Wednesday, September 30, 2015


So we all know the answer to this common question... 
'What is the most important meal of the day?'
'Duh.. Breakfast!'
Ok, but the real question.. How many of us actually eat a good, substantial breakfast to start out our day? Here's the answer for ya. Only 34%!
and the number one answer as to why the majority of us don't eat breakfast... 'not enough time'
Ok. I get that. Mornings are busy! So much to do before running out of the house. Eating breakfast just looses it's priority when we're talking 'real life'. We just don't take the time to stop for 10 minutes and eat. We have to go. and we have to go now.
Well I have a solution for you. These make ahead breakfast sandwiches take 1 minute, 30 seconds to heat up in the microwave. Grab a piece of fruit while it heats up, and you'll be out the door with a nutritious breakfast in hand. Good, whole food that will put you on the right foot at the start of your day.
Ingredient List:
12 - 100% whole wheat english muffins
1 dozen fresh eggs
12 slices of cheese (I sliced, from a block, Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar)
24 slices canadian bacon (or any other meat you choose)

Open your english muffins and lay them out on baking sheets.
Place them in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes.
While your muffs are toasting, cook your eggs.
I like to use this individual - english-muffin-sized pan. Heat the egg until one side is cooked, and then flip it with a small spatula to cook the other side. You could also cook half of the eggs at a time in a large skillet and then cut that into 6ths (if you can picture it, they would be triangle shaped - kinda like a piece of pie!). Then repeat for the other 6 eggs. 
But this pan just makes them perfectly round and pleases my OCD :)
Here are all of my eggs once I was done cooking all 12.
Get your meat and cheese ready.
Now start assembling!
Once you have all 12 sandwiches assembled and put together, leave them on the baking sheets and place them flat in the freezer until cooled. About 15 minutes.
Now wrap each sandwich in a paper towel and place them in gallon size freezer bags. Zip 'em up. Toss the bags in the freezer.
And that's it, you're done!
Now when you need a good, quick, easy breakfast, just pull one of these out. Pop it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes (left in the paper towel), and ta-da! You're on your way!
On those busy mornings, you will thank yourself for having made these ahead of time.
We love having these on hand. I will sometimes mix it up with the type of cheese or meat. To add a little extra nutrition, you could thrown some bell peppers or spinach on the sandwich before you heat it up.

I made a bunch of these sandwiches before Harper was born, towards the end of my pregnancy. And I was so thankful I had! It was vital that I get good, nutritious foods in that initial time of breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn. These sandwiches were something filling that I could quickly heat up. Sometimes even for lunch or dinner.
Enjoy! Let me know if you give them a try :) You will not regret it!
You may want to double the recipe as these tend to get eaten up quite quickly!


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Monday, September 28, 2015


Our Thursday + Friday evenings were spent enjoying the Washington State Fair. 
This is something I look forward to every year when summer is winding down (but then again, who doesn't?!)  We normally make sure we get there to enjoy one day, of the three weeks, that the fair is here. But this year we were able to pack in TWO fun back-to-back nights! It kinda made me want to hit it up to go again for a third night, but that we didn't ;)

Night O N E...
Harper spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa while we went to the Jake Owen concert with Tyler and Angela for a fun double-date night! 
We got to the fair a little early to be able to have some good ol' 'fair food' for dinner before the concert. Contemplating what food to eat... (because that, of course, is the biggest decisions to be made while at the fair) we went with the 'earthquake burger'. I wish I would've gotten a picture of this thing. No joke, it was likely the size of my head. Or bigger. 
Being a dietitian, in order to keep some portion control, Brandon and I split one burger. Who am I kidding... that wasn't the reason at all. After eating half of one of these burgers, we were stuffed to the max! 
Then we wandered around the fair a little and grabbed a beer before heading in for the concert.
Love this girl! We always have so much fun together. Beyond thankful for her. 
We realized that this was our first concert together. So hard to believe!
Such a fun concert! Jake Owen is a great performer and put on such a fun show.
My maiden name is Owen though, so what else would I expect from a fellow Owen family member? ;) kidding!
Night T W O...
Friday night was our 'family fair night'. We went with Tyler and Angela again, but this time we also toted Harper along with us. She had so much fun!
Technically this was her second time going to the fair. We took her with us last year when she was just 2 months old. This year was so fun watching her take everything in and getting excited over seeing other people's stuffed animals (it was almost like being in Toys R Us for her), the lights, the food, and her favorite - the animals! and I couldn't wait to get me some salt water taffy! There is just something about that stuff that has gotten me hooked. oh the chewy goodness!
So many baby pigs. I would've snuck one home if I could. Those little piglets were so cute!
but man, that mama pig... to just lay there to have your nine littles nurse from you. Give her the gold medal!
Harper loved the goats!
Until this one did this! and we both were like "whoa let's get out of here!"
Playing peek-a-boo with the baby chicks :) It doesn't get much sweeter!
Harper was guzzling water like never before. So much so that she leaked through her diaper, to her jeans, and we had to do a quick change into jammies mid fair. Thank goodness we had the jammies packed along!
There isn't anything like the fair. We over indulged in krusty pups (corn dogs), gyros, elephant ears (or as we call them in Idaho - tiger ears), and scones. As we were walking out, I almost forgot that I didn't get my salt water taffy! I couldn't leave without taffy. So back we went for it. and here I am eating some as I'm sitting here writing this. yum yum yum!
Until next year!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Whaaa! I know, I know... I'm over posting in these beginning few blogging days. BUT I am determined to catch up to speed with our life - and I'm  a l m o s t  there! There have been so many fun events as of late. I just don't want them to be missed. 
(so just bear with me, if ya would) :)
So it begins... Keeping up with the Hjelseths... {last weekend}

