Butternut Squash Meatball Breakfast

Saturday mornings are my favorite.  I wake up, run, drink coffee, grocery shop and cook.  There are not many things I love more than spending the morning in the kitchen whipping up a meal (okay – I love my boyfriend, cats, family, friends and sparkling wine more – in no particular order).  When one of the first free Saturdays in weeks rolled up, I had a mish mash of ideas of what I wanted to make.  Here is what I had to work with:

1 sweet potato that NEEDED to be used.

I decided to go with some kind of bowl with a fried egg on top.  After walking through the grocery store with an extremely empty stomach, I settled on turkey meatballs with a butternut squash sauce and swoodles (see below).

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles – I recently discovered the Zoodle Maker which is a tool used to grind zucchini into a spaghetti-like shape.  It’s actually really great and can be used for a number of other veggies, too.  I.E.: Swoodles! (See photo below).

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles

Swoodles: Sweet Potato Noodles

I threw the Swoodles in with some homemade turkey meatballs and Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce.

Butternut Squash Turkey Meatball Swoodles

Butternut Squash Turkey Meatball Swoodles

Since the single sweet potato did not make quite as much as I expected, I also made some quinoa which resulted in the layering as so:

1st layer: Quinoa

2nd layer: Meatball/Swoodle/Sauce

3rd layer: Mozzarella Cheese (I also had this at home, but admittedly realized the way home from the store that I really needed a good soft rich goat cheese – next time!)

4th layer: Fried Egg

Butternut Squash Swoodles with Quinoa and Egg

Butternut Squash Swoodles with Quinoa and Egg

Let me tell you, I was full from this meal from 11am to 7pm!


1lb Lean Turkey

1 Chopped Onion

Sprinkle salt/pepper

Sprinkle Basil (fresh and dried)

Sprinkle Rosemary (fresh)

Sprinkle Oregano (fresh)

2 eggs

1/4 cupish bread crumbs

Grease pan and ball in 2 inchish balls and bake for 20 minutes.

Once Meatballs are finished, spoon into sauce with Swoodles and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve by self or over quinoa, brown rice, potatoes or other!  Add cheese and egg as preferred!





Happy New Year!

Like everyone else, the beginning of a new year represents a fresh start for me.  I reminisce on the past year, thinking fondly and sometimes not so fondly of moments that I hope to or hope to not remember forever.  It can be difficult to avoid dwelling on what was not accomplished.  The key is to remember that tomorrow is always a new day, and whether it is January 1st or August 15th, you can resolve to make positive changes in your life any time of the year.  That being said, I have a few of my own that I will be starting…today, though I may choose to tack on more throughout the year.  My goal: make it all 52 weeks without giving up.  Frequent gym goers are familiar with the “January Crowd” – The people that resolve to better themselves by working out, but come February, the gym, like-clockwork, slims down again (pun intended?) when people quit, get too busy and give up.  I challenge you this year to make time for your resolutions.  Don’t be a “January Crowd”.  Push yourself, so that next year, your resolution will not be the same as last year and the year before and the year before and the year before….. but positive additions to your lifestyle.

This year I gained new members to the family and lost some others.  For the family we gained, I love you with my heart.  It is hard to believe there was a time without you because you fit in as if you were always there.  For those we lost, I resolve to remember you everyday.  Remember how you touched our lives, but not dwelling on the last conversation I’d wished we had.

This was my best year yet, I hope 2014 is even better.  Cheers!





Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Take me there.  I can practically feel the humidity and smell the tropical greenery.  Plus, I absolutely love that dress.  (Image via Pinterest but no original source!)

A couple of links:
25 Kids Too Trendy For Their Own Good  (I’ve actually seen S wear #13’s full outfit.)

Seven, Wild, and Free – a blog about a family of 7 living in a van.  Oh, and the 8 year old and 10 year old run ultra marathons.  Completely opposite of the link above. Haha!

Looking forward to a chill weekend before heading into 2 continuous weeks of bridesmaiding!



Bozarth Mansion Wedding

I headed back over to the east side of the state last weekend for a wedding in Spokane at the Bozarth Mansion.  Bri’s parents bought the cabin next to ours at Priest Lake about 10 years ago, and they have been close family friends since. R had last Friday off, so we went out with friends in Tacoma and I planned on packing/leaving early Saturday morning. Late night Friday led to crazy rushing Saturday and I had about 10 minutes to get ready for the wedding once I got to Spokane. All of my anxiousness dissolved as soon as we arrived at the mansion. Bri and her mom, Kim, had done a wonderful job creating a charming, intimate, and elegant detail orientated ceremony and reception (with support from the menfolk too of course!).


There were hankies wrapped with a ribbon for everyone.


Bri’s bouquet was SO gorgeous – complete with a little bling.


The centerpieces were HUGE, tall hurricanes filled with roses, ranunculus, hydrangeas, and greenery.  The reception was in the Bozarth garden area, which like I said before, had a very intimate feeling.  There are big trees that provide shade, the walls and walkways are brick and there is a quaint fountain.  It was like the Secret Garden.  When the sun went down, candles and overhead Edison style string lights provided soft lighting.

It has been so fun this summer attending so many different styles of weddings, each day reflects such personality.  I just love it!

Make it a wonderful week!



