Creating a Life…with just Five Things a Day!

words and thoughts from my journey


April 2016

#tbt – Recipe Review – “One-Pan Pasta”

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve made this recipe…and I noted in an old post that it was delicious…with my life in a busy, tight schedule I thought this was a great recipe to revisit. Taking only about 30 minutes to make, it is a great fit for an evening getting home at 7pm. I hate eating too late because then I tend to have a hard time getting to sleep at a decent time so the quicker and easier recipe for an evening during the work week the better, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice taste…

This awesome recipe is so simple to make – chop some ingredients up, throw everything in a pot, and cook! Wallah! Delicious!

One Pot Pasta Prep

This recipe came from a Martha Stewart magazine…the link will follow the recipe. I thought for my followers (speaking of time) I would retype the recipe here to make it readily available for you!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus a few additional torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt (can substitute table salt if necessary) and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (I didn’t have a straight-sided skillet so I used a pot and came out just wonderful still!). Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Continue to boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Season to  taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls (makes approximately 4 servings) and garnish with basil. Serve with Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese.




Art Journal 4

As I sat pondering my progress in life one night I was struck with the thought of time…the thought that “time waits for no one”… the thought that if we don’t go for it, we may never… but also the thought that we spend so much time trying to think of what to do next that we miss what may be happening to us right in that very moment. Time is something that is constantly moving forward, though we may “take a moment to pause”, that actually that paused moment is still a moving moment, it is still taking us into the next moment, the next moment in time.  I have read many times that if we wait for the right time to go after something that we miss it, that there is never a right time, there is just right now. So I find myself caught in a manner of trying to balance enjoying every moment of my life but not stalling to the point that I miss the opportunities presented to me.

I let myself (even though it may not be my most artistically inclined entry – I love my little clocks though – maybe this will be an art journal entry to reinvent at a later date!) draw this thought, this reminder, into my art journal so that I may be reminded not only to always take advantage of opportunities, and challenges, and lessons, but also to remind myself to savor each moment of my life. 

My Art Journal 11

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” ~ Harvey Mackay

#tbt – Banana Bread from Grandma’s Recipe Box

With the thought of bananas – tagging my Power Food post from earlier this week –  – this week’s #tbt post is my Grandma’s Banana Bread Recipe – I posted it publicly about 2 years ago after much debate about letting this cat out of the bag, but over the last several years I’ve learned that we’re here to share our joy with others (I’m awfully dramatic about banana bread aren’t I!)

Two years and two months ago I wrote…

There aren’t many things better to me than my Grandma Bell’s Banana Bread…and today was a good day for it. Our furnace isn’t working too well so today was a perfect day to heat up the oven and we definitely had some ripened bananas in the house from my boyfriend’s Hypothermia adventure a couple of weeks ago (he also had low potassium…hence the bananas). I have to be honest that I am fighting the choice to share this recipe with you…it’s a family favorite and I take a lot of pride in this recipe!

Grandma Bell’s Banana Bread Recipe

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Cream together shortening, sugar, and bananas.
  2. Add egg and beat.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  5. Gently stir in dry ingredients mixture alternating with milk.
  6. Pour in loaf pan (I grease mine so the bread slides out easier).
  7. Bake at 350degrees about an hour.

Please forgive my not-the-best photographs from then…I’ve learned a little in this department since then…

Banana Bread


Power Food – Bananas

Yesterday afternoon I made my visit to the Farmers’ Market to pick up some chow for the week (have to get back on track with packing lunches!). One of my favorite stands is the organic vegetable and fruit stand – he always has the yummiest stuff! That’s where I fell in love with kumquats for the first time! This time around I picked up a bunch of organic bananas. Bananas are a favorite fruit of mine for so many reasons – quick, easy, and packed with health benefits…and tasty too! Bananas fall onto the Power Foods list for many many reasons:

  • Most commonly known for being high in Potassium –
    • essential for good heart health
    • helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
    • Potassium also helps you be more mentally alert
  • A great source of fiber (about 3grams per medium banana)
    • helps aid and regulate digestion
  • A calcium rich fruit
  • Low in sodium
  • Low Fat
    • Bananas do contain a type of fat called sterols though, which helps keep blood cholesterol levels controlled by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • High in vitamin B-6
    • helps in the production of white blood cells
    • strengthens the nervous system
    • studies have shown it to help in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
    • helps reduce swelling
    • Aids in weight loss
  • They are high in antioxidants
  • Bananas are high in pectin
    • Pectin helps with digestion and gently removes toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • Contains high levels of trytophan which converts to serotonin (the happy good feeling chemical in our brain)
  • Are high in magnesium
  • Higher in sugar with approx 14-15 grams of sugar per medium banana, but the sugars are of low glycemic value.
  • Contain fructooligosaccharides which act as a natural prebiotic
    • helps maintain good bacteria in our lower intestines
    • supports overall digestive health
  • Are a natural antacid
  • They help restore electrolytes to the body

So to sum it up they are a yummy treat that helps keep your gut healthy, your sugars in check, and give you energy : )

Power Food - Bananas

I know this has been a long post, but I don’t want to ruin my routine of posting a power food with some yummy recipes to try too – check these out, I am excited to try at least one of these this week!!!

1.   2.   3.


Sunday Journaling for #motivationmonday

    roll with it waves polaroid

    I’m sitting here thinking about what I want to write…this weekend had it’s frustrations for sure – like that darn Windows 10 update I’ve been trying to avoid on my laptop – that pretty much stalled any computer work I was going to catch up during the day – but it did give me time to work on some other things that have been lingering on my to-do list for quite some time now – like updating my Poshmark closet (if you haven’t yet, you should def check this app out – it’s an online marketplace where you can sell and shop for gently used clothes. I’ve made some extra cash there and have scored some cool duds)… so as I try to think what I want to write for my #motivationmonday post, I realize that this weekend was a great lesson and reflection of myself. I’m proud of myself and how I’ve grown. I could have sat around and pouted and been sleepy (I didn’t get much sleep this weekend – my son had a weekend long sleep over – they were very well behaved and it does have its perks, like at this age they can pretty much entertain themselves (I was a little more lax this weekend about video game playing time) but they also stay up much later than I usually do lol – If you’re a mom of boys, you get this!) but that wouldn’t have moved me any further towards my goals so I adjusted. I think many times we find ourselves so overwhelmed of focusing on what’s going wrong that we forget to take a step back and see the opportunities in the challenge. With the time away from my computer I found that I had time to tackle some other things on my list – I even have my lunches prepped for the week, woohoo – def needed some more structure and discipline in that area. So even though this weekend might not have gone as I had planned, I had some big wins and conquers : )



Power to Choose…


I have the power to choose.

I have the power to choose to have positive people in my life.

I have the power to choose to be happy.

I have the power to choose my battles.

I have the power to choose to share love, joy, and hope.

I have the power to choose to be free.

I have the power.

Art Journal Pages 7 thru 9

Spring Snow

April 9 snow

A lovely spring day in April…snowing on a Saturday morning.

I fell asleep last night to a disbelief that the snow would be coming. But this morning I awoke to a silence and certain gentleness in air. I climbed out of bed to let my pup out to the yard to potty and there it was, plump white snowflakes falling before me. The yard blanketed with the white fluff. I could flinch knowing that I have that inner desire for bright, warm, sunny days but the thought climbed into my mind that how often do we get to see snow like this on a spring day. So I’ll rejoice in the beauty of the stark white covering today and the realization that nature is really in control of what happens in this world.

Power Food – Avocado

When I was younger I wouldn’t touch an avocado, I was quite the picky eater, as my tastes have changed though I have come to love avocados and I’m so glad I did! Avocados are considered a SuperFood because of how high they are in nutrients and studies continue to find new health benefits of it.

Avocados are:

  • High in healthy fats
  • Contain no Cholesterol or Sodium
  • Low in Saturated Fats
  • High in Fiber
  • High in Nutrients – Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Potassium (contains more than in a Banana)
  • Also contain Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin A,               B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin)
  • Shown to help lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels
  • High in antioxidants
  • Some studies show it has anti-swelling properties that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis


Recipes to Try:

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: