recipes. whatever is true. adoption. whatever is just. redemption. whatever is honorable. modesty. whatever is pure. motherhood. whatever is lovely. think about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THM (S) Mexican Fried Ice Cream


Oh, girls... you are gonna LOVE me.  I just stumbled upon a dessert that has been a favorite of mine for years... Mexican Fried Ice Cream!!  If you have visited my blog in the past, you know that I love to adapt off-plan recipes into yummy & healthy treats that are GREAT for you!       In fact, this is so ridiculously yummy, I didn't even try to find my camera- I just uploaded a fun shot from a website so that I could bring this to you right away!  And the best part is that it is SO easy to make!  Ready?!
 First, have a batch of your favorite "tummy-tucking ice cream" ready to go in the freezer.  I would prefer vanilla bean for this recipe, personally.  I use a variety of coconut milk, almond milk & heavy cream with fresh vanilla & sweetener of choice.

Next, whip up a little homemade whipped cream.  Using heavy whipping cream, beat on high with electric mixers until thick, but not butter!  Add sweetener of choice and put in the fridge.

Okay, here is the best part.  Get one large piece of the Joseph's lavash bread and brush it ON BOTH SIDES with coconut oil, a sprinkle of cinnamon & a shake of your favorite sweet blend.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into 6 equal squares.  Push these squares into muffin tins and bake in your oven on 325 until crisp & bubbly... maybe 10 minutes or so?  Let them sit and cool so that they take on the form and become crisp, but are still slightly warm"ish".  

Put in a scoop of your ice cream, top with your whipped cream & drizzle some skinny chocolate on top.  If you are feeling crazy, put a bright red cherry on top too!




Thursday, July 17, 2014

{S} THM Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
{ Gluten Free & Sugar Free}

Get the Pinterest pin here!!

One of my favorite aspects of the summer season is all the fresh vegetables and fruits available from our garden or local farms in our community.  We were blessed this year to receive a bounty of zucchini from a friend and I wanted to put it to good use. 

Our family LOVES "pan breads" and I wanted to try and adapt a recipe for blueberry zucchini bread for our THM (Trim Healthy Mama) lifestyle.  I used this recipe as my base: 

 This bread recipe boasts two large loaves and can easily be frozen to store if you want to double or triple your batch based on the amt of zucchini you have to use.  I had a bit of batter left over that I poured into a mini-baking dish for the kids to snack on.

This is a gluten free & sugar free recipe and falls under the "S" category for all you THM'ers.   You can also substitute the butter below for coconut oil if you need to convert this to dairy-free as well although it may change the flavor slightly.

Ingredient List:

Fresh grated zucchini 
Handful of fresh blueberries
Butter (Or Coconut Oil if you need a Dairy Free option) 
Coconut Flour
Flax Meal
Almond Flour
Baking Powder

Here we go! 

This recipe is SO easy because you just put everything into one bowl, mix & pour into parchment paper lined (and greased) baking pans.  

Combine the following into a large mixing bowl and blend with electric beaters until thoroughly mixed:

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 sticks of melted butter (*Update 7/17- I made another batch of this recipe today and only used 2 sticks of butter and found that it was just as yummy, so if you want to save some calories & some butter- just go with 2 sticks!)
  • 2 cups of xylitol
  • Splash of vanilla
Once your wet ingredients have been blended, then add your dry ingredients and blend again using electric beaters:

  • 1 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (Take 1/2 cup of whole dry oats and put in your coffee grinder or blender to make a flour/powder)  Yes, technically oats are an "E", BUT this amt will be spread over the entire batch and will stay within your S boundaries.  I have found that this small amt of oats is essential to help the bread stay together in a "pan loaf" form, but if you are uncomfortable using it, just add 1/4 more of your coconut flour)

*Lastly, add 1 cup of fresh blueberries and gently fold these into your batter.  You are allowed 1/2 cup serving of blueberries in an "S" dish and these will spread throughout the entire batch making this a safe amount.  (For a variation of this recipe, you can eliminate the blueberries and add 1 cup of chocolate chips- Lilly's or other plan-safe options).

