Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Medieval Torches, Chandeliers, and Banners

Our church hosted a "Kingdom Chronicles" VBS this year so I needed to come up with some simple and inexpensive medieval decorations. Here's what I made...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kale Berry Smoothie

Jared happened to see that one of our favorite chefs uses kale in his smoothies instead of spinach so I decided to give it a try this morning. It was delicious and refreshing after a my run. I forgot to snap a picture this morning, but it looks a lot like my Monster Spinach Smoothie.

  • 2 cups fresh kale
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup 1% milk (almond or coconut milk would yummy as well)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 8 ice cubes


  1. In a blender, puree the kale, blueberries, yogurt, milk, pineapple, banana, and strawberries till smooth.
  2. Add ice cubes and blend until ice has been crushed. Enjoy!

Servings: 2 (3 cups each)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pepperoni [or Grilled Chicken] Pasta Salad

As I've mentioned before we're trying to had some sort of "salad" twice a week for the month of July. We love lettuce salads, rice salads, etc., but for a quick, easy, and flavorful salad (that can be made ahead of time) Italian-style pasta salad is my "go to" dish. It can be taken to picnics, eaten as a side dish, or enjoyed as a main dish with the addition of mini pepperoni or grilled chicken. I made a huge bowl of this last night so it was ready to eat as soon as we got home from church today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Santa Fe Rice Salad

My sister made this awesome black bean and rice salad for our annual 4th of July cookout at my parents' place. It was so delicious that I just had to get her recipe and include it in my July menu.

Deli-Style Roast Beef: An Experiment in Deliciousness

I have several recipes that call for deli roast beef - cold cut wraps, cheater's Philly cheesesteak pitas, and Philly cheesesteak stuffed peppers to name a few. The problem with that is the price. Deli roast beef is really expensive ($7-$10 per lb). One of our local grocery stores was having a 4-day meat sale and whole sirloin tip roast was included in that sale for $2.69/lb so I decided to give homemade deli roast beef a try. Let me just say that I was not disappointed. It was easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious! I used an 8.81 pound whole sirloin tip roast, olive oil, and McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning. Prep times was only about 5 minutes and I was able to just let the roast cook away while I did other things around the house. I was able to fill two gallon sized freezer bags half full so that I could put one in the fridge for lunches and the other in the freezer for cheater's Philly cheesesteak pitas later on this month.

Sunflowers: A testimony to God's faithfulness

Wednesday was rough. It had been a stressful couple of days for me and I felt overwhelmed.
On Monday, we discovered water in the freshly fixed basement of our old house, which put all showings on hold until we get the problem fixed and things cleaned up again.
On Tuesday, I dragged all four kids along with to the old house so I could start the clean up process. It was a long day for all of us.
Then came Wednesday...I went to turn my computer on to do some work before the kids got up only to realize that it had "died". After that, my morning trip to the grocery store got postponed until afternoon due to an overtired child who was struggling to keep her emotions in check.
I was worn out - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I'll admit that my faith in God's ability to work things out for good wavered. So, we all took a nap before attempting the trek out to work on checking off my shopping list. Thankfully, God helped my kids to sleep and I even got a quick 15 minute power nap.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Menu 2013: July 1-August 4

Summers are always busy, hot, and humid around our house so I want to keep things simple, cool, and refreshing. We have our Vacation Bible School at church this month (don't forget that there is a menu challenge for this month). Jared and I need to get back into an exercise/running routine as well as eating better so that we can handle a 5k later this summer. With that in mind, my menu for this month (except my freezer meal week) will be:
  • Salad twice a week
  • Sandwich/wrap/pita
  • Spicy
  • Grilled
  • Misc. dish
NEW! Printable version of my monthly menu here.

July 1-7: Happy Birthday, America!!
We're spending most of the week with my family out of town so I only need a few meals.
  • Sub Sandwiches and fruit salad
  • Berry Almond Salad - I'm going to attempt a Wendy's copycat - Italian blend lettuce, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberry slices, shaved Parmesan, toasted almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette)
  • Steak, grilled corn, sauteed green beans, asparagus, and fresh bread
  • Chef Salad
July 8-14
July 15-21
July 22-28 (VBS & Freezer Meal Week)
July 29-August 4