Mason Jar Zucchini Lasagna

Welcome to O’s Recipe Book! 

This is a new series where I share my new recipes that I try! Most of them will be healthy oriented and attainable for meal prepping! 

This week I made mason jar zucchini lasagna! An easy lasagna without the pasta and ready to be thrown into your lunch box when you are heading out the door for school or work!

I received the wonderful inspiration to make this from Whitney Simmons on YouTube!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 lb of Ground turkey (or any meat you prefer)
  2. 2 large zuchinni’s
  3. 1 cup cottage cheese
  4. 1/2 cup egg whites
  5. 1 jar of Tomato/ marinara sauce
  6. Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  7. 4 Mason jars

(This recipe makes 4 servings )
Directions: 

1. Cook ground turkey over stove top until meat is fully cooked.


2. Add in marinara sauce to the cooked ground turkey (I used this delicious, organic and healthy Bertolli Sauce from Costco!)

3. Add dash of sea salt and black pepper to meat sauce for extra flavor.

4. Chop up your zuchinni in circular pieces then cut those into halves.

5. Whip your 1 cup of cottage cheese with your 1/2 cup egg whites together in a separate bowl.

6. Start layering! 


  • Layer 1: zuchinni (lay about 3-4 half pieces) this replaces your pasta. 
  • Layer 2: a spoonful or two of your meat sauce. 
  • Layer 3: 1 spoonful of your cottage cheese/egg white mix
  • Layer 4: Pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  • Top off with lots of mozzeralla cheese! 

Repeat the above layers until Mason jar is full! 




7. Place 3-4 full Mason jars on cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 


BE VERY CAREFUL AS YOU TAKE THESE OUT OF THE OVEN. The glass jars get extremely hot and a little heavy as you take them out of the oven. 

Let these cool down for a loooong time before serving or storing in the fridge. 

They look a little weird, but they are DELICIOUS! Enjoy ❤️



Let me know if you try these out and how they came out for you! 


Follow me on Instagram for more ideas! ❤️



5 Things You Need to Know Before Joining a Facebook  Blogging Group. 

This post here is for my fellow bloggers or those who are in the process of starting their own blog! 

I’m very new to the blogging world. I’ve only been blogging for about a month and a half, and I’m learning new things literally every day that I blog and connect with other bloggers. 

I am by no means an expert at blogging, but I do feel seasoned enough in one topic to share with you some tips! 

Facebook Blogging groups! What are they? A facebook blogging group is a community where many different types of bloggers join a group(on Facebook)  to share tips, give and receive advice, ask questions, connect, and help each other grow their blogs and businesses! 

If you’re a blogger, especially a newbie like me, I highly recommend looking into groups like this to help grow your blog and audience. It is such a wonderful, fun, and productive way to connect and see growth in your blog. 

BUT, I feel like I need to share some tips with you about going groups! Here is what I learned from my experience and mistakes that I have made… 

1. Do not join too many groups at once. 

There are TONS, literally tons of groups you can join, but I recommend sticking to 4 or 5 groups (at most) to start off with. 

My first and biggest mistake was joining 7 groups at once, and I could not keep up with each group and their different rules, threads, and notifications. I got overwhelmed, wasn’t able to follow all the rules, and wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain. Start slow, and focus on just a few groups that truly catch your eye and that you believe you can keep up with! Take it easy! 🙂 
2. Read ALL the rules from every group and FOLLOW them! 

Some groups have thousands of members, so you might think that they won’t notice you… well, that’s not true. If you break the rules, you will be found, get called out, and get deleted or blocked from the group. Each group has different rules and some groups are very strict with their rules, so read (and re read) each set of rules and always ask the moderator or admin questions if you are unsure about a rule. 
3. Do not join a thread or challenge if you don’t think you can’t complete it. 

