The Merging of Two Books Into One

Over the holidays I spent a lot of time in my car driving to and from tailgates. I don’t know if you remember back to New Year’s, but the Falcons were hot, Atlanta was hosting the Peach Bowl and I was…busy. My New Year’s weekend was spent driving back and forth from Atlanta to my in-laws up in the Georgia mountains. It was a loooong weekend (a fun one too!) and since I was spending so much time in the car, I opted to listen to an audio book…then when I’d get some time to relax – I picked up another book…and slowly the books merged into one story…

The first book I grabbed was The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. It’s a fictional story about architect Lucien Bernard set in Paris during World War II. He is somewhat conned into creating “hiding spaces” for Jews and others who were being hunted by the Nazis. Bernard has no feelings – good or bad – for the Jewish people and he didn’t particularly like the Nazis, but he really didn’t want to get involved in anything that could put his family at risk. In the end, his greediness wins out and the story follows him as he saves various people and the inner conflict saving them creates within his heart. It’s fascinating to see the way he rationalizes behaviors as well as the surprising twists that ensue as he tries to set boundaries and continues to be pulled outside of them over and over again.

The second book I opted for was an audio book, recorded on CD, but available via my Overlook app. This true story entitled The Hiding Place is written by Corrie Ten Boom and Elizabeth and John SherrillTen Boom’s family owned a watch shop in the Netherlands The Christian family was strong in faith and were well thought of within their community. The story follows their tale of outwitting the Nazi party when they eventually invade their country and what happens when their eventually found out.

The book is told through the eyes of Corrie Ten Boom and she is not shy of sharing her own thought wrenching questions. Is it okay to tell lies when you know they will save lives? How do you go from witnessing the atrocities of concentration camps first hand and then back to “normal” life. And in the aftermath – how do you go on after experiencing such atrocities especially when they have taken everything you hold precious?  And how in the world do you continue to trust God?

The interesting thing about reading both of these books at the same time is the way they melded together. In The Hiding Place Ten Boom tells of an architect visiting their home to install a better hiding place…one that blends into the surroundings and is undetectable. In The Paris Architect our main character was just such a man. I began to interweave their stories together even though the only thing that tied them together was the setting of World War II and the theme of hiding places. The merging added layers to the words I read continued to come to life. Most fictional stories are based on shreds of truth that are then woven into a story… Reading these together allowed for more depth in envisioning what spurred Belfoure to write the book…was it a story like Ten Boom’s? Now I’ll have to go do some research because, no, I didn’t look it up after finishing the book;)

I was fascinated by World War II as a child. I read a million books on the subject, wrote papers on it and visited museums. These books reminded me why I was so fascinated…the idea that so many people could be swayed to do something so atrocious…the boldness of those unwilling to follow suit…the strength of those who had to endure the atrocity without any choice. I pray to God we never see another day like it, but if for some reason we have to, I pray that God will provide me the same faith, strength and boldness that Corrie Ten Boom had…and I pray I instill that same boldness in my children.

theparisarchitect                 082016-1


Great Read: The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan written by: Jenny Nordberg

I’ve been reading a variety of books lately both fiction and non-fiction. I picked The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg because I’ve been wanting to learn more about cultures in the middle east as well as issues they may be facing. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this book, in fact, I think I was thinking it was going to be similar to Reading Lolita in Tehran – women helping other women in an underground type movement, but it was nothing like I expected.
It was incredible to see the lengths families would go to protect their reputation, and within that, how culture and society roll with the choices that are made, just acknowledging that these decisions have to be made for the sake of the family, whatever may happen.

There was a lot of discussion last year on what defines gender. Is it parts you are born with or how society defines boy vs. girl? I found it comical as my son was in his toddler/early elementary years because he was drawn to the most random things – favorite color? Pink for a good while. Favorite toys? We had a My Little Pony phase. I’d raise my eyebrows, but roll with it. We saw McD’s one too many times to get those My Little Ponies…and who can blame him, really? I LOVED them as a kid…It even gave me a chance to pull some of MY old toys out of the attic. Everything was a phase. I’ve always felt that if my kid was concerned about his sexuality in elementary school, then I had a problem. Kids are kids…or they should be to me.

