Saturday, March 31, 2012

Delish in a Dish...err...Bowl...

Have you ever had that special recipe that could never be duplicated?  Something that was extra special and delicious because some extra special person made it once and you have a precious memory attached to it?  And even though you, or another loved one, has tried to make it since then its just not as good?  That can be said with this recipe I am about to share.

My grandpa is the most...captivating men I know.  He is my absolute hero, and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  He talks a big game, but he is the biggest lover I know.  He'd do anything for my brother and I (we're his only grandchildren) and its just incredible to me how he can light up a room.  I love having him where ever we are.  And my brother and I were so fortunate to have him only three blocks away growing up.  I have a million memories with my grandpa.  My favorite is dancing with him in his living room to Glenn Miller.  Another one of my favorites is making Hearty Winter Soup with him one cold, wintery day.  We made a mistake with the cheese however and it didn't turn out as creamy as it was suppose to...


always ready for a kiss from his grand daughter

I had to add these pictures of my supremely handsome grandfather...

But on to the soup!

Hearty Winter Soup
Here's what you need...
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Cubed Potatoes
1/2 Cup Carrot Slices
1/2 Cup Celery Slices
3/4 lb of Velveeta Cheese (cubed)
1 Cup Cubed Ham
Dash of pepper

1) Bring water, potatoes, carrots, and celery to boil
2) Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until veggies are tender
3) Add remaining ingredients, cook, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted

This recipe yields 4 1- cup servings

But as you can see from the picture I tweaked it just a wee bit...

I have been wanting to try more crock pot recipes so I thought I'd try this in the crock pot instead of on the stove.  

I threw the ham and chopped veggies in the crock pot and made sure they were submerged in water.  I set it on low and let it simmer away for about four to six hours. I then added some cheese and let it melt down.  I threw in a dash of pepper and garlic salt and...DELICIOUS!!!!

veggies and ham chopped and ready to go

once veggies have boiled down, add the cheese

oh so good!  And HEARTY!

Last weekend was wonderful.  Even though every trip home is far too rushed and not near long enough, we were able to see family.  It was so great to see our niece and nephews and be able to make these memories with their family.  Here is a pic of the hubs all dressed up like a scientist with our niece and nephew...

my handsome husband...lovin playing scientist with the kiddos

And meet David, the new bird feeder my mom got me!


I named him David off a show I used to love as a kid...David the Gnome.

And have I mentioned how much I LOVE antiques?  I found this in the garage.  It was my grandmothers and my dad said I could have it!  SCORE!  I love finding sweet stuff!

Grandma's Kitchen Scale

I see that I have two new readers!  Thanks guys for following our life, I love meeting new people and sharing my yummy recipes with you all!

From my kitchen to yours...

In God's love,


Friday, March 23, 2012

My Tag Response From Allyson and Other Things...

Here you go Allyson!

1) post these rules
2) post a photo of yourself and 11 random things
3) answer the questions set for you in the original post
4) tag some awesome bloggers
5) go to their blog/twitter and tell them that you have tagged them

Me with my FAVORITE dairy breed...JERSEY!

11 Random Things
1) I too love anything and everything old.  Antiques make me giddy and so do old quilts ;)
2) I DIE for cows.  I think its one of the main things I missed most when we were in NY
3) I spent most of my childhood and teen years on my best friends dairy farm and I loved every minute of it
4) I believe the 4H is one of the most valuable programs out there.  I was in it forever and I feel like it built my character in so many ways and I learned so many things.  I love it.
5) If there is one thing I HATE its when appliances don't work the way they're suppose to (i.e. dishwasher not washing the dishes)
6) I have become addicted to working out, although I don't feel like its working
7) I apparently get a little testy when I am hungry
8) I LOVE the smell of cow poop
9) Deep down, I wish Beau would have done farming instead
10) I used to love bomb pops, but popsicles just aren't the same anymore after they changed the recipe
11) I look forward to thunder storm season all year

What is your favorite color?


