Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf

I am always going on about my healthy turkey meatloaf and am asked to share - so here it is! There is no special secret. My family loves this!! And if you are struggling to get your little ones to eat those veggies this would be perfect for you. The first couple times I made it I made sure everything was very finely chopped and minced; now I don't worry about it because the kids love it no matter what. 

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf/Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 35 minutes 
■1 lb ground Turkey (or chicken) 
■1/4 cup of egg whites or 2 small egg whites or 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
■1/2 cup of Rolled Oats or Quinou

■1/2 cup of Flax Seed (Optional)
■1/4 tsp ground cumin 
■1/4 tsp dried thyme 
■1 tsp dry yellow mustard 
■1 tsp black pepper 
■1 tsp chipotle pepper spice (I used my Mrs Dash Chipotle seasoning) 
■1/4 tsp salt 
■1 tbsp minced garlic 

■1/2 small onion, finely chopped 
■1 celery stalk, finely chopped 
■1 large carrot, finely chopped 
■1 red and or yellow pepper, finely chopped 
■any additional vegetables you choose to finely chopped and add (sometimes I will add broccoli, zucchini, squash or spinach)

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mush together. You might want to add all the spices in a separate bowl to start so that they are consistent throughout. Do not skimp on the spices, trust me! Mix together with hands. 

Spray bread pan or muffin tins with canola oil or olive oil. 

Loaf - Bread Pan
Place in pan and pat down to be sure mixture is spread evenly. 
Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes  Let cool, eat, enjoy and store the remaining. 

Form 12 little balls or 6 big balls and plop into the muffin tins. Feel free to pat them down. Make sure they are all about the same size. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your muffin trays. Let cool, eat, enjoy and store the remaining. 

**If made into a loaf and cutting 6 even slices/6 muffins, there are 120 calories in each turkey muffin/slice with 1.5g of fat, 6.5g of carbs and 20g of protein using Jennie O extra lean ground turkey. Depending on how lean your turkey or chicken is, the nutrition information will change.** 

Crop Pot Mac N Cheese

I saw this recipe on Facebook this morning and totally have to try it!

~ Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese ~ 

***Best Part = You put the noodles in dry, uncooked!!!  
Cooking oil spray 
2 cups skim milk 
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk 
1 egg 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1 1/2 cups pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 

 Directions: Spray the pot of the slow cooker or if using a liner bag, spray the bag well. 
In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. 
Pour milk mixture into the crock pot. 
Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. 
Stir gently to mix. 
 Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the custard is set and the macaroni is tender. 
(Do not cook more than 4 hours, or the sides will begin to dry out). 
Serve at once.

Will be making this one for dinner tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where did October go???

Oh my goodness, where did October go? Between work and cheer somehow I lost that it is the last week of October. Usually I already have my Halloween decor up and around the house and have pre planned out where the Christmas tree will go (only because I like to set it up on 11/1). This year I haven't done any of that. At this point I am not sure that I am going to. Halloween wasn't usually one of my favorite holidays but it was so fun for the kids. 

The reality is that my children are no longer small, they are extremely tall and wonderful teenagers that apparently don't plan out their costumes unless they are invited to a Halloween Party (Alexys!). Is it sad that I miss the fight over the cost of the costume or if they can wear the one from last year? As much as I used to dread those moments, now that they are gone I miss them!

Chandler recently turned 14 and decided that trick or treating wasn't so cool or important last year. Alexys finally give up trick or treating because she is a Sophomore and has a boyfriend and has been invited to his families Halloween Party.

Does this mean I have to still pass out candy? Or since my doorbell is broken can I just go to bed early?? 

Over the weekend we took the kids to the pumpkin patch to pick out some WAY overpriced pumpkins. It was actually a lot of fun walking through and picking out the "right" pumpkins. 
We went to Plumper Pumkin Patch
The moment when they both decided they were still small :)
My beautiful daughter, Alexys
Chandler, Paul and Alexys
Chandler rocking the pumpkin patch - he so does not love pictures. 
All in all it was a great time! I am glad that we got out and walked through the mud together. Would have liked to save the $40 (which means each pumpkin was approx 10# each) but it was worth the trip. The leaves and the trees are so amazing here. Weekend mini trips likes these; to do something so simple as find the "right" pumpkin are the moments I think I will always treasure. Happy October!x

Friday, October 25, 2013


Wow, I feel like I am on fire! Okay it just feels good the have some free time to update my blog postings for  those who follow me. Today - is two post Friday apparently!!! Summer and Fall are different season which have totally different events and in our family was the night and day difference and when all of the major changes took place in our lives.

Alexys and Chandler both started new schools the day after Labor Day. Chandler wasn't super thrilled about going from a High School to a JR High again but it has been a great move. The kids schools here do not have nearly as many elective classes or college opportunities. Both of them have settled in and have done extremely well either way.
Alexys Fall 2013

Chandler Fall 2013
I seriously couldn't be a prouder momma of these two amazing teenagers who have been through hell and back and moved across multiple states this year. They are the rocks that keep me grounded and the two people in life that give me the strength everyday to keep a positive attitude and strive to be a better mother. I am truly blessed.

