Sunday, May 18, 2014

Simple Lasagna {Make Ahead Meal}

This is one of my favorite Make Ahead Meals!  This is usually the meal I make when someone has a baby.  It’s easy to freeze, heat up, and tastes great.  Besides, who doesn’t like lasagna?

To start with, I don’t even know who to credit for this recipe because it’s one I’ve kinda developed on my own.  It’s a little bit of google, a little bit of my mama’s cooking, and a little bit of me!

Note:  When I made this meal I doubled my normal recipe (when I took the pictures I made a lasagna for us as well as a friend) so the portions in the photos are larger than the written recipe!

1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1 jar marinara sauce
15 ounces of ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Italian blend cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (separated)
2 eggs
1 garlic clove
oregano & parsley to taste
salt and pepper (I prefer Mrs. Dash)
1 package of lasagna noodles

First, brown ground turkey and sausage.  Once the meat is cooked, add marinara sauce (my mom makes super amazing homemade sauce… I get the stuff in a jar!)

Mix the cheeses (set 1/4 cup Parmesan for later!) and eggs.  Add in garlic, oregano, parsley, salt & pepper (or Mrs. Dash).  I can’t even tell you how much oregano, parsley or Mrs. Dash I use.  I just kinda sprinkle a bit (sometimes I don’t like to measure… it makes me feel like I know what I’m doing!).  Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to directions on the box.  I usually use 6 noodles.

Start layering your lasagna!  Meat sauce, noodles, cheese, meat sauce, noodles, cheese (I just realized I layered this lasagna wrong…Oops!  I don’t think anyone noticed and it still tasted great…so don’t stress about the layering).  When you’re finished layering, cover your lasagna and pop it in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat it, cook the lasagna at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and enjoy!  I like to serve lasagna with garlic bread and a salad.

Do you have a favorite lasagna recipe?

Friday, May 16, 2014

The nicest thing someone ever did for me was… {FTSF}

It’s Friday!!!  That means I’m linking up with Janine, Stephanie, Kristi, and Kate for Finish the Sentence Friday!

Today’s sentence is…

…everything my mom did when C was first born!

My parents moved to North Carolina when my mom was 7 months pregnant with me.  They knew nobody.  When I was born family visited and helped out for a while, but for the most part my parents were on their own.  My dad started a new job and my mom spent pretty much all day, every day with a non-sleeping newborn.  My mom knows how hard it is to have a newborn with little help, so when C was born she went above and beyond to help me transition to motherhood.

The second my mom became a grandmother her instincts kicked in and she went into overdrive.  She took care of all those “little things” so I could focus on C.  She helped us get settled at home and helped me get started nursing.  She ran errands, made meals, and cleaned.  She played with C so I could nap between nursing sessions.  Basically my mom made Mary Poppins look like a slacker. 

Now that C is a big boy I don’t quite need the same kind of help as I did during those newborn days.  However, my mom gets plenty of time with C and it’s clear they share a very special bond.  I’m so incredibly thankful C will grow up with his “Gaga” nearby!

What’s the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Goals & Healthy Habits

I’m a goal-oriented person.  Having a clear goal in mind is something I enjoy.  I need goals to keep me organized and focused.  One of my most challenging goals was to complete a half marathon.  I trained for four months and I am thrilled to have “complete half marathon” checked off my bucket list.  However, since my race I’ve been a little unfocused and disorganized.  I need some new goals.

I’ve thought about signing up for another half and I’ve thought about just sticking to short runs.  I’ve thought about setting a goal weight, but I said sayonara to the scale a while ago and I don’t really care to bust it back out.  Recently I was talking with a friend and she suggested I focus on some fun goals in addition to my health-related goals.