Baking Directions:

Fill your pans roughly half-full and bake 350 degrees x 30-45 minutes.  Keep checking to ensure they are done in the middle. Let them cool for 15 minutes and then remove the loaves out of the pan using the paper to pull them out.  Let them sit on the paper for another hour before moving them to cutting board or wrapping for later.  Keep refrigerated.  Enjoy!

I hope your family loves this recipe as much as we do!  Serving size (depending on how you slice the bread) is 2-3 slices with a nice pat of butter.  Because of the blueberries/oats, just be careful that you are not eating other foods along with this bread that would put you over the "S" carb level.  I enjoy my bread as a snack by itself or along with a fried egg and 2 strips of bacon for a super yummy breakfast! 

 Thanks for visiting and enjoy!



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Adoption Update

As many of you know, we were matched with a birth mama in early March with our local agency.  It was a complete surprise to us!  I say this quite loosely, because when you go through the hoops of paperwork, state home study visits, doctor's reports and exams, fingerprinting, criminal checks, fundraising, profiling, baby clothes shopping, car-seat installing, ridiculous amount of stress, lack of sleep, waiting and waiting, etc., why on earth should you be surprised when your agency actually calls and says, "You've been picked!"?  Alas, ask any adoptive family and they are always surprised.  It's a gift, I suppose. 

We received that phone call at 2pm in the afternoon on a rainy and dreary day, but of course it seemed like sunshine was streaming in the windows after this special call!  The phone call that sent us in hundreds of different directions all at once.  A baby boy due in a matter of weeks that needs a family desperately and she picked you.  She wants to meet you!  You are the family! 

If you aren't living in a hole,  I'm sure you are aware of the fundraising frenzy that ensued shortly after our news to prepare for this sweet little guy financially.  Through your generous donations, auction bids and surprise gifts we raised the money needed to bring him home.

His due date was May 2, 2013.  Last week we put together his crib in our bedroom under the verse on our wall that says, "For this child I have prayed and the Lord has given me the desire of my heart." And we waited.  I washed up all the little t-shirts, socks, pants and sleepers and gently folded them in his special tote.  We installed the car-seat and packed his diaper bag for the hospital.   And we waited.  We bought a gift for the birth mama and I worked on her card.  What do you say to the woman who has chosen you to care for her child?   Oh, my heart was excited, but cautiously optimistic.  Adoption is a roller coaster and you never know what is going to happen.  We continued to wait and trust on the Lord.

Remember the story of Joseph in the Bible?  Favorite son of his father, hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused and imprisoned, released and set in a place of honor, saved the nation of Israel, etc.  His brothers had purposefully and maliciously sold him and lied about it to their father, Jacob, who grieved the death of his son for decades.  His brothers held it heavy on their consciences for years and in the middle of it all Joseph is kept from having a relationship with his family in his country for the best years of his life.

When it all came down in the end of the story and these brothers stood before Joseph (unaware at first of who he was) in Pharaoh's court, they were scared out of their mind for the revenge he might take on them for their dastardly dead so many years before.  But do you remember what he said in response?  Joseph replied, "And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life." 

Joseph had a realization of God's sovereignty.  Sovereignty means that God, as the ruler of the Universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens and it is for His good and His glory and for the good of his children- although it may not always look that way to us.  The true God of the Bible does not simply react to blessing or adversity, but rather He ordains it, purposes it, plans it and carries out His will.  Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." 

God allowed Joseph to go through some very hard times in his life, but he also chose to give him success and favor with the many Egyptians that he worked with over the years.  There wasn't anything special about Joseph, but God chose him and set him apart to show him grace.  Keep in mind, however, that in the end, it was so that the nation of Israel and so many other surrounding countries would be saved from the horrible famine.  Yes, the famine that God sent to show His great glory so that the people would know that HE IS GOD.  Some may have been in that famine as judgement, some so that they would see God's mercy and grace and turn from idol worship and child sacrifice, some to be reminded of the kindness of God and the saving power from death.

