Category Archives: Recipes

Smoothie Time!

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Yesterday, felt like Monday. It was one incident after another, including Sophie rolling around in her own poo, which resulted in a bath for her. She was super stubborn and refused to get washed off. It was a lengthy battle of wills. I’ll share with you more on our Memorial Day weekend in an upcoming post, but for now…It’s that time!

It’s time to announce the winner of the Mandisa Out Of The Dark CD Giveaway…Drumroll…

Brandi! Congrats, girl! You won! 

A BIG thank you to everyone who entered and took the time to like, share, and comment on that post.

Now, I’ll be switching gears and talking smoothies and soccer. 😉 Summer is coming very soon and believe it or not, it’s not my favorite season. I’m one of those people who hates getting hot and it’s as my GG ALWAYS says “You can always put more clothes on when it’s cold, but there is a limit to how much you can take off when it’s hot” 😉 She cracks me up! One thing, that I really appreciate about warmer weather is…smoothies! They are cool, refreshing, and perfect for any meal!

I’ll be honest, I’m limited on what I can use in my smoothies, but these recipes are super tasty!

Blueberry Smoothie

You’ll need:

1 cup milk (I use almond/coconut or almond and coconut)

1 cup of blueberries

1 scoop protein powder (This is the kind I use!) 

a handful of spinach (Gotta get those veggies in!)

and sometimes I add a little cinnamon and/or turmeric creamer

I blend this all up in my magic bullet and I’m good to go!

PB2 Smoothie

You’ll need:

1 scoop PB2

1 cup of milk (almond/coconut or almond and coconut)

1 handful of spinach

Sometimes I add cinnamon/carob chips/turmeric creamer!

I blend all of these ingredients in my magic bullet.

Podcast Play List

1) and 2) Stuff You Missed in History Class, Abbott and Costello pt. 1 and pt.2

I love Abbott and Costello so I had to listen to these episodes. It was really interesting learning more background information on these guys. It really made me want to get some of their movies for our own personal collection. 🙂

3) Radiolab, Funky Hand Jive

This episode was so fun to nerd out on. 😉 I am fascinated with the microbiome!  So it was no surprise that an episode about how handshakes can literally stick with you was a perfect listen for me.

4) Stuff You Missed in History Class, 6 Impossible Episodes: Soldiers, Snipers, and Spies

These are stories that couldn’t fit into a full length episode and so the ladies chose 6 interesting stories on soldiers, snipers, and spies. It was wonderful learning about women in history that I had never heard of before.

5) Code Switch, The LA Unrest (Or Riots), 25 Years Later

This is a powerful episode. I could go off on a tangent with this one, but I won’t. I’ll just say that this is definitely worth your time. <3

I’ll end today’s post with soccer pics!


Today, is D’s last soccer game. (These seasons go by so quickly!) We are all looking forward to watching him play one last time for the spring season. <3

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe(s)? Thoughts on podcast selections. Sound off below!

<3 Anna

Monthly Menu Plan (September)

Hello Friends!

Today I’m happy to share my menu plan for the month of September. I’ve added several new recipes and I look forward to trying. (Hopefully,  the weather will soon feel like fall to match some of the fall recipes I’m sharing. ;))


Below is our September Meal Plan: 

*Orange=Cookbook recipes

*Blue=New to us!

September 1: Leftovers

September 2: Fajita Chicken Salad (I tweaked and created a bladder friendly version.)

September 3: Autumn Apple Cheddar Chicken

September 4: Chicken Sweet Potato Broccoli Bake

September 5: Easy Tuscan Bean Soup

September 6: Tacos

September 7: Shepherd’s Pie

September 8: Leftovers

September 9: Paleo Chicken Tenders

September 10: One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner

September 11: Chicken Stir Fry

September 12: Ratatouille

September 13: Fajitas

September 14: Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl

September 15: Leftovers

September 16: Chicken Chowder

September 17: Crockpot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

September 18: Maple Salmon

September 19: Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

September 20: Nachos

September 21: Cheeseburger Pie

September 22: Eat Out

September 23: Chicken Chili

September 24: Cauliflower Chowder

September 25: Chicken Divan (Tweaked to make bladder friendly!)

September 26: Broccoli and Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

September 27: Chicken Spinach Enchiladas (Click on recipe tab!)

