Food | Reviews

4 Ways to Remix Breakfast with Hiland Cottage Cheese

By on March 1, 2019

This post is sponsored by Hiland Dairy but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We've been in a breakfast rut lately. Do you ever find yourself in those? I've been looking for ways to revitalize our routine, but it needs to be quick and healthy if it's going to make the cut.

I have all of these creative teens in my house, so I thought that a little friendly competition in the spirit of some of their favorite cooking shows might be the perfect inspiration! Enter the challenge ingredient: Hiland Cottage Cheese.

Hiland cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a high protein, low calorie super food. It is packed with nutrients like calcium and B vitamins. I picked Hiland Cottage Cheese because of Hiland's commitment to freshness and environmentally friendly farming practices...and because I needed to be reminded why I love it!

Which Option Will Win?

Here's where we need your help. My kids want to know which is your favorite?! Which would you pick for your breakfast remix? Here are four ways my teens came up with to take cottage cheese challenge:

Hiland Cottage Cheese

1. Tomato & Cottage Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

I love English muffins for breakfast. My first contestant designed a beautiful open faced savory breakfast sandwich that is light, fresh, and so tasty.

Hiland Cottage Cheese

This is a great alternative to some heavier breakfast sandwich options, yet it's still packed with protein and flavor.

Tomato & Cottage Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

A light and fresh breakfast sandwich featuring tomatoes and cottage cheese.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Servings: 1


  • 1/2 English muffin
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 small tomato sliced
  • 1 drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 drizzle balsamic vinegar


  • Toast one half on an English muffin.
  • Slice your tomato.
  • Top the toasted muffin with ¼ cup cottage cheese. Sprinkle seasoning on cottage cheese. Top with tomato slices and then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and green onions.

2. Creamy Apple Crisp

You know that I love the fall and apple picking, so apple crisps are some of my favorite things to eat. My next contestant knew this and worked it into her Hiland Cottage Cheese flavor profile.

Hiland Cottage Cheese

She just used fresh apples, granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon to whip up this tasty breakfast. My husband claimed this one as his winner. He was surprised at how completely satisfying this option was for being such a light breakfast option. And he's not much of a breakfast eater, so this was a good thing!

Creamy Apple Crisp

A light and fresh twist on an apple crisp for breakfast. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 person


  • 1/2 cup Hiland Cottage Cheese
  • 1 tsp liquid stevia
  • 1/4 cut apple
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Mix 1 tsp of liquid stevia (a squirt) into ½ cup of Hiland Cottage cheese.
  • Top with apple, granola, and cinnamon.


This would also work well with warm apples, peaches, blueberries or anything you might find as a cobbler! Yum!

3. Avocado & Egg Bowl Blast

My next contestant brought another savory treat featuring boiled eggs and avocado. Pretty much this is my girl that will eat avocado every chance she gets. Paired with the egg, tomato, and creamy Hiland Cottage Cheese, this breakfast is pure luxury in a bowl.

Hiland Cottage Cheese

I thought this would also be good with a little bacon, but as is, it was completely satisfying. Not to show my bias, but this one I remade for myself because I'm also a sucker for avocado...and I don't like to share!

Avocado & Egg Bowl Blast

Creamy cottage cheese is paired with sliced avocado, hard boiled egg, and tomato for a fresh and savory breakfast bowl. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1


  • 1/2 cup Hiland Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1 egg hard boiled
  • 1 small tomato sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Add ½ cup Hiland Cottage Cheese to a bowl. Top with sliced avocado, egg, and tomato. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste!

4. Berry Best Breakfast Bowl

My last contestant went all out with berries, another of my favorite breakfast foods. This made it incredibly hard to pick only one option for breakfast.

Hiland Cottage Cheese

Berries and cheese are really a great combination. Sweeten it up with a little honey and cinnamon, and this is really a breakfast treat!

Berry Best Breakfast Bowl

A berry medley tops creamy Hiland Cottage Cheese for a sweet breakfast dish. 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1


  • 1/2 cup Hiland Cottage Cheese
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Add ½ cup Hiland Cottage Cheese to your bowl. 
  • Top with a mixture of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (or whatever is in the fridge).
  • Drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon to finish the dish

So Who Will Win?

Now it's your turn to let us know. Which dish would you use to remix your breakfast routine?

What do my kids get for winning? Bragging rights.

However, you can be a winner too! Check out Hiland Dairy *here* for a chance to win prizes worth $200, earn savings, and learn new recipes!

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Bookish Life | Faith | Home School Resources | Reviews

Cultivating Observation Skills – Looking to Rock Formations for Inspiration

By on February 7, 2019

We've had the opportunity to travel and see incredible rock formations around the United States like the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, and Garden of the GodsEach time I visit, I look and wonder what stories these rock formations could tell me.