We can't control the actions of God, nor should we ever desire to do so.  In our sinfulness we sometimes feel that we know better than God does because our situation doesn't make sense to us and He must have made the wrong decision.  Honestly, I am creating a false god  that suits myself and my whims when I choose to put him in a box and see Him either as a cruel God or a wonderful God, just depending on my positive or negative circumstances.  God doesn't change.  He is abundant in mercy and loving kindness, but remember that everything that happens is for His glory and according to his perfect will- not always my happiness or my wishes.

Joseph got to see the end of the story.  He understood the "why" in his situation.  Sometimes we will get to see that too, but sometimes we won't.  And, that needs to be okay because He is God and we are not.  I can't always see past the end of my road.  We will walk down the path and see death that seems so unnecessary to us, disease that seems such a waste and trials that should never have come to pass.  God, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, allows us to walk through this.  He is still so good and He is worthy of our worship and trust. 

We received a phone call from the agency on Sunday afternoon that this little guy was born, but we wouldn't be the ones to take him home.  He wouldn't be the one to fill our car seat  in the back of our mini-van, fit into the little sleepers and hats that I washed and folded or even gently sleep under the promising scripture on my wall.  I don't know the end of my story.  I don't know why his birth mama chose to end this adoption plan.

But I do know one thing for certain. God is faithful and He is good and He is Sovereign.   We desire to be a family that is open to any little child that needs a loving home.  We want them to hear the Gospel story of Jesus Christ and know the power of Salvation from sin and the love of our Redeemer.  But for now, we wait.  We rejoice that this mama is holding her son and pray that she would be able to protect him and keep him safe and that God would change her and heal her from her addictions so that she can be the mommy that this little guy needs. 

One day my car-seat will be filled with cheerio crumbs and the clothes will be worn through with green bean stains from the little guy (or girl) that was intended before the world was created to be grafted into our family, but for now we wait.  Thanks to everyone's excitement with us for our next adoption, we are ready and waiting for that "surprise" call that will inevitably come.  We wait patiently and we wait with joy because we trust our God and that is enough. 

Job 1:21, " And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Soli Deo Gloria,


Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Free Giveaway!!

It's Raining! It's Pouring! 
The Adoption Auction is Soaring!
OH LOOK! A Giveaway is Roaring!

We just got "the call" this week from our adoption agency that our little boy is due in just a matter of weeks... we are so excited!  We know that adoption is a huge roller-coaster and anything can happen, but for now we walk forward with joy in the anticipation of his arrival! 

We are doing a final fundraising push with our online silent ADOPTION AUCTION going on now!  If auctions aren't your thing, but you would love to help us bring Judah home, you can donate HERE!  Seriously, sit in your jammies and have fun!

Our auction has already raised over $2,000!!  We are almost halfway to our goal!  Would you help us spread the word about the auction and get your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family & church members to come over and check it out?  There are pages and pages of wonderful items to bid on...something for everyone! 



Thank you!  The Daniels 5 (Soon to be 6!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

The call is here!

Every adoptive parent waits for that call.  The call that changes your life and sends you scurrying around in excited anticipation.  It's the call that never seems to come soon enough, yet in God's sovereignty, it is the perfect timing.  It's THE CALL that tells you that a new little life is going to be joining your home... your life... your memories... your world... your family.

Well, I am excited to announce that we just got that 'call'.  THE CALL!!!!!

We understand that adoption is a roller coaster and anything can happen... anything can change...  

For now, however, with joy we will prepare for his upcoming due date:


We have been working very hard over the past month to prepare for an adoption auction that was to be held on April 15th.  BUT- due to this surprising news today, we feel that our fundraising efforts need to get pushed up as quick as possible! Things could change super fast & we want to be ready!

"These are a Few of our Favorite Things" Adoption Auction will now start tomorrow!!!
{Head over right now to take a sneak peek of our items & get your user name & password}

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's NO JOKE! April Fool's Day Giveaway!

