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How to Make Vichyssoise Soup with Lifeway Kefir #KefirCreations #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

My garden is overflowing with goodness right now and I’m always looking for creative things to do with all of the veggies I pick each day. A quick google search gave me the idea for a Vichyssoise Soup and I decided to try it out -but with Lifeway Kefir instead of cream!
How to Make Vichyssoise Soup with Garden Greens & Lifeway Kefir #KefirCreations #shop

If you’ve never heard of Vichyssoise Soup, it is traditionally a potato and leek soup {made with cream} served cold, and made famous by Julia Child. I was intrigued by the recipe because I’ve got garden veggies coming out of my ear and I’m getting sick of making them same ole dishes. It’s also summer time, and a lot of my friends are asking me for recipe ideas that are perfect for hot weather.

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Red, White, & Blue Girl Scout Crunch Ice Cream Parfaits : #Cookies2Crunch #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Cookies2Crunch #Shop

girl scout crunch ice cream parfait
We hit the road for Missouri on Friday. My sister’s kids are at my parent’s house {again} for the week and my mother really wanted my kids to play with their cousins. I couldn’t refuse, and playing in Missouri seemed a heck of a lot more fun than sweating in my barn kitchen. So here we are…and since the cousins won’t be together on the actual date, we decided to celebrate the 4th of July early.

Nestle Girl Scout Crunch

To celebrate, we grabbed some treats and fireworks and had a party! I found these awesome Girl Scout Crunch bars at Walmart and knew I had to get them – I had a great idea for Red, White, & Blue Girl Scout Crunch Ice Cream Parfaits… With three generations of Girl Scouts in my family, I knew these Girl Scout Crunch bars would be a big hit!
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Designing My “#MomCave” & a La-Z-Boy Pinterest Contest #CBias

Mom Cave

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my husband and I are getting ready to build our “forever” house. This house will be nothing like anything we’ve ever lived in before –> a sleek, modern, energy efficient, well-designed home. I can’t wait to see it all come together. We’ve been working hard with my brother-in-law on the design. Mark is an architect in Seattle with a very modern design style; honestly his style is something I never really considered. But the more I look around, the more I like the sleek, clean, modern designs. I’m so excited to get building because with our new house will hopefully come a bunch of new furniture.

And we desperately need new furniture. Behold if you will, my current living room. I am embarrassed to share this with you, but here it is in all its glory!! We bought the sofa and chair in 2001 while we were in grad school at ASU, before we had kids. Before we ever even thought about kids. Because if we had considered kids, we never would have purchased this particular sofa. The color is all wrong. It shows all marks and is in pretty sad shape. Additionally, we currently have no tables, not one, in our living room. Our living room is over-run with kid things and not decorated. {This was supposed to be a temporary living arrangement, you see…I didn’t want to waste my time or money.} But two years later, We. Are. Still. Here. 😉 And I really feel the need to get some space, any space at all, that is kid free and blissfully mine. current living room
So I am designing a MomCave: a little slice of heaven for me, only me {I hope you can read the sarcasm and irony in my blog post – I love my kids, I really do…} As a work at home mom, a comfortable space for me to blog and grade my online classes would be really nice. I’d love a place my kids aren’t allowed to touch – because they break everything they even lay eyes on {they’ve even ripped 2 keys off my laptop!}. But truth be told, there are 6 of us in a 1700 square foot house and I don’t have room for a space dedicated to just me. If I only even have enough room for a MomCave Corner…then so be it! I would love to take control of a simple little corner and turn it into a kid-free zone! I’M TAKING IT BACK, I SAY!!! 😉

To figure out what I might like to put in my new MomCave Corner…I turned online to La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, a furniture icon for over 85 years. My mom and dad have beautiful La-Z-Boy furniture and it’s held up really nicely over the years. When I started looking online, I realized then and there I would have to do more than fix just a little corner! I was shocked when I started looking around La-Z-Boy’s website. The choices are endless! They have so many different designs and options, with over 900 different covers to go on over 250 different frames. I was thrilled to scroll through sofas, sectionals, ottomans, and tables. With the click of a button, I could change the covers and customize anything I wanted. I loved seeing the fabrics change before my very eyes. I got a TON of fun ideas in their online catalog – scrolling through their fully decorated rooms was so inspirational. demi sofa

