5 Ingredient Salsa Recipe

We spent this past weekend up north camping at the Mogollon Rim and in addition to making this Pasta Salad, every year I am also asked to make this super easy, but no less delicious, salsa. I learned how to make this salsa from my in laws after my husband repeatedly told me that his mom makes the best salsa there is and I needed to ask her for the recipe. Fast forward a few years and even though I use the same recipe, I’m pretty sure he still claims his mom’s is the best, but to be honest, I really can’t blame him, she is (among other things) amazing in the kitchen!

Anyway let’s get down to it, the ingredients you will need:

5 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 bunch of green onions

1 bunch of cilantro

½ yellow or white onion (I’m partial to yellow onions, so I usually use those)

2-3 Jalapenos (This is where my husband and I always differ, he prefers his salsa super hot, while I prefer mine to actually be edible… My suggestion for figuring out how many you will need is to taste a small bit of your jalapeno to see how hot it is and go from there. There have been times that I’ve only needed one jalapeno because it was just that hot)

Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste

Now for the hard part…

Roughly dice green onions, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Toss those, along with your diced tomatoes into a blender and blend to desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and add garlic salt and pepper to taste.


Serve with a bowl of tortilla chips and you are done! This makes quite a bit, so it is perfect for parties or camping or really any gathering. And I promise, once you make this salsa, you will be asked to make it again and again. But that’s okay, because it’s just so easy!

I hope you enjoy!

Do you have any go-to recipes that are super easy and super delicious?


Favorite Things Friday- Baby Edition- Fresh Food Pacifiers

For this week’s Favorite Things Friday post I decided to do a baby edition because I’ve found something that is just too priceless not to share. Some of you might laugh at my excitement over this, but let me tell you, when a teething, fussy baby is involved any small win feels like a million bucks!


I had registered for and received these little fresh food feeder pacifiers, but much to my dismay, Brynlee wasn’t really a fan when I put any sort of food in them. So there they sat, in a drawer, for the last 6 months not doing anything. Then I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and she told me that her daughter loved it when she put ice in those. And another one of my mama friends told me she did that for teething with both her kids. I was sold! I went right home, popped an ice cube into that sucker (see what I did there??? Lol!) gave it to Brynlee and she loved it!! I happened to give it to her during one of her little teething meltdowns and it calmed her right down. I couldn’t believe it! How had I not thought of this sooner?? And that my friends is why I felt I must share this amazing news with you, in case you were just like me in all our obliviousness to this wonderful teething solution.


Now Brynlee will come hand it to me when she wants another ice cube. And of course, there are times when she will get distracted and all of a sudden I will have a little puddle of water on the ground from the forgotten ice cube. But I will happily clean those up all day long if it means I have a happy baby!


And so, here’s the part where I would love to hear from you! I wish I would have thought or heard of this sooner, is there anything else I’m missing out on that has worked well for you? Do you have any baby favorites that are must haves?

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

When we made our trek to Montana a couple of weeks ago, it was a 17 hour car ride and the fact that Brynlee would be stuck in her car seat for that period of time was not something anyone was excited about. In order to make this trip as pleasant as possible, for everyone involved, I tried to come up with as many ideas as possible to entertain Brynlee. Before this, Brynlee had made a few 8 hour trips and lots of trips in the 2-3 hour range and sometimes they were good and she was perfect the whole time, while others she would scream and throw fits the whole time, so I really didn’t know what to expect on this trip and was just hoping for the best. All in all, I think she did pretty well, we had a few moments where we questioned our sanity for attempting a trip like this with a one year old. But hey, we survived, so now I’m here to share with you what worked for us and I would love to hear if you have any tips that have worked for you that I might be able to use for next time!

