Cooking…one of my many passions

I love to cook and try new recipes. I can be pretty picky but I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite recipes. Who doesn’t love tacos? What about spaghetti? One of my families favorites is taco spaghetti. It’s a recipe I found on Pinterest years ago and we make it a couple times a month. Another family favorite is crock pot chicken and noodles, chicken tacos, or making a big pot of chili! Below are the recipes for some of my favorites!
Taco Spaghetti
5 oz. dried spaghetti, broken
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
11 oz. can whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
1 cup sliced pitted black olives
1 cup colby jack or cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup salsa
4 oz. can diced green chili peppers, drained
shredded lettuce
tortilla chips
sour cream, optional

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a 12-inch skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is brown. Drain fat. Stir in water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked pasta, corn, olives, half of the cheese, salsa, and green chili peppers.
3. Transfer mixture to lightly greased 2-quart round casserole. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted.
4. Serve with shredded lettuce, tortilla chips, tomatoes, and sour cream, if desired.

Chicken and Noodles
4 boneless skinless chicken breast (I use frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter
30 oz chicken broth
24 oz frozen egg noodles
Cook chicken, soup, butter and broth in crock pot on low for 6-7 hours.
Take chicken out and shred
Put chicken back in; add noodles and cook on low for 2 hours.
Stir a few times while cooking
Serve over mashed potatoes

What are some of your favorite recipes? Post them below in the comments! ❤

Love languages….which one are you?

Learning how we accept and express love is so important whether you are single, in a relationship or married. Most people have heard of the book “5 love languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman. This is where I first learned about love languages. There are 5 different love languages that you can fit your personality. Those 5 love languages are: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service or physical touch. I didn’t know my love language for a long time but with doing research and reading his book I have learned how I love and how I accept love from others.
Receiving gifts- This could be one the easiest love languages to learn. Receiving a gift is something that you could hold and look at and know that your loved one is thinking of you. A gift is a symbol of that love.
Quality time- This can be a little more difficult especially depending on your schedules, kids and many other factors in your life. Quality time means turning off the TV, your phones and any other distractions. Sit down face-to-face and having your attention strictly on your loved one.
Words of affirmation- Someone who’s love language is words includes verbal compliments or appreciation. This love language is something very simple that can be done throughout the day.
Acts of service- This includes doing a task or something your loved one would have otherwise done yourself. Actions speak louder than words.
Physical touch- this love language includes holding hands, hugging, kissing or sexual intercourse. Someone may feel unloved without this. This love language can be hard. Especially if you are someone who likes and craves that physical touch.
I have broke down which love language I am or am not. I am probably the farthest away
from the love language physical touch. I am not someone who is a touchy person. I grew up in a family that didn’t use physical touch as a way of affection. I am also not someone who looks to words to make me feel loved. I actually don’t take compliments well because of the way I look at myself. I am also not good at quality time. A lot of that has to do with my mind is always going 100 mph and always find things that need to be done around the house. I am not good at just sitting down and talking.
My love language is definitely acts of service. The best way for me to receive love is having something done for me that I otherwise was going to do myself. So being surprised by the everyday things being done is what makes me the happiest. It could be something as small as taking out the trash or cooking dinner. It doesn’t take much to make me feel loved. My second love language would be receiving gifts. Who doesn’t love getting a gift. It could be something as small as picking wild flowers or receiving a heartfelt card. I don’t need or expect my loved one to spoil me with gifts. It’s the little things in life that make me feel loved and happy.
When it comes to Dalton’s love language, in my opinion, is physical touch. He is someone who loves to hold hands, be kissed or hugged. This is something that has always been difficult for me to do as a way to express my love for him. I am someone who only likes to be touched when I want to be touched. This has been a struggle for me because I want to be able to speak his love language. So I do my best. But its something that I have to remind daily that it’s the way he accepts love.
What is your love language? What about your loved one? Do you speak his or her love language? Being with someone you love is about commitment and sacrifices so even if you don’t speak the same love language doesn’t mean that you can’t. I don’t speak the same love language as Dalton but I try and will continue to try for him. ❤
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Social Media VS Mental Health

