Saturday, December 19, 2015

Italian Beef Casarecce Soup

You will not regret making this! It's easy to make, filling, easily adapted to what you have on hand, and the best part is it tastes like you're eating a bowl of lasagna. It comes together in about 30 minutes, and requires very little prep. An easy weeknight meal that's sure to impress.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Home Tour 2015

Hello everyone! I hope you're enjoying the month of December so far. It's only day six, and I already feel like it's passing by too quickly. This is the time of year that I look forward to all year long. I'm sad when it ends, and then summer comes and melts us all away with the heat. It's actually warmer today, about 80 degrees, but it should be back to the mid-sixties in a few days which to me is the best weather possible!

I'm lacking on recipes because we've still been eating a lot of random meals. The other night I fixed my spaghetti and meatball recipe (found here) and the night before we had chicken pot pie soup, I also have a recipe for that. I've been working on Christmas decor around the house, so I thought I would share a little home tour with you. I'm not completely finished with the house, but this post will focus on my family room and dining room. Nothing too fancy really! I follow so many talented bloggers on Instagram, and honestly sometimes the beauty of their posts gets me down. I feel inadequate knowing my home will never look as beautiful as theirs. I don't have the money to buy all the decor items, and I don't have the skills of an interior stylist. But I'm here to show you that you can still decorate your home on a budget, and you don't have to go overboard. Comparison can be a horrible thing. Instead I want to focus on how cozy and beautiful I've made my house for my family to enjoy, and I hope it brings you some enjoyment as well!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Easy Low Calorie Crab and Corn Chowder

While placing my online grocery order I saw that packs of imitation crab were buy one get one free. I don't usually buy seafood, but I actually really like imitation crab so I went for it. Mine was a mix of pollock and king crab, although you can certainly use 100% crab meat for this recipe. I love seafood chowders but the recipes can be a bit heavy using large quantities of heavy whipping cream and whole milk. I lightened this up a bit and simplified it using cream of potato soup instead of needing fresh potatoes; I also used canned corn. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Soyrizo and Pepper Jack Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese

Cauliflower has become increasingly popular. I've seen so many recipes ranging from pizza crust to macaroni and cheese that subs cauliflower for noodles. I've had cauliflower gratin before which is super similar to this recipe, and I wanted to switch up the flavor profile from the traditional cheddar. I love Soyrizo. If you don't know what it is, it's a vegan alternative to chorizo. Chorizo has a delicious taste, but the ingredients can be questionable depending on which kind you buy. It's also loaded with fat, and Soyrizo is a great alternative if you aren't vegetarian or vegan but want to cut out all the grease. I personally think when you have it with scrambled eggs and peppers with tortillas and beans on the side, you really won't notice the difference. The flavor is great, and it works really well in this dish since the cheese is already so rich on it's own.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Simple Beef Chili

I mentioned on Facebook that I hadn't been posting as much because my husband and I have been very serious about a deep freezer/pantry clean out! I love having about 5 times the amount of storage space for food versus our old apartment, but I didn't want things to become lost or forgotten. I've been coming up with interesting meals lately. Usually something frozen, with a can of something, and some veggies. Nothing blog-worthy. I did however spot canned tomatoes, canned black beans, canned kidney beans, canned corn, and frozen ground beef the other day; these ingredients just scream homemade chili. I'm surprised I've never posted a recipe for basic beef chili, but this one is so easy to follow and completely customizable. You can use beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, shredded chicken, veggie crumbles, or no meat at all. You can use black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, etc. It's up to you, so use whatever you have on hand.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Easy Roast Chicken and Butternut Squash

When I think of fall I think of squash and cinnamon, so this recipe was a no brainer for me. It's so simple to put together but I love that the flavors are a little different than what I'm used to which is more of an Italian flavor base. This recipe has cinnamon in it which it such a great addition and really warms the meal up. The best part is it's a one pan recipe, and the ingredients list is simple.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Maple Holistics Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway! I wish I could choose everyone to give these products to, but I went ahead and used trusty old to pick one winner:

Congratulations to Lauren Sakai! Please email me at:

Send me your name and mailing address, and I'll be sure the products are sent out to you soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fall Decor and Mini DIY

We bought our house last year, and moved in right before Thanksgiving. I didn't decorate at all. The most I did was pull out the tiny fake Christmas tree we had and I slapped on some ornaments, nothing fancy. This year I'm definitely having so much fun decorating the house! I kept meaning to post this sooner, but I kept buying more stuff to decorate with. Now that's it's been at least a week since I've changed the decor, I figured it's time to share what I've done. Warning! Lots of pictures to follow!  I won't write a whole lot about everything, it's all pretty self explanatory. My biggest source of fall decor was Michael's craft store and reusing items I've had for years. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!

Hi guys! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a vitamin C serum and a Dead Sea mud mask! All of the giveaway details and my review can be found here. Giveaway ends Thursday October 22 at 11 pm PST. Good luck!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Kallax Unit for Hidden Storage

I have the Ikea Ektorp sectional in my living room, and end tables would be great except my toddler loves to climb. She loves to climb so much I can't leave the room for long or I'm afraid I'll hear a big thud. She's only 1-1/2, so she's still learning about boundaries. And gravity.

But I digress, the point of this post is to show you how we've turned our sofa table into functional storage. Because the Ektorp is fairly tall, a standard size sofa table would have been pretty short. My husband and I wanted a table that would come up as high as the back of the sectional, and fit the length as well. Looking at furniture on Ikea's website, with the sectionals measurements in mind, I realized the Kallax (formerly Expedit, which we have three of) are nice and tall but also thin. It would be the perfect "table" for behind our couch, the only downside was the 8-unit Kallax wasn't long enough. But if we took the 8-unit piece and combined it with the 4-unit Kallax the length fit the couch perfectly. We did this months ago, and it's worked great since. I don't know why it took me a few months to realize that we had 12 cubbies of storage, completely empty, sitting behind the couch. We have hardwood floor, and the bottom of the Kallax units have felt pads which makes them easy to slide in and out from behind the couch.