Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on an eggplant casserole...

Man oh man. This recipe right here will make you do a little jig. I ran across this recipe via here and adapted it a little. For the most part I followed but added a few things that I fancy. We had this casserole as a main dish mostly because it does have heavy cream in it so it felt like eating anything else along side would of been over doing it. It was so rich, creamy and heavenly beyond belief. I had one serving and the hubby helped himself to the rest. Two thumbs up and I totally recommend you make this for all your upcoming Holiday parties. People will be bowing down to you!

2 large eggplants 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small leek 
3 tablespoon parsley 
1 glove garlic 
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded 

Heat oven at 350. Start out with slicing the eggplant. I like slicing mine pretty thin. Brush each slice with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper ever so slightly and fry them in batch until they brown a little. Set them aside. Next, sauté the chopped leeks. Use both the white and the green with olive oil and a minced garlic. Meanwhile, pour heavy cream into a sauce pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on high stirring it so that it doesn't bubble over. Turn the heat low and add parmesan cheese, sautéed leek and chopped parsley to cream mixture. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and set aside. 
Oil up a 9 by 13 baking dish or casserole pan and start layering the eggplant. One layer eggplant and then drizzle tomato sauce (you can make your own or just use a canned sauce, I used a straight tomato sauce). On top of the sauce sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and a dash of parmesan. It's really up to you how much you like. Then do the same thing over again until you run out of eggplant. Cover the top with tomato sauce and the rest of the mozzarella. Lastly pour the cream sauce evenly over. 
And you're all set to pop it in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes.

It will come out bubbling with a golden finish! Bliss people, pure bliss! Put on those sweatpants, yeah those, and have a plate of this. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on a quick tip...

I was at the grocery store the other day and walked by a huge barrel of lovely pomegranates and since I've never actually bought one before, I thought that it was the day to do it! There was a neat little tutorial right at the store that showed you how to actually cut a pomegranate so today I wanted to share how I went about it. It ended up being easier than I thought! I encourage you to go buy one and try it out. 

I just love the color of them! First cut off the ends of the fruit on both sides and discard. I did four incisions into the skin. You can faintly see them in the photo above (labeled with numbers). Once you do that, grab a big bowl and fill it with cold water. 

Split the pomegranate open right where you cut the skin. It actually comes apart nicely!

You want to separate the red seeds from the white pulp membrane, which is what is floating on the top of the above picture. I've had someone tell me that they use a spoon to smack the outer skin with makes the seeds pop out but I found it pretty easy just using my fingers to gently extract them.

Pick out all the big membrane chucks and then use a strainer. And viola! You have a whole bowl of sweet & sour little pomegranate seeds. Yummy!

If you've never cut a pomegranate I hope this helps. I always feel awkward buying some of these fruits and vegetables when you don't know how to cut or cook them so I hope this inspires you to buy a pomegranate. I've been just eating them as a snack!


Friday, December 07, 2012

on oven roasted tomato soup...

Nothing like a hot bowl of tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese on a cold winter night. It's getting pretty cold around here and just the other day I knew from the moment I woke up that dinner was going to be some Oven Roasted Tomato Soup. 
When growing up tomato soup and grilled cheese was something I always made my dad and I after a day of being outside in the cold. Back then the good 'ol Campell's was our go to soup and don't get me wrong there's nothing like the classics but nowadays my stomach can't handle that stuff. 
This recipe is delicious and wholesome!

1 pound of roma or vine tomatoes 
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth 
fresh basil 
1 tablespoon heavy cream 

1// Slice tomatoes and coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet, in the oven on 400 for about 30 minutes.
2// Meanwhile in a pot sauté onion & garlic. Once they are opaque add the chicken broth, tomatoes and basil. Boil until and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
3// Pour the soup into a blender or use a hand blender and puree.
4// Cook up some gooey grilled cheese and bam. Warm your belly good!


Thursday, December 06, 2012

on some notables...