September 28: Slow Cooker Pork Chops with apples

September 29: Leftovers

September 30: Paleo Chicken Tenders

As you can see, I have several new recipes to try! I enjoy trying new things and adding great recipes to our rotation. I hope this month to be more intentional about getting pictures to share with you all as well.

What will you be cooking up this month?

<3 Anna

Monthly Meal Plan (August)

Hello Friends!!!

Today I’m sharing with you all my menu plan for the month of August! We are using (mostly) Paleo and Trim Healthy Mama recipes for our meal planning. It is giving us the variety we need and keeping our health in mind. I’m so happy we have found a balance. Good stuff! 🙂


Below is our August Meal Plan:

August 1: Slow Cooker Porkchops

August 2: Fajitas

August 3: Mega Meatballs

August 4: Eat Out

August 5: Fakertot Casserole

August 6: Nachos

August 7: White Lazy Lasagna

August 8: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

August 9: Chicken Spinach Enchiladas

August 10: Sweet Potato Broccoli Bake

August 11: Leftovers

August 12: Shepherd’s Pie

August 13: Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Zucchini “Noodles”

August 14: Tacos

August 15: Eat Out

August 16: Chicken Chili

August 17: Paleo Meatloaf

August 18: Leftovers

August 19: Squash and Zucchini Casserole

August 20: Burgers

August 21: Paleo Chicken Tenders

August 22: Chicken Salad

August 23: Nachos

August 24: Slow Cooker Pork Chops

August 25: Leftovers

August 26: Maple Salmon

August 27: Burgers

August 28: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

August 29: Eat Out

August 30: Fajitas

August 31: Sweet Potato Brocolli Bake

Until next time! What will you be cooking up this month?

<3 Anna

Monthly Menu Plan (July)

Hello everyone!

I haven’t shared or worked on a monthly menu plan since January. What a shame! I really enjoyed having my month already planned out. It made things so much easier! For the month of July, I decided to get back to it and hopefully will stick with it.

I think that now that I have my diet (mostly) sorted out, it will be easier. It seems that a diet that is gluten free (when possible!) and bladder friendly works best for me. I’ve tried to go dairy free, but it just doesn’t work for me. I am remaining mindful of how much I eat because I don’t want to have issues. Excess cheese is not good for me! (We definitely eat less cheese than pre-Whole 30 and don’t feel we need cheese in every meal. Thank goodness!)


Below is our July Menu plan:

Blue-Recipe links, Green-self explanatory

Friday, July 8: Shepherd’s Pie (Recipe found in Whole 30 cookbook) You can find them here!

Saturday, July 9: Dinner Out!

Sunday, July 10: Dinner Out! (My BIG 3-0! 😉 :’))

Monday, July 11: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Tuesday, July 12: Tacos

Wednesday, July 13: Paleo Chicken Tenders

Thursday, July 14: Sandwiches

Friday, July 15: Roast

Saturday, July 16: Burgers (Cookout, weather permitting!)

Sunday, July 17: Sweet Potato Broccoli Bake

Monday, July 18: Cheeseburger Pie (Recipe found in Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. You can find one here!)

Tuesday, July 19: Chicken Chili

Wednesday, July 20: Shepherd’s Pie

Thursday, July 21: Stir fry

Friday, July 22: Paleo Chicken Tenders

Saturday, July 23: Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Sunday, July 24: Breakfast for dinner

Monday, July 25: Maple Salmon

Tuesday, July 26: Chicken Spinach Enchiladas

Wednesday, July 27: Paleo Meatloaf

Thursday, July 28: Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl

Friday, July 29: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Saturday, July 30: Low Carb Mozzarella Meatballs

Sunday, July 31: Shepherd’s Pie

Do you meal plan? What’s on your menu this month?

<3 Anna

Monthly Menu Planning II

Hello all!

Today, I thought it would be nice to update you all on my Monthly Menu Planning Challenge! (Check out my first post in this series here!) So how did it go?

Living the Leviner Life

The challenge went really well! It was so nice to have my meals planned and not having to figure out what to cook. It especially helped in December when we were sick most of the month. Ugh!


Sample menu

January presented its own challenges because John and I began our Trim Healthy Mama (Daddy) journey. We are total newbies, but we are learning each day! I’ve been adding new recipes to the rotation and am learning how to tweak our current recipes. (There are some recipes on this diet that I can’t do or have to tweak to keep my bladder happy as well.)

