Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brownie Crunch Cake

This is an amazing, rich cake and great for a summer dessert. My girls and stepsons were licking their plates and begging for more!

Silly boy!

2 brownie mixes (I usually make from scratch but with 7 kiddos to take care of I didn't have the time this time)
1 8oz pack cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 containers Cool Whip (For a healthier option you can make your own by whipping heavy cream)
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
2-3 Heath or Skor bars crushed up

1. Mix brownies according to directions on box and pour into greased pan. Bake according to box and let cool.

2. Beat 1 container of cool whip, powdered sugar and cream cheese until mostly smooth.

3. Mix instant pudding mixes with milk and stir until set. Use slightly less milk than called for on the box. (About 3 1/2 cups instead of 4)

4. Spread cream cheese/cool whip/sugar mixture evenly over cooled brownies.

5. Spread pudding mixture next. Finish with 2nd container of cool whip. (I forgot to buy a second container) Top with crushed candy bars. Chill in fridge for several hours. (This actually tastes even more amazing the 2nd day when the brownies become slightly softer and all the flavors meld together)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day Zero Project

In light of turning 25 I've decided to make a bucket/goal list for things I want to accomplish in the near future and before I die. I found this really neat website Day Zero Project where you can add things to a goal list and check them off as you do them. I like having all my goals online in one place, it keeps me organized. There are 3 lists: the 101 goals in 1001 days project, a list for things you want to accomplish with no deadline to them and a list of goals you have completed.

Here is the link to my goals in case you are interested or need some inspiration. My Goal Lists

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Being 25

Well yesterday was my birthday. Yay!
I'm halfway to middle age.
(Since I plan on living to 100 haha!)
Reflecting back on my life,
I have to say I miss the innocence and vividness of my imagination.
Before school, work, bills, kids and ex's created such stress.
I've made mistakes and faced impossible challenges.
But with God's grace I've risen above and conquered those challenges
leaving me a better, stronger and wiser person.
Despite our daily struggles I'm happy with my life.
So what have I accomplished in my short years?
I have an amazing husband, 2 beautiful girls and 5 wonderful stepsons.
Even with changing colleges 3 times in 3 years I've maintained a 3.8-4.0 GPA
And now I almost have my degree.
I cooked my parents a 3 course meal in 5th grade and have been cooking and creating my own recipes ever since.
I'm finally happy with my weight (although I do need to build some muscle)
I've made friends that will listen to me when I need to vent but also help me stay positive.
I've been to Brazil and lived in 7 different states.
I've travelled from the East to West coast more times than I can count.
I've written a book of poetry (that I'm too scared to publish)
I bought my own car with my own money when I was 18.
I've learned to play the piano decently.
I've gotten tattoos and piercings.
I've worked as a deck hand on a fishing boat, a waitress, a bartender, a model,
a grocery store manager, a barista, an event coordinator, and probably more I can't remember.
I've taught myself photography and became excellent at it.
Through my photography I've met some famous people: actresses, singers, bands and athletes.
I started this blog less than a year ago and already have over 1000 page views a day.
There is lots more I want to do and accomplish in my life but I am pretty proud of where I am today.
So I guess being 25 is not so bad :)

Yesterday was lovely. I got to spend my birthday with all my kids and my niece.
My dear friends Shantel and Kelly brought me a gift basket. It had all kinds of ice cream toppings and a bunch of goodies, so the kids and I celebrated with ice cream sundaes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chili Macaroni

This an easy meal to throw together and kids love it! Its super filling and great for those kids with endless pits.


1 box of elbow macaroni
1 lb. ground beef
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder

1. Boil macaroni with a dash of salt and a splash of oil. Drain and set aside.

2. While macaroni is boiling, cook ground beef. You can add in some onions and minced garlic towards the end of cooking if you like (just take the onion and garlic powder down to 1 tsp.) Drain ground beef.

3. Add the tomato sauce, beans and seasonings to the drained beef. Mix well then add macaroni to mixture.

4. Top with cheese and serve warm!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

My mom made this recipe growing up, and it was one of my favourite meals as a kid. I came across a similar recipe and decided to make my own version.


5 cups shredded chicken
1 cup plain greek yogurt
3 cups (24 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
2 rolls of Ritz crackers; crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350. If you don't have shredded chicken already, boil several chicken breasts in water with a boullion cube and some chopped onions.

2. Place shredded chicken in a casserole dish.

3. Mix yogurt, cream of chicken soup, salt, pepper, and sauce in a bowl. Pour over chicken.

4. Melt the butter and mix with crushed crackers. Sprinkle evenly over chicken mixture.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until top of casserole is browned and sauce is bubbly. Serve over rice. Add some steamed broccoli for a complete meal.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

No Bake Healthy Energy Bites

My kids love this snack and my oldest stepson requests this all the time to take with him to work. Its easy to throw together, healthy and full of protein.


1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use unsweetened dark chocolate, its the best for you)
(You can also replace the chips with raisins, dried cranberries ect.)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookies sheet, roll mixture into balls (You can also shape into a granola bar shape) place on cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quick Update and Graduations!

It's been a while since I've blogged! We have been very busy with all kinds of stuff, but I need to get back to my blogging, I've missed it.

The beginning of June we were able to attend my stepson's Conner and William's 8th grade graduation. We stayed almost a week with my hubby's family and had a wonderful time visiting, chatting and laughing.

                                                  Grandpa, Conner, Steven, William

It was a nice little ceremony, and all the kids were so happy to see each other after 5 months apart. We got to bring the younger two boys back with us a few days later. It was a long, long drive but they did really well. There were some hilarious conversations that took place. Here is my favourite quote from Aaron...

Aaron: "When I grow up I'm going to be a Republican and drive around in a punchbuggy so I can watch people punch each other."

Kids say the funniest things!

We had some time to settle in, and then we got another addition to our family for the summer! My niece got to come down and is spending some time with us. We get to pick up Conner here in a week and then our family will be nearly complete!

Last night was my oldest stepson Bryan's high school graduation. I've been a part of his life since he started high school 5 years ago. It was a long, hard road for him but he made it! I've seen him struggle and fail but I've also seen him buckle down and accomplish great things and rise to challenges when all the odds were stacked against him. I know he has the ability to do great things in life and I am incredibly proud of him.

 I have to admit there were a few tears in my eyes watching him walk for the last time as a highschooler and knowing he worked extremely hard for that cap and gown.

                                           Haley, Serenity, Josiah, Abby, Aaron and Bryan