anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stollen Recipes | Spaghetti Pie

I'm going to do everyone a favor and put the recipe right at the top :)

Spaghetti Pie

1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs, well beaten
1 C. cottage cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
6 oz. spaghetti
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. oregano
2 C. tomato sauce


Cook spaghetti; stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Pour into 9x13 inch pan (sprayed with non-stick spray). Spread cottage cheese over noodles. Cook ground beef; drain. Add tomato sauce and oregano to drained meat. Turn the mixture over spaghetti crust. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This recipe came to me from my Mother in law and is part of a recipe book that I meant to make for last Christmas and haven't finished yet. I often would text her for a recipe from Brian's childhood and finally decided that we should just make our own cookbook for the family of all their favorite go-to recipes. In my opinion, every family should have one of these that they can send out the door with their kids when they move out. And the child should know how to make all the recipes in the book. Since finding out that we're having a boy, I'm more determined than ever that he will know how to cook. I was already planning on that, but my resolve has definitely been renewed. Not that Brian doesn't know how to cook, but he definitely hasn't had as much practice at it as I have and I want my sons to be just as competent, if not more competent, in the kitchen as their female counterparts. 

This is actually one of the meals that were brought to the hospital for us when we were there for Everly in the NICU after she was born. One of the best parts about this recipe is that it freezes really well! I highly recommend just doubling the recipe and freezing half of it for another day (building up my freezer meals is also something that I plan on working into my regular routine because 5/10 days I have no desire or time to make dinner or come up with something to make). 

This recipe is also super easy to make gluten-free, just make sure that your tomato sauce is gluten-free (we sometimes use spaghetti sauce instead, but just know that if you choose that route it can end up a little soupy! Still tastes great though ☺️) and substitute gluten-free spaghetti noodles.

I hope that you love it! Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you!
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | March


I pucker my lips
you smile
walk close enough to me so I can kiss you
then tease me and walk away
when daddy tries to film it


the way you reached for me
til daddy handed you over
leaned against me
cheek to lips
while I kissed you over and over
I hope that those kisses soak deep
so you always know you're loved


I saw the picture of Pharoah's daughter
finding Moses
and thought of my empty womb
hers was empty too
but her arms were filled anyway


we went to the dog park
you were wrapped in our duckling sling
the dogs were interested in you
but mostly you leaned against my chest
listened to me breathe
took it all in


I pucker my lips
you get a hint of a smile
open your tiny mouth wide
lean forward
I let you put your whole mouth over my lips
touch the drool left on my chin
because tomorrow
you won't kiss me


you fell in the dry brown grass
a normal fall
but the feeling of the grass sent you toddling to me
afraid of the grass you loved last summer


after your bath
I rubbed you down
went through the usual struggle to get you dressed
I was snapping your snaps
you climbed onto me
held your tiny arms
around my neck


you clamp your mouth tight
scrunch up your nose
breathe in and out
you think it's funny
I hope you never stop


I just want to remember
with you leaned against my chest


14 months
I didn't even remember
until now

Thanks for reading! :) 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | February


You love your cake
this time
with so many
gathered around you
if you ever forget
how loved you are
I hop you'll watch the video
and know


You're back to 2 naps


We woke to snow
piled high
it made me want to toss you in it
but you have no snow suit
so we watch it fall
through panes of cold glass


you rolled
you fell
down the stairs
when I close my eyes
I can still see you
eyes frightened
body out of control
I can still see it


You cried
Daddy was gone
just you and me in a strange, dark house
so I held you
tucked you close against me in our bed
realized just how long you'd grown


I remember thinking
is what I want to remember
falling asleep in my arms


I love how you yell
to hear your own voice
to hear how it echoes off the walls

Thanks for reading! :)

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Moments

We made it back from Florida. I am definitely one of those people who loves to travel and loves vacation, but really appreciates home when I get there! I remember walking into the kitchen and saying "I missed this kitchen" It's so nice knowing where everything is, and what you have, and what you can make with it. It's nice to be able to get back to routines again.

Everly and I went for a walk in the rain because apparently it always decides to rain just as we are going for a walk lately. I almost didn't take her, but I wanted to go for a walk and it wasn't raining THAT hard. It's certainly a change from the Florida heat and sunshine that it only took me a day or two to get used to (still not used to all this rain and gloomy weather yet).

Everly has decided, since Florida, that sitting in the bath is overrated (but nor does she like showers...). 

We went with Brian to an appointment and afterward decided to get Zupas. Honestly, it was a bit of a disappointment all around, but the creme brulee was still good. Everly had her first bite of creme brulee. She was a little hesitant to try it at first but then kept going "Mmmm" afterward, so I think we have a fan! 

Everly's new favorite game is stand by the tub while Daddy is showering and make him hand her toys one by one. 

Ever since I had my yoga mat out a month or so ago Everly likes playing with blankets and mats (particularly her changing mat). This morning she dragged this blanket out and made me lay it out nicely. Then she sat on it and turned all around on it and signed "help" whenever it got a little wrinkled so that I would lay it smooth again.

