Creamy Tortellini Soup


INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground Italian sausage browned*
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth)
¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used dried not fresh; choose any flavor you like)
5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / litre slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream).

Add the tortellini and mix well.

Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.

Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid.

Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.

Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency .

Currently Reading: Uninvited 

Lysa writes like the girl next door who instantly becomes your best friend. She’s honest. She’s witty. She’s real. And she writes in a way  that makes you to address your own heart without preaching that you’re a sinful mess of a human being.

 Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth it’s about living loved & living in fullness.

I give it two very large thumbs up so far.

DIY: Crate Side Table

Jake and I were pondering what we were going to do about the in table situation in the living room. The space looks so bare now that we have taken down the Christmas tree that we needed something to fill that spot. After hunting on Pinterest I found a few ideas on making a table out of crates. I loved the idea of having wood crates painted white  to go with the space so I went on a search for some crates. I found the crates at Michaels for $22.99 each, not including the 40% off coupon! These crates were the perfect size and shape however looked way too new. Combining various techniques I found online, I gave the wood a worn white, reclaimed look. This was super easy to do with most of the supplies found in our home already.

A Year Before Buying a Home

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We are in the beginning process of buying our first home in April and boy am I glad we started thinking about this early on. There are so many decisions that go into this process that it can seem overwhelming at first! A real yard. A garage. A Basement. Making the switch from renting to owning is SO exciting, but it is also a huge decision with so many options. If you’re thinking about purchasing your first home I have compiled a list of things you will want to do 9-12 months out before buying your first home that will make the process much easier.

Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report, we use creditkarma.com because it is free and secure. Often times your credit will have errors that could lead to higher rates on loans. Avoid last-minute bombshells by checking your score long before you’re ready to make an offer this gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes in plenty of time.

Determine how much you can afford. Figure out How Much House Can You Afford?
Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows. Many articles that I have read state that The cost of your home — including taxes, maintenance and other costs — should not exceed 28% of your monthly income.

Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you can swing it, do it. A couple years back we set up a capitalone360 savings account and started a dedicated savings account for a down payments. Being able to put 20% down will make your loan cost be much less, and you’ll get a better interest rate.

Prioritize what you most want in your new home. Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? This has been the hardest part for us is location.

Start a home maintenance account. Speaking of saving, start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies.

Happy House Hunting! XOXO

More saving posts you may have missed:

| 2 incomes 1 salary | Live Simply | Newlywed Finances |

Get Organized: Planner

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Let’s talk about how to color code your planner! I love pretty colors and I love planners, so what could be better than a color coded planner? When it comes to color coding your planner, there’s definitely not a right or wrong way. As usual, it’s all about what works for you. I’m so excited about this new planner I picked up from Michael’s I can’t wait to get started decorating it!

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One of the most common ways to color code your planner is to use a different color ink for each category. For example, you can use one color for work, one for leisure, one for family, one for working out and so on. This will allow you to tell quickly at a glance what types of things you are filling your days with.

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This planner  is great for people who like to do lists! Spaces for to do lists are built in with plenty of room, but the weekly spread still allows you to schedule things hourly in a calendar. There are quotes like the one above all throughout the planner, I’m obsessed!

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Other organizational posts you may have missed:

| Making to do lists | Set Impossible Goals |

Roller Blading

We are in the midst of winter but Monday the temperature was nearly 50 degrees. My friend and I decided to get outside and enjoy this warm weather with a 7.22 mile roller blading workout. Here in Indy, we have to take advantage of every sun-filled day that we are given. I always find that during the winter months my workout routines get boring being stuck inside at a gym.

If you haven’t ever been on a pair of rollerblades, and your last experience with shoes with wheels was roller skating at your local rink in 8th grade, then it’s time to give this activity another chance. Rollerblading can be an extremely intense workout, but just like with bike riding, it will mostly just feel like fun!

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Health benefits of rollerblading:

Improves Coordination: Rollerblading takes a bit of practice in the beginning, but it improves flexibility and coordination tenfold. The activity forces you to even out your balance and find your center of gravity.

Great Cardio: rollerblading increases the heart rate and gets your lungs working, both components in aerobic exercise. Rollerblading for 30 minutes at a steady pace raises the average heart rate to 148 beats each minute.

Good for Weightloss: Thirty minutes of steady skating at a comfortable pace burns between 210 and 311 calories, while 30 minutes of interval skating burns up to 450 calories!

Firms the Lower Body: The natural side-to-side motion your legs get from inline skating is ideal for trimming the thighs, strengthening the quads, and lifting the glutes.

Low Impact Exercise: Exchanging a couple of aerobic workouts every week with rollerblading could improve your knee health and prevent injuries.

Fun: Rollerblading with a companion can enhance the fun.

More fun health related posts you may have missed:

| Improving your health | Meal Prepping | Yoga |