What is your fondest childhood memory?

I have too many to count.  I had an amazing childhood, but if I had to give one, I'd say something including my entire family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc)

If you could meet someone famous who is no longer living, who would it be?

Frank Lloyd Wright.  He is my role model.

What is your biggest dream in life?

To live on a huge farm with lots of animals and have a gigantic kitchen where all our loved ones could come and hang out and I could have every kind of kitchen toy there is :D  and to be the best wife and mom I can be.  I want to always laugh with my husband and get the tickles whenever I see him.

If you won $100 what would you do with it? bills :(

If you had to move to another state, which state would you choose?

Mainly Iowa, or anywhere in the Midwest.  But if our ENTIRE family were to pick up and move I'd say Vermont.  Its beautiful there.

If you could do something illegal, no consequences, what would it be?


If you had to choose a super power, what would it be?


What is your favorite song right now?

We Are Young-Fun

What are you most afraid of?

Waking up without Beau in my life

What is the best item on your bucket list?

I don't really have one, but I'd say going to Italy

Yay!  That was fun!  Come on ladies!  I tag...


I am SO thankful today is FRIDAY!  I have been looking forward to this weekend for the longest time.  Beau and I are heading home to Iowa this weekend and we have lots going on!  Tomorrow is going to be a blast.  We are spending the day with our sister and brother- in- law and their three little ones.  Our sister has the whole day planned and I think one of the things we are doing is taking the kids to the Science Center.  Beau is really looking forward to it because he is such a  But I am so anxious to see him with the kids.  And I am so anxious to see everyone.  Its hard having to live so far away from everyone still (granted we're MUCH closer here than we were in NY) but it still makes it hard to see our nieces and nephews as much as we like.  They get so big so fast...

And then tomorrow night is the Fireman's Dance!  My dad has been a fireman for 20 years now, and so all the guys who have been with the department since I was little have become sorta like dads too.  Its a great feeling.  And once they get some beers in them, they are pretty good dancers too!  I am hoping we get back into town on time to stop in and see everyone.  But, we missed my grandpa's birthday a couple weeks ago so I am REALLY wanting to fit a family lunch in there somewhere!  Oh so much I want to do and so little time...

Yesterday I was craving something light and fresh.  When I lived in Ames I worked (for a VERY short time) at this restaurant that served the most amazing Mediterranean Crepes.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about them.  So yesterday, while I was trying to decide what to make for dinner, I thought of these crepes.  Well, I don't have a crepe maker, and I would have no idea how to make such a thing without it so I substituted the crepes for the tortilla shells I had picked up for the beef wraps...

Here is what you need...
Sour Cream 
Dill (fresh preferably)
Garlic power (yes powder, all I had was salt)
Two monstrous cucumbers
Can of Black Olives
3-4 frozen chicken breasts

crazy that the heating coil is purple huh?

All you need to do really is boil the chicken for about 45 minutes.  When the time is up put the breasts in the fridge and let them cool.  After a couple hours chop up the chicken breasts.  In a separate bowl add dill and garlic powder to 1 cup of sour cream.  Hmmm...well, the hubs REALLY likes cucumber sauce so I used an entire 8oz container of sour cream and added the dill and garlic powder to taste.  Peel the cucumbers and chop them finely and throw them in!  Again, according to taste.  With this recipe I kind of threw it together but I promise you its good!  I took the shells from the beef wraps and spread the sauce over them then threw on the chicken, black olives, and feta.  DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Buying all this produce makes me SO EXCITED for farmer's market to start up again for the season!  
Well friends, we have a BUSY weekend ahead and I really need to get going.  I hope this coffee kicks in soon as I am immobile for the first two cups.  Have to clean, do dishes, do laundry, pay bills, and...PACK!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

In Gods Love,


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ham and Swiss Rolls...and other stuff...

Last night I made a favorite of mine!  Ham and Swiss Rolls.  Turns out there are a couple different ways you can make this, and I learned that from trial and error...

