Chuckwagon Chili

Hey, guys!

Another recipe for tonight! Image

My mom made my favorite chili tonight for supper and I was so excited to share this with everyone as soon as I finished my two bowls! 

Chuckwagon Chili:

-1/3 pound lean ground beef 

-1 small onion, chopped 

-1/4 cup chopped green pepper

-1 garlic clove, minced

-1 can (7 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

-3/4 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained

-1/2 cup tomato sauce

-1 tablespoon chili powder

-1/8 teaspoon pepper


In large saucepan, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the corn, beans, tomato sauce and seasonings; cover and cook 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. 


ImageIt is so simple to make and yet extremely tasty! Not to mention that a cup and a half has only 300 calories, 9 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein! I love stews and soups anyway, but this is just ridiculously delicious and extremely filling! 

I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as my family and I do!



Don’t Wake the Dinos: Game for Children

Hey guys!

I have the pleasure of watching the cutest little guy ever at least once a week named Max. Max is three and loves surprises. For the past five months that I have been watching him, I have brought in my extremely limited supply of toys and books that I have for children his age (thankfully my mom just finished watching a young boy and so had some great things in stock for me to take!) and now that month six is approaching, there is only so much of transportation puzzle I can handle! 

Thankfully, I had a random epiphany: Do crafts and activities with him!

Unfortunately, I am NOT on the creative side. But I must say, I am rather proud of the work I put into finding and then creating a game I found on Pinterest. It was originally titled something like “Butterfly Garden”, but Max is not one for butterflies so I switched it to “Don’t Wake the Dinos.” 

Basically, cut out an array of dinosaur outlines (I did 15 of them) and lay them out across the floor. You can do rows or just lay them out randomly. On top of the dinos (or butterflies or whatever the child would most likely be interested in) you can place buttons, fuzzy craft balls, thimbles… whatever is useful or handy (I used manchala beads so no judging here haha) and then have the child tiptoe around the paper cut outs and retrieve the item you placed on top.

The goal is to not step on the cut out. If they do, start over. Or at least that’s the rules I ingeniously came up with. 

I’m excited to share this with Max tonight when I go to babysit him! I’m hoping to use this as an incentive as he’s getting ready for bed. I’ll post later whether he enjoyed the game or not!      

ImageHere’s the top of my dino game that’s spread out on my floor currently. (Don’t mind my converse shoes or my dirty floor!) My camera on my computer couldn’t capture all of the dinosaurs that I made, and I’m not that great of a photographer so I was only able to get just the top half of it. I must say, I’m rather happy about how well they turned out, if I do say so myself!

Like I said, I’ll let you all know through a comment or in a different post how well Max liked it!

God bless!


Food for Thought

Hello, everyone!

I am on a baking spree! I can’t stop sifting through recipes and trying new things! Maybe its because cabin fever has begun to settle in and I just need to get my hands busy.

So I wanted to share some yummy soup I came across! With  fall coming, I believe soups are a great thing to delve into as the temperatures drop! My mom and I made this particular soup yesterday for lunch and there was enough leftovers for us to have it again this afternoon, and boy am I excited to eat it right after this post!

Also its pretty healthy!

218 calories for a cup and a half, with 35 carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber!


Bean and Pasta Soup:


-1 cup uncooked small pasta

-2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (I detest celery so I don’t use them for this recipe)

-2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 garlic clove, minced (I use garlic powder instead)

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 cups water

-1 can (14 and 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, undrained

-1 and 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

-1 teaspoon dried basil

-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (I don’t even use this and it still tastes extraordinary)

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon pepper

-1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

-2 cups shredded fresh spinach (If you don’t have this on hand, you don’ t have to use it to keep the excellent taste)

-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (you don’t have to have this, either)


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, sauté the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for five minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for ten minutes or until carrots are tender.

Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture. Add the beans; heat through. Stir in the spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about two minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

If you’re a soup-lover this is definitely a must! The blend of basil and broth and onions… Oh its just perfect !

Time to post this so I can get right to that bowlful of soup that has my name written all over it!

God bless!


Chapter 5: Perfection in a Cookie. Recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello everyone! I am terribly sorry that I haven’t been on for a long while! My days have been pretty busy the past month and a half but those are stories to tell for another time!