She's been quite the character today. I'm so glad that she's such a happy girl. Especially since she decided that 5 AM was a good time to wake up crying this morning.

Currently Reading:

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Flicker and Mist by Mary G. Thompson
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

Currently Listening to:

All the same Favorites! If you have anyone I should check out, send them my way!
What We Said Podcast
Find the Magic Podcast
Writing Excuses Podcast
Dear Hank and John Podcast
"Woke Up Late" by Drax Project
"Walk Me Home" by P!nk
"I'm a Mess" by Bebe Rexha

Goals for These Coming Weeks:

Work out (still working on this one)
Journal Daily
Meal plan for the month/quarter
Scriptures and Prayer daily

Something to Take Away:

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

-Napoleon Hill

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear what you've been up to and what your goals are for the next few weeks!

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Florida Trip | Moments and Things I Learned

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that we went to Florida for the last week and a half, a trip that I was kind of dreading... the reasons being that it was a lot of travel with a toddler who had recently decided that throwing up in the car was a fun thing to do on long car rides (think anything over 20-30 minutes). I do not handle that sort of thing well, so while she handled flying great the last few times, I was concerned that this time we wouldn't be so lucky, particularly we wouldn't be lucky on the car trips to and from Marco Island where we would be staying in a condo for 5 days. That was my biggest concern, but there were lots of little things that I was worried about along with it. I was worried about staying connected to my husband while we traveled (something that's hard when we're visiting his family and especially since we had a baby and have to share a room with her). I made all sorts of plans on how I was going to make sure that I stayed mentally ok for this trip. I made a vacations affirmations list (which I forgot about as soon as I wrote it). I planned to study my scriptures daily and pray daily. I planned to work out daily or at least most of the days on the trip. I planned to write in my journal. I succeeded in writing in my journal, but that was about it. The good news is that Everly handled all the travel as well as could be expected. She never threw up in the car, and she was pretty happy most of the time even when she was off her schedule and missing sleep! It turned out to be a really fun trip and while I did still have a few days here and there that were difficult (hello, Mother's day), I feel like I learned to better communicate with Brian about what we do on vacation. Not a lot of what actually happened changed (other than I got to sleep in a few times! Hooray!), but I felt like it wasn't just assumed that I would be there to take Everly. We worked together on deciding who stayed behind with her when she was napping or down for the night. 

One of the really cool things that we got to do while we were there was go through the temple with Brian's little brother. He's the youngest so it was the first time that all the siblings were in the temple together. It was really cool to see that come together and I know that it meant so much to Brian's mom that we were all there. It's something that I hope for our children someday, but also something that I recognize that I might not get. My mother certainly didn't get it. It's a rare thing and it really was a blessing to witness it.

This picture is kind of deceiving because Everly really didn't love the ocean. She only loved it in someone's arms, but the waves kind of terrified her. Not that I blame her. I'm not a play in the big waves kind of girl. I like when its calm and smooth.

One of the days Brian and his family went out on a pontoon boat. I was too worried about the drive over and how it would mess with Everly's schedule so we stayed behind. I ended up loving having that little alone time with her. We played on the beach, went for a walk, and got her down for her nap right on time. Again, Everly didn't love the sand, would only stand on our mat or walk around after I put her shoes on her.

On nearly the last day of the trip I asked Brian to start taking pictures of me and Everly. It's somethign that I do often without thinking for him, but not something that happens a lot for me. Honestly, I had been hoping that he would just want to take pictures of me, but I'm so glad that I spoke up and asked because he got some really cute ones. Ones I wouldn't have had otherwise. One of the things that this trip taught me was to really ask for what I want and need. To not be afraid to tell what I want, because if I don't ask, I'm not going to get it. Case in point, Mother's day was hard for me. We traveled for half the day and the other half of the day was spent getting ready for the trip. I had been hoping and thinking that Brian would take Everly for me when she woke up so that I could sleep in, or that he would make me breakfast. I asked him the next day why he didn't do those things, he said, "Oh, that would have been a nice thing to do." He would have happily done those things for me, but I didn't ask him for them, so he didn't do them. More often than not, the people around me would be more than happy to help me out or to do something for me, but they're not mind readers. Communication is something I swear that I never stop learning to be better at. 

The flight home was rough. I swear it was the longest flight of my life. (It actually might have been, since we went a longer route to avoid some bad weather). But we made it. We made it home! I'm so happy to be back.

Things that made this trip easier for me:

-Gathre mat (seriously, they're worth the hype)
-Aloha Collection Beach Tote (folds down to nothing and carried everything that I needed)
-Coco and Kiwi Diaper changing kit (Everly actually loves to play with the mat and it was great to make the bed into a makeshift changing table)
-GoGo squeeze pouches (Everly ate almost nothing but these on the trip. Seriously.)
-Ice pack and cosmetic bag (aka makeshift cooler for Everly's milk)
-Book and Kindle
-My journal

Things I forgot on this trip:

-My shampoo and conditioner
-Everly's swimsuit (it made it to Florida, but not Marco Island)

Things I wished I had:

-A hydroflask (or something similar, for Everly's milk)
-My wildbird sling (I brought my Sakura Bloom Scout, but it just wasn't easy to use on my own and bulkier to pack than my sling)
-Regular headphones for the plane (although narrating what I thought was happening while watching Second Act and The Upside was pretty entertaining as well)

This trip was fun, and I'm so glad that I went. I do love that the more I travel, the more I figure out how to do it the best way for me and what little things make things easier.

