Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes, a Wedding, & What’s to Come

So yes, it’s been a while since I put anything on this blog. With a new year comes new ideas, thoughts, and processes and I’m going to do a bit of a brain-dump here to explain where I’ve been and where I’m going!

2022 was such a great year for so many reasons but sadly my blog took the biggest hit as I neglected it. And here is why… I gave into the overwhelm of life.

In the fall of 2021, while Bill and I were on vacation in northern Michigan, he surprised me by dropping on one knee before dinner with my mom, my sister and her family, and proposing! After being together 10 years I had always hoped the day would come but wasn’t sure it ever would! Fast forward to today… I couldn’t be happier!

Engagement Photo on Deer Lake

I honestly had no idea how overwhelming planning a wedding could be. Bill and I entertain A LOT and I thought, “This is is just a bigger party, right?” and while I was correct, there were so many more details to cover and attend to. Where would we get married? When? What is the budget? Will people come?

When we determined we really didn’t need a wedding planner, I bought a book that walked me through the process as I wasn’t really sure on some of the details. We decided early on we wanted to get married at our home (a secret dream I had when we first saw our home in 2012). With the help of my BFF, who graciously made phone calls to vendors and found our reception caterer and family night food truck, and my amazing neighbors who helped set up and clean up, the day was absolutely perfect. Our parents smiled down from heaven to deliver us the perfect weather too. It was everything I wanted it to be and like all things, it all fell perfectly into place.

In May of 2022, after Bill went on a business trip, he brought home the gift of COVID. He started feeling lousy on a Tuesday and tested positive on Wednesday. I started feeling lousy on Wednesday and tested positive on Thursday. He bounced back to feeling 100% in 48 hours, while I was laid out for an entire week. Thankfully mom didn’t catch it at all while she was with us at the time!

That is the week I fell of the blogging train. COVID exhausted me and the reality of REALLY having to start executing the wedding plans kicked in. Between working full time and managing my Pampered Chef business, and all of the wonderful activities that come with weddings, I just couldn’t do it all. I accepted that and knew I’d get back here at some point!

With that, I’m going to share a few of my favorite pictures with you and promise that going forward, you will be seeing some new things on this blog!

What you can expect going forward…

  • A new look! You will see new recipe blocks for each recipe. You can now print the recipe right from the blog page. You can skip over the brief stories I write about the recipes by clicking the Jump To Recipe button. You can also shop the equipment I use in the recipes by clicking on any of the pictures and/or links
  • More recipes! Before my unintentional hiatus, I had more than 2 dozen recipes written and ready to go… all they needed were photographs. I will be getting those up in the next few weeks!
  • More content! Would you like this blog to stick to recipes or would you like more lifestyle content? Please be sure to place your thoughts in the comments! Thank you!
  • Shopping links! If you see something you like, you can shop my kitchen!

As with most things in life, this blog is a work in progress and will be evolving as time goes on. Thanks for being on this journey with me!


Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

So why this blog and why now?  With recently being diagnosed with Primary Hyper-Parathyroidism and doing extensive Googling research, I found information that one of the best ways to help control it is to eat as closely to gluten-free and dairy-free including soy-free and corn-free as much as possible.  WOW!  At first I was really bummed, but then decided that this new lifestyle is going to be a wonderful adventure for me!

gfdfFirst off, anyone who knows me know I like to cook and love trying and testing new recipes.  So here we are!

After the thought of never having a Grandma’s pizza again (especially from our favorite pizza place), I discovered that it’s not going to be as hard as I thought it would be.  I will just need to put in a little more thoughtfulness.  I’m already familiar with gluten-free diets as three of my sisters have Celiac Disease.  It’s really the other three (dairy, soy and corn) that were throwing me off.

And just last week, I found out my BFF is struggling with a similar situation.  While I’m sad for her diagnosis, I’m excited to share this journey with her!

But with that challenge, the Fooducate app came to my rescue!  I upgraded to the premium feature which allows me to scan barcodes of products in the grocery store and it will tell me if there is milk, gluten or soy in any of them.  It’s just missing corn for me but I can read the labels for that!

This is where this blog comes in.  My goal here is to cook real food with real ingredients that anyone can get anywhere in the US at any store, and if you can’t find them in your local store, just ask me I’ll help you figure out where you can.

I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and hopefully I’ll help someone else out in the process.

Shop my kitchen