Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Puffs

I’ve been on a mission to find new recipes lately, it all started because I’ve been having the hardest time cooking for just myself. I’m so used to cooking for two or more and even then I usually have leftovers. I’m coming to the conclusion that cooking for one is nearly impossible, I tried cutting this recipe in half and it was still too much for one person.

These cheesy chicken and spinach puffs are sooo yummy and would be the perfect thing to bring to a potluck!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yields: 2 Dozen

Heres what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2′ cubes (I used Trader Joes already cooked “just grilled chicken” and it made the process so much easier)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter/ soft
  • 3 8oz cans refrigerated crescent rolls

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic stirring about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add chicken and cook – if you’re not using Trader Joes already cooked chicken, cook thoroughly (5 mins or so) and then add spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to colander and drain, then transfer to a large bowl and add ricotta, parmesan and butter, stirring until creamy.
  5. Unroll dough, add 1 tablespoon of filling into each triangle. Roll up and bake until filling ins heated through and dough is golden brown 9-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack and serve at room temperature.

I don’t have a great picture of how mine turned out because I was way too anxious to eat them. But here’s what I’ve got.

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DIY Floral Mobile

I am a huge lover of the website Etsy, I really like supporting small businesses and finding unique things. However, I sometimes can’t help but think ” I could totally make that myself”. Well, while I was looking for alternatives to the average baby mobile I came across a pretty floral one similar to what’s in the picture. I knew I could make one myself so I decided to take on the challenge. I’ll let you know right away that this was not a cheap project….. It definitely could be, but since I preferred to use a higher quality of faux flower, it added up quickly. I decided to buy the flowers in increments and took my time finishing this project.

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make one too:

  • A 12″ foam floral wreath
  • Some type of ribbon or string
  • A hot glue gun & glue
  • Wire cutting scissors
  • LOTS and LOTS of flowers

 

Start by cutting the ribbon into three pieces of equal lengths, based on how far you want the mobile to hang down.

Mark three spots on the inner ring of the foam wreath of equal distance from each other.

Glue each piece of ribbon to the marked spots in the wreath.

Create a hoop at the top and glue or tie it securely.

Start cutting the flowers, leaving about a half inch of the stem to puncture into the foam.

Place the flowers in the foam where you think they will look best. Once you’ve got a good bunch, begin gluing them in so that they are secure.

Glue some leaves between the flowers for a more natural look.

And that’s it! It takes some time, patience and obviously money, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself is worth it!

Motivation Monday #63

 

It’s Monday yet again and October is among us. The weather is cooling down and the holidays are approaching (yay!). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-discipline. It’s something that I think a lot of people could focus more on. We need to be able to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We need to be our own biggest motivators.

Values such as loyalty and respect are of great importance to me. To the people I love, I will always be loyal. My friends, family, husband, they never have to worry that I wouldn’t stick by their side through difficult times. To all others I do my best to be respectful. Regardless of how much I dislike someone or how much I disagree with them, I will approach the situation with a level of respect because we are all human and none of us are perfect. These are just a couple of things that for me personally are very important.

We’re all just imperfect people trying to be strong in the world. Some do better than others, some give up entirely. It takes a little self-discipline to do just about anything that nourishes your life. Whether you’re going to school, trying to lose 10 pounds, keeping a marriage strong or just trying to keep it together without having a mental breakdown. You are the only one who can make the decision to not give up. Although things may happen to you that will break you down, it is up to you to build yourself back up again.

Whenever I feel like I’m losing grasp of a healthy lifestyle, I feel guilty. I’m not a health nut by any means. Even when I’m doing my best, I still enjoy a greasy burger and sweets from time to time. But the guilt that I feel is me holding myself accountable for my actions. Self-discipline is me actually doing something about it. No one can make me unhealthy except myself.

There’s a vast array of things that each of us can work on to be the best version of ourselves. Maybe you have a hard time controlling your anger, maybe you’re too quick to judge others. It’s possible that you feel like giving up on a long term goal or commitment. Maybe you’re sick of being unorganized or you have an addiction. Shoot, maybe you’re just an asshole and you want to change. Our parents did their part in disciplining us as children (some better than others) but now as adults, it’s our job to discipline ourselves.