Where are you traveling this year? What is your favorite travel tip?

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Stollen Book Club | Quarter 1

I heard once that you find what you are passionate about by thinking about the one thing that if people get you started on, you can go on and on forever about it. For me, that thing is books. I've always been a frequent flyer at the library and now that Everly is around, we go all the time. I'm just as bad (if not worse) when picking out her books. For me, I generally bring a reusable kind of grocery bag and when it's full (or overflowing) that's when I know I need to get out of the library. 

All this to say that I love books. I check out a lot of books, but I don't generally read more than half of them. Mostly because half of them turn out to be duds (books with too much language or too risque for my taste). The following books have been my favorite of the first 3 months of the year. I really didn't limit myself on how many I wanted to choose, just how many I really enjoyed. 

1. The Thing With Feathers By McCall Hoyle

I loved this book. It was about chronic illness and hope. I loved the Emily Dickinson sprinkled throughout the book as well. As I recall, it had little to no language and no sex.

2. The Year of Living Danishly By Helen Russell

This book seriously made me consider moving to Denmark. If not for the lack of sunlight for half the year and the bitter cold, I would be there. This book made me question how happy I was and how to be happier. I actually would rate myself 8-9/10. I realized while I was reading the book that the last little bit was really just things I was putting in my own way of my happiness. Things I wanted (temporally) but didn't have. It really helped me re-center on what I really need and want to be happy in this life.

3. The Great Hunt By Wendy Higgins

This was purely a fluff read. Just good old fantasy with not a whole lot of deeper plot than love... at first glance at least. I really do love how authors can weave in deeper meanings. This series (yes, it's a trilogy) really delves into prejudice and oppression of people based on fear. I loved the whole series but will warn you that there was one sex scene in the third book. 

1. Feminist Baby By Loryn Brantz
2. Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice By Loryn Brantz

Everly loved these books, probably because of the bright colors, and we loved reading them to her because we are all about girl power.

3. LlamaPhones By Janik Coat

We're definitely going to be buying this book at some point. I'm sure that the actual homophones went right over Everly's head, but each page has different textures. It's actually the book she's reading in the picture with Brian and it's turned to her favorite page "sent" and "cent". I'm already on the hunt for the rest of the books in the series. 

That's all! I'd love to hear what you read in the last few months and why you loved them! Who knows, maybe you'll see them featured as my favorites next time ;)

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday Moments | May 2019

Everly has discovered our backyard playset and it is both the best and the worst thing. I love it because we don't have to go to the park, but it also means that she wants to be outside playing in it at all hours of the day.

Everly had her first Easter Egg hunt. Not her first Easter, but her first hunt. She didn't quite get the point of it, but it was still really adorable to see her toddling around with her dad "finding" eggs.

So our normal walk time hit at the same time as a rainstorm. We turned back and I was going to just go back inside, but Everly decided that she wanted to explore. It was a little colder than I would have liked for her first play in the rain kind of day, but it was still so much fun to watch her splash in puddles and wander around.

About 1 second before she fell backward. Luckily she just fell back onto the swing and not off of it.

These blossoms... I'm seriously grateful for Spring. I just wish that the blooms lasted longer.

My favorite view from our daily walk. I imagine that if I were Anne of Green Gables, I would name it something fancy and akin to "the white way of delight", but I've yet to come up with something.

Everly decided that she needs to sit in this box. At first, I was like, "No, you barely fit, you'll break it" it's a nice box... but then I thought to myself, it's JUST a box. It was a birthday present to her and if this is how she finds joy in it, then I decided that it's ok. In case you were wondering, she hasn't broken it... yet.

We tried Pho at Costco while we were there picking something up and it was so good that I couldn't stop thinking about it and we ended getting some as takeout later. This was actually day 2 because there was so much it was enough for 2 meals. It was SO good. A little spicy, but good and now I'm on the hunt for a good Pho recipe.

We got to see our little nugget for the first time on Tuesday. I was honestly a little nervous going in. I kept thinking, "What if it doesn't have a heartbeat?" My mom miscarried at least 4 times so it's something I worry about, but as soon as we saw it's little heart beating and the doctor said everything looked good it was so comforting. 

This girl. Yes, she's wearing two sweaters and a puffy vest over it. And a hat. I was worried she would get cold. Yes, I'm that mom now. 

Currently Reading:

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Currently Listening to:

Same favorites from last week!
What We Said
Find the Magic
Dear Hank and John
Writing Excuses

Goals for These Coming Weeks:
-Work out! Pregnancy exhaustion hit and my miracle mornings kind of died. I'm trying to find a new good time because waking up early has me dragging really hard all morning and during Everly's nap... I also take a nap. And eat lunch. Mostly just those two things.
-Journal every other day

Something to Take Away:

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

-Emily Dickinson

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