Welcome to the land of Denakis

So, this happened. And was delicious! July 31, 2015

Filed under: Recipe — Desiree @ 3:35 pm

Featured image

Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Serves 4

(Double, triple as necessary)

2 acorn squash (.98), halved

1/2 pound of Ground Meat

1 cup short grain brown rice (.60)

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ onion, sautéed (.05)

1 cup mushrooms, sautéed (1.25)

1 carrot, peeled, chopped roughly, and steamed (.38/.25=.10)

1 cup winter greens, chopped roughly and steamed (.50)

¼ cup vegetable broth (.50)

2 tbsp  butter, melted

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped finely

salt and pepper to taste


Cut the squashes in half and roast for about 25 minutes on 350 degrees.

Cook the rice in the rice cooker according to directions.

Sauté meat and onion in olive oil until softened. Add in mushrooms for the last five minutes of cooking.

Steam carrots and winter greens for a short period of time.

Combine broth, butter, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl.

Combine rice, sautéed veggies, steamed veggies, and broth mixture in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Stuff mixture inside each squash half.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


Do as you say and Random acts of generosity and kindness October 1, 2014

Filed under: Family,Healthy,Other — Desiree @ 2:26 pm
Tags: , ,

I had many, many titles for this post.

Backseat Therapist
Little Humans Hear All
Love Thyself as much as you love others
Why can we all just get along… with ourselves?
…and the list could go on and on.

So, this will be a two-part post because while I was thinking of what to write a second, amazing thing happened to me this morning and it deserves to be shared as well.


We always hear that we should be saying body positive things to our children, mostly so they don’t grow up self-conscience about their bodies, but also so they can learn that body acceptance, of their own and other’s is equally important.

I’m so guilty of building up my daughter’s image of her body and self and tearing down my own in the very next breathe.

Such as:
Me: Hey Beautiful, I love your outfit today! You look really cute!
Jaizy: Thank you Mommy! You look really pretty, too!
Me: Oh, thanks, but I know you’re just being sweet. This is a really old shirt.

WTH? Why do we do that to ourselves. Not only that, but we are devaluing our children’s words!

(Scene: Driving down the street, a car looks like it’s going to pull in front of me)
Me: Oh my goodness! Don’t they know not to scare fat people!
Jaizy: Mommy, you’re not fat, you’re perfect.
Me, Oh, Aren’t you funny! I know that I’m fat, it’s ok!

Again, I just basically called her a liar. When in fact, I am perfect to her. She doesn’t know me any other way and she loves me just the way I am. And it’s not like me being fat is a secret. EVERYONE can see it!

Just last night:
(Scene: I was removing my makeup)
Jaizy: Mommy, you’re so pretty, you don’t even need makeup! I like you better without it!
Me: Thank you! But Mommy likes to wear makeup. It makes me feel better.

Almost… but not quite. Why do we have to justify it? And why would makeup make me feel better? I could have just left it at I like it. End of story.

So, my goal moving forward to to give value to her (and other’s) words to me. People probably aren’t lying to my face when they give me a compliment, right?

Basically, live what I say.

Ok, second:
While I was walking Jaizy to her classroom, the most amazing thing happened.
I came out to my car and started to leave because I had just enough time to get to work on time. I noticed a piece of white paper and thought nothing of it for a second. Then I took a closer look and saw it was an envelope, so I thought someone just dropped off a random note.
And then I looked closer.

It was an envelope and on the front it said: May God Bless You!

What on earth? I thought…

And while I was driving the .75 miles to work I opened the envelope and burst into tears because inside was cash.

Cash. Money. More than $20 less than $1000. (That’s all I’m going to say about that.)

But the timing… Perfect.

So while I’m figuring out how to accept compliments I will be thinking of how I can pay acts of kindness forward.


2 years too long! July 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Desiree @ 11:37 pm

Yeah, I know… it was 2 years between the last two posts.  I suck. Whatever. 
No, really I’ve just been busy and refocusing my life and what I do with it.  
Let’s recap:

I moved.  I know I talked about this before my long absence, but I moved more than 45 miles away from where I lived.  That isn’t a lot, but where I moved to, it’s like a whole other world.

I started a new job/career.  Not only did I start a new (3 years ago…) job, but I switched fields 100%. I went from working in child care for 15 years to working in an office and then moving to a dispatch position for an export company.  I couldn’t have created a better job for myself.  I love it.

My oldest son, Matthew, graduation high school, joined the Army and moved across the county.  Seriously.  He’s currently living in Washington DC, training at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Graduation BadAss Army Soldier

My daughter started kindergarten, finished kindergarten, went through 1st grade, is on a TAG plan and is excitingly awaiting 2nd grade.  Yeah, she’s strange.  We love her anyway.  She really enjoys dance.  

First day of 2012/13 year  Jaizy Dance 2014 

We are gearing up for our 2nd senior.  JoNathan will be graduating this school year and will be checking out which college he will be attending.  He is looking to pursue the field of Sports Medicine.  This last year he did amazing in Track.  He even has secured the Captain position for next year’s track and field team.  Never before have they announced the captain BEFORE the season!  Way to go, Bubba!  