We are officially adopting again!
'Cause who doesn't want more love & laughter in the house?  We sure do!
Are you as excited as we are?!
 One of the biggest parts of the initial adoption process is fundraising.  
 Yep, money. But that isn't going to stop us because when the Lord calls you to walk down a path, He gives you the ability and the resources in His sovereign timing!

We are excited to announce our online silent adoption auction fundraiser we are affectionately

Will you help us spread the word about our online silent adoption auction coming up on April 15th?
 You Will?  Awesome!

We have put together a FREE GIVEAWAY  for that will end on April Fool's Day
 (April 1) to get you excited for our fundraising auction & to help us share all the info with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, church members, homeschooling groups and more!  

(No purchase necessary to win) 
Giveaway Includes: 
  • Donatos Pizza Gift Card ($10.00 Value)
  • Brand New Songs for Saplings 3 CD Set ($28 Value)
  • Lilly's Coconut Dark Chocolate Candy Bar ($5.00 Value)

Enter to WIN below!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grandma's Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies... THM {S}

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

These cookies are AMAZING!  They are Gluten Free, Sugar Free & THM friendly!  These would be considered an {S} and are NOT a crossover.  Don't let the small amount of oats fool you in this recipe.  It yields 36 cookies which means that you are well within your carb limit if you don't eat the whole blessed batch.  Even though you will want to.  But don't.  Okay?  Good.  Let's move on to the recipe!!

Pour the following into your high speed blender at full speed to make a Flour Base Mixture: 

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla unsweetened whey powder (Swansons Brand) (About 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Set aside your flour mixture and wipe the drool from your mouth at the excitement of your pending cookie rampage. 

In a large bowl, combine well:

  • 2 sticks of softened (salted) butter
  • 2 eggs (We use fresh farm eggs from our hens)
  • 1 1/2 cup of your preferred baking blend sweetener (xylitol, erithytol, truvia, etc.)  I used xylitol for this recipe. 
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses 
  • Splash of vanilla

Then add the following to your wet ingredients:
  • 2 cups of your dry mixture (SAVE THE REST FOR ANOTHER TIME)
  •  a couple shakes of sea salt 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Finally, add:

  • half a bag of Lilly's Dark Chocolate Chips (Sugar Free- they use Stevia).  You could use the entire bag, but it costs $7, so I'd rather make it laaaaaaaaaaaaaaast.  
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans because I like nuts in my cookies, but that is totally optional.  

Scoop your dough onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  My sheet holds 12 cookies and I was able to make 3 trays.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Basically, you are looking for them to LOOK like a 'done' cookie. 

We didn't let our cookies get hard or sit in the fridge because we were too hungry to eat them.  They are pretty soft and will fall apart, but if you stick  them in the fridge, they will harden right up.

My boys said that these are the best on-plan (Trim Healthy Mama) cookies that I have ever made in 7 months... trust me, I've tried a LOT.   They really resemble the chocolate chip cookie dough that I LOVE to eat raw.  And, if you skip the eggs, you could totally just eat the dough!

Enjoy your tasty treats.  ;)



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

{S} Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls

In the mood for a fantastic chocolate treat?  I give you... Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls!  For you girls on THM, these are an S... if you eat too many, it would be a Crossover.  Like I said, be careful if you want to stay in "S" mode because they have a small amount of oats in them plus a minimal amount of net carbs from the pecans, so don't go crazy.  My batch makes 25 nice sized cookies with a carb count of 2.5 grams each, so to be safe- I would only eat 2-3 for a snack (staying below the 6 gram rule) or dessert within 3 hours of any other S or E meals. They are filling!

Ready?  Oh, this is so easy.  You're gonna love me.

