Friday Favorites: Spice Drawer Makeover

Happy Friday, friends! I feel like I was just here with you for last weeks post but boy, time flies when you are having fun. The kiddo and I escaped to the coast for a beautiful week in the sun and sand, and my soul feels revived. The ocean has always been my happy place but coming home to my own bed, shower, and sweet husband felt amazing, too. It was especially welcoming since he had the good idea to vacuum before we returned. He knows how much I appreciate order, and with all the chaos around us in the world, its even more important to create a place of rest and peace at home.
Last week in my Instagram stories I talked about revamping my messy spice drawer. Luckily for me, my husband is amazing cook, but our collection of spices had gotten out of control, and after weeks on end of cooking from home more than ever before, we needed a better solution. I will be the first to admit that originally I did not want to purchase all new matching jars and labels like a lot of people around the internet had been doing the last few years. At first it felt wasteful in both product and expense, but once our drawer was overflowing, I pulled the trigger. 

Of course it was my old friend Amazon to the rescue. There are numerous options available to you, but after weeding through reviews, I settled on this wonderful little set. It gave me enough to cover all the spices we currently have while still having a few leftover to grow. The set came with round black labels for the tops, as well as a white pen and blank labels to create your own. It also included small clear labels for the sides of the jars, but I opted to purchase this set of capital letter labels separately to really dress them up. The kit also included a small rubber funnel to help with transferring your spices to the new jars. To give you an idea of the size: the new jars are exactly the same size as any of my Trader Joe’s glass jars for seasonings and spices. 

With a little help from my favorite kitchen helper, it was quick. work to transfer the spices and it was absolutely worth the effort. The capital letter labels set even included labels for popular spices like Everything But the Bagel, Lowry’s Seasoning Salt, and Chili Lime. Everything was immediately better organized and more easily recognizable. It worked out just right for me that every bottle I owned fit into the original drawer I had been using. It was just meant to be! 

As you can see, it was just that final touch to really dressing up our kitchen, making it feel homey and custom, and also insanely practical at the end of the day. It has made the few recipes I’ve pulled together since last week just more enjoyable, plus I can really keep an eye on how much of any spice we have left and know what to add to the shopping list. If you’ve been looking to up your kitchen organization game, this is one small project I highly recommend! 

Stay safe. Stay well. 



Friday Favorites: Saving Sanity in Quarantine


Well, what did you choose? Online shopping or building that ark? Because last we spoke, I made a joke about the rain and now it seems as if those of you with the ark had at the right idea. I am barely hanging on, but that overwhelmed feeling inspired me to share some of my favorite things that keep my sanity mostly in check. (Mostly.) If you’ve been following along on Instagram for a while, you may have noticed that I’ve seriously stepped up my workout game recently. That doesn’t mean I want to spend a thousand extra hours on my hygiene and beauty routine from sweating in the gym or from the miserable NC humidity. Here’s how I save time, the health, and the style of my hair.

shower cap

Let’s get right to the star of the show. Many of my friends know that I am Team Dirty Hair and try to limit how much I wash and style my locks. Frequent showers were really taking the life out of my style until I found this amazing shower cap. It is not the first one I have tried, but even with my melon sized head and thick hair, this is definitely the best one. The style is cute, the cap is comfortable, and there is room inside for even more hair than I currently have. My hair stays nearly perfectly dry even with my double face cleansing routine, general showering, and shaving. It dries quickly and has held up so well even after months of abuse. Ten out of ten recommend to all my Team Dirty Hair girls!

dry shampoo

The next tool in my arsenal of sanity saving techniques is this dry shampoo. Look, I know we all have different hair and that there are a million other brands out there, but this has been my go to for YEARS. I’ve tried the more expensive options and the cheaper options and I always come back to this. Ten years ago when I first learned about dry shampoo you had to visit Ulta or another beauty supply shop to get your hands on pricey bottles of dry shampoo. Now they are in every drug store around the country. If you don’t like this one I really recommend trying out a few different kinds to see what works best for your hair. Also know there is a learning curve to using new products and just because the first use or two isn’t great, doesn’t mean the product can’t work for you.

