Finally, a new year. I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to go the way it did. When thousands of people were creating goals last January 1st, I’m sure none of them expected a global pandemic, a deadly sickness called the Corona virus, distance learning, state shut downs and the everyday wearing of face masks. None the less, it is officially 2021. We made it to another year.
I pray that this year is a 100 times better than last year in every way. And if not, I pray that through any struggle we may face, I pray we are able to learn and make the most of every situation.
This year I have written down 10 goals that I hope to complete in the year 2021.
My Goals for 2021
Publish My Memoir
Pay Off My Car
Recieve My FLE Certification
Lose 20 lbs.
Buy A New Car
Publish a Second Children’s Book
Read The Entire Bible
Publish a Self Care Journal
Pay Off My Credit Card
Start a Family
My deadline to complete these goals is December 31st, 2021 at midnight. Let the first page of this 365 page book begin!
2020 was a year many thought would be a fresh start. It was the beginning of a new decade and a year for clear vision.,, or so we thought. But instead we were all taken for a loop by this deadly sickness called the Corona virus. In many people there was sheer panic and anxiety, and not long after the way we once lived our lives was no longer. We went from having the freedom to socialize with anyone and everyone, to being instructed to remain 6 feet apart with anyone out side our household. We were required to wear masks everywhere, and no longer had the freedom to dine in restaurants. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as college were forced to complete their studies strictly online.
This year has been anxiety inducing, confusing, exhausting, unpredictable and unexpected. But despite all of that, we have all had the chance at putting things into perspective. With a variety of shut downs and quarantines we have had more opportunities to spend quality time with our immediate families. We have learned to appreciate the time and moments we shared because they are precious, and the future is not promised.
For me personally, this year has been rough, but I have been given a lot blessings as well. This was a big year for me despite the craziness. Today I would like to reflect on 2020, the ups and downs, the blessings and challenges and everything in between.
Recap of My Goals for 2020
Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. ✔️
Pay off my Car ✖️
Recieve my Certification in Family Life Education ✖️
Get a Pet ✔️
Publish my Memoir ✖️
Move to a New Home ✔️
Get Certified as a Life Coach ✖️
Recap of 2020
I started my last semester of college.
Started taking Plexus daily.
I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.
I started a new job as a Lead Preschool Teacher.
Covid – 19 hit the US and life as we knew it changed.
We moved to our new apartment.
I finished my last semester of college.
My state and pretty much the country was forced into an immediate say-at-home order.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child and Family Development.
I returned back to work after being laid off.
I redecorated my new apartment.
I celebrated my 2nd Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.
I honored my Due Date for my 2nd baby.
Charles and I started trying again.
I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
My husband got a new job.
I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.
I turned 25.
I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
I grew 9 plants on my balcony.
I hit 6 months of working at my job.
Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.
I reached 150 followers on my blog.
I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.
I was named teacher of the month at my Job.
I did some goal setting for the year ahead.
2020 was crazy and definitely a year of change. Moving forward I predict 2021 will bring it’s own set of challenges and blessings. 💕
Bruschetta is one of my favorite meals to make. I often make Bruschetta as an hors d’oeuvre for a holiday meal. However, sometimes I also make bruschetta as a breakfast meal. Check out my newest creation: Breakfast Bruschetta.
What You Need (Feeds 4)
4 slices of White Bread
8 Sausage Patties
Tomato (2 Medium or Large)
Onion (1/2 a red onion)
Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)
Cilantro (1 teaspoon)
Basil (1 teaspoon)
Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)
What You Do
First, make the bruschetta. Finely chop tomatoes, onion and garlic. Mix these three ingredients together and add the seasonings cilantro, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Set bruschetta aside.
Next, spray cooking spray on a large skillet. Place on burner at a medium heat. Place sausage patties on skillet. Flip patties every three minutes. Cook until dark brown/black.
While sausage is cooking, toast 4 pieces of bread in a toaster at medium heat. Place toast on a plate and set aside.
Finally, place a medium size skillet on a burner. Spray with cooking spray and turn burner on to medium heat. Cook four eggs over medium.
Once all food is cooked, place one piece of toast on each plate. Place 2 sausage patties on each plate. Place one over medium egg on each slice of toast. Scoop bruschetta evenly over each plate and enjoy!
It is time again for another blog post round up! The following are a list of recent blog posts that were not only popular but also a favorite to myself and many of my readers.
My Kitchen Reveal!
In late March, my husband and I moved to our new apartment right at the beginning of the Corona virus Pandemic. It was crazy, quick and overwhelming. Regardless of how we got here, we absolutely love our new home. Check out my kitchen reveal post to see how I decorated our kitchen.
New Edition to the Family!
As many of you know, we did add a new edition to our family this year, and his name is Rocky. He is a gray, long haired domestic tabby. He is super smart, hilarious, and sassy. We love him so much and are so glad we adopted him.