First, we came up with the brilliant idea of leaving at 8:00pm (Brynlee’s normal bed time), driving through the night and taking turns sleeping and driving. This way Brynlee would sleep the majority of the trip and hopefully be okay the rest of it. So the afternoon that we were leaving, we drove to Sedona to meet up with the rest of my family that was going, fed Brynlee dinner, gave her a bath and bottle and had her in her car seat ready to for bed at 8:00pm. All was going great! She  fell asleep about 20 minutes into the drive, woke up for a minute when we made a stop to pick someone else up in Flagstaff, but went right back to sleep once we started driving again and we thought we were good. WOW! Were we wrong, she ended up waking up 2 hours later and did NOT go back to sleep… I’m sharing this because even though it didn’t work for us, I still think that this is a good idea if you have a good sleeper. The problem we had with Brynlee is that she does not like to miss anything, so if there is any sort of activity going on around her she will fight sleep for as long as possible.


This brings me to tip number two and quite possibly the only thing that saved us on this drive. We purchased this iPad case that fit perfectly on our car’s headrest and held the iPad very securely. Before we left, we loaded the iPad with as many movies and TV shows as we could fit. Anything that would take Brynlee’s mind of off the fact that she was stuck in her car seat for that long!

In addition to the iPad, I also brought a plethora of her toys on the trip with us. And I think what really helped here was that I started picking which toys to bring and I put them away a few weeks before we left so that when she saw them again they would be somewhat novel to her. This worked decently well, but really, the iPad was the star of the show.


After the iPad, her second favorite thing would have to be snacks. I loaded up on snacks before we left so she would have a lot of options. I bought these fruit and veggie pouches in almost every flavor I could find, these teething cookies, these granola bars, these puffs, of course, Goldfish crackers, Pirate Booty and yogurt. Needless to say, but the end of the trip, her car seat was a mess!!! Crumbs everywhere!!! Oh and we had these little containers for the snacks, she likes them because she can be independent and get her snacks whenever she wants them.

I had also founds this reusable placemat at Target before we left and I loved having it!! It has a permanent place in my diaper bag now!! It makes it so much nicer when we go out to eat. Brynlee isn’t exactly a neat eater yet and I hate when her food touches the table and she still tries to eat it, so I guess this is really more for my peace of mind that anything else, but it was the best $6 I’ve spent recently.


Another thing that we found as we drove along that worked really well was having me or Landon in the back with her. I think it was very comforting to her to have one of us there. We did have cousins that were rotating through that seat as well, but on the way home I ended up riding the whole time in the back because she seemed to be calmer that way.


*A rare moment that Brynlee was actually sleeping in the car*

We were also very flexible about stopping and built extra time into our drive time to allow for that. That way Brynlee would have a chance to get out and stretch and get some of her wiggles out. We also made longer stops a meal time to hopefully reset Brynlee’s car seat clock, sometimes those gas station stops just weren’t long enough for her and she wouldn’t want to get back in her car seat just yet.


Oh and of course we played with Brynlee throughout the trip, singing songs and clapping and just trying anything to make her laugh. This help especially in those situations where she would start throwing a fit. Brynlee loves when people pay attention to her and she will start to ham it up too, making funny noises and laughing hysterically at you. It is so adorable!!

Well, this is mostly what worked for us. I hope if you have an impending trip, one of these might be useful to you! We are going camping this weekend, it’s about a 2 ½-3 hour car ride, so please share if you have any additional tips that we might use! Thank you for reading!!!

Favorite Things Friday- French Press

I thought it would be fun to start a series called Favorite Things Friday and share some of the things that I have found that have made my life easier or happier or that I just love and I hope that you will share some of your favorite things in the comments too!

First up is for all you coffee lovers out there! I seriously cannot believe I waited this long to get a French Press (I got this one from Bed Bath and Beyond). We grind our own coffee and when brewed in the French Press it is so delicious and full of flavor. We also have a Keurig Coffee Brewer, which we still love and use when we are rushing to get out the door. But on the weekends or on slow mornings it is all about the French Press. I love that I can make it in the morning, have a cup then come back a couple of hours later and it is still warm or just keep the French Press nearby while I’m working.


It’s been fun trying different types of coffee and different flavors now that we can truly taste it with our French Press.