Caden is doing awesome!  He is very interested in Airsoft and has a group of people that he participates with.  He has done pretty well at school, and works hard.  He played football last year, but has decided to not play this year.  He had a pretty good year in track, too.




I hit this big fitness thing last year, lost some motivation, partially due to my dumb foot, and partially due to huge amounts of lazy.  I did manage to do a really fun 5K, the Color Run.  I even signed up this year, so I better get my butt back into training mode!  I should probably take off AT LEAST 20 pounds before then!


And the Mister and I are having fun with our relationship.  Just trudging along and enjoying the kids as they find who they are in the amazing world.  We hit 19 years of marriage this year.  We should plan something SUPER fun for 20 years!

Mister and Me


Long time – no see!

Filed under: Healthy,Recipe,Uncategorized — Desiree @ 9:41 pm

Yeah, I’ve been a bit MIA.  Just a bit… (Understatement!!!)


So, I’m going to share with you one of my favoritest snacks ever right now.  SOOOO filling and actually good for you!

Yes, really!

SQ Quinoa Salad

This is my SW Quinoa Salad.  I have a to-die-for black bean and corn salsa recipe so I got creative one day and added quinoa.  I will never look back.

Quinoa is all the rage right now.  According to HuffingtonPost: (

” …quinoa has three dietary trends to thank for its popularity boost. First, quinoa is a great gluten-free option that’s riding the recent gluten-free diet trend. Second, it is also considered a “superfood” from a marketing standpoint because it is nutritionally dense. And third, its status as a complete protein (because it has all nine of essential amino acids) caters to the ever-growing population of vegetarians and vegans, as well as those who are just trying to eat less meat. Since the grain shares the properties of all three of these health food trends at once, quinoa could be here to stay.”


The recipe couldn’t be more simple.  It’s open a bunch of cans, chop up a few things, omit what you don’t want, add something else.  Completely customizable.  Or delicious just this way!

I eat this a variety of ways.  With tortilla chips.  With a spoon and dig right in.  Mixed in with scrambled eggs.  As a dressing for my taco salad… I could go on and on…

 Just believe me and make some for yourself.




2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with jalapenos
2 (15 ounce) cans white corn
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 medium red onion
1 bunch green onion
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well to combine flavors. Refrigerate to allow flavors to meld.
Eat as a stand alone salad or dip into it with tortilla chips! Also great used as salsa!
Very easy to leave out ingredients, or add your favorite flavors. I’ve made this without onion products with zero problems and lots of flavor.

You can find nutritional facts and other tidbits here: (yes, this is my recipe!)



This is how I will raise my daughter April 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Desiree @ 6:06 pm


That’s Denakis-land, NOT Denak-island! February 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Desiree @ 8:42 am

Such a happy place.

That is my life right now.  Is everything perfect?  No, not even close, but the contentment that I’m feeling is unlike any other that I’ve felt in my adult life.  Probably my whole life, but really, who knows how content I was at 5 months old, so I really can’t make the comparison.

With all the crazy, amazing, baffling, terrifying, out-of-my-control transitions last year held I am really surprised that things have fallen the way they have in the last 5 months or so.  The kids are doing really well in school, I really like my job and Jason does, as well.  His job didn’t really change, as he is still working for the same company, he just transferred locations, and that was a big change in itself. 

This upcoming year will hold a few more transitions.  Hopefully, moving again (we love it in Saint Helens, however, this house is just NOT for us!), Caden moving on to High School and Jaizy to Kindergarten *sniff!* are just a few more changes in store for our family.  And I’m ok with that.  I think that the amount of change that has come at us and the way that we have handled it says a lot for my family. 

Which, naturally, reflects on me as the Queen of Denakisland😉


Flashback December 12, 2011

Filed under: Family — Desiree @ 10:44 pm
Tags: ,

–Copy and pasted from my **old** myspace account.
Oct 8, 2006

It’s a girl

Current mood:anxious
We found out that we are having a girl. For some strange reason this scares/worries me. I don’t really relate to girls well, never really did. And I remember what I was like (especially as a teen-ager) and that is what really worries me the most! I mean, I had 4 kids by the time I was 23! Does it matter that we were married, and that we wanted our kids young? Maybe.
So now with 3 boys, we have to look foward to the “girlie” stuff, (did I mention that I HATE the color pink?) and of course the boys, who by the way are 8, 9 and 11 years old, are way excited to have a baby sister on the way. Matthew (my oldest) had to inform me that when Jaidelyn (that’s going to be her name) is his age (11) he’ll be 22! What the hell is that?!?!?! He’ll be finishing up college and she won’t even be in middle school yet!
I’m sure I’m freaking out unnecessarily. I was a girl. I have a sister. My boys are pretty well adjusted and behaved. I just worry about having a “mini-me” running around. I don’t even get along with myself half the time! BTW— Jason couldn’t be any more excited! I guess it’s only fair that he gets his “little girl,” since I have my “boys.”
My daughter turns 5 in a few days.  I’m shocked how fast the time has gone.  I don’t know why, I have three other children who are all now teenagers.  I mean, I GET how fast that seemed to go!  I guess with all the life transitions we’ve had this year, I feel like I’ve lost some time somewhere.
5… amazing!
BTW- If you ever want to see how much you’ve grown, go log into your myspace account and you’ll instantly feel more “grown-up.”