Homemade Hamburger Helper.

Fun fact about myself, I’ve never had regular hamburger helper from the box! So I can’t really compare this recipe to the boxed kind but I will say this recipe was pretty tasty. After I re-made it twice though. Just ask my family, I’m a terrible cook. I always burn it, or mess it up somehow. I’m more of the baker. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be more of a cook, I’m slowly working on it.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
8oz tomato sauce (used LaRosa’s sauce)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups pasta shells
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a pan, cook the pasta shells according to the package.
2. While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef in a skillet / pan over medium high heat. Remove cooked ground beef from pan and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan.
3. Add garlic to the pan for 30 seconds (with the ground beef just chilling in the colander).
4. Add the flour and stir to cook for 30-60 seconds, because the flour gets super thick super quick when it’s hot, and then slowly stir in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil. The mixture will look like a gravy sauce.
5. Pour in the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, stirring to combine. Stir on low for a few minutes until it looks cooked and mixed.
6. Add in the cooked pasta from the other pan, and stir until mixed together.
7. Add in the heavy cream and shredded cheese, and stir until all the cheese is melted.
8. Add back in the ground beef that’s been chilling in the colander, and cook for 2-3 minutes more to re-heat the ground beef, and serve!

This dish would be good with garlic bread, or rolls. It almost taste like a creamy lasagna! If you follow the original recipe, linked below, you’ll notice we did not add an onion, and did our own version. We did not cover the pan while the beef was browning, and we did not add the pasta when they said to. We cooked it beforehand, in a separate pan. Also, we lessened some of the spices as we do not like a lot of salt, things like that.

What my kitchen looks like after I cook a meal lol I’m always super messy! It took me over an hour to make this recipe because the first try I burned everything in the skillet. Like the smoke detector went off. Luckily, we had enough ingredients to make it a second time and it worked out way better. Let me know if you try it, and how it turned out!

Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef, and can be found here.

How I keep track of workout progress.

I started in 2022 keeping track of my workouts for an entire year. I wanted to know out of the 365 days in a year, how many of those days did I actually move my body. Some days I cut the grass, some days I cleaned the entire house, and some days I did workouts. Whatever the case may be, I wanted to keep some sort of track of the days I “moved” my body.

For 2023, I decided to continue the same routine as I did last year. For each day that I did some type of movement I put a sticker on that day. I use any sticker I have on hand, it can be anything just something showing I did something on that particular day. And that’s how simple it is, just putting something on each day marking I moved.

I have a bin full of random stickers, and I’ll use the smallest ones until they are gone and move on to the next. For me, the benefits of tracking my movement totally helps me in reaching a goal. And now that I’ve done this for about 2 years in a row, it’s become a habit that I need to do something everyday, or almost everyday. It holds me accountable, and I just love to count how many times I moved at the end of the year out of 365 days!

Something super simple I thought I’d share that helps me. Now, if I can only get back on track with eating better I’d be in a much better place. But just like anything, things take time. I’ll get back to that one day, I just have to figure it out on my own. I have found over the years that people can tell you until you are blue in the face how to do things, but until you want to do them on your own terms, that’s when things happen.

Hope this helped at least one of you today! Move your body somehow someway everyday. It doesn’t have to be a long strenuous workout, just something that gets your heart rate up! Now get to moving!

Weekly recap.

Recapping our week on the blog! Firehouse visit, a first birthday, and a Bengals win.

Monday January 9
Started off the week by going to the firehouse after school, to say goodbye to one of Kevin’s fellow firefighters. She retired after a gazillion years; she’s always been so nice and kind to our family. She will be missed!

Tuesday January 10
Huxley is growing so fast! He is nonstop all day long! When Hadley is on her school routine, I usually have to wake him up from his afternoon naps. He sleeps so well most of the time! On the back of his highchair, I put one of those command hooks to hold his bibs, much easier than cramming them into a cabinet or something.

Wednesday January 11
Went to the nail salon to get my SNS nails taken off from Christmas. I love getting my nails done, but it’s a pain to get them taken off. I don’t know how people do that all the time; it ruins my nails. I stopped at the dollar store to get a few things for Valentine’s Day and to buy some birthday cards. Huxley loves his new bike he got for Christmas; we take daily strolls around the house a lot. Can’t wait to take walks outside when it gets warmer!

Thursday January 12
Huxleys new schedule changed to having a snack and a sippy cup before his two afternoon bottles, it’s to prepare him for when he turns a year, we drop the middle two bottles. It makes me a little nervous, but I’ve trusted this Moms on Call book since he was six months old, and it’s worked amazing! Ordered some Christmas earrings on clearance for next year!

Friday January 13
Hadley woke up super early, like 6am and she normally doesn’t wake up until closer to 7am. I got up and worked out in our room, while she chilled in bed and watched a movie. Hadley was excited to wear her Bengals jersey to school in support of the playoff game!

Saturday January 14
Huxley sat on her lap forever, just sitting still letting her feed him his snacks. It was so cute. Later that night, we went over to my brothers to celebrate my nephew turning one.

Sunday January 15
Who Dey Sunday! We stopped by a local candy shop for some treats for the playoff game. Hadley has been reading so much lately, and she’s tracking it on her sheet we hung up on the wall. Sheet can be found here. After we put Huxley to bed, Hadley and I played a few games of Uno and then watched the playoff game! Bengals and the Ravens, and we won!! WHO DEY!!

Happy Monday everyone, have a great week! And thanks for reading!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Friday Favorites – Bamboo socks, body souffle, a book and walking workouts.

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Here are my favorites this week.

The description of these socks sounds super comfy! I mean socks made of bamboo? Sounds so nice. Socks can be found here.

