Turkey Meatloaf

Posted By: Kristi

A friend at work told me about this recipe, found here, it was really really good! I was very impressed! I cut this recipe in half and it was huge. Below are the ingredients for double what I made.


  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 5 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup ketchup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

Let us know what you think! If you have another meatloaf recipe, please share. My husband loves meatloaf and I would love to try different kinds.

Tutorial - Turn Dollar Store Coasters into Custom Coasters

Posted By:  Stephanie

I hope this post finds all of you well!  I don't know where you are but here in the Oregon/Washington area Fall is in full effect with lots of rain and falling leaves.  I have to admit, I kind of love it.  I'm a fan of all the seasons that we are so lucky to experience here so I welcome the rainy season with open umbrella arms!  Now onto the tutorial I mentioned above.

I found these coasters that basically just had a paper on top from our local Dollar Tree.  I though, hmmm why not custom make these to fit my taste, it isn't anywhere close to Independence day so the stars and stripes just wont do.

As you can see they are cork on the back.

I found this piece of paper in my stash and decided it was perfect.  I would have coasters that would be different but all match.

Next I traced the coasters on the back.

Cut them out.

Put mod podge on the front of the coaster so the paper would stick.

Once then put another later on top to seal it.  I actually let it try and did this twice.

Please refer back to the first picture for the final product.  I was happy with how they turned out and I'm thinking I might even custom make some for maybe a specific person or party.  What do you think?

Recipe - Taco Soup

Posted By:  Stephanie

I love Taco Soup, or is it Chili?  I'm not really even sure what to call it, or what the definition on chili really is so lets just go with, I love this recipe!

1 large onion, chopped
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Chili Beans
1 can Whole Kernel Corn
1 can Diced Tomatoes - any flavor, I prefer Italian Seasoned
1 can Mexican Style Tomatoes - I used Tex Mex Style Tomatoes
1 package Taco Seasoning
1 package Ranch Dressing Mix
1 lb meat of your choice - I threw in 3 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts

Put in the crock pot (do not drain cans) for about 7-8 hours on low heat.  If you use chicken breasts like I did, pull them out when the food is cooked and put them in a bowl.  Using forks shred the chicken which will be very easy to do.  Put it back into the crock pot and mix the meat in.

When serving this it is really good with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips!  YUMMY!

Although this recipe is extremely quick and easy I like to make it even easier by putting all the ingredients in a large zip lock bag and freezing it.  That way I can put the bag in the refrigerator the day before so that I'm able to break it up in the morning and get it into the crock pot and not have to mess with the cans, chopping and all that good stuff.  Most likely it will still be mostly frozen if you took it out of the freezer the evening before.  Just a little tip so that you don't end up with a big mess, use a pitcher to put the bag in before adding your ingredients, that way you wont have a spill accident which is easy to do with all the liquids.

Cake Mix and Pudding Cookies

Posted By:  Stephanie

These cookies are so good and soft!  I know some people love a crunchy cookie but I am all for a nice and soft one.  I've never had a recipe that gave me that perfect fluffy cookie until now.  A friend made these, told me how to make them and I couldn't wait to try it out myself.

All you have to do is follow the instructions on any cake mix, minus one egg that it calls for and add one pudding.  It's that easy!  Oh and of course they wouldn't be the same without being topped with frosting!  The only trick to making these fluffy and not into flat pancakes (I did that once) is to make sure that your eggs are at room temperature.  The pudding should already be at room temperature because it is not the pudding that comes in the refrigeration section at the store, you will find it near the cake mix in the warm aisle.  I'm sure there is a better term for that but I'm not sure what it is.  = )  

Now that the weekend is here you should run to the store and give it a try.  As with any baking adventure in our house Little Lou got involved and loved it.  She likes when we use the hand mixer and before we turn it on she gets excited and yells, "I want to make noise!"  I sure do love that girl!

Have you made cookies from cake mix?  If your recipe is different please share.

Quick Fix

Posted By: Kristi

Am I the only one who gets tired of their kitchen towels slipping off of the oven handle onto the floor? I am a laid back person but I admit, this drives me CRAZY. I came up with a quick fix and so far, it is working beautifully!

I chose a few of my favorite kitchen towels and only upgraded them for now. I wanted to make sure this was a fix I was going to like before going DIY nutty.

1. You will need a kitchen towel and velcro. I purchased the velcro (Fabric Fusion) below. I found it at Michaels, unfortunately I can't remember how much I paid for it.

2. You will iron on the velcro on opposite sides of the towel so that when you are done, you can velcro it together and it will be tubular.

