The Sweetest Thing.

" I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" ~Van Gogh

Weekly Meal Plan 8/24/15. August 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 9:30 pm

We celebrated our 5 year anniversary this past weekend. We talked about going out for a nice dinner or getting out of town for the weekend, but ultimately decided to just keep things low key and spend time together. It is crazy how much time can pass without spending any real quality time with the person you love and live with. Conflicting work schedules, social commitments, family obligations, errands and daily routines keep us going going going. We realized extravagant plans would just result in more of this, so we just didn’t do it. Friday (our actual anniversary), we turned off our phones, ordered food and just spent some time talking and laughing together. Netflix and couch cuddles rounded out the night. We had a lazy Saturday morning together and went for a walk in the afternoon. Saturday evening we went to a Celtic festival and grabbed some dinner with friends by the lake and then out for some drinks. Sunday was super lazy. We laid on the couch, napped, watched TV, enjoyed some more conversation and ate good food. More important than what we did, is what we didn’t do. We didn’t put the requests of our friends or families before time together, we didn’t worry about errands, housework or responsibilities, we didn’t fall into the routine of turning on Netflix as soon as we were both home and spending our evening watching Dexter reruns instead of talking and connecting. It was honestly the absolute perfect way to celebrate our 5yr anniversary. We are both feeling much more grounded and in sync. It’s good to just slow down sometimes.

Onto another subject, we have been doing much better at eating at home and eating healthier. The abundance of produce coming from our backyard daily certainly helps. There is nothing more satisfying that eating food you grew from seed. We are currently enjoying kale, rainbow chard, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, basil, mint. dill. zucchini. crookneck squash, cabbage and cauliflower. Our butternut squash is growing well but I am not sure about our peppers and eggplants. Still our most successful year of gardening yet! I have been keeping our meal plans kind of loose to leave room for the day’s harvest in side dishes so this is more of a guideline than a set in stone plan.


Monday~ Simple Pork Chops on Foreman grill, Zucchini, Red Onion & Feta cakes

Tuesday~ Crock Pot Sloppy Joes, Carrot and Celery Sticks

Wednesday~ Red Onion & Rosemary Salmon Patties, Oven Baked Fries, Green Beans & Cherry Tomatos

Thursday~ Coconut Chicken Fingers, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli

Friday~ Tacos!

Saturday~ Honey Siracha Chicken, Rice, Broccoli

Sunday~ Family Picnic

Hope you all have a great week!


Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs. August 13, 2015

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — Jessica @ 4:05 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Fresh pineapple is one of those things that I often buy and we either eat it within a day or we don’t eat it at all and it goes in the compost. After throwing away two whole pineapples, I was optimistic that we would actually get around to eating this one. Well, we didn’t- at least not in the traditional way alongside breakfast or lunch. I came home from work and noticed it was still sitting on the baker’s rack and needed to be used. I thought about making some kind of dessert but really, I just needed to get dinner on the table. So, I decided I would work the pineapple into our meal. (I should clarify that I am not generally a fan of fruit in my dinner). This is what I came up with based on the chicken I had thawed and some veggies we had in our refrigerator. It was a winner for both of us & perfect served with coconut rice for a complete meal.


Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Serves 6



1 fresh pineapple- peeled, cored and diced into large chunks- RESERVE HALF

1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce)

1/4 c packed brown sugar

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

3 TBLS olive oil

1 bunch green onions- sliced (I use scissors)

Everything Else

1 lb chicken cut into large chunks (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts)

8 oz mushrooms

1 lb mini sweet peppers

1 large red onion- quartered and seperated

Remaining pineapple chunks that you reserved from the marinade


1.Place first 6 items in food processor and blend until pineapple is broken down into very small pieces.

2. Add green onions

3.Reserve 3/4 cup marinade for basting while on grill

4. Add chicken and mushrooms to marinade and let sit in refrigerator for 2-12 hrs.

5. Using kabob sticks that you have soaked in water, alternate ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, peppers, pineapple and onion). Place on foil lined cookie sheets until you get them all done.

6, Cook on grill (grilling times will vary). Ours took about 35 minutes. Rotate every 10-15 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade when you place on grill and every time you rotate them.

7. Remove from grill and let cool slightly.

8. Enjoy!



Meal Plan 8/10/15. (A day late) August 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 5:23 pm

Hello! We have been really terrible at eating regular meals at home this summer. Really, really terrible. We have spent so much money eating out and wasted so much food. I love ordering in or eating out as much as the next person,  but doing it day after day leaves me feeling pretty gross. I am not getting the nutrients I need and I am getting way too much of the stuff I don’t really need. I have gained like 15 to 20 lbs this summer and I just don’t like it. I have been lethargic and I just want to feel better, so I am making a real effort this week. I will be talking a little more about my current healthy living goals later this week, but for now, here is our meal plan.


