Simple October

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fake Lasagna

Feeding people is part of my love language.

I get deep satisfaction from cooking food for the people I care about and it's one of my favorite ways to help a family with a newborn.
Each time I've come home from having a baby(ies) cooking a meal is not my main priority. But you still have to eat so, being able to lift that stress off of a new mom, even if it's just for one meal, equals a less stress gift.

This fake lasagna recipe was one that my mom got from her sister and it's a meal we make regularly in our home, new baby or not. It's quick, easy to put together, and it's just different enough from traditional lasagna to be a nice change.

Fake Lasagna

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
16 oz. egg noodles, cooked (my favorite to use are the No Yoke dumpling noodles)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. sour cream
jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb. ground beef

- Cook the noodles and drain.

- Cook the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked.

- Add spaghetti sauce to meat and warm, remove from stove top.

- Stir together cream cheese, sour cream, and cooked noodles.

- Pour all of the noodle mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese.
Pour all of the spaghetti sauce on top of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.

Enjoy with a salad and garlic bread!

My Liam a couple weeks old. Now he's 13.5 months and I'm missing this infant phase.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Housewarming Gift

While getting ready to write this post I noticed that, like the Hostess Gift I shared last week, this gift was also for my sister and her husband. They had a big year in 2014. Lots to celebrate, including a move into a new home.

This was a very simple gift to pull together and can be adapted for any budget or style. For instance, I made the fabric bin and monogrammed the towel with come fabric however, you could just as easily purchase a basket and decorated dish towel. Hobby Lobby and Michaels sell some cute containers and baskets at great prices. Use one of their store coupons or purchase during their weekly sales and they are even more budget friendly.

My sister told me a month or so before this that she wanted some of these lids and straws to use on her new porch. I wanted to make sure she had the jars to use the lids with so, I included Mason jars with them. These will be nice for sipping iced tea on their porch this summer.
I also included some recipe cards and soy wax melts from the always wonderful, Grace from
Grace Note Candle Co. Her wax melts are amazing!
I tucked all the goodies inside the chevron container with a little tissue paper. Tied a ribbon around the front and clipped a couple tags I already had with a note. Easy and simple. Budget friendly and thoughtful.
Thoughtfulness goes a long way! So, if you are worried that you don't have it all together or feel like you have to give something big to mean something, just remember that it's what's from your heart that truly matters.

Monday, January 5, 2015

three good things

One of my goals for this space, during 2015, includes blogging more regularly. I'm sure this will be trial and error, but I'm going to aim for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This seems like a realistic place for me to start and I'm excited for this little space of mine.

This year I'm also going to give myself more writing prompts to get my thoughts down. Share more of my favorite things, people, blogs, websites, handmade shops, etc. And the crafts and projects I put together.
In sharing with you my favorites from the week, I give you "three good things".

Photo by me. Apple Coffee Cake from The Faux Martha. Link below.

1. I stumbled across The Faux Martha a month or so ago and I love seeing her photos pop up in my Instagram feed. She has some amazing recipes that are on my radar to make soon. Like these pumpkin scones and this apple coffee cake, my mom and I made yesterday. Oh, my! Soooo GOOD!

2. Momastery Blog. I've recently rediscovered Glennon Doyle Melton and her words resonate with me so much. I can't get enough. This post made me laugh. This one made me happy cry. Community means so much. Her book, Carry on Warrior, is on my must read list.

3. My mom gifted me this book, Dinner: A love story, for Christmas and I am so enjoying it. We already made the Black Bean Burritos recipe and they were incredible. I've been dreaming about having them again. Maybe next week. You can find their blog here. You'll thank me later.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hostess Gift - Coffee

Oh, January! You are so good already. 2015 looks like it's going to be a great year for the Kinsauls.

Alright, so I meant to share this before Christmas but never did. I will probably be blogging a few other things that I didn't get to last year and the seasons might be a little off but I'm okay with that. I hope you stick around to see what's going on over here in my little corner of the world. I have some big plans for this year and I would love to have you join me on this journey.

Giving gifts are a passion of mine. I love to see how the thoughtfulness of a gift makes the recipient smile and know they are loved. So, with that thought, I hope to blog more about some of the different gifts I give throughout the year and a few that if put together last year. I always like reading what other's give for gifts and hope you are inspired to bless someone in your life.

My sister and brother-in-law hosted Liam's 1st birthday party in their home and I wanted to do something nice to say thank you. They are both coffee (and hot cocoa) drinkers so, I started simple with a Starbucks gift card. Then I tucked it in a red berry basket (I found mine at Michaels.) along with a bottle of Torani Salted Caramel Syrup, and a mini bottle brush Christmas tree.

Using a strip of red and white checkered fabric I already had, I tied it all up with a bow. Then I added a little personalized tag and a note of thanks and called it good. Until I remembered the sweet printable I purchased from the ever wonderful, Hannah of Wifey Singer Prints.

 It was the perfect addition to my gift. I clipped it to a clip board that I picked up from Walmart and included it with the berry basket of goods.
Simple. Thoughtful. Sweet. These are a few of my favorite things. :)

Do you have any tried and true gifts that you love to give? I'd love to know what your favorites are.