Monday Meals: Chicken Pot Pie & Meatloaf Meatballs

Pick up Rachel Hollis’ cookbook, Real Life Dinners for the chicken pot pie recipe we tried out last week. If you can’t get the book, The Daily Meal has a similar recipe to the one we cooked up. We used a pre-made Pillsbury pie crust for the bottom and top rather than a package of biscuit dough. My oldest loved the meal, as did I. Currently, you can’t trust our youngest’s opinion *wink*

In the winter we cook meat loaf a handful of times. It is so easy to make ahead of time and serve as left overs. We usually use the Better Homes and Gardens recipe. I took a new approach to it this time. Rachel Hollis makes meat balls rather than cook it in a pan. My kids did prefer it this way. She also uses a food processor to disguise the carrots and zucchini her recipe calls for.

I mixed the two recipes together to create the one below.


2/3 cup rolled oats

1 cup onion

1 cup diced carrots

1.5 cup peeled and chopped zucchini

1.5 lbs ground beef

2 eggs

1/4 bbq sauce

1 t salt

1 t pepper

1/4 cup bread crumbs to thicken up mixture if needed

1/4 cup ketchup

2 T Brown sugar

1 t Ground mustard


Spray baking sheets

Oven at 400 degrees

Process (or blend) rolled oats, onion, carrots and zucchini until veggies are small pieces

Mix veggie mixture with beef, beaten eggs, bbq sauce, salt and pepper

Add bread crumbs if needed to thicken (my veggies ended up fairly blended, rather than chunky- hence the need for the bread crumbs)

Roll into 2 “ meat balls

Top each meatball with a bit of the following mixture:

1/4 cup

2 T brown sugar

1 t ground mustard

Bake 15 minutes or until cooked in the center

We served these with corn on the cob and cream cheese mashed potatoes!

Another Day: Another Book Review

Another Day is the sequel to One More Day. I had a hard time getting through it, although nice to see things through the other main character, it was almost like re-reading the first book a second time. I did watch the movie other night. The book is always better, but this is the first book I would say…don’t read. *sad face*. There is a third book coming out this fall, I am so far in that I may have to read it.

Link to other books I have read this year.

Ebb & Flow

**please bear with me as I write this long post. I have been away from blogging for a short time and I feel like I have a lot to say about the ups and down that come and go, here are some prime examples**

It is so weird how life ebbs and flows. It is like the ocean tide; flowing in and out. Watching the tide is mesmerizing and therapeutic to me. Why then, when life flows in and out, does it throw me off?

I have found it difficult to focus the last couple of weeks. I did all I could to continue with the things that made me happy the last two months- blogging, exercising and reading positive words of encouragement. Slowly the blogging stopped, the reading came to a halt but I did manage to complete the 8 weeks of the Pretty Fierce Workout that I was so dedicated to. *pat on my back, smile*

I had last weekend to myself in my own home to refocus and regroup. I had great intentions for the weekend. Weekends like this do not happen often. This was my third weekend home alone in 6 years. It was going to be equal time of cleaning and organizing sans kids and then doing the true things that make me happy- blogging over cups of coffee, running by Lake Bemidji, rendering my She Shed drawings and reading happy words of encouragement.

I spent Friday night walking quietly through Target and then went home to cry over a chick flick, both things that felt good.

