Seeking Goodness- 2018 Goals

I love beginning the new year with goals.  I know there is nothing magical about January 1.  In my mind it is a great time to start my goals.  When I was in education, my goals and year began in August.  You can start goals on March 23rd and it is just as good as any other day.

I am visual and reflective.  So, I write out my goals.  My hubby and oldest wrote out their goals too.  We shared them as a family.  This gives us accountability and knowing someone is looking out for us.

Each year I decide on a word that helps focus me.  Last year my word was INTENTIONAL.  I wanted to be intentional with my mind, heart, words, and time.  As I reflect for this year, I continually landed on two words, SEEKING GOODNESS.   Looking for the kindness, generosity, quality, and best parts of everything.  By Seeking Goodness in my spiritual life, in my health, family, and self, it will naturally point to Jesus who is true goodness.

I know that working towards my goals is a process.  I’m not looking for perfection, it will take time to accomplish several of these goals.  I can rest in the fact that I am making progress towards my goals.  I am excited and a little nervous but know that I will be Seeking Goodness during the process.


What are your goals?  Do we share any of the same?
Here to progress!

Looking Forward,

Happy New Year’s Eve!

December 31–  Everyone  has their own feelings about the last day of the year.  If your year has been tough, you are ready to say “good-bye” and start fresh.  If this has been an epic year, you might be anticipating what the new year will bring.  It is all your perspective.

As I have shared before, I am a goal setter.  I start thinking about how I can improve, how can I be the best me, and what steps do I need to take.  I like to focus on one word that encompasses my goals and thoughts for the next year.  There is power in writing down your goals.  My goals in 2017 and my goals in 2016 were different and somewhat the same but something I could focus on.  I’m still working on my 2018 goals.

I wanted to share something that my sister and her family does each year.  This simple tradition has been such a blessing to them and a great way to celebrate memories.  Each year they begin with an empty jar.  Throughout the year they add memories to the jar.  It might be a significant movie ticket, written memory of something funny one of their children did, a photo, a drawing, matchbook, you get where I’m going.  Sometimes my sister will just journal that day to capture a feeling.  All the memories are placed in the jar.  On January 1 of the next year, they make a special breakfast and go through the jar. The memories of the previous year are celebrated and reflected on.


There is so much power in celebrating memories and honoring the previous year.  It gives them a moment to reflect and make goals for the next year.  I found this quote from Victoria Erickson that I really like:


Have a great last day of 2017!  See you in 2018!

Looking Forward,



Cookbooks- My Favorites

I have shared before that I LOVE COOKBOOKS.  My collection is vast and eclectic.  Some of my cookbooks have tags and writing all through them as I have taken notes or made changes through the years.  I have special cookbooks that have been signed by the chefs. I take reading a cookbook very seriously.  I read my cookbooks from cover to cover before I will even cook one recipe out of it.  Cookbooks share stories from the chef.  You can understand the inspiration and influences as you read along.  You learn new techniques and terminology.  I love curling up with a new cookbook.  Page by page the stories and recipes unfold.

I know each Christmas (and other times of the year) that my husband, Chris, will search for the perfect cookbook for me.  He knows that he must write a little note on the inside cover complete with the date.  Over the years, I have grown to cherish many of my cookbooks but I wanted to share a few today in case you are looking for a last minute gift idea.


Date Night In Chris gave me this cookbook last year.  I love it.  The book is organized by seasons and has a complete menu for your date night in.  We have looked forward to creating this meals together.  Each dinner has a dessert and cocktail to create.  Chris loves making cocktails so it is a win-win cookbook for us.


The Southern’s Cookbook Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories– This is one of those cookbooks that is so fun to read.  The editors of Garden & Gun pulled together great stories and recipes all in one place.  You will love the “talk of the south.”


Back In The Day Bakery Made With Love–  So true confession- I am obsessed with Cheryl and Griffith Day!  Their bakery in Savannah, Georgia gives me all the feels and is complete happiness.  When you visit the bakery, you will see Cheryl and Griffith in the back busy creating something yummy.  This cookbook is their second book.  I have own both  (obsessed) and both are signed (true obsession).


Yes, I’m with Cheryl and Griffith Day at Back in the Day Bakery

The next time you are in Savannah, Georgia, you must stop by Back in the Bakery!  It does not disappoint and it is hard to make a decision. So do what I do, get one of each and share!


Bread and Wine–  This is my favorite book to give as a gift.  One of my best friends gave me a copy and I fell in love.  Shauna Niequist tells beautiful stories of friendships that develop over food.  She encourages you to invite others over.  Break bread together and form relationship.  Shauna shares great recipes and wonderful insight on life.  She has many great books. Present over Perfect is her latest and it reminds us to present in every moment we have and don’t worry about the perfection.  I hope to meet Shauna one day. She is a true inspiration and mentor through her words.