Thursday Inspiration

When we were kids we went to a family reunion for my dad’s side of the family.  We stayed with some people in Lodi, California,  I don’t even remember what the relationship was, but I do remember that they had this beautiful backyard with a pool.  For years after (and probably before) we BEGGED my parents to put one into the backyard.  I mean – they have the space.  They never did – something about cost, liability, and maintenance.  I can’t blame them for being practical.  Still, on hot summer days, I can’t help but remember that awesome pool from the family reunion house and dream about plunging into the cool water.

Tuesday Shoesday – Flats or Sandals?

Flats are storming spring and summer by rage this year and I have to say – I am loving this trend.  As the summer months get hotter, it may be tough motivation to slip your sweaty soles into a less than breezy flat.  No need to fuss though, Dolce Vita has compromised for you.

DV by Dolce Vita 'Zen' Sandal

DV by Dolce Vita ‘Zen’ Sandal can be found at Nordstrom.com – currently on sale for $52.89

The “Zen” sandal-flat will be super cute all summer long and will give your toes the fresh air they crave.  Available in Black, Cognac, Sea Blue and White.  I went for the Cognac to be sure they will go with almost anything, but I’m tempted to dive in with the Sea Blue as well…



Chai on my mind

What’s not to love about a great chai tea?  Most coffee shops make chai tea with similar ingredients, one specifically-chai concentrate.  Chai concentrate makes for creating a delicious chai tea quickly.  It contains a blend of teas accented with sweet cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and vanilla.  After it is combined with steamed milk, it creates a hard to beat combination-or so I thought.

Here in Kenya, they make their chai just a little differently.  It seems to be a staple throughout the country.  Dormans Coffee for one, provides chai tea for a morning and afternoon teatime every day for all employees.  It is made in massive amounts and no one misses it when teatime rolls around.

Although chai concentrate makes a killer chai, I personally believe the fresher the better.  If you want to try the Kenyan way at home, check out this recipe (this is a large batch and from one of the amazing women who makes it at Dormans):


  • 6 cups water
  • 7 teaspoons tea leaves (or five bags)  black tea
  • 6 cups milk
  • 10-15 teaspoons sugar (to taste)


  1. Heat together water and tea leaves in a saucepan.
  2. Boil 10 minutes and add milk.  Heat to near boiling.
  3. Strain leaves.
  4. Add sugar to taste.

Teatime Chai at Dormans

Maybe you can drink  it with the  Chai Shortbread Cookies with Pink Salt recipe H recently posted.



Modern Day Victory Garden!

In the 1940’s the Department of Agriculture created a huge campaign to fight food cost inflation called the Victory Garden. The concept was backed by the thoughts that gardeners would feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the fruits of their labors – literally.

I’m not sure if it is because I’m getting older, but it seems like more and more of my friends are planting their own gardens. In the same victory style concept but now, less to fight food cost inflation but more to support farm to table style dining. And more because of the fear of what the pesticides in our food could mean for our future generations. Organic farming is the new victory garden.

I think I mentioned before that I joined a CSA for the first time this year. Every week I pick up a small share from Terry’s Berries in Puyallup, WA. I’ve been getting so much produce, paired with the things from my own garden that I’ve had to split the small share with my parents. If you do have too much produce from your garden and you’re tired of freezing, canning, or prepping, most food banks are happy to take them as donation.

Think organic products can’t be as big as normal ones? Check out this spinach leaf.

Are you growing a garden this year? Organic or not? Involved in a CSA?



Designer Tuesday

In Lieu of our usual Tuesday Shoesday, I thought I would highlight a designer purse that I have been coveting.  Dooney and Bourke reminds me of my mom because when we were kids she had this classic Dooney green purse with a matching wallet and coin purse that my dad had given her one Christmas.  At the time I didn’t realize that it was a timeless beauty, but I liked the duck emblem.

I’m going on a trip to Kenya in the fall and have been looking for the perfect natural colored bag to bring.  I can’t help but picture myself with this:

Dooney & Bourke ‘Florentine’ Vachetta Leather Satchel

Probably an inappropriate choice for my travels, but I’ve never been one to conform.




Tuesday Shoesday: Aren’t half sizes funny?

A couple of weeks ago I woke up and performed my morning ritual – checking flash sale sites.  I’ve learned through the years that checking these sites in the morning, right after you wake up, is the worst time.  You’re disoriented, tired and capable of making really compulsive online purchases.  Okay I admit, I’m no stranger to online compulsive shopping, but this particular time takes the cake.  I found the Matisse Hendrix sandal on Hautelook.com for $34.  A shoe that sold for $140 when it first came out.  Unfortunately, the 8.5 was sold out.  In my delusional online shopping frantic state I put the 8 in my cart, and decided that the leather straps will maybe stretch.  The truth is, the only shoe I own in an 8 is an UGG Boot and any other size 8 shoe is a thing of my fifth grade past.  Still, I crossed my fingers with hope.  I could tell the second I pulled them from the box that I was pushing my limits.  Sure enough, too small.  Aren’t half sizes funny?

Lucky for H, they fit her and I didn’t have to deal with returning.

Matisse Hendrix Sandal

The Matisse Hendrix Sandal can currently be picked up in Black, Tobacco and Beige at endless.com for $89.05.   Endless offers free shipping and returns, so if you jump on these babies and order a half size wrong, Endless has you covered.