But then I read this book…It didn’t change my feelings on how I’ve been handling favorite colors, tv shows, toys, etc. but it did make me wonder how gender as a whole works. I do believe that we are made with certain qualities that tend to “group” us into one category or another – women may be more nurturing…boys more destructible. (That being said, please note that I am fully aware that there are lots of destructible girls and nurturing boys)…but I’ve had my fill of stitches and broken bones that my friends with girls just have not had to deal with! I believe that God intended men to be one way and women to be another so that we could support and care for each other perfectly…and then there was sin which totally jacked up that situation.
In The Underground Girls of Kabul parents in some cases choose their children’s gender based on societal pressure. To have not had a boy by the third or fourth child, a family could be pitied or cursed. It tarnishes reputations, in some cases, leading to job loss.

So, they make their girl a boy.

Let that sink in.

At birth a female child will be born and the parents will say “It’s a boy!” Doctors will nod and go with it. Or at five, the parents will see that issues are piling up as they have not had a girl yet (or perhaps can’t get pregnant again)…so they will call in their daughter, and discuss transitioning them into a boy.
Then wrestle with the fact that one day the girl, who has been made into a boy by cutting their hair short, allowing them to wear pants and run around with other boys, will one day have to turn back into a girl (around puberty) so they can resume another societal norm.

This is an amazing read. Regardless of where you fall on ideas around gender, this book will definitely enlighten on multiple levels and reveal layers of questions with which to wrestle. What would I choose? What if I was the girl having to be a boy? So many questions, but not many answers…amazing that today these are issues that families have to deal with in Afghanistan. Granted it may not be everywhere or commonplace, but I would be intrigued to see the actual numbers if families could admit it without retribution.
If you choose to read this, let me know your thoughts – what did you wrestle with (or did you)? I’m appreciative of Jenny Nordberg for boldly asking questions that are difficult to answer – and seeking the stories from those willing to share them with us.

Facing the F Word…

face-your-fearsHa…you thought it was THAT F word didn’t you? Okay, I’m kidding. I actually kind-of hate it when people do that…but yet, here we are…and I went there…

I didn’t actually mean THAT F word…Nope, I meant the word FEAR.


I have a lot of fear in my life. I think it’s due to the anxiety…regardless I have realized that the way I handle it transfers to my kids so I have to get it under control.

I am AMAZING in bizarre medical situations…the times I have had to cart the kids to the doc because of broken bones and stitches is ridiculous, but I have boys that are BOYS so we’ve had our share. That time Tim got shot? I thought it was a joke…until the paramedics got on the phone to give me the 411. Oops…okay, what hospital, where do I go?

Multiple people have told me that they are impressed with how calm I am…

What they don’t see are the nights before giant events where I have my freak-out moments on the phone with friends or at the house with Tim. They also don’t see me analyzing the CRUD out of comments I’ve made or situations that have occurred…and during National Disasters – yup, I’m the one glued to the news channels – doesn’t matter the channel – I’ve surfed it.

Being an overly analytical person can definitely cause me to fear some things. I have a MASSIVE fear of being fired. Not sure why, but I do…for the longest time ANY time  a superior would ask me to come into their office I would immediately go to the worst case scenario.

Today, I headed out for my sister’s bachelorette weekend. I was up crazy early (see my Facebook feed to find out why…it involves pumpkins and Louis Sacher) and of course my sweet 6 year old woke up wanting to watch his Kindle (we’ve instituted a No-Kindle During the Week Rule). I got him back in bed (but in OUR bed) and was saying good-bye when he started to cry.

He didn’t want MY PLANE TO CRASH.

Um…there have not been any recent plane crashes. I have NO CLUE where it came from, but there we were watching our youngest share his fear with us.

When I’m scared I talk to myself:

You CAN do this.

You ARE NOT WRONG in your thinking.

Your ARE capable!

The WORST is NOT going to happen.

We’ve been noticing that this same sweet boy is starting to utilize major negative phrasing…not about others, but about HIMSELF!

It breaks my heart EVERY time. I have to immediately stop what I’m doing and address it. I was at Walmart the last time it happened. We are in the store and I’m encouraging my child to yell out “I AM Smart!!!” “I AM Strong!!!”

I’m sure people thought I was CRAZY – but I didn’t care. I WILL NOT LET MY KIDS FALL VICTIM TO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS!

I have a CRAZY overconfident-borderline arrogant because he is SO confident in himself- child and I have another…wanting desperately to be like his older brother, but being a completely different child with totally different desires and talents.

Fear is the same as negative thoughts – they are ways to pull you away from how God wants us to feel about ourselves…

We stopped this morning and prayed with him together…and today when I was debating trying something new, I sucked it up and DID IT…because fear of the unknown is NOT going to control me…

Don’t let it control you. Pray through it and think about all the times that you wanted to let fear win, but didn’t – how did that feel? Keep looking to those moments and how the worst did not happen and let it guide your future experiences…you won’t regret it!