...on Friday Brandon and I attended the Rock the Foundation fundraiser with his real estate co-worker. It was a fun, fancy event put on to raise money for the NICU at one of the local hospitals.
It started with pictures, mingling, and some drinks.  
 Then it was time for dinner accompanied by the oral auction. There was such an energy in the room during the auction!
The night ended with dancing and a live band. I can't say I had heard of the band before that night... Tower of Power. From what I heard... they were popular in the 70s?? hmm.. well I wasn't born yet, so that explains it! :) It was fun though! and I've never seen so many 'old' people getting their groove on! excuse me for saying that, but it's true! :)
Saturday we celebrated Miss Aubrey Grace's 1st Birthday! Such a fun party with great company and food! 
If there is great food at a party, it's like the cherry on top. The cupcakes that were just to.die.for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I mean really.. I had a snickerdoodle cupcake! ahhh heaven on earth!
These two :) overseeing the games being played outside.
Aubrey deciding what to do with her cake. She is just the sweetest and we all love her so much!
Congrats Jacob & Kaylani! Your baby is O N E!
Saturday ended with a spontaneous girls night. It was much needed! The three of us shared laughter and tears together. Sometimes those 'last-minute' hangouts are the best ones. Love these girls.
and thank you to my sweet husband for taking bedtime duty. 
...and along came Sunday! We had a neighborhood potluck in the afternoon. Since moving into our house in April, we've met a few of our neighbors. It was so good though to all get together and spend some time with those who live around us. Being in a neighborhood with thoughtful, caring neighbors is such a blessing to our family!
and here's my food item of choice to bring along to the potluck. S'mores bars! One of my favorite sweet treats. To be honest, it was hard to not want to keep them all to myself! Leave it to the dietitian to bring dessert to a food gathering :)
As if the weekend couldn't get any better... little miss was all big girl and started walking! She began by taking a few steps at the potluck and by the time we got home... here she was!
Seeing her walk - and trying so hard - is the cutest darn thing!
The weekend still hadn't come to an end. but it ended in the perfect, most rejuvenating way. Tiffany, who is a friend of a friend's has been hosting a 4 week event called 'Sip and Savor'. On Sunday evenings, women join together at our friend's local restaurant. There we all sip some wine + snack on some appetizers + talk about Jesus. It is such a great way to close a busy weekend and put a refreshing stamp on the week ahead.
It was a weekend of many lasting memories! and here's to the next!



We finally made it to take these two baby besties to the zoo! and aren't they just the cutest?!
This summer we had been trying to make a trip with some of our best friends (Jacob, Kaylani, & Aubrey) up to the Woodland Park Zoo (about an hour trip up north for us), and it finally happened! Amazing how much work it can be to plan for 4 adults and 2 one-year-olds to go on a day trip! I can only imagine when the day comes where we have more kids to tote along... I'm sure this will have seemed like a walk in the park. I'm sure all the veteran mamas would agree with that :)  
 We ended up having just the most beautiful day for the zoo! helllloooo Washington summers! they are just gorgeous (...and no, it doesn't rain everyday here in the W-A) However, as summer has been reaching its end, the weather has been hit and miss (the reason we had to cancel this trip once before), but we were so happy it worked in our favor and what a fun day it turned out to be!
As you can tell, Harper thought it was a great day! :)
 This girl just LOVED all of the animals! (calling each one of them, from the zebras to the bears, 'daw' - her word for 'dog'). There isn't anything quite like watching her take in all this 'new-ness' for the first time.
While the two girls truly loved all that the zoo had to offer, there were also moments where they could care less about the animals, but had quite the interest in each other :) Not a care in the world that there's a gorgeous jaguar just a foot away on the other side of the glass! but what can you expect when you're with your best friend. 
 Don't those 'da-das' push those strollers like pros?! I think Kaylani and I could get used to this :)
 Two of our favorite animals from the day. We couldn't get over just how stunning the giraffes were.
Walking the entire zoo (which is huge!) made for us all to be quite tired by the end of it. Rather than trucking these two babes out to a restaurant for dinner, we all readily agreed to hit it home and call in a pizza delivery :) 
To top off the day, right as we pulled up to the house, there the ice cream man was! That famous music playing loudly from his truck. Why is it that an ice cream bar tastes so much better when it comes from the ice cream man?! 
"I'll take a strawberry shortcake ice cream, please" :)
These two did so good with the events of the day. With missing their naps (other than a couple tiny cat-naps to and from the zoo), they still had it in them to keep on playing even well after we had eaten dinner.
How fun it has been watching these two (only 2 months apart) have a friendship right from birth :)