Deep Fried Pickles Recipe
Since graduating from college, I have found myself in the kitchen more often. Part of this is because I have more time to cook, and it is also because I no longer have the luxury of eating meals at the dining hall. Check out my Deep Fried Pickles recipe, and other recipes I will be sharing this month.
What’s My Why?
What’s my why? This is a question that many influencers ask themselves. What’s the reason I write a blog? What’s the reason I advocate for this important cause? What’s the reason I do what I do every single day? This blog post talks all about why I do what I do.
Another Plants Update
This past summer was the first summer I had a balcony. I took full advantage of this balcony by growing many different plants. Check out my different blog posts this summer of my progress and fails in growing plants.
It’s Been 19 Years Since the World Changed
It has been 19 years since 9/11 happened. As I mentioned in this blog post, it is one of the first tragic terrorist attacks that I can recall in my life time. In this post I discuss my memories of that fateful day.
Happy Fall Ya’ll
Having holidays in a new apartment, means I get to try some new decorating ideas. For example, I have never had my own fireplace that I have been able to decorate. But this year, I plan to decorate it for every season. Check out this post to see how I decorated for fall.
Expanding Our Family… What’s Next for Us
This unexpectedly, was a super popular post. This was the post where I shared our thoughts on expanding our family. I also share a tentative 2 year plan as we prepare for parenthood.
Taco Baked Potato Recipe
I am such a huge fan of potatoes and tacos. So I thought, why not combine the two? In this post I share my recipe of a Taco Baked Potato.
Christmas Decorating 2020
Yes, I know… another decorating post. But I can’t help it, I love decorating and home decor. Check out this post to see how I decorated this year for Christmas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This year has been quite crazy, I can’t stress that enough. So, I thought my home was in need of a little Christmas cheer. Many times I try to wait until after my anniversary (mid November) to decorate my home for Christmas. But this year, I decided to go ahead and decorate my home a little early. With a new apartment, a fireplace, and some extra time off… I figured why not.
This year I was able to put 3 stockings over my new fireplace. One stocking is for my husband, one for myself and one for my kitty Rocky. My hubby and I are considering exchanging stockings this year, since we were able to hang our stockings.
This right here is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It is a hand made, crocheted nativity scene that was gifted to us for our wedding. We absolutely love it!
My Santa Clause clothes line is an antique, and was passed down to me from my Grandma. While growing up my Grandma hung a normal little clothes line in her window over her kitchen sink. But during the holidays, she hung this Santa Clause one in her window. I love this unique Christmas decoration. It is one of my favorites.
I would say my Christmas decorations are coming along, but I’m not quite finished yet. I still have a few finishing touches I would like to add. Have you decorated for Christmas yet?
First, spray sauce pan with cooking spray and place on burner over medium heat. Place unthawed ground beef in sauce pan. Let cook until browned. Mix in taco seasoning.
Next, place two potatoes in sauce pan, and add water 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Place on high heat and boil potatoes for 20 minutes. Check potatoes to see if they are softened. If still not softened, put in boiling water for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Once potatoes are soft, cut in half with a knife and place in a bowl. Mash potatoes with a fork, knife or potato masher inside of bowl.
Next, add two teaspoons of butter and spread evenly over potatoes. Then add taco meat, lettuce, black olives, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese.
Quiche is one of my favorite dishes to make in the winter season. Quiche is just one of those meals you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can change to fit your taste buds.
WHAT YOU NEED…
1 Pie Plate
1 Frozen, Pre-made Pie Crust (I use the Pillsbury Brand)
1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese (I like Cheddar)
Spinach (If desired)
Mushrooms (If desired)
Bacon Bits (If desired)
Onion (If desired)
Black Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes
1. First un-thaw pie crust. You can do this by leaving in the fridge for a day or two, or following the un-thawing directions on the package.
2. Spray pie pan with non-stick spray.
3. Next, once pie crust is unthawed, rollout pie crust into pie plate. Make sure pie crust covers the entire bottom of the plate.
4. Crack eggs into bowl and beat together. Pour eggs onto crust. Make sure eggs are spread evenly over dough.
5. Chop meat and vegetables you desire, and disperse evenly into quiche. Some things I like to add to make my quiche include, spinach, bacon, sausage, ham, mushrooms, basil, black pepper, green peppers and cheese.
6. Add cheese, black peeper and red pepper flakes on top.
7. Preheat oven to 400* and cook quiche for approximately 30 minutes. Quiche is ready when the egg in the middle is cooked.
Good morning and happy November! I don’t know about you, but it sure takes me a moment to get used to day lights savings time every year. Regardless, I absolutely love November. It is one of my favorites, for many reasons. I love November because it is Fall, and Fall is my favorite season. My boyfriend, now husband started dating in November. We were also married two years later in November, and I always look forward to Thanksgiving. It’s such a festive holiday that can be spent as an intimate family gathering to an extravagant family affair.