Lessons Learned from a Soccer Ball to the Face

a-little-progress-each-day-adds-up-to-big-resultsBelow is what I shared with my fitness/accountability group this morning…this seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life…but I’m noticing it pops up more when I have not been on point with my healthy eating. It completely messes with my system – and now that I’m laser focused on my health and fitness I can easily see the difference it makes (positive when I do what I should and negative when I don’t).

But…the key is to not let it derail me when I’m off…just like when my son got nailed in the face with a soccer ball at practice the other day (he was fine – stunned and a few tears, but no blood)…

He DID NOT want to go back into the game. I gave him some water, let him catch his breath and then encouraged him to go back in…and he did. He was nervous, but he DID IT!

At the end of practice there were no signs that he’d ever been hit in the face. I know that if I’d let him stop (like he wanted) then it would’ve been that much hard for him to go back to soccer because the hit to the face would be the only thing he remembered. Now he remembers the fun parts of soccer and the feeling of conquering that fear.

It’s the same with your health and fitness…if you slide one day and let that control you, it will be THAT much harder the next day and the next…but if you recognize the issues you can take back control and jump right back on track.

DAY 18 • Today at 4:33 AM ET

Can I be honest? I REALLY wanted to be PERFECT this week! Sounds so easy, right? Workout and shake everyday in the morning – that’s it and you guys are killing it!

But yesterday and the day before were ROUGH…I got workouts in, but the shakes lost out to sleep (not lying – I literally laid down thinking I’d get back up again and BAM I was out like a light)…

It’s 4:30am and I woke in a funk. I think it was due in part that I had some weird conversations with people yesterday regarding one of my kids and it just left me feeling off – like I did something wrong…which of course catapults me even farther into the funk b/c I’m not feeling like I’m on my A-game. The other part was my lack of shake and actual lunch (I’m being honest, remember?)…plus a drive-thru meal which was less than healthy…

It’s REALLY easy to let ourselves fall victim to the pile-on mentality…which is a term I just made up right now on the spot. Pile-On Mentality: When one thing goes wrong, it’s all going wrong, so we should just fold. Right now. Fold. We are going down with the ship.

I hate that feeling. I hate failure AND I’m a people pleaser, so I feel like I do the failure thing twice…once for me and then replaying it over and over again because obviously everyone else is thinking – “That GIRL – can’t she GET IT TOGETHER?”


So I’m here to tell you – Yet Again – take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. It’s about the LONG Term NOT the SHORT Term. We are in it for the long haul – bumps, bruises and ALL.

I hope this encourages you today – that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be honest with yourself. And then shake it off – like good ‘ole Tay-Tay sings 🙂

Yesterday was not my best day – but today is a NEW day. And I’m in it to win it:) Who’s with me?


psalm305I remember turning on the TV while Tim and I were preparing for our day.

I remember hurrying into the bedroom to get him when I realized what was happening.

I remember wondering why the news helicopter or plane was flying so close to the second tower…and then watching it hit the tower.

I remember going into my first class and my professor saying that we needed to focus on classwork…that while what was going on was terrible, everything would be fine.

I remember the next day when that same professor cried and apologized for not taking it more seriously.

I remember staring up at the sky and thinking it was bizarre with no planes in the sky and being grateful that my uncle, who flew for American was safe and my step-dad and uncle who are also pilots were safe – stranded in other states, but safe.

I remember reaching out to friends that I hadn’t talked to in years, to make sure that they were okay – and that there friends and families were as well.

I remember the discussions Tim and I had about bringing kids into the world under these circumstances.

I remember staring at a gas station sign in Tulsa, OK while at a stop light as it hit me that there are people in the world who might not have the comfort of Jesus during that time and wondering how they were processing everything going on.

I remember praying that I would never be in that place – with no hope, no comfort.

I remember the country drawing together. I remember friends and strangers comforting each other.

I remember…



RumHavenI’m not a huge cocktail maker. I always have great intentions of muddling and shaking, but by the time I get home I pull out the wine and pour myself a gl

ass! (A little like going to the grocery store and then getting home and ordering pizza, right?)

Earlier this year we launched a new brand called RumHaven and when I say I LOVE it, I MEAN it!

So much so that I tell EVERYONE about it. ‘Cause I’m crazy like that:)

So what is this RumHaven?