Pair this with a bag of coffee and it would be the perfect gift for any coffee lover!

Do any of you use a French Press, is it one of your favorite things? Please share!




Finger Painting with Brynlee


I have always loved crafting and art projects, so I’ve been looking forward to doing some with Brynlee. The other afternoon, we had a lot of fun finger painting.


At first Brynlee wasn’t really sure what to do… she just stared at the page would very hesitantly touch the paint here and there.


I found this homemade edible finger paint recipe. I made it a few days ahead of time and during that time it started to solidify, it almost had a jello consistency. It still worked, but if you decide to make it, I would suggest making it with enough time to let it cool only.


I was expecting this little project to be a big mess, but Brynlee kept it fairly contained. Although, now that she is comfortable with it, I’m sure next time things will be different.


I can’t wait to paint with her again and I’m looking for other projects that I can do with her too, so if you have any ideas please share in the comments!

Stuffed Artichokes

When we were in Montana, we were lucky enough to indulge in Nana’s cooking frequently. Let me tell you, Nana is amazing in the kitchen, so I definitely took advantage of the opportunity to learn anything I could from her. During our visit, she made stuffed artichokes and they were delicious!! Landon and I have tried making artichokes in the past, but we didn’t really know what we were doing and while they turned out okay, I knew this was one thing I would love to learn from Nana. I’m kicking myself now for not taking notes while she was making them, but I tried my best to recreate her artichokes over the weekend.


2 Artichokes

3 Slices of Bread (Nana used Sour Dough, I used some French bread that I had made earlier that day)

1 Roma Tomato

¼ C. freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

3 Cloves of Garlic

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste



Start by chopping off the stem of your artichokes and removing the bottom layer of leaves.


Snip the sharp points of the artichokes leaves ¾ of the way up the artichoke. Then slice the top of the artichoke off. Make sure there are no sharp leaves left.


Separate the artichoke leaves and open up the center of your artichoke.


Remove the purple flowery petals on the inside of the artichoke.


Next, peel the stems and dice them for your filling.



Dice your tomato and your cloves of garlic and add them to the bowl.


Then add your Parmesan Cheese.


*Sorry for the blurry photo :(*

Cut your bread slices into cubes and add them to your bowl.


Add your oregano and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle about 3 Tbsp of olive oil in and use your hands to mix everything together.


Now, stuff your artichokes, really stuff them! Use every last drop of mixture, trust me, you don’t want to miss out on any off it!


Put your stuffed artichokes into a Dutch Oven or sauce pan tall enough to hold your artichokes and still be able put a lid on. Fill it with water half way up the artichoke and drizzle in some olive oil. On medium high heat bring the water to a boil. Then lower the heat, put the lid on and simmer for a good long time about 1 ½- 2 hours.


Once they are done simmering, place them in a glass baking dish and bake them at 250* for 15-20 minutes or until they start to crisp up and the bread becomes a golden brown. Melt some butter to dip the leaves in and slice some lemons to serve with your artichokes. Enjoy!


These are perfect to make ahead of time then just bake them right before you are ready to serve them.

              I have to say that I don’t think these were quite as good as Nana’s, but I will definitely be making them again! Next time, I think I will add some Italian sausage to the stuffing too.

Brynlee’s First Birthday

                           Since yesterday I shared Brynlee’s one year photo shoot, I figured today would be a good time to share her first birthday details. Can you believe that last night was the first time I actually had a chance to look through all of her birthday pictures? I feel like this summer has been a whirlwind and I am grateful that it is finally slowing down for us and we have a couple weekends at home.


We decided to throw Brynlee’s birthday in Prescott, or rather Chino Valley, since Landon’s parents were gracious enough to offer up their home. A lot of our friends and most of our family lives there so it just made sense to have it there.


*Brynlee with her cousin Malorie, Grandma (my mom) and Great Grandpa playing in the tee pee I made her for her birthday present*

I will be the first to admit that I may have gone a little overboard in the planning of this party… Actually a few things got left out because we just didn’t have time and the party still ended up being a lot of fun. Plus, I’m willing to bet that no one even noticed the things that were omitted, so I guess it was lessoned learned for next time- don’t go overboard!