I've been MIA for a little while due to me dropping my mac and having to take it in to get repaired. All my fault and I was dying for a week and a half without it. It's funny how left out it makes me feel. Anyways, I'm sitting here being sick on the couch as I write to you all. I came down with one of those horrible sore throats and of course I was rockin' a fever last night. Just feeling lousy and even though it's my day off and I'm super bummed to have to spend it on the couch but I've been spending this time doing things I can't usually do or just haven't done for a while. Blog, read, sleep, watch Sons of Anarchy and rest my bones. Rest Ha! I'm soaking it all up folks because the rest of this month I'll be working 6 days a week and when I'm not working I'll be trying my best to keep my family alive and feed and then in between that I still have some more Christmas shopping, wrapping and baking to do.
Although it's busy, stressful and hectic I still feel on top of it all and that feel good man!  Here's a hodgepodge of notables...

  • I won a fun little giveaway on Twitter last week. Susannah has a cute blog full of outfits and crafty things. So you can see how excited I was to have won a small ad space on her blog. Go check it out! And if you're one of the lovely people that have clicked over, well, thanks for stopping by! 
  • I've been having a little too much fun with Jack, our elf. I guess it's getting to see Sebastian's face light up when he spots Jack in his new location every morning. Wanna follow Jacks adventures? Go follow me on Instagram @calicotales
  • After having a mishap with our Christmas lights, that mishap being they wouldn't cut on, I went out and bought some brand new boxes of fresh lights. Mini multi color lights. Nothing like some new lights! 
  • By the way, if you need a quick stocking stuffer that's perfect for pretty much anyone that loves Christmas go here and by the newest and best Christmas story out by JingleBelle Jackson. I think everyone should have it on their shelves! Link also on the side of le blog. Oh oh oh. 
  • Sebastian's Christmas play at his preschool is next Friday and he has his very own verse to say in front of everyone. We've been practicing every night. Can't wait!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

on a book review: warm bodies

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. The ultimate zombie apocalypse. The living crowd together in efforts to survive while the undead drift along the abandoned street looking for their next brain to devour. As devastation swallows the world one zombie stands out, different from his fellow zombie brothers. He wears a red tie and looks pretty good for well, being a zombie. Although he can't totally remember who he was or how he came to be a zombie he does remember one thing, his name starts with Rrrr. 

R is different then all the others mainly because he feels guilt for having to do what he does. Eat flesh and brains.  R and his group of the un-living corner a group of humans on their latest hunting trip and do what they do best. R took one bite into a dude's brains who now used to be a guy named Perry and was stocked to be sucked into glimpses of Perry's memories. He feels what Perry feels and then that's when his grey dead eyes meets Julie's. That's when something strange happens to R, a twitch in his soul he feels this strong urge to protect and save Julie. So he does.

Julie knows R is different and together they go about doing what no other zombie and human could have ever thought could be done. Change the world. All it takes is them believing and wanting more. With R's will to live and Julie's courage they send a spark across the land effect living and dead. 

I loved this book so much. I had no knowledge about this book until I came across the trailer of the movie they are making based on it. I quickly finished up what I was currently reading at the time and picked it up solely because well, it's about zombies. Sure it's another zombie story but the way Isaac told this intense and desperate encounter between his beauty and beast was pulling at my heartstrings. I mean, it had me getting all swoony over a  zombie. R is hot! Wait what? YES. That is what I am saying! Plus the fact that there's a girl who could potential be handing her brains over on a silver platter any second had me totally flipping pages. 

Now don't let the trailer to the movie Warm Bodies deceive you. The movie is totally going for a romantic comedy type of thing which is really not the case at all when you read this book. Sure there's romance, a forbidden kind. A kind that has you biting your nails hoping and praying that it could work and that it won't come crashing down. It's a serious novel behind the eyes of R, a guy who is fully alive but stuck in a rotting body. What isn't there to love about that?! Don't get me wrong, I am beyond excited to see this movie. I think it's going to be great and also because I am a huge fan of movie adaptations of books but I'm one of those people that appreciate them for what they are and not what they aren't.  

Pick it up and read it. Let me know what you think! In my book it's the holy grail of zombie fiction. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

on being thankful...