It’s a Coconut Rum made with real Coconut Water – and it’s amazing!

My favorite cocktail is called the Splash:

The Splash

The Splash


  • 2.5 oz RumHaven
  • 2 oz Soda Water
  • Splash of lime juice (0.5 oz)

Garnish with lime wedge. Build all ingredients into a tall glass, stir, add ice

Snow Cones and Tardies.

9.2.16Snow Cones-1

Today was rough…it ended on a super high note, but the beginning was tough. If you want a clue as to how rough – I’ve had a glass of wine and am now consuming coffee (not that coffee! I am staying true to my word…but oh was it HARD today!)

I should probably start with yesterday…because that set the tone for today. Friday’s prior to holidays are usually busy for my department. Typically, we are gathering food together (aka shopping our local mega club store) for a company cookout. The day of the cookout is spent organizing and then playing food runner (from grill to meeting room) for several hours. Yesterday, half our department (all of 1) was dealing with product for our upcoming trade show and the other half (me) was dealing with setting up for today’s giant indoor picnic. It would’ve been easy…had I not forgotten that this was also the same day that I was supposed to have snack for my 6 year old’s soccer team.

So I picked up snacks and had the goal of setting up for our night crew’s dinner and then jetting up to the soccer match for the last 5 minutes of the game. I kind-of imagined swooping in at the last minute and all the kids surrounding me cheering…

There would be no cheering…because there was no snack…because I was still on the interstate when my husband called to see how close I was to the field…and I was still a good 20 minutes away.

Cue this morning…I fell asleep last night prior to working out…prior to making sure all the dishes were in the dishwasher. Fabulous. So I got up and then hustled the boys out of bed. They ate, I dressed and then fussed at them to get dressed…and in the car…and my lovely 6 year old, who is very rules focused, was quite content to have a long running argument with his older brother…which caused us to be slightly late. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal…


I was so tired of being late I opted to try an alternate route to the school.

And missed the turn.

Causing us to be 5 minutes later.

And then there were the snow cones…

Why do we do snow cones in elementary school – I mean it’s sugar and ice…sugar and FOOD COLORING and ice…Red Dye 40 anyone??

I digress.

So we pull up late to the school and the kids are like, “Mom, don’t forget about the snow cones.” Mind you they’ve been talking about them the ENTIRE ride to school…missed turns and all…I have cash so I’m like, “Fear not kids, I have the money – I’m just going to pay the school and you’ll be”

So I get the kids checked in – tardy slips in had they head off to class.

The school administrator is looking at me because she’s about to leave and so I say, “I’ll wait, I just have to pay for snow cones.”

And she says, “We aren’t taking money at the front office for snow cones. We sent home a note. The kids had to bring it with them.”

Longer story slightly shorter…there was no way to break the $20 and I felt like a jerk. Not only did I send my kids to their classrooms thinking they were going to be getting the snow cones, I also had the joy of knowing they’d be told by administrators that they weren’t getting snow cones because mom didn’t have exact change. And I was late to school that day.

I’m not going to lie. I totally called my husband and cried. Over snow cones and tardiness.


My husband offered to go up to the school and make demands on my behalf…which I totally appreciated, but also knew would do no good. I’m not mad at the school. I remember reading the sheet about not sending up $$ for snow cones during the school day…but apparently I didn’t read it clearly…or I forgot what I read. I’m okay with rules. They are there for a reason and I imagine last year they spent a good amount of time running $ to kids who’d forgotten their snow cone money…and I’m sure one of those times it was my husband doing it on my behalf.

I truly cried out of frustration at myself for not being good enough. Not being responsible enough to be organized and together enough to be the mom that can pull everything off.

I’m a working mom and should be able to get it together. It’s not like I didn’t know about the snow cones the night before…Lincoln TOOK NOTES on the types of snow cones he could buy at school.

My kids survived…obviously. This is a first world problem if I ever heard one…and I survived. My day picked up and ended on a high note from a conversation with a person I highly respect.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 10.24.57 PMAnd then my library emailed me and told me the audio book I requested titled “For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker had been released to me…and I smiled. God was smiling. The full title of the book is: “For the Love, Fight for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards”.

See, I’m going to fail. I’m going to disappoint others and most of all, I’m going to disappoint myself.

I hate the feeling that comes with it, but I also know that it’s a temporary feeling. My kids will get over it and I will too. I will do my best to have exact change next time…

But I will also give myself grace. I am not perfect. I never will be. It’s not the first time I have disappointed my kids and it won’t be the last. I’m not really sure why this is the time I was reduced to tears, but I imagine it won’t be the last time either.

