Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce, Mushrooms, & Turkey Sausage

June 28, 2011

I don't know if you have made Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce, but it is divine. I got some recipe inspiration from Tasty Kitchen the other day and this is what ensued.

Not the prettiest thing on the planet, but it tastes so good. Even my super picky sister ate it, plus her toddler. Who might I add picked out every piece of sausage like I had contaminated his noodles and handed it to me.

Pasta with Tomato Cream, Mushrooms, and Turkey Sausage
1 pkg Smart Taste thin spaghetti
1 lb turkey sausage
1 yellow onion
1 cup canned mushrooms
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 tbsp basil (dried, use fresh if possible)
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic

Dice onion, slice sausage and add to a skillet on medium high heat. Saute until onion is softened. Add tomato sauce, mushrooms, and garlic. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

While sauce is simmering cook pasta.

When sauce is nearly done add salt and pepper to taste, sugar, basil, and sour cream. Combine sauce with pasta and serve.

Smart Taste pasta is probably the only thing I will choose over a whole wheat version mainly because the calorie content is so much lower. 
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Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

June 27, 2011

I saw a recipe for this on Pinterest the other day and had all of the ingredients, so while my family was down this weekend I tweeked it a bit and mixed up a batch for the group.

Ignore the lumpy syrup, after I didn't sift it my Mother suggested I sift it ha! I was on a 5 minute crunch time to make it to Conditioning so it is a miracle these worked out at all.

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tablespoons Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Slowly mix wet ingredients into the dry. Pour about 1/4c of mix into a hot pan, flipping when sides are browned. Makes roughly 15 pancakes. 

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 almond milk

Mix ingredients and serve with pancakes. 

Like I said I found the original recipe on Pinterest via, this is my healthy-fied version. If you can't cut the sugar and least make it whole wheat. It really ups the fiber, and your body will appreciate it. 

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fill in the blank friday

June 24, 2011

1.   The last thing I ate was       YoCrunch Greek Yogurt. I hate that it has granola in it but it is the only one left that is a dollar. Oh how I hate rising prices on things I love  .

2.  The next thing I'd like to eat is    coffee from Cafe Du Mode, we are headed to NOLA today and I will get my hands on some haha  .

3.  The best things     are a clean house, good food, and feeling skinny  .

4.  Something that makes me supremely and utterly happy is   traveling to fun places we have never been and eating local food .

5.  Sports are     yuck. I am not a sports person in the least little bit  .

6.  I miss       weighing what I did my senior year of high school. I really miss my metabolism  .

7.  Right now I am       about to take my car to get the AC fixed in it. Can't have a nonworking AC in South Louisiana heat  . 

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{banana colada smoothie}

June 23, 2011

Lately I have really been wanting a pina colada...but with banana. So I made this smoothie. It is pretty much Weight Watcher friendly, I've been attempting to do WW with an app on my phone but with the new Point+ it is hard to calculate foods{especially the free ones?}. Had I used fresh pineapple that would be another freebie point wise. Needless to say I was in no mood to battle a fresh pineapple. Try this summery tasting smoothie and let me know what you think.


1/2 banana-frozen
1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice {no syrup}
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 1/2 tbps Splenda

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

If you like your smoothie thicker you can also freeze the pineapple or just add ice. I like the taste better without ice. I am also a sweet freak, hence the large amount of Splenda. ***And to clarify if you have coconut milk use that instead, I just wanted to have the taste without the calories. You could always substitute coconut milk for the almond milk.


Since buying a new couch I have done one thing, and one thing only. 
Policing the couch... keep this lazy sunbather off of it.
Can't you tell she is scared to see me coming? Crazy lazy skunk. She loves to lay in the sun by the window, but refuses to lay in the sun outside like a normal dog. Will someone please inform my dogs that they are in fact dogs and that other peoples dogs go outside.

What is something your pet does that gets on your nerves?
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{cheap should be my middle name}

June 22, 2011

For all you Sentsy lovers....go to WalMart. Better Homes and Gardens came out with flameless wax warmers and scents. The scents smell sooo good! I got two today for $4. My cheapo self was so happy I held out on ordering Scentsy bars the other day. 
On another note, I lost my big bug eyed sunglasses. Sad face. I think I left them at the gym. Needless to say my love of infomercials has led me to find the HD Vision glasses at Dollar General! Whoo Hoo!
Not only do they work well they also fit the #2 requirement I have for sunglasses...
...they fit on top of my head! Glasses HAVE to fit on my head like a head band or they drive me insane. I tend to lose them quicker or scratch them up by shoving them in my purse without a case. Might I also add the above workout outfit, or lack their of, is the reason I am not doing WIWW these days. With it being summer break I really only leave the house to go to the gym or the grocery store, sad right. But if you'd like to know my rag muffin shirt was on display because I was attending, without my knowledge, the condition class from hell. I should have known when Barbie was teaching the class that I would have my butt handed to me. The class started off as conditioning/you will have jello legs to the perkiest Zumba class I have ever attended. Needless to say I burned so many calories I think I might have burned some of the ladies next to me...and I will be going to Barbie's yoga/pilates class tomorrow a.m.