In your blender, combine 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup preferred unsalted nut choice (Pecans, Walnuts or Almonds).  Blend until thoroughly mixed, but not a paste.  Pour this "flour" into a large bowl and add 1 cup whole dry oats (NOT instant).  Add two shakes of salt and stir.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 stick of salted butter, 1 cup peanut butter, splash of vanilla, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of xylitol.  (You can add a little more of you prefer a sweeter taste).  Heat on low-medium heat until low boil and then pour into "flour mixture.  Mix it all up until nicely blended.

Roll into nice little balls.  See below?  Put on parchment paper and then place into freezer until hardened.  Then, if you want a little extra coconut flavor, make up a batch of skinny chocolate to drizzle on top!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

{S} Nanaimo Bars from the THM Inspired Test Kitchen

You know how you click on a link to read a recipe and the blogger tells you an entire story about how their recipe is going to change your life and they use all kinds of funny anecdotes and make you want to be their BFF and all you can think is, "For the love!  Give me the recipe already!"  Forgive me because I'm going to be that annoying blogger today.  But, if you want to scroll past all my witty anecdotes, the recipe is at the bottom. 

Last week I was on a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle and was desperately hungry for something chocolatey on an E day and came up with some yummo Brownies from my "THM Test Kitchen".  My sweet friend, Jennifer Griffin, who many of you know from Home With a Purpose was so kind to share my blog link with you (because nobody knows me- haha!).  She also shared my recipe for Angel Food Cake and the Rockin' Roll Cake too!

I had a great response from the brownies and in the Facebook thread I mentioned that I have an open test kitchen and would love people to pass along their favorite pre-THM desserts for me to adapt to be on plan!

One of the ladies said, "Hey!  Do you have a converted recipe for Nanaimo Bars?"

I replied, "Sure!  Those are my absolute favorite!" "Eh?  What is a Nanaimo Bar?"

So, off I went to learn a little more about this treat.  Apparently,The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the west coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. (Source: Wikipedia)  You feel smarter now, don't you?

The basis for my recipe is from the Cooking Classy site:   Now, prepare yourself for this blogger's pretty pictures and neatly cut squares of dessert perfection.   I am ashamed to tell you that I am a photographer, but have no patience for still-life or the pretty plates to match.  I'm all about the active portrait session and the blushing bride, but don't let my picture fool you... this is GOOD.  I mean, sneak-back-around-midnight-with-a-fork-and-hide-in-the-pantry kind of good.

This is a no-bake bar and really wasn't hard to make at all.  It made a big ole' casserole dish full that I served to our family of five and the grandparents for a birthday treat and we had over half left so it goes a long way.  We had just had a big meal and when I offered dessert I only had one taker (out of seven people!)  Then I served it to him and all of a sudden, everybody straightened up in their chair and said, "Hey!  I'll take a little of that!"

Without further ado (and there was a lot of ado here today).... here you go!  This is a step-by-step layering dessert that doesn't involve any baking. I may have mentioned that, but save the ovens, sisters!

Nanaimo Bars THM Style {S}

Dry Crust:  In your high speed blender, place the following ingredients and then blend until thoroughly crushed into a thick flour.  Don't over blend into a paste.  After blended, set aside.

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
Wet Crust: In a saucepan, place 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup).  Melt and take off heat.  Stir in the following and whisk until blended:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup xylitol
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses
Now, put your saucepan back on a low heat and add in a beaten egg.  Continue to quickly whisk egg into chocolatey mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Take saucepan off heat and add a splash of vanilla.

Remember your nut/coconut flour mixture?  Now is the time to dump it all into your saucepan and thoroughly combine wet and dry crust ingredients.  Layer this crust into the bottom of a casserole dish (9x12) or if you want a slightly thicker bar, a 9x9 pan.  Cover with plastic and put into freezer for 20 minutes.

Now for the filling.  I went a little different route this time than the classic bar mixture because I wanted a thicker filling.

Combine the following with an electric beater.  Add in your ingredients ONE AT A TIME until creamy so that your cream cheese doesn't clump.

  • 3 packages (8 ounce each) full fat cream cheese. (Blend until creamy before adding any of the other ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Swansons vanilla whey powder
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Pull your pan back out of the freezer and pour your creamy mixture on top.  Spread out evenly.  Recover with plastic and freeze again for 15-20 minutes.