What was life without internet? I remember not having internet until I was in 3rd or 4th grade. Then we had a dial up internet where we couldn’t use the landline when we used the internet. We didn’t have Facebook but had Myspace and instead of texting we had instant messenger. Life was easier without constant access to the internet. We didn’t have to deal with everything being on the web for everyone to see. We also didn’t have cyber bullying like we do today.
I am not afraid to admit that I am addicted to social media. I spend way to much time on the internet. Social media apps like Facebook were made to hold your attention as long as possible. It does a good job of doing that. It also gives anyone the ability to comment on your life and unfortunately bully you. Social media also gives people the ability to talk to anyone, even people they may not know. This could be a good way to make new friends. You may also encounter some not so good people. Which can be scary especially with the kids we have on the internet today.

People often use social media to help with the feeling of loneliness. It’s shown that those who are lonely in normal life a lot of time seek attention from someone online. This makes you feel not so lonely for a little bit. It doesn’t replace the important face-to-face relationships. Today people tend to use texting, email and social media to communicate instead of being face-to-face. I admit to doing this especially when my anxiety is bothering me.

The constant use of social media can affect your mental health. It seems that everything a competition. Everything is about who can get the most likes or comments. This alone can affect your mental health. There has been many studies that show the link between prolonged cell phone and social media use. Studies show the link between social media and anxiety. You may also experience depression, eating problems, insomnia, and increased risk of suicide. This is caused by bullying or the jealousy of not getting the “likes” or seeing something negative that affects your mood.

There can be positive things with the use of the internet. You can use it for good to talk about your mental health. You can use it to contact family that may live across the country. You are able to share photos with family and friends for those who aren’t able to be around. We need to learn to limit our time spent online and spend more time with our loved ones face-to-face.

You may not even realize what social media is doing to your mental health. It can affect your self-esteem and its 100% has affected mine. I see all these women who are in shape and seem to live these “picture perfect” lives with their loved ones. But in reality their lives aren’t perfect. Everyone makes their lives seem better online then it truly is but we do have our ups and downs.

Having Facebook, Instagram or any other social media can pop up with memories. Sometimes these memories are great. I love seeing old photos and memories of my kids or friends. Then there are some painful memories that come up. Whether it is from previous relationships or any other times that I may have experienced over the years.
One of the most important things in life is human connection. Social media takes away that human connection when we are always starting at our phones or computers. It also disrupts our sleep. We lay in bed scrolling through our phones. This keeps our brains awake and unable to relax to fall asleep. We wake up a lot of people grab their phones and once again start scrolling through their social media. We are so worried about what we have missed while they were asleep.

My goal for this month is to not use my private Facebook page as much as I do. I will still continue to write but wont be on my personal page as often as I am currently. I want to focus more on those around me than these on my social media pages. ❤




Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Random facts about me..

As I was brainstorming for what I was going to write about this month I realized that I haven’t told you much about me. So I figured I would take the time to tell you some random things about me and my life.
  •  I moved to Missouri in 1996
  •  I have 10 siblings which include 2 younger sisters, 2 younger brothers. I have a older half sister and half brother. I also have 3 step sisters and a step brother.
  •  My stepdad was killed in August 2014 in a motorcycle accident in Iowa.
  •  I didn’t know about my half sister until I was 15 years old and have only met her once.
  •  I only have met my step sister and brother once and that was at my stepdads funeral.
  •  My first car was a blue Oldsmobile
  •  I began dancing when I was 3 years old up till I was 14 and I regret ever quitting.
  •  I had the opportunity to dance at the half time show of the Orange Bowl in 1998-1999
  •  My favorite TV shows include One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and General Hospital
  •  I have a guilty pleasure for reality TV and chocolate
  •  Love country music
  •  I have never mowed grass
  •  I hate asking people for help no matter how small of a request it may be.
  •  I am very OCD which drives Dalton crazy
  •  I love to color, I use it as a relaxation technique
  •  I enjoy puzzle games. Candy crush is my favorite
  •  I recently began reading more self improvement books “Girl, wash your face” was AMAZING
  •  I love Snapchat filters
  •  I like my sleep and hate to be woken up! Like that’s possible with kids!
  •  My favorite color is purple
  •  My favorite number is 15
  •  I always dreamed of having 2 boys then a little girl. (Maybe it will happen one day)
  •  I want to build my own home with a big wrap around porch
  •  I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.
  •  I didn’t shoot a gun until I was 25 years old
  •  I’ve been out of the country once for 10 days in high school.
  •  My birthday is July 16th
  •  I refuse to wear matching socks
  •  My biggest pet peeves are being late and not being organized
  •  I have 2 tattoos and have about 7 more that I want!
  •  I don’t like coffee
  •  I love to camp…in a camper, not in a tent
  •  My eyes are hazel but depending on my mood change colors
  •  I went to college for medical assisting
  •  I can be very shy around people I don’t know
  •  I went to catholic school my entire school career