I began Saturday with a plan to clean for a while, work out, and run into town. The cleaning felt so good- it was a deep clean of the kitchen that left me in a sweat. So, I went with my heart and kept cleaning and decided against the work out. *win for going with the flow* Eventually I made into town, ahem, to Target, again, ahem, day four in a row. This time it was for a few things the house needed. I stopped by KD Floral in Bemidji for some much needed house plants. See, we have this planter near our stairs that has never been occupied by anything but randomness. At times it houses our keys, at times it holds things that are meant to be taken downstairs, but really, it was now the home for any toys that our kids decided to put there. KD Floral was so good to me and helped me select a few plants that would do well in the space. I met a friend for lunch at The Cabin and accidentally locked my keys in the car. *sad face* After I tried to think of how I was going to get into my locked house to get the spare car key, I saw a college kid and his dad moving out of an apartment. It dawned on me, I left my car windows open a crack for my new plants, maybe these lovely people would have a wire hanger for me to use. I felt like a criminal trying to get into my own car, but with a few tweaks and a few prayers, I was able to grab onto my keys and open up the car. **win for me, gosh I was on a role** Lunch was grand. It is always great fun to get caught up with a friend I rarely see. She was one of the first friends I had upon moving to Bemidji. I don’t know if she realizes the impact she had on my mental and social well being when I met her. I headed back home to plant my plants. All of a sudden my neighbor pulled up to see if I was missing a dog or knew of the person the dog belonged to in the back of his car. A beautiful black lab curled up in the back seat. I didn’t know, but felt so bad for this grey haired pup. I told the neighbor that if he needed help housing her for the weekend that I was free to help. Less than an hour later the doorbell rang. Guess who was the proud “owner” of a dog for the weekend? Ebb and flow, ebb and flow I chanted in my mind as I thought of how much my plans all of a sudden changed. She was a quiet companion of mine. I made her some food, called a few people to see if anyone had reported a missing dog and put her smiling face on Facebook in hopes to find her owner. She had to have been missed. This well behaving sweetie was stealing my heart already. I had to have a talk with myself to not get attached. My “fun” things were not getting completed, but maybe this was God’s way of saying to me, slow down Kirsten. I moved her up to the porch and cuddled up next to her for the night. I put in This Is Us, Season One, and binged watched a few episodes.

Sunday morning came and I was due to be a Greeter at church. I got the pup hooked up on the rope outside and quickly ran to town. I made it to church and then ran to Target- again. Dog food, toys and a leash made it into the cart. Large poster paper to hang up all over the neighborhood was purchased too.

Together, the pup and I drove around and hung up signs. I just couldn’t believe this baby was missing from someone’s life. The house got cleaned as she relaxed outside, I gave the pup a bath and cuddled up as we waited for T and the girls to arrive home from their weekend away. The girls thought she was great. We took her for a walk and then we brought her to the porch again. She and I slept together one last night. The love and peace in her eyes was beyond a feeling I can explain. She brought a sense of calm to me.

I won’t ramble too much about Monday. Long story short, we ended up finding this dog’s home. She had a chip and we were able to confirm where she came from. She is 12 years old, newly relocated to a home with one of her owners and became anxious with this move, hence the reason her for walking away from home. One of her owners is trying to find a way to make her less anxious. I have to have faith in God that a remedy will be found and she will find the calm she used to have; the calm that she showcased with me for the weekend. It was hard on my heart and my soul to leave her. There is a special place in my heart for the pups that come into my life. Maggie, Rookie, Ajax, Izze and now Daya…ok, I have to mention Lacy, Roxie and Logan too…see these pups are basically humans to me.

Life works in magical ways. Sometimes we see the magic and sometimes it left unknown. I will continue to flow as the ocean does. In and out. Sometimes there are some wicked waves we have to ride out. If we hang on tight, the calm will surface again.

Friday Favorites: A Day Off, Starbucks and Holding Hands

There is no daycare today so I was fortunate to be home with Emery today. We enjoyed taking Stella to school. It’s fun to see the girls run through the school with their friends. It amazes me that I have kids that are school aged as I often forget that I am in my mid 30’s and old enough to have kids this age. I don’t physically feel 20, but “feel” that I am still 20 at times.

After Emery had her 4 year old well child visit and shots (which we received without one tear!!!!!!) we went to Starbucks and Target. Our favorite combo. With a Matcha Frappuccino in my hand and chocolate cake pop in hers we literally walked around the store for two hours looking at everything and anything. She was such a good helper gathering groceries for us. Time in Target with one kid is so different than trying to herd them both through the store.

Now we sit and relax. Something I love to do, but am horrible at accomplishing. Holding my children’s hands are a favorite. This simple act is gentle and heart warming. We will watch Frozen together for the 2,378th time and then venture back into town to get Stella. What a beautiful day.