To be honest, this is how I got kicked out from a group just a few days ago. I dropped links in too many different threads and got overwhelmed and couldn’t finish them. So I’ve learned to only participate in threads every other day or every two days, and focus on those and complete them as soon as I can! Manage your time and follow through with the thread! If you can’t, delete your link and let admin or a moderator know that you have done so and will not complete the thread. (Also read the specific group rules on what to do if you can’t or choose not to complete the thread) 

It’s so unfair to drop links and get tons of engagement and likes, but not put the effort in to do the same for others. I learned that not completing threads and not doing your part is always unfair, even if it’s unintentional.

So just slow down, take your time, and only commit to what you know you can finish! 
4. Don’t look at admin and moderators as “the bad guys”. 

I notice that sometimes moderators and admin can come off as rude because they are strict with the rules, but that’s the only way to keep things fair and organized in the group!  I don’t look at it as rude.. I see it as them doing their part to help you with your growth in a fair manner. So to avoid conflict and hurt feelings, understand that it’s never personal. It’s just part of the rules and its is expected of all members to follow them! 🙂 
5. Be honest and fair. 

Sometimes, I’ve seen people say they liked or commented on the link you shared, but actually didn’t… again, admin will find out and you will get booted from the group. Don’t lie and say you did your part and you really didn’t. You will get caught. Would you want someone to do that to you? Of course not. So be honest and fair as you join and participate in these groups. 
I understand the excitement of being a part of these groups and seeing growth! It’s great! But start slow and don’t get caught  up in too many things at once! It’s never fun to get called out and kicked out of a group (I should know lol), so remember to pace yourself! 
Let me know if this helped you! Also let me know if you know of any other tips to help a new member of Facebook blogging groups! 

With Love, 

Olivia💛

PURSUE YOUR PURPOSE. 

For the longest time, I always felt like I didn’t have a gift or something to share and offer to others. (And honestly, sometimes I still feel that way…)

I’ve always been passionate about so many things but never looked at those things as being “gifts” or something “worth pursuing”. I always doubted my talents and kept the toxic mindset that although I may be good at something, there’s always someone out there who is better, so why bother? 

I never had full confidence in my capabilities and I’m not sure why. I think I just have always lived a life that was controlled too much by self doubt. 

I realized how detrimental these ways of thinking and living were, and how much it held me back… My potential could never be used or reached if I kept allowing doubt and discouragement to take the lead. 
So I’m slowly but surely working on seeing the good and positives in myself and my talents. 

I’m learning to focus on things that are truly important and matter most to me. I’m learning to not let the little things get to me. 

I’m learning that I need to step out of my comfort zone and DO SOMETHING about the things I want. (Ahem, like starting a blog) 

I’m learning to pursue my passions and my purpose daily, and to work for it… not just expect it to happen. 


I have many days of discouragement and laziness. I have plenty of days where I don’t want to write, I don’t want to feel inspired, and I don’t want to put in all the work that comes with blogging. (especially all the techy/computer side to it all) 

I have many moments of doubt and confusion when I see that many of my “friends” don’t care to read or support my journey through this blogging life. 

My life feels like a crazy and nonstop roller coaster with all the emotions I allow myself to feel. My fun hobbies sometimes turn into a task that becomes a drag to do. And I don’t want that to be my everyday life.. would you want that? I sure hope not! That’s no way to live. 

So I’m here today to just remind you to remember your purpose and why you started in the first place!

Whether you are a blogger, a stay at home mom, a nurse, a college student, in the military, starting out in ministry… whatever it is, remember that you are right where God wants you and remember why you do what you do! 

I’ve come to the point where I’ve needed to tell myself “that’s ienough of the self pity and self doubt! It’s time to work hard and be who you were meant to be”. 

Here are some quotes and little sayings that encourage me and are great reminders as you pursue your passion and purpose!❤️




With love, 

Olivia ❤️

How to Grow Your Makeup Collection While on a Budget: Boxycharm February 2017. 

IT’S HERE! 😀 My February Boxycharm has finally arrived and I’m so excited for it! 