Self-harm awareness day

Self injury awareness day (SIAD) is an international event that brings awareness to those who self-harm across the globe. SIAD launched in 2002. This campaign may only be one day but they work on bringing awareness all year long. When we understand the reason behind why people self-harm. We can help them or at least be there for someone who feels like they are all alone. To acknowledge self-harm awareness day you may see someone wearing an orange ribbon. They also may write “love” on their arms or draw a butterfly on their wrist. The goal of SIAD is to breakdown the common stereotypes that surround self-harm.
Those who self-harm usually also suffer from a mental illness. Self-harm is not considered a mental illness. There are two million Americans that self-harm. The most common form of self-harming is cutting. Someone may also burn themselves, or pull hair out. The wounds from self-harming may scar and never go away. While self-harm is hurting yourself on purpose it is not a suicide attempt. It is a sign of emotional distress. They may experience guilt and shame after hurting themselves. Self-harm is usually starts with the overwhelming pain, anger or frustration. This will only get worse the more you self-harm. People who self-harm stimulates your endorphins. So harming yourself is like a release from the pain.
Seeking help can help you mentally to where you won’t want to hurt yourself anymore. Someone who self-harms may be more likely to attempt suicide. If you know someone who self-harms talk to them. Ask them how they are doing or if they want to talk. Encourage them to seek help because most are unable to stop harming themselves on their own. Tell them there is nothing wrong with seeking help because we all need help from time to time. ❤
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

February has come and gone

This month has flown by and has been crazy busy. I have so much to be thankful for this month. We have moved into a new home which was fun to do between snow storms. I am thankful for our amazing friends and family who helped us. My handsome boy turned 9 years old when I am unsure how it’s possible that he could already be 9!
This winter has been crazy and has lasted way to long. I am ready for spring time! But until mother nature decides she’s ready to warm up we will stay inside where it’s warm. I am looking forward to another month of writing and expanding my blog even more!



Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Black Sheep

I’ve always been the one who didn’t fit in with the rest of my family. I wasn’t big into sports like my other siblings. I played but I wasn’t competitively into them like they were. My hobbies were music, acting and dancing. I loved dancing which I did for many years. When I started high school that is when I began my love for drama club and singing. I have always been the kid to do everything in life backwards. Growing up in a catholic family, we were expected to act and behave a certain way. Going through my life lets say I didn’t behave the way my family expected me too.
When I graduated high school I moved in with two of my best friends, I started college and I was loving every minute of it. After one semester of college I didn’t return. About 4 months after moving in with my friends we moved out and I moved in with my boyfriend. I wont lie my family tried everything to get me to move back home and I wouldn’t. So the car given to me was taken away, my financial way through college was also taken away. When I turned 18 I went out and got a tattoo, and was piercing parts of my body that “wasn’t normal”. Then shortly before I turned 21 I would find out that I was pregnant outside of marriage. I would say that my family wasn’t happy with my life decisions.

Throughout the years I’ve had many ups and downs with my family. To this day still don’t have much of a relationship with any of my family members. I am definitely the “black sheep”. Over the years I struggled with not having that relationship with my family. About 6 years ago in 2013 I began Dalton. When he introduced me to his parents they immediately welcomed me into their home and their lives. Even during our times of separation I could always count on them to be there for me. I am beyond thankful for his parents.