To my husband’s amusement I spray dry shampoo around my ponytail before I hit the gym without really brushing it in. Of course I am working out at home with only him to notice, but this technique really helps absorb the oil and sweat straightaway and helps save my hairstyle. I can then easily let my hair down and brush it out after my shower and I’m ready to roll. A lot of people also recommend spraying it in before bed so it can work on absorption throughout the night. I don’t really find that helpful, but if you have especially oily hair, give it a try! Don’t forget my biggest tip for saving your hair at night found here. Oh, and when you finally do wash your hair, don’t forget the REPEAT part of the shampoo instructions. Double cleansing really does make a difference!

hair ties

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my love for the perfect hair ties to save your style. If my hair isn’t actually pulled back, you can always find me with one of these on my wrist. They are my go to when pulling back my hair for everything from daily chores to four mile runs (peppered with lots, and lots of walking). I love that they aren’t that noticeable on my wrist, and that I can take my hair down and it basically jumps right back to whatever style it was before with no creasing. My hair feels secure without being too tight, and it doesn’t tangle like traditional hair ties. I couple of times a year I pick up a new pack at Ulta, but they really do last. The best tip I can give you is that if they are looking stretched out, you can easily reshape them by hitting them with your blow dryer. I have held them down with tweezers so I don’t burn my fingers and they will shrink right back to their original shape and size.

I hope that some of these tips help you take better care of yourself mentally and physically. No one has extra time these days to waste on haircare if we can help it. Give yourself a little grace, a little break, and a little boost all at the same time. You deserve it!

Stay safe.  Stay well. Happy FriYAY!





List Ready: Advice from a Buyer’s Agent

*** Editor’s note: I wrote this a week ago and delayed pushing publish as it isn’t my usual MO, but it is a big part of my life and I hope it is helpful for someone out there.

Hellllllo, Fall! I’m sitting outside as I write this soaking up the beautiful, cool air. I am so happy the season finally decided to change in North Carolina. The real estate game isn’t all that fun to play on 95* days but today’s home inspection is going smoothly. Did you even know that I am a real estate agent? I kicked off 2019 pursuing my license and after quick success in class and testing, I’ve been working since March of 2019. We stay very  busy and it has been exciting and rewarding to help families find their perfect home.

My job is very specific. I only help buyers. I don’t list any homes. That works out okay for me right now because I have a natural knack at seeing how individuals want to live and finding the home that fits those needs. (Don’t get me wrong though! I will absolutely step in to help if you need to sell your home by referring you to someone on our amazing team if you’re local, or finding you the perfect agent wherever you are and we can still get the job done.  Basically, just remember me if you have any real estate needs at all – anywhere in the grand ol’ USA!)

An upside to working this way is constantly going into new properties and getting an actual in person feel for what’s on the market in the area. I’ve shown everything from small golf front condos to 4,000 square foot lakefront homes. Any real estate agent worth their salt will give you advice on how to get your home ready before listing, but PLEASE listen as someone who sees it everyday from the buyer’s perspective: staging matters. Staging doesn’t have to mean hiring out an expensive company or making drastic changes to your property, but a few smalls steps can engage the potential buyer’s senses and make the biggest difference in helping them feel at home and ready to make an offer.

Out with the Visual Clutter

You. guys. This is my absolutely pet peeve in life – but especially so with homes on the market.  Get rid of the clutter! No one wants to (or needs to!) walk into your kitchen to piles of mail on the counter or cold medicine left by the sink. It seems like common sense, but for the love of all things money related, clean up yo stuff! Your potential buyers will appreciate this more than you know and your home will instantly look more appealing. Put shoes away, tidy pillows, make all the beds, and be sure the floors are clean. I’d even recommend taking it one step further and putting away personal mementos like photographs and nicknacks. You want the buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the home, not to be distracted by your clutter on every surface.

Entice Buyers with Scents

Being nose blind is a real thing. I get it. But how your house will smell to potential buyers is huge. Often it is the first thing about a property a buyer will comment on. The best smell is no smell at all. My favorite houses are the ones that just smell fresh and truly clean, not strong smells via candles and air fresheners. Consider having your carpets cleaned and stay on top of all laundry (including bedding, pillow covers, drapes – anything you can wash that might hold an unpleasant scent).  Keep your bathrooms and kitchen areas freshly wiped down and try to keep the trash taken out on a more regular than normal basis. As a last resort, turn to inserting a light, neutral smell into the home to help it seem welcoming and cozy. Be aware that overwhelming scents can cause headaches and immediately turn buyers away. Remember the goal is to smell clean, not fake. We want them to feel at home, not ready to run out of the door.

