Taco Soup

taco soup recipe


1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
15 oz can black beans, drained 
15 oz can pinto beans, drained
15 oz can corn, drained 
28 oz can tomatoes-diced with juices (do not drain)
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
32 oz tomato juice
1 pkg dry ranch mix
1 pkg taco seasoning


  1. Brown the ground turkey and the chopped onion.
  2. Drain off any excess fat and add in both the ranch mix and the taco seasoning mix. 
  3. Transfer the meat to a large pot or crock-pot.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients.
  5. If you are cooking on the stove, bring the soup to a simmer for about 15 minutes. If you are cooking in a crock-pot, cook on high for a few hours. 
  6. Top with cheese and sour cream.

W.O.W. Group-Session 8

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1Session 2Session 3Session 4,  Session 5, Session 6, Session 7

Session 8 is the last session of W.O.W. so I like to end it on a really good note. Session 8 focuses on giving and receiving compliments. We watch a short video talking about compliments and then the girls get to try it out themselves. They all give and receive about 5 compliments. It's a great little self-esteem boost for them!

W.O.W. Group-Session 7

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1Session 2Session 3,Session 4,  Session 5,  Session 6.

14 Souvenirs That Don't Suck

How would you define "souvenir"?? Well I would define a souvenir as anything that reminds you of your travels. It really doesn't have to be anything expensive or fancy...just something that reminds you of a happy time and puts a smile on your face.

 My mom bought a pair of socks on one of her trips to Chicago because the socks she had on kept falling down inside of her shoe....super annoying when you're trying to walk around town. So she stopped at a store and bought herself a pair of $30 socks....hahaha...the most expensive pair of socks she's ever owned. She didn't buy them as a souvenir, she bought them so she could enjoy the rest of her day...but now every time she wears them she says "Oh my Chicago socks."  Would I call my mom's socks a souvenir?? Yep!! haha...I wouldn't call it a great souvenir...but it does bring back a happy memory for her.  

Below are a list of 14 souvenirs that don't completely suck...I mean they're better than collecting thimbles at least.

WOW Group-Session 6

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1Session 2Session 3,Session 4,  Session 5

WOW Group-Session 5

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1Session 2Session 3, Session 4. 

WOW Group-Session 4

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1Session 2, Session 3.

My Mom's Chili with a Little Upgrade

instant pot chili recipe

Did you know that if you google "chili recipe" you'll find 196 million results?!?! Yes....196 million!!  Over the past few months, I've tried a few different recipes....but at the end of the day I really just wanted my mom's chili. It's such a staple of my childhood...it's kind of like a comfort food. So like any other full grown adult...I called my mom for the recipe...hahaha. I added a few things and took a few ingredients out and I'm pretty happy with the result.

WOW Group - Session 3

W.O.W. (Women of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! The group focuses on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. If you haven't already read the previous W.O.W. Sessions click on the following links: Session 1, Session 2.

The third session is probably the most educational lesson throughout the entire group. We discuss Photoshop, models, unhealthy eating patterns, and the media's effect on body image. The girls really enjoy watching the Photoshop examples and looking through all of the things Photoshop can do. 

Links to the other WOW Group Lessons: Session 1Session 2Session 3, Session 4, Session 5, Session 6, Session 7, Session 8

3 Days in Engelberg-Switzerland

The last stop on our amazing honeymoon adventure...Engelberg, Switzerland!!

What to do in Engelberg??
We spent our first day in Engelberg just walking around town and looking at all of the cute shops. We ate a late lunch downtown...raclette is a must have when you're in Switzerland...it's so yummy!! After our late lunch, we toured the abbey. The abbey was gorgeous!! It was built in 1120....and it's still a functioning abbey!!

WOW Group-Session 2

W.O.W. (Women Of Worth) is one of my favorite groups!! It focuses on self esteem for our beautiful young ladies!! 

Session 2 is a lot of fun!! It focuses on teamwork and helps the girls get to know each other. I always like to start a group with these types of fun activities because it sets the tone for the other sessions. It also sets a good "first impression" with the girls...gives them the idea that group is fun!!

3 Nights in Santorini

The honeymoon adventure continues in Santorini, Greece!!  Ahhh...Santorini!! Santorini is just one of those places that says "honeymoon"!!

What to do in Santorini??
We arrived in Santorini about two hours before sunset...perfect timing!! We took the transfer to our hotel from the airport (arranged in advance with our hotel) and then enjoyed the sunset from our private patio. Our hotel offered us a complimentary glass of wine when we arrived so we ended up sipping wine and watching the famous Santorini sunset on our first evening.

4 Days in Dubrovnik


The longest stop on our honeymoon adventure...Dubrovnik, Croatia!! Most people haven't heard of Dubrovnik...but if you've watched The Game of Thrones series then you've actually seen lots of Old Town Dubrovnik!! Dubrovnik feels like a different era...the city walls and buildings have really stood the test of time...just gorgeous!!

DIY Weighted Sensory Pillow

Weighted Sensory Pillow

I know you're probably wondering what a weighted sensory pillow is and why I'd want to sleep on it??  But it's actually not used for sleeping and it's not something I'd place on the couch in our living room. It's a counseling tool...yes that's right a pillow is a counseling tool used to help students calm down.

W.O.W. Group-Session 1

I started the W.O.W. Group my first year as a school counselor and it's something I look forward to every year!! W.O.W stands for Women Of Worth and it's a group focusing on self-esteem, body image, self worth, etc. I try to make it as fun as possible but still cover several important topics. Over the years I've added some new lessons and I've taken away some of the older lessons...I'm just always looking for new things to do!! Trying new lessons makes it fun for me too...keeps me on my toes!!