Another Thanksgiving and yet again I find myself being grateful for so many things in this life. I love this day not only for the really great meal we all share with the people that we love but also because it's a day to celebrate the greatest things in life and appreciate them. I believe in always being thankful for all that I have and never take it for granted but sometimes it's easy to loose that appreciation with what goes on in our everyday lives. Here is a little list of things I am grateful for:

1// My husband. Bobby is my perfect match. He is my ying to my yang. Wait what? No really he is so patient with me and puts up with all my craziness. He will go to store and grind me some fresh coffee beans when I run out just to insure I get my much needed cup of coffee. He puts up with my obsessive television show watching and doesn't take it personally when my voice turns demonic and I spit fire at him if he even utters a word or even gives me the side eye. He is always thinking of our little family and is a pretty awesome dad. Bobby works hard at everything he does and for that I am thankful. Blessed that I found a mate that completes me in every way possible. Through the good, bad and the ugly he stands by me with his hand in mine. 

2// Sebastian. This dude. He can be the most frustrating child in all the land and sometimes he has me banging my head against the wall with all his mischievousness but I wouldn't change it for the world. Sebastian has been working hard and is always trying his best to do what he should. I know it's not the easiest for him at times, that's why I know he is going to do great things in his life because no matter what he keeps at it. The kid amazes me still to this day and at times I almost think that he has a photographic memory. He can pick up something and just figure it out. I am thankful for Sebastian and all that he has taught me. I am always growing as a parent and as a person because of him. 

3// My dad. This is my favorite photo of my dad. I've learned so much from this man. He has had many hardships throughout his life but the one thing that he was always sure of was that his daughters are everything to him. He is strong, hardworking and a bit of a kook somethings (a lot of the time) and because of him I know that being honest and truthful to not only the people around you but also to yourself is what is most important to remember at the end of the day. My dad hasn't always agreed with my music taste or my choice of style or why I do the things I do and sometimes I get the cold shoulder or the side eye from him but no matter, I am thankful for standing by him. My dad is a great man. 

4// Bobby's family. My family. They are a huge bunch of crazies and I love them for it! I was welcomed into the family well before I become Bobby's wife and for that I am grateful. I came into their world all of a sudden and they accepted me for who I am. My mother in law and father in a law are always there for us when we need them. They are wonderful people. Every single one of them. 

5// Friends. I have so many people near and far that are dear to my heart. Thankful for each and every one of them. 

I'm thankful for the small things: coffee and a job full of it / this place to share things with you all / books / technology / the color mint / walking dead / moccasins / short hair / taylor kitsch / dream catchers / television / hot baths / cold mornings and cuddles on the couch / big glasses and stretched ears / memories! 

Happy Thanksgiving. xoxo. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

on white chicken enchiladas...

This enchiladas were so tasty that my husband demanded that I make them a second time in one week! Of course, I was like are you serious? And then I was shaking my head because when it comes to my husband and food...he was totally serious. The next time you have left over chicken or even better a left over rotisserie chicken just do me a favor and make these enchiladas.

8 soft flour tortillas
2 cups Monterrey jack cheese
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup sour cream
1 can refried beans 
2 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
fresh chopped cilantro 


1// Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish. 
2// Shred chicken. I just poached chicken breast and then shredded it in my kitchen aid. Add 1 cup of cheese to chicken and mix it up. 
3// Add a spoon full of refried beans to each tortilla and spread it. Then distribute a hand full of chicken mixture among tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place them in the baking dish with the steam facing down. 
4// In a large sauce pan melt the butter and then add the flour. Whisking continuously. Add chicken broth and lime juice and keep whisking until it gets smooth and bubbly. Once it thickens stir in the sour cream and chiles.
5// Pour sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Top it off with the last cup of cheese and pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes. Sprinkle some fresh chopped cilantro and dig in. 

Oh and you might want to put on your comfy sweatpants with this one folks. Just looking out for you! Enjoy. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

on cinnamon sugar pecans...

These sugary confections are soooooo easy to make and you'll be eating them by the handfuls. You will just have to trust me on this one. I swear I've been saying I want to make a batch of these for like 2749283647 years and it felt like today was the perfect day. I really don't understand why it took me this long because honestly, these tiny bits of heaven are super addicting and because they're so simple to make they are equally dangerous!
How nice would this be for a little Holiday gift? Make a few batches, fill up mason jars, slap a bow on it and call it a sweet gift for the lovely host of Thanksgiving dinner. Believe me that person will be thanking you at the end of the day when they curl up on the couch with a hand full of cinnamon sugar pecans.