*Brynlee with Grandma and Grandpa*

The plan was to keep the food pretty low key so that we wouldn’t have to do a whole lot the day of the party, but somehow it seemed like we were still rushing around in the kitchen trying to get everything ready for the noon deadline of everyone showing up. For the main dish, we just BBQ’d hamburgers and hot dogs, then had a few different sides and appetizers to choose from. For the kids, we made chicken nuggets and french fries.






I thought about making the cupcakes myself, but decided to just order them from Safeway instead to make it easier on myself and I am so glad I did!! I don’t know how I would have found the time to make them. I did add the little candy bees on the flowers, a friend of mine found them at a local party store and snatched them up for me because she knew I was having a hard time finding bee related party décor.


As for the rest of the décor, I ordered this party pack off of Etsy and printed what I wanted from it at Staples.

I know this is a really bad picture, the lighting was horrible with the sun coming through that window, I really couldn’t do any better. But this is my 52 Weeks of Brynlee wall where I showcased all 52 weekly pictures I took of Brynlee throughout her first year. I have to be honest, there were times throughout the year that it got a little difficult to continue this project and I wondered if I even should. Well I am so glad I did because it was a huge hit and finally seeing them all together up on that wall made it all worth it! I just used clothes pins I covered in gold glitter to hang them on twine and I made the 52 Weeks of Brynlee banner from the party pack I mentioned above.


The plan for the party was to have the food inside and the rest of the festivities outside. We set up shade canopies and picnic tables for everyone to sit at. It was a beautiful day, but a little on the windy side. Not so much that it bothered anyone outside, but enough that it wreaked havoc on all of my outdoor decorations.





*For the drinks we had lemonade (in the blue mason jar beverage dispenser) and fruit punch in the other dispenser and water bottles and Capri Suns were in the beverage tub. I had mason jars with daisy lids and paper straws for the drinks or the paper cups for the kids*


*This table housed the party favors in the clear plastic bags, the sign read- 

These are a few of my Favorite things:

Ball- one of my favorite things to play with!

Bubbles- so fun to chase!

Necklace- girl loves her accessories!

Please take one!

Thank you
for coming
to my
“Bee” Day!!

In addition to the favors there were bubbles, coloring sheets and crayons, party hats, snacks- pretzels and animal crackers and note cards with a sign asking people to contribute to a time capsule we made for Brynlee*

In addition to the swing set my in-laws already have in their backyard, my mother in law was kind enough to rent a bounce house for additional entertainment for all of the kiddos. They had a blast and even Brynlee got in on the action thanks to Daddy.



When it came time for Brynlee’s smash cake she was more interested in a little green ring she had been playing with and insisted on bringing it with her. It took her a while to really get into the whole “smash” thing, but once she realized that it was okay, she really went for it. She didn’t eat much of the cake though, I think she only had 2 bites, but she had a lot of fun smashing all over her highchair and smearing it all in her hair (which was horrible to try to get out!! The frosting was so oily it took multiple washes for it to finally get clean).


*I purchased the “one” candle off of Etsy and it was perfect!! I loved how it turned out.*


*The only picture we got of Brynlee in her party hat, with her Aunt.*


*Notice the green ring?*




Then it was on to the Bee Piñata! I am so glad I made the effort to make this pull string piñata (I will post a tutorial on how I made it next week). Everyone loved it and when the kids all pulled the ribbon and the treats fell out they loved it!! I filled it with a variety pack of Teddy Grahams and fruit snacks.



Just as things were starting to wind down Brynlee opened her presents and even Lola got in on some of the action!


*Lola photo bomb*

I am so glad we were able to celebrate our little girl with all of our nearest and dearest. She has been such a blessing in our lives and I am just so grateful for her. Thank you to everyone who was able to come to her party, she is so lucky to have such amazing people in her life!