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Auntie Linds Visits & Other Fun Things

I took this picture of Ada for Joyschool. She wanted her sweater with the flower, all buttoned up. And her heart necklace, princess bracelet, and sparkly red headband. I love the way she accessorizes :)


Matt & I went for a run by the Elks’ Rodeo grounds. I love the rodeo! Can’t wait for it in June.


Matt went for a run with a friend and came home to Mav sitting on top of him. I think he missed him just a little bit!


Poor Lola doesn’t get a nap on Sundays because we go from 11:30-2:30 this year. I was looking for her after church and found her like this on the couch!


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As part of ModernMom Insiders, I was sent a promotional item to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% mine and this recipe is my original twist on a classic.

Have you ever made homemade lasagna before? The first time I did, I was surprised at how hard it was to keep the lasagna noodles from tearing once they were cooked. It was a long process that was totally worth it in the end, but I don’t have that kind of time on a daily basis.

Today, I’m sharing my twist on a classic lasagna recipe. It’s ready in 30 minutes and your kids will love helping you assemble the personal lasagnas!

I used Ragú®’s Old World Style® Traditional Sauce, cheese raviolis, and mozzarella cheese. So easy!

Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes, making it its richest, thickest recipe versus their previous OWS formula.

Ada & Lola were so excited to help me on our assembly line! I did the sauce, they were the ravioli and cheese distributors.

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Sauce, raviolis, repeat.

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Little (clean) helping hands!

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Ready for cheese:

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Finally the messiest & most fun part – topping with cheese!

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Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, brown under the broiler, serve with garlic bread and a green salad and you’ve got a perfect Italian meal!

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We invited the Parkers over for dinner, we go way back! Tiana and I have been best friends since we were three years old. We both married boys who speak French and each have two kids.

I busted out the tablecloth and cloth napkins for our feast! So much fun with this bunch, we could talk and laugh for hours.

I tend to take pictures right after everyone takes a huge bite…look at Lola!

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Mini Personal Lasagnas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 9
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
  • 1 (20 oz.) package refrigerated cheese raviolis
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place oven-safe ramekins on counter.
  3. Boil refrigerated raviolis according to package directions (approx. 10 min.) and drain.
  4. Spoon about a Tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each ramekin.
  5. Layer raviolis on top, we used three for each layer.
  6. Follow with another layer of sauce, and another layer of raviolis, repeating until you have reached the top of the ramekin and ended with the sauce layer.
  7. Top each lasagna generously with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Arrange mini-lasagnas on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Broil for 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.

For more authentic Italian recipe ideas, visit: http://facebook.com/RaguSauce

Also, Ragú has a Better and Better Sweepstakes running right now that you should go enter! You can win Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Italy for a family of four at www.RaguSweeps.com. Yes, please!

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Ragnar SoCal 2012 Recap

This weekend is Ragnar SoCal and I wish I was running, so I wanted to take a trip down memory lane to my first Ragnar experience! Here is my recap from April 2012:

I ran the SoCal Ragnar Relay! While nursing! It’s one of the most incredible things I have ever done. It is a 200-mile relay race from Huntington Beach to Coronado Island. You are on a team of 12, in two giant vans, and one member of your team is running at all times! You have 3 different legs, and my legs added up to a total of 14.5 miles.

I drove down to Santa Maria on Thursday to drop my girls off at my mom’s house. Thank you Mommy!! I was so stressed out by many things…I had a stress (ha) fracture on the top of my right foot that wasn’t completely healed, I had to pack all of my girls’ things to leave at my mom’s, then pack all of my things separately for the race to take down to Huntington Beach. Matt had just graduated and was in the middle of interviews and work so stayed up in Santa Cruz. I ended up with a stiff neck and am grateful for Rach and Tiana for rubbing it so I could run! I made granola bars and we had lots of good snacks for the road. We spent the night at one of Elise’s friend’s house…thank you friends!! Tiana, Rach, & I ended up sleeping in a closet converted into a bedroom with Bob Marley flags and a bong in it. It was comical :) I had to pump in the bathroom during the night and people kept asking, “What’s that noise?” haha  

Here is beautiful Tiana, ready to run her first leg. Our team name was Run Like an Egyptian, hence the flashy costumes. It was already really hot at this point in the morning!

Here is my gorgeous cousin Rach, who ran right before me. It was SO HOT here! We were resting up in the shade. She had a really rough time, and I was worried when she wasn’t at the exchange in the amount of time she told us she’d be there. There was a saint of a man who helped her along, and she finally made it through the 110 degree heat and to hand off the bracelet to me.