My friends reminded me that while it was frustrating, I thumb_IMG_1296_1024wasn’t a bad mom. There were a dozen things I COULD have done that would put me in that category, but truthfully, forgetting snow cone $ was not one of them. And another person reminded me that my kids are not going to remember this – probably ever. It’s not a scarring event. It’s a one-off. They are going to instead remember me playing with them, helping them, and encouraging them.

So for all the moms out there thinking that they are terrible moms because of the things they have done or forgotten to do – know that I’m right there with you…but even more than that know your kids love you. Give yourself the grace you deserve…and if that isn’t working, give me a call. I have a friend who’s husband is a police officer and he will gladly tell you of moms who have done much much worse…and while it’s not pretty…it will make you realize that you are a good mom…even if you don’t feel like it at the moment:)

Crock Pot Goodness

IMG_3033I LOVE recipes. I am not a chef that can just toss things together. I like knowing that if I follow steps, the dinner will taste good (well – most of the time!).

I put this together this week because I had some chicken breast in the fridge and wanted to use them before they went bad. I bought some pesto and had a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry – super easy, pretty quick and my kids LOVED it!

4 chicken breasts


4 tbsp of pesto (This just needs to cover each chicken breast so you can use a little more or a little less pending the size of the chicken breast)

1 can of diced tomatoes (28oz is what I had on hand)

Place the chicken in the crock pot and put 1 tbsp of pesto on each chicken breast, then cover with the can of diced tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Once you’ve cooked it – sprinkle a little bit of shredded mozzarella on top and then allow it to melt.

We shredded the chicken and served it with long grain, wild rice and green beans.

Update: We turned the above into tacos & then I made it for a second time. Instead of using the pesto I chose diced tomatoes with green chilies in them. Another quick and easy dinner! 


Time – The Most Valuable Commodity

2.pngI recently asked someone about joining one of my fitness accountability groups and mentioned that one of the requirements was to have a workout and drink a superfood shake called Shakeology.

The response I received was almost comical to me…

“No. And I wouldn’t pay for those things.”

It was a fair statement and a few years ago, I would have completely agreed.

I have belonged to a gym before – granted it was at our apartment complex BUT  I did go…when I could wake up with enough time to head out with Tim. Aside from that I always found time to fit in some kind of fitness. At my job I used to hike the warehouse quite often…especially during my busy seasons. Now? I hit the warehouse when absolutely necessary – otherwise I’m at my desk working – even during the busy season. I thought I could walk in my neighborhood – but who am I kidding? The most walking I did was when I was pregnant with the kiddos…since then it is go – go – go.

There was also that time I thought I could become a runner. I had lofty aspirations to do the WIPE OUT 5K. That lasted a few weeks I think …sometimes running back and forth between my mailbox and my neighbor’s mailbox looking a fool because it was too dark to make the circle in the neighborhood – we have no streetlamps and no sidewalks – but I digress.

All this to say that when I decided that health and fitness needed to become a priority I had to look at my options.

The gym was out. Even if I lived near one my hour + commute was going to limit me, especially when you factor in picking up kids from school and carting them to and from activities.

Walking/running was out. From the paragraph above you can guess that I am #notarunner. And by utilizing that hashtag you can also find some pretty comical pics of my “trying” to be a runner. Walking wasn’t necessarily out BUT Tim and I juggle late nights sometimes and excuses being what they are – it wasn’t going to happen.

Intro PIYO. My girlfriend was doing it and I thought – hey…I could use some Zen in my life! I gave it a go and even bought the superfood shake that came with it. I loved that the workouts were in my air conditioned home and could be done at anytime…even 11pm…which SHOCKER is when a lot of mine happen. The shake – well I started with Strawberry and it was not my favorite…I added some frozen fruit and it made it better. I drank it and did notice a change in how I was feeling.

I wasn’t perfect, but it was a start…and it gave me the feeling that I could actually fit some health and fitness into my life without adding one more thing to my day. Even the shake has its benefits…For one thing, my child that refuses to eat veggies without a massive resistance…will struggle some down knowing that he can have a shake for dessert – and I get the relief that he will be growing and gaining all the nutrients he needs – regardless of what he thinks. I know as he gets older his tastebuds will change and eating veggies will be less of a fight – but for now, while we struggle through it – I know I’m winning regardless;)

So back to time. We don’t get it back. Ever. Once that second hand moves it’s gone. I think about this a lot. My father died of cancer when I was 13. It’s a bit why I’m pretty intent on keeping my family healthy…and why when we started getting off-track I became laser focused on getting it back. My dad didn’t die of a heart attack – it was cancer, but I watched what it did to his body. I also know the impact it had on my life, my brother’s life and my mom’s…and even to a certain extent my blended family.