Make us FEEL Welcome

As much as how the home looks and smells, the temperature inside also matters. This has a been a big issue the past several months with the summer heat lasting longer than normal. It is no fun to spend the day in and out of properties in the heat only to come into to a stifling, musty house. Room temperature and air flow matter. Again, the goal here is to get the potential buyer to linger and begin to imagine their lives in your space. Trust me when I say that is hard to do when you are sweating. Houses feel more closed off and smaller when they are too warm. An easy thing to do (that also may help with tip number two) is to run the overhead fans. A comfortable temperature is much more welcoming. A welcoming home means happy thoughts. And happy thoughts lead to offers!

Wheeewww. Now that is over I hope I haven’t left any of my friends feeling personally attacked. The same level of neatness isn’t possible in every single home, I get it. But I hope these tips are helpful for getting your home set to sell. Anything your agent tells you change you isn’t meant as a slight, only that they are working so hard to be sure you get every penny you deserve for your property. If you’ve been in the buying and selling game, chime off in the comments and let me know if there are any other widely heard comments or tips you have to help get these homes off the market and sold!


❤ Jill






3 Tips to Help Crush Your Goals


Happy October!

We’ve finally landed in the month of hayrides, bonfires, and pumpkin patches – the official kickoff of holiday season. This is my absolute favorite time of year. Everything just seems a little brighter and happier from now through New Year’s Day. It is also a hectic time of year for almost everyone I know. Weekends are packed with fun, sports are in full force, and there’s just less daylight to get everything done at work and home. It is easy to feel behind during this busy season which is why I wanted to talk to you about my personal plan to stay mindful of my goals and actually get things done.

Don’t get me wrong, September was a wash for me! Mrs. Procrastinator over here hasn’t changed that much since I was finishing my 8th grade math homework in the hallway right outside the door literally up until the bell rang to start class. That said, I am a tiny bit more driven now AND I’ve got a few awesome tools to make sure that I am set up for success.

First, let’s talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

…because if you haven’t read any personal development books (that’s now what we cool kids call “self help” books!) or haven’t been to any staff development trainings lately, you may be a little rusty on the acronym. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. An example would be no longer just wishing to “read more books” but rather setting the goal, “I will read 2 books a month.” It is specific (2 books) and measurable (within a month). It is also attainable as I already am the proud owner of 3 library cards. It is also relevant for me as a former bookworm. This goal is timely in that I know I basically have two weeks to read each book to be sure I am hitting the overall goal. I have what I need to be set up for success!  Even goals that may be specific and measurable will not necessarily be attainable, relevant, or timely. Skipping even one or two of the S.M.A.R.T. characteristics in goal setting can lead to failure and further frustrations for you.

Secondly, let’s go shopping!

I am a FIRM believer in having a paper planner and to do list. I love my Google Calendar app just like any other busy mom and bossy lady, but science has proven time and time again that humans retain information better when they write it down. Not only will you have a better memory, writing your goals down helps you truly visualize success and what it will take to get there.

Back in August I received the Living Well Planner for my birthday and I am so glad I did. It’s been years since I first read Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup but the planner has been just as life changing as the book. Each month it really helps you dive into what your goals are and guides you through breaking them down.  In fact, the first three pages of every month are dedicated to goal setting. The monthly view and weekly view pages also help keep you on track, including areas for daily must do items and meal planning. Each month ends with a very detailed monthly budget section to even help keep your finances on track. You don’t have to have this exact planner, but I highly suggest figuring out a written system that works for you. I like this approach of having it all-in-one because a planner should be often referred to (read: daily), and you can take time to look over your goals again and again keeping them fresh in your mind. Which brings me to my next point…

(Lastly,) Check in Often.

It isn’t just enough to say your goals out loud or even write them down in detail. You need to check in along the way to see what progress you are making and what is left to be done. If you have a goal you’d like to reach in a short time, such as a month, you may need to check in every day to see if your To Do List aligns with reaching that goal. What will get you one step closer to achieving your dream?