2 egg whites
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4 cups pecans

1// Heat oven at 350 degrees
2// Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour melted butter over paper evenly.
3// In a large bowl mix together egg whites, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup. Whisk all ingredients well.
4// Add pecans and toss until fully coated.
5// Spread pecans across baking sheet. Bake them for about 30 minutes while stirring them every 10 minutes. Once done let them sit for 15 minutes until cool.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

on today's randomness...

Sometimes days are random. Today is one of those days. It's funny how I can get totally turned around when my routine is changed. Like today, at work I'll be closing instead of working in the morning like every other day. I did have to wake up and tell myself do not drop Sebastian off at school then drive to work. Do not do it! because I know I would have done that if I didn't keep repeating. Days like today are a treat and it was totally nice not to have to run and drag Sebastian out the door this morning. Not only that but being able to take the time to do my makeup is just so nice!

...I found the perfect mint colored slouchy hat at Target. I feel like Target has the coolest things ever! I went through a period of time when I felt like I was always missing all the good things. Has that ever happened to you? You find a cute top or some really sweet flats yet they don't have your size. Ugh. Happened all the time to me but my luck has changed. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing because really since my luck has change my wallet has become a bit lighter. Hmmm. Wonder why?

...Pretty excited about tomorrow. You all know what tomorrow is right? If you don't -- we are not friends. Just kidding. Twilight Saga marathon. Woot woot. It will be a long day of fun all leading up to the grand finale. The very last movie. Tear. 

...Can't wait for Thanksgiving. It is going to be epic. I just got done watching Rachael Ray's show and she was showing the top ways to cook a turkey. The top three were deep frying, grilling and obviously roasting. I've always roasted and so has my family. I do want to try out the other two ways at least once. I always love watching Rachael around the Holidays not only because of how she puts a different spin on things but also because she gives really great tips! Today she had a good tip about roasting two medium turkeys instead of one huge turkey. When roasting two, it takes less time and there's more meat! Plus you can carve one turkey right when it's done and leave the other one whole and display in the middle of the table until you need more meat. Festive! I'll be making my famous Spectacular Pumpkin Pie and also I'll be trying out a new recipe Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding. 

...I know I say I am excited about Thanksgiving but I know when the day comes I'm going to have to try my hardest to really truly enjoy it knowing that I'll be waking up at 4am the next day to start serving some crazy shoppers with their caffeine fix. Black Friday is not my favorite thing. I've never been the Black Friday shopper but always the poor girl handing out what helps the masses keep spending their money. COFFEE. All you business out there, bow down to me!! 

...Today is National Kindness Day. What you didn't know? Let's be kind and most of all kind to yourself!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

on turkey chili...

I'm here to feed your eyes yet again and today I have a recipe for Turkey Chili to share. It's a comfort food and something that my hubby craves in the Fall and Winter months so I decided to go with a simple chili but instead of the standard beef we went with turkey. Either way the combination of beans and turkey with some rice on the side always has our tummies full and happy. Next time you're looking for something to warm your belly and make the family happy try this out!

serving size: 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (28 oz) diced tomato, un-drained
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth 
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
salt & pepper to taste 
*serve with rice and garnish with chopped green onion


1// Heat oil and sauté both onion and green pepper until tender. Add turkey and cook until there is no pink.

2// Add canned tomatoes, beans, chicken broth and all spices to pot. Stir to combine. 

3// Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the chili thickens. 

Easy as 1, 2 & 3! We always like to serve some rice with chili in our home. But if you ask me, freshly baked corn bread is my favorite thing to have with my chili. I was kicking myself in the butt for forgetting to get ingredients to make a batch. Oh well, next time. Although I know my butt is thanking me for forgetting because I can never just eat one slice :) Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

on currently...

I'm back here with a quick "currently" post. I feel like these posts are always my fall back when I am gone for a short while and when, let's face it, there's really nothing else to write about. It's been pretty crazy around here for me. Although the storm has settled (literally) I still feel like it hasn't. The East coast got hit pretty hard with Hurricane Sandy and let's just say that I've never experienced anything like it. I wasn't really nervous up until the storm was at it's worst. Since we live in a sweet Victorian home that is split up into three apartments, us being on the top, it was quite scary at the peak of it all. Most of all I was just  freaked out about all the trees around us. But alas, thank the heavens nothing major occurred and all is good. Our power did cut out on us and was out for about a week but other than that we survived. I'm thankful for what I have and the people I have! Enough of that though...

