Leftover Easter Ham? Try these creamy shells with asparagus!

Ready for another delicious dish with asparagus?  I was lucky enough yesterday to gather a big handful from the garden, so I put together this for dinner (and it made terrific leftovers for lunch today!).pasta dish

Creamy Ham & Asparagus Shells

1/2 pound small pasta shells

2 cups assorted veggies (roasted asparagus, roasted red pepper, peas, mushrooms, etc.)

1 T butter

1/2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

4 oz. cooked ham, chopped

1/2 cup half and half (preferably organic)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

sea salt

cracked black pepper

1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

Step one:  If needed, roast your vegetables – I usually do this earlier in the day or the night before so they can be ready to go.  Just drizzle with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 425 until the texture you prefer.

Roasting asparagus

Step two:  While the pasta is cooking, saute the onion in the butter and olive oil.  Once it starts to soften, add the ham and cream.  Simmer until the mixture has thickened.

creamy ham

Step three:  Add the roasted vegetables, and the cooked pasta.  Add the parmesan and stir to combine.

Step four:  Season with salt and pepper and add the cherry tomatoes.  Top with extra parmesan if desired.

Have a child who doesn’t like their food mixed up?  Hold back some of the ingredients and serve them this meal:

Kid's meal

How do you use up your leftover Easter (or Christmas) ham?  Any recipes you particularly look forward to?

Need help planning a weekly menu?  Help ensuring you use up your groceries instead of throwing them away at the end of the week?  Check out my menu planning e-course and learn how to create a healthy and streamlined menu plan every week!

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday and The Mommy Club

Menu Plan Monday – April 21 – 27

Another busy week – and lots of leftover ham to use up! Leftover ham pasta

Monday – Tiki Masala chicken (we had leftovers last week, so making this tonight)

Tuesday – Asparagus Pasta (with fresh asparagus from the garden and leftover ham from Sunday)

Wednesday – salmon on the grill, sauteed spinach, brown rice

Thursday – crock pot ham and beans/ cornbread

Friday – date night!

Saturday – steak on the grill/ oven fries/ brussell sprouts

Sunday – homemade pizza

What’s on your menu this week?

Shared on Organizing Junkie!

Weekly Goals Update

Last Week’s GoalsWeekly planning


  • At least 2 hours of education classes - done!
  • Catch up with e-mail – better, but not done
  • Create a master “to-do” list so nothing gets lost in my head!done – now to accomplish it . . .



  • Help the kids ease into school and sportsdone, we were on time and ready for all practices and first games – it’s quite a coordination effort
  • Enjoy veggies with every meal – almost, missed breakfast a few mornings when running late
  • Enjoy Easter Sunday togetherwe had a WONDERFUL and relaxing Easter Sunday


  • Get caught up on mail/ paperwork –  pretty close
  • Back on cleaning schedule – did great the beginning of the week, then kinda fell apart . . .

This Week’s Goals


  • At least 2 hours education class
  • April & May newsletters
  • Spend 2 hours updating website


  • Up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Stretch daily
  • Tackle my most dreaded daily task FIRST each day


  • Date night
  • Fun family outing Saturday


  • Back on track with cleaning schedule
  • Work on office for an hour
  • Photo book from Spring Break

What are your goals for this week?  Stopping procrastinating is top on my list – that’s why I added tackling my most dreaded daily task first each day.  Most of the time whatever that task is doesn’t take as long as I think it will and getting it done will 1-stop me from thinking about doing it all day and 2-hopefully kick-start a successful day!

We have a week and a half left in April, so plenty of time to get a bottle of the essential oil of the month and add some much-needed Clarity to your daily routine!



Small Changes = Big Results: The Morning

Excited to start this series?  Me too!  I plan on implementing a few new changes myself as we go along, so I’ll be sure to report on my findings and I’d love for you to do so also either in the comments or on my Facebook page.  We can keep each other accountable!

How do you greet each day?  Do you wake up late, frazzled and feeling behind before you even get out of bed?  Or do you wake up excited and eager to start the day?


Much of how you feel when you wake up depends upon what you did the night before (and we’ll get to that at the end of this series), but regardless of how you feel when you open your eyes in the morning, there are several small changes you can make in the morning to automatically improve your health and wellness – which in the long run will create some of those big results we are looking for!

