recipe: cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole.

another family favorite; my oldest begs me to make it for her quite often.

it’s a one dish recipe; you literally throw everything in one bowl, mix, and then bake. easy and so filling!

wanna try it? i’ll share the recipe down below and be sure to let me know what you think if you give it a try.


  • 4 cups instant white rice, cooked
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained and shredded
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 8 ounce jar cheez whiz
  • 1 cup french’s fried onions


  1. partially thaw the frozen broccoli florets. preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. coat a 19×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. combine and mix rice, shredded chicken, cream of mushroom soup, milk, salt, cheez whiz, and broccoli florets in baking dish.
  4. generously top mixture with shredded cheese and fried onions.
  5. bake for 30-35 minutes.

super simple, but sooo tasty! hope you try it out and enjoy this delicious recipe.

just a little january.

this month has been a little quiet here on the blog, so i’m breaking up that silence a bit.

how are you all feeling about this month? i’ve been feeling really GOOD about 2020 – a fresh month, a fresh year, a fresh decade.

take a look at what we’ve been up to…

we rang in the new year at home, surrounded with family and friends, some new and some old. good food, drinks, music, and watching the ball drop…no better way to celebrate starting a new decade.

a new year, and i’m still using ways to document our months. groovebook is still my go to. so simple – just an app that lets you put all your photos in a monthly book for $3.99 a month with free shipping. want to try it? use my code: GOODWIN5000 for a free book!

i’ve been adding books to my list that i’d like to read in 2020, and a friend recommended the website thriftbooks. used books for a great bargain with fast shipping…i’d check it out if you also enjoy reading. what is on your reading list for 2020?

we’ve made time at least once a month to just get out of the house and enjoy a fun date night. we’ve been enjoying being able to spend some alone time together. got any ideas for fun date nights? we’d love to add some to our date-night bucket list.

i’ve really been enjoying cooking lately; i like trying and making new recipes for the family. what are some of your favorite recipes that your family enjoys? i recently shared my chicken parmesan recipe here. if you try it, let me know what you think!

last week, our little one came down with the flu and strep. poor thing had to miss school for almost a full week. and as much as i enjoyed the extra snuggles with her , it’s awful seeing your child sick and feeling helpless. luckily she’s on the mend after lots of bubble baths, naps, and medicine.

my favorite part about this month is all the time we’ve been able to spend with family. we celebrated my mom’s birthday and met up for lunch, and then our usual football hangouts. i’ll never take this time we get together for granted.

how’s your january been? hope you’re avoiding the cold and making the best out of your new year.

till next time!

recipe: chicken parmesan.

this is easily one of my favorite recipes, and quite simple to make!

it’s a meal that looks like you probably spent quite some time on making, but all the ingredients come together nicely, and majority of them you probably already have in your pantry.

it’s very versatile and can be served as a side to mostly anything, but our favorite is to have it with spaghetti.

wanna try it? i’ll share the recipe down below and be sure to let me know what you think if you give it a try.


  • (4) chicken breast, halves or tenders
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 24 oz jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 cup  shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of basil
  • spaghetti noodles, if desired


  1. prepare the breading station with three bowls: fill one with flour, one with the beaten eggs, and the third with a mixture of the panko, parmesan, garlic and basil.
  2. next, coat each piece of chicken in flour and shake off excess. dip the chicken into egg, and then into the bread crumb mixture.
  3. in a medium skillet put in oil, and place on medium heat. once the pan is hot enough, add the chicken.
  4. cook chicken until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. cook until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  5. place chicken on paper-towel lined plate to rid of all excess oil once fully cooked.
  6. garnish chicken with mozzarella cheese and a tablespoon of pasta sauce.
  7. serve as a side, or as we like to enjoy it, over a bed of spaghetti.

hope you try it out and enjoy this delicious recipe.

a recap of our year – 2019.

2019 started off challenging, but has ended being one of the very best years. i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me.

and in 2020, i’m ready for more, more of this happy life.

i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorite moments with you.

little miss mahkena turned 7; it’s so hard to believe she’s already that old. we celebrated with a disneyland-themed birthday with some of our friends and family, and that girl sure got spoiled.

the girls and i moved into our own little place in town. we knew it was only temporary so we weren’t too picky when looking for a place to rent, but it sure turned into quite the perfect little home for us three, and mazi girl.

i had a work conference in austin, texas that i had the opportunity to attend. john was able to join; we went down a few days early and made a vacation out of it. it was so nice to get away together and enjoy some texas sunshine.

welp, it was inevitable. this was the year i turned 30. and as much as i dreaded it, it turned out to be the best birthday ever. we spent it in chicago and attended a cubbies game.

every five years, my family has our family reunion and this june it was held near st. louis. we drove up the wednesday before to spend a bit more time with family. we rented this little cabin and spent our days swimming, at the zoo, and just catching up with everyone. we’re already looking forward to the next one.

and just like that kaylei turned 11. before we know it we’re going to have a teenager and i’m so not ready! we rented the community room in town and had an art-themed birthday party. i loved that some of her friends from school were able to join us.

the girls and i moved up to roscoe, in with john and the kids. we were super exited about the move and as a little nervous as they were, i think the girls were excited to start new schools.

i got to attend my first nfl game, and even though it wasn’t the chicago bears, i thorougly enjoyed watching the vikings play. i’m already looking forward to going to another one, and hopefully soon!

we were excited about trick-or-treating this year. with 6 of us and everyone being a good sport about the entire family dressing up, we had some fun. we went as minions for trick-or-treating at the campground and went with grinch, dr. suess, and winnie the pooh characters for the night of halloween.

with the holidays coming up and needing photos for our christmas card and wanting new canvases to hang up within our home, we had leigh photography take our family photos this fall. she did such an amazing job at capturing us all.

we spent thanksgiving together with our families and made sure to continue with our tradition of shopping with all the crazies on black friday. needing anything or not, i love that we still continue to go every year and enjoy all the people watching.

we ended the year with lots of family time for christmas. we made sure to take part of all the holiday festivities from cookie-baking to wearing matching pajamas. there is nothing better as a parent than watching the joy on your kids faces on christmas morning. having us all together is my favorite.

2020, this is our year.