Alexys was heartbroken leaving RCHS in Utah. She lives, eats, and breathes cheer. We found a gym and decided to try out a tumbling class at the end of August so that she could continue to work on her skills until Spring Basketball Cheer tryout came around. Here is another perfect example of Everything Happening for a Reason: Midway through her trial tumbling class she was invited to assist the Platinum Cheer Team with some of their stunts. Her 45 minute class turned into 3 hours that night. The coach and owner of the gym invited Alexys to join their Level 4 Platinum Competitive Cheer Team!!

I was super excited and yet super nervous because there were a few skills that she really needed to work on and it is difficult at times to join a team that has already been together for months. Then there were all of the costs involved. We'll just say that I am not buying this girl a car because her cheer cost more than the $1800 I had budgeted for her first car. But it has been totally worth it. Amylynn and Heather at !mpact Athletics are some of the most amazing coaches ever and have been extremely encouraging and supportive of Alexys. I have never seen a coach be able to reach out to young minds and help them work through their fears and accomplish some absolutely amazing stuff.

So now our schedules are worked around cheer and practices and the next 6 months will be full of amazing trips and vacations that we would have never dreamed of or saved for. I am still not sure on the financial part will work out but we are really excited to be going to the Seattle, Washington area twice, Las Vegas in March and Hawaii in April. I decided that if there is a will there is a way and I would have never just taken the kids on any of these vacations had I not had a force (!mpact Cheer) pushing me to do it.

Alexys has made so many improvements just over the last 2 months she has been with !mpact and she has made so many new and great friends. I thankfully feel like I can call !mpact a family, the parents, athletes and coaches are priceless!
One year ago Alexys had a major fall and was told that she would never be able to do her splits again. With determination and support from her coaches she has defied all odds - she's pretty amazing!
Last but not least, Alexys was asked to Homecoming by Jordan who the same evening or the next day asked her out. He is a super sweet and respectful Senior that is on the Varsity Football team at their high school. Here's a couple pictures from homecoming.
Alexys all dolled up for her date.

Alexys and Jordan

Good ~ Bad ~ Indifferent
It just depends on how you look at it. Everything happens for a reason, it happens the way it is meant to be. We are all adjusting just fine here in Portland. We miss our family in Utah and our friends and the warmth of Arizona but Oregon is pretty nice. We enjoy the drive to the beach to play in the ocean and the walks in our neighborhood where we get to enjoy the autumn weather again after two years of missing it.
The beautiful trees we get to enjoy in our neighborhood of green.
The colors, the wonders and the possibilities. Hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday and enjoy your weekend. God Bless.


TGIF - Happy Friday Peeps

April through August had it's ups and it's downs; major highs and some rock bottom lows. All I can say is that I am thankful and grateful for the friends and family members who supported me no matter how right, wrong or indifferent my decisions have been. You know who you are...... THANK YOU!

Over the summer we had some great times. We took at trip to Las Vegas in June and hung out on the strip.
We got a family tattoo... temporary
Alexys designed them :)

Hung out at the pool

which had really cold water.
Alexys, Paul and I went to the Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood Resorts. She totally should have been a contestant.... and would have won!
 And that was the point that Paul and I decided it might be worth it to do it all over again. No we are not remarried and who knows if we ever will be. But my children got their "daddy" back and we are moving onward. Paul visited us in Utah over the 4th of July weekend which made it very easy for us to decide to take the leap. Shortly after that I was giving my notice to ESG, which was harder than I had thought it would be because I really enjoyed working with the AMAZING people I encountered there.

The kids and I arrived in Oregon just a couple days before Paul's birthday, this was planned so that it would be special and as you could tell from my previous post it was. From there the kids and I spent a few weeks settling in, took our last summer trip up to Eastern Oregon for Labor Day to spend time with the Brooks family in Summit Creek camping. On the way there we stopped at Multnomah Falls which is even more beautiful than Bridavale in person.This was was the weekend Paul taught Chandler to drive! He was pretty fabulous driving a stick shift for the first time.

Columbia River

There was a peek of our summer.... Alexys was cheering for RCHS and it was fast, crazy and furious. It was hard for her to move because she didn't want to leave her school or her cheer squad behind however I still believe that everything happens for a reason and we had even more changes with the kids starting school and the beginning of Fall... All of which I will talk about in my next post.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

6 Months Later....


The kids and I moved to Portland, Oregon. back in June Paul and I decided that it was worth it to try and work through some issues regardless of the outcome. After multiple trips of spending time together as a family we decided it just felt right. So in August Paul mad dashed to find a home for all of us. I gave my notice to ESG and on August 14th the kids and I arrived with my car and UHAUL in the driveway of our new home. I am so grateful for my brother Brandon who so generously took his days off to drive the UHAUL and my son here to Oregon; it was such a long drive but time well spent.

While Brandon was here we spent Paul's 40th birthday in Lincoln City and played along the coast.
Paul's Big 40

40th Birthday at the beach

Brandon and Chandler playing in the ocean

Beauty of the beach