None of us will ever be perfect but we can sure as hell try to be better. Do it for the people who love you but more importantly, do it for yourself. I know that everyone has something that they can work on and I hope that I’ve motivated you to be better.

Have a happy Monday!

 

Motivation Monday #62

I know it’s only September, but I’ve decided to get started on my new years resolutions early. One of the things I really want to do is get back on top of my blogging. I know that I don’t have a huge following, it’s mostly friends and family who read my posts. I love doing it though, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to see what I’m writing about. I started losing focus when we moved back to California, in North Carolina I had all the time in the world to come up with different ideas and subjects to write about. Ironically enough, I lost motivation and started mainly only posting these Motivation Monday blogs because it was easier. I just didn’t have the creative energy to think of new recipes or DIY projects.

Well, I have decided to challenge myself to do better. My first resolution is to come up with new writing topics. Because it may not be a new year yet, but it’s never too early to make improvements. Plus I’m sure I’ll have a whole new list of things that I can do better by the end of the year- there’s always something that can use a little improving. I know that if I set my mind to something and hold myself accountable- even if it’s not necessarily something that needs to be done- I will make sure that I do it.

My next goal is to post some dinner ideas on cooking for one. I’ve been struggling with cooking excessive amounts of food and eating out a lot more since I’m all alone now. I know I can’t be the only one who has a hard time with this, so I’ll try to come up with some good recipes to help others while helping myself. Any recommendations or things that you would like to read about- please feel free to send them my way 🙂

I hope you all have some resolutions that you can get started on too. Have a happy Monday and a productive week!

 

 

Second Trimester

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and making my way into the third trimester. Now that the second trimester is over I figured I’d share my thoughts. The past three months have flown by compared to the first three months of this pregnancy. And just like that I’ve been pregnant for half a year! I started feeling little flutters around 19 weeks which quickly turned into the big shocking movements that I feel now. I didn’t really start looking pregnant until about two weeks ago but now the baby belly can no longer be confused for a beer belly.

Before I got big and started feeling her movements so distinctly, it was easy to forget that I was pregnant. It’s not like I forgot that I was pregnant and went to grab a drink with some friends, it was more like I just didn’t really feel pregnant. Having surpassed the days of naps and nausea and not yet entering into the days of sore feet and weight gain, I was in what people refer to as “the honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. That is not to say that I didn’t experience any weird pregnancy symptoms. I still had sore gums, some tooth pain and other random/weird symptoms that are pregnancy related. Oh and that whole thing about pregnant women having to pee a lot, yeah that’s true. There have been times when I literally just finish peeing and only minutes later I feel like I need to go again.

I also got to focus on setting up Logan’s nursery which was super fun for me. There were times when I just wanted to sit in there and hang out, is that weird? Probably. I also went on an airplane and was admittedly a little worried about how it would make me feel. But I felt normal, no nausea or weird pains of any kind. And I’ve finally gotten used to the sushi/alcohol deprivation.Being the designated driver is a good feeling and it’s pretty funny to watch everyone else get drunk ( although sometimes I feel like I’m hanging out with toddlers) and ordering only cooked items when we go out for sushi has become a lot easier.

I guess from here on out I get to look forward to three months of trouble sleeping and random aches and pains. Then I get to push a little human out of my body, and yes.. it is terrifying. But obviously doable since, well…. no one would exist if it wasn’t. I just hope it goes smoothly and that she’s healthy.  Since Blake is gone, I think the next three months will probably go by pretty slowly. Even though I know I should try to enjoy my last 12 weeks before the baby comes, I also hope they go by sorta fast because I can’t wait for the moment when I get to see my husband holding our baby in his arms. That’s probably what I’m looking forward to most, I obviously can’t wait to hold her in my own arms but something about seeing him with a baby girl in his arms would just make my heart so full.