Small changes suggestions for the morning:

  1. Hydrate.  You’ve just spent (ideally) 7 to 8 hours without any food or liquid.  Your body is crying out for hydration.  Most of us automatically reach for a cup of coffee right away, and although I do love my coffee, it’s important to FIRST hydrate your body.  So, before you do anything else, drink a full glass of water – cold with a drop of lemon oil is wonderful in the summer, or hot with half a lemon and cayenne pepper is comforting in the winter.  Either one will get your liver started working, and hydrate your body.
  2. Stretch.  Many of us (myself included) wake up feeling stiff.  A few minutes of stretching will help with this immensely – and over time will improve your muscle tone and flexibility.  As soon as you roll out of bed, do a few sun salutations or simple stretches.  The short-term benefits may not seem exciting, but long-term your body will thank you!
  3. Think good thoughts.  If you find yourself waking up feeling stressed, depressed or just exhausted thinking about what the day has in store for you, challenge yourself to stop worrying and think of three things to be grateful for or excited about BEFORE you get out of bed.  Make this a habit and you’ll begin waking up feeling positive instead of being a negative Nellie!

So which small change are YOU going to make?  I’m going to commit to stretching every day.  I already do a good job of exercising in the mornings (which I didn’t include, because it’s not typically a small change), but I do neglect the stretching  - and my body can FEEL it.  I’ll report back at the end of the series how successful I was and the results I enjoyed from this small change.

Would you like to find more time in the morning to add these small changes to your day?  Check out my FREE 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day,” and you’ll begin each day feeling great before you know it!

Shared on Friendship Friday 

photo by: Sean MacEntee

Sweet and Savory Salad

So this recipe has a bit of a story . . . sweet and savory salad

I had been thinking about creating a new kale salad with asparagus especially for spring for some time now, and with a fully stocked fridge and fresh asparagus from the garden, I decided that today was the day to experiment.

I pulled out the kale to clean it and noticed holes.  This isn’t good – holes typically mean worms (as I discovered last summer with the kale from our garden).  Sure enough, after closer inspection, I discovered the kale had many little worms in it.  Ick!  There were so many (and so many holes) it wasn’t worth picking through it.  But that meant I had no base for my salad.

Thank goodness for my fully stocked fridge!  After enjoying this for lunch today, I think the salad I ended up creating was BETTER than the kale salad I had imagined would have been.  Plus, thanks to the cabbage, I think it would hold up overnight if you wanted to pack it for an easy lunch on the go.

Sweet and Savory Salad

serves 1

1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 chopped jalapeno

1 small minced clove garlic

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 – 6 stalks roasted (or blanched) asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup rinsed and drained chick peas

1/4 cup dried fruit (I used a cranberry/ blueberry mix)

1 T goat cheese

1 T citrus dressing – see recipe below

Step one:  Roast or blanch the asparagus (I used roasted since I was roasting a bunch of asparagus for tonight’s dinner – blanching would be quicker).

salad ingredients

Step two:  Assemble ingredients, drizzle dressing on top, extra salt and pepper if desired.


Dressing - makes enough for several salads, so just pop it in the fridge and enjoy it all week: 3 oz. olive oil, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz fresh orange juice, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper – shake before using.

What is your favorite salad?  Do you like coming up with new combinations, or do you have the same one every time?  Share in the comments!

Ready for Clarity?  It’s our Oil of the Month for April – check out the details HERE.

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday, Inspire Me Monday and The Mommy Club.



Weekly Goals – Easter Week!

We’ve been back home for a few days, but I’m still not in the groove!  Finally made it to the grocery yesterday – that was a relief!  Hopefully by this time next week everything will feel back to normal!goal planning

Last Week’s Modified Goals:


  • Finalize and release guest postdone!
  • Finish cleaning up e-mails - not even close . . .


      • Hit 10,000 steps a daydone! Instead of “exercising” every day, when I’m on vacation, I make an effort to be very active (and that might include a workout or two) – this trip I don’t think I ever hit a day less than 14K (unless we were driving)
      • Read two booksdone – since it was vacation last week was purely fiction: Sisterland: A Novel and I’ve Got Your Number: A Novel


  • Fun family time!done – lots of it last week – the best part of vacations
  • Help everyone get ready to be back in the school groovedone, we went to bed early last night and got up early this morning so we wouldn’t be rushed


  • Unpackdone!

This Week’s Goals


  • At least 2 hours of education classes
  • Catch up with e-mail
  • Create a master “to-do” list so nothing gets lost in my head!


  • Exercise at least 5 days
  • Get up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Read one book (trying to do catch up so no pressure here!)


  • Help the kids ease into school and sports
  • Enjoy veggies with every meal
  • Enjoy Easter Sunday together


  • Get caught up on mail/ paperwork
  • Back on cleaning schedule

What does your week look like?  Any particular goals you’d like to attack?  I know for me, that master “to-do” list is key – I’ve got a lot floating around in my head right now and I need to get it all out on paper!