My mother takes deli ham and rolls mashed potatoes in them.  She then pours cream of chicken over the rolls, lays swiss cheese on top, and then pops it in the oven.  I had to do it a little differently because...

The deli ham we buy is see through...

Of course I had to use my new menu frame ;)

Here is what you need...
1 can of cream of chicken
1 package of instant mashed potatoes
1 package of sliced swiss cheese
Deli Ham

And here is what I did...

After the mashed potatoes were ready, I began laying in a smallish dish.  Ham, cheese, mashed potatoes, cream of chicken, ham, cheese... cover with foil and pop it in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes!


*note...adding milk or water to the soup is not needed*

Yesterday I laughed and laughed because of this little thing...

Its just a wee baby squirrel!  The little thing had a peanut in its mouth and I think it was learning how to balance on its hind feet.  The little doll would try and stand while holding the peanut so it could munch on it and it would tip right over.  It tried a couple times to gain its balance and eat at the same time and eventually the little thing just gave up.  Its last attempt to stand failed miserably and so the little thing laid on its back, legs spread, peanut in hands...too adorable.

And because it was so cute I felt the need to re-enact the whole thing for Beau when he got home.  Despite the fact that I was so entertained by this little thing, I guess it was one of those things where you had to see it for yourself to fully appreciate just how cute this little thing was!

And since I am on a health kick and have made some serious strides to get my fat ass back in shape, I decided to try the Green Monster Smoothie for the second time this morning.  

Here is what you need...
1 chopped frozen banana
1 Tablespoon of peanut butter
1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
1 Cup of milk
3 Cups of Spinach

new Milk campaign?

It was so tasty and extremely filling!  I think I may start replacing my apple cinnamon cereal bar with this tasty concoction.  It is supposedly a weight loss aid.  Perhaps because you fill up after only a couple sips!  A friend of mine has added strawberries to hers and I think I'll try that next time and maybe cut back on the peanut butter.  As much as I love the stuff, it was a little overpowering in this.  And believe it or not you can't even taste the spinach!

*note...spinach freezes surprisingly well!  I think you can save money by buying a bigger bag!  What you don't use, throw in the deep freeze!

Being such a beautiful day I wanted to have something summery for lunch.  So I made myself a wrap!

I don't have pictures to show you since I devoured it IMMEDIATELY!  But its so simple...sun dried tomato and basil tortilla shell, deli beef, cream cheese, tomato, and cheddar!

Spread cream cheese on the shell.  Lay beef and cheddar on top and throw on some diced FRESH tomatoes.  Roll it up and...VOILA!  The perfect summer treat!

 I had the burning desire for Mikes Hard Black Cherry and found myself sticking it in the trunk.  Guess thats what we'll be doing after the gym tonight!

I hope you are all having a beautiful day!

In Gods Love,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Picture Frames Made Beautiful!

I love a great deal.  When I was in highschool (and a total snob when it came to shopping) I used to hate, loath, and despise, going to Goodwill.  I was such a brat about it and when I look back on my 15-16 year old self I wish I had a time capsule so I could go back and slap her.  When I think of all the money I wasted shopping at malls...ouch...

I have seen the light though.  I do believe it was when I was on a shopping trip with my mom.  She has always loved getting things second hand and on one particular shopping trip drug me into a Goodwill and, because I was needing more work clothes, I started fingering through he racks.  I hit pay dirt that day!  And everything I got was like new (and some of it WAS new).  AND, they all came from stores that I either shopped at already or always wanted to shop at but couldn't bring myself to spend the money.  And since then I have been hooked.  I can't tell you how many cute things I have found for basically nothing at garage sales, Goodwills, thrift stores, and auctions (yay auction and garage sale season is upon us!)

A friend of mine made the "I Love You Because..." frame a while back and I loved the idea.  I had also seen some other neat ideas you could do with old picture frames on pinterest.  And because yesterday was a wee bit poopy I decided that I really wanted to take a couple projects on so I headed to Goodwill!

