Brussels Sprouts in Arrabbiata Sauce over Israeli Couscous

I’ve made this twice now. It’s fast and yummy. We also make the side of Crostini with Tapenade.

I find it difficult to find Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous, both are the same. Our store in town has the whole wheat version. Hy-bee carries both regular and whole wheat in the bulk section. Those are the only places I can find it without having a spice packet.


1 (8-oz) pkg Israeli (pearl) couscous

1½ lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 (24-oz) jar marinara sauce

1 tsp crushed red pepper

½ tsp ground cinnamon


Cook couscous according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sauté Brussels sprouts in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Stir in marinara sauce, red pepper, and cinnamon; simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve Brussels sprouts mixture over couscous.

Makes 4-6 servings


1 (13-oz) French bread baguette, sliced

2 cups pitted kalamata olives

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp Italian seasoning

2 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat broiler. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted.

Pulse olives, garlic, Italian seasoning, and oil in a food processor until finely chopped; spoon onto bread.

Note: Store any remaining tapenade in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Also serves 4-6



Lemony White Bean and Farro Salad

This is the second time I’ve made this and really love the flavors! We buy the organic spring mix at Aldi and serve it over that. I love the lemon flavor and you can make this up ahead of time and eat it for lunch each day. They say it serves 4-6 but I think it makes quite a bit more! I feel that it’s filling too. Enjoy!


2 cups pearled farro

2 (15-oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

¼ cup minced red onion

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 (5-oz) pkg arugula


Cook farro according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; place farro and beans in a large bowl.

Whisk together oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, onion, basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle oil mixture over farro and beans; toss. Serve over arugula at room temperature or chilled.

Fiesta Lime Rice

This was dinner yesterday but I forgot to take a picture. I modified it because I needed more then the original recipe. I use quick cook brown rice from Aldi. They have an organic quick cook brown rice that cooks in 15 minutes and then while its cooking I chop everything. I prefer it over the instant rice.

This is my modified version:

1 cup uncooked brown rice

3 Roma tomatoes

6oz frozen corn

1 can black beans

3 green onions

1-2 tablespoons of lime juice

Chopped cilantro- I use lots!

Everyone loved it and no leftovers. The kids added a little shredded cheddar, sour cream and blue corn tortilla chips on it.

1) Cook the brown rice in two cup of water adding water near the end of cooking if needed.

2) 3-5 minutes before the rice was complete and before all water absorbed I added the corn and beans.

3) Once heated through, 3-5 minutes, I added the rest of the ingredients.

I will definitely make this again but may experiment with adding some taco seasoning or spices.


Health Basics

As I mentioned over a month ago… we are always looking for a quick fix and sometimes there isn’t one. Let’s get back to the basics and let’s start with staying healthy and preventing illness.

Each fall the kids go back to school, we spend more time inside, and people start to get sick. I’m sure there are people that even just plan on getting sick because it’s “that time of year.” Well it doesn’t have to be that way! Get back to the basics and take care of yourself to PREVENT illness before it starts.


1. Wash those hands!

Germs can get into the body through our eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick. Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands and helps prevent sickness. Studies have shown that handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.

When should you wash your hands?

Handwashing at any time of the day can help get rid of germs, but there are key times when it’s most important to wash your hands.

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal feces (poop)
  • After touching garbage
  • If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

Be sure to do so for at least 20 seconds…. not sure how long that is? Sing the Happy Birthday song or the Alphabet!


2. Get enough sleep!

We need 7-8 hours of sleep a night! Many adults don’t get enough and neither do their kids!


Make sure to set your family up for success. Establish a bedtime routine. Turn off screen at least an hour before bed. When we sleep our body repairs itself. When we get too little sleep we are more prone to get sick!


3. Drink enough water!

Most of us don’t come near drinking enough fluids. We fill our days with coffee, juice, soda, energy drinks, etc. What your body really needs is water. Yes, there is water in some of those drinks but we need to drink just straight water. Many of us have heard that we need eight 8 ounces glass which turns out to be 64 ounces but really you need half your weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds you need 75 ounces of water! Try a water tracker app or find a water bottle and figure out how many you need to drink in a day.