Right now I want to share with you my recipe for the best cookie I’ve ever tasted. If you know me, you’ll know that I adore chocolate chip cookies. ADORE them. So when I found a new, healthier way to make them I was up for the challenge! The cookie? Banana chocolate chip.

They are 66 calories (if you make them the way the directions want you to, they are. But I’m a rebel and make them a little bit bigger and add more chocolate chips so I’m sure mine have a some more calories in them!) and even if you’re not a banana person, no worries. My cousin absolutely hates bananas and yet enjoyed these cookies! You may have all the ingredients in your home already so when you feel the need to eat something sweet, this is the perfect solution!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies:

-1/3 cup butter, softened

-1/2 cup suger

-1 egg

-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 medium sized banana should do the trick)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1 cup all-purpose flour

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon baking soda

-1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips *I use between 1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups. Adding a little more not only makes it sweeter but lightens the banana flavor if you don’t want that to overpower your taste buds

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (Like I said, I make them a tad bit bigger… Closer to a large spoonful size) 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 3 dozen (unless you make them jumbo-sized like mine, then its about 20 cookies to 2 dozen)

Keep in mind the dough is different than regular chocolate chip cookies. With the banana inImage there, it makes it almost elastic-like. The picture on the left are the cookies I just made about 20 minutes ago before sticking them in the oven!

I popped mine in for about ten minutes considering they are a little larger than what the recipe recommends. After taking them out, you’ll see that the bottom of the cookie looks a little golden brown while the rest of it is almost soft and almost doughy. If you let them cool for a few minutes, that doughy look will harden up a little.

I couldn’t resist waiting for too long before trying one! And like the title says, its perfection in a cookie! The texture is incredibly soft and the taste of both the chocolate chips mixed with the banana is both sweet and satisfying! The two flavors blend and balance each other well and the banana doesn’t throw anything off except that hint of extra taste.

ImageSo the final product, if I do say so myself, was delicious and I’m excited to share these today with my family and friends when we go on our picnic at the park later this afternoon! If you decide to try the recipe, please get back with me and let me know what you think! I truly hope you enjoy them if you feel adventurous enough to give it a go!

Many blessings!


A Walk To Remember

Hey, guys! AWTR

A few days ago I was having one of those “I need to watch a sad movie now” moments. When that particular feeling strikes, I immediately turn to one of my favorite movies ever, ‘A Walk To Remember.’

Now, for those of you who have had the misfortune of not watching it yet, I recommend it. Ok, yes, its more of a chic flick (I mean c’mon, its based off a Nicholas Sparks book…) but even if you’re not that type of person I still think you should watch it at least once in your life. It has inspired me to be a person that tries to build a loving and faithful character throughout my life.

Before I start my review on the movie, I must say that I haven’t had the opportunity to read the book yet so my opinions are solely based on the film.

AWTR3Although this came out 11 years ago and was shot in 30-some days (I believe that’s what the director said…), Mandy Moore and Shane West carry the film through with admirable acting. Mandy plays the God-fearing, sweet Jamie Sullivan who is a laughable image for fellow classmates. Shane West depicts Landon Carter, one of the ‘cool’ kids who falls into trouble and depends on Jamie’s help to get through his AWTR4punishment. The two, as an easy prediction, draw close together and fall in love.

As Nicholas Sparks tends to do, a curveball is thrown and the progression of how Landon and Jamie grow through the obstacle begins (along with the start of my waterworks). If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I love all kinds of movies.. Especially romantic ones, if done well. To me, this one blew a multitude of other romantic movies right out of the water. Because it isn’t just about the relationship.

AWTRIt focuses on a period of time in a young girl’s life where she’s made fun of, bullied, harboring a life-changing secret and yet keeps the faith. The way Jamie stays true to what she believes, including her love for God and holding on to who she is, throughout her hardships makes me wonder if I would be able to do the same. Her amazing nature and words of encouragement helps Landon grow and mature considerably and I would one day love to help change someone’s life as much as Jamie changed his. Their progress as characters through this turning point in both of their lives makes their relationship that much sweeter to me. So over all this movie is just about perfection to me. Funny, cute, sad, a dash of action for the thrill of it… Not to mention, they throw in one of my favorite Bible verses (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).AWTR2

Of course the story is fiction and the characters, made up. But I believe in taking whatever you see and hear throughout your day (be it music, movies, words of wisdom, an act of kindness..) and applying it to your own life to make you a better person. I’m not saying watching GI Joe is going to make you macho man the next day. But open your horizons and learn from important lessons, be it made up or real.