The Silver Spoon For Children is my favorite children’s cookbook right now.  The illustration are made where children can follow along and begin cooking like an Italian. Make pasta, meatballs, chicken Stuffed with marscapone, foccaccia, and the list goes on. I am a believer in having my children in the kitchen.



Last recommendation is a cookbook that has been well loved that I did not want to take a picture of the front.  It has lots of battle wounds (in a good way) from the kitchen.  I have used my Gourmet Cookbook for the past ten years.  It is my kitchen buddy and has helped me cook some delicious food.

Let me know your favorite cookbooks.  I’m always looking for new ones.

Looking Forward,



White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies

I love baking cookies during the holidays.  I make my traditional sugar cookies recipe that I have been making since I was a little girl.  We add in the some Ginger Molasses Cookies.  Sometimes I like to add in Pretzel M&M Hugs

This year I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients- Almonds, Cranberries, and White Chocolate.  It was a win in the kitchen.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 t  vanilla extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 t baking soda
½ t salt
2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 oz  melting white chocolate (for drizzle)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  
Using your mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  
Then add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Now stir in almonds, 1 1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels, and 1 cup of dried cranberries.  
Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.  Then take the extra white chocolate morsels and dried cranberries and add a few pieces on top to each cookie.  This will make your cookies have a great look of fullness of pieces.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.  
Melt the melting while chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.  

Leftover Turkey- Salsa Verde Enchiladas

You have made it to the other side.  You survived Thanksgiving.  Memories were made. Food was yummy.  And now you have leftovers.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Thanksgiving leftovers but there is only so many turkey cranberry sandwiches on person can eat.  My Texas roots always have me turn to Turkey Salsa Verde Enchiladas.  You can use white or dark turkey meat.  Add in some chips and salsa and you have a great meal.


Turkey Salsa Verde Enchiladas

Flour Tortillas, 8 medium

3 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

3 cups Turkey, shredded

2 cups Salsa Verde

2 avocados, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, minced

I T olive oil


Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a small pan, add olive oil and onions.  Cook onions until translucent.

In a medium bowl combine salsa verde and cream cheese until well blended.

In a 13×9 baking dish, cover the bottom with salsa verde.

Now begin assembling your enchiladas- lay tortilla flat and fill with turkey, cheese, red onion, avocado, cilantro and 2 tablespoon of salsa verde mix.  Roll enchilada and place into baking dish with seam down.  Continue until all tortillas are complete.  Top enchiladas with remaining salsa verde and shredded cheese.

Bake enchiladas for 30 minutes.  Then top cooked enchiladas with additional red onions, avocados, and cilantro.

Roasted Butternut Squash

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and you might be looking for one last side dish.  Pick up a butternut squash and I bet you have the rest in your pantry.  Roasting butternut squash is super easy and completely tasty.  I love the balsamic vinegar in this recipe.

You can prep your butternut squash in the morning and throw it in the oven thirty minutes before dinner.


Roasted Butternut Squash

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

3 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

2 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and butter.  Toss the butternut squash in mixture.  Pile squash into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then season well with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once about halfway through, until fork-tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Serve warm.

The Naked Turkey


I started teaching when I was in the second grade.  My Cabbage Patch Babies were perfect students.  As I got older, there was no doubt I wanted to become a teacher.  I was blessed to be in elementary school for fifteen years on my career.  Some of my time was in kindergarten.  I LOVE kindergarten!!  The happiest place to be in a school is the kindergarten wing.  These little sponges love life and learning.  And I was lucky enough to be part of their journey.

My first year of teaching, I created a “Naked” Turkey.  First of all, when you are five years old, it is fun to say “naked.”  We would create the body of the turkey by ripping up brown paper sacks.  Yes, it was good fine motor skills too.  Then we would glue our pieces on to a poster board.  But our turkey was “naked” and needed feathers.

So, throughout the week before Thanksgiving we would add feathers.  Some were created at home and some in our art center.  I always loved seeing our turkey on the final day.  All the colors, fingerprints, and imaginations of the students.

Well, you can take me out of the classroom but you can’t take the classroom out of me.  I began creating a “naked” turkey at home with the boys.

This year, I got out new art supplies each day so that Whitaker and I could create feathers.  Stickers, stamps, paint, glitter, etc.

So you have a whole week and your little ones are home with you.  Why not create a naked turkey?  They will look forward to the quality time creating feathers with you and I promise you will LOVE your finished project.  If you make a naked turkey, please share!

Plus you get to say “naked” but as moms we get to say that a lot already.

Looking Forward,