Chicken Enchilada Pasta

This a fairly easy and very impressive meal. Anytime I’ve made it I’ve gotten a ton of compliments. So here’s what you need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded) or a rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 diced green chili or a 4 oz can
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 (10 ounce) cans green chili enchilada sauce
2/3 cups red enchilada sauce or an 8 oz can
2 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
Toppings Suggestions-
green onions
sour cream
black olives

So the first thing I do is break down the rotisserie chicken. I put it in a bowl and put it aside.

Chop up your fresh ingredients.


Next heat up the olive oil and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and bell pepper and sauté for a few more minutes.


Next add in the chicken, salt, cumin, chili powder, and green chilies.


Stir it all and add in the enchilada sauces. You can use 2/3 of a cup or just the small 8 oz can. It doesn’t make much of a difference and you won’t have a random 3 oz of sauce sitting in your fridge.


Bring the sauce to a boil and then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. At that point add in the 2 cups of cheese and then the sour cream.


Once it’s all incorporated its done. Usually when I add the sauces in I start the pasta. Everyone in my family likes different amounts of sauce on their pasta so I leave it separate but you can mix it together. We like avocado and pico on top but you can dress it anyway you want.


If you don’t want to use chicken and have a vegetarian option you could easily add in vegetables at that point. Or roast some veggies and throw them in right before you add in the cheese and sour cream. That way they won’t get mushy. Let me know how your version turns out. I’m sure you’ll love this dish!!

3-2-1 cake!

I love cake but with just my husband and I to consume it, making a whole cake seems excessive. So I’ve got this great way to make a single serving of cake. It gives us the cake fix without a million calories looming before us!!

Here’s what you need:

1 box angel food cake mix
1 box any flavor cake mix
Coffee mug or bowl


In an airtight container mix the two boxes of mix together.


Take 3 tablespoons of mix and 2 tablespoons of water in a coffee mug or bowl that you can microwave. Mix together-it will be a frothy consistency.


Nuke it for 1 minute on high.


You can add any toppings you want.


You see where the 3-2-1 comes from? 3 tablespoons cake mix, 2 tablespoons water, 1 minute in the microwave!

I used chocolate but you can use any flavor you want. Just make sure that one box is angel food cake. It’s great to have the mix on hand because if you have someone stop over you can make them a quick impressive dessert!

I wish I had figured this out during my pregnancy. I always craved marble “birthday” cake and I could have just made it in one minute!!!

If you guys try a different flavor please tell me!! I want to try red velvet or lemon next.

Bon apetit!


This morning something happened to me and it got my brain going. Let me first tell you about my morning so we can be on the same page:

I woke up and got ready as usual. My mother in law stays over on days I have to work so she was up giving my son his milk and keeping him company until I emerged from my room ready for work. While playing with my son I realize he’s pooped and needs to be changed so off we go. For those of you who are mothers of a mobile child, you know how much of a task it is to change a diaper. It’s that time period from when they begin to wiggle to right before they understand what the heck you’re saying that’s the hardest. So while my son is squirming I use my body to try to hold him still and boom…poop on my top. He does this new thing where he grabs his dirty diaper by the side flap and tries to pull it away. I’ve become proactive about this and grab that side of the diaper before he can get to it, but today he pulled a fast one on me and turned his body to squirm off the table. So long story short, I used my body to block him and got his butt right on the front of my top.

I immediately started thinking about which top in my closet would go with the rest of my outfit, since I was running low on time. Luckily I wear all black at the salon so replacing the top wasn’t a huge deal. And that’s when it hit me. At what point did I become so comfortable with feces on my shirt that I didn’t even think about that and just thought, OK I have to change my top, which one will it be?

Being a mother changes everything. It’s not the same changes for everyone, but change for certain. I find that I’m even more laid back than I already was. I was always accepting of things that happened in my life, but now it’s a whole new level. My son brings all sorts of adventures to my days and I’m proud to say I take it all in stride. Even during his tantrums and melt downs I find that my mind is a peaceful ocean and I’m just trying to figure out what his issue is and how to resolve it. Very seldom do I get frustrated, I’ve reached a level of understanding that allows everything to make complete sense to me.

I have my mother and my grandfather to thank for this. I can only remember calm reactions from them. . My mom is always understanding anytime anything happens. She would explain very thoroughly why something was happening. Not a drip of panic from her, ever. My grandfather was the same way. He was so accepting of people and their personalities. Even if someone was unreasonable and just awful, he would accept that part of them because he understood their story. He would tell me since I was a child, that people don’t change, and so if you can’t change something you must learn to accept it. These lessons have saved me so much heartache. I don’t take things so personally because I realize that people are different and in order to live peacefully I just have to let go and accept. Of course I’m human, and things hurt my feelings from time to time, but you’ll find no grudges in my heart. At the same time I am able to recognize when people are just toxic and need to be ignored. One of the most important lessons I learned from my family was forgiveness. Being surrounded by these calm personalities helped shape me into the person I am today. I hope to create that same environment for my son. (I should add in here that “calm” isn’t how most people would describe my family because we’re loud and outspoken, but I don’t mean it in that context. I mean the calmness that’s in their hearts.)

