Taco Sloppy Joes Taco Sloppy Joes

I have a love-hate relationship with messy dinners.

I love that:

>they are really easy to throw together

>they are completely non-fussy

>my kids go crazy for them and

>generally they are really hard to screw up.

I hate that:

>they’re messy.

My table, my floors, my chairs, sometimes my walls, my kids’ clothes and my kids. All dirty in a matter of minutes.

So everyday around 5pm, it’s a battle between happy kids, dirty everything or cranky kids, clean everything.

Can you guess what I usually choose? If I gave you a tour of my house, you’d know exactly which camp I’d fall. Actually, scratch that. You don’t need a tour. Just walk in my front door. You’ll see. We are the messy house dinner people. Yippee?

Tacos are a messy dinner. Spaghetti is a messy dinner. Anything involving rice or quinoa tends to be a messy dinner. Soup also falls into this category as does {you guessed it!} Sloppy Joes!

I’ve kind of just accepted the fact that I need to do dishes and wipe down the table, the chairs and the floor after every meal.

At the end of the day, I’d rather clean up after the delicious dinner than fight my kids all the way through the meal over something they don’t want to eat.

If I’m being completely honest, at the end of the day, I’d rather eat chocolate and watch Friends and pay someone to clean up dinner but, alas, Mama gotta save for our next vacation. A girl can dream.

Super Mom Stir Fry Super Mom Stir Fry

Why yes I just typed out that title.

“Super Mom Stir Fry”.

Who am I right now?

Just Mom. Not to be confused with Super Mom, although I like to lead you to believe that I am. In all reality, most days are filled with kids not wanting to do fill in the blank and me just trying to hold it together ’til bedtime. You may recall this Motherhood post.


Dinnertime may just be the worse part of the day. It used to by my favorite, but with no hubby home to help with the madness, I am back and forth between cooking and holding a cranky baby all the while fending off older children who are trying to snatch anything they can find in the pantry.

The Redwoods! {and Double Peanut Granola Bites} The Redwoods! {and Double Peanut Granola Bites}

This post is sponsored by Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter.

This past weekend, my little family and I had the opportunity to travel down to California to visit the Redwood National Park. Sometimes we get the hankering to get the heck outta town and hit the road. Since we live in Oregon and have been to every National Park in this beautiful state, we decided to head even further south to the Redwoods. We have always wanted to take our children here and we finally had the opportunity to make it happen.

YOU GUYS. You hear about the Redwoods and you see pictures but holy cow, these trees are HUGE. Like, the park rangers totally weren’t kidding.

We arrived late Friday night, so we rested up and got a nice early start Saturday morning, thanks to my children’s internal clocks waking them up and therefore all of us up at 6am. Ew. So we grabbed a little breakfast and headed over to the visitor’s center to pick up all the maps they had {hello no cell service}. We set out with a very loose plan and hoped for the best. The best adventures and memories are made when there are no strict plans! As we found hikes and different trails to explore, the trees kept getting bigger and cooler! Take a look at these pictures I snapped.

And, as expected, the trees are bigger and more beautiful in person.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Portland weather has finally FINALLY turned a corner.

The winter made me borderline psychotic {cue all the rage}, partially because of all the non-stop rain and partially because we had to pay for a brand new roof because of said nonstop rain. But, we are finally getting more sun these days {hallelujah} and the weather is starting to warm up to enjoyable levels.

I never thought I’d see the day.

So, we had a picnic to celebrate the glorious weather. And by picnic, I mean pack up what I had already made for dinner and find a table at the park next to the library.

That Good Salad That Good Salad

Hey everyone! Gord and I are still enjoying our mini road trip slash work trip this week. We head back home to our kiddos tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited to see them. They are exhausting little rascals, but boy do they steal your heart.


This salad recipe is something I copied from my Mom’s recipe box about 12 years ago when I was heading to college. I think she got the recipe from a lady from our church?! Maybe. I don’t really remember. BUT–> it’s called “That Good Salad” because that is what everyone says when they try it. I’ve made this a handful of times and can completely attest that that is 100% true. The bowl gets cleaned and people ask me for the recipe.

The Monica Salad The Monica Salad

So, there are certain people in my life that make amazing salads. My sister-in-law, Sarah, is one of these people. It doesn’t matter what is in the salad, this lady has a way with her fresh produce.