Last layer is your chocolate topping.  You can melt a bag of sugar-free chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of hot water and mix in a saucepan OR you can make a batch of Skinny Chocolate (see THM book for recipe) using extra virgin coconut oil.  After you mix this up (must be hot), let sit for a minute and then pour over the creamy filling mixture and then put back in your freezer for a final 15 minutes.

Store in the fridge after serving.  

All done!  Serve and enjoy!  I know this recipe seems a bit tedious, but it really was one of the faster recipes I've ever made.  Let me know what you think!

Want to Pin it?  Here is your link:

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{E} THM Brownies

Last week my husband and I started our first "Fuel Cycle" on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan.  It is a more structured week or two to help kick things into gear in regards to losing a few stubborn pounds.  When we came to day 6, a full "E" day (energizing/carbs), I was a little stuck on what I could enjoy that didn't involve apples.  Almost everything on the Pinterest site involved fruit dishes with oats and that is all well and good... but I wanted CHOCOLATE!  And not pudding, either. Chocolate cake...chocolate brownies...chocolate muffins.

As I often do when I'm hungry, I head to the kitchen to create some inventive sort of yumminess that is on plan, but not in the recipe books or sites that I have found.

Okay-dokey.  Here is a great and delish recipe for brownies on an E day... or any day if you just want something that is tasty and you don't even follow the THM plan!


  • Egg Whites
  • Whole Oats
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Swansons Vanilla Unsweetened Whey Powder
  • Xylitol or Truvia
  • 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • Salt
  • Cream or tartar
  • Baking powder
  • vanilla
  •  Put 1 1/2 cup egg whites in a bowl and blend with hand mixer until stiff peaks form (much like a meringue). I use egg whites from the carton.  Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and blend for another 30 seconds.  Set aside.
  • In Vitamix or Ninja blender, put in two cups of whole dry oats, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 scoop of Swanson's whey powder, dash of salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 cup of xylitol (or truvia).  Blend on high until a flour-like powder form.
  • Add "chocolate" flour to egg white meringue and let sit on top while you add 1/2 cup greek yogurt and a splash of vanilla.
  • Blend everything with electric beaters until meringue goes down to half size and the consistency looks much more like a brownie batter.
  • Put into brownie pan or casserole dish (I sprayed mine very lightly with olive oil) and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Should be able to insert toothpick and come out clean.  
  • Let set up for about 30 minutes and top with strawberries or a plan-approved pudding or icing.
Enjoy!  :)


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Five Scrumptious "S" Meals!

I started Trim Healthy Mama in September 2013 and my husband and I have lost a combined 45+ pounds pretty evenly between us.  It is good to be eating well (as in, "Wow, that's yummy and healthy!"), feeling energetic and getting back in the jeans you thought were destined for the thrift donation.

The Facebook group for THM has been fantastic and we've been able to encourage each other with great stories and AMAZING recipes.  I'd like to share five favorite "S" dinner meals with you that you and your entire family can enjoy.  You do not need to be a short order cook trying to make THM approved meals for you and something else for the rest of the family.  Share the love, peeps!

Remember, you will not have to stare blankly into the fridge wondering what to make twenty minutes before dinner if you have it planned out for your week or month.  It doesn't have to be a Martha Stewart approved spreadsheet or graph, but rather something simple so you will have a guide for your day.

Mix up those "S" & "E" meals throughout your day, girls!  Our family does an "S" every evening because it is a fun way to share a yummy meal and always have enough leftovers for hubby to take to work in the morning. I am not a calorie counter and will not be giving specific recipes below based on caloric values per person per serving per day, yada yada yada.  Just eat a good & filling portion without being a glutton and enjoy it.  Remember, "S" meals are full of fats and shouldn't be paired with carbs.  So, if you are really wanting a bowl of oatmeal after dinner, give it three hours!

Food freedom!  Okay, here we go... drum roll please...

