Taco Soup

This soup was created from some leftovers I had in my fridge and a desire to try something a little different.


I had leftover cilantro lime chicken and some steamed acorn squash from a previous meal that needed used. Now,  I don’t expect you happen to have those items in your fridge today, but don’t let that keep you from trying this great recipe!

3 cups chicken broth
1 medium can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. McCormicks Steak Seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
1 bell pepper (I used red, but green or yellow would be pretty too!)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup steamed acorn squash (I had this leftover, so omit or use frozen if you don’t want the prep time on this recipe to be long)
1 small can rinsed black beans
1 Lb. cooked, chopped chicken (I used dark meat leftovers, but use what you like)
(And if you are preparing the chicken for the soup, it might be good to cook it with some onion, garlic and cilantro. As I mentioned, I used leftovers from another meal.)

Mix all ingredients in soup pot and heat for about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Garnish with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Enjoy!




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The Perfect Snow Day

Today was the perfect snow day. The roads were terrible, so my kids were off school. My heart was secretly very happy to have them all home on my day off. The temperature outside is finally bearable! I mean to say, you don’t have to be a BEAR to survive it! We actually were able stay out for about 2 hours! And after it snowed, we got some freezing rain. This turned every little hill in our yard into the perfect toboggan shoot!


IMG_9971IMG_9970IMG_9979IMG_9973How do you feel when your kids get a snow day from school? Relaxation and Relief? Or Stressed and Sour?

It can be difficult not to feel stressed, especially if it makes your work day more complicated. Remember, it’s for their safety. And if you are lucky enough to spend the day with them, make the most of it! Do a special craft, bake cookies, play outside or drink hot cocoa and play board games in your PJ’s all day!

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I have these very beautiful wood floors in my home. They are nearly 150 years old. They are one of the reasons I fell in love with the house the first time I saw it. I couldn’t believe anyone would sell a house with such beautiful floors.

Yesterday, while I was vacuuming,  I realized why you would sell a house with such beautiful floors. The CRACKS! The floor boards have spaces in between them. The spaces add character and beauty to the floors and home. But those bloody CRACKS! I could spend my LIFEtime cleaning out those CRACKS!

My word the stuff that gets down in those CRACKS. I must have been on CRACK when I thought it would be a good idea to raise small children in this house with those CRACKS in the floor.

The reality is my LIFE’s story can be told by the CRACKS. Seriously.

What did you feed the kids for lunch? check the CRACKS.
Girls, where did all the glitter go? check the CRACKS.
Mom, where is my hair tie? check the CRACKS.
What color sprinkles did the kids use to decorate the holiday cookies? check the CRACKS.
Son, did you finish your peas? check the CRACKS.
Ellie (the puppy), what did you just chew up and swallow? check the CRACKS.
Mommy, where is my princess’s shoe? check the CRACKS.

My LIFE story is held in the deepest, darkest part of the CRACKS in my floors. And I am pretty certain that those CRACKS, no matter how much I clean, will never be completely clean. There will also be a piece (or two or three) of my family’s history in there.



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Pecan Crusted Pork Chops

He just walked through the door and was still in the mud room taking off his coat and shoes. “Oh my, what is that smell? Is that dinner? It smells delicious!”

I knew I had created a masterpiece. I did. He loved it.

I can’t tell you how exciting this is. My husband has so many food allergies that it is an ultimate feat to create a new dish that is flavorful, yet is a meal his body will accept!
Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped pecans
4-5 slices of bread cubed
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup melted butter
2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS. soy sauce
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red cooking wine

Chop pecans small and add to the bread crumbs. I just cut whole grain fresh bread up and used it. You could use dried bread crumbs or any type of fresh bread. I just liked the multi-grain. I think it added texture and flavor to the dish. Mix pecans, bread and 1/2 cup melted butter together. Sprinkle this over the chops in a glass baking dish.

Mix the remaining melted butter, brown sugar, wine, mustard, soy and Worcestershire sauce together. Drizzle this mixture over the chops and breading.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chops are cooked through. Serve hot.


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It’s My Birthday {Book Review}

image (3)It’s My Birthday (and I am going to bake a cake) is a cute little children’s book that was given to my youngest daughter for her birthday a couple of year’s ago. Its illustrations are simple and inviting. The repetition of the story delights the youngest readers.

A little girl decides to bake a cake for her birthday. She first must collect the ingredients. She enlists a lot of help from her animal friends. In the end, the little girl shares her cake with them.

The back of the book has a yellow cake recipe. I love this part of the book. Not only can the kids enjoy the book, but you can take it one step further and bake the cake together too! That’s what we did today.

My youngest daughter pulled this book of the shelf and said, “mommy let’s read this book and bake a cake today.” I couldn’t think of a single reason why not. So that’s exactly what we did!


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It’s not actually her birthday, yet. We sang happy birthday anyway and lightened candles. Why not right? Sometimes life’s about making the ordinary day, well, less ordinary!

She baked the whole cake by herself. I read the ingredients for her. She even chose the candles! (Oddly, now that I look at them, these will be the ages of my children this year! How interesting.)

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Meet Ellie

DSC_0405It’s about time little miss Ellie makes an appearance on the blog. We’ve had her for a month now, and she’s grown so much already. I’ve been trying to capture a good photo of her, but she’s been moving too fast most of the time! Here’s the best I could do so far. Hopefully she’s not all grown up by the time I can get something better.

Miss Ellie is as sweet as she looks. We love her dearly. I have big plans for her. She will be a therapy dog someday, traveling with me to hospitals to meet and talk with sick children. It’s something I have wanted to do as long as I can remember. Miss Ellie and I are going to make that dream come true. She will be perfect for it, once she is grown. She is outgoing and not afraid of anything! I’m so excited about our future together!

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