In other news.
Summer seems to be our luckiest time of the year. Our 1st year together the dryer died. Our second year together the washer died. This year Jeremy's AC in his car died...and yesterday mine did too. 
Jeremy "worked" on the old thing. When I say worked I mean banged around on it with a screw driver. The freon I got didn't even go in, so apparently it is full. will cost more than I want to spend and it has to go to a mechanic. I would go without air, but it is to dang hot down here to do it. Oh how I hate Murphy's Law. 

It was also doggie bath day. 
Needless to say their favorite part is getting dried off. When I stop with the towel they start with my rug. 
No matter how cute a wire hair or long hair dachshund looks dry...they look like soggy rats when they are wet. Poor soggy Ellie.
Ole ugly rat dog. Poor thing needs her hair blow dried. 
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Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday

****Update--Thanks to a wonderful commenter who informed me Pinterest had embedded images/links I got pics up!
I've seen people doing this for a few weeks and thought I would finally jump in and participate. Especially since WIWW  is out the window for the summer(all I do is go to the gym these days). 

What I am showing this week are DIY projects I have pinned, there are some dang good ones on Pinterest. If you need an invite just let me know. By the way, Blogger is being dumb and won't let me upload pics so I will just tell you what it is and give you the link. :( Boo on that one Blogger! If you see pics it is because Blogger got their act together.

1. DIY Bubble Necklace from Martha Stewart. Coolest project ever and is super easy, all you need is a old pair of panty hose and a few rubber bouncy balls. I love the chunky look of it and plan to make one. Here is the link.

2. DIY Leather Bracelet. I am actually in the middle of making one of these. It is a grown up version of the plastic lanyard bracelets we made as kids. Here is the link.

3. DIY Wrap Turned Scarf. I actually made this one already and it is really cool. I thought it would be great for looking a little more stylish in Italy while being able to cover my head with it and use it as a scarf. Super easy! Here is the link.

4. DIY Thrift Store Shirt Refashioned. This one looks totally different in the after, you would never guess she started this top with an old silky button down. Here is the link. 

5. DIY Ruffle Belt. This is such a pretty and fun idea. All you need is some tulle and a nice ribbon. I actually plan to make this, but like the other two DIY projects sitting in the "room that still needs unpacking" it may take me a bit to get to it. Here is the link. 

Now for one tiny gripe about tagging DIY projects or recipes on Pinterest...people who tag the wrong link or a dead link drive me insane! Is anybody with me on this one? 

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fill in the blank friday

June 17, 2011

1.   The last movie I saw was       , I think, Hangover 2. Big disappointment   .

2.  I want to    burn off the calories I ate at Sonic. They only blew me over 450 of what I could have today. Sad because I had only had a 50 cal Kombucha before .

3.  Surprises are     okay depending on what they are. I don't personally like them. Otherwise I get stuck looking at you funny when you get me something I totally don't like  .

4.  The best accessory is   hair, on a good day, and decent makeup...but not overdone .

5.  My favorite warm drink is     really good apple cider or hot chocolate  .

6.  My favorite cold drink is      frozen coffee from Cafe du Monde   .

7.  Currently loving       Almond Joy coffee creamer, roasted brussel sprouts and green beans, and the fact that we are going to Italy in December, not to mention I finally found a camera I could afford (after paying for Italy) and it shipped out today

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{life lesson}

June 14, 2011

#1 The other day I walked into the kitchen to find Jeremy making sweet tea.  I was in one of my moods and thought it would be hilarious to mess with him...primarily...gross him out. So I waltzed right up, took the pitcher from his hand, and drank straight out of it. I didn't exactly get the reaction I was looking for. I started laughing so hard while trying to drink out of it that I snorted tea out of my nose!

Needless to say gross out was not what I got, it fell more along the lines of "my wife is weird". But still funny none the less.

#2 If you happen to break an entire band spanking new bottle of Worcestershire sauce in your kitchen floor...there is nothing that will get rid of the smell. It will just take a few days to air out. I seriously swept up glass for days, still found some yesterday and it was a week later. I also Swiffer mopped several times. I finally had to get on my hands and knees and Mean Green the floor to get rid of the sticky.

What taste good is not also something you want to smell day in and day out.

#3 When joking about how every bridesmaid in your wedding got pregnant before your one year anniversary...except you, expect the obvious but unexpected question. Where they all married? Especially when making this joke with friends and within ear shot of the pastor. You will hate explaining it.