Our approach to THM right now is that we are all in, but we are slowly adding new specialty items to our pantry and replacing off plan items as we run out. (Groceries are way too high right now to toss anything, unless it’s expired!) One happy change that we have noticed is that D is becoming more interested in vegetables. He will eat carrots with “branch” and he was even willing to try some of my sweet pepper and cream cheese snack. (He didn’t like it, but at least he volunteered to try it!)

Below are all of this month’s recipes from January 13-end of Jan.

January 13- Maple Salmon 

January 14- Leftovers

January 15- Chicken Spinach Enchiladas (My recipe or original recipe)

January 16- Grilled Cheese

January 17- Alfredo Beef and Broccoli (THM original cookbook)

January 18- Creamy Chicken Soup

January 19- Mega Meatballs

January 20- Maple Salmon

January 21- Leftovers

January 22- Eggplant Lasagna (THM original cookbook)

January 23- Chicken BLT Wraps

January 24- Cheeseburger Pie (THM original cookbook)

January 25- Garlic Parm. Chicken

January 26- Crustless Quiche

January 27- Maple Salmon

January 28- Leftovers

January 29- Cream Cheese Chicken Bundles

January 30- Chicken Chili

January 31- Chicken Divan (I love this recipe, but will be tweaking it to fit our new life style.)

As far as sides go, I would include brown rice/quinoa, side salad, various veggies. 😉

I hope these recipes help with your planning for January/February. Let me know if you have any questions. Do you have a tasty recipe that I should try? Inbox me or leave a comment. I love hearing from my readers! <3

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #25

Hello all!

***This post contains affiliate link(s). By clicking on these links you may help me buy a lip gloss, but they are at no extra cost to you. ;)***

Welcome to our first Friday Finds and Favorites of 2016!!! Today I’ll be sharing with you my January goals, as well as an awesome recipe! 🙂 If you would like to see my word for the New Year, check out this post and Don’t miss our post on our family goals here!


1) Read Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin.

First off, I’m not pregnant. 😉 I’ve wanted to read Ina May’s work since I was pregnant with Declan, but it never happened. I’ve been thinking about and praying about a BIG decision for our future and this book has already confirmed that decision. I’ll share more on that later. I’m not ready to jump into that quite yet. It would make for quite a lengthy post!

2) Reorganize Declan’s toys.

It’s time! The Christmas season is over and it’s time to de-clutter! D was very blessed with many new toys from family and friends and I’m ready to tackle the challenge of getting them all organized.

3) Read through the Book of Hebrews.

As I said in previous posts, our church has started a new series on the Book of Hebrews and I’m doing an 18 day study with She Reads Truth. It’s amazing! Hebrews has always been a bit of an intimidating book for me, so this has really challenged me!

4) Discuss a game plan with my doctor.

My appointment with my doctor is Monday. It’s for a regular check-up, but I have been having some issues that I need to get addressed. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I chat with my doctor and figure out what my next steps are.

So those are my goals for this month! In case you are wondering, I was able to accomplish all of my goals for December. You can check those out here.  (I’m trying to keep this post as brief as possible! 😉 )

Now on to that recipe, I promised!

This week I made this wonderful THM friendly Spinach Chicken Enchilada recipe. You can check out the original recipe here. Due to my current bladder issues, I was unable to eat a few ingredients in the original recipe, so I made some switches to make it bladder friendly! 🙂

Trim Healthy Mama's

Original Recipe:


  • 10 low carb tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • a large pinch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • optional: a few slices of pickled jalapeño

Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

My Bladder Friendly Changes:


Half a red pepper and Half a yellow pepper (This is just what I had. You could easily just use one whole red pepper/yellow pepper.) (Diced)

1/2 TBS adobo sauce (found here!) for filling.

1 Tsp. adobo sauce for sauce.

In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, 4 oz. of cream cheese, I added minced onion instead of diced (I’m not a big onion fan, and I’m not sure if it’s bladder safe!), pepper/peppers, salt, and pepper.

I'll be the first to say, I'm not a food blogger...But here's the filling.

I’ll be the first to say, I’m not a food blogger…But here’s the filling.