It’s an ugly week. Let’s face it, I thought it was Friday everyday last week- literally- and now this week is making me want to cry everyday! I can’t put a finger on it. Perhaps it is daylight savings laughing at me.

Yesterday my 5 year old, almost 6, asked if I was having a bad hair day. Check! I was. I didn’t say anything to her about how this was not a nice question to ask, I just asked why, she said my hair looked a little funny. I tried to curl it, didn’t have time to fix the disaster and it was what it was. Indeed, it was a bad hair day. My 4 year old said to me last night “you are ugly tonight”. Hmmm….thanks sweetie. We had an excellent night. Good dinner, positive communication around the dinner table, we played Guess Who and an educational game without either child murdering the other one. I just had to say to Miss Em, that hurts mommy’s feelings. No tears, just moved on to my workout after they went to bed and felt nothing about the day, besides, thank goodness it was done with.

Today, my oldest proceeded to yell at me at full force on the way to school, she then again did the same after she came home from gymnastics- really there was no reason, just her pure sassy attitude showing up. To sum it up, she threw herself into a physical and emotional fit as I carried her to bed and told her it was enough. Tears, uncontrolled tears came from my eyes after she continued to yell at top notch for the next 10 minutes about me not being nice (again, I had just walked in the door, she didn’t want to eat her peanut butter sandwich, which I guess she hates now, she literally just started to yell at me).

It is not a full moon, what gives? I question why I am sharing this. Well, because life is not perfect. I pray for her and for me. She is my mini me in so many ways, she wrestles with anxiety and worry, I see it already. I didn’t see this in me until I was in my adulthood. I don’t know how to manage this with her. I have a lot to learn. I just want me Sweet Stella back.


In a time when we need more superheroes. My love and prayers go out to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

I live in a world surrounded by superheroes. These superheroes are by my side and are there for me whenever I need them. They save lives, keep the world safe, make people feel at home and create picture perfect moments. They are unbelievably talented and loving women.

My therapist asked me last week what things I relied on in my life. What would she have said if I said my personal superheroes? This makes me smile. (I am always a little behind on what I should have said). How does a girl move through life without her girlfriends or – um- superheroes? I am blessed to have a cop, nurse, rockstar momma and creative junkie to lean on and learn from. Those are just a few of my own personal superheroes that inspire me to be the best version of me.

As I watch my daughters grow I encourage them to be kind and caring to the people that surround them. It’s important to see the good in all who surround you. You never know what superpower they have or how it may save you. Perhaps, you will save them!

There is so much competition these days. Why not bind together and make it a stronger, safer and more supportive world? Thank goodness we don’t walk around in shiny spandex, but there are certainly days where we should wear a cape.

Go on now, pick up that phone and call a friend, buy that co-worker a coffee, turn her frown upside down, or simply tell her how much she means to you!


Follow her on Instagram, she is so talented! #sophieandlili

Best Valentine’s Day Ever

On Tuesday as I went to bed I heard the forecast for Wednesday- Valentine’s Day. It was supposed to be in the 40’s! What a relief as we are all so over winter here in Minnesota! I proposed to my hubby that we should have a bonfire and roast hotdogs for dinner. He didn’t seem overly excited about this idea, but didn’t put it down either.

The kids had been outside sledding at school and at daycare so they were tired, crabby and besides themselves when we all got home. Great, “this is going to be fun” was my initial thought. T got the fire going outside, the girls put on all of their winter gear, again, and we headed outside for some more fresh air! We had some tears (see photo above) but for the most part it was the best Valentine’s Day Ever.

I am not a girl who needs flowers, candy and sparkly things, I just want the unexpected!! And I received it thanks to Mother Nature. Fresh air, clear skies, laughing kiddos and a happy hubby. My cup runneth over last night. I am still smiling over the memories made.

Welcome to Coffee Pines & Designs

Welcome to Coffee Pines & Designs a blog created by an interior designer, a person working on self love, an artist and a foodie. My name is Kirsten and all of those people are me. Far more importantly, I am a wife and mother of two daughters. I am blessed to have those titles, but upon moving to Northern Minnesota in 2011 I lost a little bit of myself. This is my outlet to regain my creative spirit and share my passions. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!