Rusty is our dog.

He is super great.

He is a golden retriever that you will see every so often mentioned in posts. I got Rusty from the shelter in 2010 right before his first birthday. When I took him home he was skin and bones, and very fearful. He was afraid of fast movements, doorways, mailboxes, garbage cans, shadows, loud noises, water, brooms… well Rusty used to be afraid of most things.

But he is slowly learning that the world is not out to get him. It has been nice to see him warm up and come out of his shell. He is a great dog and teaches me and my husband to slow down and be patient. Life with Rusty has been a great learning opportunity for both of us.

He loves other dogs and going to the dog park. Most of the time he is mellow, gentle, and quiet, just hanging out with us. He is hilarious. His demeanor and facial expressions are something I have never seen in any other dog.  He lets me take pictures of him with glasses or hats or whatever… he is so easy going.

I love this goof ball dog… a lot.


rustyhis first time at the beach.

rusty and aaronThanksgiving snow in bend.

Thanks for visiting.



Energy Bites

My friend Kristi makes these little energy bite snacks and every time she brings them into work I get so excited. They are great for a quick snack, breakfast on the go, or just a yummy treat that satisfies the dessert craving.

energy bites


  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used gluten-free oats from Trader Joes)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

How To Make Them:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20 balls.

I made one special one for Rusty with just a little bit of oats and peanut butter… and just look how much energy HE has! 🙂


Thanks for visiting!
Enjoy your energy bites.
This recipe came from
Visit her site and check out more of her yummy creations!!!

Time For an Update

Okay… so I haven’t posted in FOREVER and I am literally the worst “blogger” in the world. When I started this blog it was going to be partially about vegan cooking, plant based diets, etc… well that’s over. We have decided that we love dairy products, and meat… and we will eat them within moderation. #worstvegansever. I will still be including fun recipes here though. The next post will be a yummy snack called “Energy Bites” that I got from my friend Kristi.

Aaron and I have been married over a year and half now and I have learned so much in this past year.  I am head over heels in love with this man. He is patient with me, teaches me things I didn’t even know I didn’t know, humbly listens to me, seeks my advice and counsel, and acts kindly when I am sharp and not so lovable. He seeks out ways to be intentionally loving and continues to show me how to walk with Jesus. It is through his example that I am learning how to love and serve the people in our lives, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.


I am sitting here sipping a warm cup of coffee trying to figure out what to write. Trying to think of what I would share if a friend was here sitting across the table, and she asked “tell me one thing God has been doing in your life the last year.”

To be totally honest the last year has been somewhat difficult! I have been asking God to invade my heart and change the way I see the world I live in. It turns out, that is a challenging process and a pretty radical thing to ask for. It will wreck you, in the best way ever.

Kelsey and Aaron 2013

I want to see things how God sees things, and see people how He sees them. I want to love those around me with the love that I receive from Jesus. The process of developing character and a heart in line with the heart of God is a painful and exposing process that never really ends. I actually have to address my failures; my judgements of others, my fear, my jealousy and selfishness, and do something about them. It is easier to ignore the bad things and just walk through life my own way, instead of recognizing my own brokenness. But what would a life of selfishness and bitterness really accomplish? I want to love God and love people, and I can only do that well if I rest in the presence of God and ask Him to change me.

One example of where I see God working, is the way I see others. I am learning that the world we live in sees things upside down, as did I for a long time, and often still do. When I started following Jesus and began allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart and life it was like putting on a pair of Jesus-tinted glasses. I saw people differently. The lady on the highway that cut me off, for example, I now saw her as a person that was probably in a hurry to pick up her child from school, or having a bad day; maybe a fight with her husband still painfully lingering on her mind was causing her to not pay attention to the road, instead of seeing her as just a jerk who cared little for anyone but herself. I am learning how to see people in the situation they are in, instead of my own situation. Everyone has their own life they are living, and judging someone’s entire character by the 30

Kelsey and Aaron

second interaction you have with them, seems so absurd now. How do I know what is going on in their life that caused them to act a certain way? I am coming to see that you can only focus on so much, so when you focus more on others, you have to focus less on yourself, and that is a really good thing. In my highway cutoff story above, for example, I would normally just focus on myself and my own frustration, now I just take a second to pray for that lady, and in turn I completely avoid getting frustrated or annoyed.

I am so thankful for the grace that God pours out on me everyday. I am just an ordinary broken person that God is using to bring His love to others, even if they don’t recognize that its the Father’s love yet.
Thank you for reading.

Healthy Lasagna (meat and dairy free)

Okay I know what you are thinking. Lasagna with no cheese? What is the point?!

My exact reaction.

Just try this. You will enjoy it and impress your family with a beautiful plant empowered gift to their stomachs. This recipe is filled with veggies that will fuel your body instead of punching in the gut like a traditional cheese filled “wish-I-didn’t-eat-that” lasagna.

My husband and his friends love this meal. If you try it, please comment and let me know how it turns out!


Keep in mind that you can use whatever veggies you want. If you don’t like mushrooms…. leave them out! That is what is so fun about cooking… have fun with it and customize it to your family’s preferences, after all, YOU are the head chef!

Haven’t scared you off yet? Okay well then…here is what you will need:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed- Or Minced Garlic works too!
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 package of tofu (Silken Lite tofu works great)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 jar pasta sauce- try and find a sauce with the fewest ingredients. TJ’s or Whole Foods both have a few great ones.
  • 1 box whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 big sweet potatoe, cooked and mashed (chop, boil until you can stick a fork in it easily, then mash or put in a vitamix)
  • 4 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, ground

Step one (pictured below): chop the onion (safety gear optional).

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Note: you do not have to pre-cook the noodles…. See below to save an extra step!

Heat a small about of olive oil in a nonstick pan or wok.

Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Try to reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan (most of the time I can’t figure out how to do that… but if you can then YOU are the chef of the day!!!).

Next, sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.

Drain the tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.

To assemble the vegetable lasagna :
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-9-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 12 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 5-7 servings of sweet potato lasagna. This recipe is based on the recipe from “The Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn.


Please don’t be overwhelmed.

This is not hard, just takes a bit of time to prepare, with all of the chopping and sauteing, but your loved ones will really enjoy it. It is a true labor of love, but spending the time and energy to make a healthy meal is really worth it.

Let me know if you make it and how it goes!

Thank you for visting.




Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my page.

I am so excited to share this stage of my life with whoever wants to read about it. I follow Jesus, I am a newlywed wife, and I am learning how to cook within a plant-based diet (a.k.a. vegan). [update: we tried the vegan lifestyle for a month and decided it was not for us, now we eat mean and dairy within moderation: end update] I married the most amazing man 5 months ago today (june 2012). He is supportive, loving and always volunteers to be my taste tester. He is not the best taste tester though, because unless I really pry it out of him, he will tell me it tastes good no matter what, just to be sweet.

I am pretty sure the only people who will view this blog will be my mom, my mother-in-law, and my beautiful friend Kristi, but I thought it would be fun anyways.

Have a great day.


Thank you for visiting.