1.  Chicken Cordon Bleu, Salad with sliced almonds, cheddar, veggies & ranch dressing.  {Bake boneless, skinless chicken breast with a lean & no sugar added slice of ham & slice of thick mozz cheese.  Serve with salad & dressing.}

2.  Bacon Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers & Cilantro Tomato Salad.  {Using your favorite ground turkey burger recipe, grill some of these bad boys and top with crisp turkey-bacon that you can make in your microwave (yeah, not a purist here) and blue cheese crumbles warmed on top.  On the side, chop up one full bunch of fresh cilantro, 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese into small cubes and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes.  Sprinkle a dash of salt on your salad.  Note:  We obviously opt not to use buns, but the kids still love their burgers with a bun.}

3.  Grilled Chicken & Steamed Broccoli with Shredded Cheddar.  {Bake boneless, skinless chicken with on-plan seasoning of choice.  Serve with a side of broccoli that has been coated with shredded cheddar and a tablespoon of butter with a pinch of salt and heated until cooked and bubbly.}

4.  Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Salad. (You can you ground beef, steak, turkey, etc if you are chickened out for that day/week.).  {Get a package of Lavash bread, take out three pieces and cut these into thirds.  You will have nine pieces now.  Taking a casserole dish, lay these out side by side and ladle in cooked chicken that has been thinly sliced.  In a sauce pan, combine one small can diced green chilies, 8 ounces sour cream and 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese.  Mix until creamy and pour half this mixture over each chicken/lavash bread in the dish.  Take the other half of the cream mixture and add a dash of cumin and chili pepper.  Close each of the lavash bread/chicken mixture by folding over and pour the remaining sauce with the seasoning added on top.  Finish by covering with shredded cheese and baking 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  You just want everything to heat through and cheese to be bubbly.   Garnish on the side with a Mexican Salad: bed of lettuce, dollop of sour cream, slice of avocado, slice of tomato and slice of onion.}

5.  Homemade Mac n' Cheese & Italian Sausage with Green Beans with onion.  {Grill up Italian links (enough to feed your family) and dice into coin sizes.  Lay these on top of your whole, freshly steamed green beans with sliced onion on top.  Put in microwave or oven for a few minutes- enough for the flavors to combine.  Boil one box Dreamfields pasta (elbow mac, rotini or penne).  While that is boiling, combine one stick of butter, one 16 ounce container sour cream and one 8 ounce shredded block of sharp cheddar with salt to taste into a saucepan.  Mix with a whisk on medium heat until blended and creamy.  You can also add 1/2 cup of heavy cream if you really want to get crazy.  Drain pasta and add cream sauce.}

Next time I'll share five of my favorite dessert recipes and they are SO good!



Thursday, November 21, 2013


"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever."  1 Peter 1: 24 & 25

This blog has been a dear friend to me over the past seven years.  When my boys were little, it was a way that I could journal our daily lives and post ridiculously cute pictures.  When I began to understand Reformed theology and grow in love for Christ's Word, this blog was a great venue to share scripture, hymns and solid teaching from pastors that preach the solid truth of the Gospel.  When I started to take charge of my health and begin running, it was a way to encourage others and make new friends that also loved to feel the wind on their face.  When I wanted to share recipes, grocery ideas and menu planning, I found a home here.  When I started a photography business, I shared my images and ideas here.  When we began on the road to adoption, I shared our fundraising ideas and excitement with the blogosphere.  And when Facebook was born, I quit blogging and did all of the above {and more} over there.  

My poor blog has been ignored for far too long and as much as I would LOVE to say that the New Year is coming and things will change... I know now that they will not.  My thoughts on writing for the world have changed.  Personally, my *reach* will now extend to my sweet little people that I cook, clean and love on daily... my husband... my amazing dear friends... our church family.  

I loved blogging.  LOVED it.  And I have no plans to delete it because it is a history for me.  Not just a journal of cute pictures and funny stories as my children grew, but a journey of where I used to be and where I am now.  I am different from when I started this seven years ago and it is a good barometer to see where I have grown, both in spiritual disciplines as well as physical/emotional ones as well as where I can keep growing.