Since it is officially November, and becoming the cooking/baking season, I thought I would take this month to share many of my homemade recipes.
Today, I will be sharing my Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham recipe!
What You Need…
Medium frying pan
Oil or cooking spray
4lb ham pre-sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Feta cheese crumbles
Pitted kalamata olives
Small 8×8 pan
What You Do…
1. First remove ham from wrapping and place in a 8×8 pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to ensure it stays juicy. Place aluminum foil over top of ham and around edges of pan creating a tent. Preheat oven to 375° and cook for 20 minutes.
* Disclaimer, I bought my ham from my local grocery store, and it was fully cooked and unthawed. I would recommend following the instructions on the ham you purchase for the best result.
2. Once ham is almost finished cooking, place frying pan on a burner and spray with oil or cooking spray. Turn burner on to a medium heat.
3. Crack two eggs and break the yolks by whisking with a fork. You can do this in a bowl, and then pour the eggs into the frying pan or crack eggs directly into frying pan. Allow eggs to cook as flat and level to the bottom of the pan as possible, creating a circle shape.
4. Chop omelette ingredients including, kalamata olives, spinach leaves, and red onion.
5. Once eggs look mostly cooked, start placing spatula underneath the edges of the eggs. Doing this will make it easier to fold the omelette. Place spinach, kalamata olives, onion, and cheddar cheese on one side of the eggs. Let sit for 30 seconds or until there is no more runny egg.
6. Check on ham in the oven around this time as it should be finished cooking. Remove from oven, and pull back foil so it can cool.
7. Once eggs look cooked, fold the side of the eggs without ingredients, over the side with ingredients, creating a half circle/ shape of the omelette. Let sit for another minute, turn off heat and sprinkle black pepper, basil and feta cheese crumbles.
8. Slide omelette gently on to plate (this step can be tricky). Next take two or tree slices of ham and place them on the plate.
9. For a little more flavor, feel free to add some hummus or avacado on top.
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
Okay, so I had no idea deep fried Oreos were even an option, until my mom mentioned something about carnival food. When she mentioned deep fried Oreos, I immediately searched the internet for different recipes. After pulling various ingredients and tips from different recipes, I think I was able to come up with the perfect recipe.
What You Need
Oreos (I used Oreo Thins but regular Oreos will work too)
Oil (olive oil, coconut oil or vegetable oil works)
Pancake Mix (Any brand will do, I used about 2 cups)
Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)
Milk (1 cup, or as much as you need to make the batter smooth and thin).
Powdered Sugar (a couple tsp)
What You Do
First, mix the pancake batter, vanilla extract, egg and milk into a medium size bowl.
Next, place oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Place enough oil to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
Once oil is heated in the pan, take your Oreos and dip them into the pancake batter. Then place Oreos in oil. After about a minute, flip Oreo to cook other side. Continue this process until you have enough Oreos of your choice.
Lastly, place Oreos on a plate and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.
Friends, I’m not going to sugar coat it 😂. These Oreos are yummy but super rich and unhealthy. So don’t eat them all in one setting. Enjoy!
Homemade stir-fry is one of my favorite meals to make, because it’s so easy. Like many of the recipes I have shared, part of what makes it easy is that you can generally use vegetables and spices you already have at home.
Olive Oil (4 tablespoons)
Brown Sugar (1/3 Cup)
Thai or Asian Noodles (Ramen Noodles work too)
Soy Sauce (2 tablespoons)
Garlic (1/2 a clove)
Ground Ginger (3 Dashes)
Black Pepper (3 Dashes)
Oregano (3 Dashes)
Basil (3 Dashes)
Any Veggies of your choice! Ex: Celery, mushrooms, onion, peppers, carrots, broccoli, fresh cilantro etc.
What You Do…
1. First, fill a medium size saucepan of 2/3 of water and bring it to a boil. Once water is boiling, add noodles of your choice. My favorite kind of noodles to use are the Thai brand stir-fry noodles that can be found at Walmart.
2. Next, pull out a cutting board and chop any veggies you would like to include in the dish.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and place on medium heat.
4. Add chopped up vegetables, and brown sugar to frying pan. Cook until veggies begin to turn brown and dark.
5. Once noodles are soft, remove from heat and drain noodles. Place noodles in a bowl.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over noodles. Remove sautéed veggies from heat and place over noodles. Add additional spices including oregano, garlic, basil, ground ginger and black pepper. Add soy sauce, stir noodles and enjoy. 💕
Optional Tip: Feel free to add a protein to the stir-fry including chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu.
Additional Tip: it is VERY important to add both brown sugar and soy sauce. Not including one of these items will result in the dish being too sweet or too salty. Add both ingredients as needed for the perfect blend.