Cultivating wonder is like allowing your kids to chase the rabbit down the hole as far as they'd like to go. Rock formations offer a great opportunity to introduce a fascinating subject that will offer a lot of great opportunities to dig deeper.

rock formations

*This is a sponsored post; I received a free copy of Do You See What I See? for review purposes, but was not required to write a positive review. 
See my full disclosure statement here.*

Slow Down With Science

It is easy with a couple of high schoolers and a middle schooler in my home to feel the need to check boxes, complete assignments, and build that transcript. However, life isn't only transcripts and record keeping.

rock formations Garden of the Gods

If I want to truly cultivate good scientists, they need time to hone their observation skills. We still use science texts, but occasionally we like to stop and behold the wonders around us. It is almost as if slowing down actually gets us to our desired destination faster!

Practice Observation with Rock Formations

I'm always thankful when I find other wonder seekers like Chuck Renstrom and his book Do You See What I See?

rock formations

Do You See What I See? High Altitude Evidence of the Worldwide Flood explores the unique rock formations Chuck Renstrom discovered as he photographed his hikes in Colorado.

rock formations

Using digital photo effects, Renstrom highlights his discoveries of fossilized animals throughout the area. His beautiful book provides a model of how to see beyond what's on the surface level. If you're moving too fast, you'll just miss it.

I love to give my kids opportunities to look through the lens of a camera or take time to draw what they see in nature journals.

Hands On Experience with Rock Formations

When you live in suburbia, getting hands-on experience in nature hikes or state parks can be difficult. Don't let distance stop you! Get your hands on some of these great rock resources or nature studies. You're never too old to find wonder in even the smallest rock formations.

While you're learning and discovering at home, look for nearby rock formations you can go visit. It never hurts to start an adventure fund to help you get out of your neighborhood! This past year we made it to Mackinac Island in Michigan and experienced the beauty of arch rock.

Wonder can be found all around you. You just have to slow down and observe the beauty.

Unlock the Wonder

You might be surprised what you find when you stop to observe rock formations. Chuck Renstrom discovered this as he hiked through his beautiful home state of Colorado and began to investigate the curiosities he photographed.

As you and your family look to rock formations to cultivate wonder, use these observations to fuel future studies. The rocks are waiting to tell you their story. You just have to slow down and listen!

Do You See What I See?

Get a copy of Chuck Renstrom's book on Amazon, or order an autographed copy on his website.

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Family Life | Fun | Reviews

Simple Ideas for Catering the Big Game

By on January 30, 2019

This post is sponsored by

We love opening our home to our kids and their friends, however feeding them can be a whole other challenge. The big game always offers a great opportunity to get friends together, watch some football, and eat good food. Sometimes the idea of making enough food for a hungry crowd can be overwhelming. This year I'm calling in help and keeping things simple by catering food for our get together!

Jersey Mike's Catering For the Win

Regardless of who ends up winning the big game, Jersey Mike's Catering is such a simple way to please a crowd. Their catering boxes are easy to order and set up quickly for a perfect centerpiece for your food spread!

In each Jersey Mike's Catering Box you can customize four sandwiches as you like them. They even offer gluten free bread for your guests that have special diets.

I ordered the whole box in a couple of minutes, selected my pick up time and everything was ready when I arrived at the restaurant. This was easily the simplest game day party feast I've pulled together.

They also offer cookie trays and brownie trays that are AMAZING! Everyone enjoyed the sweet treats. Check out all that they have to offer in their catering boxes.

popchips make a perfect home-gating snack

As much fun as it would be to tailgate at the big game, home-gating offers an opportunity to enjoy watching football with friends while enjoying the comforts of being at home. If you're looking to add a little spice to your spread, popchips are the best way to go.

I'm always looking for healthier options for game day snacks, and these fit the bill. With three great flavor packed options, these chips are an excellent addition to the spread. I love that they're non-GMO, gluten free, and never fried. You're getting all of those great big game flavors without using a ton of napkins!

The tangy barbeque flavor was easily my favorite, but then again, I'm a big fan of barbeque chips. If you like things hot, the buffalo ranch flavor definitely delivers the HEAT! You can also skip the messy dips because these chips are delicious as is.

You can find popchips at your local grocery store or buy them on Amazon!

Protein Packed Turkey Bites Score Big

One way to really make your snacks go the distance is to add these protein packed Turkey Bites by Old Wisconsin to your football feast. I have so many friends that are working the high-protein diet, and these tasty little treats are big crowd pleasers.

Both the Turkey Sausage and Honey Brown Sugar Turkey Sausage flavors are so good. These come in multiple sizes, so I may just check them out for an on-the-go snack!

