winters got you down lunch

We have snow on the ground with snow in the forecast.  At this point it can be a struggle to keep our spirits up.  We made this quick lunch to brighten our day–the colors are springy and the vitamins boost our energy.   Keep holding on…spring is nearly here!


Either clean out your vegetable drawer or grab some vegetables while you’re at the grocery store.


Chop all your veg into bite size pieces and sauté in a bit of oil–we prefer avocado oil b/c of it’s light feel and taste but any oil will work. The amount depends on how much veg you’re using.  I’d say 3 Tablespoons just to give you a place to start.  Remember to chop more vegetables than you think you’ll need b/c they shrink so much when sautéd.img_6201

We didn’t have onion but it would be good!


We often make noodles or rice, sauté the veg adding only oil, salt and pepper and we eat it like that.  If you’re making this for dinner add chicken or tofu and make a sauce. Ideas below.

img_6205 Cut chicken or tofu into bite size pieces and sauté in a couple tablespoons of oil.  Once cooked through you can either:

  1. add 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds to the chicken.
  2. add 2 cloves minced garlic and 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce to the chicken.
  3. add 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/4+ cup of pineapple juice and pineapple if you like.

Adjust the ingredient amounts to fit your taste.

Serve the chicken or tofu with rice or noodles and the veg.




xo j+r

homemade pretzel bites: a recipe review

I found this recipe while scrolling through Pinterest and loved it!! I made the recipe two days in a row and all the pretzels where gone within an hour. I used kosher salt and liked how they turned out. Besides the dough having to rise for an hour, it’s a pretty quick recipe, perfect for a get together or an after school snack.




I made a spicy cheese dip using the recipe above, but replaced the cheddar cheese with pepper jack. It was a hit!

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it let us know what you think in the comments below!

xo j+r

stitch fix review #6

Welcome to Stitch Fix  review #6.  Thank you to Stitch Fix stylist Sathya for my favorite SF box yet!  This was a great Fix and just what I was hoping for.  Click here and here  to get additional Stitch Fix information and to hear why I like SF and why I subscribe.  Now for the review!



Loveappella Mani Button Back Mixed Media Knit Top $58–KEPT.  I didn’t like this shirt when I first looked at it.  I wouldn’t have  tried it on (always try everything on!)but Rachel said I had to for the pictures.  While trying it on Adam said “cool shirt mom” Brent said he liked my shirt and Rachel said “what a cute top”so, KEPT.  I don’t  love the buttons on the back but I do like the grey and black contrast, it’s very soft and I like the U neck and the trim around it.  The back is sheer so I wore a white cami under it.  Because it’s still cold, I wore a burgundy cardigan with it, similar one in black here and here, along with tall black boots. Black, grey, or burgundy booties would look cute with this top too.



RD Style Tinia Dolman Pullover Sweater $68–KEPT. I LOVE THIS SWEATER!!  I love the dolman sleeve, the color, the softness!  I wore it 3 times the first week that I got it. I wore a cream colored long sleeve shirt under it.  When it warms up a little I will wear it with a cami. The pattern is different on the sleeves.  I love that too!



Liverpool Elizabeth Super Skinny Jean $78–KEPT.  I didn’t need another pair of jeans this color and “no thank you super skinny!” and then I put on these buttery jeans.  They have a thick elastic waste which I didn’t like UNTIL. I. PUT. THEM. ON.  I don’t like “for decoration only” pockets and the front pockets on these jeans are fake. I don’t even care!  These are soft very comfortable jeans that I will wear often.



Market & Spruce Wilco Solid Quilted Vest $68–KEPT.  I requested a vest and I like this olive color with the gold zipper.  It’s lighter weight so I will wear it now and it will work in the spring.



Melinda Maria Nina Mini Feather Earrings $42–KEPT.  I’m not a huge fan of these but I did want gold earrings and they do look good with the gold zipper on the vest.  The post is thicker than my other earrings so that will take a bit of getting used to.  Although I didn’t love them it made sense to keep them because you get a 25% discount when you keep all 5 items.



I really liked this Stitch Fix!  If you are interested in giving SF a try you can click any of the highlighted Stitch Fix or SF on any of my posts and take the FREE style profile.  If you decide to place an order I will get a $25 referral credit at no expense to you.  Once you’ve placed an order you can invite friends to use your referral link and if they order you will receive a referral credit!

Thank you for reading our post.  We appreciate it!


bringing calm to the hectic:

1 Thessalonians 1:5

“Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.”