Nurturing a new life is hard work, and although your baby isn’t always going to be dependent, the challenges change and take new form. It’s important to keep a clear mind and analyze the situation and find your solution. Baby fell and scraped his knee, that’s fine, let’s go clean it up and get a cool band aid on it. Baby is teething and has turned into a monster, ok let’s cuddle and put this oragel on your gums. Got poop on your shirt, change it. Got pee in the mouth, don’t worry it’s sterile. What I mean is, there’s no use in worrying about what has already happened, just find your solution, there’s bound to be one!

New mothers and fathers, I was in your shoes just over a year ago. I’m familiar with the overwhelming feeling you get just before baby shows up. You know when you start to realize just what it is exactly that you got yourself into. Raising a human being, in charge of a life, teaching…the job duties go on and on. Take it easy and a day at a time. You don’t have to have it all figured out right away, just do your best in the moment.

Getting poop on my shirt and not batting an eye shows me my perspective has changed. 10 years ago I probably would have squealed “Ewwwwww!” and ran for my life. But you know, when you’re a mother, you get drooled on, cried on, peed on, pooped on, bled on, pretty much every bodily fluid will spend some time on you. That’s life. It’s the role I chose and I love every stinkin’ minute of it.



Jewelry woes solved!

Hey everybody!

Have you guys been in this predicament before: you buy an awesome outfit and don’t have jewelry for it and you think…well…now what?!  Or perhaps you’re a wonderful boyfriend/husband that wants to gift some jewelry that matches something but you’re on a budget.  I have the solution.

When I lived in Texas I used to go to this store all the time and I’m so excited to find out that there’s actually a couple here in the Twin Cities.  Those of you who don’t live near one or can’t get to one I have your problem solved!

So what magical place am I talking about?!

Charmin Charlie of course!!

If you have never heard of this place, it’s like heaven for accessory lovers.  They have the store organized by color and you’ll find earrings, rings, necklaces, sets, scarves, bags, shoes….EVERYTHING.




Visit their website at

Here is a map of their locations:


Something else I just found out is that they sell online now!  So if you have something coming up and you need to find the right jewelry for the occasion  head on over to their website and order your goodies!


P.S. I have a good recipe coming up…

On the Way Down…

Sometimes you have to just take the leap and build your wings on the way down.

-Kobi Yamada


I went to the bank with my boss the other day and this quote was engraved on a stone that was sitting on the banker’s desk. It reminded me of something my best friend said to me long ago. I think we were talking about my decision to do hair after already obtaining a bachelor’s degree and working in the medical field. Of course I earned better money in Nuclear Medicine, but I’d be happy doing hair. To me happiness is the mark of true success.

So we were talking about how I just didn’t think twice and signed up for school when I had the opportunity. A complete change in career. I have made these leaps of faith before. One year I decided to just move to New York to experience life from a new perspective. Another time I met a mysterious man with hazel eyes at the Minneapolis Airport, and quit my Masters program to marry him 6 months later. Yet another time, I decided, after hearing that the nursing programs were full with a 3 year wait list that perhaps we should just have a baby since there seemed to be a lull in my usually busy schedule. These leaps of faith have created what I like to call my very fortunate life. Each day I am so grateful for the amazing friends and family in my life. I am so lucky to be doing what I love at such a young age. The list goes on…

What hit me that day at the banker’s office was something I’d never quite appreciated before.

The willingness to take a leap of faith.

How many leaps have you taken? Do you have faith that things will always turn out in your favor? Do you believe the ever popular “Everything happens for a reason.”?

You see ever since I was a little girl I’ve heard that everything happens for a reason. And this “fact” created an acceptance in me. I accept everything that happens to me because I really believe that there is a reason for it.

My husband was laid off the day after we got back from our honeymoon and for newly weds this is hard! You’re trying to adjust to living together and on top of that your main source of income is no longer. I knew in my gut that there were bigger opportunities ahead of us and there was a reason for this. Sure enough, my husband landed a great job at a big company and not only that, we had so much time together and it strengthened our bond. He also ended up in a permanent position that got us insurance which allowed me to have a baby, quit a job I hated, and get into the career I love. Looking back it was one of the best things to happen for us. Not getting into a nursing program gave me the time to have a child, and getting pregnant right away proved to me that it was the right time for this miracle. And sure enough, it was the perfect time, and having my son was such a life changer. Jayesh and I had renewed focus on our goals and the bond that I thought was already so strong, became stronger.

Things aren’t always peachy, negative things happen, negative people happen, but if you believe in YOU, that’s all that matters. When you’re going through a negative phase in your life, turn your sadness into excitement. Something good is about to happen to you! There is a reason your relationship ended, you lost your job, your pet died, etc. There is good yet to come, just be patient, and search for the reason.

Be honest with yourself. This is so important. If you aren’t honest with yourself, it’s all for nothing. Being honest means coming to terms with a truth that might be unpleasant but necessary. Like stop talking to that jerk of a person in your life. What you tell yourself: They’re going to change and realize they truly love me. The truth of it: you’re lonely and you’re filling up the void by keeping this loser around. If you can just decipher your feelings and realize what’s really going on and what you need to do, you will lead a happier life.

Negative emotions and lying to yourself only hurt one person. YOU. So why do that to yourself? Be your own best friend and get yourself in gear!

So take a leap of faith. Just believe in your self and trust that no matter the outcome, the bigger plan is a good one. Build your wings on the way down and you’ll find that you’ll be soaring before you hit the bottom.