Hosting friends for the big game or any occasion doesn't have to mean hours planning menus and slaving in the kitchen. You can offer your guests tasty and healthy options that are sure to please the crowd.

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Food | Holidays | Reviews | Simple Style

Loaded Mashed Potato Poppers with Stella Cheese

By on November 26, 2018

This post is sponsored by Stella® Cheese but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family! If your family is anything like mine, we had tons of leftovers after our feast. Now my mind is looking towards Christmas and all the events that lead up to the big day. If you happen to have some leftover mashed potatoes, my husband and I came up with the perfect repurposing of those tasty spuds in some Loaded Mashed Potato Poppers topped with Stella Cheese for a classy way to present a classic favorite.

Last year we discovered Stella Cheese when we created a glorious cheese board. This year I'm getting inspiration from Stella Cheeses again with these fun appetizers.

Building Your Loaded Baked Potato Poppers

What I love about this recipe is that it is more of an art than a science. There really isn't any right way to make this. Load up your mashed potatoes with your favorite toppings and then proceed from there to make your poppers. Here's what I used:

Stella Cheese holiday recipe

Making the Poppers with Stella Cheese

I used a small cookie dough scoop to make my mashed potato balls. Next, we rolled each ball in a whisked egg, then in the panko bread crumbs which was mixed with my chipotle seasoning.

Just before you cook them, top each ball with Stella shredded parmesan cheese. My husband loved this process. He's so funny about his mashed potatoes!

Holiday Cheese Recipes

I'm sure you could put these little cuties into the oven and brown them up, but we opted to use our new air fryer to make them crunchy and tasty. Oh they were so good!

Stella Cheese recipes

We cooked them for three minutes at 370° in our air fryer. This is a great way to add another hot appetizer if your oven is occupied!

They came out golden brown with the crispy parmesan cheese as the crowning beauty!

loaded mashed potato poppers with Stella Cheese

You can serve these with some bacon ranch dip (you know the little ranch packet you mix into your sour cream).

This is a great way to repurpose leftovers into a gourmet appetizer your friends will love!

Find out where to buy Stella Cheeses near you!

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Faith | Reviews

Cultivate Your Inner Artist with Ellie Claire Art Journals

By on November 14, 2018

I have been doodling verses since high school. My mom says I invented the art form, but she's my mom, so she ought to think those kinds of things! My girls share my love of doodling, and I specifically love the idea of them incorporating scripture into their artwork. That's what these new Ellie Claire Art Journals do. They're beautiful, well made, and inspiring for artists at any level.

I received these journals for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Illuminate Your Story Journal

Have you ever seen an illuminated manuscript? They are fascinating works of art where an artist would use silver or gold leaf decorations within their illustrations in order to catch the light and "illuminate" the scriptures. The Museum of the Bible has produced the Illuminate Your Story Journal that walk you through learning to design letters in this style from the Middle Ages.

In addition to walking you through designs featuring every letter in the alphabet, there are also extra tutorials that feature design elements you would find in this type of artwork.

Each letter tutorial is followed by a Bible verse or quote for you to put your new skills to practice. I've been so impressed with the quality of the paper and durability of this journal. I've tried all of my favorite pens and none of them bleed through.

Other great features of this journal include a pen loop, bookmark, and elastic band to keep the journal closed.

Gift This Journal -

If you'd like to give this journal as a gift, pair it with a set of metallic paint pens, a micron pen, and a good eraser to clean up sketches after drawing.

Faith and Lettering Journal

My middle daughter loves her She Reads Truth bible. It is filled with beautifully lettered verses. As she copied those designs she's learned so much about lettering and graphic design. The Faith and Lettering Journal provides the right amount of inspiration balanced with instructional tutorials.

Again, the quality of the paper is sturdy enough to withstand watercolors and resist bleed through from pens that are the most apt to show through on the other side. Krystal Whitten has created a wonderful resource for anyone who loves Bible journaling or just wants to improve their lettering.

Gift this Journal -

Pair this journal with a set of calligraphy pens, a white gel pen, inexpensive paints, a pallet, and brushes.

The Illustrated Word

This is another Ellie Claire journal that is brought to you by the Museum of the Bible. The Illustrated Word - An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal is great for artists who love to color intricate designs and patterns. Inspired by the medieval monks, the artwork hidden in this journal is a treasure to bring to life while interspersed with lined journaling pages that give you room to write down your thoughts or notes.

This would make a wonderful notebook for taking notes during a sermon and having a place to doodle at the same time. I know I'm not the only one who does that!

Gift this journal -

Pair this journal with a set of colored pencils and a cute zipper bag to carry their favorite coloring supplies with them on the go.

If you're looking for a new journal to inspire your creativity and cultivate your inner artist, these options from Ellie Claire are beautiful options that will withstand all of your creative energies!

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