Many blessings!


Let’s Go to the Movies… Again!

Hello, everyone!

I had the experience of returning to our neighboring drive-in movie theater Wednesday night, where they were double-featuring Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University. This time around, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a couple of friends I haven’t seen in a while, along with my cousin from last time, who dared to brave the bugs with me again.

Side note: Speaking of bugs, my cousin did find that rubbing dryer sheets over your skin wards off the mosquitos. Its true! We came out looking like ourselves, instead of the polka-dotted pattern we sported last time.

ImageAfter several laughs, a few tricks, and way too much food it was dark enough for the first show to begin: Despicable Me 2. Gru captured my heart all over again with his amazing accent and half-villainous half-softy personality. The girls were adorable as ever, especially little Agnes, who madeImage me laugh just as much this time around as the first one. The minions, which I adore!, are incredibly comical and actually play a bit of a bigger role in this film compared to the first.The storyline, though easily predictable as you go along, brings out the best in all the characters, even more so in Gru who we get to see as more of a fatherly figure. All in all, I highly recommend Despicable Me 2 for kids and kids-at-heart alike!

Monsters University came next after about a fifteen intermission. I Imagedon’t know if it was because I was getting pretty tired or distracted by my friends, but I didn’t enjoy MU as much as I thought I would. Like I said, it could be me. Because trust me, I really wanted to like it. But by the end, I felt like the characters were just a tad bit cheated when it came to their personalities. Sully started out as an overly Imageconfident student  and Mike was a wide-eye wanna-be. To me personally, it just didn’t feel like the characters. Not throughout the entire movie, but through most of it. Despite my dislike for how the creators portrayed Sully and Mike, I did enjoy the evolvement of their friendship. Sully ends up being the huge but cuddly monster we know and love, and Mike the trusty side kick. The beginning gave a peek into Mike’s past and a good look of just how adorable he was as a youngster. The middle had its highs and lows but over-all lacked the charisma and hilarity of the first. The ending wasn’t nearly as glorious as what I imagined it would be and to me, made the whole story line rather pointless when it came down to how the two got to Monsters Inc.

Of course, all of this is just my own personal opinion and speculation. It doesn’t mean that I hated MU or that Despicable Me 2 didn’t have a few of its own flaws. I would even give Monsters University a second chance once it comes out on dvd. I just hope sharing my thoughts and feelings relating to any movie I blog about will help if you’re unsure about taking the time and money to go and see it.

-skip the next paragraph if you’re uninterested in reading about a few crazy things that happened after the movies were over… Its too hilarious not to share!-

I must say, though, before I wrap this up, that after the movies were finished and we were all packed and ready to go my car died! It was the first experience I’ve had of my car battery dying and of course we were out in the middle of a close-to-abandoned field at 3 in the morning! Long story short, we were able to find someone with jumper cables and we left to go home. The unfortunate events didn’t stop there though. My friend remembered that she left her phone so half way home we turned around and had to search the empty field for it! After successfully finding it, we left for home again. Halfway back, we forgot that my friends’ car (with all of their stuff inside) was parked at the building next to the drive in. So, we turned around yet again. But no, it didn’t just stop there. When I dropped off my friends back at their car, one of them broke their flip flop! Not that it wasn’t easily fixable, but at 3:30 am we were all slap-happy and saw it as yet another catastrophe. We all finally made it home, but of course had to finish with just one more problem… As we were unloading our things, my friend’s wheel off of her wheel chair popped off! Thankfully, it was a simple solution. Clumsy with sleepiness, it took a minute to get it popped back on. We ended up going to bed around 4 Thursday morning, and when I eventually woke up it was hard to believe that it all hadn’t been a dream!

Have you seen either movie yet? What are your thoughts and feelings about them?

Have a wonderful day and many blessings to you!


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