Friday, January 20, 2017


Life is Good: even though I'm thirsty!

I'm all out of my favorite lemonade Kombucha. And so is the grocery store! What ever will I dooooooooo? 
But seriously, I am so obsessed and addicted to this tasty goodness! (And I'm pretty sure my gut is healthier because of it.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Life is Good: I feel the love

You know it's going to be a good day when your five year old leaves you a love letter before he goes to school.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Eggless Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Egg Free Recipe

Life is Good: when you make time for pancakes!

Our kids would eat pancakes every morning if they could. I've taken to prepping the dry ingredients for my fluffy, eggless pancakes recipe and keeping it in the pantry to make pancake making quicker and easier and more spontaneous. I separate the dry mix into fourths and then I can mix up a quarter of the wet ingredients each time I make their breakfast. 

Every Saturday morning is ruled by The Big Kid's basketball practice. Today, we had a scheduled that allowed time for pancakes. And since our kiddos love anything lemon, I decided to try a new recipe--Lemon Ricotta.

I searched for a vegan recipe instead of substituting the eggs in a regular lemon ricotta recipe. I typically use baking powder & unsweetened applesauce to substitute, but I was afraid it might affect the tartness of the lemons.

I found this recipe through a google search. As it turns out, this blogger is in Minnesota, too! Fun! I adjusted her recipe slightly to fit our family's needs. It worked really well! Here is my version, which makes over three dozen half-dollar pancakes:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3 cups milk (I used whole, organic)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
zest of two lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients and make "a well" in the center. 
2. Pour in the milk.
3. Add ricotta one large spoonful at a time , mixing gently and being careful not to over mix (which will make the batter tough when cooked). 
4. Spray your pan with Pam and make sure that your griddle or pan are good and warm (but not scorching hot) before you drop the batter onto the pan.
5. Use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to measure out the pancakes onto the pan. 
6. When bubbles appear on the uncooked (top) of each pancake, it's time to flip it over to the other side.

I served our lemon ricotta pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream. Because...Saturdays!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Funday

Life is Good: so laugh a little!


He's obsessed with this wig. He calls it a hat. And pronounces "hat" like he's British. ??? He even fell asleep wearing this the other day. I tried so hard to snap a good pic of it, but I woke him up in the process! He's just under 26 months old and excelling at being a two-year old! I don't know if it is his nature or if it is that he is the third child, but he truly believes there is nothing he cannot do. And he will do it all...wearing this "hat"!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mondays are for Lasagna

Life is Good: dinner was great

Oh, man. Mondays are rough! Luckily, I had a lasagna in the freezer that I popped out to thaw this morning. I feel like end of days go best for us when I have prepped dinner at breakfasttime. I'm no morning person. Let me say that again. I. am. no. morning. person. However, that extra few minutes that I get up to prep dinner is always worth it. 

I got my beloved lasagna recipe from the dearly, departed Gourmet Magazine. I still have a couple of years of them in my kitchen cabinet. Oh, that was a great mag! Anyhoo... here's the recipe, adjusted because of our allergies to egg (you'll never miss it!).

And yes, our two-year old ate as much lasagna as his daddy did! If that isn't a great review, then what is?!

Gourmet Magazine's Sausage, Basil, and Cheese Lasagna
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork (plain if you don't like spice or Italian spicy if you do)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (I leave this out when cooking for others because Minnesotans don't usually like spicy flavors.)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion (do not drain) (or plain diced tomatoes)
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1 15-ounce container plus 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Assembly Ingredients:
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles from one 8-ounce package
  • 3 cups (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • Nonstick olive oil spray
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausages, onion, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper and sauté until sausage is cooked through, mashing sausage into small pieces with back of fork, about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with juices. Bring sauce to boil. 

Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.) 

Using on/off turns, chop fresh basil leaves finely in processor. Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg (we leave it out), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using on/off turns, process filling until just blended and texture is still chunky. 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles on sauce. Drop 1 1/2 cups filling over noodles, then spread evenly to cover. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering of sauce, noodles, filling and cheeses 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spoon remaining sauce atop noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Spray large piece of foil with nonstick olive oil spray. Cover lasagna with foil, sprayed side down. 

Bake lasagna 40 minutes. Carefully uncover. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Bake until noodles are tender, sauce bubbles thickly and edges of lasagna are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. 

Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes before serving to ensure your pieces cut neatly.