4. Take a Multivitamin

Even if you eat healthy you may not be getting the nutrients that you need.

You need a food based vitamin that is going to absorb into you system. We use Shaklee because they they go beyond organic. They test each raw ingredient for over 250 contaminants, perform over 100,000 quality tests on their products and are 100% guaranteed unconditionally! The Multivitamin, Vita-Lea, is proven and very affordable, around $12 a month if you buy the four month supply!


5. Eat a Healthy Diet

No one is perfect. Even the healthiest people sometime eat a “not so good for you” meal every now and then. The goal would be to eat healthy at least 80% of the time and only not so great 20%, which is about 4 meals. Now that doesn’t mean go eat an entire pizza. Still try to make pizza at home instead of take out and maybe eat a couple slices instead of half of the pizza. You diet should be rich in vegetables first of all followed by fruits. I cannot stress enough to eat LOTS of veggies and fruits. Then add in whole grains. Not white pasta and bread. Think quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, etc. Then add your meat and cheese sparely as flavor. Lots of fiber keeps you full and is healthy for your heart! Lots of research shows this. Do you need help? Contact me or check out my facebook page for ideas and help.!

Here’s to a healthier you in 2018!


Purple Rainbow Pooping Unicorn


Aren’t we all looking for the magic bullet? The one thing in our lives that will just make everything easier: the pill or shake that will help us lose weight, the app that will help us organize our life, the parenting book that will make us the most amazing parent, the shoes that will make us run faster. You get the idea. Well, I have a habit of looking for the perfect product, at the perfect price, with the exact features that I want. In our house we call it the purple rainbow pooping unicorn. Why? BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXISIT! I want to do a series of blog posts on getting back to the basics! See many of us know what to do. We know how to get healthier, lose weight, etc. but we don’t always want to put in the work. We want to take the easy route. If we stick with the basics and do them consistently, we will get REAL results that will last lifetime. There are no shortcuts no matter how easy people make it look. They worked hard to get there!


Be Intentional


How many times have you said….

  • When I have more time I will…..
  • When this phase is over I will…..
  • When I have more money……
  • I will be happy when…

Maybe you haven’t but I definitely have and more recently I’m realized I need to live life intentionally as I wrote about earlier this year after going on a trip to San Francisco with Adam. But today this struck me on a smaller scale. There are so many times I’ve wanted to make a recipe, sew a pattern, eat at a restaurant, or do an activity with my kids and I kept coming up with ways to put it off. Now don’t get my wrong! As a stay at home, homeschooling, mom of 4 with a part time business many of my reasons for putting things off are legit. It hit me though that I just need to make them happen or reprioritize. I rest very little and rest is so important! It seems like when I finally have time to do something, like today, I just don’t “feel” like it. I’ve worked hard all week and I don’t want to do ANYTHING! Other times I think oh I will wait until fall and then fall comes and I think I will wait until winter. Then winter comes and I think I will wait until spring. You get the idea. But I want to STOP! I want to Carpe Diem before it’s too late. Where did all this come from?

On Nov 2 our church is hosting a Secret Keepers Event. I’m going to take the older two girls. I have to say I don’t “feel” like it! Not with a newborn in the house but I want to do it while it interests them and while it’s close by. I also read the book “Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl” and was realizing there were some changes I wanted to make before time got away from me. I mean Hannah is already 10! When did that happen? After reading the book I checked out “8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters.” After reading it late this summer, I’ve decided to go ahead and try and do them. I was going to wait until January when I thought I may have more time or things would be less busy but in reality, there probably will never be a great time. So I have set up an event for others who want to join me, be crazy, and just do this! I realize it’s the holiday season but my daughter isn’t getting any younger. I need to spend one on one time with her and I’ve decided I will do this with each girl when they are 10. Will you join me?

I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and instead of saying oh we will do that project when we are on break or we can go to the trampoline park when we plan it. I’m trying to be more spontaneous and just go and do it. The timing may not be perfect but I have to say that so far we have had a lot of fun.

How do you live in the moment? What do you want to do to be more intentional in life?Please share!