Monday, December 24, 2012


I have been meaning to share this one for a while.  I make these almost every weekend and Logan and I both love them!  They are super healthy, and like it states above, they are ACTUALLY yummy too!  The best combo if you ask me!  They remind me of french toast b/c of the egg whites and the vanilla.  I usually scatter mini chocolate chips on top when I am making them, of course, you can use blueberries or really whatever you want.


6 egg whites
1 cup rolled oats, dry
1 cup cottage cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. For each pancake pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Flip when they start to bubble. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches, spraying the griddle as needed. Makes about 10 pancakes.

Number of Servings: 3

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
181 Calories, 2.7g Fat, 10mg Cholesterol, 361mg Sodium, 20g Carbs, 2.8g Fiber

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I found this recipe on Pinterest and finally tried it this weekend. It was SUPER yummy - seriously one of the best soups i have ever made!!  I thought is was share worthy, so here it is! (Oh and it is gluten free!) 

  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste 
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving (optional)
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color.  Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.  Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.  Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired.  Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.
(recipe from scaling back blog)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Ellis got her "party hat" last Friday and has adjusted just fine.  Me on the other hand... well, it might take me a tad bit longer.  Even though I know the helmet is HELPING her, not hurting her, it makes me a little sad.  She just looks so different and I cannot cuddle her the way I used to.  I used to give her little head kisses and snuggle her under my chin and now it is just hard plastic. lol  We get to take it off for one hour a day and during that one hour I try and get my snuggles in and of course a bath. :)  Overall, we are THANKFUL for the helmet and the health of our family.

Here are a few pictures of Ellis in her party hat.  It is no longer white though.  It is now blue with sparkle clouds and a kite!  Yup, her head is in the clouds! ;)  I will post pictures of that along with her 7 month bunny pictures soon.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!!

"Just hanging out watching TV with dad and sucking my fingers.  This is the life."

Friday, November 9, 2012


Many of you know what has been going on with Ellis' poor little noggin, but for those of you who don't, (and have no idea what plagiocephaly is) I will quick explain...

Plagiocephaly, know as "flat head syndrome" is a condition that causes a baby's head to have a flat spot or be misshapen.  The most common form is positional plagiocephaly. It occurs when a baby's head develops a flat spot due to pressure on that area. Babies are vulnerable because their skull is soft and pliable when they're born.  Since 1992, when the rule of thumb was changed from putting baby on their tummy to sleep to putting them on their back, plagiocephaly has become rather common.

Ellis' head isn't as much flat as it is misshapen.  Very early on, Ellis started favoring her right side, always sucking on the fingers on her right hand, and sleeping with her head to the right. We started to notice that her head was a bit asymmetrical and looking like (but not nearly as bad as) the image below.
We bought her a Noggin Nest for her car seat and crib - which I DO think actually helped a little. We avoided lying her on her back as much as possible by putting her on her tummy or in her bouncer when we weren't holding her. We tried swaddling her right arm down so she would, hopefully, suck on her left hand instead of her right. We tried putting a sock over her right hand when she slept - she would just suck on her hand through the sock and it would just be wet and cold in the morning.  We tried putting a light up sound toy on the side of her crib to get her to look left... basically, WE TRIED EVERYTHING.  The thing is, when you are a baby, you do what you want.

We talked to our pediatrician about our concerns with her head at both her four and six month appointments and she said she didn't think it was anything to worry about.  She said she didn't see any asymmetry in her face, so she thought she was fine.  After debating it for a while, we finally decided we just wanted to get another opinion from a specialist, just to make sure.

Last Friday, we went to the Dean Head Shaping Clinic.  We were fully expecting them to say they thought she was fine and she would grow out of it.  Unfortunately, that is not what we were told.  The physical therapist took a bunch of measurements of her face and her head and did some tests looking at her range of motion with her neck.  Because she always favors her right, the muscle on the right side of her neck is shorter than her left, a condition called Torticollis.  To correct this, we are doing special exercises with her to strengthen and stretch her right neck muscle.

After taking the measurements, the PT told us that Ellis was at the top of the "grey area" of needing a DOC band (a helmet) to correct the shape of her head.  Now you might be wondering...

Why do we care so much about the shape of her head? She will have hair and no one will even notice!  

This is why - The shape of her head can affect the symmetry of her face.  The opening of her left eye is a tiny bit smaller than her right, her cheeks are a little asymmetrical, and her right ear is a little further back and lower than the left.  It is not extremely noticeable, but you can tell if you really look for it.  We are also talking about a situation where both mom and dad have a bit of OCD - ok, a lot of OCD.  The last thing we want is for Ellis to grow up and have a lopsided face!  :(  I had adult braces (second time having them) b/c I had such a complex about my teeth not being perfect.  We do not want her growing up having a complex about her face - something that could never be fixed!  That is why we are catching it now.  It can be corrected up until 18 months b/c the head is still growing.

The negatives:
• It costs $3,300 ($2,600 if we pay it in full)
• Our health insurance doesn't cover a penny of it.
• She has to wear it for 23 hours a day for 3-4 months
• We have to bring her in every two weeks for adjustments to the helmet.