I know last month I said that January’s box was my favorite… Well guys, I think this month is DEFINITELY going to be my favorite! 

Boxycharm just KILLS IT every month and I’m rarely (if ever) disappointed! 



If you’re looking to grow your makeup collection and you like trying new brands, and even high end brands, subscribing to boxycharm is seriously an amazing way to do so! 

I’ve received makeup products- eyeliner, eye shadows, eye primers, mascara, lipstick, lipgloss, lipbalm, lip stains, lip liner, blush, bronzer, highlighter, etc… YOU NAME IT. Some of my favorite brushes that I use daily are ones that I received from Boxycharm. 

I’ve received skincare- face masks, serums, eye creams, etc.. and they are all high end. (Especially this months skincare product) 

I’ve received fragrances and they actually smell amazing! 😉 

All in all, you get an amazing variety from so many great brands- Tarte, Ofra, Makeup Geek, Dr. Brandt, Luxie, etc… 

Let’s take a look into the goodies that I received this month!…. 

1. My favorite items this month: TRIO EYE SKIT BY SEDONA LACE. 


These brushes are beautiful and are of such good quality, and there’s THREE of them! One blender brush, one double ended eyebrow/ spoolie brush, and an eyeliner brush! They are all synthetic hairs which I love and this trio normally retails for $39.99 

I love receiving brushes and I am excited to try Sedona Lace because I have been curious about this brand for so long! 

2. MAKEUP GEEK EYESHADOW PANS

In the shades “Beaches n’ Cream” and “Glamorous” 


Makeup geek has AMAZING shadows and I am growing my collection by all the shadow pans that I’ve received from previous boxes! Each shadow retails for $6 each. I’m so excited to use them! Beaches n’ cream is the perfect cream and natural shade (which I’ve been needing). And Glamorous is a pretty shimmer Brown/ gold shade. 


3. DR. BRANDT DERMABRASION MASK. 


Holy smokes, this bad boy retails for $79! (Say what?!) I’ve been on the hunt for a good mask and now I’m so happy I have this to try out! Let me know if y’all want a first impressions post on this
4. SMALL Z PALETTE 


YAY! We recently got an Ofra Z palette a few months ago and mine is already filled up, so this one is perfect! This palette retails for $14 and  fits 9 eyeshadow pans and I plan to organize all of my MUG shadows in it!


5. JAPONESQUE PRO PERFORMANCE LIPSTICK 

 
This is in the shade 07 and it’s a lovely maroon/ brownish shade and it retails for $20.. Do y’all think I can pull this color off? I’m not sure if I can… if not, I think I’ll add it to a future giveaway on my Instagram 


So to total it all… I received 8 products for $21 and the retail value of this box was $165! WOW! 

Y’all, this is such a great way to build your makeup collection when you’re on a budget… high end and full size products for $21?! You can’t beat that! 

The variety of brands and products is also nice when building your collection! 
Are you subscribed to boxycharm? If so, what is your favorite product this month? 

Are there any other subscriptions you are a part of that you love? Let me know! 


Until next time, 

Olivia

[this post is NOT sponsored and I am not an affiliate with this company. I pay for my box every month.] 

Take Me to the Mountains. 

Where is your most favorite place on earth? 

For me, it’s the mountains. 

There’s something so special and magical about the FRESH and crisp mountain air. I love the quietness and stillness that you feel in the mountains. I love that you see wildlife and how simple and peaceful they live. There’s something so calming about the soft breezes you feel. 

I’m a lover of all of God’s creation, and I love many places… 

I love the desert… it’s where I live and where I grew up. I love the ocean.. it’s magical and overwhelming and beautiful… but my most favorite place in the world is the mountains. 
My love for the mountains and outdoors began when I was 18. 

And since then, my love for those things has only gotten stronger.
The mountains and outdoors are so special to me because both Damond and I have a passion for it and for hunting. Our best times together are when we are out hiking, hunting, and camping. 