Another one of these people is my friend Monica, who, bless her heart, brought me this salad and a lasagna right after I had my baby. The lasagna was very good, but you guys….this salad was AMAZING. It was unique because the combination of ingredients within the salad was something I’ve never had before. So many different textures and flavors going on but it was the parsley dressing that made this salad so incredibly good.

Who knew, right?! Parsley? In salad dressing?

Yes, it’s a thing and yes, it’s good.

Now, this isn’t the *exact* recipe, but more of a copycat version made from my hazy, post-baby, exhausted, doped up memory of what Monica brought me that Sunday night. I did ask her for the recipe, but got a wicked craving for it impatient and less than 24 hours after asking, made my own version.

YOU GUYS. It’s good. The candied walnuts, blue cheese and dressing are what take this salad over the top. Even my husband was like “this cheese in this salad is amazing!” –>coming from a man who hates smelly cheese! #miracle

Honey Butter Sesame Salmon Honey Butter Sesame Salmon

So, I was going to post some dessert recipes because that’s all I’ve been craving as of late, but then I remembered I’m still doing a Dietbet {oops?} and should probably be focusing on weight loss instead of banana pudding and muffins and Cheetos and all the chocolate in my freezer.

Incase you were wondering, yes, the Dietbet is not going well.

Breastfeeding makes me ravenously hungry and I’m getting cravings, just not for healthy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to popular belief, I DO eat healthy stuff, but then that gives me lots of justification in eating the non-healthy stuff. Does that make sense? No? {Does anything I say on here ever make a whole lot of sense, though? Don’t answer that.}

So, I’m trying to find a balance within the dinner rotation and thought I’d throw a little fish into the mix because, why the heck not? My family loves salmon, plus its one of the few proteins that cooks quickly and tastes delicious by doing hardly anything to it. #winning

For this honey butter sesame salmon, I just slathered a few filets with honey, butter and sesame oil. SHOCKING, I know. I threw on a little salt and pepper too for good measure and then threw it into the oven. Served with a little rice and a salad and that was dinner πŸ™‚

Taco Cobb Salad Taco Cobb Salad

So, my Dietbet is going well….ish.

I’ve been doing great at not eating processed sugar {no sweets thus far!}, getting all my water in and doing my best eating whole, nutritionally sound foods. I’ve been struggling with getting my walks in because Portland is a rainy dark hole and my baby has been cursing me and hasn’t been sleeping well, thus making me a tired monster mother. But, slowly I’m making progress. I still have my large and in charge jelly belly, but whatever. I’m sure I’ll have a stronger opinion about it when I’m well rested and can expend the energy to use actually use my brain.

But in the meantime, I’m making relatively healthy dinners {read: lots of veggies} with the occasional Dorito thrown into the mix to keep me on track. I gave up the processed sugar, but no one said anything about four{teen thousand} Doritos. I figure a whole bag of chips on their own…not the best choice, but throw a couple on a salad? Better. It’s obviously not THEBEST choice, but I don’t care. {<--sleep deprivation:: has me not caring about a lot of things these days.} But seriously, Doritos on a taco salad? If you haven't tried it, you must. It's one of my favorite things to eat everrrrrrrr. See here and here for proof. What can I say? I have a thing for neon orange chips and I don't care who knows it.

Crunchy Thai Peanut Chicken & Kale Salad Crunchy Thai Peanut Chicken & Kale Salad

Today, I’ve partnered with The Good Table to bring you a delicious and healthy side dish recipe for your perfectly seasoned chicken dinner. The Good Table is a new product line from General Mills and offers families gourmet-style sauce and crust mixes for chicken and fish.

So excited for you to try this Thai Chicken and my kale salad to go with πŸ™‚

Not only do you get amazing flavors from the chicken and the salad, but both are simple to prepare.

I love making dinnertime adventurous for my little family. I always try to incorporate new flavors weekly to expand and broaden their little 2-and 6-year old palates. Recently, while Brooke was at school {and literally the day before I gave birth to Eddie}, Gord and I took Blake to a Thai grocery store to explore and get inspiration for this Thai dinner. I figured if Blake {my pickier eater} helped us pick up the veggies we needed for the dinner, he was more likely to try it. And, believe it or not, it worked!