Game face on. Nobody recognized me without my smile :)


What happened during my run was the worst run of my entire life. It was 110 degrees out, in the middle of Corona, CA. There was a heat advisory, and I was running 5.65 miles straight up a canyon! I could feel the asphalt burning my skin. It felt like a giant griddle on high heat under my feet. See the CamelPak I’m wearing in the picture above? I ripped it off my back and gave it to my teammates around mile 2 because it was BOILING. I went for a sip and it was so hot I just spit it out.

The only thing that kept me going up that cursed canyon was knowing that I would see that big white van pulled over, with my team cheering me on. Bringing me water, pouring it down my face to have it dry seconds later, and offering words of encouragement. 

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Mullets, Missionaries, & Frozen

We had a lovely lunch date with Nana at Costco. These little girls love their Nana!! Ada was pretending to be soooo cold she was frozen.

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My Uncle Devin & I have a running joke where we give each other gag gifts for our birthdays. Last year I gave him a horse head, this year – a mullet!!! Bahaha I told him to wear it to church but he didn’t listen to me. Nana did NOT like it and wanted it off his head immediately. Mission accomplished :)

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Ice cream time with Nonnie!! We went to Doc Burnstien’s in Old Orcutt. I had a major lapse of judgment and let both of my girls get bubble gum ice cream in cones…what was I thinking?! They were happy, I was sticky & stressed ;) The Salted Caramel ice cream is soooooo good. Try it, you’ll like it!

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Two future missionaries! Ada’s Primary teacher is so sweet & always makes extra crafts for Lola. She’s so thoughtful :)

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When picking out Uncle Devin’s wig, we had fun trying on Bubble Gum & Ariel wigs! Ada kills me with her Ariel face.

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My dad bought me this shirt in England. It cracks me up. Yes, I love Dr. Pepper. No, I would not buy this for myself. Yes, I wear it a lot. Thanks Pops :)

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Pop Culture

There have been a few things that have happened in Hollywood recently that I feel the need to give my two cents about.

#1: El Bachelor.

Juan Pablo (Jose Cuervo as my husband refers to him) is a complete chauvinist pig! His own FAMILY warned both girls to run away!! Red flags much?

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You are the bad guy. You never listened to any of the women when they talked to you – you just nodded and said, “Is okay, okay, shh…” You want your women quiet and submissive, just like Nikki was after the final rose ceremony. She barely said a thing, just sat there and looked pretty. Did he REALLY wink at her and say, “I like you. I like you a looooot.” as he gave her the final rose?! No no no!!! I hope that Nikki’s family is counseling her to run away and that she listens.

I’m also mad about Claire not holding him accountable for his nasty remarks to her. She just let him weasel his way back in with some fluff about meeting his family & didn’t even make him answer for it. Booooooo.

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Disney FROZEN Fun With Sisters!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #FROZENfun #collectivebias

If you have young children, I’m pretty sure that your home is in FROZEN Mania right now! My girls could not wait for the FROZEN DVD to come out after seeing it with Nonnie over Christmas break and have been singing the songs non-stop ever since. Who am I kidding, our whole family has been singing them!

The second we walked into WalMart, Ada found the FROZEN display! Look at that excitement…she’s not even touching the ground!

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Two very happy little girls. We only bought one DVD, of course. How many of you hand things to the cashier and say, “We’re not going to buy this…” as you check out? It’s a regular occurrence with us.

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We got the girls Elsa & Anna’s dresses and invited my family over for dinner and a FROZEN Talent Show! Ada/Elsa eating with Bobba & Nonnie:

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And a very full-mouthed Lola/Anna eating next to Papa and Nana:

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I made Apricot Chicken but subbed in Tangerine jam (so technically it would be Tangerine Chicken) with brown rice. It was delicious if I do say so myself!

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Things My Daughters Say

Lola, while eating popcorn, bit her own finger.

Lola: “Owwwwww!!! Maggick bite meeeee!”

Me: “Lola, I think you just bit your own finger.”

Lola: “Noooooo Maggick bite meeeeee!”

Me: “Lola, Maverick is sitting right by me, and I watched you bite your own finger. We need to be careful when we eat, not to bite our fingers, tongues, or cheeks.”

Lola: “Yeah, me bite mine finga.”

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Ada saw me kissing Matt and said, “Mommy. He’s MY prince.”

I told her that she’d find her own prince one day, but I could share Papa until she did :)

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Ada: “Mommy, Lola always coffees me. I just learned that it means she’s a coffee cat because she does everything I do.”

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Ada asked me to snuggle with her. She put her little head under my chin and said, “Mommy, I love you because you’re fluffy and your heart sparkles.”