Almost thirty bucks for a body souffle seems a bit pricey, but it sounds very nice for the skin. Spongelle is a good brand, I’ve used products from them before back when I used to subscribe to Fab Fit Fun. Souffle can be found here.

I checked out this book at the library a few weeks ago, still haven’t started reading it yet, but I hope to find the time to start it! Book can be found here.

I’ve been doing lots of these walking workouts lately, they are super easy and gets my heart rate up! Workouts can be found here.

This is my favorite hair product to use before I blow dry my hair. My Kroger never carries it, so I always have to order it on Amazon. Cream can be found here.

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend! And as always, thanks for reading!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Emergency board for kids.

We have practiced with my daughter, on how to call 911 for an emergency if a situation were ever to arise. In our kitchen, we have a large cabinet that we have posted some signs up for her to have. She can read very well now, so that is not a problem.

Inside the large cabinet, we taped a few signs for an emergency situation. I hope the kids never have to use this, but it’s there in case they ever need it.

1 – Emergency 911

2 – Our address with the street, city, state, and zip code

3 – Our address, with Mom and Dads cell phone numbers

Here are blank copies of the sheets I made, feel free to save for personal use. Just right click on the image and save to your computer, and print.

How I Plan and Organize Blog Content.

I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and I love it. Love it so much! Sometimes I get asked about how I organize blog post ideas and generate new content. Until recently, when I made the choice to quit my job, I’ve not had a ton of time to blog as frequently as I’d like. I’ve made it a priority to blog more and it’s a work in progress.

I started this blog as an outlet to just write and share things for fun. To have a voice, and to have a memory of this life that will live forever in the internet land. Or as long as I pay for the subscription haha.

The main tool I use for blog planning and content is to use a monthly calendar planner. I bought this super simple blog planner on Amazon, and it’s the main source I use for planning blog posts.

I write all of my post ideas in pencil so it’s easy to erase and move things around if need be. I don’t stick to the calendar exactly, because new ideas pop-up and have to be shared, so things are always moving.

Here is the current month of January. On each day, I have two lines for a blog post and Instagram post. The blog is color coded in purple, and Instagram is color coded in pink. Every post idea is temporarily written in pencil, and once it’s posted on whichever platform it’s written in either purple or pink to know it was posted. At the end of each week, I tally up how many posts for the week.

I do a quote every Sunday. Most Mondays I do a weekly recap from the week before, Monday through Sunday. Every Friday is Friday Favorites. Once a month is what I ordered from Amazon from the month prior. If we do a movie night, I’ll write a post about that the week after. Once a month updates on Huxley. A few monthly link-up posts. Holidays, vacations, or reoccurring events like first day of school, birthdays, etc., which then leaves just a few days a week open for other various ideas. I do love the scheduled feature for blogging, you can plan and schedule posts ahead of time which helps for planning content.

Here is next month’s blog calendar, without really planning anything there are quite a few posts already ready to be written! I don’t really wonder about what’s going to get a lot of comments or pinned about or whatever. I just do what I like and share what I love. This blog goes through different seasons of life where I am super personal or very creative. Whatever the season, I’m here for it. And loving it.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Movie night – Rudy

Last week’s movie night was Rudy! With recent events in our city, when Damar Hamlin collapsed, I thought watching a good-hearted movie like Rudy would be a great pick. The movie can be found here. Here are all the fun snacks!

Hadley is always so excited to see what movie it is, and the snacks for the night. Always super simple and easy!

The snacks were everything we had at home already, we had just had a bunch of sweets from New Year’s Eve, so I had plenty to choose from. I just lay a bunch of random things in random tins, and trays and there you go! Easy movie night snacks.

Hadley’s snacks on top, and mine on the bottom. We always use these meal prep containers for move night, helps to contain everything and keep it less messy.

We had a fire. When Kevin isn’t home, we use the logs that you light and that’s all you have to do.

I was surprised, Hadley enjoyed the movie! It’s a little old, and a slower movie, but she liked it. It’s a great feel good movie!

And if you missed any of my previous movie nights, you can find them below:
The Sandlot
Minions – The Rise of Gru
Hocus Pocus 2
We Bought a Zoo
The Grinch

Weekly recap.

Recapping our week on the blog! First week of the new year, Father/Daughter night, and another Christmas!

Monday January 2
A few more days of Christmas break, we just love having Hadley home with us. She is the best with Huxley, such a big help! Started giving Huxley cheese with his eggs, and he loves it! Instead of the traditional father/daughter dance, Hadleys school had a night out instead. They went to a place that had all kinds of things to do, bumper cars, rock climbing, etc. I think all of the girls and dads enjoyed it much more than a dance!

Tuesday January 3
Put all of the Christmas stuff away, it’s a chore getting all the bins out and putting the Christmas in the back of the storage closet. Hadley was in bed early, had to get a good night sleep for school the next day.

Wednesday January 4
Back to school for the new year! And back to waking up Huxley for his nap before picking up Hadley at school. He was a little spoiled over Christmas break, taking longer naps, and all of that. After homework, we went outside for a short time to try out the electric scooter she got for Christmas. And early to bed, and out like a light.

Thursday January 5
Huxley tried ravioli for the first time and was a fan. I however was not a fan of the mess. Hadley is learning cursive in school, and she is already trying to write her name.

Friday January 6
After school, went to Kroger to get some groceries and it was Huxleys first time in the grocery cart. He was so content he didn’t say a word.

Saturday January 7
We had Kevins family over to celebrate Christmas, and to watch the Bengals play the Ravens. We had already taken down our Christmas decorations, and I had bought some outdoor decorations (on clearance for next year), that had arrived the day before, so we set them up on our little bench to add some Christmas cheer! We had some snacks, chili, and cookies for some sweets. And we ended the weekend with a Bengals win! Who Dey!

Happy Monday everyone, have a great week! And thanks for reading!