What’s Cooking? Some of my Fav Keto Cookbooks

Last time I posted I started talking about the keto diet and how well it has worked for me. When I first decided to start keto I have to admit I was a little lost. I knew I needed more fat and less carbs, but how did I put food together to get a keto friendly and tasty meal. So naturally I went to amazon and Pinterest for answers.

While searching I found a ton of information and a large selection of keto cookbooks. Here are my three of my favorite keto cookbooks at the moment:

  1. The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet” by Leanne Vogel
    • This was the first book I bought when I decided to start the keto diet and I found it extremely helpful. When I started this diet I didn’t really know what I was doing, which is why I really enjoyed how Leanne spent the first half of this book explaining what keto is all about and included many tools and guides. This books also includes five 28-day meal plans a ton of tasty recipes.
  2. Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking” by Maria Emmerich
    •  I love this book because these recipes are simple and fast, which is a good thing for those who don’t have a ton of time to cook full meals every night. The last thing I want to do after a long day of work is stand over the stove for an hour. If Mushroom Ragu, Chicken Alfredo, Skillet Lasagna or keto friendly desserts sound good to you then this is a book you want to add to your collection.
  3. Keto Restaurant Favorites” by Maria Emmerich
    • One thing I tend to miss on this diet is eat out a certain restaurants. I especially love Italian and Mexican food. So when I started Keto I was a little sad to be giving up pasta, enchiladas, burritos and chips. This book is awesome because it shows you how to make those dishes keto friendly!

These are only three of the many amazing keto cookbooks out there so I encourage you to explore and find one you love! Let me your favorites.



New Year. Better Me?

Wow, it is already halfway through the 2nd month of 2018! How is everyone doing with their New Years resolutions??

As for myself I didn’t set a particular resolution, but I always try to be as healthy as possible. This means regular exercise, lots of water and a Keto diet. Yep, that’s right I have converted to the Keto lifestyle and couldn’t be happier.

I have always tried to be as healthy as possible, but I’m not going to lie sometimes pizza, pasta and other not so healthy foods sounded far better than some steamed veggies and lean chicken. All throughout high school and college I was able to eat whatever I wanted and remained stick thin. This continued through out most of my 20s and then when I hit 30 it was like, woooah there! Apparently turning 30 is when my metabolism decided it had enough and slowed way the f down. (Just one of the many perks of getting older. What a joy!)

While I didn’t completely blow up, I did gain some weight and seeing as how I was used to always being super skinny I felt uncomfortable. I started working out more and changed how I was eating by cutting out what I thought to be “bad food”. You know what I’m talking about: full fat foods, bacon, mayo, desserts, pizza, etc. I tried a raw food diet and ate foods that I thought were good for me. Things such as whole grain, lots of fruit, green veggies, and sweet potatoes. And guess what? It didn’t help…. I was still a few lbs heavier than I wanted to be and was worn out.

That’s when my sister introduced me to Keto, a low carb high fat diet. I have to admit I was very skeptical at first. Eat more fat and lose fat? However, any  diet that lets me eat bacon, butter, and mayo is good with me, so I gave it a shot. It was a little rough at first, I love pasta and pizza, but I kept going and to my amazement I lost 10 lbs rather quickly. I was losing weight, I wasn’t hungry all the time and best of all I didn’t have to give up eating cheese!!!

While carbs are out, there are so many things you can eat on the keto diet that I don’t feel cheated and I am never starving. Everyone is different, what works for my may not work for you, but if you think this may be something you are interesting in give it a shot. I have been doing keto for almost a year now and I’m not looking back. I have more energy and have a much better relationship with food. Sure I have a piece of cake from time to time, but now I don’t feel so guilty about it.

Next time I will share some of my favorite keto cookbooks. Have a good weekend all!



Houston Strong

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a 6 day missions trip to Houston, TX to help with hurricane relief after hurricane Harvey. A group of about 60 people, from my church and surrounding churches, packed up our tools and headed down to Houston to lend a hand where ever we were needed. I have done plenty of volunteer work, but this was my first missions trip so I wasn’t really sure what I was in for.

On the first day I laced up my pink work boots, threw on my tool belt and headed out to our worksite eager to jump in.I was shocked to see how much work is still needed in Houston and how bad things still are in some areas after 6 months having gone by. While I can swing a hammer, I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to helping rebuild houses so I wasn’t sure what I would be doing. But hey anyone can learn right?

In fact, I learned A LOT. We hung dry wall, corner bead, mudded, and taped. We loaded and unloaded trucks packed with donated items. We threw out old drywall, fixed house siding, hung doors, rewired houses and made many trips to Homedepot. We did it all and I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was I able to help those in need, but I met some really amazing people. Some of whom I will continue to stay in touch back now that we are back home.

This trip made me realize how truly blessed I really am. Even when things are going wrong and I am having a bad day it could always be worse.

Check out some of my pics from the trip!


If you get a chance to go on a missions trip I highly recommend it. I can’t wait for my next one!


A 2017 Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone and now it’s time to prepare for a new year. As my husband and I put away the Christmas decorations I found myself feeling a little sad. No more tree, no more twinkling lights wrapped around the bannister, and no more presents waiting to be unwrapped. This also means it’s almost time for me to head back into the office… (Early mornings, blah).

We had a pretty low key, but enjoyable Christmas. My parents and sister stayed in Kansas so it was just myself, the hubs, and pups on Christmas morning. The dogs were very excited that Santa Paws brought them new Rae Dunn food/water bowls and of course lots of treats. After opening our presents we enjoyed some cinnamon roll french toast casserole by the fire. (The casserole was amazing and super easy to make. Check it out!)

