Birthday Boy: 1 Year

First birthdays are never remembered by the child but are a remembrance for the parents, and mostly for the mom. ☺️ Seth is one year old as of last week and although the year went by incredibly fast, Don and I both feel like Seth has always been with us. We felt that way since the day we brought him home from the hospital – it felt so natural to have him in our family.

For his present from us, he received two cars and some bubbles from the Dollar Store. His reaction was so sweet. He delightedly gasped in surprise as he held up the cars. I’m so glad I was able to capture it. He is a happy, simple, little boy, and Donnie and I thank the Lord every day for such a wonderful son.

Chicken Soup and Rosemary Artisan Bread


My husband loves chicken soup but he doesn’t like the floating vegetables and will always eat around them. This recipe lets me serve him soup how he likes it without losing any delicious flavor!

I’ve served this soup alongside potatoes and green beans, or Crusty Artisan Bread with a bit of rosemary worked into the dough. It’s tasty and filling! And I usually have leftover chicken to add to taco or pizza night.

Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

(2) tablespoons olive oil
(1) medium onion, chopped
(3) large carrots, chopped
(2) cloves garlic, chopped
(1) teaspoon of paprika (or to taste)
(1) teaspoon salt
(1) teaspoon garlic salt
(1/2) teaspoon pepper
(1) box chicken stock
(1) tablespoon vegetable / chicken base


1. Rub whole chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and paprika.
2. Roast chicken in dutch oven, covered, at 350 degrees for 2 hours.
3. Set aside chicken and sauté 1 medium onion, 3 carrots, 2 garlic cloves, and celery (optional) in the dutch oven. Add a little chicken stock if too dry.
4. When vegetables are tender, blend until puréed. Return to dutch oven and add one box of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of vegetable or chicken base. Add pieces of cooked chicken and if desired, more carrots and string beans (optional). Place in oven at 200 for several hours or simmer on stove until ready to serve.




Two Nights with Cousins

Seth spent the weekend with Aunt Beth, Uncle Duncan, and his cousins, and did he ever have fun. At 11 months old he’ll take all the action he can get, and he was surrounded by it. He had four energetic cousins to try to keep up with and had the best time!

Donnie and I enjoyed our anniversary weekend, but at the end of it all, we were both excited to go pick up our little boy. We sure love his toothy smile and cheery face!

Mommy Eats: Lentil Soup

The other day I realized how often I went without food during the day, relying on my coffee(s) and Seth’s leftover oatmeal or PB&J to see me through to dinner. I was starting bad habits.

Inhaling Food: I’d scarf my dinner because I was so famished.

Late Night Eating: A hunger attack would strike at 10:00 pm, and I’d break out cheese and crackers, popcorn, or my favorite treat, peanut butter & honey and apple slices.

The following morning I would still feel ravenous; and my stomach, knotted and starved.

I decided I had enough of that. Moms need food. And, to make healthy choices, it helps to have something already prepared and easy to grab!

Mason jars meals are now my go-to! I make ahead a few different meals when I have time and store them in mason jars.

Smoothies: serve it up and drink it down!

Soups: open, reheat, and eat!

Salads: dress it, close it, and shake it!

My favorite so far has been lentil soup. It’s hearty, warm, delicious, and cost effective! I usually can make about five 16 oz. mason jars with ingredients I always have on hand.

Hearty Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

(2) tablespoons olive oil
(1) small onion, chopped
(3) large carrots, chopped
(2) cloves garlic, minced
(1) teaspoon of cumin (or to taste)
(1) teaspoon basil
(1) cup dried lentils
(1) can tomato sauce
(6) cups vegetable broth*

*I use 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water

1. Heat oil in a stock pot.
2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
3. Add garlic and carrots. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
4. Once vegetables are sautéed, add the tomatoes, broth, lentils and spices.
5. Simmer for a few hours


Another great thing about this soup is that Seth will eat it too! Yay!


