Easy Quinoa Salad

This recipe is totally stolen but I needed to put it out there for the Quinoa newbies like me.

Since my daughter decided to become vegetarian, I have struggled to find easy recipes with a protein source.  There’s only so much mac and cheese you can eat in a week.

The best part about this recipe is that it is easy to modify to your liking – I liked adding halved cherry tomatoes.

1/2 cup of quinoa
1 cup of water
Pinch of salt
(Just double water to quinoa)

Boil water and Quinoa.  When the water reaches a rolling boil, cover and turn to low heat for about 20 minutes – until all water is absorbed.  Let cool.

Chop 1 small cucumber cut in quarters
1/2 bell pepper chopped small
1/2 can black beans or chick peas rinsed
1/4 small onion cut in small pieces (or less)
Chopped fresh cilantro and/or fresh flat parsley
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tvsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Few shakes of dried basil and oregano


Add all ingredients to quinoa, chill and enjoy.

quinoa salad.jpg

5 Things to do Every Day for Your Sanity

I live in my  head.  Sometimes it’s a good place to be, sometimes it is not.  I tend to be an over-thinker and when you think on things too much, you tend to make problems much bigger than they really are.

It has taken me years to figure out what my mind needs every day to feel peaceful and positive.

  1.  Be nice to yourself. Like, out loud.

    Affirmations – how New Age, right?   WRONG.  Think about it – parenting advice tells us that we have to speak to our children in a respectful manner to help to build up confidence. WHY aren’t we talking to ourselves to build up confidence?  I know, it feels totally awkward but it gets easier.  I promise.    When I wake up in the morning, I turn off my alarm, take my vitamins and tell myself 3 things I like about myself.  Every. Day.  Need Help?  Set your alarm to have your three affirmations as the name – you will see them as soon as you wake up.  Repeat them out loud (or in your head) for a couple of moments.  It makes a world of difference.

  2.  Find some physical activity that you like.  ANYTHING.

    My thing is walking my dogs.  Every morning (weather permitting) I walk my dogs anywhere from 1-2 miles before work.  Some days I jam out to music and some days I just think – read: talk to my dogs like a psycho.  But they are so cute!!!pupos

  3.  Connect.

    I get so stuck on my to-do list or, when that list is empty, mindless cell-scrolling or T.V. watching.  Engage with people.  Your spouse, your kid, a friend, a neighbor – FIND SOMEONE.  20 minutes a day at least.  Have a conversation, hug, hold  hands, laugh.

  4. Sleep.

    Seriously, stop looking at your phone (or any screen) 30 minutes before bed and try to get 7-8 hours of sleep.  I use my Fitbit to track my sleep patterns and, even when I lay down for 8 hours, I am only getting about 6.5 hours of actual sleep.  Don’t plop on the couch after work and nap. Get up and get moving – take a walk, wash the dishes, clean a room. Get yourself in the habit of sleeping well. Your psyche will thank you.

  5.  Foster your creativity.

    Write, draw, paint, dance, read, play music, sing, learn an instrument, knit,  – WHATEVER.  Just do something creative.  It will calm your soul.  I love writing and how I feel so much lighter after I have emptied my brain on to a piece of paper.  I also love singing – much to everyone’s dismay.


Instant Pot Enchilada Pasta

Listen – I’m no photographer but I PROMISE, this meal is everything.

I am IN LOVE with the Instant Pot.  If I plan accordingly with my shopping list, I can make incredible meals in little time.  After a full day of momming and work, quick is necessary.

To add a level of complexity to our meal planning, hubs is a bean hater/meat lover and kiddo is a vegetarian.

Here is the recipe:


Soooo – because of the vegetarian, I followed the Notes (exclude beef, add corn and beans.)  But because the husband hates beans, I cooked them separately and added them after I scooped his dish. 🙂

Even my best friend’s kid loves this meal and it is so easy.

I would love some comments with your favorite (preferably vegetarian sans beans) instant pot recipes!!

Time to wake up!

Pennsylvania third winter is just about over which means it is time to lace up the running shoes again!  I have a really hard time running in the winter.  The biting cold physically hurts my lungs and makes running a chore instead of the cathartic therapy it has become for me.

If you knew me 2+ years ago, you wouldn’t have caught me running if my life depended on it.  I have never really cared about exercise but watching some of my closest friends complete a 5K, and seeing their pride in that accomplishment, pushed me to want to try.

The first few runs were AWFUL. But I had to keep pushing.  Soon, it became calming.  The rhythmic breathing. Music pumping in my ears.  My heartbeat.  I am  so excited to get back out there and maybe, someday, I will find something for the winter that I love as much as running!

Honestly, I never thought I would complete a 5K but I did – a few times now!  Step outside of your comfort zone and try something you never thought you would.  Find something that is for you and only you!