Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Easy Chess Squares: A Family Favorite

Hey, y'all!  So tonight I'm sharing a delicious, simple recipe that's very near and dear to my heart.  My grandma, as well as aunts and cousins, have always enjoyed making Chess Squares.  If you haven't had them, girl, you are missing out.  We have made chess squares for pretty much every holiday for years.  I've also made them for football tailgating, and just as sweet gifts to surprise friends.

The recipe is super easy, so let's get started, shall we?

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 package butter cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, (4 oz), softened
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 box confectioners' sugar, (1 lb)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened


  • Combine cake mix, butter and egg and pat into 9x13" pan.
  • Mix sugar, eggs and cream cheese, and pour on the crust mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until browned.
  • Let cool completely, then cut into squares.
I  usually store mine in a tupperware container.  Enjoy, and let me know how you like them!




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

eShakti Feature & Review

eshakti staying salty blog

Happy Tuesday, Ladies!  Today I would like to feature a super cute online boutique I got a dress from a few weeks ago.  I had to see it to believe it, y'all.  eShakti truly represents real fashion for real people.  How often have you tried on a dress and thought, "aw man, I love this one, but it's just a little too short", or "this would so be cuter if it were sleeveless".  eShakti makes this wishlist a reality with their style customizations.  Simply shop from their cute designs, then customize your length, sleeve length, style and fit for the clothing you choose.  Amazing, huh?

Check out this example posted on their site:

eshakti staying salty blog

I'm always a little skeptical about the fit when ordering clothing online, but eShakti thoroughly impressed me.  I don't think the dress I ordered could have fit any more perfectly.  I absolutely love it!  I'm even looking forward to wearing it into fall with some cute cardigans.

eshakti staying salty blog
eshakti staying salty blog

eshakti staying salty blog

Right now they are running a Buy One, Get One Free sale site-wide, so hurry on and find your perfectly styled pieces.

Follow eShakti on Pinterest and Instagram for more style inspiration!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ana and Jonathan's Wedding

Hey, y'all!  Is it really Friday already?  I have been meaning to post a recap of last weekend's wedding all week.  Since it's already Friday, I figured I better hop to it!

My cousin, Ana, married her sweet man, Jonathan, last weekend and it was a wonderful wedding.  Jon and I ventured down to southern VA on Friday, spent time with family, and headed out Saturday afternoon for the big event.:) We were all in constant prayer as it rained (okay, poured) almost all morning for this outdoor wedding to be held at 4pm.  Thankfully, God allowed for the rain to clear off just in time for the beautiful outdoor ceremony.  The couple got married at Winridge Manor and had their reception at Tresca on 8th, two gorgeous venues.  Here are some photos from the day! Congrats Ana and Jonathan!

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Paleo Lasagna that Rocked Our World

As promised y'all...probably my first time cooking paleo.  It took some work, but amazing and fresh with all of our summertime veggies.  Check it out.  I found it under my pin for 50 Clean Eating Crockpot Recipes.  I'm definitely looking forward to trying some more of these. The crockpot is pretty much my best friend.

staying salty blog paleo crockpot lasagna

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A paleo crock pot lasagna recipe with four delicious layers: a homemade marinara, zucchini noodles, a creamy "cheese" layer, and a ground turkey layer with fresh basil.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • ¼ C. Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 7 C. Tomatoes, diced(about 10 small tomatoes)
  • ½ tablespoon Raw Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ Small Onion, diced
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 18 large Basil Leaves, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ¼ small Onion, chopped
  • ½ Yellow Summer Squash, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ C. Coconut milk, divided
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 medium-sized Zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise(6-7 slices from each zucchini)
  1. To make the Marinara:
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the onion and salt and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and honey and reduce heat to medium. Let the sauce cook down for about 20 minutes, or until no longer watery and slightly thick. Check seasonings and add more salt, if needed.
  3. To make the meat filling:
  4. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium/high heat. Add the ground turkey and break apart with a spatula. Cook the turkey for 2 minutes then add the onion, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until turkey is cooked through(make sure it has been broken up into small crumbles) and the onion is soft. Remove the pan from heat and toss the fresh basil into the mixture.
  5. To make the paleo "Cheese Sauce"
  6. Heat the olive oil to medium in a small saucepan. Add the chopped onion, summer squash, salt, and garlic to the pan and saute for about 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Do not brown. Add ¼ C. of the coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until more than half of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Place the mixture in a blender with the remaining ¼ c. coconut milk and puree until very smooth. Add the egg and puree until well blended.
  8. To assemble lasagna:
  9. Lightly grease the inside of a crock pot.
  10. Cover the bottom of the crock pot with about ¾ C. of the marinara sauce, spreading it out evenly.
  11. Place about 5 zucchini 'noodles' side by side over the marinara sauce.
  12. Spoon a layer of the 'cheese sauce' over the zucchini noodles(about ½ C).
  13. Sprinkle about ½ heaping c. of the meat mixture over the sauce.
  14. Spoon about ½-3/4 C. of the marinara sauce evenly over the meat mixture.
  15. Repeat this layering process until you have made 5 layers(zucchini, sauce, meat, marinara) ending with the marinara sauce.
  16. Cover and cook on high for 1½ hours.
  17. After 1½ hours, remove the lid.
  18. Using a turkey baster or a ladle, remove all excess liquid that has pooled in the crock pot(the zucchini will let off quite a bit of liquid) and place it in a shallow frying pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until reduced into a thick, creamy sauce. Pour the sauce over the top of the lasagna in the crock pot and serve.

Source: Paleo Crockpot Lasagna

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hello!...from our new Home!

staying salty blog military life

Hey y'all!  Oh my goodness, I feel like it has been forever since I have written.  Honestly, we've had internet in our home for the past week and a half, but I just haven't been able to "find" the time to post.  I hope you all are doing well, and I can't wait to start catching up on your lives.

I never want this blog to seem like a forced thing, to feel the pressure to write a certain amount of posts in a certain time frame.  I have found myself over the past few days thinking "man, I used to blog...I guess I don't do that anymore?...".  The truth is I have been spending a significant amount of time seeking to discern where God wants me to be in this season.  I recently quit my job, got my awesome husband back from deployment, moved into a home with more space than we know what to do with, and am steady meeting amazing people through ministry and military spouse get-togethers. I also eat ice cream every night. Life is great, y'all.

What I feel God reveal to me more and more though is that regardless of how great life can be, my ultimate fulfillment comes from being where He would have me.  Apart from that, life is just kind of "blah".  So, I don't know where I was going with this other than, God has recently instilled in me a deeper desire to seek His face in how I spend my time, and in the relationships I am making here at our new duty station.

I really like the military.  (other than deployments of course)  I've really enjoyed meeting the spouses of the soldiers working with Jon.  It's super cool to be forming bonds with them as our spouses do the same in the workplace.  I'm also thankful for the fellowship that God has provided Jon and I with since we arrived.  I guess our largest prayer currently is to be used by God, to hear His voice and know where He wants us.

Love you guys!  Hoping to "find" the time to write more soon.

ps--I experimented with a paleo Pinterest recipe tonight that totally rocked our world.  I've gotta share it with y'all asap.