I can’t stomach the thought that my boys would grow up without myself or Tim by their sides (figuratively of course!) for as long as possible. I don’t want them to go through what I went through and SO MUCH OF IT IS PREVENTABLE!

So, yes, in the past I never would have spent money on at-home workouts or shakes…now I do because it’s the way I make it work. I’m guaranteed amazing workouts and a community of women (and men) that are able to lift me up and encourage me. I’m able to get amazing nutrients into my body without buying a bunch of ingredients, blending them together and then trying to stomach drinking it (I made a mango smoothy one time and it tasted like grass – for real…just cut grass – you can ask my friend Jen. I’m pretty sure I told her over the phone while I drank it!). For me this simplifies life…and that’s what I need right now in this season and why I share it with folks – because if it helps me, it might help someone else too.

Simplicity. Practically impossible to find…but when found – I embrace it with my full being.


Life Hack & the Herb Pesto Salmon

I was going through Publix and in the mood for Salmon. They had giant long fillets for sale as well as the usual individual portions. I inquired about ways to make salmon when it’s on a long fillet. The gentleman behind the counter went on and on about cedar planks and grilling. I did not have time to grill or feel the desire to find a cedar plank…it was Friday evening after all and I was ready to be home, with the kids, eating and drinking  a glass of wine!

Lucky for me, the conversation continued by leading me to a free booklet which held salmon recipes perfect for my oven!


I flipped through the pamphlet and while there were several that sounded delicious, the one that stood out was the Herb Pesto Salmon due to the fact that I had a bottle of pesto at home. The remaining ingredient list was quick (and would allow me to make it AGAIN withOUT purchasing anything) so I went with it!

Kellen, my 6 year old, LOVES food. And when I say LOVES I mean LOVES!!! He is continually asking us when the next meal is and by reminding us that there are more meals left to be had in the day. A perfect example is today – we had lunch at home (sandwiches); we then went to a shower where there was food. He ate a lot. Then we came home and he kindly reminded me that the food at the shower was a snack so we still needed to have dinner. As a toddler I would find boxes of (unopened) food and cans under his bed….

So Kellen opted in to helping mom cook! First I had him juice the lemon. I helped a little bit, but he did the bulk of the work. His little hands had trouble at first making the handles pull together, but with a little help from mom we did it!


Next I had him scoop out the Dijon Mustard and the Pesto together and mix it with the lemon juice. They we added a little salt and pepper.

He was pretty impressed with the size of the salmon and made me flip it over so he could see the scales. The recipe called for skin off, but the butcher told me he thought salmon with skin on was better (and I agree).

Now for the life hack!

I was out of baking sheets – which means the only one I have was dirty:) I scrounged around the kitchen to figure out what I could use. Normally, I would pull out my stone to cook on, but the salmon was too big (and I didn’t want to cut it!).

I looked under the counter and found a cookie cooling wrap…I then remembered that I had aluminum foil (which I was supposed to put on the baking sheet) and presto! I wrapped the aluminum foil around the cooling rack and the salmon fit perfectly!


So hack finished, I then let Kellen put the pesto mixture on the salmon and then I put it in the oven.

Literally 15 minutes later it was done! I added green beans and Long Grain Wild Rice to it and suddenly we had a meal!

A seriously long piece of salmon!

The kids and hubby gave it 2 thumbs up (and Tim might have dug a piece of salmon off the sheet before I had a chance to get a good pic:) and even better news – there was plenty for leftovers too!

Yet another reason I LOVE Publix!

Nonstick aluminum foil
1 lemon, for juice
3 tbps basil pesto sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 salmon fillets (about 1 1/2lbs)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375F, line baking sheet (or cookie sheet!) with foil.
Squeeze lemon for juice (1 tsp).
Check fish for bones (or have the butcher do that for you!).

1. Combine pesto, mustard, and lemon juice. Season fish with salt and pepper; place on baking sheet.

2. Top each fillet evenly with pesto mixture; bake 14-16 minutes or until 145F (or opaque and separates easily). Serve.


*This is not a promotional post – I did not get any type of monetary contribution for this – I just love Publix THAT much…and the meal was pretty awesome too:)