Though the procrastinator in me hates it, I like to start the day by “eating the frog,” which is to say, getting the one thing I want to do least done as my first task of the day. Return the call. Fold the laundry. Get your workout in. Do these big or hard things first and the rest of your day will flow more smoothly.

Sometimes these check ins even mean reevaluating your goals all together. The dreams  you had for yourself on NYE may not be the same by August. Half of your vision board may not have been realized ten months into the year. Don’t feel bad about re-prioritizing. You may need to change directions and start again, but not reaching a goal does not mean you failed! Life goes on and luckily, you get to help set the pace.


❤ Jill


Friday Favorites: Behind the Scenes Beauty

Hey, friends! Happy Friday! It has been a week. The sickies hit our house hard starting off as just allergies and ending up with me actually going to the doctor (something I never do!). A week I am majorly riding the struggle bus seems like the perfect time to share with you the beauty secrets that actually keep me going. These items are all big performers, but maybe not the headlining things you’d usually see on a must haves list. They’re all kind of background items that hold it all together so they’d be easy to add to whatever beauty routine you already have. Take a look!



I will admit I was skeptical about this product at first. I had tried other items from the line only to be super disappointed, but now I swear by this Kristen Ess Beach Wave Spray from Target. I first picked it up last November on a road trip to Richmond, VA and now I never curl my hair without it! Once my curls are cooled I lightly spray all throughout my hair to give it shine and texture (Lightly! – a little goes a long way and the bottle lasts forever so it’s a deal even at a $14). I love how it breaks up the curls and makes brand new hair slightly messy. Plus, on day two or three, spraying a little more in gives your hair a healthy shine and revives those loosening waves. Pick it up and give it a shot on your next Mom-cation through everyone’s favorite big box store!



This next product isn’t even something that I use all that regularly (though I don’t know why!) but the days I do, I can always tell a huge difference. A few years ago I decided to give MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre a go as my eye shadow primer as suggested by another beauty blogger and I am so glad I did. Not only is this product actually an eye shadow on its own, but it 100% works to keep even my cheapest drug store eye shadow on all day. I blend it in covering my entire eyelid and up to my brow, then go over it with whatever eye shadow colors I want for the day. It totally takes out any redness you may have around your eyes and holds on to the shadow for long wear without creasing. It is $22 but long lasting and with free shipping from Nordstrom, why not?


Now this last secret beauty product really isn’t all that secret, but it makes the biggest difference in my hair. Who would’ve thought that a silk pillowcase really lived up to all of the hype? My mom, that’s who. And Whitney. And Leigh. (Hi, friends!) Late last summer I decided to finally give it a try and buy one for myself nearly ten years after I gifted my mom a super expensive, luxury brand one for Christmas. After reading through Amazon reviews I settled on this one and I have been so happy! I love that it zips on and fits even my odd pillow well, and my hair has never looked better. I wake up with so much less frizz and get lots of extra wear out of my hairstyle. They say it is actually really good for your skin as well but I guess only time can tell with that. Why are all women not using these? Do yourself and your hair a favor and pull the trigger now!
I’d love to know if you plan to try any of these items or have them already in your routine. Feel free to send me any of your favorite must haves that you think would make my life a little easier! I’m all about those mom/life hacks to keep us feeling good on the go!
❤ Jill

A White {Chocolate} Christmas

Merry Christmas, everybody! Or are you like me, still rushing around with so much to do in the final hours that you aren’t feeling so merry? While I knocked out the decorating tasks rather early, I’m always a last minute kinda girl for the cooking and shopping. I’ll be hosting a Christmas cookie exchange party this week with friends but with all that entails, I don’t actually have time for a whole lot of baking. (read: I never leave myself enough time.) That’s exactly why I am so excited to share this super easy Christmas candy recipe with my fellow kindred spirits.

As you may have figured out by now, I am a huge fan of anything that has to do with the crock pot or Instant Pot. This candy recipe combines my love of sweet and salty with that obsession. Let’s get down to business.

– 2 lbs white chocolate / vanilla candy coating
– 1 six ounce white chocolate baking bar
– 12 ounces white chocolate chips
– 3 cups dry roasted peanuts
– 2.5 cups pretzels, broken into small pieces
– sprinkles (This is optional, but don’t be a scrooge.)

