I love Salad! It’s just one of those foods that makes me feel good when I eat it. I love putting a lot of ingredients in my salad. When I’m craving salad, I usually search my kitchen pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I have that would go great in salad.
Recently I made something I call a 10 layer salad, as I layered my salad with 10 different ingredients. Here is what you’ll need for this recipe:
And literally all you do is add one ingredient at a time, creating layers in a large bowl. For example I did lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers, carrots, green olives, black olives, shredded cheese, roasted chickpeas and Ranch dressing. And that’s it!!! Such a perfect dish for any summer occasion.
If you are wondering how to roast chickpeas, check out my other blog post: Roasted Chickpea Recipe.
This post was written in February 2021. I thought it would be nice to take a moment to reflect back on my life then, and how it has changed to now.
The Letter to Myself
In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic.
As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice.
For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:
What is something I needed to let go of?
What was something I was ready for?
What did I need to remember from the current time?
At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself.
What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself.
What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family.
What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too.
I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.
Chickpea pasta is something I just thought of and wasn’t sure if it was a real thing. So, I went to Google to see if anyone else has combined chickpeas and pasta, and sure enough it’s a real thing! I scanned through a variety of different recipes then decided to make my own!
Check out my Chickpea Pasta recipe below!
Chickpeas (1 can)
Black olives (small can)
First, boil a pot of water. Depending on how many noodles you want to make will depend on how much water you choose to boil.
Next, pour penne pasta into boiling water. Stir occasionally until noodles are soft and tender.
Chop tomatoes, black olives, and pepperonis.
Next, drain noodles and place in a bowl.
Drain canned chickpeas, and combine in bowl of noodles.
Then add olive oil, chopped pepperonis, olives, and tomatoes.
Season to taste with minced garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
1. YOU HAVE SEPARATION ANXIETY WHEN YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR CAT.
Do you worry about your cat being home alone while you are running errands or at work? Do you wonder if they will be on their best behavior or they will get lonely, if you are never there? If so, then you might be a crazy cat parent.
2. YOU REARRANGE YOUR SCHEDULE SO YOU CAN SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR CAT.
Do you sometimes stay home for no other reason then to spend time with your cat? After a long week of working, do you look forward to spending time with your cat on the weekend? If so, you may be a crazy cat parent.
3. YOU TALK TO YOUR CAT, AND WAIT FOR YOUR CAT TO RESPOND.
It is true that often times, pets are the best therapists. But not everybody has actual conversations with their pets and waits for them to respond. I am going to make a little confession. Sometimes, my kitty Rocky and I have conversations, and I indeed do wait for him to respond. If you also do this, then you too may be a crazy cat parent.
4. YOU CONSIDER AND/OR ADOPT ANOTHER CAT SO YOUR CURRENT CAT WON’T BE LONELY.
Do you scroll through pictures from your local shelters or pet ads from Petfinder, and consider adopting another feline friend? Do you do this because you have kitty fever or because you want your kitty to have another friend. Maybe even both?
5. YOU SPEND MORE MONEY ON CAT TOYS, TREATS, FOOD, AND PET FURNITURE THAN YOU ACTUALLY PLAN TO.
Confession time again…. I spent over a $100 on Rocky this past Christmas. But he’s my only baby at the moment, so I have no shame. Do you also find yourself strolling down the pet aisle, or finding ways to adjust your budget so you can buy more things for your cat? If yes, then you too could be a crazy cat parent.
6. YOU GET UP EARLY OR STAY UP LATE JUST TO PLAY WITH YOUR CAT.
Do you get up early just to spend time with your cat? Do you just adore how loving your kitty can be when he is waking you up and begging you for food early in the morning? Do you jump out of bed, and join your kitty when you hear him bellowing opera kitty music at 2am? If so, then you may just be crazy, or a crazy cat parent.
7. YOU REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE SO YOUR CAT IS COMFORTABLE WHEN LOOKING OUT THE WINDOWS.
Do you get your cat’s opinion on how to rearrange the furniture? Do you consider how he might want to watch his live tv of birds flying, squirrels gathering nuts, and dogs walking their humans? If yes, then maybe you are a crazy cat parent.
8. YOU LEAVE THE TV ON FOR YOUR CAT WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME.
Do you worry your kitty will go crazy being in a quiet home for too long and decide to leave on the tv for them? Yes? Don’t worry… I do it too. I’m probably just as crazy as you.
9. YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AND/OR GET EXCITED TO GIVE YOUR CAT CATNIP.
Do you want your cat to love you?… I mean really love you? Do you look forward to giving them catnip and anticipate seeing the cat be all consumed by catnip? I do.
10. YOU CONSIDER YOUR CAT AS ONE OF YOUR KIDS.
Do you? I do. My kitty is my baby.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am a crazy cat mom and this was all just for fun. I hope I made you smile and brought some humor into your life today. Well, I’m going to go snuggle my cat now.
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile now, you’ll know that I have had a goal to write and publish my own memoir. This idea first played out like this:
After my first miscarriage I started my blog, and after my second miscarriage I wanted to write a book. That was in 2019. At the end of 2020, I finished my first draft. In April of 2021, I got pregnant with our rainbow baby. Towards the end of 2022, I started to re-examine my first draft, and realized it wasn’t the full story. I created the book with intention of covering grief and loss, while also covering hope and mercy. I decided to add a few more chapters to my book that wasn’t just about the storm so to speak, but also about the rainbow after the storm.
I’m excited to say I have finally finished my first draft… again. I’m not quite ready for it to go to a publisher and/or self publish just yet, but I am one step closer to following my dreams and fulfilling my calling. 💕
With prices going up and shortages continuing, in the last few days I have been in search of finding a cheap healthy snack. I recently bought some kale in hopes of making a kale salad, then remembered how I used to make kale chips when I was pregnant with my son.
Kale is just a great alternative than regular potato chips. It’s high in fiber and iron. Plus you only need 3 major ingredients!
Kale Chips Recipe
What You Need…
What You Do…
If you are using a conventional oven you will need to preheat to 425°. If you are using an air fryer. You likely won’t need to preheat. Set to BAKE and set temp to 425°.
Cut stalks/ends off of kale, place in a strainer and wash with cool water in the sink.
Next, cut or pull apart into pieces and place on the baking sheet. Make sure sheet is covered with kale. It will seem like a lot but the kale shrinks as it cooks.
Then, drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the kale. Salt as desired. I recommend going light on the salt and adding more after cooking if needed.
Place in oven and cook for 9-12 minutes. Chips should be mostly crunchy when done cooking.
As I type this, I simply can’t believe that this April I will have been blogging for 4 years! Crazy! It has been such a journey and a beautiful outlet for me to be able to write and share my thoughts and ideas on my blog.
Just wanted to give a quick thank you to each and everyone of you who take the time to read my blog, especially those who have been with me from the very beginning.
Blogging is fun but also a lot of hard work. It wasn’t until 6 months or so of starting my blog, I felt like I truly got the hang of it.
There are a lot of tips and tricks to blogging, but the one I have found most helpful, that has changed my life is this…
Schedule! Schedule! Schedule!!!
It’s really easy to start something, and forget all about it. The busyness of life often makes us forget to do things if we don’t make them a priority. When I first started my blog, I read about the how to’s and big no no’s to avoid when blogging. The best tip I found was to schedule your blog posts ahead of time.
This tip has helped me tremendously. At the end of each year, I often create an outline of things I want to write or share each month. I then write like crazy a variety of different blog posts that I can schedule throughout the year, so that when life gets busy, I’m still writing and engaging with my readers. This has saved me and even allowed me to take breaks during my maternity leave and just not to get bored or frustrated.
So I encourage you, if you have a blog, schedule a few posts ahead of time, it will help!
Hi Friends! Wow, it’s been awhile since I took a look at this list. As many of you know, I love making bucket lists. I usually have goals for the year and even summer bucket lists. I remember writing this list out in July of 2020. My life has certainly changed a little since then. Let’s take a look at the list and see what I’ve accomplished so far…
1. HAVE AT LEAST TWO KIDS (THROUGH BIRTH, ADOPTION OR WHATEVER THE LORD HAS PLANNED)
This goal is half completed or completed depending on how you look at it. I have a total of 3 kids, but only one of them living earth-side while the other two are in Heaven. My husband and I would like to have another baby at some point, either through pregnancy or adoption. But we are open to whatever the Lord has planned.
2. WRITE 5 CHILDREN’S BOOKS (I THINK PUBLISHING AT LEAST ONE A YEAR SOUNDS GOOD)
I’ve written 2 children’s book but only published one. So, I should get going on this goal.
3. PUBLISH MY MEMOIR (I BETTER HAVE THIS DONE BY THEN)
This has not happened yet. But every year I’m working on it and putting myself one step closer to publishing.