NOTE: Grant and our kiddos like a lot of sauce, so I usually double the sauce and add some extra on their plates. Any that is left over from that makes a great spaghetti sauce.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How to Be Happy

Life is Good: God's Got This

I was talking with a friend about how hard we are on ourselves--as mothers, as wives, as daughters. Some of us try to be everything to everyone and of course, we are setting ourselves up to fail. And if you're like me, the failure brings on such deep feelings of regret and guilt. I love this quote. It's a reminder that we are beautiful, imperfect souls created NOT to be everything to everyone. For me, this new year is about showing myself the love & understanding that I give so freely to others. I'm a work in progress...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Beauty Tips

Life is Good: I have everything I need

If you read this post's title and laughed at the thought of me giving beauty tips, then we are kindred spirits! ; ) Right now, with a 2, 5, and 8 year-old, I am lucky to wash my face in the shower each day. I don't know the latest wrinkle cream, youth serum, or natural rejuvenator. Right now, I am just too tired at the end of the day to do anything more to my face than let it hit the pillow. I regret that each morning when I look in the mirror. But I forget that part by the end of the day! Ha!

So, for now, these are my beauty tips...


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Easy Snowman Cheeseball Recipe

Life is Good: and cheesy!

While I was under the weather, I spent some time looking at what was "Pinteresting". I also downloaded what seemed to be MILLIONS of photos!

Here are some scenes from Christmas:

Our annual pics in front of the fireplace of stockings. My mom made a stocking out of felt for everyone in the family. I've lost count...they've totally taken over. 

Yes, you might notice we have one little Santa missing. You must be lightning fast to photograph our 2-year old these days!

Lego Nexo Knights were the big hit of our holiday.

The Lego art wall at Kansas City's Legoland Discovery Center included an homage to Princess Leia. We visited a day or two after the passing of Carrie Fisher

Here's a peek along the highway. Somewhere between Minnesota and Iowa...

And the only snow we saw on snowman cheeseball! Quite possibly, the easiest cheeseball recipe ever! Just blend together a softened block of cream cheese, two cups of shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar for this, but I used mozzarella so that I could make it into a snowman), and 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing seasoning. Then, spray your (clean) hands with Pam spray (so that the cheese doesn't stick to them) and divide the mixture into three portions: one large, one medium, and one small. Roll each portion into a ball and place on a platter. In my case, I didn't have a large platter to use (all of my mom's had food on them!) so I made the balls all the same size. Add craisins for the eyes and raisins or olives for the buttons. I cut a small piece of orange bell pepper for the nose. You could also use a baby carrot. If you wanted, you could use a strip of a flat fruit snack to make a scarf or a hat. Add crackers and you're ready for a winter party!

This is a garlicky, salty cheeseball. I like it that way, but if you need to, you can double the cream cheese (2 blocks) and shredded cheese (4 cups) to lessen the flavor of salt and garlic. 

Happy Holidays!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Top Pinterest Posts

Life is Good: I'm feeling better!

Admittedly, I don't usually admit to being sick. (See what I did there? wink!) But this past month really threw me for a loop and so, the past couple of days, our last ones of winter break, I have been trying to spend more time resting. It was a bit easier to do this since the kids had lots of new toys to keep them busy! ; ) But of course, I was bummed that we didn't do some of the fun cooking & art activities that I had planned. Next weekend!

So while I was attempting to lounge, I caught up on some reading and visited my old friend, Pinterest.  Here are a few things I pinned:

A whole lotta Valentine's Day school party craft ideas. Like this one

And you know I love me some QUOTES! ; )

There are a ton of great quotes on this site.

I've also been pinning a bunch of Lego builds like this one. Because they occupy our world so much now, we might as well change our last name to Lego!

And of course I'm pinning ideas for a trip to London with the kiddos, organizational stuff, and recipes I want to try to convert to eggless. If you want to see everything I've been pinning, just go here

Sunday, January 1, 2017

How to Sleep Well

Life is Good: rest easily

The first day of the new year is in the books!

How to Make 2017 a Happy New Year

Life is Good: we are a fresh lump of clay ready to become anything!

Since we are a house full of sickies, I was perusing the interwebs last night and found this gem. I think it is perfect for the first day of a new year.

My wish and my prayer for any eyes that fall upon this post is that 2017 is filled with joy, good health, and peace. GLYASDI.