One Pan Balsamic Chicken

November 29, 2015


1 large package sliced mushrooms

12oz green beans

1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins

1/4 cup Italian dressing

Minced garlic (to taste)

2 T honey

3 T balsamic vinegar

Grape tomatoes, halved

Sauté mushrooms and green beans with minced garlic.  Remove.

Cook chicken (add salt and pepper to taste). Remove.

Combine Italian dressing, balsamic vinegar and honey. Bring to simmer.

Add chicken, mushrooms and green beans. Allow to simmer for a bit.

Serve over rice with tomatoes.

Rising Strong-Brené Brown

October 26, 2015

Rising Strong

The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up. 
We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. 
When we make the choice to date greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.
Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. 
1. If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. Daring is saying, “I know I will eventually fail and I’m still all in.”

2. Once we fall in the service of being brave, we can never go back. 

3. This journey belongs to no one but you; however, no one successfully goes it alone. 

4. We’re wired for story. 

-Hearing a story-causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin. These chemicals trigger the uniquely human abilities to connect, empathize, and make meaning. Story is literally in our DNA. 

5. Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. 

6. Rising strong is the same process whether you’re navigating personal or professional struggles. 

Humans are not either thinking machines or feeling machines, but rather feeling machines that think. 

They have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability. 

7. Comparative suffering is a function of fear and scarcity. 

Fear and scarcity trigger comparison. 

The opposite of scarcity is simply enough, not abundance. 

8. You can’t engineer an emotional, vulnerable, and courageous process into an easy, one-size-fits-all formula. 

9. Courage is contagious.

Your experience can profoundly affect the people around you whether you’re aware of it or not. 

10. Rising strong is a spiritual practice. 
The middle is messy, but it’s also where the magic happens. 
You can’t skip day two. It’s a nonnegotiable part of the process. Experience and success don’t give you easy passage through the middle space of struggle. 
The Rising Strong Process

The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives. 
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do. We own our stories do we don’t spend our lives being defined by them or denying them. 
You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.
Our bodies respond to emotion first, and they often direct us to shut down or disengage. 
When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending–to rise strong, recognize our story and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends. 
“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” William Plomer
Hurt doesn’t go away simply because we don’t acknowledge it. In fact, left unchecked, it festers, grows, and leads to behaviors that are completely out of line with whom we want to be, and thinking that can sabotage our relationships and careers. 
Even if we have the insight to know that our boss, friend, colleague, or partner blew up at us because something tender was triggered and it’s not actually about us, it still shatters trust and respect. 
The idea that “we’re only as sick as or secrets” is more than an adage; there’s growing empirical evidence that not owning and integrating our stories affects not just our emotional health but also our physical well-being. 
The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.
Lovability: Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable. 

Divinity: no person is ordained to judge our divinity or to write the story of our spiritual worthiness. 

Creativity and ability: Just because someone failed to see the value in what we can create or achieve doesn’t change its worth or ours. 
We can’t get to our brave new ending if we start from an inauthentic place. 
Shame is a liar and a story-stealer. I have to trust myself and the people I care about more than the gremlins, even if that means risking being hurt. 
Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. 
When we know better, we do better
We don’t judge people when we feel good about ourselves. 
We don’t compare when we’re feeling good about ourselves; we look for what’s good in others. When we practice self-compassion, we are compassionate toward others. Self-righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing. 
If we think that people really are doing the best they can with the tools they have:

We don’t stop expecting people to grow and change. It means that we stop respecting and evaluating people based on what we think they should accomplish, and start respecting them for who they are and holding them accountable for what they’re actually doing. It means that we stop loving people for who they COULD BE and start loving them for who they ARE. 
It means that sometimes when we’re beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.”
People learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves. 
We can’t rise strong when we’re on the run. 
We can’t heal if we can’t grieve; we can’t forgive if we can’t grieve. We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend. 
Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. –Anne Lamott
The more difficult it is for us to articulate our experiences of loss, longing, and feeling lost to the people around us, the more disconnected and alone we feel. 
Forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act; it’s the process of taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live. 
We can’t be vulnerable and open with people who are hurting us. 
Connection doesn’t exist without giving and receiving. We need to give and we need to need. 
When you judge yourself for needing help, you judge those you are helping. When you attach value to giving help, you attach value to needing help. 
The danger of tying your self-worth to being a helper is feeling shame when you have to ask for help. 
Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help. 
Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy. 
“No regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life. 
 Many of us will spend our entire lives…to get to a place where we can give ourselves permission to both be imperfect and to believe we are enough. 
We can’t be brave in the big world without at least one small safe space to work through our fears and falls.
Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There’s a reclaiming that has to happen. 
Not caring what people think is a hustle, and it’s not winnable. 
When we stop caring what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. But when we are defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. 
We can’t be “all in” if only parts of us show up. If we’re not living, loving, parenting, or leading with our whole, integrated hearts, we’re doing it halfheartedly. 
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise. 
We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. (Not sure how I feel on this one……we make the choices, yes but our lives are already written.)
Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted 
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers

Than those of us who are willing to fall

Because we have learned to rise 
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;

We choose owning our stories of struggle,

Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.
When we deny our stories, they define us. 

When we run from struggle, we are never free. 

So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. 
We will not be characters in our stories. 

Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. 
We are the authors of our lives.

We write our own daring endings. 
We craft love from heartbreak,

Compassion from shame,

Grace from disappointment,

Courage from failure. 
Showing up is our power. 

Story is our way home. 

Truth is our song. 

We are the brave and brokenhearted. 

We are rising strong.

Fish Taco Bowls

July 2, 2015


2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

Dash of cayenne pepper

Pinch of garlic powder

3-4 cod fillets (or other white fish such as tilapia)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup frozen corn, thawed, or fresh corn cut off the cob

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups cooked brown rice

Avocado, cilantro, and lime juice for garnish (optional)


In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly over bothl sides of the fish (I didn’t use all of it, but you could if you like things spicier) and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the fish and cook, undisturbed, for several minutes per side. Check the middle of the fish for doneness. It should flake easily and be opaque throughout. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.

If necessary, add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the onion, pepper, and corn. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender, about 7 minutes. Add the black beans and heat through.

Layer rice, bean mixture, and fish in a bowl and top with avocado, cilantro, and lime juice if desired.
We make tacos with this recipe and add shells, sour cream, salsa and cheese. I originally found this recipe on Pinterest and at The Live In Kitchen

My Take: Sports Team Wreath

September 28, 2014

I follow a blog called, Repeat Crafter Me. Last month I saved a blog post of how to make a wreath for your favorite sports team. Check out her post here: Football Team Wreath


Today I finally had a chance to put ours together and hang it on our front door. I did mine a little bit differently, no glue, tape or sewing involved! I used a wreath form I had on hand, as well as leftover Green Bay Packers fabric I had. It was a pretty quick craft and the family likes it. Now to see how it holds up on our front door.


World’s Best Chicken

September 8, 2014

I don’t know if I’d call this the World’s Best Chicken but it is pretty good. I found this recipe on Pinterest, originally made at Cooking Pinterest. Check out her page for photo of the meal.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.
Place chicken breasts into 9×13 greased baking dish.
Season with salt & lots of pepper.
Pour mustard mixture over chicken.
Make sure each breast is coated.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
Season with chopped rosemary.


Mini Baked Ham Sandwiches

August 31, 2014

These little baked sandwiches are a staple food item at the beach house. Easy to make and a crowd pleaser!

From King’s Hawaiian

Mini Baked Sandwiches
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 20 min

1 pound Deli ham shaved
1 pound Swiss cheese thinly sliced
1 1/2 sticks Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Minced onion dried
1 12-pack KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls


Melt butter and mix in mustard, sauce and onion.
Cut the entire pack of rolls in half, horizontally (keeping all top and bottom halves separately in tact).
In a 9×13 inch pan, place bottom half of rolls and cover with ham and cheese.
Cover ham and cheese stacks with top half of rolls.
Drizzle butter mixture over top of rolls, making sure onion is evenly distributed.
Refrigerate over night. (Not necessary)
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes and, once finished, separate for serving.

Homemade Granola Bars- Second Type

August 2, 2014

Another ‘pinned’ recipe, that I have now made twice. I like these better than the other Homemade Granola Bars I made.
This recipe was originally posted at Saving with Shellie.


I have made them with both Rice Krispies and Puffed Rice. I think they are better with Rice Krispies.

2 Cups Quick Oats
1 Cup Rice Krispies Cereal
½ Cup Flax Seed
¾ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
½ Cup Honey
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Mini chocolate chips

Line an 8×8 baking dish with aluminum foil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine Oats, Rice Krispies Cereal and Flax Seed.
In a microwave safe bowl combine Peanut Butter, Vanilla and Brown Sugar. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Add in Honey.
Using a spatula, combine the peanut butter mixture with the dry ingredients.
Press into the 8×8 baking dish. Press mini chocolate chips into the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut into small squares or skinny bars. I store them in the refrigerator but the originally poster said that isn’t necessary. They seemed to hold together better that way.

Chicken Fried Rice and Yum Yum Sauce

April 17, 2014

This is another recipe I discovered through Pinterest. It can be found at A Whole Awful Lot

Make the Yum Yum sauce ahead of time because it needs to chill for a re hours to get the best taste.

Yum Yum Sauce-
1 cup Mayonnaise
3 Tbsp White Sugar
3 Tbsp Rice vinegar
2 Tbsp Butter, Melted
¾ tsp. Paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste

Mix together. Refrigerate 4-5 hours for optimal flavor.
I mixed ours together in the Magic Bullet and then also just stored it in the mixing container in the fridge.

Not the best picture….but it did taste pretty good!

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken, cut into small pieces If you like other meats, you can use them instead.
3-4 C. cooked fried rice Make sure you cook the rice ahead of time! Even day old rice is great.
3 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp. Butter
¾ – 1 c. frozen peas & carrots
1 onion, chopped
2-3 Eggs, scrambled
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 c soy sauce

1-In large skillet cook meat, seasoned to taste, set aside.
2-Heat butter & oil in skillet.
3-Sauté Garlic, onion, peas & carrots until tender.
4-While vegetables are cooking, scramble eggs in a separate skillet.
5-Add eggs, rice, soy sauce & meat to vegetables and mix together.
6-Stir fry until heated through.

Add yum yum sauce to serve and enjoy.

Oven Hard Boiled Eggs

April 12, 2014

It’s true. You can hard boiled your eggs in the oven.
Set oven to 325*
Place one egg in each section of a muffin tin.
Bake for 25-30 min.
Remove from oven and place eggs in a bowl of cold water to cool them.
Once cool to the touch, enjoy or return to the fridge to use later.


Turned out great and tasted good. Might be my new method of hard boiling eggs!

Homemade Granola Bars

April 9, 2014

A few weeks ago I ‘pinned’ a few granola bar type recipes. I finally got all the ingredients and decided to try out one of them.
This recipe came from Bless This Mess

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola Bars
Makes:16-20 granola bars
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
2 cup chopped pretzels
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Cut out a piece of parchment paper the width of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Place the paper in the bottom of the dish.
In a small sauce pan combine the butter, sugar, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until it starts to bubble.
Once it starts to bubble let the mixture cook for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the oats, rice cereal, and broken pretzels. After the butter mixture cooks for 2 minutes, pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture and stir well to combine.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press the mixture evenly into the pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the granola bars and gently press them into place. Put the pan in the fridge to cool before cutting.
To cut into bars remove from the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut with a sharp knife.
Store in the fridge or they get too sticky.

You can easily half this recipe and put it in an 8×8 pan if you like.

I made the full recipe but put them in two 8×8 pans because my 13×9 pan was in use for dinner!

These granola bars were very tasty and easy to make. The downside was needing to store them in the fridge. Not a deal breaker but an inconvenience. I would probably make them again if I could find something to add to make them bind together better. They tended to come apart pretty quickly once they were out of the fridge.
This isn’t the best picture but they were yummy.