Do you start each day exactly as you wish you could?  If you don’t, why not?  No time?  No energy?  Put a plan in place and start each day perfectly for YOU – get my FREE 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day”



Menu Plan Monday – Easter Edition!

Back from Spring Break and back to menu planning.  And boy do I need it – we went from a few weeks of freedom to a few months of craziness – soccer, baseball and swim all start-up this month, so without a menu plan we’d be eating at restaurants every day (as evidenced by the last few days when I hadn’t gotten to the grocery store after being out-of-town for a few weeks!).

Monday – asparagus risottogarden fresh!

TuesdayMexican and definitely Margaritas!

Wednesday – out with my daughter, guys are on their own

Thursday – crazy night – packing sandwiches and salads to eat at the soccer field!

Friday – salmon and veggie paella

Saturday – tikki masala chicken

Sunday – ham (of course, it’s Easter), deviled eggs, asparagus and roasted mixed potatoes (fingerling, sweet and red)

So what about you?  If you don’t have a plan and things get busy do you find yourself eating at odd hours and hitting the restaurants more often?

If that sounds like you, check out my menu planning e-course and for less than one fast food meal for your family, you’ll learn how to quickly and easily plan weekly menus and avoid the rent trap!

Shared on Organizing Junkie!

Small Changes = Big Results

How often do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of info out there on how to live a healthier life?  Often, I bet.

There are so many experts, so many schools of thought on how to “be healthy.”  And it can be stressful to try to make multiple changes at once.

How do you decided where to start?

Small Changes = Big Results!

For the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you ways to make small changes in your daily routine.  We’ll start with the morning, move on to lunchtime, mid-afternoon, dinnertime and finally bedtime.  At the end of the series, if you’ve followed along, you will have made almost half a dozen small, daily changes (some are 30 seconds or less) that in the long run will equal BIG changes in your life.  In fact, you’ll be well on your way to creating a truly healthy and happy life.  And the best part about this series is that each week you’ll have several OPTIONS on which change to make, so you can go back through it again and again – making different, lasting improvement each time.

Make a pledge today to join me in this small changes series and be prepared to meet summer feeling healthier and happier on a daily basis!

Are you in?

Small Changes = Big Results:  The Morning

Want to get started now?  Get your FREE copy of my 3 day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day.” and you’ll be in great shape for the first week of  Small Changes = Big Results!

Shared on Friendship Friday and The Mommy Mixer

Meatless Monday Dish – Asparagus Pasta

I hope you are ready for some tasty asparagus recipes this month!  Here is a delicious way to enjoy asparagus, and it’s perfect for a Meatless Monday dish!meatless monday dish

Asparagus Pasta

1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 t. oregano

1/2 t. paprika

sea salt

black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 box pasta

Step one:  While the pasta boils, saute the garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until softened.

saute mushrooms

Step two:  Add the asparagus and tomatoes.


Step three:  Add one ladle of pasta water, and then the drained pasta to the skillet.

pasta and spices

Step four:  Add seasonings and saute until everything is well mixed – about 3 or 4 minutes.

Serve with freshly shredded parmesan or plain.  This dish is also EXCELLENT with a cup of chopped, cooked ham added – perfect for your Easter leftovers.

Looks delicious, right?  And it’s super simple.  Add this one to your menu plan!

Looking to learn how to plan weekly menus?  Purchase my menu planning e-course for less than $10 and in an hour or so you’ll be an expert at planning a delicious, healthy menu for your week.

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday , Empty Your Archives and The Mommy Club


Weekly Goals – April 7 – 13

I missed posting last week’s goals due to Spring Break, and although we are still on break, I went ahead and prepared a “modified list” of goals for this week. goal planning

Two Week’s Ago Goals:


  • Write 4 blog posts – trying to get ahead for vacation – done, and such a lifesaver!
  • Write guest post – done, although I do need to do a quick review this week
  • Get caught up on email – did a little, but not totally cleaned up



  • Pedicure with daughter (maybe at home, maybe out) – we didn’t have time for this, but we did have a few other fun outings!
  • Volunteer at school for son’s class – done!


  • Finish cleaning house – almost – didn’t get the floors done
  • Packing/ organizing for Spring Break – done! (Kinda didn’t have a choice with this one!)
  • Clean up office desk – it’s getting out of control again! – done!

This Week’s Modified Goals:


  • Finalize and release guest post
  • Finish cleaning up e-mails


  • Hit 10,000 steps a day
  • Read two books


  • Fun family time!
  • Help everyone get ready to be back in the school groove


  • Unpack

So, even though we aren’t completely back to a normal routine, there are still a few things I’d like to accomplish this week!  How about you?  Do you plan goals even when your schedule is a bit out of whack?