Place all chocolate ingredients into crock pot that has been set on low. Leave to melt for one hour before checking.(Time to wrap those presents!) Once melted, stir in peanuts and pretzel pieces until completely coated in chocolate. Use cookie scoop/melon baller to spoon mixture on to parchment paper. Add festive sprinkles to mounds of candy. Leave to cool for at least one hour. Enjoy!

This recipe could easily be done with milk chocolate if you’re so inclined like my husband (but his waist line will thank me for this version.) Also, my more careless style with the cookie scoop produced 60 servings, but those were very generous. A more steady hand could produce 90 or so smaller candies. Do with that knowledge what you will.

Another helpful tip for this busy holiday season? Check your local Aldi for amazing deals on holiday treats, baking supplies, and even items for cheese plates and other holiday hosting supplies. I was able to grab my peanuts, pretzels, and white chocolate chips for this recipe in Aldi for cheaper than my other go-to grocery store. (They also had plenty of milk chocolate baking supplies available.) Just my two cents for helping the merry stretch a little bit further.

Is this white chocolate Christmas candy going to be added to your never ending to do list? Let me know in the comments if you’re a fan!

Merry Everything!
– Jill

Monday’s Menu: My New Obsession

My newest tool to nutritious, delicious home-cooked meals.

Guys! I just had to take a moment and introduce you to my newest obsession. I’ve told you before that cooking isn’t generally something I am a fan of, but since it comes with the territory of housewife and mom life, I am trying to do better for my little family. Recently the hours of my life that I waste on Instagram brought me across something, rather someone, amazing. Enter Brittany Williams (@InstantLoss).

Brittany shares daily with her nearly 70k Instagram followers about how she overcame bad childhood habits, loss, and a family crisis to lose over 100 pounds in a year. Through this process she developed delicious, nutritious recipes that rolled out earlier this fall in the form of an easy to use cookbook called, Instant Loss. The best part I haven’t mentioned yet? Nearly all of the 125 recipes are designed for the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). How could I not fall in love?

The moment my book arrived I leafed through adding tabs to any and all of the recipes I thought our family should try. There are so many fun twists on already popular food items – but the ingredients are whole foods: often organic, gluten and dairy free. Now before your brain shuts down with the mention of such hot topic buzzwords like “organic” just know you can make the recipes to suit your style. Did we buy the gluten free breadcrumbs for the meatloaf? Yes. Did we HAVE to? Absolutely not.

So far on this journey we have made the following: egg roll bowl, better than takeout orange chicken chili, 5-minute poblano chicken chili, and spicy stuffed peppers. This week we are also tackling the skinny enchiladas and classic meatloaf (which my friends have raved about!). Speaking of friends, I was so excited about this new inspiration I immediately started telling a few of my friends. Two were crazy enough to listen to me and ordered the cookbook right away. They are BEYOND happy with the results they’re experiencing both physically and mentally as they cook these new healthy meals for their families. (I’m so happy for you Katie and Morgan!)

I actually finally convinced another friend to invest in an Instant Pot and her Instant Loss cookbook should be arriving today. While her final verdict on the contraption is still out, I highly encourage anyone that is on the fence about joining the IP community to take the plunge and buy one. It has dramatically improved how I feel about cooking, the easy at which it gets done, and even the clean up! If you have any other great IP cookbooks to recommend or favorite recipes to share with us, I’d love to hear all about them in the comments!

– Jill

Bathroom Refresh: Stenciled Tile Floors

Hey friends! Whew, it’s been a while!

I’ve been easing back into social media after a much needed break. The change of season has me feeling creative again and I think I am finally ready to tackle a few more projects around the house. Before I start on any of my new ideas I just had to take time to share with you our “new” bathroom floors.

I remember touring this house for the very first time and day dreaming about the ways I could spruce it up. The bathrooms had mostly been left out of the real estate listing photos and for good reason. Some aspects of this house were pretty shocking. Even still, I just knew this was the home for us and that the issues (for the most part!) were purely cosmetic. A little paint here, a little paint there, and viola! Home sweet home.

First, let me start with a disclaimer: My floors have only been done for 3 months as I am writing this. I am in no way a professional, nor have I lived on them long enough to know how they will really hold up. That said, I read a few blogs and watched several Instagram stories on the topic and almost everyone (that’s had success!) has used this exact process. Everyone must be on to something, right?