In Anne Graham Lotz devotional Fixing My Eyes on Jesus Anne reminds us that we are not responsible for making others good because that is the job of the Holy Spirit.  Are their people in your life who you are trying to fix?  Instead, love them, enjoy them and PRAY for them.

x0 j+r


starbucks chocolate cinnamon bread

I love Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread!   I spent time trying to recreate it here.  I was excited to try the original  Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread recipe that I came upon while cruising Pinterest.  This bread is more dense then what I’ve eaten at  Starbucks but it is delicious!  I sent the recipe to one of my sisters when she was in need of a pick me up due to winter blues. She liked it too and I would say it lifted her spirits…it may have been the caffeine from the chocolate, but when it’s gray and gloomy we take what we can get and this chocolate cinnamon bread is like a hit of sunshine.  Kids will enjoy this as an after school snack with a glass of milk or for yourself with a hot cup of coffee.  Note* this recipe makes 2 loaves.  Our 2 loaves didn’t last a day but I bet the extra loaf would freeze well and be the perfect treat to offer a friend when she stops by for coffee and to chat.img_5732










xo j+r

stitch fix review #5

Welcome to another Stitch Fix!  In case you are new here, this is my #13 Stitch Fix but my #5 Stitch Fix review.   I started  getting SF when I was in need of  work clothes. I stayed home with my kids for years so my tee-shirt inventory was well stocked, my work clothes were not.  At first I requested a SF every 2-3 weeks but changed it to a monthly Fix once I had a few work items.  I look forward to receiving SF and like that I’ve been able to keep my wardrobe  fresh.  If you would like more info about SF click here.  If you’d like to try Stitch Fix  click any of these highlighted Stitch Fix links to get started.  You will be able to fill out a free Style Profile.  If you decide to place a SF order using my link I will get a $25 referral credit at no charge to you.  If you like SF you can share your referral number with friends and on social media and get SF credit too!  Now for the review.


Le Lis Regina Aline Skirt $54.00–KEPT.  I had asked for a knit pencil skirt but they didn’t have any so the stylist sent this skirt.  This skirt is comfortable and fits my style (basic) plus I actually had boots AND booties to wear with it.  I don’t own lots of shoes so hooray!! It’s cold and snowy here so I wore black tights which I am now realizing makes it difficult to see the booties–they are the middle pic.  I added this  Lush Tunic from Nordstrom.  It’s on sale for $27.90 right now.  I wear it untucked/long with jeans or tucked in with this skirt.  I have it in black and ivory.  I wear this $12 cami under it.

RD Style Kolding Faux Suede Vest $78–KEPT.  My favorite outfit is jeans, a  tee-shirt and flat leather sandals/boots (winter) and silver hoop earrings.  I’m looking for some items to amp wardrobe up a bit.  I think this does.  It’s very soft and, if I wear it with a sweater like in the pic below, it is warm enough to wear to work.

Just Black Fiona Skinny Jean $88–RETURNED.  These were soft and comfortable but I don’t need black jeans.  I’m sure there are cuter flats to style with these but I wanted you to see the length and that you could wear them with  either flats or boots and these are the flats I have.

Laju Larni Split Back Top $64–RETURNED.  This top is very soft and because it’s long can be styled with leggings or skinnies.  Maybe it was the color or pattern but I thought from the front it looked like a boy shirt.

Seychelles Tower Lace Up Bootie $150 (they are leather)–RETURNED.  I don’t like these at all.  First– I DO NOT WEAR HEELS.  I guess I need to mention that to SF again.   Second–I couldn’t  get my wide foot into this shoe.  Third–I don’t like this style.  Fourth–SF already sent my a wedge in this color that I kept.


This SF was a bit more expensive then usual because of the leather shoe and the vest.  I don’t mind an occasional item that’s more expensive if it’s nice quality or unique and still my style but my preference is basic pieces that I will wear regularly.  If you decide to try SF  please come back and tell us what you thought.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read our blog.

bringing calm to the hectic:

Genesis 15:115 

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
   I am your shield,[a]
   your very great reward.[b]

Last year my friend Diana went to the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove and heard Anne Graham Lotz speak.  She brought back a signed copy of Anne’s daily devotional, FIXING MY EYES ON JESUS ,for me.  Above is the verse for Jan 20 (the day I wrote this post).  This morning I was thinking about Jesus being our great reward.  The Bible tells us He is peace and comfort, Holy, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, truth, joy, near, eternal,  Father, Counselor, etc.  That is a GREAT reward!

xo j+r

luke’s bday dinner–roast chicken

This is the meal Luke requested for his birthday dinner.  All of our kids would list this meal in their “top 5 dinners”.

Luke’s Bday Dinner:

img_5676For the roasted chicken: This recipe is for 1 chicken.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees–turn on the stove fan!
  • Remove the neck etc from the cavity then rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set in a 9 x 13 dish or on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
  • In a small pot melt 1 stick of butter.  Add 5 cloves of minced garlic.  Pour butter and garlic all over the chicken.
  • Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken generously–like 1 T salt and 1-1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. I use Morton Coarse Kosher Salt.
  • Loosely cover with tin foil.
  • Place in oven and roast for 1 hour.  Remove foil and roast until the skin is brown and crispy and meat thermometer is 165 degrees.  We love our Thermopen $97 on Amazon but I bet you could find a better price.  Quick and easy to use.