4. MOVE UP IN MY FIELD WORKING WITH CHILDREN (WHETHER THAT BE JUST MORE RESPONSIBILITY OR A PROMOTION… I’M UP FOR ANYTHING)
I technically completed this goal because in March of 2021, I was promoted to opener at my childcare center. However, At this time in my life I’m not really sure if and when I will return to the workforce. I am really enjoying the stay-at-home mom life. If I do return back to my field of child development/ early childhood, I hope to move up and test the waters in curriculum design or even administration. For now I’m going to continue to dabble in children’s literacy.
5. MOVE INTO A HOUSE (I WOULD PREFER HERE IN MICHIGAN, BUT WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS)
I mean we have started the pre approval process and looking around. We are very close to completing this goal and hope to have a house by the end of the year.
6. GET A DOG (SOMEDAY SOON!)
Eventually, I would like to have a dog. But I would like to focus first on homesteading and getting some chickens.
7. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING (SOMEHOW AND SOME WAY I WOULD HOPE TO MAKE A SMALL INCOME OFF OF MY HOBBY)
I still would like to do this, but I’m not sure how. I also feel like my niche is changing and I’m not sure what I truly want to focus on.
8. MAKE MY DOG A BRAND AMBASSADOR (FOR REAL, I WANT TO TRY THIS)
This would be fun. It’s not a super important goal to me anymore, but if we do get a dog, I’d like to try it.
9. GO ON A WEEK LONG VACATION TO SOME PLACE WARM (FORT LAUDERDALE, OR MYRTLE BEACH SOUND NICE)
Yes, yes, and yes. This hasn’t happened since the year we got married. We are due for a vacation. We should start planning!
10. HAVE 5,000 FOLLOWERS ON MY BLOG (TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT MY BLOG YA’LL!)
I have over 300 followers now. Slow and steady wins the race right?
11. GET A CAT (THE DOG WILL NEED A FRIEND)
I did get a cat! His name is Rocky! We adopted him in 2020, shortly after I wrote this original post! He’s the best little fur ball!
12. PAY OFF HALF MY STUDENT LOANS (GET THEM THINGS PAID OFF)
This hasn’t happened yet because of the pandemic.
13. ATTEND AN NCFR OR NAEYC CONFERENCE (NOW, THIS WOULD BE FUN)
I still think this would be fun! I should look into when the next conference is!
14. WRITE A SELF CARE JOURNAL FOR WOMEN (WE ALL NEED A LITTLE DAILY SELF CARE)
I have the beginnings of a rough draft tucked away in a filing cabinet. I should probably dig that out…
15. VISIT NEW YORK CITY (I WANT TO SEE TIME SQUARE, GROUND ZERO, ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER, THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS)
I still really want to do this. Even if it’s not before I’m 30, hopefully before I die.
16. BE ON THE TODAY SHOW (I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CRAZY, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE COOL… WHO KNOWS IF IT WILL EVER HAPPEN)
I still think this would be cool. I have no idea how it would happen though.
17. GIVE A TED TALK (IT WOULD BE TERRIFYING, BUT I’D LOVE TO DO IT.
Same thing as the Today show. Don’t know how it would happen, but it would be cool.
18. WRITE 1,000 BLOG POSTS (THIS SHOULD BE DO-ABLE)
I’m on my way! Written about 415, so at least 585 or so to go!
19. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
This goal is always In process.
20. BE A GREAT WOMAN, MOM, WIFE, DAUGHTER, SISTER, FRIEND, TEACHER, AUTHOR AND HUMAN
One day at a time. Always striving to be the best I can be.
A year ago, my baby whom I prayed for, cried for and hoped for came into the world. He was absolutely perfect. He cried when my midwife laid him on my chest. He had ten fingers and ten toes, with my eyes and Daddy’s nose.
This past year, I’ve watched my Baby Bear grow from newborn, to infant to toddler. He is everything I’ve hoped for, yet nothing I’ve expected. He’s the perfect mix of his Daddy and I.
At 1 year old Matthew has…
85% mastered walking and is running about 6 steps before falling.
100% mastered crawling
Singing, dancing and clapping
Talking saying words like momma, da, nana, wa-wa, night night, hi, hey, more, and done
Signing, saying more, all done, help, please and thank you
Wearing size 12-18 month clothes.