Prayers for a healthy baby and a safe husband are always appreciated. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Motivation Monday #61

It’s the beginning of a new week and time to get motivated.

I must admit, for the past two days I’ve probably been the laziest person on the planet. The good thing is that I can’t stay that way for too long because I start to feel bad about it. So yesterday when I was feeling like a bag of garbage for barely leaving the couch, I decided to make a list of the things that I need to do this week.

It’s weird to go from a house of three to being alone again all of a sudden. I was letting all of my to-do’s pile up until after Blake left. But it still took a couple days for me to actually want to do anything productive.

One of the things on my list is to go grocery shopping, though I knew I definitely had to make a list beforehand because now I’m cooking for one and shouldn’t be buying the amount of food I normally do. So I made a list and noticed that it’s a lot easier to stick to a   healthy meal plan when I look up meal ideas and mark down only what I need to make them. Now that I’m entering my third trimester of pregnancy I want to make sure I don’t pack on too many extra pounds, which means I have to watch what I eat and stay as active as possible. So as long as I stick to my grocery list and actually make the food, all I have to do is force myself to go to the gym (which won’t be easy I assure you).

Another big thing on my list is to complete a school related activity that I need to re-do for the third time. This one has been weighing on me heavily since I thought I was done with it twice already. I don’t even have the motivation to try again because I’m worried that it will be sent back over and over and I’ll probably go insane. But it’s important and I need to get it done in order to pass my class and take my final exams, so I’ve planned to set some time aside each day to work on a part of it. I think if I do it little by little I won’t get so frustrated with it.

On a side note, I have been really feeling the baby moving around lately and it truly is this incredible thing. Although I have to say, it is the freakiest feeling to get used to. It almost feels as though one of my internal organs shifted out of place for a second. But it’s also so reassuring to know that she’s doing okay and being active in there.

Anyway…

I hope everyone has a productive week, and if it’s not productive I hope it’s good in some other way 🙂

Motivation Monday #59

Is it Monday again already? Time seems to be flying for me lately. Maybe it’s because I’m so focused on baby stuff, I spent a whole day last week rearranging rooms and setting up baby girls nursery. It’s definitely making things feel more real and getting me very excited. My belly is finally starting to look like there actually may be a baby in there so I’m more comfortable wearing tight clothes again which is so nice because picking an outfit had been a major struggle for the last three months. But that’s enough pregnancy talk.

Today I’ll be focusing on getting a project finished for my online class, then I’ll have three finals to take and I’m done with my first semester! I’m really liking this online school thing, it can be pretty challenging at times because I do like to have an actual teacher giving me a lesson. I’ve had to learn to be very self-disciplined and I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. I like that I can take my tests before they’re due and I don’t have super strict deadlines because I can make it work with my schedule. Say I’m going out of town for the weekend and I have a test on Friday, I’ll usually take it on Monday to get it out of the way and not have to worry about it after that.

You may have things to get done today too, try practicing that self-discipline and finish your tasks right away so that you don’t have to worry about doing them later in the day or week. When it comes to school work I have definitely been known to procrastinate in the past, but the feeling of completing something and not having it linger on my mind is a great one!

Have a lovely week and start checking things off of your to-do list, I promise you’ll feel great once you do!

Motivation Monday #58

Hello and Happy Monday once again!

Today marks the halfway point in my pregnancy, 20 weeks down and only 20 more to go until we meet our baby girl!

The first three months were difficult. It was hard not being able to tell people and getting used to some of the ways my body began to change. And the fatigue, oh lord the fatigue… all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t feel like myself and it still seemed so surreal that I was actually pregnant because I couldn’t feel or see any proof of it yet. Food, one of my favorite things, became more of a task. I could only eat certain things and if I ate them too many times they would gross me out to the point of never wanting to look at them again.