Over time I have began to realize that worrying about why someone chooses to not be apart of my life or my kids life was pointless. It wasn’t going to change the outcome. I generally only hear from my family for special events or holidays. This isn’t referring to my family but people in generally. How can someone not be a part of their kids or grand kids life? I understand if there was a legitimate reason but in my situation there is not. There are many people I know who don’t have relationships with family members because of one reason or another.

I became less likely to care about people making a effort to be apart of my life or my kids life when I had kids. Once my boys were out of their “newborn” phase the visits, phone calls and texts become way less and are now rare. For anyone reading this I no longer make a constant effort to involve people in my life. I have made it known to those that I would like for them to be apart of our lives and if they don’t make that effort back then it is on them. My kids and I know who are there for us and who isn’t. ❤



Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Talking about my depression

Have you ever had a million things going on or a mental list of things you need to get done? This is my brain all day every day. My brain gets so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start. Did you know that chronic depression causes brain damage. Its hard to understand depression unless you have experienced it yourself. It’s a difficult mental illness. I know how I should think and behave but my brain drags me into the opposite direction. If you have never experienced depression consider yourself lucky. There are some things that I would like to share that I’ve learned can be helpful over the years.
Depression is very hard to talk about. Like I mentioned in a earlier post that I hate talking about my feelings and showing my emotions. I especially don’t like talking about my depression. On top of talking about my feelings, I feel like I can’t explain how and what I am feeling. I did find something that can help make a little sense of it all. Joy turns into lifelessness. Fears and anxieties become paralyzing. Sadness becomes mourning.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health 350 million people suffer from depression. But when I am depressed I feel all alone. Say you have a friend with depression and most everyone knows at least one person who has depression. If you have that friend and you want to talk to them but aren’t sure where to start here are some tips.


  • Let them know that your conversation is going to stay between the two of you.
  •  Ask me what you can do to help
  •  Let them know not to worry
  •  Let them know you care and that it’s an important conversation
  •  Be okay with silence for long periods during the conversation
  •  Be patient


Sometimes with depression you don’t want to talk, you want someone to be there. I am thankful that I have my friends and significant other who are always there for me. I am not depressed every single day. There are good day and there are bad days. Depression to me is summed up by me being exhausted during the day and not able to find the energy to get things done. At night I lay in bed wide awake stressed out over everything that I didn’t do during the day.
Just be willing to sit with someone in silence or let them talk if and when they are ready to talk about their depression. They will be forever thankful for you.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional. If you are having a medical emergency contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Communication in a relationship