Our little buddy has been such a blessing to our lives. We love him so much and thank God for each and everyday. I’m so excited to continue to watch him grow. ❤️
One year. I know you won’t remember the first year of your life, but I will; cause it’s been the best year of mine. Happy 1st Birthday my sweet boy. I thank God for blessing me with such a sweet, goofy, strong, determined, charismatic son. God knew what He was doing when he chose us to be your parents. This past year has changed me, challenged me and stretched me in ways I didn’t know were possible. I loved watching you grow from newborn, to infant to toddler, and I can’t wait for the years ahead. You have been the best gift. Love you and thank you for being you! 💕
My name is Kaylee. If you’re new around here… you may not know much about me. Allow me to introduce myself. I am 24 years old and started this blog about a year and a half ago. I love writing and helping others through my stories of loss and hardship. However, I thought I would mix it up a bit.
Today, I am going to be sharing a few humorous stories about how I somehow seem to catch things on fire. The ironic thing is, my Daddy is a retired firefighter but for some reason… fire just seems to follow me. So, sit back, relax and enjoy these humorous stories.
FIRE STORY 1: THE FIRE IN THE OVEN
When Charles and I first got married, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment. One evening after work I decided to bake some chicken wings, and chopped carrots, onions and potatoes. Everything was going great, until I smelled smoke.
I was relaxing in the living room and went to the oven to check it out. The oven did not have a window, so I had to open the door. When I opened the door there was about a four inch flame in corner of the oven. I panicked and yelled for Charles. We didn’t know what to do, and looked ridiculous running around the kitchen.
He told me to calm down and find the fire extinguisher I handed it to him and he used it on the fire. Whelp, that was the end of our dinner. I then called the fire department to have them come check it out. I also called my mom, who panicked and came to help us.
When the fire department arrived, the first one into our apartment was a rookie firefighter and he was so excited for his first fire. He looked very disappointed however, when he realized the fire was small and already out.
The firefighters helped us air out all the smoke, and my mom gave us some money so we could eat at McDonalds for dinner. We figured out later that some grease from the chicken fell on the bottom of the oven and caused the flame. We also discovered that the smoke detector did not work, so in a way it was a blessing that things happened the way they did.
FIRE STORY 2: THE FIRE IN THE MICROWAVE
So, some time last spring I was really into homemade popcorn. I loved air popping the kernels myself, and melting my own butter. One afternoon when I was melting the butter, I heard a really strange sound coming from the microwave. I’m not exaggerating when I say it almost sounded like a radioactive popping sound. I only melted the butter for 10 seconds. I looked around the microwave and didn’t see anything.
About three days later, I made more popcorn. I melted butter and heard the sound again. I looked around the microwave and saw a gray spot on the side near a vent. I thought it was weird but just figured it was something that splattered earlier.
The next day I made popcorn for me and Charles. I decided to make microwave popcorn this time. As it was cooking and had about a minute to go, I heard Bang! Bang! Bang! coming from the microwave. I looked through the window and noticed sparks coming from the inside. I immediately pushed stop, opened the door and unplugged it.
I tried to remove the popcorn bag, and a third of it was black, burnt and smoking. I put it in the sink and ran the water. I looked inside the microwave and one of the vents was black with a hole in it.
Charles then came into the kitchen and said “Girl, what did you do?” I told him what happened and tried to calm myself down but also started laughing. We were without a microwave for about three days until we were finally able to get a new one. We discovered that somehow a build up of grease and butter likely splattered into the vent and caught it on fire.
FIRE STORY 3: THE FIRE FROM THE GLUE GUN
Sometime last winter, I decided to pull out my glue gun to work on some projects. To be honest, I can’t even remember what I was working on. Anyway, I pulled out the glue gun, and realized the cord would not reach the table if I plugged it into the wall. So, I plugged it into the surge protector on the floor… big mistake.
As I was in my own little craft world, hot gluing away, I was focused close to my project with my face near the glue gun. I sat up to stretch my neck and as I was sitting up I heard Pow! I jolted back into the couch and watched the huge spark from the glue gun turn into smoke. Half my living room went dark and I realized I blew a fuse.
I tried to compose myself enough to call my dad… since he is a retired firefighter. He told me to unplug everything and call maintenance. Everything ended up being fine, and I later learned that you’re not supposed to plug heating elements into surge protectors… lesson learned.
FIRE STORY 4: THE FIRE AT THE CABIN.
Not going to lie, this is probably my favorite fire story because of all the shenanigans that occurred. I certainly saved the best for last.
On Halloween of 2014, my best friend Andrea and I went to her family’s cabin. It was honestly a fun trip, despite everything that happened. The next day on November 1st, Andrea and I drove to the town store that was famous for its’ jerky and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles since we had just started dating. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our bras and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt so bad but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay.
As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help. Later that night Andrea called her dad and told him what happened. To this day we still laugh about this story.