Mix all the ingredients well.

Spoon about 2 TBS. of filling into low carb. tortillas and top with a handful of spinach and mozzarella (Don’t go crazy with the cheese!) 😉 Roll the tortillas up tightly and add to prepared pan.


In a blender, combine cream cheese, one cup sour cream, adobo sauce, and salt. The sauce will turn an ugly yellow color, but I promise—It doesn’t change the taste! It’s delicious! 🙂 Drizzle this sauce over the enchiladas.

Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil covering and return enchiladas to oven. Increase temperature to 400 and bake for 15 minutes to brown the top.


I promise— it tastes much better than it looks!

We were having an S meal, so I served ours with a tasty salad. 🙂 (I’ll be sharing more specifics on THM…coming soon!)

Now it’s your turn! Share your awesome finds and favorites for this week! Link up below and grab a button! (Optional) You also should definitely stop by my wonderful co-host’s post and say hi! <3

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna

Thanksgiving, I’m Loving <3

Hello Friends!!!

***This post contains affiliate link(s). As always thank you for supporting my blog. The opinions I express our my own. ***

Today I thought it would be fun to share some awesome ideas, recipes, crafts, etc. for Thanksgiving. I’ll be heading to GA for Thanksgiving, so I’m running low on time to continue sharing on one of my favorite holidays. <3 Better get to it! 😉

Thanksgiving (1)

Last year, I picked up the dvd (below) at the library and didn’t expect much. Boy, was I surprised! D absolutely loved it! I guess it’s because its about two little boys (one Native American and the other a pilgrim from the Mayflower) and their adventures together. I picked up that same dvd last week at the library…*fingers crossed* he will still love it. 😉

Here is one of D’s favorites from our library haul. This is an interesting book about…what else? Leaves! I loved how colorful and educational this book was. I was very pleasantly surprised at how captivated D was while reading this one. 🙂

This is a great counting book! D loved helping me count through this one. 🙂



Now that you have a sweet movie and books...Let’s talk recipes!

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ll be heading to GA for Thanksgiving so I’ll be making desserts to help this year. My plan is to make my “Famous” Banana Bread, Pumpkin Pie (It’s a must every year!), and a new recipe for Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie (Because my boys LOVE apple butter. 😉 ) Yum! I’m hungry just thinking about it!

Here are a few other fun recipes that caught my eye!

This Pumpkin Cheese Ball (I’ve actually made this one a few times and it’s tasty! I might even make it again for this trip to GA. We will see! 😉 )

This festive Turkey Platter. Too adorable! I’ll be the kiddo(s) would love this one!!!

This is a great for one for those busy nights prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, etc. etc. etc.

Here are a few great links for trivia, homeschooling, preschoolers, etc.

Want to teach your littles about Thanksgiving or just learn some fun trivia for yourself? Check out this great post!

Fun Thanksgiving printables for the kiddo(s)

Fall Crafts to keep your Toddler(s) busy and excited for the season.

Here are some great ideas for starting your own Thanksgiving family traditions.

I hope all of these amazing ideas have gotten you super excited for Thanksgiving!! I know I’m excited!!! Share your favorite thing about Thanksgiving in the comments below! 

<3 Anna

Monthly Menu Planning Challenge!

Hello Friends!!!

One of my least favorite chores is menu planning and making a grocery list. It’s super time consuming! Especially when you attempt couponing!So I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make this chore less daunting. I’ve read about monthly menu planning for a while now and I feel there is no better time than the two craziest months of the year (November and December) in case you didn’t know, to give it a go!

Living the Leviner Life

So how am I doing this?

1) Make a Family Favorites Meal Planning List

Grab a pen and notebook. (If you are more of a modern gal, grab your phone and use an app like Evernote.) Make a list of as many of your family’s favorite meals as you can think of. This is a great idea that many experts and fellow bloggers use! If you can come up with 30-31 meals, you will have a whole month planned from the start! 🙂

2) Find a Monthly Printable, print!

You can Google “Monthly Meal Planning Calendar Template” or grab this awesome one that I use from Around My Family Table.

3) Find time to fill in printable.