Watching// I am totally hyped up on Nashville. GASP. I know, me watching a show based on country music! The world is coming to an end. I assure it's not. No, in all seriousness I started watching this show all because both Connie Britton from my beloved American Horror Story and Hayden Panettiere from Hero's are in it. I love them both especially Connie who is gorgeous! The storyline is spot on and the music is not all that bad (as my eye twitches slightly). 

Listening to// I've been listening to the Modest Mouse station on Pandora non-stop. It's really just been exactly what my soul has needed this past week. So I've been listening to that along with Tegan and Sara's new single Closer. So amazing!! Shake your boody good!

Reading// So many books. The past week I've read the following: Crash by Nicole Williams and it's second book Crush by Nicole Williams. The Sea of Tranquility by Katj Millay. Fall From Grace by Christine Zolendz and now I'm on it's second book Saving Grace.
Phew! What? I've had no power for a week! All these books are amazing. They are all stories about love but aren't the typical girl meets boy. Some really crazy stuff goes down that had me flipping pages like a mad man. Plus if you haven't already snagged your copy of JingleBelle Jackson's Christmas adventure called The Search for South Pole Santa, then get on it! Click the book link on the side of my blog :) You won't regret it.

Thinking about// A lot. Thinking about life and how precious it is. Things are always popping up in life that have me reeling with how thankful I am for everything I have. With this Hurricane we just had and also with nearing getting into a serious accident yesterday. I was lucky to have avoided a lady ramming into the right side of my car. Normally I wouldn't be so freaked out about all this however  I had a sweet little boy sitting in his car seat on the right side of my car. Not good. And yes, the women got an ear full about her not stopping or looking before coming out of the side street. I will not be one of those parents who loses their child because of stupid people on the road. No sir not me.
Moving on, I've been thinking about the importance of time. About how much time we spend with one another. Are we spending too much time working? Or on our electronics? I know people that have quiet their corporate jobs and in order to be there more for their family. I think sometimes it's easy to get so caught up with work and other things that we don't notice the finer things in life. So lately I've been pushing myself to do just that since right now with the Holidays and short staff at work it's super easy to drown myself in stress. Make sure we all appreciate it all!

Looking forward to// Next Thursday. I know this is the most geekest thing ever but on November 15th I'll be at my local movie theater at 11am starting a Twilight Saga marathon with my gal pal Ashley. Yes indeed, we will be watching all the movies all the way up until midnight when Breaking Dawn Part 2 is released. I am beyond giddy about this and for those of you that don't understand, that's fine. I took off work and it shall be bittersweet. Yup, I think that is the best word ever to describe what this day will mean to me! I'm super excited to see the final movie yet devastated that it will be the end. I remember starting this series when I was pregnant with Sebastian. I truly think that is why I am so emotionally involved in this story. I don't care if they aren't the best vampire novels ever written (I've read a lot of them-- I know!!) but I fell in love. Totally looking forward to spending all day with teeny boppers who equally can't contain their excitement :)

Making me happy// Shedding some pounds. It's funny how when I'm not even trying to loose weight is when I really do! I haven't been on a diet per say but I have been super self conscience about what I put into my mouth. And that's mainly because I have been wanting to just feel good. There's really no secret to it,  I've been getting rid of some unwanted pounds. High Five! For the first time since Sebastian's birth I actually almost feel 100% about my body. It's a great feeling which I'm sure all you ladies can relate to.
Simple things make me happy like coming home to dishes being washed and hubby taking time to tidy up our house knowing it will cause that twinkle in my eye to come alive. A sweet boy who doesn't shy away from saying I love you about a dozen times a day. Of course I react like it's the first time those words were ever spoken to me and  then I melt right into a messy puddle. That's all I need in this life are those words because even on the hardest of hard days that will lift me up and help me conquer everything. Other than that I'm happy for good music, pipping hot tea on cold nights, cozy sweatshirts, inspiring people and my family and friends.


Monday, October 29, 2012

on pumpkin white hot chocolate...

I've been meaning to make this for quite sometime now. I don't know what it is about white chocolate and pumpkin together but I seriously think this combination was meant to be! I was really surprised how delicious it was and even more surprised how Sebastian fell in love with it too! I made enough for two mugs and so Sebastian and I shared some on the couch after dinner watching Madagascar 3 last night. It's like a liquid dessert. Perfect treat to end our night.

Ingredients: 2 servings 
2 cups milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 0z white chocolate chips
4 teaspoons cocoa powder

1// on low, heat milk and white chocolate chips in the saucepan while whisking it until the chocolate is completely melted 
2// whisk in pumpkin, spices, vanilla and cocoa. Mix until everything is combined. 
3// keeping stirring until it comes to a simmer. 
4// pour into mugs and top with whipped cream & cinnamon. 

You will love this velvety smooth sweet treat! I'm going to cook some up for everyone to enjoy on Halloween night after trick 'or' treating. Have a great Monday everyone!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

on sweet potato kale soup...

I'm sure you all already know that Hurricane Sandy is creeping up on us here on the East coast. Well, I was up at my usual time starting on my long to do list earlier. I cleaned, cooked and baked plus showered and folded laundry all before noon. Who knew a Hurricane named Sandy could motivate me so well! But it did and now I've got a clean house and some really yummy things to look forward to eating. Win win. This will be a perfect soup for ya'll who are going to be stuck at home tomorrow to make due this Frankenstorm we have coming or really for any cold Fall/Winter night. I'm just glad I whipped up a nice sized pot of this hearty & healthy Sweet Potato Kale Soup just in case the power goes out! Hey, why wait until tomorrow, go on and make a pot of it tonight. Play it safe. This was inspired by my step-mom (who is in Hawaii with my dad by the way!) who made something similar while I was out in Seattle. Enjoy!

1 cup of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup lentils 
2 sweet potato
1/2 pound Italian sausage 
1 (48oz) can chicken or vegetable stock 
2 tablespoons Italian dressing mix
salt & pepper

First, dice onions and chop sweet potatoes into cubes. 

Heat olive oil and saute onion. Meanwhile, cut open the casing on the sausage and add the meat into the pot along with the onion. Break up the sausage with your spoon or if you're like me then use an old school mash potato masher to separate the meat. What! It saves so much time!

Mince garlic and add Italian seasoning and give it a good stir. Then simply add the rest of the ingredients. In goes the stock, kale, sweet potato and lentils.

Combine ingredients together and then cover the pot. Let everything simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and then you're ready to serve!

I just adore kale especially in soup. It's just so yummy. The best part is that it's such a wholesome meal and so full of super-foods that it's no wonder I can't get enough of it. And for those of you that are on special diets, I bet you can totally eat this soup. I know because my step-mom is on an extreme diet where she can't have any grains or gluten and this is one of her first recipes that she tired after starting said diet. High five to that. Okay, enough, get in your kitchen. Now.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

on a book is born...

Boy did my time in Seattle go quick! These things usually do so I don't even know why I'm complaining. It was quite a treat and I really needed it. Now, if you didn't already know the whole reason I flew out to Seattle was to celebrate that lovely lady's (above) new book! Julee has been writing a whimsical Christmas themed children's book for some time now and after a crazy nine months of grueling hard work she finally got 'er done! I am so extremely proud of Julee, more than she could possible understand.  So, I was out in Seattle for her. To celebrate this tremendous achievement.

Another thing you have to know about Julee is that she throws a great party. DETAILS. This women loves details. Not just the big ones but the small ones too! I am so in love with that. The celebration was last Friday and unfortunately her book wasn't present but she sure made it fun and exciting. Julee posted some really neat and for me thrilling facts about her book all around the house, even in the bathroom! Plus her home was totally decked out in Christmas already. So much fun.

 Great food and lots of people and when I mean lots I really do mean a packed house!! Golly. I am so happy with all the wonderful people that are supporting and believing in everything that Julee has done since we all know she deserves every bit of it!

The Search for South Pole Santa by JingleBelle Jackson is NOW available to buy on Amazon. Get your copy now! I've ordered mine and should be here soon. Christmas is just around the corner and this book will be what your child will cherish after finding it sticking out of their stocking on Christmas morning. Christmas is such a magical time of year especially for our children and I seriously can't wait until Sebastian is old enough to read so I can pass this book along to him.

Also please visit Julee's website with all things book related! When you visit, click on the "books" tab and read the first chapter. I seriously had to remember to breath again as I started reading this little expert.

Please like Author JingleBelle Jackson on Facebook and share this link on your Facebook.