Later in the afternoon we heading to the Hub’s parents house to exchange gifts with the rest of the family and stuff our faces with prime rib. We spent the rest of the evening playing games.

While I am sad to see another great Christmas come to an end I am excited to see what 2018 has in store. Wish us luck as we are heading out in the bitter cold tomorrow night for dinner out with friends. I will never get used to this cold weather!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




A Little Bit of Turkey and A Whole Lot of Family

Hello! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to spend some quality time with the Fam. My husband and I made the 8 hour drive to Kansas City to spend the holiday with my side of the family. And while I have so much to be thankful for this year I am glad that we got through the whole weekend without any major incident. I love my family to death, but sometimes they drive me a little nuts. You know the kind of nuts where you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a bit with some wine in order to get a few minutes of peace. (Totally kidding… kind of).

Upon arriving to my parents on Wednesday night we heading out to my grandmother’s house for some good KC BBQ from Oklahoma Joe’s. It’s no Arthur Bryant’s, but it is still pretty damn tasty. My grandma then spent the rest of the evening trying unload some of her stuff off onto my sister and I because you know “she doesn’t know how much longer she will be around”. (Trust me the woman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon). We ended the evening making a shit ton of pumpkin snicker doodle cookies.

Thursday I was up early helping my sister deliver a whole thanksgiving dinner to one of her clients and then spent the rest of the afternoon cooking for our own feast. I tackled the stuffing as usual, using my dad’s mother’s recipe. All was going great until I found out my sister decided to have my grandmother bring apple pie instead of pumpkin pie for dessert!! Who doesn’t have a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It totally goes against tradition and my husband is still upset about it. (Good thing we will be having some this weekend at our friendsgiving.) Other than the unfortunate pie incident Thanksgiving was great. My old ass headed to bed full and happy at 9:30pm.

On our last day in town we hit the Plaza for some black Friday shopping and of course had to stop by Winsteads for a diet limeaide. We spent our last night eating amazing fried chicken at Stroud’s and then wrapping the remaining Christmas presents we brought for my family.

While it was only a short trip we had a great time and ate some really great food. We heading back on a Saturday so we would have a whole day to prepare for the upcoming work week. Personally I find that to be a lot easier after being away from home for a few days.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are almost a week into December its time to get ready for Christmas! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far!





Things That Go Bump In The Night

And just like that, it’s November..

The month of October basically flew by and now it’s time to pack away the Halloween decorations for another year, which is too bad because other than Christmas Halloween has to be my favorite holiday.

The good news is that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Which mean lots of food, football and naps. I have never been one to turn down pumpkin pie and left over turkey for turkey sandwiches is is almost better than left over pizza. Just add some gravy and mmmmm

I hope that everyone had a great Halloween. We had quite a few fun “haunted” activities that made this Halloween a ton of fun. We decorated a trunk for the Immanuel Lutheran School annual “Trunk or Treat” on Friday. Then braved the freezing cold to hand out candy to all the little ones. I loved seeing all of the different costumes, but damn was it cold. It was also kinda nice because my dad was able to come with us and I think he really enjoyed it. While he has been staying with us I have been trying to take him to do as many things as I can since he is pretty much bound to the house when we are working.

On Monday, the day before Halloween, some friends and I went downtown Chicago to go on a haunted ghost tour. It was a ton of fun, although we didn’t end up seeing any ghosts. It was nice to see a good friend who came in from out of town and get a night out of the house.


Our actual Halloween night was pretty mellow. After eating a nice dinner, we snuggled up to finish watching Stranger Things 2 and handed out candy. Now that is my idea of a good night!


Now I just have to contain my excitement for Christmas and try my best to not put up the tree until after Thanksgiving. I will say I think the stores are pushing the Christmas stuff a little early this year. It makes it hard for me to resist. I am a sucker for holiday decor.

Until next time


Thieves Bottle

Germs Be Gone

September 22nd marked the end of summer and the official start of fall. Children have been to school for a couple of months, leaves are starting to fall and the weather will soon begin to get cooler. I know many of you are excited because this means pumpkin spice lattes (or pumpkin everything these days), boots and football, but unfortunately this also means cold and flu season is approaching. (For me the begining of October means I finally get to put my Halloween decorations out!)

I absolutely HATE being sick. Being sick is awful and it’s not good for anyone around me because I am the biggest cry baby when I don’t feel well.

This means that as the little germs start to attack I bust out the heavy artillery, which for me means Young Living essential oils. I have been using Young Living oils for about 4 years and I absolutely can not live without them. These bottles of miracles work wonders for all sorts of my ailments and can be used for a great strong immune system.

While oils may not work for everyone, I use multiple oils through out the day for all sorts of things. I diffuse oils throughout the day and while I sleep, I take oils supplements, I use them in my beauty routine, and I even use oils to clean my home. There are so many great oils, but today I will focus on Thieves since that is my main attack against all those nasty germs.

Thieves essential oil is a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and cinnamon. It has been shown that Thieves kills airborne bacteria, can strengthen all the systems of the body and helps to fight off infections. How amazing is that!!!

Here are some ways I use Thieves oil:

  • Rub on the bottom of my feet or spine morning and night for an immunity boost
  • I have Thieves hand purifier, which I use to clean my hands while out of the house
  • Thieves wipes help me to clean off surfaces such as a restaurant table or those nasty door knobs
  • I use Thieves cleaner through out our house to disinfect counters and bathrooms
  • Whenever I get a sore throat I mix a drop of thieves and some lemon in hot water for a soothing drink

As you can see there are so may ways to use this great oil. If I use it regularly I am usually able to get through the cold and flu season relatively unscathed.

Who else uses essential oils?