I made a b-line for the housewares.  I LOVE checking that out first because there are often times Target takes their clearance items there when they are making room for new stock.  I actually got a lot of our wedding decorations that way!  Yesterday I lucked out.  Beau and I have been talking about buying a fixer upper.  We've been combing the neighborhoods looking at cute houses for sale and when I say "cute" I mean super cheap foreclosures.  I am pretty excited about this as I am an aspiring architectural historian and LOVE getting in there and making an ugly worn out place beautiful and happy again!  Anyway...yesterday I found a towel rack/bar thingy that was still in the box!  I snagged it because it was brushed bronze and matches everything we got for our wedding!  WIN!

Then I made my way over to the picture frames and picked up some cute little numbers.  After finding two frames for .99 each I dashed out of there.  Mainly because they had the most amazing antique buffet there that I am convinced I would have bought if I would have stood there staring at it any longer.

From there I went over to Hobby Lobby to pick out some scrap book paper and paint.  I love to paint things.  It is so relaxing to me, and its amazing what a little paint can do.  And, its such a cheap way to bring something back to life.

my goodness I love Hobby Lobby and Goodwill!

Frames: .99 each
Americana Enamel Paint: True Red .99
Magnets: $1.99 (6 pack)
Smaller Scrap Book Paper: .44 each
Bigger SB Paper: .54


menu picture frame. I love the dainty flowers!

"I Love You Because..." picture frame

I decided to just set the menu frame on the counter like a regular picture frame.  Even though I am short on counter space, I am even shorter on refrigerator space because of pictures and drawings from our sweet little friend Kenley.

This was so quick and FUN.  And the best part is that I was able to add some more personal touches to our little home for basically nothing.

I think these would make great gifts and if you can't decide what you want to do for paper, I recommend getting the package of paper.  And always check for sales!

Oh!  And I found another great bargain at the grocery store yesterday!  The Crock Pot Chicken called for Rotel, but while stocking up (we use a lot of it) I discovered the Shur Fine brand.  I picked it up just to try it out and when I got it home I compared it to Rotel.  The EXACT same ingredients, and what was even better was the price difference!  Rotel: $1.19 Shur Fine: .69!!!!!!!!  HOLLA!!!! I'LL TAKE IT!!!!!!

So don't be afraid to buy the off brand.  Just compare ingredients before throwing it in the cart!  Your grocery bill and your husband will thank you! ;)

In Gods Love,


p.s.  the pictures frames can be written on with a dry erase marker or an over head projector marker.  But be careful not to use a permanent one!

Crock Pot Chicken Goodness...

I have three new followers!  Thanks everyone for being interested in our life and what I have to say!  I love making new friends and I consider each and every one of you a friend!

So, yesterday I was on a baking/cooking/crafting frenzy!  It was rainy and nasty here for most of the morning and since I have been trying to get back into the swing of waking (and staying) up early, I had to do something!  I haven't really been into pinterest as much lately, and I have even debated getting rid of facebook (a post on that is forthcoming).  But there were a bunch of cute projects I wanted to try out.

First things first though, the chicken goodness...thats exactly what it turned out to be...

This is the "before"...  unfortunately I can't show you a picture of the "after" as its all in my tum tum...lets just say it was AMAZING!  AND, super easy!

Here is what you need and what you do... *see yesterday's post for a picture of ingredients*

2-3 lbs of frozen chicken breast
1 can of Rotel
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained) *beans are optional.  The hubs hates beans so we didn't add them*
1 package of cream cheese
1 packet of taco seasoning *this is also optional but it added a lot of kick*

Throw everything in the crock pot and let it cook on "low" for 6-8 hours, stirring every two hours.  Its AMAZING!  I am really excited to share this recipe with my sister as she loves black beans!

I also made Spanish rice to go with it.  I am not for spicy, but the hubs is and he loved the rice.  Add salsa if you like too!  And it goes GREAT with cornbread (then again, everything does).

It makes a lot so if you aren't super hungry you are bound to have left overs!