Monday~ Fried green tomatoe BLT’s with red onion and avacadoe (tomatoes and lettuce from our backyard)

Tuesday~ Hawaiian Chicken & Veggie Kabobs on the grill, Coconut Rice (both recipes coming soon)

Wednesday~ Crock pot pulled pork, Cole slaw ( I work until 9 pm, so crock pot meals work best)

Thursday~ Panko Dijon Salmon, Zucchini, Baked Sweet Potatoe

Friday~ Eating at a downtown event

Saturday~ Olive & Panko Stuffed Chicken Breasts w/ Walnut Panko Crust, Garlic Butter Zucchini Noodles

Sunday~ Veggie Loaded Meat Sauce w/ Gluten Free Pasta

We are sticking with some easy old favorites so cooking at home seems less overwhelming. What are your favorite fall back meals when you really just aren’t that into it?


Summer So Far. August 5, 2015

Filed under: Adventures — Jessica @ 3:51 pm

Since I have been kind of MIA this summer, you guys haven’t heard much about what I have been up to. While there have been no grand vacations or new developments, I have been doing a lot of good old fashioned summer living. I thought I’d share some of my Instagram photos to show you what I have been up to this summer~ in no particular order.


Strawberry Shortcake~ 2 Ways

Farmer’s Market Trips/Volunteering

Good Beer~ (Loving both of these for summer)

Book Club on the boat with friends~



Lots of Cookouts & Fresh Food~

Reading in the backyard~

Working in the backyard~


Easy Dinners~

Afternoon patio drinks~

The County Fair~

Lakeside hottubbing~

Beach Days~

A concert~


Outdoor adventures~

Fun adventures~

& Lots of ice cream


Recipe Round Up- Zucchini!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 2:02 pm

If you are a gardener, it is that time of year when you may be getting a little overwhelmed by the volume of zucchini piling up around your kitchen.We love zucchini and eat it almost daily and it can still pile up before I even realize what is happening. To keep things interesting, I have been collecting some recipes to help me use it up. As much as we love zucchini sliced up, tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper and tossed on the grill, it is definitely nice to do something a little different sometimes. I have not tried all of these recipes, so I can’t verify that they are delicious, but they sure look like they would be!

*The items *starred* are recipes I have tried-

*1. Bacon Cheddar Squash Bites 

*2. Garlic Butter Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Parmesan

3. Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds

4. Zucchini Brownies

5. Zucchini Meatloaf

6. Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

7. Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

8. Oven Baked Zucchini Chips

9. Parmesan Zucchini and Corn

10. Glazed Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread

11. Summer Vegetable Tian

12. Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

13. Pineapple Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

14. Apple Zucchini Muffins

*15. Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

*16. Zucchini Breakfast Cookies

*17. Zucchini Parmesan

18. Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

19. Zucchini Hushpuppies

20. Zucchini Dip

21. Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

*22. Zucchini Cakes with Feta & Red Onion

Hope you found a few ideas you might like to try!


Meal Plan 8/3/15. August 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 10:28 pm

I am going to try this again… I thought I would have so much more time to blog once summer came but that doesn’t seem to be working out so well. I have been working a little more than I expected and keepng super busy enjoying all the summer fun in my free time! That, combined with a total lack of structure, planning and commitment to both cooking and the blog have resulted in a serious lack of content. Anyways, I miss it and I want to get back to it. I have done some evaluation and planning and I know this is something I really want to do, so I just need to do it. I also need to get back in the kitchen for the well being of my body and soul.

I started with a plan, a meal plan. I know it is the only thing I have posted in the last two months but I promise there is more to come this week. Thank you to everyone who continues to come and check for new content! I seriously appreciate you!!!!


Monday- Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Plantains, Rice & Beans

Tuesday- Tilapia & Veggie Packets

Wednesday- Loaded Nachos

Thursday- Coconut Chicken Fingers, Salad

Friday- Fried Green Tomato BLT’s, Corn on Cob

Saturday- Chicken & Veggie Kabobs, Bruschetta

Sunday- Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Honey Butter Carrots


Meal Plan 6/29/15. June 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 2:06 pm

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I usually try to keep a good balance of work and play, but with the school year coming to an end, I decided to just work as much as possible. It was also my turn to work the weekend at the library. In order to keep my stress at a healthy level, I decided to take a break from blogging and just focus on work and the things I needed to do to keep my life in good running order. Luckily, school’s out for summer and I have lots of plans for the blog now that I have time to focus more time and energy on it.

It’s a day late, but here is the weekly meal plan. I also have a recipe, a new local adventure and a new living well on less post coming for you this week. Thanks for stopping by!


Monday– Grilled Chicken Sandwiches w/ Lettuce, Tomato, Onion & Avacadoe, Zucchini Fries

Tuesday– Fried Green Tomato BLT’s, Corn on the Cob

WednesdayCrock Pot Pulled Pork, Easy Cole Slaw

Thursday– Market Special

Friday– Dinner at the Baseball Game (or leftovers)

Saturday– 4th of July Cookout

Sunday– Chicken Burrito Bowls