Cooking, Recipes

Curried Turkey Pumpkin Chili

First of all, my photo does not do this recipe justice. I forgot to get a photo of mine before I started eating it, so this heavily tortilla chipped version is a quick snap of my husband’s bowl. This is SO easy

I used frozen ground turkey and just dumped everything in and stirred. Once the turkey started to thaw, I crumbled it up with a wooden spatula and let it continue to cook.


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 15oz can white beans, rinsed and drained


Dump everything in the crockpot on low. Let the turkey cook a little, then crumble up into pieces. Alternatively, you can precook the turkey in a pan and add cooked, crumbled turkey to the crockpot and cook for less time. Mine cooked about 6 hours.


Rigatoni alla Vodka

This is SO good..


  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 Cup vodka
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Fresh ground pepper, parsley, Parmesan cheese for serving


Cook pasta in large pot of salted water. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

In a large bowl, stir together the cream and pasta water. Set aside

In the pot, melt butter over medium heat, add shallots and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring until golden brown. Add garlic, stirring until fragrant – about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring until smooth.

Turn heat to low and add reserved cream and pasta water mix and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir until combined and add in pasta. Top with fresh ground pepper, parsley flakes and Parmesan cheese if desired.


Holidays, Recipes

Easter Brunch Recipe Roundup

Who doesn’t love brunch!!! Well, I actually read an article that Pat (from Southern Charm on Bravo) thinks that it’s tacky. Maybe it’s the word “brunch”. Perhaps we should call it “heavy late breakfast with cocktails”? I’m dreaming of  an easter brunch where the weather is perfect, the insane hordes of wasps are gone (seriously, what is up with the crazy number of wasps this spring?), and the champagne is cold! I’ve decided to get to planning a little early this year and have rounded up a few recipes that I have my eye on for Easter. I like to have both sweet and savory so there’s something for everyone to enjoy since not all six year olds love a quiche lorraine…


Hash brown casserole from

I have made this a few times before using this exact recipe from the site. It is so legit. I will say, keep to the recipe on this one. I believe the colby cheese really makes it. Not that it wouldn’t be delicious with cheddar or any other cheese of choice, but if your looking for authentic CB casserole – stick to the colby.


Apple Cinnamon roll bubble up c/o

This looks so amazing and how can you possibly go wrong with a recipe that has 2 ingredients?!


Any lastly, one of my own recipes – Quick and Easy Bacon Eggs Benedict
2015-09-12 07.58.37


Here’s what you do:

1) Microwave the bacon on a plate between 2 sheets of paper towel. I used turkey bacon and have found it will cook in about 2 – 4 minutes depending on how many slices.

2) Toast your English Muffin slices in the toaster.

3) For hollandaise sauce for 2 people, add 1 egg yolk to the blender along with a half tablespoon lemon juice and a half tablespoon warm water. Blend until frothy. Melt 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter in a mug in the microwave. Slowly pour butter into yolk mixture with the blender on low. Then crank it up till its thick.

4) For a BIG time saver, cook your eggs in a non stick skillet over easy. (That’s where you flip the egg without breaking the yolk). Be careful not to over cook if you want the runny yolk!

5) Place an egg on one half of an English Muffin, top with slices of bacon and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Optional: top with fresh cracked pepper, chopped green onions or chopped fresh parsley.

Brunch on Peeps!

Books, Lettering, Life

Doing – Reading – Loving

Raise your hand if you’re happy spring is finally almost kind of here. I know I am. This weekend, on the days it didn’t rain, we went to the lake for the first time this season. The water was a chilly 60˚, but the temperature was almost 80˚ which is a big win in my book. We did a little bit of fishing (not catching unfortunately) and broke out the new paddle board. I am SO in love with it. I have been wanting one for quite some time, but it never seemed like it would work out for us because of the size. In comes the inflatable paddle board. I was a little apprehensive about getting an inflatable one, thinking it would be light/flimsy/not sturdy. But they are remarkably rigid, easy to inflate and deflate and a blast to use. The one I settled on holds up to 400 lbs, so I can take out the dog or kiddo with me. We are going to be taking it on vacation this summer and I am so excited. You can pop a cooler on it to sit on and fish, layout, or just explore. So paddle boarding is definitely what I am and will be DOING here lately.



I am really enjoying READING “Afraid of all the things” by Scarlet Hiltibidal. It’s like this book was written by me, for me, about me. It is about all the things we can be scared of and how to use the gospel to squash those fears. It’s been a very enlightening read for me. If you were to look at my Goodreads account, you would see that I will by any book about anxiety – but this one is so far my favorite. I will be re-reading this again in the future.



I am LOVING diving into bible journaling. It something I have wanted to do but have never known how or where to start. In high school art classes and even while earning my art degree in college, my teachers and professors would always tell me I was too reluctant or timid with my artwork. I am one of those people that get a blank page and panic about how or where to start. I have a zillion journals and I NEVER write on the first page. But I finally just took the plunge and now it has become a daily thing for me. I just use a passage that has stood out to me that I hear during service or see on Pinterest. If you’ve ever wanted to – just start. Starting is the hardest part of anything for me.




5 Things this Friday…


1. Although we have recently* watched all of them, the husband and I are patiently awaiting the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale. *Recently, I say, because we were a little late to the station for that band wagon and have been in a bit of a binge. That being said – living in the south, people tend to tell you “have a blessed day”. You know, like the check out person at the grocery store, your dry cleaner. I can not confirm nor deny that I responded with “may the Lord open”…


2. I am reading “When Life Gives You Lululemons” and it is SO good so far. If you want an easy, good, funny read – go pick this up today! (It’s a follow up book to the Devil Wears Prada)



3. I FINALLY found some of this coveted soap and cleaner from Target that smells like an Anthro Volcano candle and I’m here to tell you – THE STORIES ARE TRUE. The dish soap is $0.79 and the multipurpose cleaner is $1.59. WHAT THE WHAT! (I was so excited, audible gasp and maybe cleared the shelf…)



4. I’ve found the holy grail of hair ties. THESE are the best for a tight hold, perky pony, and even holds onto my daughters baby fine hair. You can’t beat the price. Give these a try!



5. I’m ready for spring…
(photo credit, me)

DIY, Life

3 of my favorite essential oils and how I use them

My top 3 essential oils and how I use them

It’s facebook official (or website official), I have a love affair with essential oils. I use them all – day err day and they make me so happy. This is just a little snippet of what I use and how or why I use them. I use Young Living oils because I think they are a great quality. I started out with the starter kit, which is awesome. It really allows you to dive in with no commitment, which is good for me because I hate commitment and contracts and blah blah blah. All three of these came with my kit – here is how and why I use each one!

1. Stress away – I use this little gem to de-stress and as a perfume. I have it in my purse at all times and roll it on multiple times a day. I also diffuse it. I’ve had multiple people ask me what perfume I am wearing when I have this on. It’s like a lime / vanilla type scent and I absolutely cannot get enough of it. De-stress wise, it gets me to take a deep cleansing breath and helps me to re-focus. I don’t know if that’s  the magic of the oil or just because I am OBSESSED with the smell.

2. Lemon vitality – I add this little guy to my water to help support my immune system, and just because it makes my water taste so good. It helps me to get my water intake up. You can also use it as goo gone on glass and other hard surfaces. (Not plastic though, learned that the hard way. Also, only drink in metal or glass cup – I ruined a good tumbler the first time I drank it.) I also like to diffuse it in my kitchen. I love citrus smells in the kitchen. It just smells fresh.

3. Lavender – You can make a sheet spray, tell your kid its magic sleepy oil and sprinkle it on their pillow. I run through this stuff like crazy. I diffuse it next to my bed at night, or put it on my pillow or even my jammies. You can put a few drops in your bath with some epsom salts and pretend you’re at a spa or in one of those float tanks (I kind of want to go do that). My favorite use is to help ease sinus pressure. Not sure this works for everyone, but it sure worked for me. I just dabbed a little on my sinuses on either side of the bridge of my nose and it made a notable difference within just a few minutes. I guess the lavender helps to calm the inflammation?

Books, Cooking


There is nothing I love more than a good cookbook. I have quite the collection, and I’m not slowing down anytime soon. I’ve been scouring Pinterest lately for better ways to display my beloved books. Aside from probably building a book shelf, the best way I have is to rotate them in and out based on my mood or the season. I have little stacks here and there and they all make me so happy. Here are a few in heavy rotation right now:

  1. Instant Loss
    If you love your instant pot like I do, this cookbook is a must have. Every recipe I have cooked out of this book has been amazing. It’s a bonus that all of the recipes are healthy, because they are delicious. A lot of them are gluten free and/or dairy free, but also easily substitutable. One of my very favorites isn’t even an instant pot recipe, its for cranberry scones made with almond flour – so good!

  2. I Heart Naptime Cookbook
    I’ve had this one a while, but it’s one of my favorite and most used cookbooks of all time. There are some really great freezer tips in here, too. The baked ziti recipe is my go-to for new moms or anytime I need to feed a crowd. It’s easily put together ahead of time and you just pop it in the oven for 25 minutes or so. LOVE it.
  3. The Southern Living Party Cookbook
    I would list this book on looks alone. It stays on the counter for decor because it is SO pretty, but it is also super useful if you are in need of pot luck idea or a tailgate app.


Happy Cooking!


Christmas Vacation Recap + 3 Favorite Gifts I Recieved

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… if your family isn’t sick the whole entire time! Luckily, I’m the last one still slightly under the weather but we didn’t let a little virus slow down our fun old fashioned family Christmas – oh no!

I didn’t manage to get any photos of my Christmas kitchen (now that my cabinets are finally painted), probably because it was a perpetual mess from all the cooking, baking and hosting. I’m ready for a long break from the hustle and bustle.

Woke up to a beautiful frozen sunrise one morning. I swear this photo doesn’t even do it justice. The sun is actually rising behind me. It made the most beautiful colors on the frozen trees out back. It reminded me to take a deep breath and enjoy the season. It came and left so quickly, time is such a thief.

So, Christmas is about the birth of our savior and about giving, which I definitely love more that receiving BUT, I did get some pretty neat gifts this year:

The Apple HomePod

LOVE this bad boy. I’m a real music lover and sound quality is at the top of my list. I have a wireless Bose speaker that I really like, but I was intrigued with the Home Pods ability to play whatever you want to hear (with an Apple Music plan) by just saying “hey Siri”. You can also ask what the weather is, how to spell words, how long your drive will be, etc. In love is an understatement.

Infamous Weighted Blanket

I have wanted one of these since I first heard about them. I told the hubs I wanted one for Christmas like this summer. It was my one thing I had to have. I am so glad I got one! It is so heavy and it really does help me sleep. You would think you would sweat to death under one of these, but you don’t get hot at all with the one I got (above). Let me tell you, 15 lbs feels heavier than you would think!

Quip toothbrush

Ok, this is a little bit of a cheat. I bought my husband one and bought one for myself at the same time, wrapped them both up and stuck them under the tree. These little brushes are so great. They are perfect for travel and the heads are only $5 to refill. The case will stick to your mirror like a brush holder and it is also the carrying case. I got the bronze one shown above.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Cheers to the new year!


Thanksgiving Menu

I love when all my home magazines show up in October with Thanksgiving recipes and table settings. I totally live for the holidays, and I LOVE to cook and entertain (especially now that we updated our kitchen!). This year, I have the privilege of hosting the holiday for my side of the family. We are cooking a turkey all by ourselves and I am totally freaking out. Well, technically we are smoking a turkey and technically it’s only a turkey breast and not the whole bird – but still… Also, my parents are bringing a backup. They have a rotisserie grill and are going to do a bird and bring it over so we can have 2 options and (hopefully) TONS of leftovers!

I got a lot of my menu ideas from this season’s Southern Living. I love how fancy the recipes look, but they’re really pretty easy to do. Also, I am stoked that my Green bean casserole is all fresh – no can. (Except I am using those crunchy onions from the container. Those things are life).


I’m hungry already! Happy Thanksgiving week!


Our $300 Kitchen Renovation

We bought our house almost 10 years ago. We got an extremely good deal on it, knowing that there was A LOT of things we wanted to change and update. We have been navigating through some DIY’s slowly but surely. We’ve added hard wood on the entire first floor by ourselves, and also added a large screened in porch. Something we didn’t think we could do on our own was refinish our outdated, builder grade cabinets. A while back, we got a bunch of quotes for refinishing them, re-facing them, etc. Let me tell you, it’s expensive!





So we finally decided to start looking into doing it ourselves again, because there’s only so much golden oak I can take. They’ve come out with a lot of new products that really make it SO much easier. I was always concerned about  having to sand everything and how tedious and messy it would be. We came across a de-glossing primer made by Valspar that would make a nice bonding surface for the cabinet paint – which we also went with Valspar. We knew we wanted to fancy up the plain cabinets, so the hubbs got some crown molding and some small trim for the bottom of the hanging cabinets.




We also added some wood to the peninsula to give it a little more detail.


Here’s some photos of the primer, it covers so well. We had it tinted for the paint.


Here’s the after! Under $300 for the wood, paint, primer, rollers, brushes, those little triangle things you use to set the doors on when you flip them, butcher paper, and painters tape. I really wish we would have done this YEARS ago!