Seth loves lentils

Costco is Way More Fun this Way

It’s always fun for Seth to be with his cousins, and yesterday we had the privilege of grocery shopping with Aunt Sarah and baby Gideon. I pushed the cart with the boys and Sarah had the food cart.

Seth sat happily in front, looking all around, while Gideon smiled and cooed to the back of Seth’s head from his car seat.

I had my list on my phone (Trello) and added costs to the items I usually buy as we went along, which helped me keep an eye on my end total. 😳 Sarah and I even decided we would split certain groceries later too which was nice.

Both the boys eventually got ridiculously tired and crying ensued till they both crashed on the way home.

Even though outings can be faster with just Seth and me, I’m happy any time I get spend time with my sister.

Amazon Prints: Wall Prints, Photo Books, and More

I just recently subscribed to the Amazon Prints newsletter, hoping to eventually receive coupon and offers. Currently, they are offering 20% off to select customers now through the end of May. See details and qualifications, here.

I’ve used Amazon Prints for a few different print projects and the quality of their prints is incredible. I’ve purchased two canvases, two photo books, and received 50 complimentary 5×7 prints – – all of them, outstanding work.

Amazon’s online editing tool is easy to use and I love the choice of layouts, background, and embellishments. They also have your order delivered within 10 days and don’t charge shipping for Prime members or orders over $35.00.

Here are some screen shots of the editing tool…

Screen Shot of Baby Book 01

Screen Shot Baby Book 02

and here’s a peek at the pages from my wedding lay flat album.

I have to say the cherry on top is that Amazon allows you to photo wrap the front and back of your book. So our wedding album looks like this:

All in all, a huge smile and satisfactory sigh after dealing with Amazon – – once again. 😊

Fishing for Lake Trout

Last Saturday, Don took me fishing. He’s owned a two person raft for the last 4 years, and in that time, has turned it into quite a proficient, little watercraft.

We spent a relaxing 3 hours in the sun, eating our picnic lunch and enjoying the time together. I’m beginning to cast my line with more fluency, and hopefully, I don’t look as ridiculous. ☺️ I’m so glad Don is a patient teacher, otherwise I’d get even more frustrated at my casts, and end up with my line in tangles about me.

The Outcome: Four trout and two sun kissed faces

Two of the trout were mine. It was great fun and I hope to go again with him, soon.

Using Trello for Task Management: Organize, Accomplish, and Celebrate

Without organization, my mind is completely counterproductive in a day. It reels with all my mental to-do’s, as I compete to finish tasks before I forget them. All the while, I’m adding more things to the list.

Although I may think I’m performing at 100% and the “get it done now” is a wonderful attitude, I end up exhausted, fretting about the following day, and forget to notice what I did complete; and then my husband comes home to this…

So instead, I use Trello. Trello is a free app that uses Boards, Lists, and Cards to document and organize task management and workflows.

Clear the Mind:

I have the flexibility to quickly add items to cards in my To-Do list from my phone or computer, keeping my head clear and focused.

Organize the Day:

I organize the cards by how I want to accomplish them, top to bottom. Note: I put the tasks that may just require 5 minutes, but I’d tend to put off, near the top.

Don’t Forget to Celebrate:

I also have a list, titled “Done”, so I can see what I’ve accomplished in a day. My mind is rejuvenated each time I see what I did complete, and I feel unencumbered, knowing exactly what awaits me in the to-do list tomorrow.

Here’s a sample of mine this week:

It’s easy to create more lists as needed, such as “Dinners This Week” or “Blocked Tasks”. I feel that organization is really adaptable; how each person needs to visualize a list of tasks differs, so if needed, create more lists easily, such as “Dinners this Week”, “Blocked Tasks”, or “Reoccurring Tasks”.

Within the cards, additional tasks, steps, or checklist items can be created, as shown below.

But go ahead and try it for yourself. Maybe you’ll find it helpful or maybe you’re a strictly post-it’s and pen & paper type of person. In any case, it’s about whatever helps get the job done, with as little headache as possible.