48 Hours in Korcula

48 Hours in Korcula

The honeymoon adventure continues in Korcula, Croatia!! We LOVED Korcula!! When we left Korcula we both agreed that we could've stayed here for like a week!! It was our favorite stop on our honeymoon adventure!!

48 Hours in Split, Croatia


Neil and I spent months planning our honeymoon trip!! It was absolutely amazing!! We started our journey in Split, Croatia. Yes...Croatia!! When I first starting telling everyone about our honeymoon...they thought we were crazy!! They were like...wasn't there a war there recently?? Well yes...but it's perfectly safe now and its absolutely gorgeous!!

Travel Accessories

Are you heading on a big trip and trying to decide what cool little gadgets to purchase?? I spent several hours reading travel blogs, travel magazines, and Amazon reviews trying to decide what to get for our big honeymoon trip. Our honeymoon was about 17 days!! We traveled to Croatia, Greece, and Switzerland...such an amazing trip!! Below I've included all of the items we decided to purchase for our trip...honestly I'd recommend all of them!! 

Foldable Backpack (link here)
This little backpack was AWESOME!! I didn't want to use a backpack every day on our trip but I did want it on certain days (especially hiking in Switzerland). I packed this in our luggage and then I'd pull it out on days when I needed a backpack. 

Corn Hole-Wedding Guest Book

There are so many guest book ideas on Pinterest/Etsy...it can be hard to pick something for your wedding.  I don't even remember where Neil and I came up with a corn hole set as a guest book...probably found it online somewhere. I just remember we felt like it was perfect!! Unique, fun, and something we would actually use!!

DIY Wedding Signs

Are you trying to figure out how to decorate your wedding?? Not sure what needs to be decorated or even where to start?? I remember scanning Pinterest and Etsy trying to find decoration ideas...it can be overwhelming!!  Luckily we decided we didn't need that many decorations....we felt like our venue was pretty so we kept the decorations to a minimum. We did, however, have a ton of wedding signs!! I didn't even realize we had that many signs until we were setting it all up. So here's a list of all of the signs we used at our wedding and how we made/bought them:

DIY Wooden Signs

We made these wooden signs ourselves....marriage is all about teamwork after-all!!!

DIY Wine Tasting

Wedding planning has been a little stressful at times but it's also been a lot fun!! I think one of the funnest things we've done so far was a Wine Tasting Night!!

The Power of Reflection and Silence

As we begin to talk about grief I want to emphasize one thing...never underestimate the power of reflection and the power of silence. As counselors we're taught a hundred different techniques...we're trained in special theories and we feel like to be the best counselor we have to use these higher level techniques.

Grief...is very different though. Whenever people talk about death/grief you frequently hear people say "well I don't know what to say to them??"  The reality is nothing you say is going to make it better...there is no magical statement. Stop looking for one...it doesn't exist!!  So what do you do?? How do you comfort a friend struggling with the loss of a child?? How do you comfort your spouse dealing with the loss of a parent?? How do you counsel clients who are grieving the loss of a loved one??

The answer...you listen, you reflect, and you remain silent.

Starting a Grief Group

How to start a grief group in 7 steps

Grief...one word, five letters, and a hundred different emotions. When I first became a counselor there were certain topics that intimidated me...grief was definitely one of them.

Grief is so complex....how do we help someone see the light when they feel surrounded by darkness?? How do we help individuals struggling with survivals guilt??  How do we help individuals who have lost their support system??

Graduation is Coming Up

College graduation season is just around the corner...which means it's time for college grads to start "adulting"!! Yes that's right...they'll officially enter the real world and become an adult. 

So...what should you do with these last few weeks of freedom??

Will You Be My Groomsmen?

Neil and I picked out our wedding party pretty quickly...but 6 months later Neil still hadn't mentioned anything to his groomsmen....hahaha.  At first Neil wasn't interested in my "crafty" ideas...but then when I showed him my ideas he was like...hm...those are actually pretty cool!! So we spent an evening looking at funny cards and picking out the little bottle opener. 

Bridesmaid Box

Should you do a "Will You Be My Bridesmaid" box OR is it a waste of money??

Well if I'm being honest it's probably a waste of money....but it's fun putting it together!! And it's the thought that counts right??

I absolutely LOVED putting my "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" boxes together!!! I started with pinterest (of course) and listed all of the items I liked on my phone. Then whenever I was out running errands if I saw a good deal on one of the items I'd grab it. 

Here's what I ended up putting together:

My boxes included:

Will You Be My Flower Girl?

Will you be my Flower Girl?!?!?! 

Will You Be My Ring Bearer?

Will you be our ring bearer?? There are so many cute ideas on pinterest, google, etsy, and instagram. Yes I search for ideas everywhere I can think of!! haha...but the trick is to make these cute little ideas for a reasonable price...

Wedding Planning

It's a snow day here in Austin so that means I'm working on some wedding planning!! I feel like wedding planning has become my second job...I'm working on it all the time!! And no that's not a complaint just a fact...wedding planning keeps me pretty busy!!

DIY Boxwood Wreath

I LOVE Boxwood Wreaths!! But like most of the things I like/want...they're expensive!! I was at hobby lobby one day and I found this boxwood wreath for $50!! I don't want to spend $50 on a piece of decor (at least not something so small). 

So instead of spending $50 on the wreath, I spent about $14

Blogger Recognition Award

Guess what?!?!?!? I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!! The Blogger Recognition Award is when bloggers recognize a new blogger for their work and then that blogger recognizes a new blogger and so on. It's a great way to encourage new bloggers, make new connections, and build a blogging community.