I guess I am a little more private now too. :)

Thank you for the years and thank you for reading.  May the Lord be praised....

Signing off,


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gotcha Day 5K Run Walk or Bike for Adoption!

Consider yourself officially invited! 

 The Daniels family is excited about adoption and we are heading down this wonderful and familiar path once again.  In an effort to fundraise for our adoption, we are hosting the first annual, Gotcha Day 5K Run for Adoption!  You can run, walk or bike on the beautiful cross-country trail over beautiful bridges and past sparkling lakes on your way.  Go to to register!

Hopefully you've seen these posters all around town!  We're hanging them up anywhere somebody will take them for us.  (And we have a lot of supporting businesses that are happy to help!)

Have you seen our yard signs around town?  We are really thankful for those families that were willing to put a sign or a vehicle decal to help advertise our event!  It's gonna be BIG!

In addition to all these great sponsors offering free prizes, products and food to our registrants, we also have just added Panera Bread to the list!!  It's going to be a good day!

Here is another sign we designed earlier on that we've used in more family-friendly environments like libraries, churches and ice cream shops!

Our daughter, born in our hearts in 2012... what a blessing and one of the million reasons why we LOVE adoption!
Please consider coming and supporting the Gotcha Day 5K!
See you at the finish line!

Friday, January 13, 2012

My New Years Resolution is to Gain Six Pounds... More or Less

2/2012 Update: Thank you to everyone that has been such a blessing in helping us to get closer to our financial adoption goals! As you may note on our adoption donation site, our goal has increased to $16,500 as our family continues to save for this adoption. (We have a wonderful grant, but due to restrictions that have come to light, we must raise slightly more than once anticipated). It is fun for us to have a 'thermometer' and watch our savings put toward our newest little member. Again, we thank our family, friends and the body of Christ for stepping forward over the past two months to help! We love you guys!

Our New Years resolution is to get bigger this year- by at least six pounds at first and growing from there, more or less. No, I haven't lost my mind. No, McDonald's is not paying us to be in a documentary. Yes, we are adopting!

Over the past two years we have raised, saved, scrimped and begged to add to our $33,500 agency adoption fund. Yes, I said Thirty-three thousand, five-hundred d o l l a r s. Get out the inhaler and put your head between your knees- you'll be fine in a minute... Better now?

Can you spare just $5 for adoption?! If each person can give only five bucks, we could reach our goal!

We've sold lemonade to every neighbor child in a 20 mile radius and the trash men know us by our first names because of all the cookies we've sold to them. Yes, my boys freak out when they see "that look" in my eyes and wonder which of their toys I'm going to sell to fill the glass mason jar in the pantry marked Adoption with a black sharpie on the lid.

In all seriousness, the Lord has been gracious and over the past week we have raised an additional $1300 from AMAZING friends, family and complete strangers who have wanted to help us reach our final $10,000 goal!

But you know what? It is going to be TOTALLY worth it. I can't wait. Bring on the diaper changes with those funky new cloth diapers that my husband despises. Bring on the 2am feedings--err, screaming sessions. Bring on the looks from people who don't understand pale peach mommy snuggling little sweet brown baby. Bring.It.On. I love my children and can't wait to see our family growing through the grace of Christ!


A heart FULL of gratitude

Can I just tell you (and you know who you are) how amazing ya'll are?! What a blessing it is to put out a request for adoption donations and see such a wonderful response! It roughly one day using our online fundraising site HERE (plus donations that came through coworkers and friends), we were able to add $1,200 to our adoption account!! Praise the Lord for that! You honestly don't know what a blessing it was- and we are so thankful for YOU! One day when our little one is old enough, I'm going to sit him or her down and tell about all the people who wanted to bring them into our home-- wanted them to be a 'Daniels' and wanted them to have the opportunity to know Jesus Christ.

Bless you all...

For His fame,