Month: December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Remembering the reason for the season and Wishing your day is merry and bright!
…And best of luck lining up those perfect family pictures; when everyone is smiling and looking at your camera, because I give up.

Easy Crock Pot Roast

I know, I know… I’m too busy to blog recipes. I’m too busy for sleep. But the family still has to eat. So, when your sister says “Hey, I’ve got your dinner covered tonight,” it makes you appreciate the holiday season even more. I’ve got to pass it along! Maybe you’re busy too, but if you can get the ingredients in the crock pot… you can have a healthy dinner ready when you are. Better yet, maybe you know someone that could use a break? Maybe you can spread a little holiday cheer! No matter the occasion, if it’s cold outside this dinner is for you.

As organic as possible:

1 pound bag of organic baby carrots

1 1/2 pounds organic golden potatoes halved

1 large onion quartered (in large pieces)

3 pound beef roast

1/4 tsp Seasoned salt

1 tbsp Kosher salt

1 tsp cracked pepper

1/2 tsp Onion powder

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup low sodium Soy sauce

1 sprig Thyme

1 sprig Rosemary

2 cups Beef broth


Sprinkle roast only with seasoned salt lightly. Set aside. Put carrots, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in the crockpot. Give a little stir. Place roast on top. Pour in broth and lay thyme and rosemary on the roast.

Set crock pot on low for eight hours. If able, after two hours of cooking time rotate vegetables to top of roast to prevent too much softening.

Please enjoy the smell of your home; comfort food at it’s finest.

Easy Crock Pot Roast


  • 1 pound bag of organic baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds organic golden potatoes halved
  • 1 large onion quartered (in large pieces)
  • 3 pound beef roast
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium Soy sauce
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 cups Beef broth


  1. Sprinkle roast only with seasoned salt lightly. Set aside.
  2. Put carrots, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in the crockpot.
  3. Give a little stir.
  4. Place roast on top. Pour in broth and lay thyme and rosemary on the roast.
  5. Set crock pot on low for eight hours. If able, after two hours of cooking time rotate vegetables to top of roast to prevent too much softening.
  6. Please enjoy the smell of your home; comfort food at it's finest.

5 Reasons Not to Blog During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. We are right in the thick of it. And as much as I love this time of year, I find myself quoting this line from Christmas Vacation: “I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”


Ok it’s really not that bad… but I get it, and do laugh every time I say it.


Here are my top 5 reasons for slacking on my blog:

#5 – I am too busy actually baking for events to record them. Veritas.

#4 – We are studying and readying for Christmas concerts… Christmas Pageants… Christmas parties… and attending them. It’s chaos. It’s a lot of “What? You are supposed to have Christmas pajamas for your concert TOMORROW?”; “I don’t know, the shepherds probably wore sandals, but you are going to where your brown boots.”; “By the way we need to find a long sleeve brown shirt for Noah’s costume THIS AFTERNOON”; “Where are your socks?”; “I haven’t seen your coat. Where did you take it off?”; AAAAAAAHHH!

All four of my children made it into this closing scene; two shepherds, Mary and an inn keeper.

#3 – I am shopping for presents! Not even close to being done. And I waste time trying to think of… “who I can get this pineapple measuring set from Anthropologie for?”


#2 – All I want to do is be lazy. It’s the truth. I just want to crawl under a blanket and do nothing. Just leave me be.

#1 – My babies have been sick. Who has time for trips to Urgent Care and the ER? Not me. But somehow we manage to fit them in.

Virus induced asthma attacks are awful!

It’s all worthwhile.

My niece singing and playing Silent Night. Love.

Loving Lately 🎅🏻

There aren’t enough hours in the day to make all of the Christmas cookies on my list. Also, I don’t think I could possibly fit in the exercise to balance the caloric intake. But I really want to try (the first part). Thank you Aisha Yusaf for perfectly capturing the essence of my cookie desire in the featured image with your Jam Tarts.