Have a blessed day!

In Gods Love,


Monday, March 19, 2012

Its Amazing How Much You Can Accomplish When You Get Up Early...

Yesterday being Sunday was church!  Usually Beau and I go to the 9:30 service, but this week we automatically woke up around 7 and had plenty of time to get ready for church.  We went to the 8am service this week which is a more traditional service.  It fit us perfectly and was just so homey.  It's so nice though that there are so many different times to choose from.

I haven't been very good at posting recipes lately!  So here are a couple things that I have made in the past couple of days...

A dear friend of mine gave me this recipe for French Dip sandwiches.  Her family loves them so much that they are on high demand around her house and they usually have them every couple of weeks.  I can see why!

French Dip Sandwiches

Here's what you need...
Chuck Roast
Sliced Swiss Cheese
A packet of onion soup mix
2 cans of beef broth
French Rolls

brown the meat

add beef broth

add onion soup mix

melt swiss cheese on the meat and french roll


*NOTE: This makes a LOT.  The hubs and I got three meals out of this recipe.

I found another recipe today that my friend over at if it is to be, its up to me pinned recently.  I love lemon.  I also love the occasional sweets.  That being said, I am also on a diet and really trying to watch what I eat.  So I was STOKED when I saw that this recipe was a weightwatchers recipe!  And its SO easy!

Here's What You Need...
Lemon cake mix
20 oz diet 7Up (or something lemon lime esque)
Tub of light whipped topping

Add the soda to the cake mix and stir stir stir!  It might be a little difficult as there will be a lot of foam from the carbonation.  Keep stirring though!  It will even out! 

Poor batter into a greased 9x13 and cook for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven!  

Yes, it really is that easy!  Then you add the whipped topping once its cooled off.  I was too eager, however, because it smelled SO GOOD and added the topping and dug in before it cooled down.  Still tastes good, but the topping will melt right in.

I was feeling pretty crafty today.  This morning was rather blah.  It was raining and overcast so I felt like cooking and crafting!  This is what is in the crock pot as we speak...

I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow! ;)

I have been wanting to make bath salts for a LONG time now.  Beau works so hard and stands all day and I really wanted to make something nice for him.  So I made them today!

Here's What You Need...
3 cups of epsom salt
2 cups of sea salt (although I have read any salt is fine, the chunkier the prettier)
1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) of essential oil
Drops of food coloring (if you want)

You just combine and enjoy!  I used Bath and Body Works Massage Oil, Stress Relief.  I used it because of the added moisturizer.  I chose not to add any food coloring because I am always so afraid of stains.

I hope we get to try it out tonight!

I have also been wanting to make the "I Love You Because..." picture frame for our bathroom.  So today I ran over to Goodwill and picked up a couple of picture frames.  Then I ran over to Hobby Lobby and picked out some cute scrap booking paper!

I am so excited about this that I will probably have fun new things to hang by tomorrow!

The rain seemed to paint the world this morning.  It was almost magical since everything turned green after the showers passed...

the back yard in all its green glory!

daffodils?  tulips?  I can't wait to see!!!

one of our bushes...

It makes me want to plant flowers in the WORST way!  I can't wait for next month!

Tonight the hubs and I are meeting with a personal trainer to set out our goals.  I honestly don't know what my goal is.  I mean do I say "to fit my fat ass in to my pants again and make it so my arms don't look like they have bags of pudding attached"?  I am sure she's heard it before!

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather!

OH!  I almost forgot!  To all you bakers out there, I have a cake mix that is missing a cup or two and I don't know what to do with the rest of it.  Does anyone have any recipes?! 

In Gods Love,


Thursday, March 15, 2012

9:15 am and its already almost 60 out!

Yesterday was just the BEST day.  The weather was OUT OF THIS WORLD and I even was out and about in jeans and a tank top.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and it was just...THE BEST DAY!

