Our new go-to, no-boil lasagna recipe that is beyond delicious (and has egg)

This no-boil lasagna uses traditional noodles, eggs, cottage cheese, spaghetti or pizza sauce, mozz cheese, a grated cheese blend, hamburger and egg. Yes, egg.


Both John and I grew up with moms who made great lasagna and we’ve tried over the years to emulate those recipes, which were pretty similar. We recently decided to make lasagna and discovered I had accidentally purchased no-boil lasagna noodles and had to learn how to use them. I decided to loosely follow the recipe on the back with my own variations based on our usual lasagna recipe.

What came out was beyond amazing. The first time we made it, we just made enough for an 8×8 pan. We used an 18 ounce jar of Mario Batali pizza sauce (yes, pizza not pasta). It was rich and decadent! The second time we tried our other favorite sauce, Classico traditional tomato and basil. It was not as rich, but it was still delicious. We used two, 24 ounce jars and it made a 13×9 pan. Both brands are lower in sugar and filled with flavor compared to the cheaper brands.

The ingredient that surprised me was the egg. Lots of egg. I’ve always added grated cheese in the cottage cheese to thicken it, but never thought to use egg. I now use more than what is recommended and it’s great! I was going to write it all down then realized it would be perfect for my blog. I didn’t decide this until later so I didn’t take pictures during the production process like I normally do.

This recipe is for the 13×9 size pan. Basically cut it all in half if you want to make an 8×8 pan.

Decadent no-boil lasagna

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Mid-year(ish) look at my goals

I took this photo during a photography class I took last winter. It’s just steps to a quaint chapel. Improving my photography skills was a goal for this year.

At the beginning of the year, I shared about my goals for 2015 and my plans to accomplish those goals. There were specific ones I mentioned and others that I wrote down in private. Some I’ve met, others I have not. I try to hold myself accountable so I’m sharing my progress with you now.

My personal and professional goals are fairly intermingled because they affect each other and quite frankly, with me working from home my whole work/life balance is more of a blend.

Let’s take a look at how I’m doing so far.  Continue Reading →

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#AD #100MillionReasons to take my vitamins (and why you should too)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #100MillionReasons #CollectiveBias


How many of you remember eating those crunchy, almost tart-tasting Flinstone vitamins when you were a kid? Back then, that was pretty much the choice available for kids to get their vitamins. As icky as they were, I’m good they were available. Can you imagine not having access to a simple thing like vitamins? Walgreens is partnering with Vitamin Angels to donate a portion of their profits from vitamin sales, including all Centrum vitamins, to provide vitamins and minerals to moms and kids in need.

Shop-Centrum-VitAngelsIn case you’re unfamiliar, I thought I’d share a bit about Vitamin Angels. Vitamin Angels is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide at-risk mothers and children life-saving vitamins and minerals. In 2014, Vitamin Angels reached 40 million children in 45 countries and are distributing 300 million vitamins in 2015.

When I learned about this program through #CollectiveBias I knew I wanted to be a part. You see, I don’t know what it’s like to grow up without the vitamins and nutrients I need. I do know what it’s like to grow up with a birth defect that causes all kinds of health problems. I think I would have had more problems if I was malnourished like many children around the world, including right here in the United States.  Continue Reading →

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#ad How I’m passing on the love for reading with Kellogg’s 1 Box=2 Books

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Back2SchoolStockUp #CollectiveBias


“And down they went to see, roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble, till they came to the green grass; and there they stopped short.” –Poky Little Puppy

In my childhood world (and maybe even a bit of my adult world), no better words had ever been written. I loved books with a passion and it makes me sad to think that kids either don’t have access to books or they haven’t found ones they like yet. That’s why I’m delighted to partner with #CollectiveBias to share with you about the 1 Box=2 Books campaign with Kellogg’s. You buy one box of specially-marked items at Sam’s Club and you can redeem the enclosed code for one Scholastic book for you and Kellogg’s donates one Scholastic book to a local school. Want to read more about this from other bloggers? Check out the hashtag #Back2SchoolStockUp Continue Reading →

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Video: K9 Kannon great for dog owners with disabilities (or anyone with tired shoulders)

Jazzy loves her K9 Kannon and I love it too because it lets me play fetch with her without getting my hands icky from dog slobber or wearing out my shoulders.