One thing I hate most is talking about my problems, especially when it comes to my relationships. I have many theories about why I am that way. I guess the main reason is that I hate fighting and I hate expressing my feelings. I think that it stems from my childhood. Being bullied throughout grade school and high school. Also the fact that we never discussed our feelings in my family growing up. Even though I hate talking about my feelings, I am a very emotional person. I hate letting anyone see me cry or let them know they have upset me. This can cause a lot of problems when in a relationship. Communication is the key to a good healthy relationship. So how can I improve my communication skills?
• Stop and actually listen. When we are having a disagreement or even a conversation we need to stop and listen to what the other person has to say. If you are like me and get worked up over what someone may be saying its easy to interrupt and start talking.
• Force yourself to listen. I have to tell myself “Andrea shut up and listen to what he says to say”. I am always wanting to jump in as soon as I hear something I don’t like. I tend to give that person my opinion about what they had to say. I will get my turn to talk and say what I need to say if I be quiet and let them say what they need to.
• Be open and honest with your partner. This is so important. You know the saying “I’d rather be hurt by the truth then comforted by a lie”? This couldn’t be more true. I have been lied to many times over the years from friends and significant others. It isn’t worth losing someone over a stupid lie. Tell the truth. It may hurt someone’s feelings but they will always appreciate the truth rather than being lied too. The truth will always come out.
• Pay attention to your nonverbal signals. This one is a big one for me. I am very good at
reading nonverbal skills such as tone of voice and your body language. If your body language tells me that you are angry or shut off I tend to shut down. If your tone of voice is in any way angry or being demeaning I will also shut down because I can’t handle it . It messes with my anxiety.
• Stay focused. Its very easy to bring up past arguments. Staying focused on what it is your are having your discussion about currently. Don’t bring up the past because the past is the past and that is where it needs to stay.
• Cut your emotions when you have a big decision or talk to have. Easier said that done right? I still am not sure how to do this because like I said I am a very emotional person. I am good though at choking back the tears until I am alone.
• Communicating is more than talking. Sometimes talking face to face either isn’t possible or is very hard to do if you are like me and have severe anxiety. You can also have discussions through texting or email. No this isn’t the ideal way to communicate but it is a option if need be.
There are also some ways that can hurt your relationship when it comes to communicating. As everything in life there are pro’s and con’s. Yelling at your partner is one of the biggest things you can do to hurt your relationship. If something has you worked up to the point that you are going to yell, try taking a break to calm down before talking again. If you aren’t able to talk face to face this is when texting or emailing would be helpful. Having a competitive attitude with your partner can be fun. When playing a board game or playing a game of basketball. It can cause problems with your significant other during an argument. A relationship is not a competition, there is no winner, you are in it together.
The most important step to remember is that relationships are about “we” no “me”. You both have to put in 100% dedication and effort for a relationship to work. there will be times where we aren’t 100% and that is why we have our significant other. Dalton has been by 100%. I have times where I am dealing with my depression and anxiety where I can’t give 100%. He has always been there to pick me up and help me any way possible. That is what a relationship is about and I am thankful to have him by my side.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. i am not a medical professional. if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. if you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

ADHD or just a kid?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children. It can also continue into your adult years. ADHD is a combination of problems like trouble concentrating, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. ADHD is a genetic brain based syndrome. ADHD is caused by chemical, structural and connectivity differences in the brain.
The American Psychological Association outlined criteria required to be diagnosed with ADHD. Children who are 16 and under must show at least 6 symptoms in each category. Adults who are 17 and older must show at least 5 symptoms in each category. The categories include: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
• Inattention:
o Fails to give full attention to detail
o Has trouble holding attention on tasks
o Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken too
o Doesn’t follow instructions, loses focus, or becomes side tracked
o Trouble with organized activities
o Avoids tasks that need mental effort for a long period of time
o Loses necessary things
o Easily distracted
o Forgetful in daily activities
• Hyperactivity and impulsivity
o Fidgets, taps hands and feet
o Restlessness
o Talks excessively
o Trouble waiting turn
o Interrupts others
These conditions must also apply:
 Inattentive or hyperactivity-impulsive symptoms begin before 12 years old.
 Symptoms are present in 2 or more settings
 Symptoms interfere with school, work or social life
 Symptoms are not better explained by a mental disorder.
Who is at risk for ADHD? ADHD is more common in boys than in girls. Genes also play a role in your risk to develop ADHD. Exposure to toxins like lead during pregnancy or at a young age. Being born with low birth weight, or born prematurely may also play a role in your risk of developing ADHD. There is currently no cure for ADHD. With treatment with medications and therapy can help with symptoms and improve functioning.
There are some things we can do to help children with ADHD. Some helpful tips include:
 Keeping a routine
 Organize everyday items
 Being clear and consistent
 Give praise or rewards when rules are followed.
 Use homework and notebook organizers.
For adults with ADHD using these tips can help them:
 Keeping a routine
 Use a calendar for scheduling
 Use reminder notes
 Make lists
 Assign special places for important items
 Break down large tasks into more manageable tasks and steps.
Brayden was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago. When he was diagnosed I didn’t feel like it was the right diagnosis. I felt like he was just being a boy. As he has gotten older the doctors were right. While he may be ADHD it doesn’t change how much we all love him. He is on medication which does make a huge difference. It helps him focus on things longer than he would if he wasn’t on his medications.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. i am not a medical professional. if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. if you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.