Monday, August 10, 2020

Easy Peasy One-Pot Pasta


My favorite recipes are those that create the least amount of dirty dishes. Here's a simple way to make a traditional pasta dinner in just one pot. First, gather your ingredients:

Place a large, 6 quart pot over medium-high heat:
  • cook ground meat and onion until meat is browned and onions are soft
  • add garlic, herbs, sprinkle of pepper and salt
  • gently stir in pasta sauce and water, mix well and bring to a boil
  • add dry, uncooked pasta; return to a boil
  • reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 8-10, stirring occasionally
  • remove from heat and serve

Monday, August 3, 2020

Inspiration for Learning at Home

Now that August has started, my mind shifts to back to school season. Our child will (hopefully) be in school for two days but learning at home for three days each week. I read a great post from Keri Lynn Snyder on distance learning. Here are my main takeaways: 
  1. Get dressed and ready for each day
  2. Set up a separate space for school work
  3. Make it fun with bright colored decor, plenty of school supplies, etc (see above photo)
  4. Create a daily checklist of tasks to complete (reading, writing & math will be our main priorities)
  5. Have an end of school day ritual - ideally this will be a walk or bike ride outside

Monday, July 27, 2020

Easy Crayon Upcycling

Turn all those tiny broken crayons into something new... 

First, gather your supplies:
  • crayons
  • muffin pan
  • cooking spray (or paper liners)

Next, remove all paper from the crayons:
  • break up into small pieces
  • spray muffin tin or add liner
  • group them by color or create rainbow crayons

Bake at 275 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. 

We had so much fun with this easy craft!

Monday, July 20, 2020

More Seasonal Summer Reading

One of my favorite ways to celebrate summer is read seasonally. I search out books that take place during the summer season or focus on beaches, vacations and other light hearted topics. 

Here's what I've been reading lately: 

The Shell Seekers is a multi-generational family saga. It begins in Corwall, England before WW1 and ends in the mid 1980's. The Shell Seekers refers to a piece of art that becomes a complicated source of conflict. Every family member has a different opinion on what should happen to the painting. There are many likable and unlikeable characters in this book and I could not wait to find out what would happen next. A very good read and very highly recommend for anyone who loves a bit of historical fiction. 

Rules for Visiting is described as "a beautifully observed and deeply funny novel about a woman who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with old friends over the course of a year and inspire us all to master the art of visiting." I especially enjoyed reading about travel and friendship during a time where we're all staying closer to home. This was an easy and light read that certainly fits well in the summer season.

The Island is a classic escapist beach read by one of the best 'Nantucket Beach Coast' writers. It is an enjoyable romantic drama with humor and interesting characters. Some of their struggles are heavy and difficult but the author pulls through with a smart, happy ending for our pleasure.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Family Bike Rides on the Ozark Greenways Trails

Recently, we've been riding and exploring the area Ozark Greenways. Now that our kiddo can ride more confidently, we can cover more mileage and visit more sights. 

The Fulbright Spring Greenway has approx 7 miles of mostly hard surface. It has moderate to steep inclines that follow the natural terrain. We also enjoy the creek that runs alongside most of the trail.

The Frisco Highline Trail is the Ozarks' premier scenic rail-trail. This 35 mile stretch used to function as a railway for the Frisco trains. It includes many scenic sights and historic points of interest. We especially enjoy finding the historic bridges that go over the Little Sac River and other waterways. 

Here's to more riding and exploring in the great outdoors!

Monday, July 6, 2020

A very chocolate cherry smoothie

Every summer I love to make smoothies. It's a fun and easy to experiment with different flavors and combinations. Our Blendtec blender (a superior blending experience) can handle anything and makes everything super smooth. Here's how I make a very chocolate cherry smoothie:
  • One cup frozen dark sweet cherries (picture above from Wal-Mart Great Value)
  • one ripe banana
  • one handful spinach
  • one cup milk
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • one handful ice

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Celebrate the Fourth of July 2020

festive flower arrangement

How fun to anticipate the upcoming holiday! I've always loved the planning and coordination of holidays and events. We are looking forward to donning festive attire, eating good food and seeing family & friends. This year especially seems like a good time to relax and focus on the positive. Here's to fun & fireworks!