The positives:
• The problem CAN be corrected
• It isn't a very severe case
• She is a perfectly healthy baby besides
• I can paint and decorate her DOC band!  WOO HOO!
• She will be wearing it in the winter months - it would be so hot in the summer!
• She will be wearing it while she is learning to crawl and maybe even walk so she we be protected from bumps and falls. (ok, this is stretching it a bit, but still a bright spot! ;)

So after talking it over, Logan and I decided we wanted to go through with the DOC band.  On Wednesday we both took Ellis back to the head shaping clinic to have her mold created for her cast.  The mold will be sent into the DOC band company and we will have her band in about 2 weeks.  Here are some pictures of the procedure:

I was pretty upset about the news at first, but I have come to realize there are much worse situations we could be in.  Even though her head is a little misshapen, she is still a healthy and happy baby.  There are children all over the world dying from starvation and I am boo hooing over my child needing a helmet! !? C'mon Katie!  Pull it together!! It is ALWAYS good to keep life in perspective.  My mom told me to get used to it and this is just a bump along the way.  We will probably need to get her braces some day and of course, send her to college.  This is just one tiny expense in the grand scheme of things. I will say one thing though... SHE BETTER HAVE THE MOST PERFECTLY ROUND LITTLE MELON AFTER THIS! :)

This is what the DOC band "helmet" will look like:

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Super yummy.  Super easy. Super healthy. :)
Sweet Potato & Avocado Salsa

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together 1 large sweet potato (1 pound), peeled and diced small, 1 red onion, diced small, and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Roast until sweet potato is tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.

2. Add 1 medium tomato, diced small, 1 avocado, diced small, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes). Season with coarse salt and toss to combine.

Quick ways to enjoy:
- service with crackers or a toasted baguette for a snack
- scatter over chopped lettuce for a simple salad
- stir into couscous to create an easy side dish
- use as a topping for chicken tacos or nachos
- fold into scrambled eggs at breakfast

(original recipe - multiple delicious)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I created some custom prints for a friend of mine.  Here they are! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


My two totally awesome vintage teacup candles that Jodie made me and some Fun. lyrics.  Both give me warm fuzzy feelings. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


My Boss' SIL took our family pictures on Sunday at my parent's house in the country.  Here are two sneak peaks she sent me today. I cannot wait to see the rest!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The Med Sandwich from Noodles and Company ----- I am obsessed with it.  I figured someone out there in cyber space had to have posted a copy cat recipe for it, so after a bit of googling, I finally found one!  I   have made it a million times, made a few changes here and there and love it every time!  It is actually pretty healthy and a great way to get in your veggies!

• 1 package of your favorite flatbread (mine is One Republic Artisan-Style 
Flatbread from Woodman's)

To saute:
• 1 cup cooked chicken breast
• 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
• 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
• 2 Portobello mushroom cap, gills removed
• 1 red pepper
• 1 tablespoon white wine
• 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

• ½ cup low fat plain yogurt
• 2 tablespoon low fat mayo
• 2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
• 1/2 lemon, squeezed

tomato, chopped
cucumber, chopped
feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh cilantro (I do not use this - Not a cilantro fan)

Preparation: Bake and chop chicken into nite-size pieces.
Chop garlic, slice onions, mushrooms and slice the peppers. Set aside.

Coarsely chop ½ of the cucumber and tomato. Set aside.

For the sauce: Combine the yogurt, mayo, the juice of ½ of a lemon squeezed, 1 clove of fresh garlic and the Sriracha sauce. Whisk and set aside.

Saute over medium heat: Peppers, onions, garlic, white wine, mushrooms until lightly golden. Add spinach to wilt.

Toast or grill the flatbread to warm - I cut each sheet of flatbread in half, lightly spray the top with cooking spray and broil it on high on the oven until it is just slightly brown. (watch it closely b/c it goes from toasted to burnt real fast!)

Place the chicken and saute mixture onto flatbread, add 1 tablespoon of sauce, garnish with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and cilantro.


Sunday, August 5, 2012


We celebrated Baby Boy Buell today at Holly's baby shower.  It was so fun with lots of family and friends.  Holly looked beautiful and so happy!  We are so excited to meet Baby Buell next month.  I made cupcakes for the shower and I must say, they turned out pretty darn delicious!!!  A few people asked for the recipe, so here it is!  I changed it a bit from the original after reading all the comments.  I will for sure be making these again!

Key Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Filling and Frosting

makes 30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons key lime juice
zest of two limes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or paper-line 30 baking cups.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, key lime juice and lime zest; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Blackberry Filling
Seedless blackberry Jam (I used Smuckers) 

Fill an icing bag with the jam, insert the tip into the cupcake about an inch and squirt a little jam inside each cupcake.  Do not squeeze too much into the cupcakes or they will kind of explode.  You do not need a lot.

Blackberry Buttercream

2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup s
eedless blackberry Jam
pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Mix in blackberry filling and salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Original Recipe from Baked Perfection.

Monday, June 4, 2012


It was a lot of cooking, shopping, crafting, planning and hauling of things to their place, but it was all worth it!  All of us bridesmaids threw Jodie and Luis a pretty great shower/grill out at their beautiful new home!  The day consisted of lots of yummy food including a fruit pizza bar and cupcakes towers, a photo booth with lots of fun props, mason jars painted with chalkboard hearts for party favors, a round of the newlywed game that ended up lasting about two hours and lots and lots of great gifts for J & L!

The peonies from my garden.  Bloomed right in time for the shower. )


The handmade props for the photo booth!

Fun tags for the food.

Anniversary letters to J & L.  I gave myself year one. :)

Decorations - blue mason jars from my house, vintage labels (found HERE) mod podged onto tin cans and burlap table runners. 

Photo booth pics!

The happy couple and my favorite pic of the day! :)

The winners of the newlywed game!

Ellis - such a party animal. ;)

The party favors.