In the event the unwanted question appears your husband is allowed to counteract your blunder with "None of my groomsmen got pregnant"

Which leads me to:

#4 Husbands should always be prepared to say something funny to take the attention off of some off the wall comment his wife just made. However funny that comment might have is always assumed people will not get your wife's twisted sense of humor.

***Warning: it gets a bit heavy here.
I've come to realize that because of who I married and people's opinion of him they automatically project that same view onto me. Big mistake. Jeremy and I are polar opposites in many ways. While he could spend all day in serious conversations discussing mission work and other religious denomination at lunch, I can not. I am more about the humor in life. I have to joke around.

At the new church we are at Jeremy is not the youth group leader. Great for him, he enjoys youth ministry, he tried to get me involved with it at the last church we were at. I of course ran for the hills and joined an amazing women's class. There is this preconceived notion that because your husband likes it that you must like it too. Not at all true. Yes I teach, and for the most part enjoy it (hard to say 100% love it considering the school I just left), but I just can't devote all my time to kids. It sounds selfish but after being around kids all week I need some grown up time. I honestly changed SS classes a few years ago because people were bringing their babies with them and it was by no means a newly wed class anymore. Plus I was "single" while J taught 8th grade SS.

Now I am not saying any of this to be mean, or to say I will no 100% give Jer all the help he will ever need with heading off the youth group. But I am saying, I am not my husband. I love him to death, but goodness don't, for the love of dachshunds, do not group me in with him on things. I don't always know what he is talking about even!

A comment was made about his church background, he has an interesting background (in everything). In that comment I kind of understood it to say that if "WE" needed to talk to someone about what it meant to be Baptist we could. Hold up honey, home girl was raised Southern Baptists. I got that down pat. Jeremy might have gone to an extreme church at some point but he knows his stuff. And yet again, just because Jeremy did something one way does not mean I did too.

We are different on many many levels. We were raised different. His is the child of two plan to torture my sister and I until death (love you Mom;)). While on the surface some things may be similar, it has been quite a ride for the past 3 years trying to understand each other, because we are so different. But I love him none the less, and I had to learn to love him completely while letting go of what I could not control (i.e. in-laws). At one point he was asked to be a preacher for a small church and contemplated seminary. If you know me at know I am not the preacher wife type. It takes a special woman to do that...and the Lord would have to do a massive overhaul to bring me to it. (I just have a mouth that gets me in trouble sometimes).

The lesson here, just because two people are married does not mean they are conjoined twins. They come from different backgrounds, and have different opinions on life. We may agree on the big important issues, but we could argue all day about proper parenting and baby sleeping issues (HA!).

All that to say this...I totally did not intend on this post going in this direction. Guess this was just on my chest and looking for a way to escape. Sorry for the heavy post.
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{my favorite banana bread recipe}

June 12, 2011

It is no secret around here that Jeremy hates that my attempt to push whole wheat on him and everything I come in contact with. Over time he has given in to most things, but whole wheat pasta is one he will not at all eat. This all brings me to yesterday, we have 6 super ripe bananas that all need to be eaten immediately, pitched, or frozen for use in smoothies. To my surprise Jeremy requested I make my extra healthy banana bread. As little as the man requests a recipe I make(not bc they are bad but bc he doesn't care what he eats 90% of the time), I jumped on the chance to make something around here that was requested. And since it has been ages since I posted my recipe, I am reposting it today. 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons light sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)


    Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
    Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Notes: I've made this in both a glass pyrex pan and a metal pan, the glass pyrex works best. This morning I made it, lined with wax paper and did not grease the pan and it slide out perfectly.  All I had to do was run a knife around the loaf first. Also I promise you can not taste the olive oil!

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    {fill in the blank friday}

    June 10, 2011

    Okay so not only is my DVR not in check with the move yet, I still have not gotten the blog together yet. I want to do a new apartment post...but but but, I am just full of excuses. At least I finally mailed in my passport renewal. Italy here we come. To bad I can't afford the camera I I shall scour pawn shops.

    Now for Fill in the Blank Friday, yes I haven't participated in ages, but I still love it. You can link up at

    1.   This weekend I'm       cleaning the apartment, walking the dogs, working out, cooking, maybe going in search of a beach down here, and just enjoying my summer break   .

    2.  My last vacation was    our anniversary trip last June, we went to Galveston for a few days  .

    3.  My next vacation will be     whatever me, the Mum, and Laura decide to do this summer and...Italy in December!!Whoo Hoo  .

    4.  My favorite way to relax is   takeout food while watching movies with Jeremy. I would say Johnny's Pizza...but we are sooo far from one is it just plain sad. Guess we will have to find new takeout .