Let’s Talk Supplies!

My stencil was custom ordered in 14″ through Cutting Edge Designs – their Augusta pattern. Many sizes are easily available online but the custom size wasn’t much more in price. Picking out a pattern was the hardest part! I suggest going ahead and ordering two stencils while you’re at it. Save yourself some shipping, especially if you plan to do more than one floor.

Next, through a combo of Amazon shopping and Lowe’s, I was able to collect the other necessary items. You’ll need a few small foam rollers, an artist’s brush, a regular paint brush, and painter’s tape, along with whatever paint tray and liners you’re comfortable using.

The important products I used were:

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer in white
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Country Gray
Minwax Water Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Matte

Getting Started

The first step is to clean your floors really, really well. I swept, mopped, scrubbed, and vacuumed (and I repeatedly used a hand held vacuum to pick up debris that made it into the room over the course of the project). Next, I used painter’s tape to tape off any areas I was concerned about like baseboards and the toilet and then I got down to business.

Using my foam roller I spread the first layer of the Bull’s Eye Primer over the tile and followed up with a second coat of primer once it was dry. Using a foam roller and a 3″ angle brush (with a short handle!) I put down two coats of the Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White with at least an hour of dry time between coats. Chalk paint is famous for its quick drying abilities! I was in love with how much brighter this room looked with the new white base coat.

Fun tip: wrap your brushes in saran wrap in between coats to save on washing and clean up time. Simply unwrap and get back down to business when you’re ready for your next coat. (By the way, I really kind of hate the word “coat.”)

Next it was time to stencil. I was so NERVOUS about this part. I had to remind myself that the look I was going for was handmade, concrete tiles and those would not be 100% perfect either. There were guidelines built-in on the stencil to help you line it up properly with your existing tiles/space. I used the foam roller to put down my Country Grey and was thrilled once I saw 3 tiles in a row. A few small pieces of painters tape were helpful for holding the stencil in place. I immediately had a “blob” of grey paint go through the stencil, but I knew I could clean those messes up with an artist’s brush. Don’t sweat it!

I worked my way around the room being sure not to put the stencil down over an area that was still wet (since the stencil is large and overlaps other tiles). The process moved rather quickly. Another quick tip I have for you is to blot the back of the stencil off on a old towel after each tile so that you don’t build up excess paint. This was a HUGE help to me. Don’t skip this part!

I wound up cutting my stencil at the end to fit more easily into the odd areas, especially around the toilet, but it wasn’t anything you can’t manage! If you’re unsure of how it is going, just pick the stencil up. Take a break! Don’t press on if you think you’re making a mess. It’s okay to pause. This is also when I broke out the artist’s brush. I used it to both touch up areas where paint was out of line, as well as to create lines that didn’t go through on the stencil. It takes some patience but the results pay off! The transformation was unbelievable.

Once the floor had really dried well I began the process of putting down the protective poly. I used the same 3 inch angle brush to put this down, being sure not to put it on too thick. I was also sure to go in a different direction with each layer. I settled on three coats of this, following the dry time on the can, but I have heard of others doing up to five. Three has held up fine for us in the last three months. It isn’t a forever fix, anyway. One day we will remodel both bathrooms.

For now I am loving the new look the stenciled floor gives our bathroom. It tied in perfectly with the DIY concrete counters and shiplap backsplash, and has brightened up the room in a wonderful way. I would love to do this process again in our small bathroom and perhaps the laundry room where we had the same beige tiles.

If you have any questions feel free to ask or hop over to my saved Instagram stories to see the videos about process. I hope if stenciling has been on your radar that I can help inspire you to finally get it done!

Monday’s Menu: Mexican Spaghetti Squash

Pack in the veggies with this delicious Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Happy Monday! I can say that honestly because my son and I drove down to the beach this morning to meet up with friends. It’s been a great day in the sand and surf and now we’re having some downtime before dinner. There is no place in the world I love more than the beach (except maybe my own house because I’m weirdly becoming more of a homebody.).

If I were home I’d probably be whipping up another batch of delicious Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole for the week. I made it for our family on Friday night and just had to share it with you because it’s nutritious and reheats like a dream making meal prepping super easy. If you’re like me and always looking for ways to squeeze more veggies in your diet than this is it!