I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from my favorite times outdoors. 

[ALL photos belong to me (Olivia Aragon) and CAN NOT be used or taken without my permission] 

My favorite places! 



Pecos, New Mexico- where Damond and I went grouse hunting. 






Manzano Moyntains, New Mexico. Damond and i’s favorite place to hunt, hike, and get away! It’s only 45 minutes from where I live too! 



Spring turkey hunt in the Manzano Mountains 2016



Rio Grande River, New Mexico. Crane hunting 2016. 



Rio Grande River, NM. 




Jemez camping trip 2013 





Quail hunting in the Manzano Mountains 2017. 


Love seeing wildlife! 



I have many more photos from other hunts and hikes. These are all just a few from my favorites times. 

As I have said before, there is nothing, absolutely nothing I love more than being outdoors taking in God’s creation. 

What is your favorite thing to do outdoors or in the mountains? Where’s your most favorite place in the world? 


With love, 

Olivia 



Wellness Wednesday: Teami Blends Detox

Hello and welcome to my first ever #WELLNESSWEDNESDAY 🎉


Wellness Wednesday is a new series on my blog where I feature products or tips having to do with your wellness and health! 

I’m on my personal journey to be as natural as I can when it comes to taking care of myself and my body. I’m on a journey to learn how to love myself and truly take care of my body and mind by eating clean, getting fit, and going natural in many aspects of my life. 

[Before I present this weeks product, I want to mention that I am an affiliate with this brand and there will be an affiliated discount code for you to use if you’d wish. I’ll receive a small commission with the code. This post is NOT sponsored and all opinions are my own]

I recently was sent the 30 day detox from Teami Blends and I was so stoked to try it! 


Teami Blends is a company that offers many different types of natural and delicious teas to aid in cleansing and detoxing your body, gain energy, lose weight, etc… 
There are different types of teas for different types of needs which is great! 

I’m currently on day 13 of my 30 day detox! I’m about halfway through and I feel GREAT! 


The 30 day detox consists of TWO teas- Skinny tea 

I drink one cup every morning when I wake up! I add a little bit of agave to sweeten it just a tad and it is so delicious! This tea replaces my usual cup of coffee in the morning. 



The second tea- colon tea 

 is a tea that I drink EVERY OTHER NIGHT before bed time! I add a tiny bit of honey and sip on it while I’m winding down after my day! 



SO, two teas, one every other night and one every single morning during my 30 days… easy enough right?… 

My morning tea is easy to remember because I’m so used to making coffee or tea anyway when I wake up. I had to set an alarm in the evening to remember my colon tea every other night! 

How do I feel? What changes have I felt and seen?… 

  • Well, the biggest change I’ve seen (this might be TMI) is that it is easier for me to go to the bathroom. I use it more and I feel less bloated because of this, which is great. 
  • I also feel a change in my energy! I don’t feel cranky-tired when I wake up and I’m not feeling the need to crash out right after lunch! 
  • I also feel like I’m able to Focus more on everything I’m doing. I feel like I have a clearer mind which is what I need! 

I’m halfway through this detox and I’m anxious to see how I’ll feel with the end result. 


Just to let y’all know, this is NOT a magic tea- you won’t drink it and suddenly lose weight and have a six pack right off the bat. 

I love how Teami Blends promotes clean eating and exercise in addition to your teas and detox. 

These products are made naturally to help you feel better- from the inside first. 

Hard work, consistency, and dedication will get you the results you’re looking for! 

I’m so eager to try more of their teas! Teami AliveTeami Energy, and Teami Relax are next and at the top of my list for me to try! 

Next week, I plan on going into more detail on the ingredients and giving more detail on how I’m feeling! 

If you’re feeling sluggish, or in a rut, or need a boost to help with your health and wellness goals, Teami Blends might be just what you need to get started! 
If you plan on purchasing Teami tea or products, I have a coupon code for you to use at checkout! 