It’s summer– my favorite time of the year (well it may not be technically summer yet, but the humidity tells me summer is in full swing already in North Carolina)!  Also, I turn 30 in August (eep!).  So I’ve decided to set myself some summer goals to complete by my 30th birthday.  Here’s what I got so far…

1.  Live in the moment.
My brother is getting married in a few weeks.  I’m honored and excited to be able to stand up beside my brother as he and his fiancee say their vows.  Lately I’ve been focusing on so many little wedding details– How am I going to get C down the aisle? (he’s the ring bearer)  What about C’s nap?  Shoes, alterations, nails, hair…  The list goes on.  However, I really need to shift my focus.  Marriage is a beautiful thing, and a wedding celebrates the beginning of two lives joining together.  So my goal is to live more in the moment– starting with my brother’s wedding.  

2.  Spend more time outside.
It was a looooong winter!  Between the flu, pink eye, and Snowmageddon, we hibernated quite a bit.  Now that we’re not sick and not snowed in, C and I need to get outside more!  We’ve started with a beach trip and some strawberry pickin, but we can do more.  Instead of having lazy mornings in the house trying to figure out what we’re going to do, we need to get up, get dressed, and go.  Pretty soon it will be too hot to be out in the afternoons and we need to enjoy the sunshine while we can!  There’s a park with a train I think C would LOVE!  I’ve been talking about it for a few weeks, but I’m tired of talking… I’m going to make plans and go!  I plan to visit a park at least once a week so C and I can explore and enjoy the outdoors. 

3.  Get messy.
I’m not a control freak kinda mom, but I’m not a super messy kinda mom either.  However, C is a kid.  He likes to get messy.  To me it may seem like a mess, but to C it’s exploring.  Recently he helped one of his friends paint a birdhouse.  He LOVED the paint!  I need to provide more opportunities for him to make a mess– paint, play-doh, the whole shebang.  I will plan at least one messy activity for C each week.

4.  Exercise 5 days each week.
This may not be as specific as the “complete a half marathon” goal, but I think it will suffice.  It’s important to me to be healthy and it’s even more important to me for C to see me being healthy.  This includes exercising and eating right.  I’ve recently started T25 and enjoy it so far.  I also plan to do a few 5ks this summer.  My last 5k time was just under 35 minutes.  My fitness goals are 1- Complete T25, and 2- Improve my 5k time.

5.  Make plans. 
This is definitely one of my weaknesses.  I certainly don’t want to be anti-social, but I’m just not really the kind of person to organize outings.  Recently I was able to celebrate with Ginny and some friends for her bachelorette party.  It was such an amazing time!  It’s so easy to get caught up in play dates and running, but I need some grown-up fun, too!  I’m going to be more proactive about making plans and keeping in touch with friends.

6.  Focus on the positive.
I recently took a group picture with some girls and immediately following the flash everyone hovered around the photo– I hate my arms!  My stomach looks huge!  My legs are gross!  Do I really look like that?  The more I thought about these comments the sadder I became.  Is that really how people see themselves?  Is that really how I see myself?  I looked at the pic and didn’t see fat arms, huge stomachs, or gross legs.  I saw a group of beautiful friends having a good time. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of times I see a picture of myself and think something negative.  However, the need to constantly put yourself down is a damaging habit.  So instead of nit-picking at all the imperfections, I want to focus on the positive.  My goal is to give myself and at least one other person a compliment each day.

Hopefully these goals to become healthy habits by  my 30th birthday!

What are your current goals?  How do you keep yourself focused?

Friday, May 2, 2014

I Have Absolutely No Interest In… {FTSF}

Happy Friday!  Today I’m linking up with Janine, Stephanie, Kristi, and Kate for Finish the Sentence Friday.

Today’s sentence is:

I have absolutely no interest in running a full marathon!  For a fleeting second before my first half I thought “maybe next year I’ll do the full!”  Now?  The idea of 26.2 miles does not sound fun at all!  I was sore for dayyys after my half.  I’d be knocked out for a week if I did a full.  BUT… Who knows!  This time last year the idea of a 5k was a stretch and a half was laughable.  Maybe next year I will be up for the full 26.2!

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

What is something you have absolutely no interest in?

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