Happy Anniversary!!

Last week I celebrated being married to my best friend for 21 years. The day was so crazy with my older guy heading to his prom

photo 1and my little guy sick with a terrible stomach virus.

photo 2

I was exhausted, but my marriage is something I am very proud of and I feel it is important that we celebrate it every year no matter what. My fantastic daughter and her great friend took care of the baby, so my husband and I could go and enjoy a great dinner out.


The meal was delicious, but the best thing that happened that night is that we sat and talked about all the things we loved about each other and our marriage.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my marriage is perfect because it is not, but we adore each other and the family we have created.  We work very hard to keep it strong.  That conversation got me thinking about sharing with you the things that we have learned over our 21 years together that have made our marriage what it is today.

So here it goes

 Respect – Love is great, but respect for each other is mandatory!! You have to never want to do anything that would embarrass your partner or yourself.

Communication – If you are upset about something SAY IT!!! If you need something you are not getting SAY IT!! If you are not getting the help you need SAY IT!!  Too many times I hear people complaining about their spouses and I always ask, ” Did you talk to them about it ? ” 90% of the time the answer is no because they feel it will get them no where. Which leads me to.

Validation – Everyone wants to be heard and validated. When someone tells you how they feel, always listen and don’t judge. You don’t have to agree, but you owe it to your partner to hear them out and work on trying to make it work for the two of you.

100% / 100% – I always hear people say that a marriage is 50/50. My husband and I will both tell you that in order for  your marriage to be happy and healthy, you both always have to give 100/100.

Honey Do-List – Early on in our marriage, we would get into a lot of arguments about my nagging and his inability to remember things I asked him to get done. The solution we came up was called a honey do-list. I would make a list of the things I needed him to do, but once it was on the list I couldn’t ask about it again and he would promise to always try and get everything done on that list as soon as reasonable possible for him. 20 years later and  we are still doing this.

Quality Time – I can not even express how important it is to make time to be alone together.  Believe me, I totally know how crazy life can get 😉 But just as you make the time for your kids and jobs, you have to make sure to always pencil in time for your partner. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it just has to happen once in a while.

Always have each others back – You are a team and no matter if you agree or disagree about what the other is doing, you are to always back them up to everyone outside of your marriage. There were many times I didn’t agree with how my husband handled something, but I always stood by his side. Then when we were in private I would tell him what I think about the situation and how he could have handled it differently. We definitely listen better to each other knowing we have our best interest at heart, but no matter what we have each others back. This definitely rains true with raising your kids. Always stand together as a united front.

Remember to: Just Roll With It – You just can never predict what life is going to throw your way. Just when it seems you are heading in one direction, something crazy happens and takes you in a completely different path.  This is when it’s so important to take a deep breath, grab each others hand and roll with it  TOGETHER.

Marriage is hard work but when you find the right partner it is so worth it :)


Happy Anniversary My Love…



Requested Ricotta Cake

This is a very popular cake among my family and friends. It is easy to make and comes out moist and delicious. It is often requested and in my opinion the perfect cake to bring to a summer party.


Here is what you will need:


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  •  6 eggs
  •  1 lb ricotta
  •  1/2 cup veg oil
  •  1 cup water
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •   Powder sugar for dusting

Here is what you need to do:


Mix the yellow cake mix with 3 eggs, oil and water. Blend till smooth and pour into a 9×13 buttered pan.


Next mix the ricotta, 3 eggs, sugar and vanilla and pour over top of yellow cake batter.


Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.


Let it cool completely and then cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. You will see that the cheese mixture will have sunk to the bottom.



Hope you like it.

Enjoy :)


Jill ♥

Light Lunch Salads

These two recipes are my favorite go to light lunch salads.  I really try to live a 80/20 lifestyle where 80% of the time I eat really healthy with plenty of lean meats, fish and veggies. I cut out sweets and try to drink plenty of water.  I also try to squeeze in some form of exercise at least 5 days a week. Then when its the 20%  of the time I treat myself to chocolate moose cakes,  dinners out and wine to wash it all down 😉 . I don’t believe in never eating a certain type of food and I am not able to go out to dinner and order just a salad. I ALWAYS WANT A BREAD BASKET!!! I gain weight very easily and have found that I am more successful with the control of my weight when I behave most of the week and then treat myself to something yummy every weekend.

First up

Chicken Avacado Salad

Here is what you need:

– 2 cooked chicken breast. I usually just roast  two chicken breast in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, but I saw this cooked chicken in the supermarket and thought how much easier it would be to use it.

-1 large ripe hass avacado

– juice of a lime

– small handful of chopped cilantro

– 1/4 cup of diced red onion

– salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you need to do:


Shred up the meat from the 2 chicken breast.


Add avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, red onion and cilantro. Mix it all up. Make sure you work the avocado into everything. It acts as the mayonnaise that holds it all together.


I find it taste even better when you make it ahead and give all the ingredients time to blend.


Veggie Tuna Salad

IMG_3092Here is what you need:

– 2 cans of solid white tuna in water

– 4 small baby carrots sliced

– 1 celery stalk diced

– 1/4 cup of diced red onion

– pepper to your taste. I like a lot of pepper with tuna

– 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise

Here is what you need to do:


Shred your tuna out of the can and add pepper, carrots, celery, red onion and mayo. Mix it all together.


I eat these salads as a sandwich or sometimes over romaine lettuce. This is my favorite light bread. It is only 45 calories a slice and helps fill me up.




Pesto Pasta with Chicken

This pasta recipe is a great week night meal that is so yummy and easy to make. I just love a dish that you can cook in one big pan and is a hearty meal that will fill your family’s belly.


Here is what you will need:


– Box of linguine

– pack of chicken breast tenderloins

– salt and pepper to taste

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 4 whole garlic cloves

– 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

– roasted red peppers- about 3 pieces sliced into strips

– jar of marinated artichoke hearts

– 2 big handfuls of spinach leaves

– 1 cup of prepared pesto sauce ( My favorite pesto is actually from Costco. I didn’t have it today, but it comes in a big jar and you can freeze whatever you have left. If you want to make your own pesto that would probably be even better)

– 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

Here is what you need to do:

Bring a big pot of water with a handful of salt to a boil and get your linguine cooking. Cut up your chicken tenderloins and cook in olive oil, salt and pepper.


Add the 4 cloves of garlic and cook for 2 minutes.


Add the mushrooms, peppers, and jar of artichoke hearts. Cook to combine and then add the 2 big handfuls of spinach leaves.


Toss everything together and then add your cooked drained linguine, pesto sauce, and grated parmesan cheese. Toss it all together and serve.


The best thing about this recipe is that if you don’t like a certain ingredient, just leave it out and it will still be yummy. Pesto just has this ability to make everything taste good.

Hope you like it :)



Bonnie’s Black Bean Salsa

I have been blessed with some very special people that have come into my life and my friend Bonnie is one of them. She is a strong, loyal, kind, fun person with a beautiful soul that always makes me laugh and just has this ability to bring a smile to my face.  With that said, she also makes an awesome black bean salsa and I am going to share her recipe with you today.


Here is what you will need:


– 2 cans of Goya black beans drained and rinsed

– 1 can corn drained

– 3 maybe 4 (depending on size) plum tomatoes cored and diced

– 4 scallions sliced one inch into green

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

– juice of a fresh lime

– small handful of fresh chopped cilantro

– salt and pepper to taste

– big bag of Tostidos for dipping

Just want to add that I learned while making this with Bonnie that she is a Goya snob!!!


The beans must be Goya for this salsa to be good!! 😉

Here is what you need to do:

Rinse and drain your beans. Drain corn. Core and dice tomatoes. Chop up cilantro.


Slice up scallions one inch up into green and add to bowl.


Add olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Give a good stir. And there you have it!!


This is great as a salsa, but you can also serve it with almost anything. It is fresh and healthy and I am definitely going to make it the next time I make tacos for my family.

So Yummy!!

Enjoy :)



1st Birthday Fun!!

This past weekend we celebrated my little guys 1st birthday. This special baby is such a gift and has brought so much change and joy to our lives. We just couldn’t wait to throw him a big party with all our special family and friends who just adore him.


We decided to have a backyard pool party with a monkey theme.


It was more of an adult birthday party because we don’t have that many babies or toddlers in the family. Brody didn’t mind at all and looked so cute in his birthday boy outfit.


My daughter and I made such cute party favors that were a big hit with all the guest.



You can never go wrong with candy.  😉


The day turned out great and there was nothing that I enjoyed more than seeing this chubby face miracle smiling all day and being loved by everyone.



Chicken Nachos and Your Basic Guacamole.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Any holiday that people associate with food and drinks is my kind of holiday, so today I am going to share with you how I make chicken nachos and my basic guacamole that you can add your favorites too.

First – Chicken Nachos


Here is what you will need:


– package of chicken breast tenderloins

– packet of taco seasoning

– can of enchilada sauce

– can of black beans

– block of colby jack cheese

– 1/4 cup sliced black olives

– 1/4 cup chopped red onion

– 1/4 cup seeded diced tomatoes

– tub of sour cream

– bag of tortilla chips

Here is what you need to do:


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken tenders in a little olive oil and 1/2 of the packet of taco seasoning. Remove when done and place to side.