Let's make this book into a MOVIE :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

on hello seattle...

Hello Seattle! I flew in around 10am yesterday and ever since I've been soaking up every minute with  my family. Yesterday after my father picked me up from the airport, and what a sweet reunion that was!, we stopped at the Colman Ferry where my baby sister works at the Subway. I surprised her and of course we jumped in each others with tears and all! It was awesome.

I got some lunch with my family and had some Red Mango frozen yogurt that I always have to enjoy since we don't have that back in Philly. The rest of the day was a relaxing one. Since I felt like I had been up forever we took it easy with some shopping and movie watching. Just what my soul needed.

Today, I woke up at 8! Yes, eight O'CLOCK! I am so rested and feeling ready for another wonderful day in the rainy Seattle. I'm very excited for today since I'll be heading over to my lovely fairy godmother's house to celebrate her soon-to-be book release! Hurrah! I am so happy for Julee and so so proud of her. I know how hard and long she has been working on this whimsical book and I just really can't wait to get my hands on it. She means the world to me and I don't think anyone will fully understand  the connections I have with her. She has always been like a mother to me. I swell with happiness and can't contain myself with all the emotions that are flowing through me since my feet have touch Seattle soil.

Let's not forget that my best friend Tanya and a few other girls are taking me out tonight. I will say one word. TROUBLE! That being said I've got a Pumpkin Crumb Cake in the oven for this very special day that I need to check on and start pampering myself so I can get started on this fun filled day. I hope to be back tomorrow with proof of all the fun.

Get out there and do something that will bring joy to your soul. I know I am.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

on currently...

Watching: Vampire Diaries. I am freaking out that the new season starts today. There's going to be a whirl wind of things happening this new season with the main character Elena turning into a vampire! Plus I've been aware that there's some new characters joining too. I have been hooked to this show since before it even aired. I couldn't get into the books but am in absolute love with this show. Plus it helps that Ian Somerhalder is a complete babe. 

Reading: The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan. Book one is called Reason to Breathe and the second is Barely Breathing, which I am currently half way through. This series is a serious page turner about a young girl in high schooled named Emma who is living with a terrible secret. It's super gut wrenching and of course a sweet love story. You fall for the characters as well as feel terrified about the things that go on in Emma's life. Highly recommend it if you want a quick easy read that will have you investing a lot of emotion. I can't wait to finish the second book! I'm hoping my next book will be The Search for South Pole Santa :D

Thinking about: How much I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, friend and person that I can be! I'm always challenging myself to do more and be more for all my loved ones. It can be stressful business but I wouldn't change that about me. For me it's what gives my life meaning and I'm not talking about the big things in life but the little things as well.  A text sent to say I miss you. Or a extra hug to a little boy who had a rough day. Or just thanking my husband for doing the dishes last night. I know so many people that don't do the small things and for me it feels so alien. I always think about how different I would be if I was showed more affection or if there was more love in my household. But honestly I think the lack of it growing up is why I am so passionate about love now. I know it sounds corny but really love is such an important thing for all of us to have and feel. Hurrah for love, showing love and feeling love. 

Looking forward to: SEATTLE! This time next week I will touch Seattle and I am jumping in glee about it all. I will be seeing my papa bear and little sister who I've miss more than anyone can really fathom. Seeing all my friends and celebrating a very important person becoming an author! This I can't wait for but other than that I'm just looking forward to just soak up as much time as I can with people that I miss. It is what my soul needs! 

Something new: I've starting to open earlier at work so most of the week I'm getting up at 5am and starting work at 6:30am. It's funny how people take pity on me when they find out that I have to wake up so early but in reality I actually think it's the greatest thing! I know...I'm not normal. I've always been a morning person so this is actually a bonus for me and because I start early I also get out earlier which is super sweet. I have a few hours to myself before I have to pick Sebastian up and it's been a treat to get some much needed errands done or slip in a manicure! Joy. 

Excited about: writting my first article on Living with Picky Eater on A while back I was confronted by a lady that I met a BlogHer who got me in touch with and here I am with my first article published on the world wide web. Eeeek! Totally amazing and super rewarding. If you are a momma you have to go and check this website out, so many fun things to read. Whenever I visit I get lost in all the article and best of all there's recipes! Like them on Facebook and Twitter