How much more holiday does it get than Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies from Mom on Timeout? I think everyone in Michigan has a relative who lives in Florida who sends or brings them a bag of oranges this time of year. (Maybe I’m naive.) And why does a mom timeout sound like a vacation? I could use a vacation, with a box of shortbread cookies.

I’m kind of crazy about biscotti. I could do a whole post on biscotti alone (and probably will). This Gingerbread Biscotti from If You Give A Blonde a Kitchen, sounds like the perfect dose of Christmas medicine… along with a coffee creamed with egg nog. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I just like to play one on my blog.)

Of course, there are the traditional sugar cookies (I’ll be posting a recipe soon). I have neither the patience nor the talent to make them as intricate as these. But wouldn’t they be awesome to serve? I’d be like “Oh, these little things… I just whipped them together…” I would really like to give someone the credit that is due… unfortunately, they got lost in the world of Pinterest.

Have you guys and gals checked out the blog, Once Upon A Chef? It’s really worth mentioning. My friends and I haven’t been disappointed by anything we’ve made from it. And I’m really looking forward to trying these Gingerbread Men, because I bet they are as delicious as they are adorable. Although, I know of one little boy who’s going to be very upset this year if one doesn’t run out of the oven when we sneak a peek.

My blogging friend, Marisa of Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, is wildly talented. Everything she does looks like it came out of a magazine… including these Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies. Aren’t they gorgeous? She makes biscotti too, just sayin’.

It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without Pecan Balls, such as these beauties from A Healthy Life For Me. You know, they have to be passed in a tissue lined tin… or displayed like a pyramid. And if by chance you happen to take a breath before you bite into one, you will probably choke on powdered sugar. Good times… The best of times!

Merry Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Mantel Before & After

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here! It’s time to bring out all that sparkles and shines, all the red and the green, all that smells like gingerbread and pine… I can’t help it, I love this stuff. So when I was contacted by Wayfair to share the transformation of our mantel from drab to fab, plain to off-the-chain (or in reality- just everyday to holiday), I was like, “Count me in!”

I really wish I could have shown you an awesome shot of my autumn-themed mantel, (that wasn’t in existence) before our Christmas transformation. We technically did have a couple small pumpkins that sat on the mantel that I removed right before my youngest son’s birthday party. Actually, I also had to remove the “Minion” balloons to get the following picture. But it gives you an idea of what our mantel might look like on any given day.


I’ll admit, it looks a little minimalist.

And now with a sprinkling of Christmas cheer! (Drumroll please…)


You know those picturesque Christmas cards that feature the stockings hung by the chimney with care? Of course, I have to do that too. (Side note: I actually didn’t grow up with a fireplace in our home, and my mother always made it feel like a Christmas card.) Our mantel is a collage of new and old. It’s playful and colorful for the kids, but holds nostalgia for the adults in the house. (I could probably give a small historical account of each item.) Mostly what I love about this decorated area is the sentimental attachment, starting with the fact that my grandpa made this mantel for my grandmother with his own two hands. And I love that this fireplace is a part of all of my childhood Christmas memories and now I get to share that with my children.


My mom used to hang this plate in our house during the Christmas season over 30 years ago. It actually was in a set of three Christmas dishes that made a regular appearance. I always thought it was so cute. Every dish told it’s own story (in not so many words), the kind of imaginative story you create in your head. There’s no reason not to keep that custom alive. If you’re looking to start one, check out the dishes found here!


The wooden nutcrackers are part of a tradition my husband and I have started with our children. My oldest son loves to change the numbers for the Christmas countdown. Of course all of the kids love to open their mouths (pull their beards) and adjust all moveable pieces. Classic.


I know you remember those Santa Bears from the 80’s. We had them. That’s what this bear reminds me of, except the originals were white with those red knitted hats, but every bit as cute and fluffy. This little drummer bear belonged to my husband’s family. I honestly don’t know how the bear became so intertwined with Christmas… but it’s a thing.


My in-laws gifted us this globe last year. It was an instant favorite. Everyone needs a Christmas globe that comes to snowy life after you tip it upside-down and place it backside-right. If you don’t have one yet, click on the link to check out this must-have! (And if you look closely at the one in this picture, you can see our pool closed for the winter. Like magic… but not.)


