Browsing Tag



Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2015






An early Merry Christmas to you, friends! Today I wanted to share a few of our holiday photos that were taken earlier this fall. It’s amazing to me how quickly Ainsley changes. She looks so different now than she did when these photos were taken less than two months ago! Tis the life of a baby, right?

There are a lot of reflective, mushy and very true things to say about 2015. It was SUCH a big year for our family. New (old) town, new jobs for both of us, living closer to family and taking on a home renovation, and most importantly taking on the roles of mom and dad. It’s hard, maybe impossible, to capture with words what this year has meant to us and what we’ve learned in the last year. Some lessons have been taught through our fair share of trials while others have been unbelievably sweet.

Thank you for reading, for following along with our family and for encouraging me this year with your words of wisdom about life and motherhood. It’s been a joy and a blessing to me to be able to do life with you – even if it’s through the computer screen rather than over a cup of coffee. My sincerest hope for you this Christmas is that you feel the light and love of Christ this holiday season and take time to reflect on the gift that we have in the Savior that came to this earth for us.



Holiday Pilates

November 27, 2015

Pilates 4x4 Holiday 2


My friend Robin is a pilates instructor and founder of The Balanced Life. I’ve mentioned Robin before, but it bears repeating that she has one of the most balanced, authentic voices in the fitness community.

A balanced approach to fitness during the holidays? Now that’s something I can get behind. And while I love the sweet treats and celebratory foods that come with the season, my goal come January is to feel fit and healty while also feeling like I was able to enjoy the foods I love.

Robin is launching the Pilates 4×4 Program on November 30th. Here’s a bit more about what it entails and who it’s for…

The program is for:

1. Women who are short on time
2. Busy moms who need something they can easily do from home that won’t take hours + travel time + extra showers.
3. Women who travel and need something they can easily do from their hotel room or while visiting relatives.
4. Women who don’t love going to the gym or who don’t have access to a gym on a regular basis.
5. Women who are interested in building core strength, improving flexibility, and toning from head to toe.
6. Women who need a little extra encouragement and accountability because they have trouble staying consistent with their workouts on their own.

The program will include:

– 4 (40 minute) Pilates workouts (a new one goes out each week)
– Progress Journal to stay in-tune with your body & mind during the holiday season
– A daily “cup of motivation” email to feel inspired and motivated as you start each day
– Goal-setting guide
– Workout checklist to keep you on track
– A handful of other fun bonuses!

I’m going to be participating in order to stay on track and keep myself in a healthy mindset during the holidays. What a great feeling to get through December feeling great about your body, right? If you want to join me, you have just three days to sign up for the program. Sign up or find out more HERE.


Healthier Peppermint Cheesecake

December 22, 2011

For those of you that are still looking for a festive dessert over the holidays that is something a little fancier than cookies, this Healthier Peppermint Cheesecake would make a fabulous addition to your holiday table. Joey and I had friends over last week and the finale to our meal was this cheesecake.

Since I figured everyone this time of year gets enough heavy, calorie-dense meals, I wanted to keep the dessert lighter than traditional cheesecake. When I found this cheesecake recipe in a Holiday Diabetic Recipes magazine I picked up a few weeks back, I knew it would be the perfect dessert. Although no one in the group is diabetic, the recipe was lower in calories and fat than any other recipe I’ve come across.

When it comes to taste and flavor, I could hardly tell that this was a healthier cheesecake. It was slightly less sweet, but I found that pleasant when compared to the typical sugar coma inducing cheesecake of the Cheesecake Factory.

In other news, Joey and I have been having a great time with family and taking a little time off from work. I’ll post an update soon on happenings over the past couple days, but for now I’ll leave you with a this crazy-good recipe.

Festive Peppermint Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups finely crushed low-fat graham crackers
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/3 cup tub-style vegetable oil spread, melted
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (6-ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups frozen light whipped dessert topping
6 sugar-free peppermints, crushed
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. For crust, combine graham crackers and flaxseed meal. Stir in melted vegetable oil spread. Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 2-inches up sides of an 8-inch springform pan, set aside.
2. For filling, beat cream cheese, marshmallow creme, yogurt, and peppermint extract until smooth. Stir in eggs just until combined.
3. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a 2 1/2 inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of pan; cool for 30 minutes. Remove the side of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover; chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
5. To serve, spread desert topping on top. Top with melted chocolate and crushed peppermints.

Nutrition Facts per serving (makes 12 servings): 258 cal., 12 g total fat, 14 mg chol., 212 mg. sodium, 31 g carb, 1 g fiber, 6 g pro.

Happy Baking!

Molasses Crinkles

November 4, 2010
In my opinion, there’s a lot to love about Thursdays. I think it has something to do with the anticipation of the weekend and the fun that’s coming. Especially in the case of this weekend! Joey and I will be meeting up in Minneapolis for another Bethel football game and to spend some time with his family, including his aunt, uncle and cousins from Wisconsin. Don’t worry, I’m already charging my camera and have set a reminder on my phone to take it along. 
Until Friday gets here, I’m biding my time eating cookies. Molasses Crinkles to be exact. Last night I cuddled up in front of the television with my copy of Gourmet Today, and once again, it did not disappoint with plenty of approachable, delectable recipes I couldn’t wait to try. It was a tough call between Elvis Presley’s favorite pound cake and these cookies. But when it comes to cookies and cake, cookies usually win in my kitchen. 
These Molasses Crinkles are a perfect workhorse for the holiday season. They’re deep, rich and filled with seasonal spices. And once baked, they are the perfect texture. No lie. Crispy and sugary on the edges, soft and slightly cakey in the center, they are sure to please crunchy cookie lovers (that’s you, mom!) and chewy cookie lovers (me!) alike. Maybe next time I’m back at home, I’ll make them to eat with my favorite crunchy cookie lover. 
Have a happy weekend everyone!
Molasses Crinkles
Just Slightly Adapted From Gourmet Today 
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*2 tsp. baking powder
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*3/4 tsp. ground ginger
*1/2 tsp. ground allspice
*1/2 tsp. salt
*8 Tbsp. butter, softened
*1 cup packed brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/2 cup molasses 
About 1/3 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
*Whisk together flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt in a bowl. 
*Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed for two minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add egg and molasses, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture. 
*With wet hands, roll heaping teaspoons of dough into 2-inch balls, then dip balls in sugar and arrange them 2 inches apart on baking sheets. 
*Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely. 
Happy Baking!