One of my favorite things about summer is the vine ripened perfection of tomatoes.  Just this week my neighbor across the street brought over a bag full of homegrown goodness for our family to enjoy.  The tomato is undoubtedly one of God’s greatest gifts to men.  So, in ode to my favorite summertime “fruit” I decided to make one of my favorite soups… gazpacho!

There are many varieties of this rustic Andalusian dish.  Growing up my mom and I would often frequent the cafe “Shulers” down the street from our house in Michigan and order gazpacho blancho.  I was hooked from the first bite!  That particular gazpacho was cream based… delish!

This week I decided to make a tomato based gazpacho, although the basic composition is the same… chilled, acidic, rich.  

This dish cost less than $9.00 to make, and yielded approximately 8 cups of soup.  I’d say that is pretty good!  I used a basic recipe from


I simply combined into my food processor:

4 cups organic tomato juice

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 cucumber, chopped

2 cups diced tomato

2 green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tsp. dried tarragon

1 tsp. dried basil

1/4 chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. sugar (I omitted this)

salt and pepper to taste


I pulsed the mixture until the components were roughly chopped into little beads of vegetable goodness (choose your chunkiness).


There is just something about this soup that cools you to your core…


I poured my gazpacho creation into a big, lidded Portuguese painted pot and chilled it for about an hour before serving.  Days later the pot is still in my refrigerator, and the soup is tastier than the day I made it!




if i had a penny.

If I had a penny for every time I told myself “tomorrow I’m going to start working out and feeling great…” I’d be rich.


Two back-to-back pregnancies have taken their toll on my body (not complaining here… just stating the obvious).  So I decided to do something about it!

I had just found out I was pregnant with Elijah two weeks before this pic was taken… Kinsley was just 5 months old.  My babies are close in age!


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The Challenge Package came in the mail today, and I find myself on a carpet floor littered with toys sifting through instruction manuals, recipe booklets, and workout DVDs.  I jumped head first into a new lifestyle of no excuses.




I am going to hit the floor hard with my PiYo (pilates and yoga) workouts!  I joined an online challenge group to keep me accountable!  I really am giddy with excitement at the thought of accomplishing my fitness and nutritional goals!  Plus, these shakes I’m on are super low carb, GMO free, gf, and tasty!  Yay!  I’ll update my progress as I go… it really helps to bolster my commitment and confidence as I go!


So I’m emptying my penny jar and cashing in!  No regrets!



Last weekend I stumbled upon the most unique collection of vintage hats imaginable from a little thrift store down the street from us.  I mean the kind of hats where you say to yourself “what in the world was that person thinking when they wore that?”  Did she frequent the Kentucky Derby?  Was she a little old church lady?  Or perhaps was she a 1960’s fashion plate?  Either way, these hats speak for themselves.


For 50 cents/ piece Kinsley hit the jackpot in terms of her dress-up wardrobe!  She adores her feathered, bejeweled hat collection.




I might add that she looks quite smashing!