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Mmm... Dinner time!
One of my favorite times of the day. Not only do I get to spend some time in the kitchen preparing our meal (which I love), but it's time to eat (really.. I mean who doesn't love to eat!). Sitting down at the dinner table as a family at the end of the day, enjoying our meal together while having family time.. to me, there's just not much better than that.

I just love trying new foods and recipes. Ok, that's only half true. I love trying new recipes where I'm preparing foods that I know I like, but in different ways :) The trying of new foods... well that's somewhere that I really fall short. and as a dietitian, I'm not proud. but I tell ya, that list of 'dislikes' really isn't too long! I'm working to shorten the list, but here it is as of today: fish, bananas, cooked fruit (except for in apple pie of course), and sweet potatoes. I know... all healthy foods that I should like. but there are so many other foods that I do like, that I find plenty of options.

Moving on... :) the bbq chicken tostadas we had for dinner just the other night. Goodness gracious, they were gooood! and the other bonus, they were oh so easy! Thank heavens for the good ol' crockpot.
I had seen a recipe on pinterest for some bbq chicken tostadas but made some modifications for my own creation. and I mean, just how delicious do they look?!
Ingredient List:
2 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce - try it!)
1/2 cup fat-free refried beans
romaine lettuce
shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (Tillamook)
corn tortillas

--Place chicken in crockpot + evenly pour 1/4 cup of bbq sauce over chicken. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Leaving in crockpot, shred chicken with two forks. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of bbq sauce. Keep warm.
--Preheat oven to 350. Place tortillas on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray tortillas with olive oil (I use a Misto oil sprayer filled with olive oil). Bake in oven for 15 minutes. 
--Top the (now baked) tortillas with the refried beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and drizzle a little extra sauce on top.
Yummy in that tummy!
The flavor was just to.die.for.
and what's better?! We had enough for leftovers to have a second meal the next night. For me, a meal that provides enough for a second night, that's all the better! Although I do love cooking, to have a night of simple preparation.. I'm all for it.
This would also be great just prepared as tacos too, rather than the tostadas. The crunch from the tostadas was a great added texture though. Another great option would be to top the chicken over a bed of lettuce to make a great salad. or even, this chicken in a quesadilla. the possibilities are endless.
A meal this good and this easy, I don't know anyone who wouldn't sign right up.
This one will definitely be thrown into the rotation to be had again in our house!

Eat up!


Monday, September 21, 2015


I am excited to be starting this blog and am looking forward to sharing what life is like for this little family of mine!
I'm the wife to the best man I know. Registered Dietitian, who has now put the career on hold to focus on my family as a stay at home mama. and I wouldn't have it any other way. Though I'm not currently in the workforce,  I absolutely love that I can use my nutrition education on a regular basis for my family. but I'll be truthful in telling you that it's not  a l w a y s  fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains 100% of the time. I try hard for it though and I'd say we're that healthy side 85% of the time and the other 15% is spent on pizza, cookies, ice cream, and mac & cheese. because, well, we are still human :)
We recently had some family pictures taken with our favorite photographer Kristal and I couldn't be more please with how they turned out! She has such a gift! because I tell ya.. the way the pictures look (all peaceful, happy, and pleasant smiles all about), that's not quite how this mama was feeling during the shoot. Honestly, Harper was just not having it that evening! but thanks to the talented Kristal, she captured the most precious of moments that at the time, I didn't even realize we were having. I am so thankful for this beautiful family of mine and this little girl brings more joy to her mama's heart than she will ever know. I love you Harper MonaĆ©!
 ...and so the blogging begins!


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