    5.  When vacationing one should always     eat local. I have a huge pet peeve against corporate restaurants. They aren't even that good. If I eat corporate it is a drive through burger, otherwise I want local! .

    6.  When vacationing one should never       hand out your friends number to a creepy waiter. Gabby and Victoria thought it would be funny to do this to me one year...the creepy guy called me constantly for the remainder of the trip. Hilarious yes, but I had to be careful to not just open my phone and answer it. Plus the creep knew where we were hanging out at on the beach, creep creep. Friends don't sacrifice friends numbers to creepy waiters   .

    7.  The best part about a vacation is       having fun without having to obsess over sleep and what time it is, yeah I do that a lot. I love the chance to try new anything. The shopping. Heck just the whole vacation   . 

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    BlogHer BookClub Review: A Discovery of Witches

    June 8, 2011

    Just wanted to tell y'all that I just read an awesome book by Deborah Harkness's called A Discovery of Witches. It was fun to read and they characters were great, luckily this is the first in a trilogy. So there is more to come from Harkness. Anyway go check out my review on BlogHer and let me know what you think.

    To give you a little hint about the storyline, it's like the adult version of Harry Potter but with vampires too:)

    BlogHer Book Club Reviewer
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    help a blogger out...

    June 6, 2011

    So last week I sent off the check to pay for us to go to Italy with a group from ULM. Last year you might remember we were going to go to Germany...but money was tight and it was just not a good idea, so we backed out. But this time we are REALLY going to Italy. So after the shock of writing the check things started going through my head.

    1. What do I wear? We are hiking and walking a lot so what does one wear outside in Italy during December!
    2. Shoes shoes shoes!
    3. Should I layer lighter jackets or wear my big one?
    4. How do I prevent being air sick, again, so that I can enjoy this trip without puking my life away?
    5. Can I take deodorant in my carryon? I hear most Italians don't wear it so it is hard to find once you are there.
    6. How do you tell your new boss you might be gone for a whole week before Christmas break without getting the evil eye? Better yet when do you tell them?

    Finally and most importantly:::
    7. Cameras!?! My camera is outdated and takes so-so pics. My Mom's camera takes okay pics depending on its mood, time of day, if the stars are aligned correctly, and if Pluto has managed to revolve in front of Uranus yet again. I looked into renting a DSLR camera, $100 for a week. Not bad, but it requires spending money. Buying a DSLR camera is out of the question, unless anyone is selling one for a decent price. Borrowing a camera from someone. But even if I told the person I would pay for the camera if *God forbid* someone mug me or some crazy mess happens to it---they would so not want to send their expensive DSLR camera to Italy. I also hate to put people in the position to feel awkward and have to say no, even though I TOTALLY understand the no. 

    So do y'all have any idea how I can get my hands on a nice camera for a week in December to take to Italy? I would hate to go all the way there only to have lame pictures that I will not be to happy about in years to come. I took a disposable to England and the pics are wretched. If you know of anyone or anywhere I could rent a DSLR from let me know!
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    {wave at the bus}

    I realize I've been super MIA lately. This whole move just has me off beat. I will hopefully get back in a blogging groove soon. In the mean time here is a funny blog my Mom told me about:
    Honestly, best way to get back at your children. We may have to use this one day! The Dad on this site dressed up everyday of school as some odd character and went outside to wave at his son as he got on the bus, his son was in 10th grade by the way.
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    {lazy woman's blog post}

    June 2, 2011

    I realize I haven't posted in a week, but it has been busy around  here. And since I have no real post to do right now I am resorting to bullet points.

    *We moved 5 hours away this past weekend. It is odd to me how much stuff you can accumulate in 2 years. It is hard to go from a 3 bedroom house with a big yard and a storage room our back to a 3 bedroom apartment with no where near the same space. But it is all starting to come together.

    *I have to go today to fill out paperwork at my new job. I also have to get a physical for it, never heard of teachers having to do it before, but such is life.

    *I need to get my name changed on my passport. Only problem is that a new one is over $100, hopefully I meet the requirements for the $30 renewal.

    *Now that we are here and settled I joined a gym. I haven't been a gym member in over a year. Yesterday I went to was no where near as good as the Zumba instructor I had in Monroe. She did dance though and made up a lot of her own dances, plain Jane Zumba dances bore the mess out of me. I was seriously thinking about leaving early and not because I was tired.

    *As much as I have waited for summer to get here I am officially bored to death. There isn't much to do during the day here because it is so hot, but then again South Louisiana is always hotter than North Louisiana. That limits dog walking to early morning or late evening. Boo on that.

    *Once I get the apartment settled a bit more I plan on doing a tour post.

    *Has anyone else finished a really good book only to be sad it ended? I am in the middle of book blues haha!
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