whether, it is a picture or a ceramic bowl made by my child, I will cherish it forever!
6. A membership to the local zoo, children’s museum or National Park
Some days we need to get out of the house and we need to get out of the house FAST. A membership is an amazing thing because it means you can go for however long you want and escape those confining walls of the house. Sometimes, we just want to let them run free.
Yes, it is somewhat of a made up holiday and yes, there are people who will say they don’t want to celebrate Mother’s or Father’s Day, but I assure you something is better than nothing. We love being moms and we love being your wife, so let’s celebrate that and remember that home made is usually an amazing route to go. No one says you have to succumb to the outrageous price of Hallmark cards to make her smile, just get out the construction paper and glue.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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