Well, now I can gladly say I’ve come beyond that point into what is known as the best trimester of pregnancy- trimester 2. I finally have a bump coming in, it still doesn’t quite look like I’m pregnant but it’s definitely there. I’ve seen multiple ultrasound pictures of our baby and even more exciting than that, I can actually feel her moving around in there. My energy level is back to normal for the most part and my appetite came back with it. I have another month and a half until I reach the 3rd trimester so I guess I better enjoy this time before my feet swell into potatoes.

Pregnancy is kind of like life. By that I mean that there are different seasons of our lives, and some are more difficult than others. When we make it through the more difficult seasons of life, we get to experience the really special ones as well. Sure it’s kind of like a rollercoaster, life will always have it’s ups and downs.

For example, we found out a couple of weeks ago that we were having a girl and we were so excited. Then a few days later, my dog passed away and it was difficult to feel excited about anything. It’s been almost a week now and I’ll always be sad about losing him, but I can’t fixate on it and be sad all the time. The end of Skippy’s life marked a new chapter in mine. For the last 13 years he was my responsibility, I fed him, bathed him, loved him and worried about leaving him in the care of others. He was like my baby, but now I’ll have a new baby to take care of and one that comes with tons of extra responsibility. In a way, Skippy prepared me for that and even though I would have loved for him to meet our baby girl, I know that it was his time to go and he served his purpose in my life. God doesn’t make mistakes, as long as we trust his plan for us and have faith that all will be well in the end, we will make it through the tough times as gracefully as possible.

I hope everyone has a great day and an even better week, and if it’s not, just remember that there are better days ahead.

Motivation Monday #57

Good morning and happy Monday!

Monday’s are the beginning of each new week, we get to start something new or focus on getting closer to a goal that we have already begun.

Lately my Mondays are the beginning of each new week of pregnancy. Today marks the 18 week point. My friend pointed out that I’m almost halfway through and that is pretty crazy. My belly is definitely growing but at this point it just looks like I’ve given up on my health, basically it looks more like a beer belly than a baby belly. It’s so frustrating getting dressed and not fitting into my clothes the same way anymore. Everyone will try to comfort me and say “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” and to that I say, “I know! But right now I don’t look pregnant, I just look fat!”. So there’s that.

According to my pregnancy app, our baby is currently the size of a bell pepper, about 5 1/2 inches long and weights about 7 ounces. We get to find out whether we’re having  boy or a girl in a couple of weeks and that’s definitely something to look forward to.

Speaking of things to look forward to, I’ll get back to the point of this post and remind you that there is always something to look forward to. If you need a little extra motivation this Monday, just remember it’s not forever. You’ll get through today and the weekend will be back before you know it. You may have a birthday to look forward to or some other event that will get you out of the house and bring you closer to friends and family. Work hard today so that you can enjoy those days off even more.

Have a lovely week!

Motivation Monday #56 

If I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time getting up off the couch this morning. I tried to plan my day out yesterday in order to prevent this from happening but here I am again…ready to go back to sleep.

But I really do want to be productive today! I especially want to workout because this whole pregnancy thing is causing me to eat very poorly. So what can I say to motivate myself to get up off the couch, get dressed, and go to the gym?

Well, yesterday I was feeling very… not myself. It seems as though pregnancy will do that to a person. I am so forgetful and I feel like there are 20 things I need to remember to do but I have no idea what they are, it’s a very unnerving feeling. So last night, I took a bath and read a book. It was a great way to come back to the moment and be present in it. I was able to take my mind off of all other things and think about what I need to do right now. So after my bath I did something else that I love to do, I made a list!

With a clear mind I was able to jot down about 10 things that I need to do today, some of which I have been meaning to do for a while. I felt great after I got it all down on paper and I went to bed feeling like I would definitely conquer this Monday. But apparently it’s easy to lose focus because here I am on the couch again, refusing to move. Luckily, I have the whole day ahead of me and I have just crossed on thing off my list- this post!

So if you’re struggling to get going this Monday, try to take a moment to think about what is most important to you today. Think about how accomplished you will feel once you take care of whatever it is that’s has been lingering on your to-do list. Do what you need to do and clear your mind of that clutter. I hope everyone has a lovely Monday and a fantastic week 🙂