3. That's it! Place it on your oven and enjoy the fact that it will be where you left it!

Tutorial: Kids Play Makeup

Posted By:  Stephanie

Lately my little girl who's 2 loves to play with makeup.  It doesn't matter to her if it is real or fake, to her it is all VERY real = )

I decided that I would get a head start on Christmas gifts and make her a set of eye shadows and blush to go in a "makeup" kit for her.

I got these from the Dollar Store, that way I wasn't wasting good makeup.  I don't wear enough myself to have a lot of spare containers laying around, if you do use those.

Pick some nail polish colors you feel would work well for your "makeup".

I found using a toothpick and running it around the outer edge of the makeup made it either pop right out or break up really well so it came out pretty clean.

I then used a q-tip to clean out the corners to make them really look nice and real makeup free.

Next add the nail polish.  I did just enough so that the bottom was covered and you don't see metal, then paint the outer brim of the metal to give it the effect that it is completely full.

There you have it, mess free makeup for your little one or as a gift for a little girl you know would love it.  All you have to do is wait for it to dry.  Warning, this is a bit of a stinky process!

Sprinkled With Love

Posted By: Kristi

While in the process of editing a DIY video I want to share with you, I remembered that I never posted pictures of Stephanie's baby shower for Lelo. So I am going to share those today, and then later this week I will have a DIY project to show you. The theme for the shower was "Sprinkled With Love," thrown by our sister Matty and I.

(Lelo's name was on top)

It was a great day and we all enjoyed celebrating Stephanie and baby Lelo!

I WILL Stay in the Picture

Posted By:  Stephanie

I came across this article today when a couple of people posted it on Facebook from the Huffington Post.  I'm so glad I read it, this is exactly what I needed because I can relate so much.  It will just take a moment to read, you'll be glad you did.

The Mom Stays in the Picture
By Allison Tate

Last weekend, my family traveled to attend my oldest niece's Sweet Sixteen party. My brother and sister-in-law planned this party for many months and intended it to be a big surprise, and it included a photo booth for the guests.
I showed up to the party a bit late and, as usual, slightly askew from trying to dress myself and all my little people for such a special night out. I'm still carrying a fair amount of baby weight and wearing a nursing bra, and I don't fit into my cute clothes. I felt awkward and tired and rumpled.
I was leaning my aching back against the bar, my now 5-month-old baby sleeping in a carrier on my chest (despite the pounding bass and dulcet tones of LMFAO blasting through the room) when my 5-year-old son ran up to me.
"Come take pictures with me, Mommy," he yelled over the music, "in the photo booth!"
I hesitated. I avoid photographic evidence of my existence these days. To be honest, I avoid even mirrors. When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince. I know I am far from alone; I know that many of my friends also avoid the camera.
It seems logical. We're sporting mama bodies and we're not as young as we used to be. We don't always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe (ducking). The kids are so much cuter than we are; better to just take their pictures, we think.
But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?
Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen. People, including my children, don't see the way I make sure my kids' favorite stuffed animals are on their beds at night. They don't know how I walk the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a special day. They don't know that I saved their side-snap, paper-thin baby shirts from the hospital where they were born or their little hospital bracelets in keepsake boxes high on the top shelves of their closets. They don't see me tossing and turning in bed wondering if I am doing an okay job as a mother, if they are okay in their schools, where we should take them for a vacation, what we should do for their birthdays. I'm up long past the news on Christmas Eve wrapping presents and eating cookies and milk, and I spend hours hunting the Internet and the local Targets for specially-requested Halloween costumes and birthday presents. They don't see any of that.
Someday, I want them to see me, documented, sitting right there beside them: me, the woman who gave birth to them, whom they can thank for their ample thighs and their pretty hair; me, the woman who nursed them all for the first years of their lives, enduring porn star-sized boobs and leaking through her shirts for months on end; me, who ran around gathering snacks to be the week's parent reader or planning the class Valentine's Day party; me, who cried when I dropped them off at preschool, breathed in the smell of their post-bath hair when I read them bedtime stories, and defied speeding laws when I had to rush them to the pediatric ER in the middle of the night for fill-in-the-blank (ear infections, croup, rotavirus).
I'm everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won't be here -- and I don't know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now -- but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.
When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don't look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her -- her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That's the mother I remember. My mother's body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn't care that she didn't look like a model. She was my mama.
So when all is said and done, if I can't do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.
I will save the little printed page with four squares of pictures on it and the words "Morgan's Sweet Sixteen" scrawled across the top with the date. There I am, hair not quite coiffed, make-up minimal, face fuller than I would like -- one hand holding a sleeping baby's head, and the other wrapped around my sweet littlest guy, who could not care less what I look like.


