Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Friends are the best. 
I've decided that the very best part of birthdays is spending quality time with them. 
In the hustle and bustle of busy life, it's the perfect reason to get together. 

On Monday, my friends surprised me with a sweet set up at the park for an impromptu play date. 
They sure can whip something up quick! 
Treats, breakfast, tea, flowers, and lots of talking. 

The perfect birthday.

Girlfriends make my world go round.

P.S. If your friend has a birthday, I HIGHLY recommend doing something like this. I loved the surprise of seeing the table!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

i made it

My first ever attempt at homemade pizza. Made the wheat dough myself too. It was pretty good; I just have some tweaks for next time. 

I think I shared that we are eating "real food" here in our home. I have been cooking up a storm. I use my blender and Cuisinart pretty much every day. I like to say that we eat like my grandparents probably grew up eating. We eat dairy, meats, fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. We just cut out as much processed food as possible and instead of buying treats, I make them. I try not to buy any snacks that have over 5 ingredients on the label, but I do keep whole-wheat goldfish in the house so the kids feel like they still have a snack they had before. We do smoothies pretty much every night with dinner. I pack them with so many good fruits, veggies, and healthy add-ins like wheat germ and flax seed. It's amazing how much you can cram into a blender. My kids know there are spinach, carrots, and lots of other stuff in their smoothie and they love it. 

It has been amazing to see the change in our family. I am down 7 pounds in less then 4 weeks and my kids are making really great strides in their food choices. We were out at a coffee shop last week and my son picked the fruit and cheese platter over all of the baked goods in the display. I was shocked. And, yes I do let them eat treats outside of the home, but I really limit the amount and they are okay with it. You have to learn to say no more often, but say yes at the right times. We went to an Angel's game and I let them have hot dogs and dessert. I want to have a good balance. But in general all meals and lunches are pretty darn healthy as far as real food goes. It's not low fat, it's just home cooked. I'm loving it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

yummy dinner

I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe yet! It's a favorite in our house. It's called Scooter's Spaghetti and it's easy and delicious. I love to do all of the prep work ahead of time and then just throw it in the oven at dinnertime. I also make mine with whole wheat spaghetti and my own homemade spaghetti sauce filled with veggies and spinach to make it even healthier. I have made it with ground beef or ground chicken and both were equally good. And we only add on the fried onions if we feel like being naughty. Easy peasy!

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
French Fried Onions (small can)

1. Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
2. Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
3. Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.
4. Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well. (If cream cheese is not soft, nuke it for 20-30 seconds to make it easy to spread.)
5. Using a 10 x 6 dish, assemble in the following order:
6. Thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
7. Spaghetti
8. Cream cheese/vegetable mixture
9. Spaghetti sauce
10. Parmesan Cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
11. French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
12. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)

Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.