Friday, May 24, 2013


I'm loving that tassels are in! They are just so feminine. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

garden fresh baked ziti

Here's a perfect and quick summer recipe that I recently found that the whole family will enjoy. I've made this a couple times now and our family is really enjoying it - even Georgia. It's packed full of fresh veggies that you'll be able to get at your local produce stand, farmers market or maybe even your own garden this time of year. The BEST part is that it makes two batches of ziti - one for dinner and one for freezing. 

1 pound whole wheat ziti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (next time I may try fresh, cooked spinach)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray two 8 by 8 inch baking pans with cooking spray.
2. In large pot cook the ziti. Drain and return to pot.
3. Heat the olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Reduce to low and saute' until soft. Add garlic and saute' for a few more minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to simmer and cook 20 minutes. 
4. Add tomato sauce to ziti, along with ricotta cheese, spinach , Parmesan, zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir all ingredients. 
5. Divide the past between the two pans. Top with mozzarella and add pepper to taste. 
6. Bake for 20 minutes. 

To Freeze: Complete the process thru step 5. Cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To cook: transfer frozen ziti directly from freezer to oven and back for 90 minutes at 375. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. 

It's delicious! I was shocked that Georgia would eat it, but that's probably because it is smothered in cheese. Oh well, it is the only way I can get her to eat most vegetables. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

this and that

Here's a little bit of this and that from last weekend. We enjoyed lots of time outdoors playing, checking in on our plants and blueberry bush. The favorite highlight of the weekend though was little Leighton's dance recital. It was precious! Georgia enjoyed watching and Leighton was a star!

I hope your week is off to a good start and you are gearing up for a loooonnnng weekend! Happy Wednesday friends!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

summer maxi

I'm keeping my eyes out for a nice summer maxi. Here's a few that caught my eye. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

letting go

Happy Mother's Day mom.  What a blessing you have been in my life. Almost two years into motherhood myself, I am realizing the sacrifices you had to make, the many tears shed, the abundance of laughter and love shared, the worrying oh the worrying, the sleepless nights, the numerous meals prepared, the trips and activities planned (and paid for:), the many prayers prayed, the frustrations, the smiles and giggles, the advice given, the never ending love and the letting go. These are all things that I know you did for me and for the most part are still doing. Quite possibly the hardest part of being a mom is the letting go part (letting your kids learn the hard way, go away to college, get married, watch them experience real pain and suffering).  It is essential though and a part of life. Ultimately, we are God's children and he has a plan for our life that not even a mother can control. For me, this is the hardest part. I am thankful for my mom for guiding, sharing in the joys of life, crying, hugging and praying through those 'letting go' times in my life. I have a wonderful role model to learn from as I'm learning to let go. 

Happy Mother's Mom. I love you.