Discount code: WFW10 

That code ^ will get you 10% off your order! Yay! 

If you want more updates in between Wednesdays, Follow me on Instagram! I update with a post at least one other time a week, and daily on my story. (There’s even more random goodies and discounts there) 


Stay tuned for more updates and info on my journey with Teami Blends! And feel free to ask any questions you have on the product! 


With love, 

Olivia 💛

Little things I do to make myself feel beautiful. 

Recently, I began writing a post that touched on weight, insecurities, self esteem, beauty, and self love… That post turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought for me to write. 

It all started with me looking at some photographs of myself… I had seen how much weight I had gained and how I felt like I looked like a completely different person. I noticed all of my facial flaws like acne, scars, and my chubby chin and cheeks… 

I got really saddened and started to think really mean and upsetting things about myself. My insecurities blew up and made me very discouraged.

 As I was writing that post, I started crying and couldn’t really put together my thoughts… 

I decided that I wasn’t ready to focus on the negative and deep emotions of that topic, so I decided to pray on that more and write about the little things I do to make me happy and feel beautiful.


Some of these things may seem silly (and they are) but they do actually make me feel better sometimes when I’m feeling a little down about my insecurities and body image… here they are: 

1. I read encouraging scripture. 

The number one thing that I hold true to my heart and soul is that I am created in Gods image! (Genesis 1:27) I go back to the only thing that can ever truly heal me and make me feel better, and that’s the fact that Jesus loves me and pursues me daily. He loves me so much that he took my punishment and my well deserved death. He sees nothing but love and beauty when he looks at me. 

Some of my favorite verses to lift me up in times of insecurity are: 

James 3:9

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

‭‭I Peter‬ ‭3:3-4‬ ‭NKJV


‭‭•

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NKJV


‬‬•

The Song of Solomon‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Proverbs 31:10


There are so many more verses that can encourage and show God’s love for you, these are just a few to scratch the surface! 
2. Take a hot shower and shave! 

The whole shaving part sounds a little silly, but for some reason, I always feel great after I do so! I think most women can attest to the truth that shaving makes you feel good. 

 
3. Paint your nails! 

There is something so soothing and relaxing for me when I paint my nails. And fir some reason, I instantly feel more feminine and pretty when I have color on my nails! The only downfall to painting your nails is waiting for them to dry… 

[‭‭these nails and this nail polish  aren’t mine, but I wish they were. Image is from Pinterest Live, love, polish]

4. Workout or go for a walk

There’s no better way to feel better about yourself than to know you are taking care of yourself! I like to go for walks in the evening after work if I don’t go to the gym. 

(Still working on being consistent with going to the gym 5x week) 


[throwback to 3 years ago…] 

5. Do your favorite hobby/passion 

For me, it’s writing! So I’ll write and journal and that really helps me to release any negative emotions that I’m bottling up inside. 


These are all just little and basic things that can make a huge change in your attitude and spirit! 


My goal is to stop living in the past (I.e. Looking at old photos of my veld when I was more fit, remembering how I used to be, etc) and focus on what I can do to better myself and do it for the RIGHT REASONS. 

What do you do to cheer yourself up or motivate yourself to do/be better?? 

What do you do to to remember that you are beautiful and there’s no need to be pressured about your appearance?? 

I hope you all know that you can always share your heart with me and that if you’re struggling with body image, insecurities, and self love, you are not alone! You are beautiful, worthy, and special!! ❤️

Blessings,

Olivia 💜

Why California holds a special place in my heart. 

I was 20 years old when I took my first ever vacation. Growing up, my family didn’t really take any trips or vacations… the only trips we did take was traveling to Mexico 2x year to visit my family. We did that up until I was 8 years old. 

But I never got to experience a real vacation… with the amusement parks, and plane rides, hotel rooms, etc. 

