Making a big pot of soup is such a comfort for me, have a bowl for dinner and then knowing I get to look forward to the leftovers for lunch for the next day. This is a lighter soup packed with veggies, beans and a hint of flavor that you just can’t put your finger on (that’s the Herbs de Provence and white wine vinegar). This can come together in 30 minutes but I love letting it simmer a bit longer on the stove to really deepen in flavor.


Another trick to this soup is pieces of the rind from Parmesan cheese, when we finish a block of any hard cheese I cut the rind off the end and throw it in a bag in the freezer. It ads such great flavor and you only need a few small pieces to really impact the soup.


This is delicious with some crusty bread and butter. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal!


Spring Soup with Spinach and Beans (1 of 3)







Spring Soup with Spinach and Beans (3 of 3)








Spring Soup with Spinach and Beans
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 2 to 3 inch piece cheese rind
  • 1 bag baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan.
  2. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add vegetable broth and the next 5 ingredients (through cheese rind); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. (If you want a richer flavor let simmer 30 minutes
  4. Add carrot cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in spinach red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Cook until spinach is wilted (about 5 minutes)
  5. Remove and discard rind; sprinkle soup with shaved cheese.





Friday! I am extra excited about that. We have a low key weekend planned and I need it. My insomnia has been rearing it’s ugly head lately and I am incredibly tired today. 3-4 hours of sleep a night (and not sound sleep) is not enough to function on. I have gotten away from my routine a bit and was up way too late last night watching basketball. We had gone to a wine tasting, went and grabbed some dinner and it was after 11:30 by the time I was asleep and then Henry was up at 3, 4, and 5. We could hear him banging his bowl in his room. Scott finally got up at 5 and fed him. Let’s just say I am dragging today!


My focus for this weekend is to get a few nights of good sleep! I am going back to what I know will work for me.


A few of the things that work:

  • Being in bed by 10pm each night
  • Keeping our room cool
  • Lavender on the feet
  • Wearing socks to bed, this one seems crazy but I swear it helps!


Even with horrible sleep I still got my workouts in this week and I am really proud of myself for not skipping them.


Monday: Off

Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt

Wednesday: Fitness Blender Cardio and a Lift Weights Faster 2 workout

Thursday: Yoga Sculpt

Friday: My plan is to do some 21 Day Fix Extreme Pilates tonight, I am SORE and need some stretching

Saturday: Planning on a longer cardio session and a Lift Weights Faster 2 workout


With my extreme workout ADD I have to switch it up to stay motivated. I recently finished a 12 week program and was looking for next thing. I heard about Lift Weights Faster 2 (and she lives in Minneapolis too) and I couldn’t wait to try it. I am a week in and LOVE it. Seriously love it. It’s fast paced workouts that challenge your entire body. Scott and I were doing one called The Hippy Hippy Shake. It’s only 3 moves: windmill (right and left), goblet squat, and single leg romanian deadlifts (right and left). Scott initially thought it would be too easy and by the time we were done he was laying on the gym floor saying he was already sore. Seriously.


Items in Lift Weights Faster Bundle


The entire premise of the program is getting a workout in with the time and equipment you have. I love this summary image.



I purchased the deluxe version and highly recommend it. I’m not affiliated with this in any way, I just love it.


I feel like this week flew by, it’s already Thursday! Work has been crazy busy and Scott has been helping a friend so he’s been working long hours too. Since he was home pretty late most nights I took the opportunity to do a little organizing and cleaning.


Mr Henry (our pig) has been quite naughty and going potty on our dining room rug. We are working hard on correcting this behavior but we moved the rug completly out of the room. I also bought a cleaner and sprayed the heck out of every surface on our main floor. Pigs are super sensitive to smell and will keep doing a certain behavior until an odor is removed. Enter Odormute. If you have furry friends in  your life I highly recommend this. It’s a true enzyme cleaner and completely eliminates odors.  You can use it in a spray bottle or a carpet cleaner. I mixed up a big batch last night and got spraying away. This weekend we will clean the entire rug with this. Fingers crossed this works! I can say that I could smell the odor on the floor before and after I used this it was gone. Henry walked over there a few times and no accidents.