All I could think of was how much I wish I were in more pictures now.  I was able to scrounge up a few and decided to share them, to keep me accountable and as my first attempt to "be in the picture".  From now on and not going to let myself feel ashamed about what I look like in the picture because my sweet girls don't care and wont care when they're older.  They will just be happy to see me with them.  Here are some pictures at weights I'm not proud of, hair not done, no make-up on, post baby acne and all.  These are REAL pictures, pictures of me adoring my children.  In this moment I couldn't be more proud of these pictures because moments were captured that I want my girls to be able to hang onto and share for years to come.

Favorite Non-Toxic Cleaners and Quick Cleaning Tips

Posted By:  Stephanie

I've always liked the thought of cleaning with non-toxic cleaners but didn't act on it until I was pregnant with Little Lou.  At that time I decided it was time to find some great non-toxic cleaners so that I was able to keep our family safe from harmful toxins that are found in many cleaners out there while still getting our house fresh and clean.  I was not paid or perked to write about these cleaning products, I just wanted to share my findings with you.

I love the Mr Clean Magic Erasers for the tough stuff that just wont scrub off with anything else.  Seriously, these are magic.  Kristi posted how she was able to get 30 "Magic Erasers" for $8.49 on Amazon.  Now that is a great deal!

Of course I still have my love for vinegar which I posted about here.  I go through this stuff like it's going out of style.  I haven't been one to contribute to the shortage of bacon, but if there was a shortage going on with vinegar I would be guilty.  = )

Next up are my favorite cleaners that I use on everything from bathrooms, including toilets to mirrors, counters, kitchen sink, microwave (although there is a super awesome tip that Kristi posted on and easy way to clean your microwave I still like to use some cleaner in it when I'm finished) and even Lou's highchair.  I use the product Biokleen which is non-toxic, cleans great and smells good too!  This All Purpose Cleaner has been great on my glass, I just use a microfiber towel (sorry don't have a picture of those but I get a huge pack of them from Costco and they last forever) and this cleaner and I don't end up with any streaks.  Love it! 

For the toilets and the area around them (walls and floor) I use Bac-Out which is a stain and odor remover.  Even if I don't smell anything I'm sure there's some nasty stuff there that needs a little extra powerful stuff to clean it.  

Next up is what I use on my floors.  This stuff is awesome, it cleans the floor well and leaves it seriously sparkling clean.  I was actually on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor last week with this stuff and that's what made me think I should really share with all of you how great it is and what other cleaning products I love.  This particular cleaner is for stone, tile and laminate floors by Bona.
We only have a couple area rugs in our house, the rest are all either laminate, pergo or hardwood.  This is the hardwood cleaner I use and to be honest, I should really clean my hardwoods more often with this stuff.  How often do you clean your hardwood floors?

Now a few tips on how to keep your house looking somewhat decent and ready for random people showing up at your door, that is without doing the 30-60 second clean up that leaves you sweating like you just ran a marathon when you greet your guests.

1.  Never leave a room empty handed.  If you are leaving a room grab at least one thing that needs to be put away.

2.  If you have kids have them clean up toys as they are finished with them and move onto something else.  If nothing else clean up toys with help of your little one (all of them even though they are just going to come out again) before nap and before bed.  That way you will have two times a day that everything is picked up and you don't have to wake up to a mess.

3.  Always rinse your dish and put it in the dishwasher as you use them to prevent a sink pile up.

4.  In between cleaning the bathrooms water and toothpaste splatters on the counter/sink.  Keep baby wipes (again they are non-toxic and you aren't disinfecting just cleaning up) under the sink to quickly wipe down the counter and sink to keep a nice looking appearance.

5.  Clean up dishes in the kitchen as you cook.  For example, while one thing is cooking wash the pot/pan that you are finished with.

6.  When you wipe down your kitchen counters open the microwave and always wipe it out too even if it doesn't look dirty.  This will prevent you from having to use the tip linked to above.  It doesn't take but an extra couple seconds but it keeps you from more work later.  Seriously, who wants a guest to come over and you end up heating something for them in a nasty microwave while trying to hide it from them, no thank you.

5.  Fold laundry as it comes out of the dryer to prevent piles of laundry.  I have to admit that this is something that I normally do, however since we've had Lelo 6 weeks ago I've kept up on folding towels and burp cloths but the clean clothes are in a heaping pile because I've only actually folded laundry twice since then.  Oh well, I'll get back into the groove.  At  least we have clean laundry right?  * The correct answer to that would be yes, you don't want to make me feel bad, do you? = ) *

What are your favorite non-toxic cleaners?  I would love to know if there's something that works great that I should try!

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