Here’s to 2016

December 31st and as we all look back through the days and months of all we did and didn’t accomplish this year–I’m personally challenged to focus on all the “good” I was blessed with in 2015. It’s far too easy to focus on all the “I should haves,” “I could haves,” or the “I wish I had”! For a few moments I extend a challenge to you to stop focusing on all those statements but rather think on all the blessings that did happen throughout 2015! You might find that there were more “good” in 2015 than you even realize.                                   

  Here’s to a 2016 filled with love, joy, peace and prosperity! 

Love and God bless! đź’•


Happy Birthday Jesus

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! As we get ready to celebrate this season starting with all our traditions–from baking to wrapping presents, take a moment to reflect on why we even celebrate Christmas! 

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”       (‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:1-20‬ ‭NLT‬)

Merry Christmas! đź’•

Making Memories


This can be one scary sentiment, can’t it? Sometimes we just get way too busy and forget that our every action, words, good or bad deeds are being noticed by these innocent little cuties we have strolling along side us each day.
As I was driving the girls to school today, our eight year old drops the bomb about Santa!  “Mommy” she says, “a boy at school told me that his mommy and daddy buy all the gifts for Christmas.”  My know-it-all four year old perks up immediately and says, “well, I don’t care what he says, I believe in Santa and he’s real!” I teased saying, did he not watch Elf, the movie?  But I carefully proceeded to ask Alyssa, “well what do you believe?” Alyssa is a bit of an over analyzer, like I am, so I wasn’t sure where she would go with this but she says, “I told him, I’m still going to believe.”
It hit me as I pulled into the school parking lot that this may be the last year she believes in Santa and as I looked at her as she climbed out of the car it settled in my spirit–she’s growing up oh so quickly.  I definitely can’t prevent that, and I most certainly wouldn’t want to.  But what are the memories that my girls will tell their children one day?  It’s so difficult at times listening to the endless stories that never quite reach a point or the thousands of random questions from a four year old at 7:30 in the morning, and  my all time favorite–all three of them screaming in the car at the same time trying to get a response from me because it’s the most important thing for them at that time.  Putting all that aside, will I miss that one day? We all want our kids to have fond memories of us, especially ones that they can pass on to their families too.  We all want them to be happy, and healthy.  So while we are so busy working our butts off to provide for them, feed them, clothe them…don’t take for granted spending time with them!  Those special moments will last a lifetime and who better to instill that in them than the one who loves them the most–a mommy!

Hack Attack

By now most of you are decking the halls, trimming the tree and busily in and out of stores to get all those precious gifts for your family and friends. I had to take a quick moment though to share a few recipes and a quick tip I came across a couple weeks ago.

Still have leftover turkey? Cream of mushroom soup that you didn’t finish or those fried onions?  Well I came up with a quick and easy recipe and now my turkey is finally gone!

IMG_9523 (2)

Turkey Casserole

Left over Turkey (pull apart)
Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Fried Onions
Shredded Cheese (Fiesta Blend)

Super simple–just pull apart remaining turkey and spread it on the bottom of casserole dish. Add the can of mushroom soup and any extra gravy, mixing together with the turkey. Add about one cup of shredded cheese on top and the fried onions.  Pop in the oven for 35 mins at 350 degrees.  That’s it!  A big plus–it’s completely low carb!  Gotta love that coming off of Thanksgiving!

SHIVAULIE - jalepenos

Jalapeño Poppers–My newest addiction

Jalapeño peppers (10)
Cream Cheese (8oz)
Bacon (2 strips)

Heat the oven to 325.
Cook bacon strips on the crispier side
Cut each Jalapeño in half and take out the seeds carefully.  (I use a glove that way the seeds don’t burn my hands or get into the other foods the kids have to eat)
In a mixing bowl add the 8oz of softened cream cheese and 2tsps of paprika. Mix well until combined.
Assemble by filling the Jalapeño halves with the cream cheese mixture.
Line the peppers on the baking sheet and after bacon has cooled, cut small strips to fit on each pepper.
Bake for 20 mins and enjoy!


Lumpia–My Mother-in-Law’s recipe and since we were unable to be with family this thanksgiving, I thought, “let me give it a try.”

Egg roll wrappers
Ground beef, or turkey
1/2 cup Flour
Cut corn (can be from frozen aisle)
2 white potato (finely shredded)
Finely shredded carrots
Shredded Onions
Vegetable oil for frying
Adobo seasoning
Garlic powder

In a frying pan, cook the ground meat and as it cooks keep separating it and breaking it apart in small pieces.
Add shredded onions, garlic powder, Adobo seasoning, and salt and pepper. (To taste) Set aside.
Make sure to finely shred the white potatoes.
In another pan, toss the shredded potatoes, shredded carrots, and corn together with a TBS of oil, making sure the potato cooks.
Combine the vegetables with the meat and toss together.

Depending on how big the wrapper is add enough to mixture and pinch close. Roll in flour so it crisps up when being cooked.
When frying, make sure oil is hot and lumpia is submerged in oil or else the wrapper will tend to open up.
Fry til lightly brown and place on a dish lined with paper towels to collect excess oil.

Hacking my Dessert
So this is not a recipe but definitely a tip for any folks that love Jell-O.  Jell-O is so easy to make yet some of us will buy the premade ones because it’s easier to grab and go or you like the portion size.  As I was sitting eating my sugar-free Jello I thought I have all these containers and it takes literally five mins to boil water and get this guilt free dessert in the fridge.
So here is my hack– I made my boxed jello per instructions on the box, poured into these containers and placed it in the refrigerator to set. I leave enough room on top to add a dollop of whipped cream right before eating. (For easy pouring I mixed the packet with water right in the measuring cup)
*One box of Jello makes about 5 of these containers.

Let me know if you try any of these…especially those Jalapeño poppers! Yum!!




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