My friend Robin and I had a blast choosing different options. We tried color after color on the Demi Sofa pictured above. Initially, I thought I would prefer a leather sofa, but I was amazed and so excited by all the different fabric options. I’m not so sure about leather anymore…I love the idea of leather for its complete durability. If kids aren’t allowed in my MomCave, though, maybe fabric will be okay?
zebra chairHow fun is this Arden Occasional Chair?? My hubs and I went on a business trip to Omaha in October and the swank hotel we stayed in had a chair somewhat similar to this. I loved it! A comfortable chair in my MomCave is an absolute must have. I also found out that La-Z-Boy has designers who will come to MY home and help me get it all right. I love that option because there are so many choices that I am a tad afraid of getting it wrong.
structure rectangular drawer end tableAnd a table – the Structure Rectangular Drawer End Table!! I must. have. a. table. I currently have no place to put my wine glass. I have no place to set my computer. My MomCave needs to get a table pronto. Not having a place for a wine glass is a crying shame. I love this table: its wheels and metal! My MomCave Corner will have a table very soon. And kids will not be allowed to touch it. A table will tide me over for now, but new furniture is on my horizon!

Have you ever thought about a MomCave of your own?

One Holiday Ham = Lots of Meals! 5 Ways to Use Leftover Ham

We love ham! Not only is it super easy to make in the slow cooker, but there are so many great things to do with the leftovers. Here are 5 ways to use leftover ham! All of them delicious!!

One Holiday Ham = Lots of Meals! 5 Ways to Use Leftover Ham

Some of my favorite ways to use leftover ham include making soup, using it in delicious omelets and egg sandwiches, making fried potatoes and ham, and using it in quick fried rice. Most of these ideas allow you to get dinner on the table in under 20 minutes, or in the case of the soup, all day, but with a really short prep. Here are my favorite ways to use leftover ham!

1. Ham & Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Ham & Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Ham & Bean Soup


  • 10 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern beans, rinsed, sorted
  • 1 1/2 cups small red beans, rinsed, sorted
  • 1 ham bone {optional}
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp pepper {or to taste}
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 ribs chopped celery
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 32 ounces crushed tomatoes


  1. Put everything in a 6 qt slow cooker except the tomatoes.
  2. Cook on high for 1 hour.
  3. Reduce temperature to low and cook for 8 – 10 more hours, until the beans are tender.
  4. Add tomato sauce and cook for another 1/2 hour.
  5. Garnish with shredded Parmesan Cheese.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1274 Total Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 244g Protein: 73g

2. Fried Potatoes & Ham

Fried Potatoes & Ham is another crowd-pleasing, super easy way to re-purpose your leftover ham. Just thinly slice up a bunch of potatoes {I use my food processor}, and fry them in butter or bacon grease with lots of crushed garlic {the more the better!}, sliced onion, and salt & pepper, and don’t forget the leftover ham! If you make these, you’ll want to par boil the potatoes ahead of time for easier cooking at meal time. cook the potatoes on medium heat, turning frequently.

3. Left over ham for breakfast

Another super easy and delicious use for leftover ham – Fried Egg & Ham Sandwiches. To make these, I become a short order cook. Everyone prefers them a little differently in my house. I like my egg over medium; the kids prefer either over hard or no egg at all. Some people in my family like a little bit of grated cheese on top; others prefer a huge slice of cheese, nicely melted of course. And others prefer no cheese at all. ;-) I use my homemade whole wheat bread, but I think this would be fantastic on homemade English Muffin bread or on a store-bought English Muffin. I use sharp white cheddar cheese, but you can use your favorite cheese if white cheddar doesn’t sound good.

4. Nicky from Little Family Adventure has a delicious recipe for a Spanish Tortilla with Ham that looks divine too! Breakfast, brunch, or dinner? When would you eat this?

5. Finally, Fried Rice with Ham

Fried rice with ham is really easy! One of my favorite ways to use up leftover rice! Just add ham, egg, peas, chives, and soy sauce and you have another super quick meal made on the table in minutes.

My recommendation for your leftover ham, chop it and freeze in cup portions so you can pull it out and use it in any of these delicious recipe ideas!

And there you have it! My super easy way to cook your holiday ham and three of my favorite ways to use up the leftovers. What do you do with your leftover ham?

 I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and CastleWood #cbias #SocialFabric. All opinions are mine.