If you have little ones, I suggest doing this during nap time for their sakes and your sanity! 😉 It just makes it so much easier to think when your mind isn’t divided.  Before you begin filling in your squares, be sure to consider your schedule. For example, I prefer to schedule crockpot nights on Sundays because we have church and it’s nice to come home knowing dinner is already cooking! 🙂 Another great idea is to develop themes for each night. (I usually do Meatless Mondays, No theme for Tuesdays, Salmon Wednesdays, Leftovers Thursdays, No theme Fridays, Something New Saturdays, and Crockpot Sundays.) One reason I’ve been so hesitant to Monthly menu plan is because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough meals and I love trying new recipes. This is the great thing about Monthly menu planning! It’s very flexible and you can do what works for you. This is how Something New on Saturdays was born; the recipes we love get added to the rotation. 🙂

4) Gather all recipes.

Once you’ve made your menu calendar, you will need to gather all of your recipes BEFORE making your shopping list. Be sure to get all cook books, recipes on your phone from Pinterest, etc. all together in one place. A great idea would be to write or type up and print handy recipe cards so that you have everything all in one place. (This will be one of my next projects!)

5) Make Shopping List.

I know I said I’m an old fashioned, pen and paper sorta girl, but John found this awesome app that I love more than pen and paper. Shocking!!! I now use AnyList for all shopping trips. Be sure to get your coupons and be mindful of sales!

6) Go Shopping.

7) Enjoy!

Take a minute to enjoy the fact that you have all your groceries purchased and all of your meals planned for the month. Go you!! 🙂

***So I have all of my meals planned for November and will be creating my December meal plan in the coming days. I’ll update you all with my progress next month.***

Will you join me on this challenge? Let’s make two of the toughest months of the year a little easier by planning our meals ahead of time. We’ve got this!

<3 Anna

Chicken Corn Chowder Recipe Makeover

Hello Friends!!!

This post contains affiliate links. As always thank you for your continued support of my blog. <3

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes that I adapted and now tweaked for my bladder friendly diet. You can find the original recipe in Homemade Harvest, a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook.  This recipe is amazing comfort food and perfect for those chilly fall and cold winter nights.


So here’s the original ingredients with my notes and changes!

4 8 inch flour tortillas I just buy the tortilla chips to eat with the chowder. I’m sure this is wonderful, but I’ve never followed this part of the recipe.

14-1/2 oz. can chicken broth

10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup For these cream of soups, I use this recipe from Nikki of Nikki Cooks for Interstitial Cystitis

10-3/4 oz. can of cream of potato soup

1-1/2 c. milk

2 c. cooked chicken, cubed

11-oz. can sweet corn and diced peppers  I use 1 can of regular sweet corn.

4-oz. can chopped green chiles  I used an orange sweet pepper.

1/4 c. green onions, thinly sliced Omit

1-1/2 c. shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend of cheese  I used Mild Cheddar.

Optional: additional cheese, sour cream

Combine broth, soups, and milk in a Dutch oven. Stir in chicken, corn, and sweet pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until heated through. Add cheese; stir until melted.  Enjoy!!! (with more cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.)

So there you have it, a bladder friendly Chicken Corn Chowder. I also take Prelief with many of my meals now to reduce the acid in whatever foods I eat. It’s been a big help!! 🙂

What is your favorite fall/winter recipe? I would love to hear from you!

<3 Anna


Frozen Yogurt Snacks

Hello friends,

Last week, D and I made some fun frozen snacks together. It’s always nice to find snacks that you can create together and the fact that they are healthy is a major plus as well! 🙂


See? So much fun!

The recipe that inspired my recipe is here. 


Here’s what you will need for my recipe:

Plain Yogurt

Peanut Butter


1 banana (You can use more, especially if you don’t make the blueberry snacks as well!)

1 mixing bowl

wax paper

1 cookie sheet

1) Add a scoop or two of yogurt.

2) Add peanut butter. (Be generous if you love it! D definitely does!)

3) Add cinnamon.

4) Chop up a banana and mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

5) Take a cookie sheet and add a layer of wax paper.

6) Add the bananas to the cookie sheet.

7) Place in Freezer for at least a hour.

8) Enjoy!!!

Our messy job! D assisted. ;)

Our messy job! D assisted. 😉



Close up on the banana



Close up on blueberries

We really enjoyed making this recipe and we hope you do as well! Be sure to comment below if you try it! 🙂


<3 Anna