Dont get me wrong, my trips to Mexico to see my family were always fun and special to me. I hold those moments as teasures… I have fantastic and fun memories about our shopping and food experiences… they were great times! (I can expand on my Mexico trips in a future post) 

But my first vacation was when I was twenty years old and I went to California with some friends. We went to Disneyland (my childhood dream! 😊), Hollywood, Newport, Santa Monica, and my Favorite: The Ocean(my lifelong dream). 


Growing up, my family didn’t have the money or time to take trips to all the fancy and fun amusement parks that kids dream of going to. We lived in the beautiful desert, so I never saw a beach but always dreamed of it. We never even flew on a plane for any of our trips to Mexico. I had never truly experienced a big city either. 

I joined the military at 17… so I have traveled and flown on a plane, and lived in other states… but those were obviously work related and not for pleasure… lol

My 2013 trip to the golden state was my first real experience of vacation and I wish I could explain how much it meant for me when I finally saved up enough money and experienced my childhood (and adulthood desires) 
DISNEYLAND:



I honestly felt like a little kid when I arrived at Disneyland! We went in   October so the whole park was fall festive and decorated for Halloween! 👻🎃 it was so fun! And the “haunted mansion” attraction and ride was decked out and turned into The Nightmare Before Christmas! I had never been on a roller coaster so when I rode Space Mountain, I was so nervous but loved it! (I’ve since then been on crazier and much bigger roller coasters) 


I loved all the shops and restaurants and remember going to an old fashioned Ice cream shop and having the most delicious orange soda ice cream float and eating a tasty churro! I remember falling in Love with Minnie Mouse’s house and how adorable it was! 

BUT my most favorite part of my Disneyland experience was the firework show at the castle at the end of the night! Even though I was already an adult at Disneyland for my first time, I still had the time of my life and I’m eager to go back! 

NEWPORT, SANTA MONICA, AND HOLLYWOOD: 

I’ll be honest right off the bat: I was so unimpressed with Hollywood… I’m glad I got the experience, but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. 

Trashy streets, dirty sidewalks, crazy people in costumes, polluted air that you can smell… lol it just wasn’t my favorite… but it was nice seeing it and realizing that it’s not like the movies.


SANTA MONICA was lovely! Clean, pretty, calm, and gorgeous! The pier was so fun and the cute little bookstores and quaint coffee shops were like something I dream about! And I get to go back this summer and i can’t wait! 


NEWPORT WAS FANTASTIC! My friend, Briana, who lived in Cali at the time took us to the best places to shop and eat there… and she took us to such a lovely beach! 

It was my first time at Nordstrom, Joe’s Crab Shack, and the beach! 


I’ll be honest, I did tear up when we were driving along the coast and I saw the ocean for the very first time… it was breathtaking, magical, and overwhelming! 


The beach was definitely my favorite part. I had it as #1 on my bucket list to go to the beach. I had always wanted to go, and to finally see and be in the presence of one of God’s loveliest creations was amazing for me!

And it probably sounds silly to some about how exciting and fun all of this was… but for me it was a brand new experience… i never had the privilege to take trips and vacations like this.  So to finally get to do it and know I worked hard as a young adult to take myself on a vacation was rewarding and an experience that will forever keep California as a special place in my heart! 
I’ve since been to California about 3 more times… luckily my boyfriends sister lives there, so we get to go there to see her! And I’ve since traveled more and seen different places and different parts of California. 
Now California isn’t a place I ever see myself living… why? For one, they have horrible gun laws (too liberal for me), and I’ve always been a Southwest girl. 

As much as I love the beach, I’m definitely a mountain girl who prefers quiet and small towns. 

But California will always be a place I’ll  go back to to vacation! It will always be special since it was the very first place I took my first vacation at! 
Where is your favorite place to vacation? How old were you when you took your first vacation? Let me know! 
Here are some other photos of other trips to California that I’ve taken! 

[ALL PHOTOS ARE MINE]