Stir in enchilada sauce to pan with the other 1/2 of taco seasoning and bring to a slight boil.


Shred chicken with two forks and add to sauce. Cook on low for 5 minutes to get everything combined.

Time to Assemble!!


Shred your cheese. Lay a thick layer of chips on an oven proof dish and top with half of the cheese. Then place chicken, black beans and olives all around. Sprinkle remaining cheese all over top and bake for 10 minutes. I did  add a couple of jalapeño slices to one side because I had them and love them with the nachos. My kids are not a fan, so I don’t always add them. When cheese is all melted, take out of oven and sprinkle top with red onion and diced tomatoes and serve.


So Yummy 😉

Now – My Basic Guacamole

Here is what you need:


– 2 ripe hass avacado

– 1 juicy lime

– 1 clove of garlic minced

– 5 dashes of tabasco green pepper sauce

– small handful of chopped cilantro

– salt and pepper to your taste

Here is what your need to do:

Chop up your avocado and squeeze lime over top. Add your garlic, green pepper sauce, cilantro, salt & pepper and mix well. This recipe can be doubled or tripled for a larger crowd.


This  guacamole is fine on its own and even yummier with add ins. I chopped up some tomato and red onion to add to mine.

Enjoy and have a great day!!


Happy Birthday Jeff

You will be forever missed!!!



Munchable Marshmallow Fondant


Whenever I see a fondant cake, I just sit and stare and admire the beauty. It’s a work of art that is so smooth and perfect, but then I get a taste and Yuck!!! That is until I came across a recipe for marshmallow fondant and I was hooked. This is so easy to make at home and taste yummy.

Here is what you will need:


– 2 lb bag of Confectioner Sugar

– 1 1/2 bags of Marshmallow

– 3 tablespoons of water

Here is what you need to do:


Put marshmallows  in bowl with the 3 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted and creamy.


Keep going.


Perfect :)


Add 1/2 of the bag of confectioners sugar and mix as best as you can.


Pour about 3/4 of the other 1/2 of the confectioner sugar on a mat and then pour the contents of the marshmallow on top. This is where it gets messy.


Knead with your hands until you have a smooth ball of fondant. If it feels sticky, just keep adding powder sugar until it is nice and smooth.



I am just using it for cupcakes today, so I took half of it and wrapped it in plastic wrap and then placed it in a zip lock bag to store in the fridge.


I mixed the other half with some food coloring and then wrapped it up in plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.


In the meanwhile I cleaned everything up and took out my tools to roll everything out. I have these really fun cookie molds that I just love to use with this fondant. I got this mold from houseonthehill.net. They make the most beautiful molds and I treasure everyone that I have.


When rolling out the fondant make sure everything is coated in powdered sugar. You must understand at this time water is your enemy, so don’t go washing your hands and touching the fondant.


There are so many things you can do with this fondant. You can just cover a cake smoothly or mold out a flower or maybe even spell something out. Sky’s the limit 😉


I just chose to make pretty cupcakes for my daughters track team.

So Fun.

Hope You Like It .



“Ummm, This is a Burger!!”

Today I’m going to share a super easy weeknight meal that my family loves, but is just so confused by the name.

Salisbury Steak

The first time I made this my big guy took a big bite and looked at me as if I was trying to play a trick on him and said ” This is a burger” 😉 .  I love to serve it with a big bowl of mashed potatoes, but this time I wanted to try out my new veggetti, so I served it up with zucchini pasta.

Here’s what you will need:


– 1 1/2 lbs chop meat

– 1 egg

– 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 1/8 teaspoon pepper

– 1 can french onion soup

– 1 can cream of mushroom soup

– 1/2 packet of dry onion soup mix

– 1 tablespoon flour

– 1/4 cup ketchup

– 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

– 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

– 1/4 cup water

– 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

Here’s what you do:

Mix chop meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 of the can of the french onion soup. Form into oval patties.


Brown the patties on both sides. In another bowl mix the other 1/2 can of french onion soup with cream of mushroom soup, flour, 1/2 of the packet of onion soup mix, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and water.


I love having my trusted side-kick by my side while dinner is being made.


When the patties are ready pour sauce over them and scatter sliced mushrooms around.


Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes,
 giving the pan a good shake once in a while to make sure everything settles in.


I just sautéed up the zucchini pasta on the side and then covered it with some sauce.


Hope you like it :)



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