Spaghetti and Sausage Meat Sauce with HEAPS of Veggies

Spaghetti Sauce

As I mentioned in my earlier post, this recipe is my go-to whenever I have to prepare a crowd pleasing meal. The secret is lots of chunky vegetables combined with the flavor of cinnamon. It’s heaven! Don’t believe me? Give it a go, and I am sure you’ll be thanking a certain two pugs and a nugget. Just sayin’. ;)

Enjoy friends.



Spaghetti Sauce


  • 2-3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2-3 celery sticks diced
  • 1 white onion – cut into hearty chunks
  • 6 white button mushrooms quartered
  • 1 head of kale (swiss chard or spinach will also work) cut into pieces – I use scissors to do this work. :)
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 2 tomatoes cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 4 mild italian sausages (casings removed)
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to season
  • grated cheddar cheese to garnish


In a large frying pan, begin by sauteeing the sausage meat until nearly completely browned. Add in onions, garlic, carrots & celery. Cook until veggies soften. Add pasta sauce followed by zucchini, mushrooms & tomatoes, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Once boiling, add kale to the sauce and cook until softened. Serve over spaghetti noodles and top with a healthy dose of cheese. :)

Home Made Garlic Bread


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 6 gloves of garlic crushed
  • 4 Tbsps of salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of gruyere or emmenthal cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese grated
  • Pepper to taste


Lightly toast the bread in a toaster. In a small bowl, combine garlic & butter. Flavor with pepper. Spread a quarter of the butter mixture on each slice of toast. Sprinkle each slice of bread with a quarter of the cheese mixture. Place under a broiler on low-heat until cheese is melted and the sides of the bread are slightly browned.

Broccoli Cheddar Bake

broccoli cheddar bake

I had my swim team over for spaghetti dinner on Saturday night. One of the topics that came up was eating healthier in 2013 and one of my teammates mentioned that she was going to implement ‘meat-free-Monday’ into her weekly meal planning. So despite the fact that I will be posting my spaghetti sauce recipe (which includes sausage meat) later today, I thought I would also post this little gem: Broccoli Cheddar Bake!

Clearly this bad boy is NOT vegan, but it is meat free. It can be served like a frittata….so next to a nice salad it would be a pretty stand up meal.

Enjoy friends.

Broccoli Cheddar Bake


  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen broccoli
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated cheese


Preheat oven to 350˚F

Cook broccoli in small amount boiling water 3 minutes; drain.

Pour milk into small saucepan; bring to boil.  Cool to lukewarm.

Mix eggs with salt and nutmeg.  Add milk and cheese, beating constantly.  Pour into greased baking dish; add broccoli

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Must be served hot.

Monday Morning Pop of Color

Monday Morning Pop of Color
Starting off a work week in January is never fun, however I figured I would give it my best go by dressing with a pop of colour – hot pink to be exact! As we are well into winter in Calgary, panty hose is a must. I’m not kidding girls. No amount of self tanner is going to make my legs appropriate for tight-free outfits. Special thanks to Kate Middleton for bring pantyhose back….I owe you one. ;) Now….let’s take on this week friends.

DIY Desktop Framed Whiteboard

DIY Whiteboard

I love making to-do lists. It maybe nerdy but it keeps me sane. As part of my New Year’s Resolution to get even more organized I needed to first start with a to-do list. I created this fun little desktop ‘whiteboard’ out of an Ikea frame.

ikea frame

I first stopped at my local Ikea and picked up this gorgeous little frame for $6.99!!!

whiteboard pen

I then stopped at my local Staples and picked up a white board pen. I opted for purple because it was easy to read, but wasn’t boring ol’ black ink.

Finally, I inserted a plane piece of paper in the frame to create a simple, clean background…and voila…..a fashionable desktop whiteboard.

Now you can add this whiteboard to your to-do list. :)


E & C’s Sage and Lemon Chicken

My friend Catherine is one of those women that belongs in an a Ralph Lauren add or a Pottery Barn commercial. Everything that she touches seems to turn to fabulous. So when she told me that she ‘whipped up’ this chicken recipe for her two beloved neices (E & C), I knew that despite the simple ingredients that it would be nothing short of delicious. I was right!!

Oh….and it’s healthy Dakota!! Go to town girl. :)

E&C Chicken

E & C’s Sage and Lemon Chicken


  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh sage (dry will do in a pinch)
  • 4 cups of reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp of flour (you can add more or less depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, sautee the chicken in the olive oil until nearly cooked through. Remove the chicken from the frying pan and set aside on a separate plate. Add chicken stock, lemon juice, sage & onion powder to the frying pan and heat until boiling. Reduce heat and add flour to thicken the sauce. Add chicken back to the sauce, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through (approximately 5 minutes). Serve over rice with parsley as a garnish.

Rice Cooking Tip: For standard white rice, a quick, fail-proof guide for cooking is as follows. Using the ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water, add the desired rice/water to a pot. Turn on the heat to high and heat until boiling. As soon as the water boils, immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover the pot and cook for 12 minutes. No peaking!! Once the 12 minutes are up, you will have perfectly cooked rice. :)

A Spec-tacular Start to 2013

Happy 2013 Friends!! I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday. I am still recovering from a hectic couple of weeks, but I am eager to get back into a routine and continue to ‘fabulous-ize’ (I know that isn’t a real word) my life. :)

I have been brainstorming lots of great organization tips but before I share those with you, I wanted to kick-start the year with a bit of a metaphorical post.

Since starting this blog, I have really tried to emphasize the idea of positively reframing and refocusing my life. What better way to reframe and refocus then with a new pair of hot specs????

Inspired by the following, I settled on these little gems from Warby Parker. So so so chic and so so so affordable. I will post pics once they arrive.



Glasses Beyonce

source: Beyonce Instagram

Glasses PLIG

source: Poor Little It Girl

Glasses SJ

Source: See Jane Blog

Nugget’s DIY Train Board

Nugget's Train Board

Although I was your typical ‘girl’ growing up, I always had a thing for wooden train sets. I remember as a kid going over to my neighbour’s house and spending hours playing with his train set. We would set up all kinds of track configurations and come up with stories for what our trains were picking up and dropping off. It was a blast!!! This Christmas, hoping that Nugget shared his mother’s love for trains, I made him a train board for all of the trains and tracks that I knew Santa would be bringing. ;)

The idea came from Lindsay’s blog, and I have noticed that even more recently she has added some very cute mini trees and snow covering .

Here’s the link to Lindsay’s instructions on how to put together your own train board.

You will note that Lindsay did attach some of her little guy’s tracks to the board, but I chose to leave Nugget’s tracks unattached so that he could arrange them however he pleases. As it turned out, ‘how he pleases’ was reminiscent of a Godzilla movie with the tracks being tossed every which way, but the overall reaction was pretty positive. Looks like Nugget is a bit of a chip off the ol’ block. :)

Posted in DIY

Last Minute Christmas Decor Idea: Christmas Ornament Vase

I have some truly wonderful co-workers (friends) who have been so wonderfully supportive of my blog. One of these fabulous ladies recently brought me a newspaper clipping that reminded her of something that I would do. The clipping showcased a Christmas tabletop floral display where the florist had assembled a grouping of various sized ornaments and filled them with winter flowers.

Here’s my version of this idea:

Christmas Ornament Vase

I used glue to adhere the ornaments to eachother. Then I popped off the tops of the ornaments and filled them with sprigs of ‘winter vase filler’ from my local florist, faux cranberries and spruce & cedar branches.

This little gem is currently displayed on my fireplace mantle.

Merry Christmas friends. :)