January 27, 2015

tomato tortellini soup

I made this for dinner recently and it was a big hit.  I've always been a bit nervous about transferring hot soup into a food processor and then back into the pot, but it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  This is a perfectly filling soup that would go great with grilled cheese!

What you'll need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole bay leaves
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
1 (32 oz) container vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 (9 oz) packages fresh or frozen cheese tortellini 
Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, for garnish, optional
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes 

What you'll do: 
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes.
2. Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully transfer soup to a food processor to blend and return to the pot). Stir in the Greek yogurt until well combined. Stir in the cheese tortellini and cook on medium-low until tortellini is cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.


January 23, 2015

20 simple tips for living simply.

One of my greatest goals in life is to live simply. I thrive on it. In everything that I do I try to keep it simple. My house, my commitments, my job, my everything. Simple. It's not necessarily something that I've always focused on, but now more than ever, I live for it. It seems like the world and everyone in it has shifted to this obsession of being busy all the time and having it all.  It's draining. It makes you forget about the truly important things in life. The little things. The simple things. I put together a list of 20 simple things that I do to try to always live by the philosophy of living simply. 

Here's a list of 20 simple things you can do right now to simplify your life: 

  1. Go through your kiddos toys and get rid anything they no longer play with. 
  2. Clean your filing cabinets and shred anything older than a year that you no longer need.
  3. Go through your kitchen cabinets and drawers one at a time. Empty everything out of them and determine what really needs to be put back in. If you don't need it, donate it. 
  4. Open emails that you didn't sign up for, or signed up for but don’t need/want/like anymore, scroll to the bottom of the email and click “unsubscribe”.
  5. Bring two bags to your car. Fill one with trash and the other with anything that doesn’t belong in the car. 
  6. Toss any shoes you haven’t worn in a year. 
  7. Go through your bathroom and toss anything that has expired or that you don’t use or that will be expired by the time you use it. 
  8. Remove all expired, stale, unwanted items from your pantry and refrigerator.
  9. Empty the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Wash it and then only put things back that you use.
  10. Empty the entire contents of your purse and/or wallet and only put back the items that need to be in there. 
  11. Plan your meals each week and only go to the grocery store once. This will save you money too.
  12. Say no to a social commitment. Don't feel pressured to do it all. 
  13. Clean files, pictures and documents off your computer that you no longer use. 
  14. Go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in the past year.
  15. Get rid of meaningless knick-knacks. 
  16. Clear your kitchen counter tops. Leave out only one or two small appliances that you use daily. Give everything else a home inside a drawer or cabinet. 
  17. Make sure school bags and/or work bags are packed and ready the night before.
  18. Hang up/put away clothes when you take them off. Don’t leave them on the floor.
  19. Don’t let dishes sit in the sink overnight. You’ll be glad in the morning!
  20. Don’t obsess over little things. Let it go. Breathe.
Live Simply.

January 21, 2015

expressionery (+ a discount code)

I was so very excited when Expressionery contacted me to review a few of their products. I mean who doesn't love beautiful paper and fun stamps?!  

Expressionery has it all. They have beautiful, personalized stationary, stamps, notepads, cards, unique gifts, invitations, everything!

 a few of my favorite card designs.
loving my new, wood address stamp! eeep! and the gold ink! so much fun!
unique address stamps.
I love making lists. When I saw this super cute "to do" notepad I had to have it! Their notepads are so much fun and you can personalize them too! See my name down there at the bottom?! 

The fantastic people at Expressionery (who were amazing to work with) are offering Simply Alli readers a 25% discount site-wide! Just enter 'SIMPLYALLI' at checkout! 

Valid through 4/1/2015. Receive 25% off sitewide when you enter offer code 'SIMPLYALLI' in the offer code box at checkout. Offer excludes all embossed stationery and paperweights. This offer may not be combined with any other offer or discount, and shipping fees and sales tax are separate.  To prevent abuse, prices specifications, and availability subject to change without notice from Expressionery.com.