Odormute Pet Odor Eliminator, Unscented - 15 oz


I washed all of our floors with this cleaner and am really hoping it works! I used my Shark Steam & Spray. I’ve had it a few years and LOVE it. Washable mop pads and you can add a cleaner to it too. I just sprayed the odormute all over the floor and mopped around. Our main level has all hardwoods, so at least it’s easy to clean!




So how is it going with Henry? Good and bad. He is so funny and has quite the personality but pigs can be VERY naughty. You need to  keep them entertained, he is a big fan of plastic bags and puzzle balls. If he is in his room he has no issues using his litterbox but under the dining room table became his 2nd favorite spot to go. Let’s hope a few more cleanings of that area and reinforcment for using his litterbox will cure this bad behavior.


His favorite things:

Standing in front of the heating vents (warmth!)

Plastic bags to stomp around on

Wheaties (I got a sample box and he has eaten most of it)

Hearing the closet door open, he knows that’s where we keep his food/treats and he will come running

Snuggles. If you lay on his bed with him he loves to snuggle up with you and get belly rubs

Most night he gets a vegetable snack, this week has been spinach and he happily chomps away

Our entry way rug. He is rooting on it big time!



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Sudden movements really scare him

Being cold

Tanner chasing him (oh yes, they all have their moments)

Wiping his eyes

Being scolded. Pigs are really sensitive and his feelings get hurt easily.


So that’s life with a pig!


Along with cleaning and organizing Henry’s mess, I spent time getting rid of more plastic containers. We use glass for food storage but I still had quite a few cheap plastic water bottles. They are all gone. The only ones I have in the cabinet now are BPA free plastic bottles, glass and stainless steel. My favorite glass water bottle? Lifefactory. I have one at home and one at my desk at work. Loving this pretty aqua color too!



I’ve noticed that I am not drinking as much water at home after work and this needs to change immediately. I picked up this cute stainless steel cup and am working on drinking at least 2 from the time I am home until the time I go to bed.



I was in the mood for some Pinot Noir this week. We had back to normal temps of the 40’s and a glass of smooth pinot noir sounded perfect. I did some searching in the wine cabinet and found this lovely Byron Pinot Noir.


This was from Santa Barbara County and had great notes of cherries, a bit of oak and the grapes did well in the warm days and cool nights. I typically opt for a Washington pinot but this was really good. And at $19 it was a reasonably priced Pinot Noir and had great flavors for that price point.


As much as I love Pinot, it can get pricey quickly and I love finding delicious options under $25!


Byron Pinot Noir (1 of 1)


Cranberry and Parsley Barley Salad

March 24, 2015

I will say it over and over again, Sunday food prep keeps me eating healthy! If I take the time to go grocery shopping and plan meals for the week we eat much healthier. That bag of apples is a much better snack choice for me than chips (although I do love chips). Every week I […]

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Meatless Monday Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower

March 23, 2015

We aren’t huge pasta eaters but sometimes it sounds so delicious! I had been paging through a copy of Rachel Ray’s magazine and was inspired by her version of Cacio e Pepe. A fancy way to say with pepper. If you are a big fan of cracked black pepper this is the perfect recipe for […]

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Thursday Thoughts: Hair Care Favorites

March 19, 2015

I go in phases with my hair; short, long, chopping it all off, growing it back out. Right now it’s a few inches past my shoulders, which is the longest I have had it since our wedding and before that it had been years. While I like having more options with my hair it has […]

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Wine Wednesday Côtes de Provence Rosé

March 18, 2015

I am officially calling it rosé season. We’ve had a few warmer days and while I know we may still see a bit more snow and cold temperatures I have been thoroughly enjoying one of my favorites. The Côtes de Provence Rosé is under $8 (that’s an amazing price) at Trader Joe’s and is a […]

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Spring Cleaning

March 16, 2015

Ah Monday. You always arrive much too quickly. It was a lovely weekend, temps in the 60’s (!!) and time for workouts, friends, a little cooking and attempting to catch up on sleep. All of those things were very much needed. With the warmer temps I have been on a mission to get rid of clutter. […]

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Fitness Friday Online Workouts

March 13, 2015

Online workouts have been a treat this week! With Scott out of town I knew I still needed to get workouts in and my family room was perfect for them. With unseasonably warm weather this week I have loved taking the dogs for a 30+ minute walk each day. They were incredibly excited to be […]

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