My great-aunt Shirley made this a few years back. She used to make quilts, and had given one to our family when I was young. When I went away to college, it was the only blanket I wanted to bring with me. I guess it just reminded me of family. So, this little handmade tree is priceless; it embodies the spirit of Christmas that just can’t be bought.


I’ve always loved the Charlie Brown Christmas story (hence all of the stuffed characters). It’s just such a part of my Christmas heritage. (And by the way, Wayfair has a plethora of related options… I’m particularly crazy about the painting of Linus with a wreath.) My parents recorded their voices reading  A Charlie Brown Christmas a couple years ago. It’s the most wonderful/awful gift they have ever given. Of course they had in mind that it will live on after they are gone; so I cry every time we listen to it. (They are still alive and well. I’m ridiculous, I know.) I’m also scared to death that my kids are going to accidentally push a button and erase the whole thing. So on the mantel, out-of-reach, it stays.


Thank you Wayfair for allowing me to share our Christmas mantel transformation with you! Season’s Greetings!

Loving Lately ☃️

It’s no secret that I’m off my game lately. It was cold season, then the holidays… I wrote a children’s book. I can’t believe I missed my Thursday edition of Loving Lately! I’d like to say it was because I was doing laundry.


No, but really… I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been sampling all of the hot chocolate recipes I can find. For example, the Nutella Hot Chocolate pictured above from Café Delights. I whole-heartedly wish I was chewing on one of those marshmallows this very moment. Or the Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)  from Muy Bueno Cookbook in the epitome-of-cocoa-greatness featured image. I don’t believe I’ve ever had hot chocolate thickened with masa harina (corn flour) before… but oooh, the cinnamon, star anise and brown sugar make it sound like it’s just the right thing to do.


And I really wouldn’t mind having a cup full of this French Hot Chocolate by I don’t think an explanation is necessary. But, I’ll tell you why… because someone (I assume one of my children) turned the heat off in my house. They just flipped the switch on the thermostat to off! It is literally freezing outside, and I am inside with numb toes and numb fingertips… so numb that it is difficult to type. (Because as I already admitted I am off my game, and it literally took frozen toes for me to check the thermostat.)


What would I give to be the person in this picture right now holding that warm London Fog Hot Chocolate with Maple Whipped Cream wearing an oversized sweater? (Courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe) …Let’s just say I would give A LOT!


I can pretty much guarantee that I WILL be making this Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate from Rachel Schultz this afternoon. Look at the crushed graham crackers on that rim! I want in.


Of course, if you’re feeling experimental, you could try the Jalapeño Hot Chocolate by The Pioneer Woman. I like a little heat in my hot cocoa now and then, but I’ve only tried chile peppers. Who am I to limit your heat options? Go for it!


And if you want to make it cute for the kiddos, you could always add the marshmallow snowman taking a soak in a chocolatey hot tub (which sounds amazing). I’d love to give this genius credit… but to no avail, I will just credit Pinterest (also genius).

Cheers friends!

Laundry Day

You know when it’s time to do laundry… but you woke up feeling like you’re just zapped and you have done all of the laundry that you are ever going to do? But then somehow you doubtfully convince yourself that you will feel better tomorrow. Then the next day comes around and you’ve got an attitude about it, and you’re like “There is no way I am doing laundry today.” So when day four approaches you have to prioritize, and you say to yourself “We are out of bread and milk, I can’t do the laundry! I have to go to the grocery store- like now!” Then on day 6 you look at the mountain of laundry and admit defeat. And you’re kind of depressed because you know in your heart of hearts that you can’t possibly do all of that laundry. That’s it, your kids are never going to have clean clothes again. And you’re at least thankful that one of them just had a birthday because they should get like two more good days. It’s about the next day when you just have to suck it up, because giving up is really not in your nature; so you do like 10 loads in one day? Well, I would have no idea what that is like.

Okay, I lied. I wrote this about me.