I was up early and so excited for the warm weather.  I cleaned the entire house, did laundry, and then decided to do some re-decorating.  Our bedroom windows face the East, and so when the sun comes up it gets all warm and sunny and inviting in there.  We still had our "winter colors" on the bed still (reds, browns, and khakis) and our side lamps are brushed bronze with a brown/rust colored shade.  Well, since I have been in a "summery" mood lately I decided I wanted to make our bedroom feel like I was feeling, so I changed out the sheets and pillow cases and even switched out one of the side lamps.

After touching up the house and welcoming in the beautiful sun, I decided to drop off/pick up some applications.  While I was out and about I decided to stop in to Old Navy and take advantage of their t-shirt sale.  BRIGHT COLORS!  From there I went to Menards and... GOT HIRED!!!!!!  PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!  And to top it off they are the BEST hours which allow me to spend lots of time with Beau and even fill in at the family practice clinic I used to work at.  I was just so jazzed the rest of the day that I couldn't WAIT to tell Beau the good news!  He was SO happy for me and we decided to celebrate.  So we drove around and looked at houses and then went to Goodwill.  I was on the hunt for some bright colored sheets since Target takes their clearance items there.  But instead I found curtains.  Yes curtains...I am tempted to go back and get them since they are the EXACT color Beau and I have picked out for when we get pregnant.  A beautiful sage green!  Hmmm...I hope they're still there today.

In other news (and bare with me if I already told you...) but our neighbors have a pocket beagle !  I have wanted one of these adorable little babies ever since I heard of them a little over a year ago.  I think Oliver needs a baby sister.  OH MY WORD she is to die for and I think I have a new best friend.  The other day I went out to get the mail and they were outside with her.  I heard yipping and when I looked over she was sitting there looking at me wagging her tail.  To DIE for...

Well, I am off!  Its another beautiful day here in Wisconsin and I am going to take advantage of it!

I hope you are all having a blessed week and thank you so much for your prayers in regards to employment.  It made all the difference in the world!

In Gods Love,


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hes the BEST...

I love my husband.  I think that is the greatest understatement ever known.  We have been together going on 7 years (April 29th to be exact) and I it has been a crazy ride, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

How could I NOT love him?  He tickles me, surprises me, kisses my head, leans on my shoulder when we're watching TV...he pushes me hard because he believes in me.  He gets excited about the things I am excited about, and he laughs when I do my happy/excited Stewie dance.  He cooks for me, he puts up with Oliver for me, he wants to spend all his free time with me, AND...he even buys me bird feeders because he knows how much I love the little things.  Birds are sheer delight to me and he totally caters to my love of animals.

Recently we have started going to bed a bit earlier and just sitting in bed talking.  I almost look forward to that part of the day more than anything because it seems like we always get a bit giggly around bed time and we just have the BEST conversation.  The longer we are together the deeper I fall in love with him.

Engagement pics November 2010 ISU Campus

Kissing under the Campanile is an Iowa State tradition.  Technically, you're suppose to kiss at midnight, but then it would be too dark ;)

Right before my graduation ceremony, August 2011

Ok, before I get too mushy I am just going to post some of my favorite pictures of us... these are by no means in order!

Apple picking is one of our family traditions, Fall 2010

At Dirty Gurt's Galena Illinois, December 2010

Galena trip with my mom and dad

hes being a goof...he HATES to have his picture taken

Amana Colonies, November 2009

Graduation party his family threw me, May 2011

THE NIGHT WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!  August 10th, 2010

My first trip down to Dominica to visit him at school, April 2009

Dominica, May 2010

Miami Beach, July 2010

Times Square, January 2011

Brooklyn NY, April 2011

Central Park, June 2011

Manhattan, July 2011

All right, all right...I have about a million more pictures to share.  I guess that's what happens when you are with your best friend for so long, but I'll spare you ;)

Beau is my everything, my best friend, my...well...he means a whole lot, more than I could ever put into words.

Love on your man, build him up, and give him praise.  They put up with so much from us crazy ladies.

In Gods Love,