Jazzy loves her K9 Kannon and I love it too because it lets me play fetch with her without getting my hands icky from dog slobber or wearing out my shoulders.


I have been experimenting with doing more video and love using the new Twitter-based social media platform Persiscope (follow me at @JamiesThots).

I recently “scoped” about the K9 Kannon, which we’ve used for at least a year to play fetch with Jazzy, who needs up to two hours of exercise every day. She would do more if we had time! I redid the video and uploaded it to YouTube. I’m working to do more YouTube so expect more entries like this from me!

I’ve been meaning to blog about the K9 Kannon for a while now but just never felt like pictures did it justice. Video is great for showing the whole process! I had to turn my phone to the side so that’s why my face is chopped a little in the video. It’s only three minutes long … enjoy and please share!


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Whew! July flew right by. Here’s a review of our adventures


I know I’ve not been sharing a lot of thots here lately but it’s a good reason. I’ve been busy living life instead of writing about it, I guess! I kept planning to write individual blogs about each adventure but decided to just sum up July all at once. Continue Reading →

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Summer fritters recipe (Zucchini, carrot, corn croquettes)

Zucchini corn carrot fritters


I hate wasting food but I also often find that we have leftover ingredients when we make certain recipes. This means I’m often on a mission to find recipes to fit the odd amount of ingredients I have left over.

We had tons of sliced carrots left over.

We had tons of sliced carrots left over.

We recently made our favorite Farmer’s Market Pasta Bake and had a whole zucchini and a bunch of chopped carrots leftover. I tried eating them plain, but that’s just not my thing. We had made squash and corn croquettes last summer, and John asked if the same concept would work for the ingredients we had left from the pasta bake.


I found several recipes for zucchini and carrot fritters but decided to do our own version of the ingredients and the amounts. Quite truthfully, we chose these quantities based on how much zucchini we had left! Continue Reading →

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‘There is freedom’ (a few thots about Independence Day and our nation)

I received a $25 gift certificate from Family Christian in exchange for a post about the Fourth of July. All editorial direction, opinions, and thoughts are my own. All the photos are mine and all the graphics are pictures from creative commons with my text overlay. The text is obviously from the Bible.

2 Corinthians 3-17New International


My heart is heavy but hopeful as I write this blog. One would think that a blog about the Fourth of July should be all sparkle and fireworks but that’s not where my heart is right now. I’m asking for forgiveness in advance because this will be one of those blogs where I ramble and share my heart, not one where I have tons of pretty pictures and happy thoughts.

My heart has been increasingly heavy at how far we have fallen out of God’s will as a nation. No, not fallen. We’ve chosen to move farther and farther to where I don’t think we can really call ourselves a Christian nation anymore. It feels hopeless. It feels infuriating. It feels almost dangerous and threatening.  Continue Reading →

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4 #NWARK restaurants I’ve tried recently that you can’t miss

John and I really enjoy going out to eat, especially when we can try new (to us) places or new dishes at some of our favorite spots. In the last few months, I’ve tried several places in Northwest Arkansas that I think are definitely worth going back for more. Oddly enough, most of them did not have reliable websites that I could find but I will come back and add those in if I find them.

These are four restaurants I recommend you try for a date or even the whole family. Continue Reading →

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A glimpse at my first WordCamp Kansas City #WCKC



My first trip of the summer concluded last weekend and I had a grand time! I experienced some difficulties, but am choosing to see them as part of the overall experience instead of a big negative. I shared in a recent blog about three trips I’m planning this summer and so far, the summer is off to a great start.

This first trip was a business trip to WordCamp Kansas City. WordCamps are held all over the globe and are conferences designed for WordPress users. This blog you’re reading right now is using WordPress (it’s a content management system for websites and blogs).

I was a speaker and also a participant in WordCamp KC. I’ve been involved with WordCamp Fayetteville (coming Aug. 1) for six years but this was my first time attending WordCamp Kansas City. I loved the city, the conference, the food, and all the new people I met.

I have tons of photos so I tried grouping them in collages to make this easier.  Continue Reading →

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