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Ada handed me a big rock at the beach and I said, “Oooh thanks! Can I throw it in the water?” And she says, “No! It’s for a special occasion.”

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I thought I’d share this easy way to curl your hair! I got this from an email that Pure Wow sent out. Here’s the video showing you the technique:

My girls thought I looked hilarious :) I left it in for about 20 minutes and hair sprayed it while it was up in the hair band.

It worked!! When I curl my hair with a curling iron, it falls out in a matter of hours.

This is how it looked after I pulled it out of the hair band:

And this was after I’d brushed through it, hair sprayed it, and been out and about for 3 hours.

It’s a soft wave that gives your hair some body. Pretty amazing for my hair!

Selfies are awkward…and I tried smiling without my teeth for all of ‘em. Weird.

Let me know if you’ve tried this and if it works for your hair!

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A couple of weekends ago, we went down to the Los Angeles LDS Temple for Stake Temple Day. It is so peaceful there. IMG 4543

We love going back to where we were married :) A big thank you to my in-laws for watching our girls for the day so that we could do a session together!

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I was sent the Lemonade cookbook to check out (isn’t it pretty?):
In reading it, I found that there are multiple Lemonade locations in the Los Angeles area. We decided to try one out after the temple and headed to the Brentwood location.

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Matt loved his Braised Short Rib Sandwich, and we all loved the Arugula Strawberry Salad and Red Quinoa Salad with Apples. Matt’s brother said the Ahi Tuna was the best thing he’s ever eaten and my sister-in-law raved about the Brussels Sprouts. The recipe is in the cookbook and I can’t wait to make them!

My uncle and I both got the Blood Orange Lemonade and it was sooooo good! I just asked the girl which one was the sweetest & she was right on.Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  - karainthekitchen.com

I decided to make the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies on Sunday and they were awesome! We munched on them while watching the Oscars :) They have a crispy, sugary bite around the edges and are chewy on the inside.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  - karainthekitchen.com

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Cookies
Cook time
Total time
I doubled this, because when is one dozen cookies ever enough? :)
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 12
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets, or line with silpat or parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a hand-held electric beater. Beat on medium speed until light a fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter, beating well to incorporate. Add the egg and continue to beat until well combined.
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture in 2 additions, beating just to combine. Do not overmix or the cookie dough can become tough. Turn the mixer off and fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula, until evenly distributed.
  4. Using a small scoop, put the dough on prepared pans about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are just set on the edges but still fairly soft in the middle. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This post contains an affiliate link, thank you for supporting me!

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I am a member of the CollectiveBias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #HealthcareClinic

Do you know when I usually get sick? Saturday night or Sunday morning. This is a huge problem because most doctors’ offices and urgentcares are closed on Sundays. No bueno! Well guess what’s open on Sundays?! Walgreens Healthcare Clinics.

The nearest one to me right now is in Las Vegas, but I’m hoping they will migrate further West to us in CA!

Without further ado, here is the list of the top 2 times I needed a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.

1. The time I got pinkeye. Over and over again.

I have this theory. It’s that people with larger eyes get pinkeye more often. It sounds crazy, but most of the people (myself included) that get this nasty virus have big eyes! When I worked in elementary schools I got it a ton. It’s so contagious that someone infected could touch a door handle and then you open the door and get it. It’s the worst because when I wake up with a gunky eye, I know all I need are the prescription eyedrops and the pinkeye will be cleared up in a couple of days.

This is a problem when everyone is closed on Sunday! Enter Walgreens Healthcare Clinics. I could have gone in, received a prescription, and had my prescription filled right there!

This picture is after it cleared up. You’re welcome :) This is what I do when my kids won’t pose for a picture with me. See? Big eyes.

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2. The time Matt’s sore throat tried to kill him.

Here’s how last September looked for us:

- Ran Ragnar Napa the weekend of the 20th-21st

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- Moved on the 29th (technically the 30th because we left Santa Cruz around 1 AM)

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- Matt started work at his new job on the 30th after only 1.5 hours of sleep.

Bottom line, lack of sleep and major stress caused him to get sick. He could barely swallow or talk his throat hurt so bad. He was having trouble hearing, too. His insurance didn’t kick in at his new job for 90 days, so we were feeling pretty scared about the giant bill we’d have after moving expenses and putting a deposit down on our new place. He ended up at the ER once and then Urgentcare the next day. I know that if we had a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic nearby – he would have been able to get the antibiotics he needed without those multiple expensive trips.

Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, please come to Santa Maria, CA! We need you! To find a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic near you, search here.

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