3 Bean Salad: ( It’s supposed to be 4 bean salad but I don’t like the dryness of  garbanzo beans so I leave them out–add a can if you like!)

  •  Drain 2 cans of green beans, 2 cans wax beans and 2 cans either pinto, white, cannelli, or kidney beans and put them in a large bowl.
  • Thinly slice 1/2-1 red onion into rings. Add to the beans.

3 Bean Salad Marinade: Whisk together in a bowl OR shake together in a jar.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Pour over beans and onions, stir, cover with plastic wrap until dinner time.  The longer this has time to marinade the better.

Cook 1 bag of Extra Wide Egg Noodles according to package directions.  Put a couple tablespoons of butter on the noodles while hot and sprinkle with salt OR, this is what we do, pour some of the sauce from the chicken pan over the noodles–so yum!!


HaPpY BiRtHdAy Lukie!  Baby boy is 12!!


We love you Pooks!

xo j+r

rachel’s cherry orange chocolate cookies


I am not a fan of using dried fruit in cookies and so I made my own version of a cherry orange chocolate chip cookie –that’s a mouth full. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family and I do! As Luke said , “I want another one!”


Makes 3 dozen

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter–room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of Morello cherries–chopped
  • 1 Tbl orange zest
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl combine butter and both sugars until creamy. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.

Add egg and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture. Once combined add in orange zest and chopped cherries. Mix in half of the flour mixture and combine. Pour the chocolate chips in the remaining flour then add to the dough mixture.

Once the dough is mixed use a medium sized cookie scoop and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 min in the preheated oven. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 min before moving to a cooling rack.




xo r


stitch fix review #4


Welcome to Stitch Fix #4.   If I keep 1 piece from a Fix the Fix is worth it.  Although I did keep an item from this Fix I felt like the Fix in general was not my style. Let’s get right to the review.



Street Level Shermineh Crossbody $58–RETURNED.  The straps came off the back of the purse rather than the top.  I felt like I was carrying a little kids backpack around.  It isn’t a soft material–it felt plastic.  I liked the color but that is it.

MTLA Jino Open Cardigan $58–RETURNED.  I prefer more square fitting cardigans.  It was also more fitted in the arms then I like.  It gets snowy and cold here.  I don’t want the sweater to feel tight if I wear a long sleeve shirt under it.  Also, I prefer cotton or at least something very soft.

Market & Spruce Casadee Kangaroo Pocket Pullover $74–RETURNED.  Not a fan of the kangaroo pocket and at $74 I want to really love the sweater.  I did like how long the sleeves were but couldn’t get past the pocket.



Diba Skye Lace-Up Wedge Bootie $80–RETURNED.  I don’t wear heals!  I don’t know what to say about this shoe. Although I do like a wedge I just don’t like these.  They’re too tall and I don’t like the lace-up look.  I can’t comment on comfort because my wide feet didn’t fit into the shoe.  Again, not a fan.


Prosperity Lena Released Hem Super Skinny Jeans $78–KEPT.  These jeans are so soft and just the right amount of stretch.  I like the released hem and I can wear them with flats and boots.  They are skinny’s so I will wear them with long shirts &/or long cardigans.

P.S.  As you can see these pics were taken before snow.  We got behind on our posts!  I would like to report that I have worn these jeans many times and am glad that I kept them!  They have washed well, didn’t shrink and continue to be soft and comfortable.

xo j+r

the best cobbler, a cookbook review

Renee Erickson, and here, owns several Seattle restaurants The Whale WinsBateauBar MelusineGeneral PorpoiseBarnacle, The Walrus and the Carpenter. Or click  Sea Creatures Projects to see projects, events, etc. that Renee and her team are working on.   Each year my mom looks for a good cookbook to buy for herself, my sisters and me (Rachel was recently added to this list) for Christmas.  A Boat A Whale & A Walrus was the book we got 2 Christmas’s ago.  Renee’s Peach Cobbler is a recipe we have made a ridiculous number of times, most often using pie cherries. It’s easy to make and it’s NOT a typical cobbler.  This is a frequently requested recipe here at home. If you bought this beautiful cookbook for the cobbler recipe alone, it is worth it.  IMG_5658.jpg







I had one of the most delicious meals of my life at Boat Street Cafe when Renee owned it.  I ate there with my sisters.  We hardly spoke during the meal–it was too delicious for words.

I don’t collect cookbooks.  I buy/keep the ones I will use regularly.  Let us know if reviews are helpful to you–although I don’t collect them I do have many cookbooks and would enjoy sharing those that we find useful.  We can add reviews to our lineup.


xo j+r