I originally found this recipe on Nesting With Grace’s blog and fell in love. I’ve tweaked it a little (ie: I add cheese to everything) but hop over there because she has TONS of inspiration for home decor and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s talk tools for a moment. An Instant Pot makes this meal a breeze. I can’t rave enough about this! If you haven’t already, get out of the dark ages and buy one: it’s life changing!

If you have an Instant Pot then you will cut your spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and strings, place it with one cup of water inside the pot on the metal trivet, and set the manual pressure to 12 minutes on high. Once it’s finished you can quick release the steam and let it cool down a bit before shredding the squash with a fork. This method is far and beyond easier than roasting in the oven!

While the squash is cooking in your IP, you can get busy dicing your veggies. On Friday night I used carrots, onions, and an orange sweet pepper but any ol’ pepper will do. Red would’ve been a nice color contrast from the carrots. Eat the rainbow, right? Once they’re diced you’ll toss them in a pan to cook until soft.

I usually use the same pan my veggies were cooked in to do my meat. Now, you’ve got options for this part! We’ve been using ground chicken because it was on sale, but ground turkey or chicken sausages would be great, too. Whatever you pick, brown your meat and place in mixing bowl with the softened veggies.

While that’s all cooking down, can you just take a moment to talk about this spice drawer? Laying our spices out where we could see them all has made for a much happier kitchen! I’ve been thrilled to see that some other friends are trying it out since I shared about it on my Instagram post. I always love seeing how other families stay organized.

By now your spaghetti squash should be finished and easy to shred. Add it to the bowl with your other veggies and choice of meat. Now it’s time to mix in your seasonings and salsa. Mix well and place everything into a baking pan. Whisk 3 eggs and add to the dish before placing it all in the oven. You’ll bake the dish at 350* for one hour. I always pull it out with two minutes to go, top with cheese, and set my oven to broil. Now your family will have a delectable and nutritious meal for days to come. I love leftovers and meal prepping!

Do you think you’ll add this to your rotation?

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole


• 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

• 1 16 0z Jar of Salsa

• 1 Red Pepper

• 1 Onion

• 1 Cup Diced Carrots

• 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Sausage or Cooked Ground Turkey/Chicken

• 2 tablespoons cumin

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon paprika

• 3 Eggs

• shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 350*

Use Instant Pot to cook spaghetti squash by cutting it in half, removing seeds, placing it inside pot on metal trivet with one cup of water. Run on high manual for 12 minutes. Quick release when finished.

Dice carrots, onion, and sweet pepper and cook until soft. Cook ground turkey/chicken or chicken sausage and add to bowl with soften veggies. Add shredded spaghetti squash, salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika and mix well. Place in greased 9×12 baking dish and pour in 3 whisked eggs.

Cook dish for one hour. If adding cheese, remove and shredded cheese, placing it back in on broil for two minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

Fresh Cut Hydrangeas

A tip on how to help your cut hydrangeas bounce back

Boy! It feels great to be back home in our routine after a wonderful (but exhausting) vacation in Wisconsin. I’m a creature of habit and being out of my own home for so long really takes a toll on me mentally and physically. We also had some unexpected travel drama so needless to say I slept nearly 12 hours our first night home and have been taking extra care to have quiet time this last week.

To help us get back into the swing of things we stopped by Trader Joe’s and Costco on the way back from the airport. Of course we stocked up with delicious, healthy food, but what I’m most excited about are the fresh flowers I picked out at Trader Joe’s.

After the long car ride home my beautiful flowers weren’t looking so great and I set out to find out how to help them bounce back. I knew some folks were able to keep hydrangeas looking gorgeous for long periods of time, but what magic did they have up their sleeve?

The best advice (and easiest!) I came across said to submerge the blooms in water for up to 45 minutes. That felt too long for me so I trimmed the stems under water at an angle and went for 15 minutes of soak time. Let me tell you, it worked! Those blooms bounced right back and here we are an entire week later and they’re more beautiful than they were to start with!

Aren’t they gorgeous? They’re exactly the breath of fresh air our family room needed. I’m curious to see how long they’ll last. I’ve never had flowers look BETTER after a week than when I got them. Do you have any green thumb tips to share for keeping cut flowers fresh?